Call of Duty has some of the most iconic FPS maps of all-time, so much so that Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War brings several classics back. That said, Black Ops Cold War’s maps are a bit of a mess. They’re not all bad, but some of them are very flawed.
Many of the maps in Black Ops Cold War feel uneven, with giant centers or tons of dead space where there should be interesting combat. Many of the maps are more or less masterclasses in how not to make a map in a 6v6 shooter. They’re a far cry from the golden age of Call of Duty maps, which is probably why 3 of the 13 maps in the game are from older games – with very little changes made.
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That’s not to say there aren’t a few gems here, even outside of the classics. Black Ops Cold War‘s maps just feel like a mish-mash of the Call of Duty game Sledgehammer was making prior to Treyarch coming onboard. Whether or not that’s the case is unknown, but it’s not impossible to imagine Treyarch had to salvage some of Sledgehammer’s work. That said, here’s a ranking of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’s maps, shown from worst to best.
#13 CoD: Black Ops Cold War Map – The Pines
The Pines was one of the first DLC maps for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and certainly set the bar low for the first season of Black Ops Cold War. The Pines is set inside of a nostalgic 1980s map filled with neon lights. In terms of its visual style, it’s very striking and captures the essence of the 80s very well, but that doesn’t make it fun. The Pines has a ton of lines of sight across the entire map. Anyone who walks into one of the stores will notice anywhere from two to four different doorways in a small space, creating numerous points to get shot in the side or back while trying to cover another door.
The layout of the map itself is like a maze too. When new Call of Duty maps debut, they’re obviously going to feel unfamiliar, but it feels like The Pines is just one giant maze. Its disorienting, it’s too big, and players can have a lot of downtime before getting shot in the back thanks to someone coming out of a maintenance tunnel. Just like the next map on the list, The Pines is about 99% indoors, and there’s a lot of spaces for players to avoid aerial killstreaks with zero issue throughout the map. The Pines would be a dream hangout spot for teenagers on a Friday night, but it’s a nightmare for Call of Duty players.
#12 CoD: Black Ops Cold War Map – Checkmate
Checkmate is a frustrating Black Ops Cold War map. It has a pretty traditional map layout and really shouldn’t be that bad, but there are all sorts of incredibly awful design choices within its traditional structure. Most notably, the map is exclusively inside of a building with very few openings on its roof. Should a player go on a streak and earn a rewarding scorestreak like a chopper gunner, there isn’t much they can done with it. The chopper gunner will circle the building but given that there’s very few spots to actually shoot at players, the impact its able to have is massively reduced. It’s not the first map in the Call of Duty series to ever do this, but it may be one of the more egregious examples.
On top of that, there are huge open spaces to get sniped in, such as to the right of the plane, with very few places for cover when compared to all the lines of sight. When in the plane, there’s a lot inconsistency when shooting through the wooden walls. Sometimes the shots will hit, sometimes it’s like the walls suddenly become concrete. A lot of people funnel through the plane and it’s a hotspot for firefights, which makes it incredibly irritating when the walls are unpredictable.
#11 CoD: Black Ops Cold War Map – Nuketown ’84
Somehow, Black Ops Cold War turned one of the most beloved maps in Call of Duty history in to an abomination. It’s the exact map one would expect, just with some art style changes, but it’s the least fun it has ever been. In Gunfight, for instance, enemies can aim their gun from the other side of the map in the pre-game countdown and shoot a player once the clock hits zero, killing them with a headshot. This is a real thing that can happen – somehow the angle allows for an instant headshot across the entire map, through multiple objects, before the first second of the actual match begins.
The map also highlights a lot of the greater flaws of Black Ops Cold War‘s gameplay with easy spawn-trapping, poor player visibility, and more. Black Ops Cold War‘s maps are much larger when compared to Nuketown, and many of the weapons are designed to play in more long-range engagements, so players may find themselves dying really fast when someone is shooting from across the map. It’s baffling how such a tried and true map that is in every Black Ops is such a distant version of itself in the latest entry.
#10 CoD: Black Ops Cold War Map – Moscow
Moscow goes back to some of the issues of The Pines Black Ops Cold War map. In Moscow, there are too many ways into some of the rooms on the map. Some areas have as many as four entrances, making it very difficult to cover. The center of the map and the courtyard near the escalators are awful when it comes to objective-based modes like Hardpoint. Not only is it near-impossible to defend thanks to all the different places to flank, there’s just a general lack of cover save for some ledges.
The middle of Black Ops Cold War’s Moscow map has a giant structure to run around but in the heat of the moment, it’s not going to save anyone who wasn’t already running prior to being shot. It seems like a lot of the cover was put on the complete opposite side of the map where there’s loads of cars, busses, and other objects that will absorb bullets for the player. It’s a complete nightmare to navigate Moscow.
#9 CoD: Black Ops Cold War Map – Express
Express is a Black Ops 2 classic, but it doesn’t feel like Treyarch really cared much to adapt it into Cold War’s 1980s setting. The train still looks like it is from 2025 and the atmosphere screams futurism, even if they added a few retro TVs and put 1980s dates on posters scattered around the map. It comes off as strangely lackluster and space-filling, and doesn’t add much to Black Ops Cold War.
#8 CoD: Black Ops Cold War Map – Cartel
Cartel has been a major point of contention between fans and Black Ops Cold War developers Treyarch – so much so that Treyarch actually updated the map to fix some issues, but it’s still not perfect. The various foliage around this Black Ops Cold War map can make it incredibly hard to see enemies, and even after the game’s recent update it’s still far too tall and thick for its own good. Once players get into the center of the map, it’s just a big open space that feels like it should be avoided at all costs. There’s virtually no incentive to rush the center, as Cartel is a map that benefits far more from sticking to the edges, which is annoying since there’s so much real estate that is otherwise being sidestepped by players. Outside of that center, the map flows rather nicely on the sides and feels more traditional to Treyarch’s three-lane map structure.
#7 CoD: Black Ops Cold War Map – Miami
Miami isn’t as bad as some Black Ops Cold War fans seem to suggest it is. It’s incredibly dark and has a lot of low visibility, which is annoying, but that’s really the biggest issue. The only other problem on this CoD map is really the side with the beach, as it is a bit too open but can still be mostly navigated without getting unfairly shot in the face by a sniper. Altogether there’s a lot of verticality to this Black Ops map, with balconies and two-story buildings that can be held down without too much issue. It’s also not hard to take down anyone camping in these spots so long as effort is put in to flush them out. The rooms are small, so grenades can kill them or make them flee and entrances are minimal, making it easy to get in and out.
The center of Black Ops Cold War’s Miami map has plenty of cover, so the three main locations that players like to come in from are protected. There are also plenty of fair flanking opportunities, such as a wall that allows players to hop into an alleyway, which can be great for objective-based modes like Search and Destroy. Despite its visibility problems, it’s a solid map with plenty of neon lights and an interactive pool to give it some atmosphere.
#6 CoD: Black Ops Cold War Map – Crossroads
Crossroads is one of the smaller maps in Black Ops Cold War, which leads to fast-paced action. The map could use some tightening up, even though it’s already small, and there are some spawns which could be pushed in further. Outside of that, however, there is almost always a firefight on every key point of the map. There’s zero downtime outside of the spawns, it’s fast, there are plenty of spots to hold that are also easy to lose, and it’s a really fun map to play on objective-based modes like Domination and Hardpoint.
#5 CoD: Black Ops Cold War Map – Apocalypse
Apocalypse is the newest Black Ops Cold War map and it’s certainly interesting. It’s set in Vietnam and has a lot of different huts to go inside, some sort of ruins, and there’s a lot of small little passageways that lead under huts and even inside of them through trapdoors. It has the dangerous ambiance of Vietnam without feeling like players can’t keep themselves covered. It’s far more about how players can navigate and maneuver around the map rather than positions with unfair lines of sight. So long as someone can weasel their way through tunnels or through straw houses without running into another player, they can get a well-earned drop on the enemy.
#4 CoD: Black Ops Cold War Map – Satellite
Satellite may be another controversial pick to be placing this high given its reputation among the Black Ops Cold War community, but it’s an interesting map. Each “lane” is unique, there’s a big open area with sand dunes that can double as cover or concealment, but, unlike some other maps, this open area isn’t bad. It’s great for sniper duels, flanking, and there is usually something going on there – which isn’t true for the other Black Ops Cold War maps with big areas. In the middle, it’s a king of the hill-type battle that gets increasingly chaotic the longer one team holds the peak. Mortars rain down, grenades start flying like everyone on the other team is Tom Brady, and the opposition becomes far more aggressive.
On the other side of the map are tight caves that can be dangerous, as it’s one straight path. It’s interesting, it’s exciting, and Satellite has something for every player. For those that like to sneak around, the dunes are there. Those that enjoy sniping can cover those flanking or kill the enemies that are doing the very same thing. For the Call of Duty player that enjoys more traditional automatic gunfights with explosions that rattle the eardrums, there’s something for them in Satellite too.
#3 CoD: Black Ops Cold War Map – Armada
Armada is one of the most dynamic maps in Black Ops Cold War, so much so that it actually causes some questions. Why are there no ziplines/rappelling areas on other maps? Who knows, but it’s pretty great on Armada. The ability to jump off the ship, dip into the water, and then hook up to a rope to zoom up to a room full of enemies is always fun. There are also plenty of layers to this battleship thanks to the water, a mid-level, and an upper level that can be accessed via stairs and ladders. It’s by no means flat and there’s once again plenty of cover, so those pesky windows don’t feel like they totally dominate the map. No position can have a full long-range view of Armada – at most, one view gets about half of the map.
Armada is almost perfectly structured, but its biggest downfall is, yet again, too many points of entry in some areas. There are plenty of hallways with only one or two entry points, making it easy to comfortably stroll through. However, the room in the center has two rappelling spots, two sets of windows, and stairs that make it hard to hold. Given it gives a view of both halves of the map, this area definitely needs to be easy to contest, but not this easy.
#2 CoD: Black Ops Cold War Map – Garrison
Garrison is easily the most well-constructed original map in Black Ops Cold War. There is ample cover pretty much everywhere, there are plenty of ways to move through, and players can even get a little crafty. Given the map is in some sort of vehicle storage warehouse, there are tanks that players can climb up on and get a great vantage point from without being too vulnerable. There is inherent risk in this kind of play, but it’s one that will be rewarded.
This Black Ops Cold War map isn’t too open, either. Outside of the spawn areas, there isn’t much dead space on the map. Almost the entire map is used up or visited at some point throughout any match. Garrison is tightly-made, with plenty of small areas that can be used to gain significant advantages if held down properly.
#1 – The Best CoD: Black Ops Cold War Map – Raid
What more needs to be said about Raid besides the fact that it’s one of the best Black Ops 2 maps and, now, the best Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War map? It’s the pinnacle of the three-lane formula, with constant engagements that are easy to move between. If one of the player’s teammates is being outmatched in a battle on the right side of the map and the player is in the middle, it’s easy to quickly get to them and help them out – or at the very least, avenge them. Raid is constantly flowing and has all kinds of unique flanking opportunities, such as ledges around some of the buildings on the map, particularly the ones on the edges, as well as a pool which can provide concealment while players sneak behind firefights. Nothing is drawn out, nothing is too far apart, and it’s all very compact without feeling so condensed that it turns into something like Nuketown.
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