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The Ultimate Guide to Call of Duty‘s Free-for-All Game Mode

What is Call of Duty‘s Free-for-All Game Mode?

Call of Duty‘s Free-for-All mode, also referred to as FFA or Deathmatch, is a fast-paced multiplayer game mode featured in every major Call of Duty title since 2003. In Free-for-All, you are pitted against 5-8 other players in an all-out battle royale where the goal is to score the most kills. It‘s an intense lone wolf experience that relies purely on your individual skill and reflexes.

A Brief History of Call of Duty‘s Free-for-All

Free-for-All has been thrilling Call of Duty fans ever since the original Call of Duty launched. Back then it was referred to as "Deathmatch" and maintained largely the same rules we still see today – spawn on a map and eliminate your enemies before they take you out, with the player having the most kills at the end winning.

While innovations have been made over the years, such as larger player counts and customizable loadouts, the core exhilarating Free-for-All experience has persisted for over 15 years across Call of Duty titles. It‘s a classic mode that never gets old.

How Free-for-All Gameplay Works

Free-for-All presents a unique lone wolf experience unlike other Call of Duty multiplayer modes. Here‘s a quick rundown of how it works:

  • 6 to 8 players battle independently in a frantic fight to 20, 30 or 40 kills depending on mode settings
  • No teams. It‘s every player for themselves trying to score the most kills
  • Matches end after time limit or first player reaches kill limit
  • All players can utilize the full arsenal of weapons, equipment and perks to their advantage
  • Radar and nameplates help identify enemy locations
  • Fast-paced action on smaller, close-quarters maps
  • Respawn immediately after dying to get right back into the fray

The lack of reliance on teammates combined with rapid respawns creates nonstop adrenaline-pumping action. You need eyes in the back of your head at all times!

Notable Maps and Modes for Free-for-All

The close-quarters chaos of Free-for-All is best suited for smaller multiplayer maps. Here are some all-time favorites:

  • Nuketown – Black Ops staple map with houses and buses for frantic battles
  • Rust – Modern Warfare 2‘s tiny desert map promotes frenetic fights
  • Shipment – Incredibly fast pace on this tiny cargo map from Modern Warfare
  • Firing Range – Medium-sized jungle map from Black Ops is a classic for FFA

Some Call of Duty titles also offer hardcore variants of Free-for-All with lowered health, no radar and increased headshot damage to up the intensity.

Key Tips and Strategies to Dominate Free-for-All

Success in Free-for-All requires sharp reflexes, mastery of movement and map knowledge. Use these pro tips to crush the competition:

Learn Spawns and Map Layouts

  • Study spawn patterns to predict enemy locations
  • Memorize high traffic areas and power positions
  • Know the ins and outs of maps like the back of your hand

Soundwhore Effectively

  • Turn up volume to hear enemy footsteps and weapon fire
  • Good headphones are a must to track foe positions
  • Listen for audio cues to avoid being flanked

Move Efficiently and Tactically

  • Constantly be on the move, never stand still
  • Slide, jump and use cover to make yourself hard to hit
  • Flank enemies by using indirect routes
  • Headglitch and dropshot in gunfights

Remain Unpredictable

  • Vary your routes and strategies, don‘t be obvious
  • Change up positions after kills to keep enemies guessing
  • Use decoys and stuns to confuse foes

Loadouts and Perks for Free-for-All

Since it‘s just you out there, choose your loadouts wisely. Here are ideal setups:

Primary Weapon

  • SMG for speed
  • AR for versatility
  • Sniper if you have great aim


  • Shotgun for close encounters
  • Handgun for finishing off weak enemies


  • Ghost – undetectable by UAVs
  • Dead Silence – quieter footsteps
  • Tracker – see enemy footprints
  • Hardline – scorestreaks faster
  • Lightweight – increased movement speed


  • Stun Grenade – disorient enemies
  • Stim – heal quickly during gunfights
  • Decoy – create distractions

The Allure of Call of Duty Free-for-All

While teamwork is critical in objective modes like Domination, Free-for-All strips away those elements for a pure skill-based shooter experience. Here‘s why FPS fanatics love Call of Duty‘s Free-for-All:

  • Tests your individual reflexes and accuracy
  • Lone wolf experience relies entirely on your capabilities
  • Frantic, edge-of-your seat action from start to finish
  • Satisfaction from winning intense aim duels
  • Having the freedom to use any style or setup you want
  • Nonstop combat with rapid respawns after dying

If you crave pure adrenaline-fueled FPS gameplay, look no further than Call of Duty‘s Free-for-All mode. Now it‘s time to lock and load your favorite gun and jump into the chaos. I‘ll see you in the match!