It doesn’t matter how predictable you are. Even if you do the exact same thing every single time you drop into a Blackout match, you’ll never have the same experience twice. The rules don’t change, but each match is its own unique experience. This truth speaks to the fundamental appeal of Blackout. The meta game-within-the-game ebbs, flows and evolves from match to match. The number of differing variables in each Blackout are infinite – different players drop in different areas, collect different weapons, push outwards at different times, etc. etc.
In short, the fun of Blackout comes down to choices. Your ability to choose your path and how to navigate it makes this mode endlessly replayable. While you make innumerable small choices in any match, we’ve picked two of the biggest decisions every Blackout player must face on their path to victory. The simple answer to each one of these questions is, “It depends.” But, what does it depend on? Read on and you’ll have a better understanding of what each choice means for the rest of your match.
Where do I drop?
Feels pretty important, right? The map is huge, traversing it takes time and – in Blackout – time is always a factor. The answer to this depends on a few things and a big consideration is deciding how comfortable you are dropping into a crowded area full of enemies. Marked areas with large amounts of loot tend to be crowded at the beginning of a match. If you’re looking for that rush of having only your fists with enemies all around you, you have your answer. Drop into a crowded place, hope you find a gun before the people around you and go be a hero. Eliminating a fistful of foes early in the match sets a nice tone, as well as leaving you with a enemies to loot. Get some action under your belt, scoop up some loot and you’ll be in a good spot.
However, if you prefer a bit of quiet while looting up, look for buildings in unmarked areas to infiltrate first. Less populated areas tend to leave fewer quantities of loot, but keep in mind, loot spawns are randomized. Dropping into an isolated structure or encampment could be your ticket to sticking around simply by avoiding enemies. If you prefer to let the herd thin itself out for the early parts of a match, you may want to consider a quieter beginning to your match.
The best way to tell how isolated you are when entering a match is to simply look around. If You want to drop into an area hot with immediate action? Follow the wingsuits and parachutes. Want to keep it stealthy early on? Avoid ‘em and stock up on loot slowly around the edges of the action. A good way to ensure you’re isolated is to keep an eye on the drop count on the right-hand side of the screen while you’re still in your transport. This keeps a count of how many players haven’t dropped yet. If you’re all alone up there, you’ve got a good chance to drop into the map all alone.
What gear do I keep? What gear to I drop?
All caveats apply here. If you don’t feel comfortable with a certain weapon, leave it alone. If you just seem to have a feel for the ICR-7? There’s your answer. But, as is always the case, there are general ideas to keep in mind while looting your way through Blackout. Two big things stand out as generally worth having in some form: health/armor and range.
Why range? Well, as we’ve mentioned, it’s a big map. That means you’re more likely to encounter an enemy at a longer range than you would in a standard Multiplayer match. In order to be prepared for those long-range interactions, you’re gonna want a weapon that’s competitive. This can look a lot of different ways: Sniper Rifles have good range. LMGs and Tactical Rifles stay effective at range as well. Or, if you aren’t interested in any of those options, make sure your Assault Rifle or SMG has a Scope and Long Barrel attachment. These won’t drastically alter their statistics but they could be enough of a boost to extend their range and visibility.
Why health and armor? Because winning usually means taking a bullet or two. Armor allows you to soak up more than your share – the higher level of armor the better. Health allows you to heal up after a nasty encounter. You never know how much time there’ll be between fights, so stocking up on health is extremely useful. First Aid is nice. Med Kits are better. Trauma Kits are best. As soon as the coast is clear following a fight, quickly start the healing process to save yourself precious seconds of defenselessness.
These two questions are important and must be answered early-on. Keep an eye out for a continuation of this series on Blackout Decision Points for the tough choices you make as your Blackout match gets into the later rounds.