Specialists are the playable characters in Call of Duty: Black Ops III and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 multiplayer. Each Specialist is designed with a unique voice and personality, as opposed to the generic multiplayer soldiers in previous games.
Call of Duty: Black Ops III
The chosen weapon or ability becomes usable for a short time after the player fills up their power meter; the power meter is filled up automatically over time, but fills up faster through earning score.
Players also can only use one Specialist per match; Specialist selection is done before starting a match. There are a total of nine Specialists, listed below.
There are four Specialists available from level 1; Donnie "Ruin" Walsh, Alessandra "Outrider" Castillo, David "Prophet" Wilkes and Erin "Battery" Baker. He "Seraph" Zhen-Zhen is unlocked at level 22, Tavo "Nomad" Rojas at level 28, Experimental War Robot-115 "Reaper" at level 34, Spectre at level 40, and Krystof "Firebreak" Hejek at level 46. Each can be unlocked by spending an unlock token on either their weapon or ability.
Upon starting multiplayer for the first time a player will be given an unlock token to unlock one of the default four for use, and the game will default to this selection upon prestiging. The last specialist, Danny "Blackjack" Li, can be unlocked via acquiring Mercenary Contracts, by completing Weekly Contracts. Each Mercenary Contract allows the usage of Blackjack for a limited time of one hour per week.
Outside of Specialist abilities and weapons, gameplay is identical for all Specialists. Each Specialist has customizable armor which is purely aesthetic. They each also have unique quotes, sometimes speaking to other Specialists during gameplay or in the beginning of a match.
Because there are no differences in specialist appearances by team nor are there any team based specialists, in order to make it easier for players to spot an enemy all hostile specialists have red lights on their bodies to make it easier to distinguish them from friendlies.
The lights are located in different areas of each specialist but typically are on ammo pouches, shoulders, knee and elbow guards, and on heads. During gameplay all friendly players will have no lights but enemy players will have lights. When an enemy is killed the lights will turn off which can make it hard to distinguish dead players as hostile or friendly.
The following message appears in the Transmissions of each Specialist. It appears to be a teasing towards the Black ops 4 story, involving Savannah Mason-Meyer recruiting specialists:
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??: (clearing throat) "Based on the requirements layed out at the start of this procurement process, I'm certain that the intelligence gathered in the dossiers in front of you will lead you to conclude that the eight referenced individuals will be the best subjects for your program. Further, I believe that the plant you specified be placed amongst them will independently verify my findings. As instructed, the intelligence was gathered covertly, using a number of measures-"
?? 2: "Are you certain they were unaware of your surveillance?"
??: "Yes, sir, I state my reputation."
?? 2: "There's more at stake here than your reputation."
??: "Sir, yes sir."
?? 2: "Very well. Leave us. We were never here. We have never spoken."
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
In Black Ops 4, Specialists make their return. Specialists have an ability for equipping and use during a match that recharge. Teams will be limited to two specialist types. There are a total of fourteen Specialists, listed below.
- Erin "Battery" Baker
- Jarrah "Crash" Bazley
- Kerk "Ajax" Rossouw
- Katsumi "Recon" Kimura
- Kieran "Torque" Mackay
- Donnie "Ruin" Walsh
- Krystof "Firebreak" Hejek
- He "Seraph" Zhen-Zhen
- Tavo "Nomad" Rojas
- David "Prophet" Wilkes
- Leni "Zero" Vogel
- Alessandra "Outrider" Castillo
- Experimental War Robot-115 "Reaper
Throughout the month of October 2018, comic books of the Specialists' origins were released and can be viewed here.
Black Ops III
- In the map Gauntlet, there are displays that feature the Specialists' equipment and outfits.
- There is a display with an unknown Specialist, and the nameplate is scratched out. However, if the player examines the contents of the display, it appears it was intended for Prophet.
- There is also a Specialist display with no Specialist in it, but it has a king of hearts playing card in the display, and the status seen above the display says "Unknown".
- In Kill Confirmed, dog tags display information about the specialist that dropped them.
- Spectre's dog tags are scratched out, since nothing is known about him/her.