Rather than suiting up as a generic soldier in Call of Duty: Black Ops 3’s multiplayer, now players have the chance to head into battle as one of nine skilled Specialist operators. Each Specialist comes equipped with unique weapons and abilities, as well as individual backstories that incorporate a bit of role-playing feel to this popular shooter.
During a multiplayer match, the large circular meter in the bottom-right corner of the heads-up display (HUD) indicates your Specialist’s unique ability. The meter fills up as you progress through the match, and once the meter is full, the ability becomes available for use. A full meter can begin to drain if the ability isn’t used quickly, so keep an eye on the meter to utilize your Specialist power when it’s ready. It is possible to lose certain Specialist abilities if you are killed during its use, so try to equip these special abilities in the most opportune moments.
Each Specialist has an offensive and defensive variant, allowing players to further tune each Specialists to their individual playstyles. Let’s go over the Specialist characters and their variants below.
Battery - The Armored Tank
This heavily armored powerhouse is a female soldier who specializes in top notch armor and explosive technologies. Battery’s defensive ability is called Kinetic Armor, and is suitable for players taking a more tanky approach to combat. When activated, her Kinetic Armor deflects enemy bullets, and can temporarily increase her health. However, Battery still remains vulnerable to non-bullet inflicted damage, as well as headshots.
Her offensive ability is called the War Machine, which is basically a massive grenade launcher that lobs bouncing explosive projectiles onto the battlefield. These explosives detonate after a few moments, and will explode instantly upon enemy contact. Launch a few explosives into a tightly packed room to clear out clusters of enemies.
Nomad - The Lone-Wolf Survivor
Nomad is best known for his penchant for survival. His abilities are generally focused around keeping himself alive in the heat of combat. This is especially true of Nomad’s defensive ability, called Rejack. Upon being killed by an enemy, Nomad can inject himself with a nanoparticle serum that allows him to resurrect where he fell. Rejack gives off a green smoke when activated, which acts as a tell for nearby foes. Ideally, try to use Rejack to revive yourself in a relatively clear location to avoid getting gunned down for a second time.
Nomad’s offensive ability is called H.I.V.E., which consists of setting up various proximity traps that explode on contact. Although these traps are highly lethal, they can play a defensive role for Nomad and his teammates as well. Set up these traps in areas that are likely to get enemy foot traffic, such as along doorways, or around an objective to maximize their effectiveness.
Outrider - The Elusive Hunter
It seems that Black Ops 3 may have been inspired by Crysis when creating Outrider, a futuristic and stealthy hunter who wields a powerful compound bow. Outrider is perfect for players looking to hang back and arrow-snipe enemies from a distance.
Outrider’s offensive ability is called Sparrow, which provides a special bow capable of firing explosive arrows at unsuspecting enemies. Draw the bow and hold until it’s fully charged, in order to increase the range and stabilize the arc of the arrow when fired.
Outrider can also take a more tactical approach by activating her Vision Pulse ability. This emits a spherical radar around you, causing enemy players to become visible on the minimap and through nearby walls. Enemy players using the Ghost perk can still be seen, and even Spectre players using Active Camo can also temporarily be revealed. Note that enemies can also see that you have activated the pulse through a red signature that tags enemies and shows up on their minimap, so use this valuable recon accordingly.
Prophet - Practically a Cyborg
Prophet is a cybernetically enhanced soldier who uses tech to gain an edge in battle. His unique offensive ability comes in the form of a charge shot weapon called the Tempest. The Tempest fires an electric beam that shocks and chains to nearby enemies. Lethal to all enemies except Battery, this weapon is best used to electrify foes from a distance or in an area where enemies tend to group.
Prophet can also evade enemies during battle by utilizing his defensive ability, Glitch. This allows Prophet to rewind and teleport to an earlier position on the map. Use Glitch when you are on the brink of death, as it helps you to entirely avoid the lethal situation. It’s particularly fun to aggressively push toward the enemies, just to Glitch away the moment things get hectic. This ability works to potentially save you from certain death, and to even gain a more favorable position on an enemy.
Reaper - The Robotic Soldier
Reaper is a sentient war robot designed to function on the battlefield better than any human soldier. Reaper wields heavy firepower in the form of a special minigun called the Scythe. As with most miniguns, the Scythe takes a moment to spin up. When fired, the Scythe fires a deadly and accurate cone of bullets that pummel any unlucky foes. Hold the aim down while the minigun is active in order to keep the turret spinning, otherwise you may miss the chance to take out an enemy while waiting for the minigun to spin up.
Reaper also features a highly elusive defense ability called Psychosis. This activates three Reaper replica decoys, meant to distract the enemy team. You and the decoys take on the same hue of color, making it more difficult for enemies to spot the real player. Deploy the decoys in an attempt to lure enemies or cause them to instinctively react, revealing their location.
Ruin - The Cybernetic Super Soldier
Ruin seems to be trying to compete with Prophet for cybernetic soldier-of-the-year. Wielding a pair of powerful bionic limbs, Ruin is the epitome of futuristic warfare. His offensive special ability is called Gravity Spikes, which emit a devastating shockwave when pounding the ground. Be mindful of the slight delay just before activating the Gravity Spikes, as players can shoot you if they anticipate your attack. Sneak up on enemies to slam them with the Gravity Spikes for a satisfying execution.
Ruin's supportive ability, Overdrive, grants him a speed buff that allows for quick mobility. Overdrive is more useful in objective based modes, and is of particular use in Capture the Flag and Uplink where fast running plays a huge role in a team’s success.
Seraph - The Powerful Pistolero
Seraph is a hardened criminal, primarily known for wielding a huge hand cannon. Her Annihilator revolver is quick and deadly. This special weapon deals a massive amount of stopping power, enough to take out an enemy in a single shot.
If scorestreaks are more your style, then Seraph’s second ability, Combat Focus, is perfect for you. This enables a score multiplier that helps earn scorestreaks more quickly while enabled. Combat Focus is particularly useful during objective based game modes, since they offer more opportunities to rack up bonus points. As with most scorestreaks, you will lose this bonus upon death, so apply it carefully.
Spectre - Futuristic Assassin
Spectre is an elusive, cybernetically enhanced assassin, perfect for players looking to take a more stealthy approach in multiplayer. Spectre has a special feature called the Ripper, which causes lethal blades to extend from his arms, increasing the range of melee attacks. Knifers will enjoy the one-hit-kill slice that the Ripper provides. Make sure you’re ready to get up close and personal with unsuspecting enemies in order to get the most out of this deadly blade.
The Active Camo second ability on Spectre may be more suitable for players who want to really take their stealth game to the next level. This special ability causes Spectre to turn invisible for about four seconds, only revealing a faint silhouette while active. Similarly to the Glitch ability, the Active Camo can help players avoid some hairy situations if timed accordingly.
Firebreak - The Thrower of Flames
A militant pyromaniac, Firebreak has two ability variants that are sure to light up a room. The Purifier ability equips Firebreak with a damaging flamethrower, ideal for close quarters situations. Although this flamethrower has a somewhat short range, it’s still powerful enough to incinerate any enemies close by. Would you like your foes crispy or grilled?
Firebreak's Heatwave ability detonates a huge spherical blast of heat around Firebreak, immobilizing enemies and destroying equipment within the blast radius. Enemies become disoriented from blurred vision caused by the blast, providing a brief chance for Firebreak’s teammates to initiate an attack.
Now that you have the general knowledge of each Specialist and their abilities, hopefully you will have fun experimenting with each one on the battlefield.