Treyarch’s latest turn for the yearly Call of Duty is upon us. I wanted to take a look at the Black Ops 4 zombies mode and give some starting tips and tricks for the three new maps. The following will go over core gameplay changes, as well as how to build shields, wonder weapons, and unlock the Pack-a-Punch machines.


There are quite a few big changes to the overall play style regardless of the map you choose.


The traditional zombie perk system that has been in the games since the original Black Ops has been discarded for a new system. Originally, each map had certain Perk-a-Cola machines that each player finds to get their perks. Now, each player chooses before the game starts what perks they want available to them, and there will be four statues or machines throughout the map to purchase. Wherever you have each perk set in your loadout dictates where it will be on the map you enter. There is also an option to essentially make a Wunderfizz spot by setting it to give a random perk each time.

The zombie-mode staple Juggernog is no longer in the game, instead Quick Revive now has a secondary power for faster health regeneration. There are a variety of new perks that allow different styles of play to succeed. Be sure to test each out and see what works best for you.

Elixirs and Talismans

Replacing the Gobblegum feature that was in Black Ops III are elixirs. There are four elixirs every player chooses to have on them before the game starts. There is no limit to using them, but they each have a cooldown. A lot of these are returning Gobblegums from Blops III so anyone who played that should be familiar with the varying powers they give. Talismans are consumed at the beginning of each match and give either a strong starting advantage or a buff that lasts the entire match.

Special Weapons

Clicking both shoulder buttons brings up your special weapons. These weapons have a cooldown on them and will become stronger with the more zombies slain with them. These come in handy in a pinch.

Being Downed and Death

Black Ops 4 is much more forgiving to players being downed or killed than past games in the series. When a player is downed now, they will lose one perk. The longer they stay on the ground, the more perks they will lose until finally dying. If a player dies and comes back to life the next round, they no longer start with only a pistol. Any weapons they had on them when dying come back with them.

Voyage of Despair

In Voyage of Despair, four new characters to the Call of Duty franchise fight zombies that have taken over the Titanic as it hits the infamous iceberg. This map has many levels and tight corridors to get yourself lost in. I recommend taking a few practice rounds here before trying anything serious because it’s a very confusing map.

Sentinel Artifact

The teams first objective every time starting this map should be to make your way across the boat to retrieve the Sentinel Artifact that will be sitting on a bridge on the other side. Many doors with enlarging amounts of points required to proceed are on your path. Once you obtain the artifact and blocked off areas are cleared, and the Pack-a-Punch can start being opened. Portals will also begin appearing around the map in certain rooms which cost 500 points to access for a quick escape when the horde has you cornered.


To open the Pack-a-Punch machine, four pedestals on the ship need to be activated.

  • The first one will be on the poop deck below where the artifact is found.
  • The next closest one will be in the engine room which is located below your current position. Find stairs that lead down and go until you find a room flooded with water. The second pedestal is in the water. (Quick note: if you have difficulties fighting zombies in the water, there is a valve in the Boiler Room which drains the water from this end of the ship.)
  • One of the remaining pedestals will be located at the bottom of the Grand Staircase, near about the midpoint of the ship.
  • The final pedestal is in the Cargo Hold (as well as another drain valve), located below the beginning spawn area. Like with the second pedestal, find the stairs that lead down until you find a flooded room. The pedestal will be all the way in the back.

Whichever pedestal is activated last becomes the Pack-a-Punch. Once the machine is activated, it can travel to any of the other pedestal locations. If you’re ever lost and don’t know where it currently is, find a pedestal and it will tell you which room it is activated in.

Zombie Shield

The shield makes its glorious return in Black Ops 4 zombies in each map. In Voyage of Despair, the parts can be located in the following areas:

  • The first part is in the State Rooms. It can be sitting on a chair or close in the area,
  • The second part is on the bridge. This can be found on round one. From the spawn area go up the side stairs to the top and look around the staircase on the right and in the hallways.
  • The last part will be underneath where you found the Sentinel Artifact in the Provisions area or the 3rd Class Berths.

Wonder Weapon

The Kraken is the wonder weapon of Voyage of Despair. This gun has three cannons on it and is very powerful. You can get it from the mystery box or you can follow these steps to get one for free.

First, find the Sentinel Artifact (See above).

Wooden Chests

Second, there are five different areas that a big wooden chest can spawn in. There will only be one per game. These can be in the Mailing Rooms, Turbine Room, Provisions, the Galley, or in the State Rooms. To open this chest, kill a Stoker. These are the mini-bosses for the map that look all magma-like and chase you around with a shovel. Upon death, they drop a key. Grab the key and find the chest. When opened, the chest will need to be filled with zombie souls. Kill zombies in front of the open chest until it disappears. You need to find the chest and fill it with zombie souls a couple more times until you see the chest open with a golden item circulating in it.

Item Comparison

Next, the item that was spinning in the chest needs to be compared with another item of the same on the ship. If it’s binoculars it’ll be sitting in the beginning spawn area on a crate to the right. If it is a compass, it can be found on a crate on the Boat Deck. For a globe, go along the Mid Deck and it will be sitting on a crate as well. If the item is some tongs-looking thing, go the Aft Deck and the crate will be to the left of the Mystery Box location. For a telescope, go to the Poop Deck to the very end of the ship and the crate is on the right.

Once you go to the crate that has the item that was in the chest, one of the Kraken’s tentacles will pop up out of the water is give you the wonder weapon for Voyage of Despair.


IX takes place in a gladiator ring. The beginning area is wide open with four pathways to four different temples which will contain each perk you chose beforehand. Only the paths to the Danu and Ra temples can be opened at the beginning. Once inside, there are stairs that lead to an underground tunnel that revolves around a temple and allows access to the Odin and Zeus temples. The underground area can get claustrophobic, so always be sure to be moving.


When the game starts, all players will be in a dark room. A gate opens leading to the arena. Four flags are rolled up in front of each temple. I recommend each player knifing the rope holding them up right away to begin their challenges. Each challenge completion rewards the player in the center of the arena at their color-matching fire pit. The important thing to do is get the first three challenges done fast. Upon completion of the third challenge, each player will receive a free upgraded pistol. It is a pack-a-punched Strife which is full-auto and will easily carry you through the beginning rounds. Should you continue completing challenges, six gives you a regular LMG and completing all nine rewards an upgraded LMG.


On the top floor of each temple reside gongs. Pressing the action button on these will call in a champion that need to be killed. One temple will have one gladiator. This guy is a big, beefy dude who throws axes. He is very slow moving, so if you take him on while holding a zombie he is a piece of cake. Another temple will spawn in zombie tigers. These are a lot like hell hounds from previous games. Not too difficult to kill, but if they pile up on you, they can deal a good amount of damage. The next champion will include one big gladiator and two smaller ones that are not as armored and leap at you. Finally, two big, armored gladiators attack.

Once each champion is defeated a head will float where they were slain. It is now time to go to the temple in the underground. You can find the temple by taking the side passages that lead to stairs. A big monument will be sitting in the middle of the room with four spikes in front of it. Go to the spikes and hold the action button to place all the heads on the spikes. After a few seconds, the monument will turn into the Pack-a-Punch machine, and the front doors will open allowing faster entry and exiting.


The shield on IX is a nice combo weapon to have in sticky situations. Of course, it gives your back protection, but it also provides you with a melee weapon and can be fired from for a short burst of damage. Like any other shield find the pieces, take them to the workbench and it’s all yours.

  • The first part for the Zombie Shield is in Ra’s Temple. All three possible locations for it to be will be on the top floor.
  • The second part will be in Zeus’ Temple. On the top floor it can be sitting on the bottom of one of the statues to the left of the perk altar. The other two possible places it can be is underneath Zeus’ Temple in the bathhouse where it will be sitting on one of the side shelves or down the stairs in front of the statues along the wall right in front of the bath house.
  • The final piece is in Odin’s Temple. In the main entrance, it can be sitting on a shelf with other shields next to the stairs going to the underground, or on the top floor.

Wonder Weapon

IX’s wonder weapon is the Death of Orion. It is a Scorpion that shoots out electricity that makes zombies float in place for a short period of time. To unlock the Death of Orion, do the following:

Parts for the Acid Trap

First, complete your first three challenges. During this time, open the Pack-a-Punch for ease of access to the next steps (See above), but it is not required because you can use the side paths for free. After completing your first three challenges, the gods reward you with your free upgraded pistol, but also a bowl will appear on the middle of the stage. Pick it up. To make your life easier, try your best to not take damage from zombies or the fire to build your crowd affinity. This will come into play in a later step.

Next, in the temple (the Pack-a-Punch room), there will be two parts that need to be picked up. In one of the side rooms, a chain will be hanging from a torch, and in the opposite room, a cog will be sitting underneath a cage. These parts allow you to build the acid trap. The trap is built in one of four locations. Each location will have a skull with a spike going through it that allows you to build the trap. These can be either on the paths to the main entrance of the temples or on the staircase going to the top floor of the temples.

Make a Flaming Arrow

From the temple, go out the door that is blown open that the Pack-a-Punch is facing. This is the Danu-Temple Entrance. Go straight to a window that has an area with two fire pits hanging from the ceiling and a cauldron sitting on a pedestal below them. Once you shoot the cauldron down, fire will raise to the ceiling.

Now it is time to go the bridge that connects Danu and Ra at the top. Look towards the ground and that fire you shot has created an arrow pointing to one of the towers. Go to the temple that the fire is pointing at and go to the room that is a level below the main entrance. A head appears in the temple you are pointed towards. For Odin, next to the cauldron in the center of the room. Zeus, inside the blood bath in a corner. Ra, behind a fire cauldron in the corner of the room. Danu, near the middle of the room in the water.

Build the Trap then Melt the Skull

Once you have the skull, you need to go to where you built the acid trap. Place the skull underneath the cauldron and activate the trap. The skull will disappear leaving behind a key.

This step is where keeping your affinity in a good spot comes in handy. If you have max affinity a skeleton hand in the bottom left of your screen will be giving a thumbs up with green sparks shooting out of it. The announcer will shout “A gift from the Gods!” and in the arena a golden vase will appear on the ground. When it appears a bunch of red confetti will be in the air that it spawns.

Get the Poison

We are almost done, I promise. Next go to the Arboretum in the bottom of Danu’s Tower. On the tree in the middle of the room, there will be a hole where you can knife to insert that key looking device you got from the head, and you can place the vase below it. End whatever round you are on and pick up the vase.

Finally, find the Mystery Box. Go to the left of it where it will tell you to poison it. Do this and the next person to open the box will receive the Death of Orion.

Blood of the Dead

Anyone who played Black Ops II Zombies will know this map incredibly well although there are additions to it. Blood of the Dead is essentially a remake of Mob of the Dead. Set on Alcatraz, the map is a blast from the past for any Treyarch Zombies fans.

First Power Switch

There are two different power switches the team needs to hit on this map. The first one is in the Power House that is to the left of the path outside of the spawn room.

Hell’s Retriever

Like in Mob of the Dead there will be three locations where you will need to feed hell hounds that appear on the wall. Doing this will unlock the Hell’s Retriever that is a tomahawk that can take out multiple zombies and grab power-ups. The hell hounds will be located in New Industries (to the right after leaving the spawn room), Cell Block 2nd Floor (same area it was at in BO2), and the final one is on the front of the Warden’s House which can be accessed from the Warden’s Office.

Each hell hound will take six zombies to feed and they will only take one at a time. Kill one and wait for it to completely swallow the zombie before killing another. When the dog goes back into the wall you are done. Once all three hell hounds have been fed you need to go to either the Warden’s House or the Shower Rooms and find the Underground Passage that connects the two. Spend the 500 points to transport yourself across the map, and about half way through you will see the tomahawk floating above a boulder. As you pass it, hold the action button and you pick it up.


After flipping the first power switch the Catwalk can be opened for the team. While making your way across, have your specialist weapon ready because a lot of zombies spawn here and overwhelm you. When you get to the other side you will see the Warden telling the rest of Alcatraz to welcome you to the prison. This is a scripted event and he cannot not take damage so do not waste your bullets. Once his script ends he will spawn towards you. Kill him and take the key he drops.

Second Power Switch

If you played Mob of the Dead, this power switch is in the same building. Building 64 and is down near the docks. It will be in the back dark room and the Warden will spawn once you flip it.


The Spectral Shield is the name for the Zombie Shield in Blood of the Dead. This weapon drains essence from zombies and hell hounds and can do a spirit blast. All three parts for the shield will be inside the prison.

  • The first part is that key you get from the first Warden you kill.
  • The second part is at the afterlife boxes that players use in Mob of the Dead to open doors. The box will be glowing with a blue light to pick the part up.
  • The final part is in the Citadel Tunnels. It can be near the bottom of the spiraling room, or outside of it at the bottom.


To unlock Pack-a-Punch get the shield and power it up enough to do a spirit blast. Go to the roof of the prison where the inmates built their plane to escape in Mob of the Dead. To the right there will be a power gauge. Do the spirit blast while near the gauge causing spirits to summon in the Pack-a-Punch machine. Once this happens, another Warden will spawn.


Comment down below if you have any tips for the Black Ops 4 zombies mode. Don’t forget to continue the conversation on CoG’s social media pages.

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