The Black Hat is a tactical equipment featured in Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Call of Duty: Black Ops III and Call of Duty Online. It allows the player to hack enemy equipment and scorestreaks by either destroying it or converting it for the hacker's personal use.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II
- "Hack equipment and care packages, or disable enemy vehicles."
- — Create-A-Class Description.
The Black Hat can be used to hack Shock Charges, Claymores, C4, Bouncing Betties, Tactical Insertions, and Trophy Systems instantly, converting the enemy equipment into the player's own, making them hostile to enemy players including its previous owner, with the exception of Tactical Insertion, as it is destroyed as soon as it is hacked. In addition, the equipment can be hacked through walls. There is also a limited but considerably long range on hacking player scorestreaks that are on the ground (e.g. Guardians, Sentry Guns, Dragonfires and A.G.R.s), but an infinite range while hacking an enemy scorestreak that is airborne, such as the UAV, Stealth Chopper, Escort Drone, Warthog, Counter-UAV and VTOL Warship. Hacking such scorestreaks will only destroy them, not convert them and some will need two Black Hats to destroy while others will need three. The Black Hat can also be used to hack care packages.
If hacking a scorestreak that uses flares, the Black Hat will detonate the flares and not destroy the scorestreak, requiring a second (or third, depending on the scorestreak) one to be used. If a player calls in a care package and uses the Black Hat to capture it, it will be almost instantaneous. If the player uses the Black Hat on an enemy Care Package, it will be booby trapped and the player receive the owner's scorestreak. The hacker will see the box change into a dark red color as a result. The owner can determine if his Care Package is hacked by looking at the Scorestreak icon above the box: if it changes, for example, from a Sentry Gun into a Guardian, then the player will know it was hacked and avoid it, but only if it is noticed. The Black Hat is also very useful in capturing Care Packages that have gotten stuck on a roof, landed off the boundaries of the map, or ended up in areas where capturing it in person is difficult or impossible. A very clever tactic is to throw a care package far outside of the map boundaries where it cannot be reached manually, then hack it. This way, it is nearly impossible for it to be stolen unless teammates or enemies have a Black Hat themselves, but even then, it will be unlikely as they cannot capture the crate as fast as the owner can. However, be sure to keep the care package within a reasonable distance and out in the open, or else it will be too far away to hack or behind cover. This can also be helpful if the helicopter that delivers the care package is shot down before it reaches map boundaires. This can be common on maps with water surrounding it, or steep drops, like Hijacked.
Before the 1.04 patch, the player could capture a friendly Care Package crate almost instantly with a Black Hat, faster than the owner could without. Since then, it has been patched for the sake of balance.
Obviously, the Tier 3 perk Engineer is extremely beneficial to compliment the Black Hat, as it can detect enemy equipment through walls and ceilings and floors to kill unsuspecting enemies or to clear a booby-trapped area. Such examples are destroying a Guardian or a Sentry Gun in a high-traffic area or hacking lethal and tactical equipment to benefit the player or their team.
The Black Hat will work through walls to a degree. Equipment revealed through walls via Engineer can be hacked, though one must be at a range of 18.75 meters or less. There is also a drawback to hacking equipment, as it is announced to the enemy when their equipment is hacked. Enemy scorestreaks can be hacked through buildings and walls as well, though one must have a direct line of sight when the Black Hat is first used and must maintain a good estimation of where the target is when out of sight. This is useful on such things as UAVs, as they may fly behind a building in the middle of the hacking process. Roughly following where it is through the obstacle will not interrupt the hacking process.
Call of Duty: Black Ops III
The Black Hat is a tactical that appears in Call of Duty: Black Ops III. Like in Call of Duty: Black Ops II, it is used to hack enemy scorestreaks and equipment, though hacked scorestreaks now transfer ownership instead of being destroyed. To balance this, they take longer to hack. Enemy equipment also cannot be hacked through walls anymore.
Some scorestreaks require a single hack to assume ownership, where others require one hack to breach the firewall, and a second one to assume ownership. Enemy equipment can be hacked nearly instantly, however.
Some scorestreaks can be hacked rapidly but are difficult to get a lock on, such as the HC-XD and Dart, and some other scorestreaks would be quick hacks if its movement wasn't so fast, like a Rolling Thunder drone or the Wraith.
The Power Core's active time is so short, it is not possible to hack it without assistance from a teammate or another player.
Scorestreaks that require one hack are:
- Care Package - will not assume ownership, just destroy the delivery aircraft. One can acquire their care package by hacking the delivered crate.
- Rolling Thunder
Scorestreaks that require two hacks are:
- R.A.P.S. - can hack the deploy ship, or single drones.
- GI Unit
- Power Core (Requires 2 players)
- Hardened Sentry
The greater the score needed to acquire a scorestreak the longer it takes to hack. The Black Hat shows a signal strength wave, the greater the amplitude of the wave; the better the connection, and therefore the faster the hack. The signal strength can be increased by aiming directly at center of the target reticle.
- The name "black hat" is used in reference to black hat hacking, a practice where computer hacking is used for malicious purposes.
- The original Black Hat appears in Black Ops III in the Emblem Editor and Paintshop as one of the emblems available. It's referred to in-game as simply "PDA".