Call of Duty: Warzone – How to excel in Plunder as a (mostly) pacifist player
As we noted in our recent deep-dive guide on how to win in Call of Duty: Warzone’s Battle Royale and Plunder game modes, winning in Plunder requires a balanced mindset of aggressive motion and tempered resolve. You have to be constantly on the move as you seek out new opportunities to find more cash, but when you inevitably encounter enemy squads you have to decide on-the-spot whether the potential gains of engaging them are worth risking your own cash reserves (since you drop half your held cash whenever you die).
If you’re fortunate enough to have a dedicated pair of friends you can squad up with for Warzone, playing Plunder matches in a hyper-aggressive manner is certainly a viable strategy. However, the beauty of Plunder’s setup is that individual squads can be quite successful and even reach the ultimate goal of $1 million cash earned while keeping a very low profile. If you’re curious as to how you can up your Plunder game while simultaneously operating as a (mostly) passive player, by all means keep on reading.
The Ways of the Plunder Nomad
Unlike in Battle Royale, there is no incoming gas hazard in Plunder, which means players can freely explore the entirety of Warzone’s massive Verdansk map throughout each half-hour Plunder match. Still, old habits may kick in for players who also participate in Battle Royale, leading them to frequent hotspots and landmarks which are located more in the center of the map.
You can use this habitual nature of Battle Royale players to your advantage by sticking to Verdansk’s outskirts. On average, buildings and landmarks on the map’s outer edges are less likely to have been looted by another squad, but a good rule of thumb is to approach every location cautiously nonetheless and have at least one squadmate keeping an eye out for enemy players who are parachuting in.
You should be extra cautious if you decide to check out a larger named landmark like the Dam or the Farmland since such landmarks can draw in players despite their remote locations. Watch out for telltale signs of previous player activity like opened doors and supply crates or discarded equipment, especially if the match has been going on for a while. If you can, have one member of your squad take up an overwatch position nearby so they can safely cover you from afar and alert you of incoming danger.
Since Plunder allows for custom multiplayer loadouts, your ultimate goal with these nomadic building and landmark raids isn’t to find new gear (though if you find helpful items like killstreaks or self-revive kits, so much the better) but rather to build up your cash reserves either by finding loose cash piles or opening supply crates (remember to listen closely for the telltale hum unopened supply crates emit). Your biggest and most important cash-earning tool, however, will be your ability to continuously and consistently complete in-map Contracts.
Contracts appear in both Battle Royale and Plunder, and while their functionality remains the same across both modes, the rewards they offer differ slightly. To quickly recap, there are three different Contract types your squad can pursue by picking up an associated computer tablet out in the world. These computer tablets are most often found at landmarks and in supply crates and you can see them on your map with an associated symbol depending on their type:
- Recon Contract: These Contracts are marked with a flag icon and involve moving to a specific location and capturing it by standing in a designated ring (similar to capturing points in Modern Warfare’s Domination mode). Just note that activating a Recon capture point sends up a flare which can be seen by nearby enemy players, so if possible have multiple squad members standing in the ring to increase the capture rate.
- Scavenger Contract: This Contract type is denoted with a magnifying glass symbol and sends your squad to open three supply crates spread across a designated area. The next supply crate in the sequence won’t appear until you open the previous one. You earn rewards for each crate opened, though naturally the best rewards are saved for the third and final crate.
- Bounty Contract: For these Contracts you’ll want to look out for a targeted crosshairs icon. As their name infers, Bounty Contracts involve hunting down and eliminating a rival squad of players. When you pick the Contract up, the first player’s location will appear on your map, and if you successfully kill them the bounty will shift to the next player in the squad. Eliminate all three players and the Contract is complete.
Since this is a guide on operating as a mostly passive Plunder player, Scavenger and Recon Contracts will naturally be your bread and butter. Both Contract types align perfectly with the overall strategy of moving around from location to location, and while Contracts can grant tangible benefits in Battle Royale (such as seeing where the next safety circle will be), they’re mainly worth doing in Plunder for their large guaranteed cash payouts.
Your squad should be working on a Contract as often as they can, and if possible you should let the location of a new Contract dictate where you travel to next. Completing multiple Contracts is important not only because they each award cash but also because every completed Contract ups your squad’s Contract Bonus multiplier. The Contract Bonus multiplier increases the amount of cash and XP earned from each completed Contract, making it very much in your best interest to complete multiple successive Contracts as quickly as you can.
Oh, and while this pacifist strategy involve not engaging enemy players unless absolutely necessary, that doesn’t meant Bounty Contracts are entirely useless. If you find yourself in a situation where the only nearby Contract you can reach is a Bounty, you might as well grab it. If nothing else, you’ll at least know the general whereabouts of a nearby enemy squad and can thus more easily avoid them while travelling (or be better prepared if you cross paths).
The Big Push
As counter-intuitive as it may sound, you’ll want to amass cash quickly during the early game, but not too quickly. This is because the three squads with the most cash are displayed as permanent map bounties at all times, and it’s a little hard to live the nomadic lifestyle if other squads are constantly gunning for you.
The gauge in the bottom left corner of your HUD shows both your squad’s current cash total and that of the first place squad. Every squad can technically “win” in Plunder by reaching the $1 million goal so if you don’t mind not coming in first place, maintaining a healthy distance behind the top squad can help you keep roaming and looting in peace.
When it comes to depositing your cash, you should also avoid cash deposit helipads as much as you can. These helipads are some of the biggest and most frequent hot zones in Plunder since squads are constantly looking to not only deposit their own cash but also ambush and rob would-be depositors.
Unless you’re under fire and have to get your cash out ASAP, it’s usually a better strategy to have one or two members of your squad buy a cash deposit balloon from a Buy Station. Sure, buying the balloons costs some cash and the balloons themselves have a very slow recharge time, but it’s a better alternative than trying to call in a helicopter and losing all your cash to a sudden enemy ambush.
The same rules usually (but not always) apply to the airplane-delivered cash drop packages which are periodically dropped into the match. Squads tend to swarm on these cash drops pretty quickly, but a cash drop might be worth pursuing if it happens to drop in near your current location. Just make sure you secure the drop and then make a fast exit, ideally with a vehicle.
If you can reach $1 million cash before the final two-minute bonus round begins, so much the better. If, however, the bonus round starts (either because another squad reached $1 million or the match’s half-hour timer is almost up) and you’re still a little short, there are some things you can do to give your squad a last-minute boost.
First, if you can, try to wait on completing an in-progress Contract until after the bonus timer starts. The bonus round increases all cash payouts and if you’ve already completed a few Contracts and thus boosted your Contract Bonus you can make some pretty significant gains by completing Contracts during the two-minute bonus round period. Attempting to take down one of the NPC attack choppers which enter the map during the bonus round is another tactic to consider, just make sure you have the proper loadouts (rocket launchers, LMG’s, the FMJ perk, etc.) and that there aren’t any nearby enemy squads gunning for the same chopper.
Operating as a pacifist Plunder player can take some getting used to, but it’s also a totally viable way to play. If you’re more of a laid-back Warzone fan who prefers to focus on goals rather than racking up kills, the pacifist strategy is definitely the way to go. Just keep up with the Contracts, watch your squad’s six, and you’ll be reaching that $1 million goal in no time.