Five Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 tips for absolute beginners

Let me start by saying up front, it's perfectly OK to be a beginner. Everyone has to start somewhere, regardless of what the internet may have you believe. What Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is a fast moving experience with a bunch of weapons and maps to master, with the added challenge of going into combat against players that might have vastly more experience.

I came in to Black Ops 3 completely fresh, without much experience of previous CoD multiplayer games. If you're the same or thinking of jumping in, here are some handy tips that helped me suck a bit less. They should be good for Xbox One, PS4 and even somewhat for PC.

Being sensitive

Black Ops 3

The very first thing you should consider is your controller sensitivity. If it's not right for you then your aim will be all over the place. A lot of people think it needs to be super sensitive so you can flip around quickly and get people coming in from behind.

Newsflash: If they're behind you you're probably already done for. Think about what you can see, and if your sensitivity is up to 12 you'll be twitching all over the place and struggle to control your recoil.

Pro players will often turn the sensitivity right down, and so should you. See what you're set to start with, and then play a couple of rounds at one or two above and the same below. Try out the different settings to find where you feel most comfortable. For example, mine started out on 5, I turned it down to 4 and that's what's working best for me.

Practice aiming

Black Ops 3

Once you're happy with your sensitivity settings, the other thing to do to work on your aim is to practice. Black Ops 3 moves incredibly fast, and a moment's hesitation on your aim will turn what would have been a kill into your own death.

Of course, jumping into Free-for-all or Team Deathmatch frequently are great practice. But if you want to sharpen up without worrying about getting pegged by a sniper, set up an empty custom game. Do this by starting a custom game in multiplayer and not allowing anyone else to join.

For example, an empty Nuketown has a bunch of things for you to practice aiming on. There are mannequins dotted around the map along with plenty of points on walls for you to target. Run around and try to hit things precisely. Practice makes perfect.

Focus on what you can see, not your stats

Black Ops 3

It's really easy to get carried away and super frustrated at your Kill/Death ratio. But guess what? You're going to get killed. A lot.

Instead of worrying about your stats, focus on just playing the best game you can. The stats will improve as your ability does, there's no reason to force it.

And if you find your numbers have dropped significantly from the start of a session, take a break. Grinding on when you're clearly getting frustrated or fatigued won't help, and you'll just get into more frustration and rage. Know when to set aside the controller before you rage quit.

Wall run, jump and slide all the places

Black Ops 3

While critics of Black Ops 3 will lament all the boost jumping, power sliding and wall running, in a multiplayer setting these are important skills to master.

To reduce your death tally you need to be as difficult to hit as possible. Sliding through doors is a great one to try. Don't just run through it and leave an easy target to hit. Slide through and then maybe tag a big ol' jump on the end.

If you're flying through the air or tearing along a wall you're more difficult to hit than if you're just running along the ground. Which gives you an advantage over the person on the ground trying to get you.

Tweak your controller layout

Black Ops 3

There are a number of different controller layouts available inside the game that might benefit your style of play.

One that's worked well for me as I get to grips with Black Ops 3 is the "Stick and Move" layout. This essentially swaps the function of the right stick and the 'A' button.

'A' becomes melee and pushing the right stick becomes jump. The logic here is that you're using the right stick constantly to aim, so using it to jump means you're not moving your thumb to another button to jump, then back to the stick to aim. It might help you react better while you're moving through the air since you're not moving between buttons.

So, that's five key things that I picked up while looking for tips that have really made a difference to how I approach the game. Even after a short time I'm already enjoying it a lot more. If you've got any tips of your own be sure to share them in the comments below!

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Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at

  • It's released nearly one year ago, rly?
  • LOL was just going to post the same thing. Maybe we'll get lucky and they'll post GTA V tips soon too. ;) Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I mean, it's not like there isn't still new DLC coming for this insanely popular title or anything and there are still tons of people picking it up. We're trying out some stuff. If you don't care about it, you're politely reminded you don't have to read it or comment. And no, I'm going to write you a comprehensive guide on Duck Hunt next.
  • I, for one, found this article to be valuable.  I have limited time, and this game hasn't been high on my list of games to play.  After being out for a year, the price point has hit that sweet spot where I don't mind shelling out for something just to try it.  Hopefully, what you've shared here will achieve the goal: it will help me suck less, straight off the bat.
  • >And no, I'm going to write you a comprehensive guide on Duck Hunt next. Awwww come on ! That would be SO entertaining to read. Maybe save for it for next April fools ?  :) Nice points, I play way too much COD, so most of these I knew aready(or always have followed) but, still for the semi-Noob, I could see these very usefull. Esp, You will die a lot... LOL
  • I was polite, what did l said? I just wonder why now?
  • Here's an actual useful tip :
    Don't buy the game especially on previous gen consoles Ayyyyy lmao
  • Wow, I've been playing this game for 4 months and I've never even considered n. 5. Thanks Richard! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Pleasure :) Glad to know at least one person got some good from it!
  • It's one of the first things I check after a few games on NEW COD games...always takes a handfull of games to tweak it in... I'm normally a 4-5 myself but, on somedays, I have dropped it down to 3 (when I have not played in 3-4 weeks)
  • I recommend giving the tactical and bumper jumper control schemes a look. Tactical allows you to slide, crouch and drop shot whilst still maintaining your aim and bumper jumper lets you jump and aim at the same time. I myself use both (tactical bumper jumper) but its totally up to you in the end
  • I haven't played cod in ages,but definitely agree sensitivity for any fps
  • More rocket science, just run and shoot, you'll get the hang of it
  • I just got this game on PC during the Steam Summer Sale. While I've never been particularly "good" at any earlier version of COD on consoles, I have been doing particularly "bad" here. Part of it is no doubt that I'm still getting used to KBM controls rather than a controller (though I can already tell that I'm going to like it better once I've got it down). Part of it is that I'm using a cheap Logitech wireless USB pair when others are using hard wired, ultra precise high end gaming KBMs. Part of it is that I'm running out of date hardware, an AMD Phenom II 965 black CPU, and a GTX660ti, and am only getting in the 40s and 60s fps at ultra in 1080, while others on GTX 970s and Core i5s and i7s are getting 60+ fps. And part of it is just that I'm not that great of a player, and don't tend to advance into new weapons all that much... looks very good, though! :-)
  • This is my go to game when I just dont feel like playing anything else. The trick to getting better at COD is to play a lot of it. As the more you play, the better you get and if you put in a little time in every day, or every other day, you should keep up but, go 2-3 weeks, and you will die a lot till you get it back. Still a great game, if your into shooters like this. And the Campain is pretty good too...(always prefered the Modern Warfare ones over Black ops for single player mode)
  • I used to love the CoD franchise, but now its the same sh*t, different day. Blah, blah, blah. For me, the game died at Black Ops. Now, a game of Zombies....thats a different matter...;-) 'same gun I used to kill my 2nd wife. She was *****'. Great comedy lines, monkey bombs, vending machines....