Call of Duty’s return to World War II brings with it the most interesting and tactically rich multiplayer mode the series has seen in … well, maybe ever. Call of Duty: WWII adds a new multi-stage, asymmetrical multiplayer mode called “War,” which pits the Allies and Axis against each other to take (or defend) a series of strategic points on the battlefield. War will be familiar to anyone who’s played attack-and-defend modes in other games, such as Overwatch or Battlefield 1‘s Operations mode, but it offers has a unique take on the experience. With comparatively smaller maps and fewer bodies, the engaging mode presents its own unique challenges. Even compared to Call of Duty’s objective-based Capture the Flag and Domination modes, War still feels like a different animal, especially since a full match can last upward of 30 minutes. Here’s everything you need to know to come out victorious in War mode.
The maps and objectives
War stands apart from the rest of Call of Duty WWII‘s multiplayer offerings. The Axis and Allies are still fighting and killing each other but in a more constructed, objective-driven fashion. In a War match, both teams will get the chance to both attack and defend a set of three to four objectives. Each objective has a four-minute time limit. If the attacking team advances through all of the objectives, they win, but if the defending team stops the attack — no matter how close to the finish line the attacking team may be — the defenders come out victorious. Then the roles reverse for the second half of the match.
The rules are different, and so are the maps. War mode has three dedicated levels, each with their own sets of tasks to perform. As each objective is completed, more of the map opens up, and your spawn point shifts closer to the objective.
Set on the beaches of Normandy, there are three phases to Operation Neptune, a demolition-focused variant of War.
- Capture two cliff bunkers
- Destroy 10 pieces of communications equipment
- Destroy two artillery guns
Set in a snowcapped Belgium village, there are three phases of Operation Neptune, which acts as a hybrid escort/heist variant.
- Escort three tanks
- Steal three tanks of fuel
- Escort tank
Occurring miles away from Normandy in a woodland town, Operation Breakout has four phases, including capturing areas and destroying enemy artillery.
- Capture and secure a manor
- Push into the town and construct a bridge
- Destroy flak guns’ ammo cache (plant bomb)
- Escort the friendly tank to destroy flak guns
Demolitions and builds
One of the interesting gameplay tweaks in War comes in the form of demolitions and builds. While many objectives task you with planting explosives or building a full-length bridge in one instance, there are opportunities to build or topple structures throughout each map. These can create new ways for attackers to move forward, or block them, depending on which side of the fight you’re on.
Make sure to look out for places where you can build or destroy parts of the level in each phase. When you see a toolbox on the ground, you know that you will be able to build a structure. And when a wall has a slot for an explosive (it glows a bit), you can plant a bomb. Get close to these, and a prompt on the screen will inform you to press and hold an action button. For instance, you can build a ladder (hold square on PS4, X on Xbox One) at the foot of the bunker on Normandy beach. With that ladder, you and your teammates now have a direct entrance to the points you need to capture. Similarly, you can repair turret guns with the build system in the same level.
To know where to build (or blow up) an access point, look for entryways with rubble around them, or, when already built, a large peephole in the center. On offense, knock these down by planting an explosive. On defense, you can fortify these entryways and limit the number of routes the attackers can take.
Bottom line: If there’s a point on the map where you can build or set a demolition, you should certainly know about it and be prepared to deal it. They are there for a reason: To make your job as an attacker easier, or to make life for the attacking team harder.
Switch Divisions as objectives change
Call of Duty: WWII revamps the loadout customization system by separating players into one of five divisions: Infantry, Expeditionary, Airborne, Armored, and Mountain. Infantry soldiers are the most versatile, armed with semi-automatic rifles as their primary weapons. The Expeditionary forces carry shotguns, Airborne have submachine guns, Armored troops use heavy weapons, the Mountain division brings sniper rifles.
For most multiplayer modes, you want to stick with the class that best represents your style of play, but in War mode, it’s best to switch it up. After choosing your first class, you start earning division tokens to unlock the other classes. You can switch between each class during a match (after your next death), so you can modify your strategy as you go. In War mode, you’want to change your class often to adapt to each objective.
If you have to travel a long way while attacking — typically during the first phase or two — Infantry and Mountain divisions make sense. If you’re storming a mansion or planting a bomb in close quarters, the Expeditionary and Airborne divisions work well.
On defense, snipers are great for picking enemies off at long range. When the enemy gets close, the heavy weapons in the Armored division can really deal some damage.
Naturally, you can excel with your preferred weapon no matter the situation, but given the nature of War, you should never be afraid to change things up based on what you’re doing and the composition of your team.
Stick with your team, or near the objective
All modes in Call of Duty benefit from good teamwork, but it’s pretty much mandatory for winning in War. Whether you know your teammates or not, it’s best to stay near at least one other teammate. Since many of the objectives have multiple points of interest, you need to split up, but you should always work with at least one teammate by your side. When attacking, playing as a team helps when building structures and planting explosives, so that cover fire can be provided throughout the task.
Of course, when you’re in a group with randoms without microphones, communication is not always possible. Thankfully, most players naturally head toward the task at hand, but if you have stragglers, always remember to stick to the objective before you run out of time.
On defense, sticking with teammates is also important, but since you are always guarding an objective, don’t bunch up directly beside them. Stay in the general vicinity of your squad but always have your sights on the target you are supposed to defend.
Camping is encouraged
Campers — those who sit in the same spot on maps to pick off enemies — have historically received a fair amount of flak from other players. In War mode, though, it’s absolutely OK to camp. In fact, you have to employ camping strategies all throughout each operation. You spend most of your time defending a specific spot on defense, crouching in corners, going prone, and huddling against impenetrable structures keeps you from being exposed to incoming fire while offering opportunities to surprise your enemies.
Don’t be afraid to utilize some camping strategies on offense too, though. If you find a nice spot near your target to pick off enemies, it’s OK to hunker down for a bit. Chances are, your teammates will be advancing on the objective en masse, and your covering fire will help them gain ground.
Kills and deaths don’t really matter
In War mode, the objective is the only thing that matters. For that reason, you should take risks, storm enemy bunkers, and sacrifice yourself for the sake of your team when necessary. With your sights on the objectives, that also means that you shouldn’t go out of your way to kill enemies if it compromises the task at hand. Clear out enemies that stand between you and your objective, but beyond that, keep your eyes on the prize.
Kills and deaths don’t actually matter in the grand scheme of War. Yes, you earn experience points from kills (less than normal), but your time in War doesn’t affect your kill/death ratio, if you care about that sort of thing. It’s much preferable to finish a match with multiple completed objectives to your name than a high kill count and no meaningful objective progress.
It’s always a good idea to use silencers throughout Call of Duty’s multiplayer modes, but in War, they can be crucial to keeping your position unknown and advancing on your objective. Normally when you fire your weapon, your position is given away on the mini-map to enemy soldiers. But with a silencer, you remain concealed while firing. Remaining off the enemy radar while completing objectives in War gives you a bit of an advantage without doing anything extra.