Black Ops 3 Specialist Powers and Weapons Tips and Strategy

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 introduces various classes in the game to choose from. These classes are known as ‘Specialists,’ and each one comes with a unique set of abilities at their disposal.

For more help on Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, read Shadows of Evil Buildable Parts Locations, Shadows of Evil Perks Locations and How to Build Pack a Punch Machine.

Black Ops 3 Specialist Powers and Weapons

Each class is highly unique, and though it doesn’t limit your build and loadout, it certainly does influence it by suiting certain weapons more than others.

Each Specialist has two ‘abilities’ to take use of. One ability is essentially just a unique weapon associated with that specialist. The second ability is a unique special power – either offensive, defensive, or purely utility-based.

Specialists and their respective weapons and abilities unlock like other gear options, so you’ll simply need to reach the appropriate level and spend an unlock token to gain access to the new power.

During combat, your specialist power is shown in the bottom-right corner of the HUD with a circular meter. This meter automatically fills over time, and the process can be sped up by killing enemies. The progress is however lost when you die.

Once an ability is activate, it has a time limit that automatically drains. Weapon-based abilities on the other hand are also limited by ammo, and firing sots drain both your timer and the ammo of the weapon.


War Machine
This is a Grenade Launcher that fires bouncing grenades. These grenades detonate after a few bosses, or immediately when hitting an enemy directly.

This grenade launcher gives you to the ability to instantly clear out crowded places, especially interiors and objective areas.

Most of the times you could probably take out a standard enemy with the War Machine in a single hit, though perks like Flak Jacket and certain Specialist abilities could reduce the impact.

You should activate the War Machine in dense areas where enemy presence is well-known. It also acts as a great way to prevent enemies from accessing a specific area or objective.

Kinetic Armor
The Kinetic Armor is a reactive armor that deflects enemy bullets from the body. It does not however reduce damage from headshots or explosives, so keep that in mind when you engage it.

Kinetic Armor grants you doubled health for a few seconds provided you are being hit on your body and not the head.

It’s an especially useful ability in firefights or 1v1 situations to give yourself the added advantage. You should also consider using it to score an objective or survive distant shots in exposed areas.


The H.I.V.E deploys trap pods that release a deadly swarm of nano-drones whenever enemies are within proximity. This is an indirect offensive weapon, and can easily kill any enemy that comes near the trap.

The H.I.V.E is a fairly easy weapon to use, and has great tactical advantage in defending objectives and important locations on a map. Simply lay down all the pods from the weapon in key locations where you’d expect enemies to be.

The weapon tends to work best when used on ceilings near entrances, doorways, near ledges, and partially hidden areas near objectives.

Rejack is basically reincarnation, or being brought back to life. Though this may sound like an overpowered ability at first, the animation effect is excessively (and deliberately) conspicuous – a very visible green colored cloud appears when you activate it, alerting any enemy close by.

This makes Rejack an opportunistic ability, and one that should be used carefully. It’s useful if you’ve been killed by a sniper who may have changed his/her position, but don’t expect it to be effective when you’ve been mowed down by a close-quarter enemy; they’ll simply shoot you in the face again once you get up.


The Sparrow is a compound bow that fires explosive bolts. The range of these bolts increases the longer it is drawn.

The arc on these bolts when fully drawn is next to zero, making them useful precision weapons. The Sparrow however does have a rather steep learning curve though, as it requires good natural accuracy and understanding of when to use it.

At close ranges, a short draw is sufficient to hit your target, but using the bow for long ranged shooting is both the harder and more rewarding option.

Thankfully, the explosion is large enough that you can use it as a collateral damage weapon. Its explosion is strong enough to kill multiple players in the blast radius, though it is affected by the Flak Jacket perk.

Vision Pulse
This allows you to pulse the surrounding area to reveal enemies within range, including those behind walls. Yeah, this is basically a legalized form of wall-hacking.

It’s important to note that the Ghost perk does not protect anyone against the minimap signature that appears if an enemy uses Vision Pulse. It can even reveal Spectre even if it has Active Camo running.

Note that enemies are not unaware whenever you use the Vision Pulse ability. The power’s pulse shows up on enemy minimaps as well, and it also highlights their screen in red if they were actually tagged by the pulse.

Using Vision Pulse to kill enemies through vulnerable walls is probably the most effective way to use it, so it’s a good idea to combine the ability with heavily penetrating weapons like LMG or FMJ rounds.


The Tempest is a powerful weapon that fires an arc of electricity that lethally shocks the target it hits, and can chain to nearby enemies.

The weapon is essentially a one-shot ‘electrical sniper’ that requires a short recharge time after pulling the trigger. The beam is instantly lethal to anyone, save for Battery with her Kinetic Armor up.

Not only does hit have an insta-kill, it can also chain to other nearby targets. This is an excellent long-ranged weapon, and especially useful against teams and enemies who like to move around in clusters.

This unusual power allows you to flash back to a previous position, basically ‘rewinding time’ but keeping all the variables (health, weapons, ammunition etc.) intact. It’s not an ability that would help you if you’ve already been shot.

It’s a largely defensive ability, but can also work wonderfully well in 1v1 situations where you need additional maneuverability to confuse enemies. It’s also an excellent way to avoid grenades.


It makes no sense that a minigun is named Scythe, but that doesn’t matter, since it’s an extremely powerful weapon. The weapon spins up after a short delay, then releases a lethal and accurate barrage of bullets in your line of fire.

There’s no need to tell anyone of how to use a minigun in a first-person shooter – just aim and fire till whatever you’re firing at is dead.

One disadvantage of the Scythe is its spin-up time, but that too can be mitigated by aiming the weapon, which will automatically start the spin-up without firing.

Psychosis allows you to spawn three decoy clones that run forward to distract enemies. It’s primarily a defensive power that unleashes three clones that will run around randomly.

Both the clones and you become shaded in a blue tinge, making it initially impossible for enemies to differentiate.

The biggest giveaway though is that the clones are extremely stupid, and will often do very little to convince others that they are real players. It’s a good get-away ability at first, but it works only in very specific circumstances, and almost never when it comes to offense.


Gravity Spikes
Gravity Spikes are weapons that create an explosive shockwave when slammed into the ground. This is a devastating AoE attack that can annihilate enemies within the shockwave radius.

There is a delay before the impact though, which means that it can’t exactly be used as an aggressive ability. Instead, either make use of a stealthy build or take the opportunity when enemies are distracted by other players.

Gravity Spikes is also an excellent way of clearing an objective. Just make sure you’re not the focus of enemy fire while using the ability.

Overdrive is a simple yet highly effective ability. It gives you a speed boost for a short period of time. This speed boost has a very large set of benefits, especially in objective-based modes like Uplink and Capture the Flag.

Overdrive is also excellent in straight-up offense. It’s much harder to shoot an enemy who is moving fast, and even harder to kill one who flanks with this ability on.


The Annihilator is a massive high-caliber revolver that fires extremely powerful rounds with very high penetration.

The powerful hand cannon is a one-shot weapon, and rewards those with a steady aim. It certainly is one of the strongest offensive abilities across all ranges in the game. Mastering the use of this powerful weapon can make you a force to be reckoned with.

Combat Focus
Combat Focus is more of a passive ability, as it offers you a bonus to all score that you earn. It’s a highly opportunistic and self-centered ability, and should only be started when you know you’re about to start a scoring run in an objective game mode.

It’s never advised to use this in areas where there is high enemy activity, as it’s going to take a small slip-up to lose the bonus.

Instead, use this move, then perform multiple scoring tasks such as destroying equipment, score-streaks, completing relatively safe objectives, and picking off easy targets.

It’s in every likelihood that such a passive ability was paired with the Annihilator to balance the Seraph specialist, as the magnum is arguably one of the most lethal weapons in the game.


The Ripper power grants you with an instantly lethal melee blade that has an extended lunging range. This is a silent attack, and kills with a single hit, making it an ideal weapon for extremely aggressive rushing players.

Using the Ripper with stealthy perks and playing aggressively is the best way to go. However, it’s an ability that does have a noticeable learning curve, so make sure you practice before using it extensively in the battlefield.

Active Camo
Active Camo is an optical camouflage that makes you extremely difficult to spot. This is an ability that can be used both offensively and defensively, especially being useful for the former.

If you enjoy a stealthy approach to things, you’ll really enjoy the Active Camo. It gives you added advantage when flanking opponents, and also can be an excellent defense in case you’re ambushed.


The Purifier is a powerful flamethrower that can kill enemies almost instantly at short range. It is absolutely lethal indoors or in tight spots near objectives, making it an excellent infiltration weapon.

The Purifier’s greatest limitation is its range, which also means that it is rather ineffective when used out in the open. Its damage can also be slightly resisted by the Flak Jacket perk. Try to stick to enclosed and tighter areas and set ablaze your enemies whenever you spot them.

Heatwave emits a massive spherical blast that stuns enemies within its radius and destroys hostile equipment. It results in enemies having blurred vision and greatly reduced mobility, making them an easy target.

Basically, the Heatwave acts as a combination of a Stun and Flash grenade, and is especially useful in close firefights to stagger multiple enemies. Like the Purifier, its effects are most potent when used in tighter areas where enemies would be cramped up.

Haider is a freelance contributor, who loves video games, playing guitar, and aviation. He is a competitive FPS player and also enjoys exotic RPG games like Diablo and Xenogears (his favorite game of all time) ...