FPS fans around the world rejoiced as Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 finally went live, but an overpowered exploit via an in-game emote risks spoiling some of the early fun. Treyarch’s highly-anticipated first-person shooter hasn’t even been playable for 24 hours yet, but savvy players have figured out a straightforward method that enables “peeking,” allowing them to spot players around corners and from great distances.
It would be one thing if utilizing a method like this was being used to give players a leg up through their experience of a single-player campaign, but Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 bucked certain conventions by establishing itself as a multiplayer-only game from the start. That means that any use of this exploit essentially impacts the experience of everyone playing Black Ops 4.
And how exactly does this exploit work? VG247 reports that using the Sitting Bull emote allows player to hide behind cover, shrink their active hit-box, and zoom the controllable camera out into a third-person view, enabling them to select a safe hiding spot from which they can readily seek out targets in the distance. Using an emote in a game like this isn’t anything new, nor is the aspect of emotes transitioning to a third-person mode (see games like Overwatch and Sea of Thieves, among many others), but the Sitting Bull emote is a specific type which doesn’t revert back to first-person on its own, which means players can use it to lie in wait indefinitely to ambush their enemies, even while avoiding direct line of sight.
Exploits and maneuvers like this one crop up in multiplayer games, but it’s notable that this particular one emerged so quickly in Black Ops 4’s first active hours. Additionally, emotes were one of several mechanics that were unavailable in the playable beta of the game – had they been, there’s a strong chance that a cheap tactic like this could have been discovered and corrected prior to launch day.
To speculate, there’s numerous simple fixes for the Sitting Bull emote: the animation length could be abbreviated, the camera could be locked down during the animation, or the emote could just be removed entirely. Regardless, Treyarch has yet to comment on the discovery, though increased awareness of it will all but assure that something will be done.
All that being said, the more people find out about the Sitting Bull emote exploit, the more that they can wield it against each other to even out the playing field. Here’s hoping that Black Ops 4’s Blackout mode doesn’t just transform into 100 players sitting behind cover waiting for someone else to make the first move.