Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – Special Operations DLC Trophy Guide

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    Trophy Roadmap:

    Difficulty: 4/10
    Estimated time to 100%: 4 hours
    Missable trophies: None
    Glitched trophies: None
    difficulty related: None
    Playthrough: 1


    Welcome to the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) Special Operations DLC Trophy Guide! Remember the good old days of Spec Ops from Modern Warfare 2 and 3? Well, this is what you get in 2019. A poorly designed new version of the classic mode, containing the single, probably hardest trophy in the game.


    Step 1: Complete the four original Special Operations Missions

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    There is only one stage to obtaining the game’s lone DLC trophy: completing the four Spec Ops missions that came with the game.

    • Operation Headhunter
    • Operation Kuvalda
    • Operation Paladin
    • Operation Crosswind

    You’ll be earning this trophy:

    Bronze Liberation

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    Tips and Strategies:

    Special Operations Missions are a bit different from what we are used to from previous Spec Ops modes. Each mission now allows up to four players, and you no longer get stars or pick difficulties. Above all, it is not a good or well-designed game mode. You will constantly come under attack from never-ending waves of enemies, sometimes including two or more Juggernauts, attack helicopters, and even normal enemies wearing body armor. Oh, and the mode is somewhat buggy, with the possibility of players dying for no reason, phasing through walls and floors, and random disconnects.

    To get the last trophy, you need to complete the original four Special Operations Missions. These are found under the top tab in the “Co-Op” section of the main menu. These are different from Survival and Classic Spec Ops. There are no difficulty options to select, but you will absolutely want to have a full four-player team. Each player should have a mic or discord for communication. The mode does have matchmaking and can be done with randoms, even when nobody is using a mic, but this will make things considerably more difficult. If you decide to go at it alone and try your luck with matchmaking, it doesn’t matter if you join a match late, as you will get credit for completing the mission regardless of how much you actually participate.

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    Feel free to complete the other Special Operations if you are a completionist, or want to earn the title, emblem, and operator rewards some of them provide.

    Preventing squad wipes

    One of the most important strategies to keep in mind while playing this mode is how to avoid a squad wipe. If everyone on the team goes down, you will fail the mission and have to restart from the last checkpoint, if the mission has one. However, if at least one player stays alive while the rest of the team dies, everyone else will respawn after 60 seconds. You can exploit this system by having one player hide in a corner far away from combat with a riot shield. The shield is indestructible, so as long as that player stays hidden and hides behind the shield, it should give the rest of the team enough time to respawn. This tactic is almost necessary to complete Operation Headhunter and makes Kuvalda and parts of Paladin a lot easier.


    Thankfully, most of the bugs plaguing the mode in its early days are gone, but there is still the possibility of getting screwed over by a glitch. Driveable vehicles can be a little wonky at times, you might phase through the ground on occasion, and the game likes to disconnect players at random intervals for seemingly no reason. There is also the possibility of lag if you don’t have a great connection, which can result in delayed kills and going down. The bugs are mostly minor and not too common, but should be kept in mind while playing.

    Class customization

    Your rank and unlocks from multiplayer carry over into Spec Ops, and any progress you make in Spec Ops will be reflected in the multiplayer. Therefore, it is recommended to make 1 or 2 custom classes specifically fit for the Spec Ops mode. Perks will be slightly different in Spec Ops, offering different benefits. Smoke grenades are unbelievably useful, as they obscure the enemy’s view and slow their advance, making defensive sections of all missions a little easier. It’s not a bad idea for each player to have a custom class with the riot shield as their primary, as this will give them a class to help prevent a squad wipe, should it become necessary. Otherwise, here are some suggestions for classes:

    • Prevent squad wipe: Riot Shield, either the R9-0 or Origin 12 Shotgun, EOD for perk 1, Overkill for perk 2, Amped or Battle Hardened for perk 3, Claymores, Smoke Grenade.
    • Heavy Gunner: PKM, RPG or your favorite Handgun, Kill Chain or Quick Fix for perk 1, Restock for perk 2, any perk 3 except  Tracker, Frag Grenade, Smoke Grenade.
    • Light Gunner: MP5 or Aug, your favorite handgun, Scavenger or Quick Fix for perk 1, Restock or Hardline for perk 2, any perk 3 except Tracker, Frag Grenade, Smoke Grenade.

    Ultimately, your class selection boils down to whatever weapons you have unlocked and feel most comfortable with. The classes above are just a few potential suggestions used by the author while going for the trophy. Weapons are constantly being changed and rebalanced, so there is no guarantee anyone weapon will be the best for this mode for a long period of time. Stick with what you know best.


    At the time of writing, there are six roles you can pick. Each one grants the player an active ability that can be used whenever it is fully charged by holding +, as well as a passive ability that is active for the entire game. The roles are as follows:
    Active Ability
    Ability Description
    Recharge Rate
    Passive Ability
    Ability Description
    Team Armor
    Gives everyone on the team full armor
    Launcher Ammo +
    Doubles launcher ammo
    Recon Drone
    Remote-controlled drone that you can use to mark enemies
    Steady Aim
    All weapons have very low recoil
    Thermite Launcher
    Grenade launcher with thermite rounds
    Scavenge Grenades
    Can pick up grenades from fallen enemies
    Team Revive
    Instantly revive all down (but not dead) teammates
    Quick Revive
    Revive players faster
    Team Stopping Power
    Gives everyone stopping power ammo that does more damage
    Fast Reload
    Reload weapons much faster
    EMP Drone
    Launch and control a drone that can disable enemy equipment and vehicles
    Armor Piercing
    Do more damage to armored targets and vehicles
    What role you choose is up to you. Medic is probably the most useful since it allows you to revive players faster, and has a stellar primary ability, though it recharges very slowly. Heavy and Assault aren’t bad but neither should be used by more than one player on the team. Engineer might be useful on Paladin and Headhunter to help take out the vehicles and Juggernauts on those missions but isn’t that useful otherwise. Recon and Demolition are pretty much useless.


    As you play Special Operations, you will earn points that can be used to buy special equipment called Munitions. They are very similar to multiplayer killstreaks. You can select up to three to begin a game with, and they can be called in at any time. You can also pick up munitions at random places around each level, though you generally won’t find anything better than Precision Airstrikes. At the time of writing there are 15 munitions items:

    Ammo CrateFreePlace a crate containing 4 ammo refills
    Armor CrateFreePlace a crate containing 4 armor refills
    Grenade Crate
    FreePlace a crate containing 4 grenade refills
    Trophy System
    100 points
    Deploys the multiplayer trophy system that can destroy 3 projectiles/pieces of equipment
    Deployable Cover
    100 points
    Place a piece of deployable cover you can crouch behind
    200 points
    Reveals enemy locations for 30 seconds
    Shield Turret
    250 points
    Deployable, non-automated turret with a face shield
    Cluster Strike
    300 points
    Signals a series of cluster mortars to hit the location marked with a laser designator
    Cruise Missile
    400 points
    Long-range missile that can boost or be exploded prematurely
    Precision Airstrike
    400 points
    Planes marked by binoculars strafe the area with bombs and miniguns
    Respawn Flare500 pointsImmediately respawn a dead teammate
    Sentry Gun500 pointsDeployable, automated turret
    Juggernaut Suit1000 pointsEquip a Juggernaut suit complete with a minigun and highly resistant armor, the minigun is dropped when the Juggernaut dies
    Chopper Gunner3000 pointsControl a helicopter equipped with a powerful machine and missiles
    Gunship3500 pointsControl all three weapons on an AC130 gunship
    Some of the later operations are very difficult to complete without using some of the higher-level items such as sentry guns and Juggernaut suits. It would be a good idea to coordinate purchases with your teammates so you don’t all end up wasting points. There is little to no need to call in the Chopper Gunner or Gunship due to their extremely high cost, so rely on the sentry guns and Juggernauts for the toughest parts of each operation.

    Note: the trophy was unobtainable before patch 1.07. If you completed the four operations before installing the patch, you will need to complete Operation Headhunter again to unlock the trophy.

    Trophy Guide:

    Complete all Special Operations missions.

    You will earn this trophy upon completion of the four original Special Operations Missions: Headhunter, Kuvalda, Paladin, and Crosswind. This is probably the toughest trophy in the entire game, but with a good team, it is pretty manageable. Tips and tricks for the overall game mode are in the tips section above. Below you will find strategies and walkthroughs for each of the required missions.

    Operation Crosswind

    Crosswind is probably the easiest of the four and is definitely the shortest. The beginning of the mission can be completed in stealth, so you can try to go for headshots and kill with a suppressed weapon. Your goal is to get to the roof of the parking garage and disrupt the enemy communications array. You will have to do the same thing inside of the airport, only you will now be cornered in a small room, and at least one Juggernaut will show up. The team should rely on smoke grenades and shield turrets to get through this section.

    With the comms arrays down, you will have to go onto the tarmac and enter a large plane. Getting into the plane isn’t too hard if you ride in on an ATV, but you will have to hold out inside until everyone gets there.

    This will begin the second part of the mission. You will have three minutes to clear the plane and retrieve a nuclear core. This is more than enough time, with the only tough part being a Juggernaut that spawns on the other side of a door that you breach with an explosive. Pick up the core and jump out of the plane for the final part of the mission.

    In the final area, you have to get the core to the extraction helicopter. Enemies will spawn infinitely, so it is best for the entire team to rush to the extraction site as quickly as possible. Once everyone is on the helicopter the mission will end.

    Credit to Space 1776 for the video.

    Operation Kuvalda

    Kuvalda is also relatively short and easy once you know what you’re doing. At the beginning of the mission, you will want to kill a few enemies in the guard towers near the primary objectives. This is the first mission where you may want to have someone hiding in a safe spot to stay alive and prevent a squad wipe; these towers, as well as the tall red radio towers, work perfectly for that objective. The player in the tower can either try to provide overwatch or just hide with a riot shield in case everyone else goes down.

    The rest of the team will complete a data transfer, then be tasked with locating and tagging nine crates around the compound. In the storage room, barracks, and warehouse, you will find a computer with a bunch of files. Hidden in one of the files on each computer is a shipping manifest that will give barcodes for three nearby crates. You will need to find those crates and tag them. The crates you need to tag are random, but thankfully a prompt will appear when you hover over the tag of a specific crate you need to mark. Throughout this mission, you will constantly be attacked by waves of infantry, sometimes arriving by helicopter. You may come under attack from a Juggernaut or helicopter, but most of the enemies are simple foot soldiers.

    Once you mark all the crates, head to the control tower and press the button to access a nearby hanger. Inside, you will need to tag some missiles, which will trigger the extraction point at the other end of the runways. It is best to take the two tanks inside the hanger, as each holds two players, and use those to reach the extraction. There will be a few trucks and a lot of enemies, but nothing too tough, so just hold out for a few moments until the helicopter arrives and board it to complete the mission.

    Credit to Space 1776 for the video.

    Operation Paladin

    Paladin is where things start to get tough. Aside from a section where you have to protect a friendly APC to avoid an instant mission failure, the last part of the mission is loaded with hundreds of enemies and way too many Juggernauts.

    The first third of the mission is pretty simple, just requiring you to hack a console, locate a nearby HVT, get them to an extraction point, and defend that area for two minutes. All the enemies in this section are normal soldiers, so they aren’t too hard to kill, but will attack in groups of 10-20 during the final part. Turrets work well here but are better saved for the end of the mission.

    The second part of the mission will have you defending a friendly APC as it drives down a street into a parking lot. There will be a lot of RPG enemies inside each building you pass, and constantly respawning RPG enemies on the rooftops. During this section, focus most of your energy on the RPG enemies, as the regular soldiers won’t do anything to the APC. If it gets destroyed, you will fail the mission and have to restart from the beginning of this section. Try not to use any special equipment here, as you will need it more in the end. As long as you kill most of the RPG guys quickly you should be fine, as the APC can take quite a few hits.

    The final part of the mission tasks you with defending three crates inside and outside of one of the buildings. This is where the mission becomes brutal, as you will be attacked by infinite waves of enemies and tons of Juggernauts. The first crate will be attacked by enemies on mounted machine guns and standard foot soldiers, the difficulty due to enemies spawning from literally every direction. However, you can definitely have one player camp on top of one of the nearby buildings to stay alive and prevent a squad wipe. Feel free to use any airstrike based equipment for this crate. After 2 minutes, the next crate will appear inside the building.

    The second crate is a serious problem, as enemies will spawn infinitely and a couple of Juggernauts will almost certainly spawn. Everyone should have smoke grenades, to create a constant smoke cloud and slow the enemies down. Every player can hide in the back part of the warehouse to limit the directions enemies come from, but some will inevitably make it through the smoke to your position. You could potentially have someone remain hidden on top of the building to prevent a squad wipe, but a better strategy is to use sentry guns and shield turrets, or Juggernaut suits, to make your way through this section.

    The final crate is outside the back of the building. You will need to destroy a couple of tanks, as well as hold off all the waves of enemies, which will include multiple Juggernauts. One player should hide inside the truck that you are defending, while the others should use turrets, Juggernaut suits, and airstrikes to thin out the enemies. This ultimately comes down to the skill of each individual player, what equipment they decide to purchase for the crate defense, and a little bit of luck. If you successfully protect the third crate, you can head to the extraction helicopter and complete the mission.

    Credit to Space 1776 for the video.

    Operation Headhunter

    If you didn’t like Paladin, then you really won’t enjoy Headhunter. This mission is really long and brings in tons of Juggernauts, as well as tanks and helicopter gunships.

    The start of the mission isn’t anything new, just find and kill six enemy commanders and take data from their bodies. Next, you will be sent to the stadium to hack five consoles. At each one, you will have to stand nearby and defend against huge swarms of enemies. There will be normal foot soldiers, enemies with body armor, snipers, RPGs, and some Juggernauts. It is highly recommended to have at least one player on the team spawn as a Juggernaut during the later consoles, due to the sheer number of enemies. The more players surrounding a console, the faster the hack will go. You will also get a checkpoint as you reach the stadium.

    After hacking and destroying the third console, you will be attacked by half a dozen tanks, and regular enemies will not stop spawning. However, you will also gain access to an AC130, which one player gets to take control of for about two minutes. The player in the gunship should find a safe place a bit away from the battle and use the gunship to destroy all the tanks. They have unlimited ammo and more than enough time to wipe out the tanks, but if they die, the gunship portion ends. If some tanks survive, you will have to take them out in another way, the best option being airstrikes, cluster bombs, and RPGs.

    Once you manage to hack all five consoles, an enemy gunship will appear and need to be destroyed. It can be brought down with an LMG without too much difficulty, or with a rocket launcher if anyone is carrying a Strela or Javelin. After taking out the gunship, your extraction will arrive near the 5th console.

    Now, this is all easier said than done, as the never-ending waves of enemies will constantly drain your ammo, special abilities, and items. In general, the faster you can complete the mission, the fewer chances you will have to screw up and run completely out of options to attack. Thankfully, you can use the strategy of having one person hide far away from the battle to prevent a squad wipe. You should have this player stay on the roof of the starting building with a sniper rifle, rocket launcher, and claymores. They can provide a bit of long-range support, safely use the gunship, and take out the final helicopter pretty easily. However, this player will occasionally be attacked by suicide bombers and possibly a Juggernaut, so plant the claymores in the staircase as an early warning. You can go back down to the starting room to get ammo, though this puts you at risk of being killed or the game timing you out. You could also have someone after they die, parachute onto the stadium after respawning, as they should be safe there.

    Credit to Space 1776 for the video.


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