CoD Cold War: Beginner's Guide for Zombies - How to make your first rounds

CoD Cold War: Beginner's Guide for Zombies - How to make your first rounds

The first few rounds of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War's Zombie Mode can be terrifyingly confusing. We shows and explains you the most important mechanics to start with on the zombie map "The Machine".

The co-op mode in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War sends you to a creepy facility in Poland that is completely infested with zombies. Your task here: Uncover the dark secrets of the map "The Machine".

But before you can solve even one of the crazy Easter Eggs on the map, you have to prepare yourself for the fight against ever stronger zombie hordes. We shows you here in the guide the basics of the zombie mode and how you accumulate enough firepower to survive many laps.

To create the guide, we looked at beginner videos from CoD zombie YouTubers and did a few laps ourselves to better understand the mechanics. You can find the links in the sources, at the end of a page.

Cold War Zombies: Beginners Guide

What is the goal in zombie mode?

In the co-op mode of Black Ops Cold War you should uncover the secrets of an old bunker complex that is hidden in the zombie-infested depths. The story is not linear, but is hidden in puzzles and Easter eggs, which you explore more deeply with each new match.

What's the difficulty?

The zombies roll towards you in waves and with each new wave a greater challenge awaits you. You can follow the story and get rid of the undead or try to destroy as many waves as possible.

How does this guide help?

In order to be able to follow the story, you need a certain basic strength, which you get through the mechanics in the match. Without these upgrades you will only last a few laps, as the zombies get stronger over time. The guide shows you the basics of the mechanics, how to get strong equipment and the first quest steps up to the pack-a-punch machine.

Mechanics in zombie mode

The mechanics in zombie mode differ fundamentally from those in multiplayer. The weapon damage depends on the rarity, for example, and Zombies brings their own field equipment and perks. A few explanations of the basics:


All enemies on the map are zombies and are the main source of your currencies. So they not only stand in your way, but are also your source of progress.

In the course of a match you will encounter some types of undead, some more humanoid than others, some of which have their own attacks and mechanics. With each round the zombies get more health and increase their damage over time:

  • Round 1 to 10: 30 damage
  • Round 11 to 30: 50 damage
  • from round 51: 80 damage

This makes it harder to withstand the hordes with each wave and you need upgrades to keep you alive and the zombie horde dead.

Currencies & material

There are a total of 3 currencies within the match that are important for you to better fight zombies:

  • essence
  • scrap metal
  • High quality scrap

Essence is the main currency in zombie mode, which you collect with every zombie kill. You can use it to remove barricades, buy weapons, get ammunition or even provide your weapons with Pack-a-Punch upgrades.

Scrap brings you a few items at the crafting table, including tactical and explosive equipment. You also need the material to upgrade your weapons and armor.

High-quality junk gives you access to supports that you can use in zombie mode. These items offer a strong bonus, including, for example, a powerful battle bow, a life-saving self-resuscitation kit or the zombie-slaughtering helicopter gunner, who even briefly removes you from the map. You also need high-quality junk to upgrade your weapons and armor to the highest levels.

How do you get etherium crystals ?

You get the crystals when you finish a certain number of waves in zombie mode. After 10 rounds there is the first and then every 5 rounds another. If you get evacuated, there's another one on top. You can collect even more crystals on higher waves.

With this currency you can permanently improve your equipment outside of the match:

  • Weapon classes
  • Field upgrades
  • Extras
  • Ammunition modifications

Go to the zombie menu on the tab "equipment" to upgrade and select "skills".

Weapons - rarity & upgrades

In zombie mode you can use all weapons from multiplayer. But your loadout weapons only help you in the first few rounds, as the damage is directly dependent on the rarity of the weapons. There are a total of 5 rarities in the order:

  • red
  • green
  • blue
  • purple
  • orange

To improve your firepower, you have several options during the match:

  • Upgrade for scrap or high-quality scrap in the arsenal
  • Buy weapons with essence hanging on the walls (outline color indicates rarity)
  • Activate the mystery box to receive a random weapon
  • Complete quests to specifically unlock weapons

The further you advanced in the waves, the better weapons you can get from the walls and from the mystery box. The weapons also have attachments on them that improve the weapon’s stats. You can have these rolled out again at the Arsenal.

You can get the ultimate upgrades by upgrading the Pack-a-Punch machine and adding ammunition modifications.

Field upgrades

Field upgrades are active skills that trigger powerful effects. You choose them in your loadout before the match. After use, they are available again after a certain cooldown time:

  • Frost shot: Distributes damage, makes zombies more vulnerable and slower
  • Energy Mine: Proximity mine that does a lot of damage
  • Aether Veil: Zombies won't attack you for a few seconds
  • Heilaura: Heals you and your fellow players in the area
  • Ring of Fire: Creates a ring that increases your damage and inflicts damage to zombies

You can strengthen all upgrades with etherium crystals, which receive additional bonuses.

Extras / perks

You do not select the perks in zombie mode beforehand, you have to buy them in the match - in the form of soft drinks. All over the map there are 6 machines where you can buy the fortifying drinks for essence:

  • Jugger-Nog: Better Health
  • Tempo-Cola: faster reloading
  • Rapid Resuscitation: Heal Faster
  • Stamina: speed increases
  • Elemental Soda: Shots can deal elemental damage
  • Death Daiquiri: Aim assist for critical hits

The perks can also be improved extensively with Aetherium Crystals. Each perk that you pull out of the machine during the match makes the next perk purchase more expensive. But you keep the extras and can put on all perks in one match at once.

Ammunition modifiers

In the zombie mode of Cold War you have access to 4 different ammunition elements. As soon as you have set up the Pack-a-Punch machine, you can add an element to your weapons on the device with essence:

  • Napalm volley (fire): Chance of more damage over time
  • Dead line (electro): Can stun zombies
  • Cryogenic Rigidity (Ice): Can slow down zombies
  • Brain rot (poison): Can briefly turn zombies into allies

With Aetherium Crystals you improve the elemental ammunition, so that you do more damage or increase the effects of the effects.


At the end of your matches, you don't always have to be nibbled on the floor. By picking it up, you collect a good amount of bonus experience points and an additional etherium crystal.

Once you have completed round 10, you can request an evacuation at the start of round 11. Then you can try again every 5 rounds from round 16 onwards. The terminal for evacuation can be found in the first area, to the right of the door.

If you have activated the requirement, the quest marker will lead you to a collection zone, which must be completely cleaned of zombies in the given time. If you fail to do this, the pick-up helicopter explodes and you only have the chance to escape from the area 5 laps later. If the area is clean, interact with the helicopter and end the match.

Craft table

There are workbenches distributed around the map, where you can craft equipment from your scrap and high-quality scrap:

  • Tactical equipment that heals or distracts zombies
  • Primary equipments that do a lot of damage to zombies
  • Support gear, including a resuscitation kit and large weapons

The gadgets help you in the fight against the zombies and are among the strongest items that I can get you. The resuscitation kit is practically a respawn, as the zombies do not attack you in KO mode. A well-placed charge of C4 can get a dozen zombies out of the way with the push of a button. To top it off, there's the helicopter shooter, who lets you terrorize the map with a minigun from a safe height for a while.

Arsenal for armor and weapon upgrades

At the entrance to the “machine” room there is a workbench that comes to life when the electricity is switched on. A friendly doll laughs at you and offers weapon and armor upgrades in exchange for your scrap and high-quality scrap that you collect over the course of the matches.

Here are upgrades and repairs for your armor. The upgrades give you a maximum of 3 armor plates screwed to your vest, which significantly increases your health. But the plates do not regenerate automatically, you have to recharge them with items from fallen zombies or here at the arsenal.

In addition, you can bring your weapons to higher rarity levels and roll out the attachments on the weapons again.


In order to develop your strong guns into the perfect anti-zombie weapons, you have to activate the Pack-a-Punch machine and buy a weapon upgrade with your essence. With each upgrade you have to dig deeper into your pockets and can upgrade all weapons in the game up to level 3:

  • 5,000 essence for level 1
  • 15,000 essence for level 2
  • 30,000 essence for level 3

With the tuning your weapons are much stronger and more effective against the zombies and the effect is stacked with the rarity of your weapons. So only spend the coal for the upgrade on weapons that you want to upgrade or that already have a high rarity level.

More mechanics

You should also know the following mechanics right from the start.

Ammunition boxes

Here you can fill up your ammunition reserves, which are quickly empty under the onslaught of countless zombies. Pay attention to your ammunition and note the positions of the ammo boxes, which you can also see on the mini-map.

Power ups

In the course of a match such collectable bonuses appear from time to time, which give you a powerful boost. For example, “Schreiner” repairs all obstacles in front of barricades or a “Nuke” grills all zombies that are currently on the map. Collect them before they disappear.


The progress of the game is hindered at the beginning by barricades. Sometimes these are doors, but often also rubble that is in the way. With essence you remove these barricades and so come into a new area of ​​the map.

Mystery boxes

Spread over the map you will find these mystery boxes, which give you a random weapon for essence. The higher your current wave number, the higher your chances of getting powerful weapons out of the boxes. They are a good source of higher rarity ratchets, but what you get will remain a coincidence.

Zombie Loadout - Strong Weapons & Field Upgrades

Before the battle even starts, you build a loadout. Here you pack a weapon and choose a special zombie field upgrade.

Cold War - Zombie Mode: Strong loadout weapons

  • Gallo 12 / Hauer 77 - Shotguns work well against zombies
  • Light machine guns - Lots of ammo & damage, but slow reloading
  • AUG / M16 - The precise 3-shot volleys save ammunition and increase the headshot rate

Cold War - Zombie Mode: Strong field upgrades

  • Aether Veil - You have a brief moment of complete silence from the zombies
  • Healing Aura - Very strong on the healing team especially with some upgrades
  • Ring of Fire - Gives a huge bonus to weapon damage

However, you only have access to the weapons and gadgets that you have already unlocked via your military rank. If you are new to Cold War, you have to unlock a lot first. Your level is not separated from your multiplayer level. With the start of Season 1, you can even increase your levels in the Warzone.

If you have set the correct loadout and important Cold War settings , then the carnage can finally begin.

Zombie Mode: Beginners Guide for "The Machine"

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War plans to release more zombie maps, but for the release you only have access to one map: "The Machine".

To survive on the map, it is not enough to just be a good zombie killer. You have to upgrade your weapons, get perks and build the Pack-a-Punch machine to keep the zombie horde under control.

This guide shows you how to become strong enough to fend off waves and explore the story.

Step 1 - Turn on the power

Your first quest leads you to the bunker system and then you go straight to switching on the power to the "machine". As soon as you flip the switch for the electricity, the map really wakes up, offers more lighting and makes certain areas accessible.

You start in the yard in front of the system and have to work your way up barricade by barricade into the bunker. Go through the door in the wall on the right and follow the glowing arrows that are mostly on the walls.

Always collects a lot of points and material on the side, but moves quickly to complete this part quickly. If you are brand new on the map, then take your time in the first few matches and explore the areas a little.

If you have followed the arrows, you will stand in front of the bunker system, which opens automatically. Buy the barricade on the left in the bunker, walk through the hallway and in the room after that you will find a door in the back on the right that you also have to buy. Stick to the quest marker, then you will find the way.

When entering the large room with the “machine” you will see a terminal with a figure on the left - that is the arsenal. Make a note of this location in advance, it will be important later.

Run completely through the room towards the quest marker and buy the last door that you need for the electricity. Into the chamber, let the juice flow and off you go to the next step.

Step 2 - Activate in the ether tunnel / Pack-a-Punch

With the Pack-a-Punch mechanics you have the opportunity to upgrade your weapons in the nastiest way to make them more deadly for zombies and zombie-like things. No matter which ratchet you want to improve, Pack-a-Punch turns even lame pistols into a powerful anti-zombie tool.

The electricity gives you access to two terminals. Activate both and step through the dimensional portal in the lower center. The points are displayed as quest markers.

The next quest marker sends you to the "ether tunnels". You will get several displayed and you need one that is outside the bunker at the top of the map. For a little essence, the tunnel above sends you back down to the facility, into a secret room with the Pack-a-Punch machine. You should do all of this fairly quickly because you are only in the other dimension for a limited time.

After the teleport, turn left and look behind you in the corner. Here are the remains of an inconspicuous Pack-a-Punch machine that you have to drag back to the portal.

When you are back at the "machine" you will see the outline of the device at the point where you have to place the part. Your dimensional time should have expired slowly and you return to normal space. As normal as rooms filled with zombies can be. You have now activated the Pack-a-Punch mechanics and completed an important part of the preparations.

On the way to the tunnel, you can look around for crystals that grow, for example, on the tree roots. Shoot the pieces to get material, essence and items. That can give you a decent boost. But don't take big detours for the crystals. It is more important to get into the Aether Tunnel reasonably quickly.

Step 3 - upgrade weapons, armor & perks

After building the Pack-a-Punch machine, the zombies should slowly be a problem for your weapons. Before you upgrade the guns at the crazy new workshop, find better weapons or upgrade your current weapon. The damage of the weapons is directly related to the rarity in zombie mode. Your standard loadout weapon therefore quickly withers away into a water spray gun.

Either get weapons from the mystery boxes that can be found on the map or upgrade your loadout weapon. If you dive deeper into the zombie experience, you can also go in search of strong and crazy weapons. But for your first experience with "The Machine" you should still rely on normal weapons.

To upgrade you go to the workshop with the human dummy at the entrance to the room with the "machine". At the arsenal there are upgrades for your armor and the rarity level of your weapons. You will need a lot of junk and high quality junk to buy the upgrades.

You should definitely get armor here. For weapons, however, it is better to first go to the mystery boxes that are distributed all over the map. If you want to upgrade your loadout weapon later, keep it as a second weapon. But in order to skip the first levels of rarity and save scrap, buy weapons with essence from the surprise bag boxes. The higher your wave level, the better the random weapons.

Also, think about the perks you pull out of the drinks machine and equipment on the workbench. The further you want to get, the more planned you should be. Make a plan of which upgrade is most important in which phase of the game. To get started, it is enough if you only care about weapons and armor.

Step 4 - Remove Pack-a-Punch weapons

Have you got yourself a powerful weapon with a high rarity and some essence on the high edge, give the gun a touch of mysterious ethereal power. Go to the Pack-a-Punch machine and you can upgrade the current weapon in your hand with 5,000 essence.

That gives you a big bonus to damage and strength. More damage, more ammo, better handling, more colorful colors - the ultimate zombie weapon upgrade. You can also add ammunition upgrades to your ratchets at the workbench, which makes them even stronger.

There are a total of 3 levels for Pack-a-Punch weapons and each is more expensive, but also significantly better than the previous level. Upgrade 2 costs 15,000 and Upgrade 3 costs 30,000 essence.

Step 5 - Easter Eggs / Story / Evacuation

Once you have upgraded your armor and got hold of powerful weapons, the zombie mode is really just beginning. Because now you have a choice of what you want to do.

You can explore the map to discover secrets or follow the main quest. But you can also go on the hunt for even better equipment to tear apart a maximum number of zombie waves.

If you have enough for the moment, the evacuation is also available. After you have survived the first 10 laps, you can request a helicopter on lap 11 in the start area to the right of the first door and have you picked up. Then you have the chance to request the helicopter every 5 laps.

Call of Duty Zombie Mode is a complex and engaging co-op experience that is highly replayable and can keep you busy for hours.

With this guide you get ready to uncover the secrets of "The Machine", but it only scratches the surface of what you can experience on the map.

Post a Comment