If you played the beta for Blackout, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s battle royale mode, you’ll have run up against its fiddly item pickup system.
While I had a blast with Blackout, I found picking up items one hell of a chore – and often frustrating.
In the beta, you had to press and hold a button to pick up anything – even ammo – and it took about half a second – before Treyarch updated the game to make it slightly quicker.
Exacerbating the issue, picking up items was fiddly. You had to aim at the thing you wanted to pick up, and when that thing was among other things, it could be frustrating to nail your target.
Players had wondered why Treyarch had a press and hold mechanic for picking up items at all. Development chief David Vonderhaar said this was to avoid a situation where you are, for example, in a gunfight and you need to reload but can’t because you pick something up instead.
Now, Vonderhaar has revealed Treyarch’s solution for this issue. In a tweet, he released a screenshot showing a menu for item pickup in Blackout, which includes two options: hold square (this relates to the PlayStation 4 version) to pick up nearby loot, or press square, which prioritises picking up nearby loot over reloading weapons.
Sir David Young and team have created this peace offering. It still needs to go through the normal quality assurance and integration steps. But, ASAP. I promise. Just donâ€™t yell at me when you turn this on but canâ€™t reload after a hot drop! pic.twitter.com/hw2BB4ouMQ
— Lord Vonderhaar (@DavidVonderhaar) October 3, 2018
So, there’s a choice to make here. Do you stick with the press and hold mechanic that was in the Blackout beta, or go for a mechanic that lets you press square to pick up loot? The latter carries a risk factor: if you do in fact want to reload and there’s loot nearby, you’ll pick up the loot instead.
Vonderhaar himself pointed to this risk in his tweet, saying: “Just don’t yell at me when you turn this on but can’t reload after a hot drop!”
It’s cool that Treyarch has looked at the item pickup system in Blackout, as it works differently to other battle royale games. Fortnite and PUBG, for example, do not require you to press and hold to pick up items. In fact, in Fortnite you automatically hoover up ammo, and in both games picking up a weapon is instantaneous.
Clearly, Treyarch wants ammo to matter more in Blackout, so you have to manually pick it up. Thankfully it won’t be as fiddly a process (you pickup nearby loot, now, making targeting more forgiving) and it’s quicker. Now, you have the option to prioritise it, too.