Call of Duty Mobile tips and tricks: How to play and win

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Call of Duty Mobile brings a heady mix of action, both in multiplayer and battle royale gameplay.

But if you're new to the game, there's a lot to take in to get you started and get you winning matches and cranking up your XP. So let's dive into how you can get the most out of Call of Duty: Mobile in our extensive tips and tricks. 

Setting up Call of Duty Mobile and your phone

  • Call of Duty Mobile system requirements for iPhone: Works on phones from iPhone 6S upwards; works on iPad Air 2 onwards.
  • Call of Duty Mobile system requirements for Android: Requires Android 4.3 or later and your phone needs at least 2GB of RAM. 

Prepare device storage: You'll need around 1.6GB of storage to install CoD: Mobile and for game data, so you might have to clean something out. If you're right at the limit, your phone won't run as well, and this is a demanding game. COD:M breaks down the files so you only need to download what you need - the entire thing can be up to 12GB!

Shut down background activities and alerts: If you have a gaming mode on your device then now is the time to use it to reduce notifications you don't want and to kill other processes that might be lowering the performance of your phone. To get the best from CoD:M you need your phone running as best it can.

Use Facebook or Call of Duty account login: Sadly there's no username/password login, you have to use Facebook, your Call of Duty Activision Account or play as a guest. If you use Facebook login you will then be able to move your profile to a different device if you get a new phone or want to play on a tablet for example, as you will with an Activision account.

Pro Tip: Occasionally there are incentives for using a different type of login - perhaps you can get a different character for connecting to your Call of Duty account, which is worth looking out for.

Connect your headphones: The soundtrack to Call of Duty: Mobile is excellent - and it also helps you get more aware of what's happening around you. You'll be able to pinpoint footsteps, listen for the cough of a silenced sniper rifle and much more if you can hear them clearly. Playing with headphones is a pro move - or turn the speakers up loud, if you have stereo speakers.

You'll need an internet connection: Yes, as this is live multiplayer there's no offline mode - you'll need to be connected to play. Watch your data allowance, or stick to Wi-Fi, although the game doesn't actually use a lot of data.

Help, my gameplay is laggy!: If you appear to be freezing or repeatedly moving over the same area, it's probably because your connection is dropping out. Try turning Wi-Fi on or off, or restarting your router or phone to solve the problem. Sometimes we switch to mobile data when Wi-Fi is playing up.

Turn the brightness up: What you see is what you shoot. The brighter the better, so turn off auto-brightness, turn up the levels and make sure "night mode" or the "blue light filter" isn't on, as it will skew the visuals. If you have a game mode on your phone, get it to disengage autobrightness.

Connect your Xbox or PS controller controller: You can connect a console controller to play on your mobile. You'll be paired with other people using controllers when you play, so you don't get an unfair advantage. First connect the controller to your device via Bluetooth, then head into settings > controller and you can see when the controller is connected and customise things.

Call of Duty Mobile best settings and controls

There's a wealth of settings and options for Call of Duty: Mobile and the best depends very much on how you like to play and what phone or tablet you're playing on. It's worth taking the time to test all the options.

Choose Advanced mode: There are two methods of control, simple or advanced that you'll be presented at the start of the game. Simple is autofire when you're pointing at someone, but Advanced gives you full control and it's the latter you should choose - even if it means getting a little more practise. You'll never get anywhere on simple controls.

Customise your controls: From the lobby, tap the settings cog and you'll open up all the settings for the game. In Controls you'll have the option for Simple and Advanced, as above, but in advanced you have the customise button - tap this and you can drag control elements to new locations. Be aware that multiplayer and battle royale have slightly different docks, so customise both.

Turn on prone button to enable dropshotting: A recent change as been the addition of the option to go direct to prone (lying down) rather than having to long press on the crouch button. The prone button is off by default, but if you turn it on, you'll be able to drop to the ground and keep fighting - a move called dropshotting. It's popular in PUBG and it's getting very common in COD:M since that addition of the new control option. The options are in settings > basic controls > hide prone button.

Change the shooting mode: In the same area as above, in Advanced, you can change how different weapon types shoot. You can fire from the hip, aim down sights (ADS) or select custom. This will let you change the behaviour of weapon groups - so you can fire shotguns from the hip, for example (which is worth doing).

Change the graphics quality: Your device will automatically detect the settings for your phone on first start, but if you want to change them, in the settings, tap Audio and Graphics. Here you can select the quality and frame rate, as well as other options. Play around to get the smoothest gameplay you can, because setting it too high will cause you problems if it gets jerky. This is where you'll find Ultra mode - 120Hz - but be aware that it might drop the graphic quality to play at the fastest frame rate.

Adjust the sensitivity: Different devices respond slightly differently and in Sensitivity you can change the settings for how you move as well as how sensitive movements are through scopes using the phone's gyroscope. These can also be changed for multiplayer and battle royale separately - as well as changed for individual scope magnifcations, as you might want more sensitivity on lower zoom and lower sensitivity on higher zoom to keep it steady.

Test your settings with Practice vs AI: Head into multiplayer and tap the selection button (just above start) to choose the game type. Here you'll see "practice" and "practice vs AI". This is a great way to test weapons, settings and controls to see how they feel and if it's going to work for you. You can change settings on the fly and this is the place to do it.

Watch your friends playing: You can watch what your friends are doing by heading into your friends list and tapping the eye button - you can watch them play in real time.

Call of Duty: Mobile gameplay modes

Call of Duty: Mobile is divided into two major sections. Those are multiplayer and battle royale. Although the controls are broadly similar and the visuals are mostly the same, these are fundamentally different modes of play. Zombie mode has been and gone and come back again for a limited time.

Multiplayer modes 

There are a number of different multiplayer maps and modes to play. The core modes are Frontline, Team Deathmatch, Domination, Search & Destroy, Gunfight, Kill Confirmed, Hardpoint, Free for All.

Then there are features special modes - for example - Standoff - Halloween, Sniper Only, Gun Game, Prop Hunt. There are incentives for playing all types, so keep your eyes on the Battle Pass to see where you can gain rewards. The featured modes come and go and sometimes debut with a new map to play on. Our favourite is 10 vs 10, when it's available, as it's non-stop carnage.

The maps vary by the game type, changing to suit the type of game you're going to play: Killhouse, Nuketown, Hijacked, Cage, Rust, Gulag, Shipment 1944, Reclaim, Scrapyard, Oasis, Highrise, Crash, Summit, Crossfire, Standoff, Terminal, Firing Range, Hackney Yard, Takeoff, Raid, Meltdown, Icebreaker, Slums, Suldal Harbor, Hovec Sawmill, Vacant, Monastery . The first 10 are pretty small, the second 16 are larger, changing the style of play.

Some maps come and go, some are assigned to particular game modes, so you won't always have access to all the maps.

There are also ranked multiplayer matches and these will circulate between game modes and maps.

Battle royale modes

In battle royale there are two maps - Isolated and Blackout - and you can play in first or third person perspective, you can play solo, duo or team. There has also been an Alcatraz map which is smaller, but comes and goes from the game. Blackout contains locations including many multiplayer map sites.

In battle royale you basically parachute in with nothing, gather weapons with the aim of being the last player or team surviving. The play area gradually decreases, pushing surviving players into a tighter area. It's classic battle royale.

The game sometimes has additional modes - Sniper Challenge where it's only sniper weapons and Warfare, which has teams of 20 on opposing sides for a variation on BR gameplay, but these come and go.

Mastering the Battle Pass and rewards system

While it's just fine to play the game and have fun there's a huge rewards system in Call of Duty: Mobile. This comes in the form of events and the Battle Pass. There's a paid and a free path through this, both following the same timeline. Those who pay get access to more characters, skins, CP (in-game currency), but those on the free path still get quite a lot of stuff.

Speed up you Battle Pass progress: You essentially move forward on the Battle Pass by playing the game and gaining Battle Pass XP. However, taking part in the events will speed you along you way and help you get to the higher tiers faster, unlocking more and better rewards as you do so.

Watch the Events: The events system adds some variety to the game. While you can just play TDM all the time if that's what you want, the events add variety and through a series of tasks, increase your rewards and Battle Pass progress. This will include credits, Weapon XP, Battle Pass XP, crates and sometimes new weapons, characters and skins. See what's listed in the Seasonal or Featured events and you'll find things like "Kill 30 enemies with AGR 556 equipped with any 5 attachments". This basically steps you through the process, earns the rewards and adds the chance to play all the new features of the game.

Use Gunsmith to boost your weapons

Gunsmith allows you to customise your weapons with loads of attachments and skins. You have to unlock a lot of the options and that's done by playing with those weapons - or using Weapon XP cards to level-up that weapon.

Gunsmith can be found in the Loadout section and to complete some events, you'll need top use Gunsmith to ensure you have the right number of attachments on the right weapon to progress. Just tap on the Gunsmith button and you'll enter the area. We've written a comprehensive guide to Gunsmith right here if you want more detail.

Send XP to friends: Friends have a number of uses in COD:M and one is as a method of getting more Weapon XP cards. You can send XP to your in-game friends and you'll recieve Weapon XP back. It's a simple daily task that gives you more cards so you can do more in Gunsmith.

Watch the weapon stats: The changes you make aren't just for fun - they change the characteristics of the weapon. That might be the accuracy, the damage or the mobility. The values will go up (green) or down (red) to show you what changes you'll make to that weapon. This lets you change weapons to suit your style of play - for example boosting mobility if you like to play fast and close, or increasing damage and range if you're a long range fighter.

Pay attention to Perks: It's easy to ignore Perks because they don't all have an immediate impact on weapon characteristics - but they can do things like speed up your magazine change or increase the damage of a weapon. One of the most powerful Perks is Akimbo, which lets you carry twin Fennec SMGs - but that has to be earnt and unlocked.

Multiplayer tips and tricks 

There is a wealth of weaponry in Call of Duty: Mobile and you can collect and upgrade these weapons, apply skins and choose your loadouts for playing multiplayer games.

Increase your XP to unlock more loadouts: As you play you'll earn XP to rank up - and unlock extra loadout slots. You can have 10 different loadouts, each with primary and secondary weapons, grenades, an operator skill and three perks, meaning you can choose a different loadout for different maps.

Choose your weapons wisely: The loadout you carry determines what you enter the game with - and this will change based on the map and game type you're playing. Maps like Killhouse, Hijacked and Nuketown are great for SMGs because it's close quarters combat; a map like Crossfire is great for longer range weapons. Having 10 loadouts means you can change during a match to suit the situation.

Upgrade your weapons: Rewards can get you weapons cards for upgrades and this can be anything from adding a scope to extending the barrel. The weapon characteristics chart will show the impact of those changes you make - and this can make a big difference to how that weapon performs in the game. This is what Gunsmith is all about.

You can't really hide in multiplayer: While you can stay out of sight, or find a corner or building to lurk in, when playing multiplayer the two sides are separated by the enemy wearing red flashes on their uniform. Camouflage doesn't really matter in that sense, as you can spot the red marks even when hiding. You can be spotted by a UAV and placed on the map - so remember, you're not invisible.

Don't wear red: There are a number of red skins/outfits and this can confuse your team. If someone sees a flash of red, it's easy to think it's an enemy. Avoiding those red colours might help your team focus on who they are fighting - particularly important in Hardcore mode.

Keep on moving: Because you can't hide, staying still is your enemy. Keep moving so the enemy can't target you. A skill to master is strafing sideways while keeping the enemy in your sights. Duck into cover when you run out of ammo, pop out again to engage. It's simple use of cover, but it works really well.

Use the slide: You can tap the down button when running to slide. This is unpredictable and gives you a much better chance of making it to cover and avoiding getting shot.

Get familiar with crouch: Crouch is really useful, decreasing your visible area while still letting you move around. There's even a Perk for this - Skulker - which makes you faster when moving crouched.

Use sprint: Sprinting means you can move faster. You can slide up the forward controller or tap the sprint button to do this. There's a menu option for "always sprint" too - but use this with caution - it sometimes means you can't stop as accurately as you want and you might end up running into your enemy by mistake - but that's a great option when using a shotgun - as you can sprint and spray. There's also a Perk to make you faster. Use it.

Go to your pistol: The Renetti is a great sidearm and it will take people down just as readily as a rifle when you're up close. Often it's faster to switch to the pistol than it is to reload your primary weapon. It's great for maps like Nuketown when things get crazy in the middle. Avoid the silencer though - it lowers the range - but through Gunsmith you can increase the capacity to make it more effective.

Use your grenades: When the fighting gets tough, often there isn't time to grab a grenade, but it's a great opening move: on maps like Killhouse and Nuketown, lobbing the grenade from one end to the other is fairly easy and can quickly wake up your enemy. Just make sure you don't run into your own grenade and make sure the opening immunity has expired.

Watch out for Martyrdom perk: This drops a grenade when a player dies, something to watch out for - if you are too close to the player you've just killed, their grenade might take you out.

Master the sticky grenade: The sticky grenade is great because it doesn't bounce or roll. Throw it through a window, throw it against a wall and it stays there. It's great for clearing snipers out of rooms, or clearing out people hiding behind crates.

Master the scorestreaks: The scorestreaks are really powerful. You have three slots to fill and these can be anything from a hunter killer drone to a VTOL gunship which is basically a game finisher. Some are AI guided, others offer manual control. The predator missile, for example, needs to be guided to where you want it to hit. The sentry gun can be placed and left, cutting down the enemy when they come around a corner - but can also be damaged by enemy fire. To activate scorestreaks, you need to get mixed in with the enemy and take some scalps.

Take out enemy aircraft scorestreaks: The stealth chopper and VTOL can really damage your team, but you can shoot them down. Choose an LMG and unload into it and you'll shoot it down. Alternative, if you have the Sparrow skill - with explosive arrows - a couple of hits from these will bring down aircraft. Of course there's the FHJ-18 which will lock on and end that scorestreak pretty rapidly.

Take the fight to the enemy: In games like Frontline and Team Deathmatch, take the fight to the enemy. Hanging back might mean you're out of the game not doing anything while your teammates are locked in fighting. Find those strategic points on the maps and dominate them, pinning your enemy in.

Get fancy with smoke: Smoke grenades are actually very useful. If the enemy has you pinned down - obviously - but if there's sniper in a building you can't get past, smoke out the room by lobbing that grenade through the window. Or drop smoke to give you cover while you retreat from invincible respawned enemy. It's also really useful in Domination when you're capturing a location - so the enemy can't see you.

Pick the loadout for the map and the team: The multiplayer maps encourage a range of different gameplay styles. Crossfire, for example, has a lot of places for snipers, whereas Nuketown does not. Vary your loadout to suit the map and the team: if you have five players with sniper rifles on Nuketown, you might struggle, or just get bored. Be prepared to switch to maximise team performance.

Top tip for Hijacked: If you're playing on the Hijacked map (the boat), there's a secret passage through the boat that will take you from one end to the other. This can bring you up behind the enemy so you can even up the score. Just head into the cabin and look for the hole in the floor.

Battle royale tips and tricks 

Battle royale feels like a totally different game in Call of Duty: Mobile. You don't get to start with your preferred loadout, you can't just respawn at will and you have a much larger play area - and it's a much more tactical game than the combat of multiplayer. Even the user interface is slightly different, although Alcatraz brings a smaller play area that's more like multiplayer.

Switch to FPV: If you play a lot of multiplayer and are used to the first-person view, you can switch to that view with a tap, rather than the third-person view.

Choose where you drop carefully: The maps are fairly well loaded with both vehicles and weapons, but if you drop into a built-up area you're more likely to run straight into contact, where the first person to get a weapon will hunt you all down. Go a little more remote and you're more likely to survive through the first 10 minutes. Alcatraz has numerous high points and often there are sniper rifles there so you can easily dominate.

Work as a team - or not: Team work makes the dream work. Drop with your team, move with your team, fight with your team and you'll easily win. But if your teammates are determined to drop into contact and die straight away, you might want to go solo to survive. Battle royale is about survival - if you just want to kill, play multiplayer instead.

Revive your teammates: There are revival flights that will drop you back into the game, but it's better if you can get revived by a teammate. Remember that if a teammate is in contact with the enemy, they'll ignore you until it's clear - so don't just crawl straight over to them. Get close, but be prepared to wait to be revived if you can. Dropping smoke can give you cover while you revive someone.

Don't worry, you've got a wingsuit: As you're wearing a wingsuit, it doesn't matter if you jump out of a helicopter or off the top of a tower, as you'll survive. Use that to your benefit. You can wingsuit right on top of someone and pop 'em with your shotgun if you don't have the range to engage from the top of a mountain. It's great fun.

Keep your eye on the map and look for footprints: Knowing where the enemy is is half the fight in battle royale. Watch the map for footprints if you're a scout, keep your ears open and you'll know where they are before they know you're there. It's the route to victory. 

Hit the deck: Unlike multiplayer where hitting the deck means dying in the dirt, in battle royale you can hide and wait until your enemy is in range before engaging them. It really works.

Watch your ammo: There are loads of different weapons, but you can rinse through your ammo really quickly. Keep an eye on how much you have, make sure you're not picking up stuff you don't need and make sure your second weapon is useful.

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