The Theater Mode, also known as simply Theater, is a feature introduced in Call of Duty: Black Ops and was also included in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. It was added into Call of Duty Online via an update on October 9th, 2016. It allows the player to record clips, piece them together and then upload them to their in-game file share and to the web. In Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Call of Duty: Black Ops III, players are able to watch their Zombies matches in Theater mode. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 also allows theater mode to be used to view Blackout matches.
The theater allows users to save gameplay, take screenshots and fast forward, pause, slow down, or rewind the videos. It also allows playback of the game from any perspective of the map, similar to how the Spectator Mode works. It is not on the Wii version of the game, due to technical limitations. It allows the player to upload their clip to YouTube and callofduty.com. However, they must link their account on callofduty.com to do so. On PC, it can be disabled, which improves the latency while playing online.
To upload a video, one must go to www.callofduty.com/blackops and select Theater (note: this does not work since release of BO3).
2. Next, (if the player doesn't already have an account on www.callofduty.com) they must log in or create an account.
3. After the player has logged in he/she will need to link their account.
4. To do this the player must either click the Xbox LIVE logo or PSN logo and they should be linked up to their Online account.
5. If the player wants his/her rendered videos to upload automatically to his/her YouTube account he/she must click "Link your Youtube Account".
6. The player will then be led to a page on YouTube asking them to "Allow Access" for callofduty.com.
- In order to render a clip to callofduty.com, the clip published must be 29 seconds or less.
- Sometimes on maps like WMD, the train cars will go into each other when rewinding a clip.
- On certain occasions when rewinding a clip, the helicopters' rotor blades will not appear.
- Viewing a clip in theater mode with a friend in Call of Duty: Black Ops unlocks the Date Night achievement/trophy.
- When rendering a clip, it may appear different from the original gameplay (i.e. sniper scope will not appear when the player recently reloaded).
- In Modern Warfare 3, killcams can be viewed in theater mode. However, this is not the case in Black Ops and Black Ops II.
- Modern Warfare 3 removes several of the theater mode's options from Black Ops. The player cannot use dolly cameras, cannot disable HUD features, cannot view other players in first-person, the player is forced to view the recorder's killcam, regardless of whether or not the player is viewing that player, and the player can't view or rate community films, clips, screenshots, and custom games; only friends'.
- Similarly, Black Ops III also removes some features present in Black Ops II. The player cannot attach to objects and, in Zombies mode, the point counter, challenge completed icons and icons seen when initially collecting a power-up will appear even if the player has the HUD disabled.
- No matter if the player has linked their accounts, they must link them again to share Modern Warfare 3 clips.
- In Theater Mode, if the player has prestiged at least once, a level-up will show the standard rank icon instead of the Prestige.
- One cannot rewind while recording a clip.
- In Call of Duty: Black Ops III, if a player is shown earning a Specialist Ability in a match viewed in Theater Mode it will always indicate the default buttons must be pressed to use it, even if the player has changed their button layout.