Call of Duty Mobile is the latest game to hit Android and iPhone, bringing with it a heady mix of action, both in multiplayer and battle royale gameplay.

But if you’re new to the game, there’s a lot to take in to get you started and get you winning matches and cranking up your XP. So let’s dive into how you can get the most out of Call of Duty: Mobile in our extensive tips and tricks. 

Setting up Call of Duty Mobile and your phone

Call of Duty Mobile system requirements for iPhone: Requires iOS 9 or later, works on phones from iPhone 5S upwards; works on iPad Air onwards; works on iPod touch (6 gen and 7 gen)

Call of Duty Mobile system requirements for Android: Requires Android 5.1 or later and you phone needs at least 2GB of RAM. 

Prepare device storage: You’ll need around 1.6GB of storage to install CoD: Mobile and for game data, so you might have to clean something out. If you’re right at the limit, your phone won’t run as well, and this is a demanding game.

Shut down background activities and alerts: If you have a gaming mode on your device then now is the time to use it to reduce notifications you don’t want and to kill other processes that might be lowering the performance of your phone. To get the best from CoD:M you need your phone running as best it can.

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Use Facebook login: Sadly there’s no username/password login, you have to use Facebook or play as a guest. If you use Facebook login you will then be able to move your profile to a different device if you get a new phone or want to play on a tablet for example. 

Connect your headphones: The soundtrack to Call of Duty: Mobile is excellent – and it also helps you get more aware of what’s happening around you. You’ll be able to pinpoint footsteps, you’ll detect enemy helicopters and drones and much more if you can hear them clearly. Playing with headphones is a pro move – or turn the speakers up loud. 

You’ll need an internet connection: Yes, as this is live multiplayer there’s no offline mode – you’ll need to be connected to play. Watch your data allowance, or stick to Wi-Fi.

Turn the brightness up: What you see is what you shoot. The brighter the better, so turn off auto-brightness, turn up the levels and make sure “night mode” or the “blue light filter” isn’t on, as it will skew the visuals.

And no, you can’t use an external controller.

Call of Duty Mobile best settings and controls

There’s a wealth of settings and options for Call of Duty: Mobile and those which are best depend very much on how you like to play and what phone or tablet you’re playing on. It’s worth taking the time to test the options.

Choose Advanced mode: There are two methods of control, simple or advanced that you’ll be presented at the start of the game. Simple is autofire when you’re pointing at someone, but Advanced gives you full control and it’s the latter you should choose – even if it means getting a little more practise. You’ll never get anywhere on simple controls.

Customise your controls: From the lobby, tap the settings cog and you’ll open up all the settings for the game. In Controls you’ll have the option for Simple and Advanced, as above, but in advanced you have the customise button – tap this and you can drag control elements to new locations. Be aware that multiplayer and battle royale have slightly different docks, so customise both.

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Change the shooting mode: In the same area as above, in Advanced, you can change how different weapon types shoot. You can fire from the hip, aim down sights (ADS) or select custom. This will let you change the behaviour of weapon groups – so you can fire shotguns from the hip, for example (which is worth doing).

Change the graphics quality: Your device will automatically detect the settings for your phone on first start, but if you want to change them, in the settings, tap Audio and Graphics. Here you can select the quality and frame rate, as well as other options. Play around to get the smoothest gameplay you can, because setting it too high will cause you problems if it gets jerky.

Adjust the sensitivity: Different devices respond slightly differently and in Sensitivity you can change the settings for how you move as well as how sensitive movements are through scopes using the phone’s gyroscope. These can also be changed for multiplayer and battle royale separately. 

Test your settings with Practice vs AI: Head into multiplayer and tap the selection button (just above start) to choose the game type. Here you’ll see “practice vs AI”. This is a great way to test weapons, settings and controls to see how they feel and if it’s going to work for you.

Watch your friends playing: You watch what your friends are doing by heading into your friends list and tapping the eye button – you can watch them play in real time.

Call of Duty: Mobile gameplay modes

Call of Duty: Mobile is divided into two major sections (at the time of writing, there’s another coming). Those are multiplayer and battle royale. Although the controls are broadly similar and the visuals are the same, these are two fundamentally different modes of play.

Multiplayer modes 

There are a number of different multiplayer maps and modes to play. The core modes are Frontline, Team Deathmatch, Domination, Search & Destroy, Practice vs AI. Then there are features special modes – for example – Standoff – Halloween, Sniper Only, Gun Game. There are incentives for playing all types, so keep your eyes on the Battle Pass to see where you can gain rewards.

The maps vary by the game type, changing to suit the type of game you’re going to play: Killhouse, Nuketown, Hijacked, Crash, Crossfire, Standoff, Firing Range, Takeoff, Raid. The first three are pretty small, the second six are larger, changing the style of play.

Battle royale mode

In battle royale there’s only one map right now – Isolated – but you can play in first or third person perspective, you can play solo, duo or team. There’s also random zombies on this map. 

In battle royale you basically parachute in with nothing, gather weapons with the aim of being the last player or team surviving. The play area gradually decreases, pushing surviving players into a tighter area. It’s classic battle royale.

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Multiplayer tips and tricks 

There is a wealth of weaponry in Call of Duty: Mobile and you can collect and upgrade these weapons, apply skins and choose your loadouts for playing multiplayer games.

Increase your XP to unlock more loadouts: As you play you’ll earn XP to rank up – and unlock extra loadout slots. You can have five different loadouts, each with primary and secondary weapons, grenades, an operator skill and three perks, meaning you can choose a different loadout to for different maps.

Choose your weapons wisely: The loadout you carry determines what you enter the game with – and this will change based on the map and game type you’re playing. Maps like Killhouse, Hijacked and Nuketown are great for SMGs because it’s close quarters combat; a map like Crossfire is great for longer range weapons.

Upgrade your weapons: Rewards can get you weapons cards for upgrades and this can be anything from adding a scope to extending the barrel. The weapon characteristics chart will show the impact of those changes you make – and this can make a big difference to how that weapon performs in the game. 

You can’t hide in multiplayer: While you can stay out of sight, or find a corner or building to lurk in, when playing multiplayer the two sides are separated by the enemy wearing red flashes on their uniform. Camouflage doesn’t really matter in that sense, as you can spot the red marks even when hiding. You can be spotted by a UAV and placed on the map – so remember, you’re not invisible.

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Keep on moving: Because you can’t hide, staying still is your enemy. Keep moving so the enemy can’t target you. A skill to master is strafing sideways while keeping the enemy in your sights. Duck into cover when you run out of ammo, pop out again to engage. It’s simple use of cover, but it works really well.

Use the slide: You can tap the down button when running to slide. This is unpredictable and gives you a much better chance of making it to cover and avoiding getting shot.

Get familiar with crouch: Lying down in Call of Duty: Mobile multiplayer modes will often mean you get shot (unlike PUBG where it’s really useful). But the crouch is really useful, decreasing your visible area while still letting you move around. There’s even a Perk for this – Skulker – which makes you faster when moving crouched.

Use sprint: Sprinting means you can move faster. You can slide up the forward controller or tap the sprint button to do this. There’s a menu option for “always sprint” too – but use this with caution – it sometimes means you can’t stop as accurately as you want and you might end up running into you enemy by mistake. There’s also a Perk to make you faster. Use it.

Go to your pistol: The MW11 – or M1911 – is a great sidearm and it will take people down just as readily as a rifle when you’re up close. Often it’s faster to switch to the pistol than it is to reload your primary weapon. It’s great for maps like Nuketown when things get crazy in the middle. Avoid the silencer though – it lowers the range.

Use your grenades: When the fighting gets tough, often there isn’t time to grab a grenade, but it’s a great opening move: on maps like Killhouse and Nuketown, lobbing the grenade from one end to the other is fairly easy and can quickly wake up your enemy. Just make sure you don’t run into your own grenade and make sure the opening immunity has expired.

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Master the sticky grenade: The sticky grenade is great because it doesn’t bounce or roll. Throw it through a window, throw it against a wall and it stays there. It’s great for clearing snipers out of rooms, or clearing out people hiding behind crates.

Master the scorestreaks: The scorestreaks are really powerful. You have three slots to fill and these can be anything from a hunter killer drone to a stealth helicopter. Some are AI guided, others offer manual control. The predator missile, for example, needs to be guided to where you want it to hit. The sentry gun can be placed and left, cutting down the enemy when they come around a corner – but can also be damaged by enemy fire. To activate scorestreaks, you need to get mixed in with the enemy and take some scalps.

Take the fight to the enemy: In games like Frontline and Team Deathmatch, take the fight to the enemy. Hanging back might mean you’re out of the game not doing anything while your teammates are locked in fighting. Find those strategic points on the maps and dominate them, pinning your enemy in.

Get fancy with smoke: Smoke grenades are actually very useful. If the enemy has you pinned down – obviously – but if there’s sniper in a building you can’t get past, smoke out the room by lobbing that grenade through the window. Or drop smoke to give you cover while you retreat from invincible respawned enemy.

Pick the loadout for the map and the team: The multiplayer maps encourage a range of different gameplay styles. Crossfire, for example, has a lot of places for snipers, whereas Nuketown does not. Vary your loadout to suit the map and the team: it you have five players with sniper rifles on Nuketown, you might struggle. Be prepared to switch to maximise team performance.

Top tip for Hijacked: If you’re playing on the Hijacked map (the boat), there’s a secret passage through the boat that will take you from one end to the other. This can bring you up behind the enemy so you can even up the score. Just head into the cabin and look for the hole in the floor.

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Battle royale tips and tricks 

Battle royale feels like a totally different game in Call of Duty: Mobile. You don’t get to start with your preferred loadout, you can’t just respawn at will and you have a much larger play area – and it’s a much more tactical game than the combat of multiplayer. Even the user interface is slightly different.

Choose where you drop carefully: The Isolated map is fairly well loaded with both vehicles and weapons, but if you drop into a built-up area you’re more likely to run straight into contact, where the first person to get a weapon will hunt you all down. Go a little more remote and you’re more likely to survive through the first 10 minutes. 

Work as a team – or not: Team work makes the dream work. Drop with your team, move with your team, fight with your team and you’ll easily win. But if your teammates are determined to drop into contact and die straight away, you might want to go solo to survive. Battle royale is about survival – if you just want to kill, play multiplayer instead.

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Revive your teammates: While most of multi-player CoD:M lets you respawn, in battle royale that’s not automatic – your teammate has to do it. Collect dog tags from fallen comrades, scan them and they can parachute back into the game on a revival flight. They live to fight another day. If you’re shot, don’t exit the game – give your team time to bring you back in. 

Wait for dog tag collectors, and finish off the team: As above, once you’ve dropped someone, teammates will come to get the dog tags to revive them. Wait around a little and you could get finish off the rest of the team too. Of course, stay alert when collecting tags. 

Don’t worry, you’ve got a wingsuit: As you’re wearing a wingsuit, it doesn’t matter if you jump out of a helicopter or off the top of a tower, as you’ll survive. Use that to your benefit. You can wingsuit right on top of someone and pop ’em with your shotgun if you don’t have the range to engage from the top of a mountain. It’s great fun.

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Keep your eye on the map and look for footprints: Knowing where the enemy is is half the fight in battle royale. Watch the map for footprints, keep your ears open and you’ll know where they are before they know you’re there. It’s the route to victory. 

Hit the deck: Unlike multiplayer where hitting the deck means dying in the dirt, in battle royale you can hide and wait until your enemy is in range before engaging them. It really works.

Watch your ammo: There are loads of different weapons, but you can rinse through your ammo really quickly. Keep an eye on how much you have, make sure you’re not picking up stuff you don’t need and make sure your second weapon is useful.

Listen out for zombies: You’ll be taking your time, waiting for your prey to walk into the crosshairs and you’ll find three zombies walking up behind you. They will kill you, so fill them with lead before they get the chance. Just keep your ears open for them, because they always appear right when you don’t want them.