By Derrick Maechler

In the first two installments of our Call of Duty: Black Ops guide we covered general tips and tricks that will help you find your feet in the game. Now that you’ve committed those to memory, and hopefully seen some improvement in your game as a result, it’s time to move on to the real meat and bones of the series: the player classes.

Always remember that when building a custom class, you should think through the weaknesses and strengths of each aspect of that class, and try and balance them out. For example, the M60 has a very slow reload time, while Sleight of Hand Pro decreases reload time, so combining the two partially mitigates that negative aspect of the weapon. Learn to use the right combination of perks and weapons. If you find a class that works extremely well for you, a few clones of the class with slight changes can help you be prepared for almost any situation. Here are five custom classes to get you started, along with the best situations to use them in.

The Frontman

Primary Weapon: AK-74u
Secondary Weapon: Strela-3
Attachments: Silencer & Rapid Fire
Perk 1: Scavenger Pro
Perk 2: Warlord Pro
Perk 3: Hacker Pro
Lethal Grenades: Frag or Semtex
Non-Lethal Grenades: Flashbang

Equipment: Radar Jammer or Tactical Insertion

This class is pretty straightforward; the purpose of it is to be the front-runner for the team. Hacker Pro will give you a rough idea of camping locations, Scavenger Pro and Warlord Pro will allow you to more or less spam Flashbang Grenades so that your enemy never sees you coming, and you can set down the Radar Jammer or Tactical Insertion before your strike. This class also packs the perfect tool to take down enemy air support. It works well for all modes; it’s the perfect counter to campers. For this class you might want to run Spy Plane, Counter Spy Plane, and Blackbird as your killstreaks, to further assist the team.

The Sniper

Primary Weapon: L96A1
Secondary Weapon: Python
Attachments: Variable Scope or Infrared Scope for L96A1 and Speed Reloader for Python
Perk 1: Ghost Pro, Hardline Pro, or Flak Jacket Pro
Perk 2: Hardened Pro
Perk 3: Second Chance Pro
Lethal Grenades: Frag or Semtex
Non-Lethal Grenades: Your Choice
Equipment: Claymore

While many say sniping is dead in Black Ops, it’s just not the case. If you choose your locations wisely, it’s as deadly as it’s ever been; you just can’t run-and-gun with it like some people attempted to do in Modern Warfare 2. The L96A1 is a one shot kill anywhere except the forearms, hands, and legs, making it downright murderous in the hands of a skilled marksman. When you’re not sniping, be sure use your Python instead of your sniper rifle. It may not be the popular thing to do, but it’s much more effective for close-range combat than any sniper rifle ever will be.

Your Perk 1 slot doesn’t matter too much when sniping with this class, because your shot is going to give away your position anyway, but Ghost Pro will protect you from most air support. Flak Jacket Pro is good for maps like Jungle if you’re on top of the cliff, since you’re liable to see tons of grenades come your way, while Hardline Pro means you’ll consistently be able to have a Spy Plane up in no time. As for Perk 2, Hardened Pro will stop you from flinching should you wind up taking fire while lining up your shot, which will most likely mean you’ll take down your target, instead of dying. Second Chance Pro is perfect for a sniper class, since you’ll spend most of your time away from the enemy—it can be quite difficult for them to finish you off as long as you have a team that will revive you. If your attacker does happen to be close to you, the Python can put a target down mind-numbingly quickly while in Second Chance.

The Defender

Primary Weapon: M-16
Secondary Weapon: Crossbow
Attachments: Silencer
Perk 1: Ghost Pro
Perk 2: Hardened Pro or Warlord Pro if you aren’t accustomed to Iron Sights
Perk 3: Ninja Pro
Lethal Grenades: Semtex
Non-Lethal Grenades: Flashbang or Stun
Equipment: C4 or Motion Sensor

This class is perfect for guarding points in Domination or for flag defense in CTF. The M16 will put down a target in two chest bursts at a distance, or one head burst at any range—as long as all three rounds hit their mark. The Silencer slightly reduces recoil, and you’ll be completely off the enemy radar. Your job is simple; protect the objective. Place your Motion Sensor near the area of defense (or a C4 on top of it) and keep hidden until the would-be attackers makes their move and then silently dispatch all of them.

If there are multiple attackers, take advantage of your grenades once they set up on the objective rather than taking fire early and giving away your position. If you’re not familiar with the Iron Sights on the M-16, Warlord Pro can alleviate that concern and also give you some extra grenades to work with. Should you run out of grenades, your crossbow will function as a long-range Semtex launcher.

Shotgun Spree

Primary Weapon: Olympia Shotgun
Secondary Weapon: Python
Attachments: Speed Reloader for Python
Perk 1: Lightweight Pro or Hardline Pro
Perk 2: Sleight of Hand Pro
Perk 3: Ninja Pro
Lethal Grenades: Your Choice
Non-Lethal Grenades: Stun or Flash Grenades
Equipment: Motion Sensor

What FPS game would be complete without a shotgun class? The Olympia is easily the strongest shotgun in the game; it has best range of all the shotguns and it’s tied with the Stakeout for the most damage per pellet. The gun does have one glaring weakness, though; it only gets two shots per clip. You can cover that up using Sleight of Hand Pro; you’ll still have to reload after two shots, but it’s rather quick to do so and when used properly it’s a one shot kill.

Your basic strategy with this class is to pick an enclosed area to patrol, set your motion sensor down, and go to work. Stay as far away from open areas as you can, and if you see the chance you’ll probably want to switch out your pistol for an assault rifle to give you a fighting chance at mid-range combat, should the situation arise. With the help of your motion sensor, throw your tactical grenades towards anyone who may be heading in your direction to make them easier prey for your shotgun. Perk 1 will either allow you to move faster or get your killstreaks more quickly, both of which are extremely useful for this class. Perk 3 keeps your footsteps silent while making the opposition louder, which is very helpful for stalking your prey. This class is best used for locking down buildings or areas with a lot of tight walkways.

Crowd Control

Primary Weapon: Assault rifle of choice
Secondary Weapon: RPG
Attachments: Grenade Launcher
Perk 1: Scavenger Pro or Flak Jacket Pro
Perk 2: Sleight of Hand Pro
Perk 3: Hacker Pro or Marathon Pro
Lethal Grenades: Frag or Semtex
Non-Lethal Grenades: Stun
Equipment: C4

As you may recall in our previous guide, I mentioned that you’re liable to see a lot of explosives in the Headquarters game mode, and this is the reason why. If there’s any class that can stop someone from capturing an objective, it’s this one. He packs enough explosive firepower to take down every member of the enemy team one by one, but usually multi-kills would be the gameplan for him. He has enough exploding rounds to kill anything, even if they are using Flak Jacket Pro.

Realistically, this class is best left for games which require a team to stay in one spot for an extended period of time (like Headquarters), but it has its uses in other game modes as well. Perk 1 comes down to preference; Flak Jacket Pro will make sure you don’t blow yourself up, while Scavenger Pro will allow you to resupply your grenades. Perk 2 will keep your explosives reloading at a much more reasonable pace as well. Perk 3 is also down to preference; Hacker Pro will allow you to see if someone is camped out with Claymores for an easy kill while Marathon Pro will let you get to your position to stop the opposition at a much faster speed.

Hopefully these classes have inspired you to make your own classes to fit your own unique playstyle. Try out different combinations, learn what works for you and how to perfect it (and variations on it) and you’ll truly be a force to be reckoned with.

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