‘Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’ Alpha Start And End Times, Maps And Modes — And How To Play

Today gamers will be able to give the next Call Of Duty game a spin and see how it compares to the wildly popular Modern Warfare.

The Black Ops Cold War Open Alpha kicks off today, though only for PlayStation 4. Since it’s an Open Alpha, you don’t need to have pre-ordered the game to join in and you don’t need PS Plus.

Pre-loading the 25GB file began last night so you can hop onto the PlayStation Store and start downloading right now.

Here are the start and end dates and times:

Start-Date — September 18th

  • 10 am PDT
  • 1 pm EDT
  • 6 pm BST

End-Date — September 20th

  • 10 am PDT
  • 1 pm EDT
  • 6 pm BST


The Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Open Alpha includes both traditional 6 vs 6 maps and the new vehicle-centric Combined Arms mode and maps.

For the 6 vs 6 maps, three modes will be available: Team Deathmatch (TDM), Kill Confirmed and Domination. For the latter of the three, Treyarch has introduced new, larger capture zones which should be interesting.

These modes can be played across two maps:


This is a night map that takes place in the neon-drenched streets of Miami, right down on the beach. The official description from Treyarch reads:

“A prison transport vehicle has been intercepted by Perseus through hired DGI forces, with CIA forces arriving to take them out in the heat of Miami’s South Beach.

“Amid art-deco architecture and neon lights, Operators battle between various buildings, in the streets, and on a stretch of the beachfront itself. Various rooftops and windows act as prime longshot spots for sharpshooters who can take advantage of vistas across empty streets and beaches.

“Meanwhile, Operators can weave in-and-out of vacated tourist traps in close-quarters combat, using parts of a parking garage or the beachfront to flank enemy combatants.”


This is a cool-looking desert map that takes place in the Angolan desert at the scene of a crashed satellite. Treyarch’s description reads:

“First teased in the Black Ops Cold War Reveal trailer, Satellite is set in an Angolan desert where a KH-9 American-made satellite has been downed.

“Soviet and American forces arrive on a battlefield devoid of any man-made structures, save for the satellite in question at mid-map. Other than this cover-heavy central point, the map’s rocky outcroppings and archways provide numerous flanking routes and plenty of cover.

“Alternatively, the natural sand dunes on the opposite side of the map are a perfect territory for snipers, at the expense of any meaningful protection from aerial Scorestreaks or a cross-map high-caliber bullet.”

Combined Arms: Domination

This is the Ground War of Black Ops Cold War, but unlike that mode it’s not quite as big team, limiting sides to 12 players each. The mode takes place on larger maps and uses Tanks, Snowmobiles, Wakerunners and Gunboats (among other vehicles). In Combined Arms: Domination players will take points similar to regular Domination. This mode will also have two maps.


This is a ship-based map where players compete across multiple ships, making use of water craft and long sight-lines. The description:

“It’s 1984, and U.S. and Soviet forces are battling it out in the North Atlantic Ocean in search of a prototype nuclear submarine.

“Competing squads will take to the high seas with skirmishes on multiple ships, utilizing ziplines, rappel lines, and various seacraft to navigate the rough waters below.

“The central ship is a hotspot for combat of all forms, from CQB battles in control stations, to sniper duels with adjacent ships, to aquatic warfare that may take place below the surface. Be sure to explore every nook and cranny of the map to discover new entryways to each objective point, and keep your head on a swivel.”


This is a winter map, taking place in the middle-of-nowhere USSR during a NATO ambush of a Soviet convoy. The description:

“In the middle of the frozen Soviet wilderness, NATO forces have ambushed a large military convoy comprised of mobile ICBM launchers.

“Tanks and Snowmobiles will help operatives plow over this snowy tundra’s banks and groves, both of which could be temporary homes to sharpshooters looking for longshot opportunities.

“Those planning out their strategy for victory should consider wresting control of the communications station, the lone structure that stands at the dead center of the iced-over lake. Or, for those looking to flank the enemy team, try braving the rickety bridge that spans over a deadly chasm… if you’re not afraid of heights, that is.”

Scorestreaks, Gunsmith, Create-A-Class

On top of new modes and maps to try out, players will get a glimpse of the other systems Treyarch has included in Black Ops Cold War. This includes the return of the Gunsmith system from Modern Warfare—something that was sort of inevitable given that the two games share the free-to-play Warzone, something I’m still not sure about in terms of how it’s all going to work. For instance, Treyarch has changed the jump-to-run movement system slightly. Will that change be present in Warzone now?

In any case, the new Gunsmith, Create-A-Class and Scorestreak systems will be in place during the Alpha. Scorestreaks replace Killstreaks and are calculated in a new and slightly complex way, with multipliers added for kills that can boost points you earn for objective play. New Field Upgrades will also be available as well as Wild Cards.

This isn’t your last chance to play Cold War before launch. The game’s two Beta weekends land in October. I’ll be playing the alpha today and this weekend and will report back with impressions and some gameplay footage. Stay tuned . . .

Latest posts