I have been using Second Chance (PRO) since I started playing Black Ops the day it came out. All of my friends also use so that we may work as a team and revive each other. We have all noticed that sometimes when we get downed, we mysteriously die almost immediately.

The amount of time you survive while downed depends on whether you have the Pro version of the perk unlocked or not. Without Pro, you die in about 5 seconds of being downed with no possibility of being revived. With Pro, you can survive for about 30 seconds and team mates may revive you. Either way, sometimes you suddenly die more quickly then this. I have been downed before and dies before I can get out the words to ask my team mates for a revive.

We originally thought that it happened when you tried to descend a staircase while downed. This is not true though because I have actually crawled down entire stair cases several times while downed. I have also mysteriously, quickly died while on seemingly flat surfaces.

I can also assure you that I am not accidentally holding the suicide button (X on my XBOX).

Does anyone know the conditions for this premature death so that we may avoid it? I hate getting downed, killing my attacker and then dying right away, giving my attacker a kill he did not earn or deserve. Plus I loose my kill streaks for no reason.

EDIT: I can also state that it is not something killing me that I didn't notice (like stray bullets or random flashes). This oddity happened even before the update where the original person to down you always gets the kill. And they would be the one credited for my mysterious, premature deaths even if I had already killed them earlier.

  • 3
    A whole team of people running second chance...oh boy!
    – DarkShiva
    Commented Feb 22, 2011 at 14:27
  • I always die if I tried to go down a stair. I'm on PS3 but the game mechanics should be the same on all platforms.
    – eSPiYa
    Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 10:05
  • I usually die too when going down stairs but there has been occasions where I was able to go down full stair cases. I know I die if I drop off a ledge of any sort. Maybe some stairs are smooth, angled surfaces and some stairs are built like actual stair cases with hirizontal and vertical platforms. Can anyone verify this? It would mean that any drop off of a platform would kill you in second chance. This could be the answer. If so, we just need a list of stair cases that are okay to descend...
    – Jesse Webb
    Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 17:12
  • This just also popped into my head... Has anyoe tryed to climb stairs while in second chance? What is the result? Does it let you go up or not or just kill you?
    – Jesse Webb
    Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 17:12

3 Answers 3


When a player is in Second Chance they have one health point out of 100 total health points.

What can cause one or more damage to a player:

  • A bullet
  • Directly impacted by anything that can be thrown (e.g. flashbang, concussion, decoy, C4, willy pete, etc)
  • Explosions
  • Nova Gas
  • Melee

A player will not go into Second Chance if:

  • They're shot in the head and the game registers it as a headshot
  • They're attacked with melee by either a human or a dog
  • They're hurt by an explosion and it does more damage than they have health
  • They're shot with a shotgun

Since flashbangs and concussions are so widely used to finish off people in Second Chance, let's take a look at the blast radius for them two things. A concussion causes one damage to any life within 12.8 meters from it and a flashbang does the same but from 20 meters instead.

  • Thank you for your very detailed answer but it doesn't answer my question at all. I realize that you can killed by many things while in second chance but no where can I find out why you sometimes prematurely die mysteriously. Some people think it is stair cases or just dropping in altitude in general. I do know I can not crawl over a ledge and live while in second chance but I have been able to crawl down stairs and live sometimes.
    – Jesse Webb
    Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 17:05
  • Sorry bout that. While in Second Chance you lose health over time. (one health point after a minute or so). Not sure on the specifics.
    – user7268
    Commented Nov 30, 2012 at 18:40

Well, you can get shot and killed while in Second Chance. Is it possible you're getting hit with a stray round or a silenced shot from someone you didn't see? Since the kill now goes to the enemy that downed you, not the enemy that finished you off, you won't necessarily see this in the Killcam.

  • Being hit by anything (bullets or grenades) makes a very distinct sound on my (loud) surround sound system. When I mysteriously die, I do not hear anything of the sort. Plus this has happened since the original release date before they made the person who downed you always get the kill and even after I killed them, it still gave them the kill for when I dyed mysteriously.
    – Jesse Webb
    Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 17:07

Perhaps you get a flashbang or concussion grenade hit and you don't notice?

  • I guess I can't GUARANTEE I wasn't killed by something else that I didn't notice but see my comment to mipadi's post for why I think this isn't the case.
    – Jesse Webb
    Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 17:08

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