Call of Duty: Warzone – Battle Royale Mode | Controls & Options

A screenshot of Warzone gameplay, showing a player parachuting onto the map.


Call of Duty: Warzone [PEGI 18] is a free to play Battle Royale game for PS4, Xbox One and PC. The game has up to 150 players fighting and surviving across a huge map, aiming to be the last player, or last team, standing. It can be downloaded via PlayStation Network, the Xbox store or for PC.  It is cross-platform compatible, meaning that Xbox One players can play with PS4 and PC players for instance, with gamepads and mouse and keyboard available on all platforms. Matchmaking does divide gamepad and mouse and keyboard players, however.

The game can be played solo, or in a squad of up to four people with ‘Trio’ and ‘Quad’ squad matches. There is also a game mode called “Plunder” or “Blood Money” along with variations on the Battle Royale game mode. These modes may come and go as the game is updated.

In this blog post, we will be looking at the controls and options available for the standard Battle Royale mode, but many of the options will still apply to these other modes, but with some differences between the controls for each mode.

We will be focussing on the console versions of the game using a gamepad, having tested it on PS4 using a DualShock 4 controller. We will list the Xbox One control input followed by the PS4 control input e.g. A / Cross when describing which inputs control which actions.

When you first load Warzone, it may now load up with the “Bumper Ping” control scheme selected. In this blog post, we will discuss these controls but will be mainly focussing on the ‘Default’ control scheme, as many players will be more used to this control scheme from playing other Call of Duty game modes. It is possible to change control settings via the main menu and also by pausing the game. 

The game features several options for practicing, including some tutorial modes and a short practice match vs bots. These can be helpful for learning the basic gameplay mechanics and controls.

Gameplay & Controls

A screen shot of the Warzone menu screen. From here you can invite friends, and choose which game mode you would like to play. You can also go to options from this screen.
The Warzone game modes available in the menu often change to accommodate temporary modes, but the Battle Royale mode is a constant feature often offering Solo, Trio and Quad squad options

At the menu, you can pick to load up either a Solo, Trio or Quad match. As standard, in team matches the game will auto fill your team to make it three or four, depending on whether you chose Trios or Quads. If you are playing with one friend, and do not wish for the third place in the team to be filled in Trios by someone you do not know, you can switch the auto fill option off. The same could be done for Quads for the fourth spot in your squad, if you preferred to play that mode as a three.

To either invite or join friends, you press Y (Xbox One)/Triangle (PS4) and select them if you have already added them and if they are online, or add them.

Whichever mode you choose, the first thing to load up ahead of the match is a lobby with a deathmatch style warm up, where you can practice shooting against other players waiting to play. Once enough players have joined, the main game will load.

 In Warzone, up to 150 players compete on a map, aiming to be the last player, or team, standing. You start with nothing except a pistol and search buildings to collect equipment and cash. As the match goes on, the map size decreases as gas draws in and surviving players must move towards the safe zone. All players have one life. If you lose this life, you drop your weapons and you get one opportunity each match to win another respawn by entering the ‘Gulag’, a 1V1 last player standing match. You can also be bought back by surviving teammates, if they have collected enough in-game cash. If you lose in the Gulag, team mates can still potentially buy you back. Squad mates can also revive a player if they have been downed, but not killed.

At the beginning of a match, you and all other players will be in a plane which travels across a flight path across the map.

A screen shot of the plane in Warzone. Each player will sky dive from the plane, and can choose where they would like to land.
Players arrive at the map in a plane from which they skydive

This can be a good opportunity to look at your Tactical, or ‘Tac’ map. You can access the Tac map by pressing the view button on an Xbox controller, or by clicking the touchpad on PS4. You will notice a white circle appear on the map; this is the safe zone, which indicates the initial area the gas will next draw in on.  You can zoom in and out of areas on the map, and can also Ping a location on the map. This can show other players in your team where you think would be best to land and can also act as a guide point if playing in Solo. Only you and players on your team can see your Ping marker.

Tac Map Controls

‘Default Layout’ Tac Map Controls:

Left stick will continue to move your character in-game, whilst the map is open.

Right stick moves the cursor around the Tac map

Hold RB/R1 to zoom in.

Hold LB/L1 to zoom out

Up on D-pad to ping. This creates a marker that both you and team mates can see.

Right Stick Click/R3 to delete ping.

Left Stick Click/L3 to move cursor to player icon.

A screenshot of the Tac Map when using the Default Controller Layout.
Tac Map control prompts when using the ‘Default’ Controller Layout

‘Bumper Ping’ Layout Tac Map Controls:

If using the Bumper ping control scheme, the Tac mac controls are as follows.

Left stick will continue to move your character in game.

Right stick moves the cursor around the Tac map

Hold Y/Triangle to zoom in.

Hold B/Circle to zoom out.

LB/L1 to ping. This creates a marker that both you and team mates can see.

Right Stick Click/R3 to delete ping.

Left Stick Click/L3 to move cursor to player icon.

A screen shot of the Tac Map when using the Bumper Ping Controller Layout.
Tac Map control prompts when using the ‘Bumper Ping’ Controller Layout

If you press the View button/Touchpad again, you will close the map. Pressing A / Cross will cause you to jump out of the plane, and you will immediately start freefalling. Use the left analog stick to move in the air, and the right stick to look/aim. A / Cross will open your parachute, which you can do at any time.

In the in-game settings, there is the option to have “Parachute Auto Deploy” either enabled or disabled. If you choose to have it enabled, then your parachute will automatically open once you get close to the ground. If you have this option disabled, you will need to press A / Cross to open your parachute manually; if you do not do this, you will crash land and will either need a team mate to revive you, or you will lose your first life in solos. When parachuting, you can press B / Circle to cut your parachute and return to freefalling. Note that even with Parachute auto deploy enabled, you will need to manually open the parachute the second time around, as it will not auto deploy twice. You can also hold LB / L1 to freelook in 3rd person.

Once you have landed, you will have a pistol but no other equipment.

A screenshot of Warzone during gameplay. All players will start with a pistol, and need to find other weapons.

You will need to gather equipment, and although you may find items on the floor, it is worth listening out for the sound generated by crates. Crates may have a variety of objects in them, including weapons, killstreaks, ammunition and cash – but other players will be looking for them too.

In this blog post we will focus on the ‘Default’ and ‘Bumper Ping’ control schemes, but there are other schemes to choose from as well. These are all displayed in the gallery below. You can scroll through the 13 different layouts using the arrows:

There are also six stick layout presets. You can scroll through the 13 different layouts in the gallery below using the arrows:

Looking in the Options menu you’ll see that there are multiple options, and also controller layouts, that might be helpful for you. The game does not allow you to create your own controller layout.  You could use the PlayStation 4 Accessibility Options or the Xbox One Ease of Access options to allow you to do this, but this does not allow you to map by context.

If using mouse and keyboard you are able to remap individual actions and also some menu options within the game itself. Here we will be continuing to focus on the controller options.

On Foot Controls (‘Default’ and ‘Bumper Ping’ Layouts)

Below we will look at the controls in a bit more detail:

  • Left Stick is used for player movement.
  • You then use the Right Stick to aim/look.
  • To aim down sights you hold LT / L2.
  • To shoot you press/hold RT / R2.
  • When prompted you can press X / Square to reload, but you can also reload any time once you’ve fired. If you are aiming down sights, you can still reload.
  • To swap weapons press Y / Triangle
  • To crouch you press B / Circle. Press the button again to stand back up.
  • To go prone you hold B / Circle for a little longer. Press the button again to stand back up.
  • Press A / Cross to jump.
  • Left on the D-pad will change the firing mode. On some automatic weapons, tapping left on the D-pad will change the firing mode to a single shot. If you tap the button again to automatic, you can now fire as many rounds as you like.
  • Using ‘Default’ controls, Up on the D-pad is to If you are using ‘Bumper Ping’ controls, then LB / L1 is ping. You can Ping anywhere to show team mates a location as a reference point, and you can also Ping items such as crates, weapons or vehicles to highlight them for teammates by directly aiming/looking at them whist pressing the ping input. This can be a helpful way to communicate, especially if you are not using a headset to chat with other players. If you see an enemy, you can double tap the button to mark them or a location near them.
  • In the game you also have tactical equipment, including flash or smoke grenades and when using default controls you use these by pressing either LB / L1. If you hold the button down you’ll cook the grenade before throwing it, or you can just tap it to throw straight away.
  • RB / R1 is for lethal equipment, such as a hand grenade, which can also be thrown (tap) or cooked before throwing (hold and release when ready). If you are using the ‘Bumper Ping’ control scheme, it’s a bit different, as instead, RB / R1 will control both tactical and lethal equipment; to swap between the two, press Up on the D-pad.
  • Whilst moving forwards with the left stick you can press Left Stick Click and you’ll start sprinting. If you double tap the button, you will do a short, fast, tactical sprint.
  • If you then press B / Circle when sprinting, you’ll do a slide.
  • If you click the Right stick click / R3 you’ll do a Melee; it’s worth noting that in this Call of Duty sometimes you’ll need to do more than one Melee to get the kill.
  • Right on the D-pad lets you select a Killstreak that you may have collected.
  • In Modern Warfare you can mount walls and other objects that you can also be partly be hidden behind, which can give you some cover. Holding down LT / L2 to aim and then use Right Stick Click to wall mount.  To move away, just let go of Left trigger/L2 and move away from the wall using left stick.
  • The reload button is X / Square, which also acts as the interact There are several ways in which you might use this button. For example, to open crates you need to briefly hold the interact button (X / Square), for approximately half a second. This also includes opening Buy Stations, from which you can purchase an extra life for a teammate, killstreaks or some equipment. Once you have opened a crate, if you decide to pick up a weapon, or killstreak, you need to hold the button down for around half a second again to pick up each item. Ammunition and armour can be picked up simply by walking over them, you don’t need to press a button for this, though you can use X / Square if not directly over something. You will also need to use X / Square (a hold of approx. half a second) to pick up tactical and lethal items, killstreaks, perks and to swap weapons.
Screen shot of Warzone during gameplay, demonstrating how to open a Supply Box.
To open a crate, you need to hold X / Square for around half a second.
Screen shot of Call of Duty: Warzone demonstarting how to revive team mates.
If you need to revive a teammate, you need to hold X / Square for around five seconds.
  • You can also drop equipment. In team based modes, this can be to share with team mates, or to make space to allow you to carry other items. To open the menu, hold Down on the D-pad, and use the Right analogue stick to cycle across to the item you want to drop. If you are dropping something you have in multiples, such as ammo, you can press Y / Triangle to drop some, or press X / Square to drop it all. Although you can usually just walk over ammo to pick it up, to pick anything you have dropped back up, you will need to press X / Square.
  • To put on armour plate, hold Y / Triangle for around half a second. Although when you see armour, the game tells you to hold square to pick it up, you will also automatically pick it up by walking or running over it.

Gulag Controls

If you lose your first life within the game, rather than it being game over, you get one chance to win your way back into the game. The Gulag is a 1v1 match, which you must win to continue playing. If you are playing a solo match, the Gulag is literally your last chance to keep playing. In the team mode, however, if you lose you can spectate your team, and if they collect enough in game currency, they can then buy you back into the game. Once in the Gulag, you will usually start in a waiting area, where you can watch other players fight, whilst waiting for your turn. If you press RB / R1, you will throw rocks; this can be helpful if one of your teammates is currently fighting, as it can distract the opponent. You can also punch other players in the waiting area, using LT / L2, and RT / R2. If you lose a life, and win in the Gulag, you respawn. Gameplay in the Gulag controls the same as it does for the rest of the game.  

Screen shot of Call of Duty: Warzone showing the waiting area of the Gulag.
Once the match starts, is it 1v1 last man standing. However, other players may throw rocks as a distraction or to injure you from the waiting area.
Screen shot of Call of Duty: Warzone showing gameplay in the Gulag.

Redeployment Controls

In team modes, if you have lost both your life and your chance in the Gulag, you can request redeployment. You do this by pressing Up on the D-pad, which will highlight the nearest Buy Station. Providing they have enough cash, they can purchase your re-entry into the game and you will respawn by parachute.  

Screen shot of Call of Duty: Warzone demoonstarting the prompt to Request Redeployment.
Up on the D-pad requests redeployment from your teammates

Vehicle Controls

Driving the majority of vehicles, such as quadbikes, jeeps and trucks all have similar controls, with RT / R2 to accelerate, LT / L2 for brake and reverse, and left stick for steering. The right stick can be used for looking around, and pressing A / Cross allows you to swap seats.  Holding X / Square for a moment will enable you to exit the vehicle. Helicopters control differently, with RT / R2 held to ascend, LT / L2 to descend, left stick for steering and right stick for aiming the nose.

If you are a passenger of a vehicle, which a teammate driving, you can aim and shoot at opponents, using the standard controls to do so.

Controller Options

Screen shot of Warzone showing the Controller Options.
Controller Options include controller layout and stick options

We previously covered the Controller Options in our post on Modern Warfare and these options are also available in Warzone. As well as the controller layouts and stick layout presets mentioned earlier in this post, these also include:

Invert Vertical Look – It is possible to invert the vertical look and there are three options available. It’s automatically set to disabled, and there’s also an option for air planes only, which means that the camera movement on the vertical axis will be inverted when you’re in an aircraft. The third option is to set it to enabled, which means that the vertical axis will always be inverted. So when moving the right analogue stick up, you will look down and vice versa.

Sensitivity – If you find that when you’re aiming you’re moving either too slowly or too quickly, then you can try changing the sensitivity options to see if this helps. The options are for: Horizontal Stick Sensitivity, Vertical Stick Sensitivity and also two options for Aim Down Sight Sensitivity. In the Aim Down Sights settings, The Low Zoom option is for when looking down the sights of a standard gun and the High Zoom option is for when looking down a scope that is zoomed in, such as with a sniper rifle.

Aim Response Curve Type – By changing the Response Curve Type, it’s possible to make the action more or less sensitive at different points on moving the joystick. For example, Linear will respond directly to the amount you move the joystick while Standard will accelerate towards the amount you have moved the joystick.

Weapon Options

Screenshot of Warzone showing ther Weapon Options.
Weapons Options allow players to choose how they interact with certain weapon actions in-game

As with the Controller Options, we covered the Weapon Options in our post on Modern Warfare and these options remain available in Warzone. These are:

Aim Assist Type – There are four different types of aim assists and these apply to both online, multi-player and also campaign modes. The Standard Aim Assist is on by default and essentially slows down your aiming once you’re near to a target. Precision means that there is a stronger aim slowdown but this will only kick in when you’re very close to a target; the developer suggests that this is best for players who are very accurate. The focusing option might be worth having a look at if you’re new to this type of game or new to analogue aiming , as the slowdown kicks in even when you’re missing the target.  You can also disable Aim Assist which turns Aim Assist off entirely.

Weapon Mount Activation – Changing this may be helpful if you find that holding down LT / L2, and pressing Right Stick Click /  R3 is difficult to do at the same time. You can disable Weapon Mounting entirely if you’d rather not use it. You can also map it to Double Tap Aim Down Sights, which means that you would double tap LT / L2, and if you’re near to an object then you would mount it. You can also map it to Aim Down Sights only. This means that if you’re near to something that you can mount you just have to press the LT / L2, and you will automatically weapon mount.

Weapon Mount Movement Exit – You can either have it set so that you let go of LT / L2  to exit Weapon Mounting, or you can have it set so that you just have to move the Left Stick in a direction away from the object that you’ve mounted.

Aim Down Sight Behaviour – There is the option to toggle aim down sights, so if holding down LT / L2 is difficult then you can have it set to toggle. This means you just have to tap the button, and it will aim down sights until you press it again.  

Equipment Behaviour – As standard to throw equipment you either tap LB or RB, or L1 or R1, depending on which controller you are using. To cook it before throwing it currently you have to hold the button down and then let go when you are ready. If holding that button down is difficult you can change it to toggle, meaning that to cook the grenade before throwing you would just tap the button to start cooking, and then tap again to throw it.

Use/Reload Behaviour – As the Reload and Use Item button is the same there are a few options that can help make it easier. The first option is tap to reload and hold to use. As standard, tapping X / Square would reload the gun and then hold the button down down to use objects/open doors. As a second option, It is possible to swap this over so you could map it to Tap to use and Hold to reload. The third option is Contextual Tap: this means that you only ever have to tap the button, so if you’re away from an object and press the button it will act as reload. If you are near to an object that you can use, like opening a door, it will always prioritise using that item over reloading. With this option on you can also hold the button to reload, so if you are near a door but need to reload, you still have the option to prioritise this.

If holding down buttons is difficult then setting Aim Down Sight Behaviour to Toggle, Equipment Behaviour to Toggle, and Use/Reload Behaviour to Contextual could be helpful. There currently isn’t an option to help with shooting, which will require either multiple taps or button holding, depending on the weapon that you’re using and the situation that you’re in.

Depleted Ammo Weapon Switch – By default when you run out of ammo in one weapon the game will automatically swap to your other weapon. You can have this off if you prefer, which means that when you run out of ammo you’ll still keep hold of that gun, and to swap you would have to press Y /Triangle.

Movement Options

Screen shot of Warzone showing the Movement Options.

As well as Parachute auto deploy, which we covered earlier, there are also several other movement options that might be helpful. As with the Controller and Weapons Options listed above, the Movement Options were originally covered in our post on Modern Warfare and can also be applied in Warzone. These include:

Slide Behaviour – It is possible to change Slide Behaviour, so as standard in order to slide you would be sprinting, and then would have to hold down B / Circle in order to slide. You could map this so that instead you just have to tap B / Circle in order to slide whilst sprinting.

Auto Move Forward – As standard, to walk forwards you press up on the Left Stick and have to keep that held to keep moving. You can also enable the option for auto walking forwards, doing this means if you move the Left Stick forwards very quickly twice, you will walk auTomatically. To stop walking, you would then need to pull the stick backwards.

Automatic Sprint – There are also some options for automatic sprinting. This means that when you push the Left Stick forwards, you start sprinting straight away, so there’s no need to click the stick in. You can also have the control set to Automatic Tactical Sprints, which means that if you push the Left Stick forward you go straight to a tactical sprint. You can only ever tactical sprint for a limited time, so once this runs out you’ll then go into a normal sprint.

We hope that this post was useful in explaining the controls and options availble in Call of Duty: Warzone’s Battle Royale mode. More posts on Call of Duty can be found on the SpecialEffect Games Access site.

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