Call of Duty 101: Beginners Guide

Call of Duty Academy: 101

Call of Duty Launches in 2003

Call of Duty is a first-person shooter game that is published by Activision. The first Call of Duty game was released in 2003 and is still re-released annually. Call of Duty is one of the longest active video game series and has one of the largest player bases of any game currently.

Call of Duty has been a staple of the landscape of gaming for over 12 years, since the release of Call of Duty 4 in November of 2007. Call of Duty has defined console gaming in its entirety, as the franchise is by far the most popular game that is played on XBOX or Playstation. In fact, Call of Duty has been the best-selling game in 9 out of the 12 years since it released Call of Duty 4, regardless of the gaming platform.

2009-2013 Heyday

BO2 1
The “heyday” of Call of Duty was between 2009 and 2013. Call of Duty had the most popular game every single year, and those 4 games are widely considered the best Call of Duty games created. It began with Modern Warfare 2 in 2009, which still has a lively player base because of the popularity of the game. Infinity Ward developed Modern Warfare 2 and perfected the Multiplayer aspect of the game while continuing its rich campaign story. The maps in the Multiplayer mode are iconic and are among the best in the series.

Black Ops 1 was released in 2010 and was developed by Treyarch Studios. Black Ops was based in the Cold War Era in the 1960s. The campaign in Black Ops 1 is my favorite within the entire series. The game also featured the survival game mode Nazi Zombies that is extremely popular and is a staple of the Black Ops series. Players fight waves of zombies to survive as a unit. The storytelling and Easter Eggs in the Zombies game mode are the main attractions, as well as the iconic maps.

Modern Warfare 3 was released in 2011 and was practically a copy of Modern Warfare 2. The game was extremely successful and well-liked and improved the graphics and aspects of Multiplayer from Modern Warfare 2. The campaign in MW3 is substantially worse than MW2 and it was not as revolutionary in terms of the game, so MW2 is the more popular game overall.

Black Ops 2 was released in 2012 and was developed by Treyarch Studios. In my opinion, this game was the peak of Call of Duty as a whole. The maps in the Multiplayer are the best in the entire series and the game was extremely balanced as a whole. The game rewarded gun skill and movement perfectly and had a great multiplayer experience for casual and competitive players alike. This was also the start of organized competitive Call of Duty, so it holds a special place in my heart. Treyarch also built off of their success in Zombies from Black Ops 1 and continued the story from that title while creating a plethora of iconic survival maps.

If you want a more in-depth look at some of the best games from Call of Duty’s franchise, look at my list of the best Call of Duty games of all-time.

Two Separate Development Companies

Activision is the parent company that oversees the development of Call of Duty by development companies that it owns. There are three completely separate development companies that work with Activision to produce a new Call of Duty, Sledgehammer Games, Treyarch Studios, and Infinity Ward. Every three years, each company gets its turn to make the newest Call of Duty title, working with Activision, while the other two develop their next Call of Duty and other games. Each game developer has had a different art style and core mechanics that change the gameplay experience entirely.

For example, Infinity Ward, who made Modern Warfare, is known for a fast time-to-kill across all of their titles, which rewards gun skill over any other trait. Treyarch, who developed all of the Black Ops titles, has had advanced movement controls that reward certain players that can move uniquely while maintaining gun skill.

Players can excel in one Call of Duty title because they can get to a power position and kill anyone they see because they have the advantage in each gunfight. This happens a lot in Modern Warfare. In Treyarch games, a player can overcome disadvantages in gunfights by moving in a unique way that can throw off someone’s aim, taking away any advantage in a gunfight.

Modern Warfare is the newest Call of Duty at the moment and Infinity Ward will continue to update and make additions to Warzone after the next Call of Duty is released. Sledgehammer Games was scheduled to make the newest Call of Duty for the Fall of 2020, but Activision rejected what Sledgehammer gave them at the end of the Fiscal year in 2019.

As a result, there has not been an official announcement from Activision in regards to Call of Duty for 2020. There are rumors that Treyarch has stepped in to develop the next Call of Duty a year ahead of expected for them, and the game will be based on the Cold War era, similar to Black Ops 1, developed by Treyarch Studios as well.


Everyone that plays video games seems to have a memory of playing Call of Duty at some point in their childhood. For many, Call of Duty is very nostalgic because lots of people have great memories playing Call of Duty with their friends at some point in their childhood. I looked forward to loading up Modern Warfare or Black Ops every single day after middle school, and to spend the rest of the day online with my friends.

Lots of people have a similar experience with Call of Duty because it was so ingrained into our lives growing up. Call of Duty has existed for 17 years and released 16 games in total. Since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was released in 2007, Call of Duty has been the best-selling game on console and sold over $15 billion worth of games. CoD struck the perfect balance of having fun with your friends online while competing and trying to win.

Call of Duty has been a staple of the landscape of gaming for over 12 years, since the release of Call of Duty 4 in November of 2007. Call of Duty has defined console gaming in its entirety, as the franchise is by far the most popular game that is played on XBOX or Playstation. In fact, Call of Duty has been the best-selling game in 9 out of the 12 years since its release, regardless of the gaming platform.

Game Modes

Call of Duty has many different game modes in their games and has options for players to play online with others or play alone. Every Call of Duty except for Black Ops 4 has featured a single-player Campaign mode, where the player goes through a story mode of various missions and can play and complete on various difficulties. One of the main draws to Call of Duty originally was its storytelling in their campaign modes, and are lauded for the storytelling within the Modern Warfare and Black Ops campaigns.

Call of Duty’s online mode, Multiplayer has been the main draw of Call of Duty for many years until the release of its Battle Royale modes. Multiplayer allows players to play online against other people in the world in a variety of game modes. Call of Duty implemented respawn game modes, where a player gets an unlimited amount of lives in the game, allowing players to play aggressively and not worry as much about dying. They have multiple game modes that have existed since the first Call of Duty was released, such as Search and Destroy, Team Deathmatch, and Domination. All of these game modes are staples of Call of Duty and have been in every game in some form or fashion. You can find more info on how to play here.

These playlists have the most players in any Call of Duty and you can always be able to play online. Other popular multiplayer game modes in Call of Duty’s history have been Hardpoint, Capture the Flag, and Uplink. These game modes have been a part of competitive Call of Duty throughout its history and are different respawn game modes that require teamwork and communication.

Battle Royale

In 2018, with the release of Call of Duty Black Ops 4, Call of Duty added a new game mode to their game, a battle royale game mode. Battle Royales have been the most popular game type across all video games for the past four years. Games like H1Z1, PUBG, and ultimately Fortnite dominated the video game scene and prompted Activision to attempt to make their own Battle Royale.

In Black Ops 4, the game developer Treyarch made Blackout, Call of Duty’s first-ever Battle Royale. Blackout was successful, but the steep price of $60 couldn’t compete with other battle royale games that were free-to-play, and ultimately, people moved to other games. Blackout still has a loyal player base, but it is relatively small.

In 2019, Call of Duty released its newest game, Modern Warfare. It was a return to the old Call of Duty series that featured some of the most popular Call of Duty titles of all time. The multiplayer side of the game did not receive the same attention as a game mode that was not released at the launch of the game. At launch, Modern Warfare only had Multiplayer, and the offline campaign and other single-player modes, and teasing the release of a new game mode.

Then, in March of 2020, Infinity Ward, the developer of Modern Warfare, released Warzone as another game mode of Modern Warfare. Warzone is Call of Duty’s newest Battle Royale game mode and is one of the most popular games in the world right now. The game features a massive player base of 150 players scattered across a massive map that has tons of locations from throughout Call of Duty’s lauded history. Currently, Call of Duty Warzone has over 100 million players worldwide, and I am sure that someone you know is addicted to playing it.

Call of Duty’s Future

Each year, after the release of a new Call of Duty, fans of the game series complain that the newest game is not as good as the games that were released 8 to 10 years ago, but I still get excited about each new game. Call of Duty has a special place in my heart because it has been a part of my life for over 10 years in total. I am excited about what Call of Duty 2020 has to offer and am hopeful that the rumors are true because Treyarch is my preferred Call of Duty developer.

I am excited to see which pro players thrive on a new Call of Duty and how it will impact the league. The yearly cycle of releasing Call of Duty is scrutinized by some and is one of the reasons why Call of Duty is not a premier eSport, but I love getting a new game every year. I love seeing the new maps and new guns and how the movement mechanics have changed from one title to another.

Call of Duty is not going to go away anytime soon, so you might as well get to know and love the game as I do. In this academy series, I will show you the great aspects of Call of Duty and why you should be an avid fan as well.

I live for Michigan State football and basketball, and am a die-hard Detroit sports fan. I am a student reporter for Michigan State sports, and will use that to bring an expertise to my Michigan State and Detroit sports coverage.

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