Gamers are weirdly sensitive. Be it bugs, microtransactions, or playable women characters, gamers are always finding new reasons to bemoan their favorite pastime. Call of Duty players are infamous for throwing harsh words over the slightest inconvenience. October’s release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, setting franchise sales records, sees a return to form in the playerbase for more six-versus-six mayhem. Features like team chat allow us to hear the most heinous crap humans can say in a public space among your teammates. Death comms, a few seconds of an opponent’s live microphone after killing them, are genuinely hilarious and make for excellent YouTube compilations.
Sure, no one likes a toxic gaming environment, but that doesn’t mean it’s a hurdle. In fact, the CoD playerbase’s overall whininess can be exploited to your benefit. This crowd is fueled by anger and weird Mountain Dew energy drinks; you can easily think two steps ahead of them to guarantee those wins. With Season 2 update dropping February 15th, you’ll have a fresh crop of angry players to encounter.
Or just annoy everyone.
✦RPG spam 🧨🧨🧨
The best part of any competitive, multiplayer game is finding the cheapest tactics available to win. I’ve heard the term “n00b tube” in CoD lobbies for over 10 years and it perfectly describes the strategy of using explosives to net dirty kills. Rocket-propelled grenade launchers take little accuracy and always produce results. You can easily get multi-kills off a single shot, economically pissing off an entire enemy team. This strategy is far from cheap, as it’s now even easier to take out snipers, retake objectives, and land those impossible shots. You’ll know you did it right if the enemy team berates you at the end of the round.
✦Play the game the way developers intended 🤓📚⛺
“You’re a stupid fucking camper,” is the greatest thing any CoD player can hear. Camping is a rather ingenious strategy: stay in one hiding spot and pop enemies that walk by. The term holds a pretty negative connotation, but who cares? Each map is full of little fox holes for this playstyle, especially if you prefer long-range firefights. It’s well-established, yet players are still caught off guard. 🎉CONGRATULATIONS🎉 You just played Call of Duty the way developer Infinity Ward intended! Rather than running around and getting blasted 40 times, you stayed calm and patient. You held down a sector and made sure no one got through–kinda like how real warfare works.
✦Play the game the way developers did not intend 😈🖕
Quality assurance testing in modern video games is dying. Rather than test for bugs and exploits in-house, game publishers–Activision especially–have decided it’s much cheaper to ship a broken game and let paying customers frustratingly discover bugs. What’s even crazier is that many of the big titles come out before scheduled holiday breaks, so a game can exist for over a month with fun-ruining exploits. Or, if you’re a psychopath, fun-inducing exploits. A person without any convictions could easily find glitches and use them for an unfair advantage. These absolutely busted bugs range from hiding under the map and getting unseen kills to running with the most unbalanced guns in the game. The exploits won’t last forever, so be sure to take advantage of them and get everyone raging.
✦Talk about esoteric shit with your friends 😵🔭🌟
I rarely play CoD without an IRL friend in my party and they’re usually my brand of weird. Sure, we could mute everyone in the game and do our own thing–but why the hell would we do that? I’m at the circus and I’m here to see some clowns. There’s nothing like discussing some feminist theory with the boys on a Friday night over Call of Duty. I once debunked transmedicalism while a nitwit shouted “Shut the fuck up!” every 30 seconds. Impressive, I know. Find an obscure topic you and a friend enjoy, like brutalist architecture criticism, and just go off in a public CoD lobby. Who knows? You might even meet an architect! (No you won’t.)
✦Exist as a woman
Sexism in male-dominated spaces is no secret. Women playing video games, like Call of Duty, are seen as encroaching on male spaces. Through repeated attacks, harassment campaigns, and outward disdain, chauvinist gamers don’t want women playing games marketed to men.
“My mom and I don’t play in a public lobby,” my friend Carys tells me after a lengthy CoD discussion. She’s no casual player either, describing her ideal guns and strategies in precise detail. Ever since her mom was regularly harassed in online matches, the mother-daughter duo prefer to play in private matches with friends. “We can just feel that sexism through the screen, even without a mic or anything.”
Whether you prefer annoying enemies or teammates, CoD has all the tools available for you to ruin anyone’s fleeting moments of pleasure.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II’s second season releases February 15th on previous & current-gen Xbox and PlayStation consoles.