My friends and I play Call of Duty Zombies modes on the PS3/PS4. We play with a headset for communication, which greatly helps us get to higher levels. Another friend just bought a console as well, but he has a stutter/stammer which affects his ability to communicate tactical information.

Has anyone got any tips how we can help him to convey information to us quickly?

For example, we can tell him to avoid certain rooms because we're passing through them, but in reverse this is quite difficult, because by the time he gets the point across (e.g. "get in the elevator"), we're miles away.

I appreciate this isn't a typical Arqade question, but we'd really appreciate some tips!

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I used to play zombies with people without mics, and even a stutter isn't anywhere near as slow as pausing to type out a message (which is doable if you're really used to it, but not recommended). My friends and I had a few strategies to avoid this, most of which applied to any games we played.

  1. Try to establish as much strategy as possible before playing so you can minimize the need for rapid communication. If everybody knows what to do, you can avoid needing to talk to make changes to your game plan. This is particularly effective once you've played a few times and everybody falls into the routine (e.g. Mr. Brown and Mr. Pink cover the windows, Mr. Blue watches the doors, Mr. White cleans up the extras and helps anybody knocked down. At level five, everybody get to the elevator and start running laps).
  2. Let the people with better communication handle more variable roles. If somebody needs to go look for something or deviate from the plan, have one of the more vocal players do it so they can keep you updated, and assume that the rest of the group is carrying out business as usual. Similarly, if you want a "shot-caller" to make decisions for the group, it's probably best that a more vocal player does this (although I could understand how somebody with a stutter might get upset if they feel they're stuck in particular roles, you might want to think about how you approach this).
  3. As others have said, try to get communication whittled down to convey information as efficiently as possible. I don't know much about stutters, but if short words are easier then assign them for whatever you need. Most game maps tend to have something distinct in each area to help players orient themselves, and it will be easier for everyone if you pick some of these features for calling out locations rather than numbers, Most people will identify "clock" as the room with a big grandfather clock much faster than remembering that it's supposed to be room eight, or trying to visualize where they are on a compass. This is just useful in general, if you ever watch professional players in a game like Counter Strike they won't describe each location, but instead have short names that they use (cat, goose, heaven, long, etc.).

I've played hundreds of hours across the full spectrum of Call of Duty zombies, and can relate to various communication problems. I've encountered many problems... playing with someone without a mic, having intermittent mic problems, Xbox Live party crashes... etc. I want to cover these types of games specifically:

There is a fair amount of pre-planning that can be done on any given map. You will need experience in the maps to have an effective plan. You will also need an end-goal, whether that is trying to replicate in-game glitches, getting to high rounds or attempting to perform easter-egg or special weapon steps.

You can also assign (or assume, based on regular playing habits) the areas of the map each player specialises in (such as always sticking to specific windows in the starting area).

You should have at least one person who controls the wave. Generally that is the best player and/or host. You can have multiple people in this role (2 in a team of 4 works well). Their job is to keep the last few zombies alive at the end of each wave by building a train. Basically, you need to run in a particular pattern (often a circular path) to have the zombies herd together and follow you around the map. There are plenty of youtube guides and demonstrations.

The reason for suggesting the host to train zombies is that they will have the best connection. A temporary drop in connection can lead other players to being quickly downed when running zombies in close proximity.

If 1 or 2 are trying to train zombies, the other players can concentrate on killing only. They can help revive each other etc. You don't need a huge zombie train (feel free to pick off members, which can be done by the guy training or any other player). Once you have a manageable number you can then setup for the next wave easily.

You can use the breaks to communicate, restock, toilet breaks, perform easter egg steps and so on. You could keep a single zombie alive, but there is a risk that the zombie will die out and start the new wave when everyone is not ready. The rules really depend on the actual Call of Duty game you are playing (as some of the later ones appear to just kill off the last zombies if you take too long, or have received some damage).

Note, the guy training zombies can let others babysit the train too.

I would imagine that players with communication problems (as well as the weaker players in a group) are better suited to just killing. Allow the better players take on the role of training.

Another consideration is that with players dedicated to training zombies, it really spreads out the horde. There will be less of a burden on players who would otherwise struggle.

On a site note, you can use excessive jumping and/or crouching to communicate. Whether that is to get someone's attention or as a sign that you need assistance. I've used this in the past to let the other guys know I am having mic issues or to get them to take over babysitting zombies so I can hit the mystery box.

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