Securing a Game Plan for Improvement & Consistency in Warzone

Dropping into a round of Warzone Solos or Duos is a lot more straight forward than the possibilities would seem. It’s true there are practically an infinite number of possibilities that could transpire after you pull your shoot. Never the less, forming a game plan shouldn’t revolve around what could happen but rather what will need to happen.

If the goal of every match is the be the last person or team alive then players are going to need to kill a lot of time and a fair amount of opponents to get their. Easiest way to do this is to have gear that helps them kill faster and stay undetected. With this as our base strategy, the player needs to focus on 1) getting money to 2) build a loadout and stock up on gear to make 3) surviving into the final round as easy as possible.

These concepts feed into each other perfectly and Warzone has a ton of systems built-in to enable players to be successful. Despite the inherent unpredictability of the Battle Royale genre, I’m confident that with the right game plan, any survivor can nab a Warzone victory if they practice long enough.

So without further ado, let’s jump right into what I’ve learned to focus on after 500+ hours and 25+ wins across Solos & Duos in Verdansk.

My own loadout screen

Setting Yourself Up Ahead of Time

Before ever booting up a match, the most important thing any player can do is setup the right loadouts for themselves. This means making atleast two loadouts with different weapons to cover different situations. My personal recommendation would be an SMG for close-range and an assault rifle with a 3x scope for mid to long ranges. Preferably both are silenced, have an extended mag for continuous fire (since a player with three plates has 250 health) and some attachments to help with recoil.

Next, make sure you’re running these three perks: EOD, Ghost and Amped. EOD will reduce the damage taken explosions and fire, Ghost will keep you from showing up on other players’ heartbeat sensor and UAV, and Amped will let you switch weapons faster — a critical time saver for many gunfights. Finally, arm yourself with some Semtex grenades and a Heartbeat sensor. Semtex are great for many things including finished off a downed player, flushing out campers or preventing someone from chasing you while in a close-quarters environment. The heartbeat sensor is a must for reconnaissance work since it will pick up any players who aren’t using Ghost.

As you play more, I’d recommend experimenting with different builds but even at the top level of play, the SMG/AR combo with those perks and equipment is deadly. If you’re a free-to-play contender and don’t have anything unlocked, don’t buy blueprints in the store. Instead, build two classes with the MP5 and Grau. They’re going to give you the most bang for your Plunder-grind buck. Hop into some Plunder matches & just go for kills until you’ve unlocked atleast the silencers for both weapons.

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Drop With a Purpose

Your loadouts are set, the pre-game lobby is over and now you’re watching your character give a thumbs up before jumping out the plane. Don’t spend your time watching the cutscene — it never changes. Instead focus your attention on the big map you can pull up. The circle and line should be your first observations but they shouldn’t be your strongest deciding factor on where to land. Instead what I focus on are the contracts scattered across Verdansk.

Contracts are the yellow markers on the map; Recons are a flag, Scavengers are a magnifying glass, Supply Runs are a stopwatch. Collecting any of these will give you an objective to complete and reward you with cash, loot or a peak at the circle to come. Recons have you run to a location about 200m away and will reward you with all three though the loot is often basic and the cash is only $1000 for everyone on your team. The downside is that a yellow beacon will shoot off above your head for about 10sec. alerting anyone in the area that you’re near by.

Typically, I try to always land at Recons first for three reasons. They’re very easy to complete, not a lot of people drop at them and they count towards the ‘contract’ multiplier which boosts any cash received from completing contracts in increments of something like 20%, 40%, 60%, ect…

Scavengers are definitely the more popular contract to drop at and in-turn are often hotly contested by multiple teams. If you manage to pick one up, you’ll be tasked with venturing to three different loot chests in your area. The chests often contain lots of cash and gear with the last chest always dropping an armor satchel and bonus cash for everyone on the team. If I complete a recon and see that a scav is still untouched in my area then I’ll typically go for it. Trying to land at one of these first thing, however, is often a quick trip to the gulag.

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An alternative to dropping at contracts is to land at a location that offers a ton of loot. Superstore is probably the most popular drop spot but you could also consider TV Station, Storage Town, Military Base and anywhere with a helicopter a similar location.

The upside of hitting these locations first is that you’re going to immediately get into some gunfight. This is a good way to get your hands warm or just improve at fundaments. If you make it out the victor, you’ll also have plenty of loot to nab for you and your team. A good rule of thumb with these places is to only stick around long enough to get some decent ground loot and enough cash to buy your team a loadout. If these locations fall inside the circle, there’s a good chance that teams will be popping into there through out the whole game. Typically, I avoid these locations mid to late game because of this.

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Looting What’s Around You

You’ve chosen a spot to land and now you want to get secure with guns and armor. Loot chests are basically RNG with what the drop so how can anyone make sure they have the essentials? Easy — by understanding what to look for before you ever pop open those chests! The answer: a close-range option like an SMG (or an AR without a scope) and something that will atleast threaten at mid to long ranges. Lastly, you’ll want atleast a couple plates and some backup ammo for each weapon.

When selecting weapons, I wouldn’t advise anyone running an LMG/Sniper as their close-range/sprinter weapon. Going in most gunfights where you and your opponent spot each other at the same time is basically an insta-death with these weapons. Also, you’re going to run faster with a lighter weapon so even if you aren’t in any fights, you’ll be zipping around a lot faster with an SMG which in-turn will let you knock out goals faster or atleast outrun the gas a little easier.

Having atleast a couple plates early game might be the difference between a squad wipe and survival. That being said, I still wouldn’t go out of my way looking extra plates for unless myself or a teammate was completely dry. Odds are you’ll find an armor satchel or be able to buy plates before they’re super needed. As far as equipment goes, I grab the first ones I see unless either a Heartbeat Sensor, Semtex or Dead Silence is found. Those three items are way too way great to find but are pretty uncommon. Aside from Dead Silence, they’ll all be picked up when we buy a loadout so I don’t think extra looting to try and find them is worth it.

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Contracts, Contracts, Contracts…

You’ve got weapons, plates and even grabbed a contract upon landing. All there is for you to do now is knock out your objective and get that cash flow rolling in!

Let’s say you picked up a Recon as recommended. I would advise running to these as quick as possible to knock out; maybe even before looting. The reason: these contracts are fast as hell to complete, drop items and typically lead you to a place you can loot after. Despite the beacon, these things are incredibly safe to do early game when people are more focused on looting than getting kills. My one tip for these: don’t go prone while letting the bar fill up. People love sneaking up on teams doing recons and if you’re prone then they’re probably going to spot you before you spot them. Instead, stand right up and keep your head on a swivel towards all the angles someone could run up on you.

If you picked up a Scavenger, props to you for being so lucky and also try to knock out atleast the first chest ASAP. The reason is that available Scavenger contracts attract everyone in the area. Consider this: you just picked up a scavenger and it disappeared from the mini-map. Another team was running towards the contract but saw it disappear. Now they know you’re in there and you have no idea of their existence. If you stick around in that location, they will absolutely get the jump on you so get your move on!

Scav chests will be invisible and soundless to anyone who isn’t on your team so don’t worry about popping them open if you think someone’s near by. This means people won’t camp a house with a scav chest in it just because they know it’s there. If you suspect someone of hanging out where you need to be, give them time to leave or get ready to jump ’em.

If you need to buy back a fallen comrade then nabbing a Supply Run contract is the cheapest way to do it. Once collected, you’ll have 2min. to book it towards a designated buy station that’s often between 200m – 600m away. Sprinting the whole way is possible but hard so I’d recommend finding a vehicle to do this one. If you make it in time, that buy station will let you and your team buy one thing each at a reduced price. Buy Backs and a Self Revives are free option which is why these are great to knock out if you have a dead teammate. I’ve had a lot of trouble with being killed as soon as I complete this contract because people love hanging out near buy station. If everyone is alive, I’d recommend buying a UAV for $800 then burn it right away. This will let everyone know if they’re about to get ran up on and from what direction.

As far as contracts go, these are the only three I pickup before I have a loadout. Some people try to go for Bounties or Most Wanted contracts in early game but I think the Bounties should be saved until you’ve gotten your loadouts and the Most Wants should only be used when you’re despirate for cash since they mark you on the map for everyone to know about and kill.

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Securing the Loadout

You’ve secured enough dough to buy your first loadout so your team pools their cash and has someone run to the buy station. Congrats!

Instead of throwing down the marker right next to the buy station, consider running with it to a more secure location like a roof top or between buildings. When you pop a loadout market, a thick red smoke rises several meters into the air for about 15sec. in addition to making a very loud and distinct noise. Given that the average sprint speed is about 6m/s & you’re giving your opponents atleast 10sec. to run up on you, this means anyone within about 60m. around you can very easily challenge you for your gear. Expect it to happen and don’t pop your loadout right next to a buy station. If you must, atleast chuck the marker as far from you as possible so it’s a little less obvious where you’re team will be.

When selecting right loadout, it’s important to appraise what weapons you’re already using should you want to get Ghost (and not appear on Heartbeat/UAV) right away. If you’re rocking two decent ground weapons, ask yourself if you want a custom short-range weapon or a mid-long range option? Typically I grab my custom SMG right away because I find myself in up-close fights more often. Let’s say you’ve got a suppressed ground SMG that you really like? Maybe grabbing that mid-long range AR would suit you better instead?

If it’s more important that you save money but still have two weapons, just wait for the freebie to drop 10sec. before the first circle closes. You might even consider making an Overkill class that has both guns you wish to use and picking it up before you get the free loadout! I think understanding your playstyle and ground gear should decide if you want to do this or not.

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Killing Time and People

So at this point, you’re kitted out and contemplating what your next move should be. Honestly, there’s no set answer to ‘what’s next?’ Developing a game plan that fits your playstyle is going to take time and understanding. The Leaderboard Junkie strat that top players like Iron, ShadedStep, OPMarked, ect… use is to knock out 6 recons as quickly as possible so they’ll know where the final circle will be then rack up enough dough to stay equipped with ammo, armor and killstreaks to camp the final circle before anyone else gets a chance to. If you prefer watching content beasts drop 40 bombs all the time, then you might set aside your desire to win and just go for gunfight after gunfight. This is actually a pretty secure method to end up in the final round albeit very difficult; requiring extremely well placed shots and quite a bit of map knowledge.

Personally, I use a mix of these two strategies. I prioritize getting a loadout ASAP then start taking on every gunfight I think I can win while knocking out as many recons, scavengers and bounties as necessary to keep a UAV in my pocket and a self-up on hand.

What this looks like in action is a lot of sprinting while paying attention to anything that could give me clues to where people could be. The most obvious is to watch mini-map constantly. If a red dot appears, I open the map and mark it. If contracts disappear, I mark them too. If these locations are convenient for me to hit up then I always try to 3rd party anything that’s going down. If I’ve got a recon in that area, I’ll try to take on my threats before I start the recon. It’s also possible to bate people by activating your recon and leaving the area. If they run up on the spot and you’re watching it from a distance, you can take them out super easily… then go complete the recon when you’re looting their corpse.

The heartbeat sensor is very powerful tool, as well. Players who don’t have a loadout and easy prey to someone rocking a heartbeat sensor. Sometimes they have good gear, other times they don’t. It’s typically a gamble but I think you should take them on regardless.

Picking up a bounty contract is like picking up a UAV on a single player that lasts for 3 minutes. Chasing these down and securing the kill gets you and your team about $4000 each but of course this number goes up if you have a multiplier. If you’re lucky, someone else will kill the person you’re going after and you’ll still get money from it, albeit not that much, making this an okay contract to pick up if you’re fresh from the gulag and need to buy your teammate back in but have no Scavs or Recons to pickup.

Once your cash flow is nice, drop some money into UAVs. Buy two, burn one, push a target and burn the second one if you have to. Other players are basically walking loot chests if you can take them out properly. Money, killstreaks, better weapons, ammo, plates, ect… This strategy is exceptionally good in solos where your chances of being close to someone that doesn’t have a loadout is significantly higher.

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Handling Yourself in the Final Hours

It’s the fourth circle and the clock is ticking down. You’ve been pushing your way in, taking out most everyone you came in contact with. Only 10 people remain & you’re mostly concerned with surviving since you’ve got everything you could need. What’s the best way to make sure that when the number of people in the lobby starts shrinking, you’re one of the folks left standing?

First thing to consider is positioning. What exactly is the circle closing around? Is it an open field? A couple buildings? It’s hyper critical that you know what parts of the map you and your opponents can be using because at this phase because more than likely everyone will be playing as defensively as possible. Take advantage of this. Figure out what area is safe to move around in and make sure you’re checking as many angles as possible from your solid position.

Make sure you’ve got some cover if someone starts firing at you from who knows where. Even if it’s just a rock or a tree; anything that will prevent you from being completely exposed will do. Don’t rely on it to much, however, as people who know your location but can’t land a shot will push you. They’re going to reposition and get a bit closer and you’re going to have now idea where they are so try to be the aggressor in these situation. If you must divert your attention to whoever is firing at you, consider what escape routes you hold and where they will take you. If you have a gas mask, you could even run into the gas and pop back out at a safer location; a full mask will last 12 seconds in the gas.

Beware the late rotation even in late game! The last circle is like musical chairs. If you’re forced to move there’s a greater chance you’ll rotate into an occupied location where you’ll immediately be gunned down. Instead, try to imagine what the best location in the circle is and rotate your way towards it. Of course you probably won’t be the only one but atleast you’ll be trying to get a better spot instead of dying to a random sniper that’s just gatekeeping the easiest spots near gas.

If you can confirm that you’ve killed everyone in your area then you can freely move around whole chunks of the circle. This is super powerful the less people there are though I will admit that sometimes it’s hard to keep my hands from shaking when doing this. That being said, the advantage you get from peaking over a hill while barely being exposed is tremendous! If you find yourself in this situation, I recommend going for those risky shots because even if you don’t finish them off, someone else might look at where you’re shooting at try to finish them off for you.

With that in mind, it’s vital to listen for all fire at this point and watch for which direction the bullet tracers are moving, too. Mark the map, take mental notes, do everything in your power to make the safest guess where the remaining survivors are located. Picture this: Only three players remain. You hear shots on the opposite side of the circle. You look over and see tracers moving from right to left. Then the player count moves from three to two. That’s an almost guarantee that the last player is on the right where the tracers were coming from and they might even need to plate up and reload! Take advantage of this situation. Run up to them from the highest elevation you can and try to sucker punch their ass!

If you have just absolutely no idea where anyone is on the map then just consider bating people. Throw your semtex at a random location or burn what ever killstreak you have. If this doesn’t work then be patient and hope the moving of the circle will flush people out. Just know that if you aren’t the lucky one, you might get gatekept real hard.

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No Matter What, Stay Calm & Focus On Your Goals

That about does it for the meat and potatoes of this Solos/Duos game plan. I can’t stress enough that despite the potential chaos this game has to offer, there is a lot every player can be doing to safely advance through each phase of the game and atleast land themselves into the Top 10 more consistently.

Some points I want to make that apply in a general manner to the entire Warzone experience:

  • Hitting your shots is important but there’s so much more each player can focus on when playing the game. Optimizing your movement, reading a mini-map, learning how guns perform, figuring out the patterns players make, knowing when to push versus disengage, ect… All things every player performing on a higher level is constantly thinking about. Lots of people call this game sense and it truly is what separates a marksman from a survivor.
  • Taking risks and dying for them might not reward you in that game but the knowledge you gained from thinking about why your risk didn’t pay off will reward you in every subsequent match. In fighting games, people play casual matches (or friendlies) constantly with the goal of learning new things or refining the skills they wish they had. Don’t be afraid of Warzone’s long load times. Embrace every opportunity to test your skill! You might realize you’re a lot more capable than you were letting yourself be.
  • Understand what it takes to engage your opponent in each situation. How often are you kicking open a door and getting a squad wipe? If the answer is often then I’m guessing you understand quite a few flank options with different situations. If you’re facing more salty deaths than you’d like, however, then there’s a good chance you’re just tackling fights improperly. Consider all the ways you could approach your opponent and chose any of them besides crouch walking up the stairs for the 600th time.
  • You’re not losing to the meta, you’re losing because you don’t know how to counter the meta. When the DMR and Diamatti was the only thing on peoples’ minds at the beginning of Season 1, people were losing it. Why though? Because the weapon could kill at at any range from two headshots and could be spammed. How many people are actually hitting two headshots consistently? Not me or you… unless I’m lining my shots up on a camper! Stop blaming your losses on other people using weapons that are too good and start considering what you can do to exploit the patterns of people exploiting a weapon.
  • People aren’t camping in bushes like they are in PUBG. You’re actually safe to sprint around in Warzone. Contracts are powerful. Having money to play around with is powerful. The meta revolves around using powerful tools to obtain an the advantage on your opponent not finding the will to sit in the same spot for 20 minutes clicking any heads you see. If you think solos is nothing but campers then you’re probably not moving around enough. Knowing when the sprint, run, crouch, peak doors, slam open doors, break windows, drive vehicles or go prone in public are all skills every Warzone player should be employing.

    Also, if your teammate is dead and you need to buy them back, stop crouching all together and play like you’re already dead. SPRINT MORE!
  • Make sure you’re talking with your team on the reg. Talking about what you’re seeing — even if its as small as ‘this area has been looted’. Building up a report with your team is super important and sharing what you’re noticing is a great way to build that up. Also, when ever I play with good people, they are always sharing what they’re noticing in game because it isn’t safe to assume your teammates know everything you do AND establishing solid communication will let your team split up to find more info and/or more resources!
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  • If you or your teammate is downed, don’t expected to be revived or do any reviving until it’s truly safe to commit. Lets say you’re in Duos and you down a guy. Then their teammate downs you! You make the callout to your teammate about what happened and presumably the other party did as well. If you try to revive your teammate right away then there’s a very good chance the downed guy is going to hear or see that happen and give a call out to their teammate. Alternatively, your downed teammate can do the same! The safest way to revive your fallen buddy is to get a team wipe right before doing so. If you or them are impatient, just understand that there’s a great chance you’ll get downed before they get picked back up.
  • Moving along with the gas (late rotation) is actually a very bad strategy. I’ve heard this word of mouth quite often as well as read it online. A lot of people believe that it’s easy to survive if they only move when the gas is right behind them. The reason this sucks is because you have no control over the spots they move to since they can only ever go forward. When the circle has a circumference as big as the entire map then yea, your odds of running into people along side it are low. Once the circle shrinks considerably, you’ve just increase you chances of bumping into late rotators just like you (which makes for often very salty fights) and/or getting gatekept by people inside the circle looking to pick off any late rotators.

    This strategy works if you just want to make it to round 4 but odds are you’re going to have one hell of a time advancing past that.
  • I’ve mastered everything in this guide and I still want to improve! Check out some Warzone analysist on YouTube. JGOD was the first guy I started watching, followed by Icemanisaac, TrueGameData and P4wnyhof. These players are really trying to push the data and analysis of the game so I’d recommend you check out each one of them. They all offer amazing insight on the topics they dig into the most.

    Also, visit TrueGameData.com, it’s got the best stat tools for understanding guns out there right now. If you want to get attachment specific, I’d recommend finding JGOD’s spreadsheet for various attachment categories. He gets shouted out by some of the biggest content creators for a reason.

So there are as many of the tips and suggestions I could cram into this guide. Obviously there’s an incredibly amount of knowledge to be gained from practicing in Warzone but I’m very confident that the strategies offered in this game plan guide and going to carry you into the next realm of play for literally hundreds, if not thousands of hours.

If you liked this article an want to read more like it, shoot me your thoughts on Twitter! I’m @SheeshFr over there. I’d like to make more Warzone content since I can’t believe I’m still playing the game as religiously as I am so having an excuse to do just that is always dope.

Happy gaming! Stay healthy and I’ll see you in Verdansk!