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If you’ve played the previous Call of Duty: Ghosts Extinction maps, you might believe you already have the upper hand in the newest episode, “Mayday.” However, you’re in for a surprise. While the basics remain the same, the strategies you’ll need to employ are unique to this mission. Once again, you and up to three allies will battle waves of Cryptids as you drill through enemy hives. Coordinating each player’s loadouts and working together is crucial. Mayday introduces a few new features that set it apart from the previous episode, “Nightfall,” and the prelude that shipped with Ghosts, “Point of Contact.”
In Mayday, the brand-new addition is “Teeth.” You can earn Teeth in various ways, and they can be used to purchase permanent modifiers. On the pre-match loadout screen, you’ll notice a new icon resembling a shark’s tooth on a blood-red patch, indicating the number of Teeth you’ve accumulated. You can earn Teeth by prestiging, playing with difficulty-altering Relics enabled, helping players complete a mission/episode for the first time, and more. The more you play and succeed, the more Teeth you’ll accumulate.
To spend your hard-earned Teeth, select “ARMORY: Get Upgrades” from the loadout menu. There, you’ll find a list of options with prices listed next to them. Use your Teeth to strengthen sentry guns, revive teammates more swiftly, and start with a locker key. However, some upgrades are specific to certain character classes, so prioritize those.
Each of the four character classes possesses a unique upgrade that provides a powerful new ability. These upgrades are costly at 15 Teeth each but are well worth the price. Once purchased, activate them by pressing up on the D-pad twice. Each ability has a brief cooldown period and can be used repeatedly.
- Engineer Upgrade: The engineer class can deploy a temporary stasis field that cryptids cannot enter.
- Medic Upgrade: This upgrade creates a circular field around the medic that moves with them, healing and reviving teammates inside the circle.
- Tank Upgrade: When activated, the Tank class becomes briefly invulnerable, attracting the attention of nearby cryptids. The Tank can also stun enemies with a melee attack while the boost is active.
- Weapons Specialist Upgrade: Activating this upgrade provides an adrenaline rush, increasing damage for yourself and nearby allies for a short period.
You can earn additional Teeth quickly through the Bonus Pool, a reward system that offers a handful of Teeth for completing specific objectives. To see how many Teeth you can earn and the requirements, head to the loadout menu, highlight the upgrade option, and check the lower-right portion of the screen. The Bonus Pool Teeth are earned in addition to Teeth earned through regular gameplay. Once you’ve claimed all available Teeth in the Bonus Pool, you’ll have to wait until the timer expires before it regenerates.
Besides Teeth, the most significant change in Extinction, thanks to Mayday, is the introduction of crafting. Throughout the new map, you’ll encounter five schematics for five different objects: Hypno Traps, Sticky Flares, Pipe Bombs, Tesla Traps, and Venom-X. After crafting an item, you’ll need to find a fresh schematic before you can craft the same item again, even if you’ve recently used that schematic. The locations of these schematics are fixed, but you can carry only one at a time. Among the five schematics, you can ignore the Sticky Flares and Pipe Bombs as the other three are more valuable.
Here’s how it works: Upon acquiring a schematic, a new icon representing the object you’re crafting appears in the lower-left portion of your screen. The icon is accompanied by three items representing the three components you’ll need to collect. Look for specific, searchable boxes resembling toolboxes to find these components. Simply approach them and search. The component you find will always correspond to the schematic you’re currently building. For example, if you find three toolboxes while holding a schematic, you can easily craft the item. However, if you aren’t carrying a schematic, you won’t be able to open the box.
Once you have the three necessary components, go to your Skills menu and hold down the “craft” button (X on an Xbox controller). Different tools occupy different slots. The Venom-X becomes a third weapon that you can cycle to, while the Pipe Bomb and Sticky Flare occupy your usable inventory. The Hypno and Tesla Traps appear in front of you, similar to a sentry gun or I.E.D., and you’ll need to plant them before continuing. Avoid crafting them until you’re ready to use them. If you accidentally craft one, you can cancel it and recraft it later, as long as you haven’t planted it yet. You can also pick up placed Hypno/Tesla Traps to relocate them.
Choose Your Venom-X Wisely
As a team, it’s advisable to start by crafting Venom-Xs. However, the Venom-X differs from other craftable objects (except for Tesla Traps – more on that in the next section). Once you have the first two pieces, the Nucleic Battery and the Deactivated Venom-X, you’ll need to search for the third component. However, there isn’t just one option; you have choices. You’ll encounter four final components called Biolums, and each one creates a different type of Venom-X.
- The standard Biolum creates the green Venom-X, similar to the one from Nightfall that deals explosive damage.
- Amethyst Biolums create the purple-tinted Venom-SX, which calls in friendly Seeders (venomous Cryptid plants that spit acid).
- The Blue Biolum creates the blue-tinted Venom-LX, which shoots damaging orbs of electricity.
- The Orange Biolums create the orange-tinted Venom-FX, dealing fire damage.
Biolums appear randomly, so a team of four may find one of each, or multiple team members may end up with the same weapon. While searching for a specific Biolum, you can choose not to pick up others and look for additional toolboxes, hoping to find the one you want. However, this risks wasting a valuable component.
Each Venom weapon has its pros and cons, but all of them are helpful and can be crucial to your mission’s success. Unlike other objects, you get to keep your Venom throughout the entire mission as a third firearm and can use it continuously. Keep an eye out for Venom ammo, as it drops fairly often.
Hypno and Tesla Traps
After crafting your Venom-X, prioritize making Hypno Traps and Tesla Traps. Hypno Traps transform any Cryptids that walk into them into allies, while Tesla Traps shoot beams of electricity at nearby enemies.
Similar to Venom-X, there are multiple types of Tesla Traps, depending on the battery you pick up. Cell batteries create Basic traps, Liquid batteries create Medium Traps, and Nucleic batteries create Advanced Traps. The more advanced the trap, the more damage it inflicts. The battery will always be the third component you find, and their locations are random, so take the first one you come across and avoid wasting components. You and your teammates can also assemble multiple Tesla Traps and link them together to create an electric fence, but they are powerful as standalone traps as well.
While Hypno Traps can be used against any Cryptids, it’s best to save them for Rhinos. Craft a Hypno Trap and place it in front of an armored Cryptid. Watch as your new friend decimates enemies until its eventual demise. You can control two Rhinos with a single Hypno Trap, so pick it up and avoid using it until the second Rhino appears. When it does, drop the trap and shoot the Rhino a few times until it charges you and runs directly into the trap.
Doors Can Wait
Mayday takes place on an infested ship floating alone at sea, divided into three main sections: the Entrance, Cargo Area, and Top Deck. When starting a new mission, you’ll spot a hive directly in front of you, along with two nearby door icons. Don’t rush to open these doors just yet. As soon as you start drilling one, you’ll be attacked by a wave of Cryptids, and you won’t receive a Skill point like you do when drilling a hive. Drilling a door is faster than drilling a hive but wait until you’re better equipped.
The first two doors you encounter in the Entrance area hold components and searchable boxes behind them. However, you won’t find the Venom-X schematic until the Cargo Area. Return after obtaining the schematic and open the doors. By this point in the mission, you should have come across enough toolboxes for everyone on your team to craft a Venom-X easily.
Know Your Battleground
The first area is relatively straightforward since there’s only one direction to go. After clearing the initial two hives, you’ll encounter another door that requires drilling to progress. Once you survive the wave of Cryptids, you’ll find yourself in a small room with a catwalk overlooking the area and a hive blocking your path. Before drilling the hive, prepare for your first encounter with Mayday’s new formidable enemy, the Kraken.
As soon as the drilling begins, Cryptids will attack, and a massive tentacle will break through the hull to attack you. While you can’t ignore the Cryptids, your primary focus should be the tentacle. Before drilling the hive, ensure someone is ready to purchase the mounted turret and place one or more automated sentry guns on the upper catwalk (avoid placing them on the ground as the Kraken will destroy them). Activate the fire trap by the entrance door before the Kraken arrives to keep the Cryptids at bay, or you might become trapped. Concentrate as much firepower as possible on the tentacle.
Sustain your attack, and the tentacle will eventually retreat, allowing you to face the remaining Cryptids. Once the drilling is complete, you’ll encounter one more door (triggering a Rhino) before advancing to the second section.
The Cargo Area is a large, open hold with multiple crates and several doors to drill through. Upon entering, open all the doors. After surviving the subsequent attacks, you’ll have access to more components, better weapons, and new schematics, including the Venom-X schematic. Backtrack and assemble the Venom you desire, then select another schematic and find the corresponding components. Once you’re ready, choose a hive and get to work.
After clearing all the hives in the area, you’ll be instructed to step into a cargo crate. When your full team assembles there with the drill, you’ll be automatically transported to the next area, the Top Deck. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to return to the Entrance or Cargo Area, so be sure to explore the ship thoroughly before entering the crate. Cryptids won’t attack you during this exploration, so take your time.
If you don’t already have a crafted object on standby, acquire a schematic of your choice before proceeding to the new area. Top Deck only contains schematics for the Pipe Bomb and Venom-X, so bring one with you if you desire something else.
The Top Deck consists of two sections: an exposed deck with an elevated platform and an enclosed lab. Progress through the first area, destroying hives as you go, until you reach the lab. Before destroying the final hive, open the door at the back. It holds components and searchable boxes, and once you destroy the last hive, the door becomes permanently unopenable.
After clearing all the lab’s hives, your objective changes, and you’ll need to defend four pipes located on the wall furthest from the entrance. Two pipes are on the floor, and two are on the catwalk above. These pipes pump chlorine gas into the next sealed area. If all the pipes are destroyed, the game ends. Defending all four pipes can be challenging, as you’ll need to divide your forces. However, the more pipes you preserve, the less concentrated the Cryptid attack will be.
Once the timer expires and the gas takes effect, a door on the catwalk opens, granting access to the previously inaccessible area. Take one final exploration before discarding the drill. Save your money and avoid purchasing new weapons unless absolutely necessary. The boss awaits, and you’ll need all your cash to acquire Abilities.
Release the Kraken!
The Kraken is Mayday’s final boss, and it’s the largest Cryptid encountered in Extinction so far. The second encounter with the Kraken is significantly harder than the first and can prove more challenging than the Breeder in Nightfall, especially if you’re unprepared. To reach the final area, jump down onto the open deck with a red circle at its center. You can’t miss it, but the fight begins as soon as one person jumps down, and the others will be transported to that first person, so be ready. Assign roles, and ensure teammates consistently drop armor, ammo, and have enough cash to purchase the necessary turrets to battle the boss.
Once on the deck, focus on the four red corners and the red circle in the center. These are the only safe areas when the Kraken slams its tentacles down, setting the deck on fire. The Kraken does this frequently. The four corner spots contain the control boxes for turrets that you can purchase, and these turrets also indicate where the Kraken will attack from. If the two turrets on one side of the ship are green, activate them because the Kraken will attack from the opposite side. If they are red, run for your life.
To control the turrets, use a remote device. While controlling a turret, your body will be vulnerable as your view switches to the turret’s perspective. Ensure you have an ally watching your back, or you’ll be downed. You can aim the turret at your body to kill Cryptids attacking you, but it wastes time and ammo. A well-placed Tesla Trap can also provide effective defense. However, don’t rely on electronic devices like an I.E.D. or an automated turret, as the Kraken has an EMP-like attack that shorts out all electronics.
Your initial strategy should involve two teams of two, with one person manning a turret and the other acting as their guardian. As the Kraken’s health dips below half, the attacks intensify, and you may need to retreat to just one turret and fight as a team. If you have any Hypno Traps remaining, now is an excellent time to use them. Expect waves of Cryptids and appreciate the offensive support and distraction provided by AI-controlled teammates. Armor is also crucial, so ensure someone can afford to continue dropping it.
While you’re more exposed and trapped, the best opportunity to attack the Kraken with the turret is when it sets the deck on fire. Aim for the small, illuminated circle on its forehead to inflict the most damage. When the Kraken attacks, this circle grows brighter, indicating increased vulnerability. This is not an easy fight, so don’t be discouraged if it takes several attempts. Stay focused, continue targeting the weak spot on its forehead, manage your finances to maintain ammunition and armor drops, and collaborate effectively. You’ll eventually vanquish the beast.
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