I'm very new to all things Xbox Live, I hope you'll treat me nicely!

I enjoy Halo on Xbox Live (even tho I'm really bad at it!) so I thought I would try out Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare on Xbox Live. However, it's really difficult to understand what's going on.

How am I supposed to know who is on my team and who is on the other team? Halo is easy, red and blue (or other colours) - but in Modern Warfare, everyone just looks the same.

Any tips on how to get started? There's no help or anything! It's just straight in and you're by yourself.

Any tips would be brilliant, thanks.


2 Answers 2


Call of Duty can be a very hectic multiplayer First Person Shooter.

When it comes to identifying friendly players from enemy players, a name highlights over their head when you are looking at them. If they are on the enemy team, this name will be red, and if they are on your team, this name will be green.

On top of this, there are UAV's (Unmanned Arial Vehicles) which players may call in when they have managed to kill 3 enemies without dying. These will show a little minimap which will display everyone's location on either hardcore or normal servers. (hardcore servers remove the Heads Up Display and any information like ammo reserves)

Here, you can see members of the OpFor team:

Members of the OpFor team

More members of the OpFor team

They are always wearing dark coloured clothing, and wear hats or headdresses that are red.

In the first screenshot, you can also see that the UAV map is active, (top left corner) indicating where your teammates are (green arrows) and where your enemies are (red dots).

Here, you can see members of the American team:

Members of the American team

Their clothing is light in colour; what may be considered 'desert cammo'. They wear helmets.

You can once again see that the UAV is active, and showing where your friendly soldiers are VS the enemy soldiers. It also displays where the helicopter is located, and whether or not it is friendly. (friendlies are always green, enemies are always red on the UAV, including helicopters or airstrikes)

Call of Duty 4 consists of a few game modes.

  • Free-for-all means that it's every man for himself; you shoot people no matter what clothing they are wearing.
  • Team Deathmatch means that you simply shoot people on the opposite team, and try to beat the enemy team's score.
  • Capture the Flag involves grabbing a flag from the enemy base, and bringing it all the way back to your base.
  • Headquarters involves capturing a location on the map and holding it for as long as possible. This location changes, so you need to capture as many as you can.
  • Domination involves capturing and holding as many locations on the map as possible. There are always 3 persistent locations your team can capture.
  • Search and Destroy has no respawns. You are either on the defending team, or the attacking team. Attackers try to plant a bomb and set it off at a bomb site, defenders need to prevent the attackers from blowing up the bomb site.
  • Sabotage is similar to Search and Destroy, except there are respawns, and both sides have an objective to blow up, and an objective to defend. There is also one single bomb which can be dropped and picked up by the enemy team.

If you are new, I suggest avoiding 'Hardcore' servers, as you do not get a minimap, and your health is 40% of what it is in a normal match, so you will die much faster if you aren't quick on the trigger.

If everything is too fast for you though, a hardcore server can have it's advantages. People generally pace themselves slower on hardcore because they can die much faster if they run around without checking corners and being careful. It means that it shouldn't be as hectic, but you will die easier.

For some good general tips, you might try looking here:

How can I become a better CoD player?

  • Brilliant answer, thanks for your help. :) And thanks for telling me about the difference between the teams. It will hopefully make it slightly easier to spot who to shoot at! Feb 20, 2012 at 9:09
  • 1
    @ThomasClayson I should note that there are one or two exceptions to the clothing. The occasional map will change the outfits, and you may end up with the British/ American team wearing black outfits with gas masks. The OpFor team will be wearing different clothing as well.
    – Lemmings19
    Feb 20, 2012 at 18:33
  • Regarding the red colored names for the enemies, its not like that always...On some servers which allowed colored names, i often found most players, friendly too, using red colored names.. Sep 30, 2013 at 8:03

Playing CoD online is a tricky proposition. Be ready to die. You will die frequently and consistently until your skill improves. When I started playing CoD on the Xbox, I had about 10 years of experience with first person shooters, including the Halo series. However, I consistently went 20 deaths with no kills the first few weeks I played Modern Warfare.

CoD is a different type of game than Halo - Halo is a game where even if someone surprises you, there's a chance that if you've got better weapons or tactics, you still could potentially win. If someone surprises you in CoD, you are more than likely dead. However, you can and should use this to your advantage - surprise people and avoid being surprised. Depending on your latency, skill, controller sensitivity, phase of the moon, etc, you can expect to win roughly half (or less) of the time when you encounter someone face to face. However, you can win 75-90% of the time if you get the drop on them.

Camping (or staying in a small area that you know well and can defend) is an extremely prevalent strategy in the game for this reason. If your enemy must come in through a single door, but you have 3 or 4 positions from which you could cover that door, you're at an advantage. Rotate through the cover positions to change things up and keep enemies on their toes.

The flip side of this is don't feed campers - if you know someone is well entrenched and you've died in the same spot a couple of times, stop going that way. Find a different area instead.

It's also very important to know the maps. Run around in them until you understand all the ways in which you can be seen and see others from various positions. Know the areas that are frequently camped, and what areas of the map are usually devoid of other players.

Unlike Halo, there are no weapon pickups in CoD, so whatever you bring in your loadout is generally what you will be using. For a new player, I'd suggest an assault rifle as your primary weapon. It's superior in a wide array of situations. Try a variety of perks and other equipment that compliments your strategy to see what works best for you.

As far as identifying enemies, typically when you're pointing at an enemy, you'll see their name in red. As long as you're not playing a "hardcore" game mode, shooting allies doesn't hurt them, so apply bullets liberally until you get the hang of which player models correspond to which teams. Remember, this is a game of milliseconds, so shoot first and ask questions later :)

If you've mastered the basics, or want more tips, I asked/answered a question on this topic a few months back that might be enlightening.

  • Thanks for the brilliant info. :) Really helpful. In CoD I've found various pick ups. Not quite the same as Halo, but I've found the odd sniper rifle on my travels (in the few games I played). Are these just weapons that others have dropped? And cool, good advice on shoot first ask later! :) Feb 20, 2012 at 9:13
  • @ThomasClayson, yes, if you come across a weapon, it used to be in someone's loadout, until they were... separated, as it were :)
    – agent86
    Feb 20, 2012 at 18:44
  • nice guide....Thanks :) Its encouraging know that am not the only guy, who has 20 deaths, no kills :) Sep 30, 2013 at 9:16

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