Call of Duty Infinite Warfare Competitive Game Modes Explained

Once upon a time, I said I’d do my best to create more content around Call of Duty, making it easier for newcomers to understand. With that being said, remember how I said I’d explain more about the game modes in another post?

Welcome to that post!

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Main Menu Screen Capture

We’ve reached that time of the year where the new Call of Duty title, Call of Duty WWII, has been announced and everyone is looking forward to its release in November, but there is still a lot of the Infinite Warfare season left to go (The SA season usually ends with the competitions hosted at rAge Expo in October).

I’m going to briefly explain each of the current competitive game modes to you as best I can because remember, I’m not very good at this game, I only know how to watch it, and beat bots (sort of)… It is also good to note that the below only applies to competitive CoD played on console as PC only has one competitive game mode (Search and Destroy). The console game modes are usually game/title specific (meaning that they can change from season to season, but typically stay the same) and for Call of Duty Infinite Warfare, these include Hardpoint, Search and Destroy as well as Uplink. I’m also including Capture the Flag* in this explanation, although it isn’t a competitive game mode for this season.

*Capture the Flag

Exactly like the name suggests, this is all about capturing your opposing team’s flag out of their base and bringing it back to your team’s base to score points. You are also not able to score points while the other team is running around with your flag as well. Keep your flag safe. Steal the enemies flag. Simple stuff, right? Capture the Flag [CTF] is a respawn mode. This basically means when your character is killed, you will respawn back in your team’s base and can push forward to attack again, and again, and again. CTF can be played offensively or defensively depending on the team, but now I’m getting technical. As I already mentioned, however, CTF isn’t a competitive mode this season, but still wanted to include it since it is my personal favourite to watch.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Hard Point Screen Capture


This game mode revolves around securing and defending different highlighted areas on the game map which are known as “hardpoints” (the players refer to them as hills). These rotate and change position at different intervals during the game. How this works is teams gain points for being within the highlighted hardpoint areas. If there are members of both teams in the area at the same time, no points are scored and the area gets marked as “contested”.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Hard Point Screen Capture

Shoot all the enemies in the area to secure it and continue to score points. When the hardpoint locations change, teams need to move to the new “hill” to secure or defend it. This is also a respawn game mode.

Search and Destroy:

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Search And Destroy Screen Capture

SnD is an elimination-based game which means that respawn feature mentioned above is disabled. Basically, if your character is killed, you’re out for the remainder of that round. This makes this game mode a lot slower and more strategic. For those of you who are familiar with how CS: GO works, this is somewhat similar.

Call of Duty®: Infinite Warfare Search and Destroy Screen Capture

The goal is for an attacking team to either take out the defending team or detonate either one of two bomb sites. Usually, this mode is a best-of-eleven rounds, where the first team to six rounds wins. Teams “change sides” after every round, giving them a chance to defend and attack a bomb site.

Call of Duty®: Infinite Warfare Search and Destroy Screen Capture

Although SnD is typically a slower paced game to watch, it usually ends up being more exciting or nerve-wracking (depending on which team you’re supporting). This is because without the respawn, teams can be left with only 1 man standing against a full team of 4, which could become a 1 vs 1 scenario if the player singlehandedly takes down the team on their own. (Trust me, it’s exciting stuff).


Call of Duty®: Infinite Warfare Uplink Screen Capture PS4

Uplink is basically Call of Duty Basketball. The aim is to get the ball (which I have discovered is actually called a satellite drone) to the enemies uplink station (scoring area). The ball is placed in the middle of the map for both teams to try and gain possession of (starting to sound a lot like dodgeball).

Call of Duty®: Infinite Warfare Uplink Screen Capture PS4

Once a player has picked up the ball, they can no longer shoot their weapons but do gain extra health and faster movement speed. They’re not completely helpless however as they can still use their melee attack (gamer lingo for close-combat/punching someone). When the player has the ball, they need to bring it to the uplink station that is near the enemy team’s starting spawn point.

Call of Duty®: Infinite Warfare Uplink Screen Capture PS4

One point is earned if the ball is thrown into the uplink station, while two points are earned if the player holding the ball jumps into the uplink station with it. Teams will switch sides on the map at half-time once the timer runs out.

Call of Duty®: Infinite Warfare Uplink Screen Capture PS4

The ball resets to the starting point if thrown out of the map area, lands in an inaccessible location or is idle for a few seconds.

So those are the 3 game modes you’ll find yourself watching during a Call of Duty Infinite Warfare tournament. In all honesty, I wish I had something like this to read before my first competitive CoD experience back in 2014… You’re welcome 😉

** Shout out to @Origin_Beyond for the screen shots… You’re the real MVP!

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