- "Manage your health and inventory in order to survive. Only Elite Specialist accept this challenge."
- — In game description
Specialist is a difficulty introduced in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. It is the second highest difficulty in the game. It is unlocked after completing the game on any difficulty. Completion of this difficulty unlocks the difficulty #YOLO, as well as the DMR-1 for use in the campaign.
Injuries and Nano Shot
During gunfights, the player does not regenerate health. Enemy attacks also cause damage to specific parts of the body: Chest, Left arm, Right Arm, and Legs. Damage to each part imparts different penalties;
- Damage to the chest causes overall accuracy decrease.
- Damage to the left arm disables all equipment (except Nano Shot), aiming down the sight and melee attack.
- Damage to the right arm causes extreme visual sway while aiming down the sight. The actual crosshair center however is not largely affected, and will hit enemies wherever it aimed.
- Damage to the legs hinder movements in general.
All body part damage and health damage alike can be fully healed with a Nano Shot. Nano Shot occupies the lethal equipment slot, and up to four can be carried at a time. During dogfights, the Jackal's hull integrity will automatically regenerate. Entering the Jackal (transiting to different phase of mission) automatically regenerates the player's health.
The Helmet is a piece of equipment that gradually sustains damage when shot at, gradually hampering the vision with cracks before finally breaking (returning vision back to normal briefly). Helmets are the player's only protection from headshots and are required to breathe in space, else risking headshots (denoted by a special death animation) and suffocation (shown as gradually blurring vision).
Helmet occupies the non-lethal equipment slot, and up to two helmets can be carried at a time. Entering the Jackal (transiting to different phase of mission) automatically gives the player 1 free helmet.
During the battle, weapons are not automatically reloaded when an ammo runs out; all reloads must be done manually with the reload button.
During gunfights, a player's weapon can be shot out of their hands by enemy fire. In which case the player must catch it to return it to their hand, lest the weapon be dropped, forcing the player to switch to their sidearm.
During dogfights, Jackal auto lock-on is not available. The player must manually aim to fire at enemies.
If the player dies too many times at a particular point of the game, humorous messages written by the developers might appear on the screen. These messages are meant to calm players down and entertain them in case they feel frustrated while playing:
- "Don't worry, we die a lot in this mode too."
- "Just imagine how happy you'll be once you succeed."
One message informs the players about the player who holds the record for the fastest completion of this mode:
- "Salen Kotch holds the record for fastest Specialist Mode completion."
- "Be patient. Remember, no rushin'."