Call of Duty is arguably the most popular FPS series and has introduced plenty of fantastic game modes. Whilst the campaigns are excellent; multiplayer gaming is what really cemented the franchise as a core of the genre. There are a myriad of options when it comes to playing online with friends or strangers, and this list will explore the best of the best. Check out these Top 8 Call of Duty game modes!
Coming in at number 8, Domination is a solid game mode, and should by no means be considered ‘last’. Whilst there are better game modes, that doesn’t detract from the fact that Domination is a brilliant and intense game. Whilst not as memorable as the higher placed items on this list, Domination isn’t to be overlooked.
In this mode, players have to fight alongside their teammates for dominance over three points on the map. Teams earn points for the time spent holding any of the positions. Points rack up as long as at least one teammate is standing within the circle. However, should the last player leave the circle, or be killed, then the position reverts to neutral. This leads to fast-paced and exciting action, and there’s never a dull moment.
Domination offers a lot of tactical play as teams have to decide which points to go for, and which to abandon. If you stretch yourself too thinly, you won’t be able to defend the position well enough. But over-commit to just one position and the other team will be able to score more points. It requires complex strategising, and is a decent multiplayer experience if you enjoy completing objectives.
7. Gun Game
Gun Game is the ultimate leveller of the playing field because everyone starts with an identical loadout. The idea of the game is to work your way through the weapons, changing to a new one with each kill you get. Your tier will increase with each kill, and the winner is whoever reaches the final weapon first. This makes it a race against time to try and be better than all your opponents, and it’s also fun to try out the different guns.
There’s also a time limit, and so if nobody is able to get a kill with the final weapon, the winner is whoever has the highest tier at the end of the round. The cool thing about Gun Game is how varied the gameplay is. Players have to be extremely versatile to win, as they’ll use multiple weapons. It’s also fully reliant on a player’s skill, as it’s free for all, rather than team-based. If you like to go it alone with high stakes, this is the mode for you!
Gun Game was received very fondly by the fan base, and is always great to see in a new Call of Duty game. Depending on the game, the number of weapons changes, but the fun and excitement stays super high. However, it doesn’t get any higher than 7th as it feels more like a novelty, and it doesn’t have the same longevity as the better game modes.
6. Capture The Flag
Capture The Flag is a great team-building game to play in real life, and it’s equally fun in videogame form. Both teams have a base which they have to defend, whilst the other team has to come and steal the flag. The game is won when one team captures the opposing flag and brings it back to their own base. However, you can only capture the opposing flag if your own flag is at its base.
You can stop the other team by shooting them down and grabbing your own dropped flag to return it home. The dual objectives mean that teams have to find a healthy balance between attacking and defending. Respawns are on in this game mode, so you can be somewhat cavalier with your plays. Capture The Flag, whilst not as exciting as other modes, offers you the chance to feel like a hero. Being the one to return triumphant with the enemy flag fills you with a pride that can’t be described.
A completely unique game mode, Capture The Flag provides a very different experience to what you’d usually expect from a Call of Duty game. However, it lacks the immersion of the faster-paced modes, and that’s why it doesn’t quite make it into the top 5.
5. Free For All
A solid game mode, Free For All allows you to go it alone and take all the glory. Of course, the flip side of that is that you’re the only one to blame if it all goes wrong. Of all the game modes, Free For All is probably the one where your experience is most dependent on your own skill level. You can still have a good time as a noob in most other game modes, but there’s nothing fun about constantly dying.
Gameplay styles will vary wildly from player to player, and there’s no one way to win in Free For All. As long as you get the most kills, it doesn’t matter whether you run into the field to hunt people down, or whether you find a defensible position and camp it out. The important thing is to get that kill count as high as possible. I used to hate Free For All when I first started Call of Duty, as it was so frustrating to constantly die. However, when you’re more experienced, this mode is thrilling as you have no shortage of enemies to kill.
A staple of the Call of Duty series, Free For All is a lot of fun and earns its 5th place spot on this list.
4. Search and Destroy
Available across many of the titles in the Call of Duty series, Search and Destroy is excellent for players that prefer a slower pace. Unlike the intense action of some of the other entries on this list, this mode is all about tactics. The fact that Search and Destroy doesn’t allow respawns, means that players have to really think about which plays to make.
If you go in guns blazing and try to take out the opposing team, you risk being killed yourself in the process. If you hang back and hide, you could end up losing everyone else in your team. Deciding at which point to go for the objective is also a big factor in the gameplay. I used to play a lot of Search and Destroy when I was new to the series, as my teammates could carry me for the most part. I’d wait and hide, before rushing in at the end to try and disarm or plant the bomb. My teammates must have hated me…
Ultimately, Search and Destroy is played very differently depending on whether you’re attacking or defending. There’s a special rush you get when planting or defusing a bomb that just can’t be replicated in other modes. Falling just shy of the top 3, it earns a very respectable fourth place.
Zombies is a bit of an anomaly on this list, seeing as it’s not really a game mode in the same vein as the others. However, it’s separate from the campaign, and you can play online with others, so I’m counting it.
Zombies mode combines the style and mechanics of regular Call of Duty games with the primal thrill of hunting zombies. It’s one of the most intense ways to experience Call of Duty and is arguably the most immersive game mode of any in this list. I can still remember my heart pounding furiously against my chest the first time I went into Kino Der Toten.
Defend yourself and your teammates against the oncoming horde by purchasing new weapons and unlocking new areas. The waves keep on coming, becoming increasingly tough and aggressive, until you eventually fall to the horde. The endless nature of Zombies mode is part of its appeal, and it’s a point of pride to see how far you can get. Zombies is very worthy of the top 3, but doesn’t make it any higher as it lacks the competitive multiplayer aspect synonymous with Call of Duty.
2. Team Deathmatch
Team Deathmatch is a classic for a reason. It doesn’t have any frills because it doesn’t need any. You’re on a team, and you try to kill the other team. That’s it. No muss, no fuss, and you know what? It’s brilliant.
You find a tactical edge by working with your teammates, and there’s so much more going on than in Free For All. You can work with your team to push forwards, or to defend a particularly good position. And whether or not your team have mics, you’ll be able to use the camaraderie aspect to your advantage. I don’t even know how many hours I wiled away playing Team Deathmatch, but I don’t regret a single one of them. It was amazing to feel like I was part of something, and I had so much fun while playing it.
Whenever you logged on to play online in a Call of Duty game, no matter which entry in the series, Team Deathmatch was nearly always the most popular game mode. And that’s because it’s nearly always the best game mode available. However, it’s not quite good enough to be number one.
1. Prop Hunt
This game mode shouldn’t work, but it really does. Prop Hunt is a brilliant example of doing something for the fun of it and then hitting gold. Essentially a variation of hide and seek, prop hunt allows you to immerse yourself completely in a map. One team hides, disguised as various items from the game, whilst the other team seeks them out, shooting everything in sight.
For a mode that doesn’t take itself too seriously, there’s a surprising amount of tactical thought necessary to win. If you’re hiding, you have to decide whether to stay as your starting item or to take the risk and change. You get a limited number of swaps, and each time the object is randomly generated. You could end up swapping and getting a much more difficult item than you started with, so it’s about weighing up the risks.
When seeking, you can either shoot wildly in all directions, or you can run around calmly listening out for the tell-tale whistle of a nearby item. This game mode can lead to some ridiculous plays, and one of my favourite gaming memories is of chasing a red sofa through the corridors of a map, shooting desperately as it changed shape. When it comes to pure fun, Prop Hunt takes the win.
So, what do you think? Do you agree with this list, or do you have other favourite game modes? Join the discussion over in our Facebook community!