The Best Tips and Tricks to Survive Black Ops 2: Zombies


This Is Not Your Daddy's Call of Duty: Zombies

While its system and gaming engine are made by and based on Black Ops 1: Zombies by Treyarch, the gameplay of Black Ops 2: Zombies is a whole other story and not just because of the new characters. If you knew everything about BO1: Zombies, you still don't know much about BO2: Zombies. There are a lot of changes and added difficulties to this game. Let's just say this version makes Black Ops 1 look cute in comparison. So strap yourselves in, and ease your pain with this series of tips and tricks.

Zombie Train


Trick 1. Training: It's Better to Ride the Train than to Sit and Die

It's popular even in Zombies to try camping the whole game. Don't do it! Sitting in one spot and hitting zombies is okay for maybe the first 20-25 rounds, but if you expect to get past even the mid 20's, you'd better start learning the train. One of the biggest problems with camping in a zombie game is that they start coming in larger groups and at a faster pace. One second of reloading or switching weapons can easily allow zombies to rush you so badly, you'll be brutally mangled to the point where you'd jump, not to mention the bullets you'll be spending.

The train: At one time or another, a CoD: Zombies player will hear others refer to trainers or "training" zombies. To "train" zombies is to lead a large group of zombies in a fixed route (usually a circle) while gradually shooting them down. This saves you a heck of a lot of bullets and helps you conserve your precious Max Ammos and make it farther in the game.

It takes time and practice to learn how to train on certain maps, but rest assured, there's always a way.

Tip: What's Your Hurry?

If you're low on stamina while holding a zombie at the end of a round or training, slow down! The biggest common mistake people make is ALWAYS RUNNING. You don't need to always be sprinting. Believe it or not, zombies run slower than you walk. There's no need to waste stamina or break your controller. As long as you're walking, you're ahead of them.

2. Bonuses: Don't Be Greedy!

Bonuses. We all know them. Max Ammo, Carpenter, Double Points, Kaboom, Insta-Kill. They're great to have, but most people don't realize one very important thing about them. Unlike in Black Ops 1, there is a limit to how many bonuses you can have per game. Aside from Double Points, all the bonuses have a finite number available per game that you play. If you keep grabbing them, you won't have them in later rounds. As the remaining supply drops, they also show up less often. If you let a bonus go without grabbing it, it will come back later and more often. This is crucial because bonuses are usually the biggest clinchers to making it past the very high-level rounds.

If you just had a Max Ammo, or if you have one or two guns that still have ammunition, don't grab a Max Ammo when you see it. Otherwise, you're wasting one of the most valuable assets in your zombie-killing arsenal.

Most people always grab any bonus the second they see it. At this rate, by the time they get to round 25-26, they'll only get two or three bonuses per round. However, if you apply the tips and tricks in this blog, you won't need to grab any bonuses until round 55-60. If you can completely avoid all bonuses (except Double Points, which is unlimited), you can be in the middle of round 50 and see six to eight bonuses dropping. If someone goes down, you'll have that emergency Nuke or Insta-Kill to run over and help them up.

The numbering is as follows:

Black Ops 2 Bonus Limits

Max Ammo
Double Points
NOTICE: Limits (or lack thereof) may have changed as this chart is based up until November 2014, where as patches and updates have continued through March 2015.

Tip: Work with Your Team!

If you're going to do everything yourself, go play solo. If you keep hoarding and stealing kills and not helping out the others, you will never get far and no one will help you when you need it. There's a reason that you can have up to four players in the same room. It's so you can work together and make your goals!

3. Rack Up Those Points!

Points are the most important in the beginning of the game, especially the starting six or seven rounds depending on the map. This section actually covers a basic 101 skill that all CoD players should know and skilled players already have: always get the most points you can. This means focusing on body shots and smaller/melee weapons. Headshots are great, but in the very beginning, you want more than what they can give you.

Knifing is key to getting points alongside making use of your starting pistol, the Colt Model 1911. Yes, it is weak, but it's how you can optimize points. Couple this with the Model 14 (M14), and you're guaranteed about 7,000 points by round 4 or 5. Here is a guide to your best weapon strategies for optimizing points in the game's first six rounds:

Weapon Strategies for Rounds 1-6
Round 1: Knife only (In the first round, every zombie, except armored ones in Die Rise, is a one-knife kills).
Round 2: One clip of the M1911 and one knife (total is 210 points per kill) OR one shot from the M14 and one knife.
Round 3: Two clips of the M1911 (one to torso, one to legs) and one knife OR two shots from the M14 and one knife.
Round 4: Three clips of the M1911 and one knife OR three shots from the M14 and one knife.
Round 5: Four clips of the M1911 and one knife OR four shots from the M14 and one knife.
Round 6: Same as in round 5.

Follow these basic steps, and you can easily get your perks and weapons early enough in the game that you'll be faster on your way to getting more points. Please also note that obtaining around 7,000 points on hand includes having already spent the 500 points to buy the M14. I also recommend you use these points to purchase Galvaknuckles when available on the map. It will be your greatest asset in accumulating points. Be sure to keep that M1911 to get more points as well!

After obtaining the Galvaknuckles, you can choose to build a large train of zombies (Round 7+) and just empty your M1911 into it to gain a LOT of points without killing off the zombies (Save Double Tap for round 13 so that you can maximize all your points.)

Galvaknuckles: Now THAT'S a Powerful Punch!


4. Always Double Up!

Double Tap is your best friend. Not only does it double your firing rate, but it also doubles your damage. How? Every bullet you fire becomes two, which essentially doubles your ammo because you're firing two at a time.

For example, the Saiga S-12 fires 16 buck shots per round in this game. When you have double tap, it fires 32 buck shots per round.

When you get down, the first perk you should be grabbing is Double Tap. You won't worry about hits if you're killing zombies fast enough. Yes, you can get Juggernogg, but if you don't have help nearby, you will get overrun in no time.

Tip: Aim for the Head!

This can never be stressed enough. It's the face of a marksman to hit the head, but in zombies, it defines a survivor. You're wasting bullets aiming anywhere else. Why spend 10 bullets to do what a single bullet to the head can do? Shooting to get a lot of points is for the first 20 rounds. After that, SHOOT TO KILL.

5. Melee: Use Your Power-Ups

In Black Ops 2: Zombies, you get a variety of melee power-ups depending on the map. For the purpose of covering the whole game, the following list also includes exclusive melee power-ups that are only found in the Origins map.

Melee Power-Ups
Bowie Knife: Can kill zombies in one hit before round 8. Can kill leapers in one hit the first two times they show up.
Ballistic Knives: Can kill zombies in one hit before round 5. Can only kill leapers in one hit the first time they show up.
Ballistic/Bowie Knife Combo: Can kill zombies in 1 hit before round 15. Can kill leapers in one hit the first three times they show up.
Galvaknuckles: Can kill zombies in one hit before round 14. Can kill leapers in one hit the first three times they show up.
Golden Spork: Can kill zombies in one hit before round 33.
Thunder Punch: Can kill groups of zombies in one hit before round 17. Can kill a single zombie with one hit before round 19.
Elemental Thunder Punch: Can kill groups of zombies in 1 hit before round 25. Can kill a single zombie with one hit before round 29.
Lightning Knife: Can kill groups of zombies in one hit before round 42. Can kill a single zombie in one hit before round 47.
Fire Knife: Can kill groups of zombies in one hit before round 43. Can kill a single zombie in one hit before round 51.
Ice Knife: Can kill groups of zombies in one hit before round 39. Can kill a single zombie in one hit before round 46.
Wind Knife: Can kill groups of zombies in one hit before round 45. Can kill a single zombie in one hit before round 50.

6. Perks

First things first: we'll cover perks. While the game provides a cornucopia of perks to choose from, there are three that you absolutely MUST get. These are your CORE perks. These perks will save your life, and make the beginning of the game a hell of a lot easier on you. They are listed in order of importance:

  1. Juggernogg: This should go without saying. It triples your normal HP and allows you to survive easier.
  2. Double Tap: Almost tied at first with Jugg, DT is another essential for surviving. Read "Always Double Up!" section above for details.
  3. Speed Cola: Particularly when in a pinch or when camping, the ability to reload twice as fast is one of the biggest game-changers, and essentially a MUST.

7. Equipment

Okay, now for equipment. While most people focus on getting all the power weapons, there's a better solution and setup that will help you build up your game. First off, prior to round 40 (30 for newbies), there is no need to waste points on the Mystery Box so early in the game (unless you're playing Bus Depot). In fact, most weapons off the Wall (unPAP'd) are good for up to 25 rounds as long as you have the Core Perks, and through round 35-40 when PAP'd (Please note that this is based on the average player).

Here are the equipments that you should try to maintain:

  • Claymore: Whenever possible, always get this sucker. It may not kill in one hit by round 27, but it's enough to save you in a pinch.
  • Semtex Grenades: Great for creating Crawling Zombies, but also extremely useful for killing large hordes of zombies during Insta-Kill, and save ammunition.
  • Monkeys (and Strike Beacons): Nobody's perfect, and everyone has their moments. These little distractions will help alleviate your troubles. Also very useful should you need to revive someone.
  • Point Generating Gun: This will be your primary weapon in the early rounds. By using a high, point-generating weapon early on, you can build a healthy hub of cash. Not only will this help with getting weapons/ammo later on, but it will also make life easier on you in the unfortunate event that you die and have to get everything back. You can never have enough cash. Point generators range from SMGs to using Long-Shot with a sniper rifle.
  • OTK Gun: This is your wonder weapon. Use it for clearing out the entire map. It usually comes at a risk, too. (i.e. Mustang/Sally, RPG-7, Ray Gun, etc.) It can be switched with Emergency Gun.
  • Emergency Gun: This is your fully automatic weapon of death. This is the AR or LMG that will help you plow through the walls of undead to freedom. This weapon carries low risk to the user and should be put in your second slot right after your PG Gun if you are using Mule Kick. It's interchangeable with the OTK Gun in a map that does NOT have Mule Kick.

If you maintain these basic setups for your gameplay, you'll find it a lot easier to burn through the rounds, get a LOT of points, and keep from panicking when you're down. Remember, you don't need to get Mystery Box weapons right away. You have plenty at your disposal already.


8. Know Your Guns!

Knowing the way each gun performs can mean better chances of survival and more mass murdering of the undead.The following sections will show you some of the best guns to have if you're planning on making it through the long haul. Knowledge of your guns will help immensely with accumulating points as well as survival.

Mystery Box Must-Haves (Wonder Weapons NOT Included)

Ammo Count
1-hit Rounds w/ Double Tap
1-hit Rounds w/ DT & Deadshot
Rounds Super Effective w/ DT &DS
DSR50 (Dead Specimen Reactor 5000)
4/48 - 8/96
Ray Gun Mk. II (Porter's Ray Gun Mk. II)
21/162 - 42/201
RPD (Relativistic Punishment Device)
100/400 - 125/750
Here are some of the top guns from the mystery box. The Ray Gun and Porter's Ray Gun Mk. 1 are not listed because it is a one-hit kill on the round in which you get it from the box, no matter what round you're in, and it's very unpredictable.

Tip: The Wall is Your Friend

No matter what map you play, always make sure one of your guns is off the Wall. These weapons have an endless supply of ammunition that you can buy, and as long as your accuracy is above 50% (90%+ for the Hades), you will always earn more than 4,500 points before you'll have to buy more ammo.

Must-Have Wall Weapons

Ammo Count
1-hit Rounds w/ Double Tap
1-hit Rounds w/ DT & Deadshot
Rounds Super Effective w/ DT &DS
SVU (Shadowy Veil Utilizer)
12/96 - 12/192
AN-94 (Actuated Neutralizer 9400)
30/300 - 50/600
Olympia (Hades)
2/38 - 2/60
Want a gun with replenishable ammo without having to wait for a Max Ammo? Here are the top guns that you can purchase and refill off the Wall! (Please remember that the stats are based on one-hit kills with one shot. Ranking based on overall stats)

What is your preferred weapon type?

  • Assault Rifles
  • Light Machine Guns
  • Pistols
  • SMGs
  • Sniper Rifles
  • Launchers/Explosives
  • What guns? You mean my biceps? Of course!
See results without voting

9. Be Patient. Keep Calm. Go Far.

If you want to really get far and have a good game, you need to learn patience. Players do two things that result in poor stats and gameplay.

  • Rage quitting
  • Getting downed while reviving someone.

The first topic we'll cover is rage quitting. You will never rank up when you do this, and no one will ever want to play with you if you're notorious for doing so. This becomes even more detrimental to you if you're not too good to start with. Learn to be patient until you are reborn or get revived, and you'll get far, and others will have no problem helping to carry you so you can rank up.

The second is reviving someone who is down. The biggest mistake is that many players go straight to helping someone up in the middle or beginning of a round. NEVER do this unless you have another player with you to back you up, and you two can control the crowd of zombies. It's better for the player to die and respawn next round than for all of you to lose the game because you couldn't wait.

Tip: Earn Respect

Real players respect those who play legitimately, not those who hack or glitch their way through a game. Don't expect anyone to take you under their wing when you resort to cheating. I’m hoping my guides will teach you basic skills and help you rise up the ladder and earn everything you need in-game. That’s the only way to play those great games that put you high on the leaderboards and help you rank up.

10. Know The Hold

Okay, this must be addressed over and over as not everyone seems to grasp the concept. In rounds where you need to accomplish something, it's common practice among any decent player to "hold" a zombie or three at the end of a round. This means NOT killing the last zombie(s) so that the round doesn't end, and all players can restock on ammo, Pack-a-Punch, etc. A majority of players out there are still ignorant of this kind of play, and is a must-have skill.

Apparently many players, even up to Shotgun rank, don’t know how to keep a zombie at bay without going down. If a player at that rank can't pull that off, you wonder if they glitched their rank or glitched the game. As stated earlier in this article, you walk faster than a zombie runs. Keeping one to three zombies alive at the end of a round is not even remotely hard to do.

Now here's the biggest thing that people do not grasp: The final zombie(s) must NOT be injured. This means NO knifing, NO grenading and NO shooting of the final zombie. Furthermore, NEVER keep a crawler. An injured zombie bleeds out, and can die immediately if no one is in the immediate area. This can cause the round to end unexpectedly, even resulting in the loss of the game. On the other hand, a truly uninjured zombie just forces a respawn closer to players.

There is a myth out there that you should hold a crawling zombie at the end of a round and let it hit you every so often. This is incorrect. First of all, ANY zombie missing a limb will always bleed out, and will bleed out even faster if it is a crawler. Letting a crawling zombie hit you every so often merely prolongs its life by 20 seconds. A zombie that was shot will last longer than a crawling zombie, but even that will die out in time. The last zombie of the round needs to be totally uninjured.

Get More Playing The Story

The Story maps Tranzit, Die Rise, and Buried include passive perks (aka Perma-perks) that add more to your gameplay. In my Die Rise and Buried articles I go into further depth on which ones are most worth your time to earn.

Bonus Trick: The Solo Challenge

Still having problems making it through those rounds? Here's a challenge for you. Play maps other than Bus Depot and Farm on Solo, and do NOT pick up any revival perks. Play until you get your first down. After that, figure out what you did wrong and do your best to go further and further. This will help you think better on your feet, practice your skills and develop your game. The biggest challenge is to survive at least one more round each time you play.

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jesus leonardo moreno wilson 3 days ago

a mi me gusta este guego porque puedes matar a tu amigo en olain tabien porque si 10 de ben e ser somis y otros dien deben er omres con pistolas y los omres con pistolas deben matar alos zomis y tabien puees pitar el camion de zomis y tamien los somis se mueren qado el alluandte es el que matan los peros peros de y ai unos carros de carrera

Shinzuu Katame profile image

Shinzuu Katame 10 days ago from Maine, USA Author

Brian, you obviously aren't a regular zombie player nor are you actually part of the majority zombies community. Black Ops 2's Double-Tap is known throughout the entire community as Double-Tap 2.0. Custom zombie map makers and veteran zombie players like myself, NoahJ456, MrDalekJD, Laggin24X and LiamFTW recognize the significance and properties of DT 2.0 and you'll find that no one used DT up until Black Ops 2 came out, as it was panned as the most useless perk up until that point. Next time you want to test it, do something as simple as paying attention to your points when you shoot. You'll be able to tell if you're killing zombies in 1 hit or more as you only get 10 points for hit markers and 50-100 points per kill, depending on where you're shooting. Also, you must not have read any of the material to the fullest as you will note that NOT EVERY bonus is limited, however, the rarity of picking any in later rounds is affected by how many you grab early on in the game. Please do more research before making accusations just because you're working off what limited knowledge you have, as we can all discern from your comment.

Shinzuu Katame profile image

Shinzuu Katame 10 days ago from Maine, USA Author

Thank you, maroon. I honestly stopped keeping track of the patches after Advanced Warfare's release, and I know that they have patched the game up until March 2015, just before Black Ops 3's release, so they definitely could have made those changes.

Brian 11 days ago

This article is crap first double tap fires 2 rounds so if you have 12 rounds and you get doubly tap you will only be able to pull the trigger 6 times. 2nd and more frustrating if it is true to a limited amount of drops how do you not get the drops. When knifing a zombie and something drops you get it. So it has to be BS. And furthermore this guide isn't getting anyone to lvl 117 because you missed a lot of good tips that goes along with things you said like claymores put 4 down in areas that won't be blown up so you can have a total of 6.

I don't mean to be mean thanks for trying

Maroon 12 days ago

Hello there isn't a limit but it's "rare" to get them after the amount.

Joe 3 months ago

Thx, guide really helped. Made it to 112.

Shinzuu Katame profile image

Shinzuu Katame 7 months ago from Maine, USA Author

Correction. I forgot I moved the wall weapons chart to this guide. Please refer above for weapons damage chart. These are from actual testing, and you can try it out yourself.

Shinzuu Katame profile image

Shinzuu Katame 7 months ago from Maine, USA Author

Courtland Sellars, if you refer to my Die Rise guide, you'll find the damage chart that labels damage of the most used weapons. My friends and I have done extensive research and trials, and it does in fact double damage even to automatics as you can refer to near the top of the chart on the AN-94.

Courtland Sellars 7 months ago

From what I know, Double Tap doesn't double your damage with fully automatic weapons. I think it only increases your firing rate. When I got Double Tap, I fired my M14 once at the ground and saw 2 bullet holes. However, firing a fully automatic weapon at the ground once will only result in 1 bullet hole. This means your theory on Double Tap is false only for fully automatic weapons, namely SMG's and AR's. Other than that, great article! I got past round 20 in Town Survival rocking a MP115 Kollider (MP5's upgrade) and a Mesmerizer (M1216's upgrade)! For perks, I got Juggernog, Speed Cola, Double Tap, and whatever 4th perk you can get on Solo. Thanks for the guide!

Shinzuu Katame profile image

Shinzuu Katame 7 months ago from Maine, USA Author

Leanardo, the mechanics for Black Ops 3 are significantly different than those of Black Ops 2 so the strategies are generally different. The programming and features have rarely changed from World At War to Black Ops 2, while B-Ops 3 did a bit of a massive overhaul, including adding a TON of features.

Leanardo 7 months ago

I'm a prestege 10 in bo3 zombies I don't play much bo2 zombies but the key to any game is have 1 key weapon that last u the whole game wether it be a assault rifle or light machine gun. I do recommend getting revive first because its the cheapest of all perks 500 simple points and keeps the round alive. After that jugernog than double tap then stamina up. It's also important that you know the map your playing on. Ive had about 5 days of playing time on bo3

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Shinzuu Katame 12 months ago from Maine, USA Author

actually, very not true, Elizabeth. I've gone through the 70's and 90's plenty of times, and never really had to run, even with sprinters.

Elizabeth Corley 12 months ago

U need to Sprint or u will die when the runners come after u

Drew 15 months ago

Very well written and useful guide, thanks much.

Ryan 15 months ago

I've got more drops then that and I've got to past round 40 camping

Rino 16 months ago

Great guide, thanks!

Noah Clayton profile image

Noah Clayton 17 months ago

Great tips! My buddies and I love to play zombies and we get pretty far, but this article has some great pointers. AWESOME!!

brendon 18 months ago

very good guide

lmdeguzman7 21 months ago

I'm a medic and always get this perks in order: j-nog, qrevive, speed cola then tombstone. Staminup and double top when six perking around round 14. You don't need those last two perks on early rounds and don't need to PaP either, just hammer them with galvaknuckles.

hi 21 months ago

that was usefull

Zombie 21 months ago

This was very helpful to me!

Jake Williams 22 months ago

I appreciate this a lot. I knew most of the stuff. I just wanted to make sure I was doing it right. I do believe its fine to go jug or double tap first. As long as you get the other one second. But I think it should help still.

Bob Dole 2 years ago

Thank you. I enjoyed reading your strategy guide.

Shinzuu Katame profile image

Shinzuu Katame 2 years ago from Maine, USA Author

I average 70-80 rounds with a best of 98, and I'm the worst player out of my friends, who all break 100 and best of 120+. What we found for these strategies and game mechanics are from over 3,000 man hours of playing BO2 zombies between the 13 of us. We've found that not grabbing bonuses greatly increases how often and how many show up in the later rounds. We've gone into the 60's with over 12 bonus drops in 1 round, and we have counted all the bonuses we collected until we got to the 90's where the only bonus drops we get are Double Points. As for the point generating guns, these are for points to pay for PaP ammunition off the walls. Purely relying on wonder weapons is the pure downfall for all players, and the waste of all those points comes to nothing when you die or go down and have no points to regain everything you lose. Not every game is perfect, and if you don't give yourself a backup, you'll never beat your own records.. Also, relying purely on non-wall weapons will get you screwed over in the later rounds as you can't buy ammunition for them, and should people be grabbing bonuses like you're saying, there's no way in hell they'll survive since Max Ammo will pretty much be non-existent if they even make it that far.

SnappiestCat3 2 years ago

Some of this is real but most of this is fake there is no limit to how many drops you get... But there are either 3 or 4 drops per round. NEVER get double tap first... always, always get Juggernog first and then get double tap... There is no need to have a point generating gun, only have a wonder weapon (Ray gun mark two or another one) and a strong weapon (HAMR, DSR 50, ect.) And if you can get mule kick on the map... Get an assault rifle or wall weapon (AN 94, M16, ect.)... You may think that I have no clue what I'm talking about, but doing this stuff I was able to get to around round 40 and my highest round is 61

Shinzuu Katame profile image

Shinzuu Katame 2 years ago from Maine, USA Author

Feel free to browse around the other guides as well, if you all play them. I made all these guides for the purpose of helping all players since I believe that everyone should be able to feel the gratification of a great, legitimate game.

SimilarSam profile image

SimilarSam 2 years ago from Australia

Great overview, my friends and I never have much luck in Zombies, it always just ends with us running around like mad... Might have to get them all to read this.

Jack from USA la 2 years ago

Wow it helps tanks do a lot of damage

Frazer 2 years ago

It is good but people be bbb bonkers bananas bliklsk

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Shinzuu Katame 2 years ago from Maine, USA Author

Similar to the Crawlers/Leapers in Die Rise, those Max Ammos do NOT count towards your limit, so you can grab them without worry. However, also like the Crawlers/Leapers in Die Rise, if you don't need the Max Ammo at the time and let it fade, it will ADD to your existing pool.

Marlene 2 years ago

Question about the limited amount of magic. Does this apply if you implement hell hounds as an option? I find it assuring to know that I am guaranteed a max amo every 4 or 5 rounds. But does this apply to the 25 maximum max amos?

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