Game Guides

Black Ops Cold War: How to Unlock the Ballistic Knife

Bring a knife to a gunfight

by Joshua Garibay


The deadly and ever-popular Ballistic Knife is a well known (and feared) component of Black Ops’ history. And now the spring-action knife is back in Black Ops Cold War Season 3.

The Soviet-developed knife doubles as a silent projectile, complete with retrievable blades, and a standard melee weapon. So whether you are slashing at someone up close or showing off your longer range accuracy with an airborne shiv, the Ballistic Knife has you covered.

Unlike the newly added PPSh-41 and Swiss K31, the Special weapon cannot be obtained through this season’s Battle Pass. That’s right, you’re going to have to work for it. Here’s how to do it.

How to Unlock the Ballistic Knife

The Ballistic Knife is unlocked by completing one of two challenges. Remember, Black Ops Cold War update 1.16 added the ability for past and future weapons to be unlocked either through multiplayer, which has always been the standard, or in the Zombies mode.

Depending on how much sweat you wish to endure in pursuit of the new weapon, here are your options:

In standard multiplayer, players must earn a One Shot, One Kill Medal and a Melee kill in the same life in 15 different matches. The ability to quit matches early after meeting the goal was removed, meaning players will have to stick around for the entirety of the match even if both objectives are completed early on.

For those that prefer PvE, the Zombies-specific challenge is a more laid back grind. In Zombies, kill 300 enemies while you are using a Special or Melee weapon at Epic or Legendary quality. Increasing weapon rarity is done at the Arsenal station, NOT the Pack-a-Punch machine. Green and blue tier scrap will need to be collected from enemies and chests in order to build to the required quality level. Epic and Legendary are quality tiers 3 and 4 respectively. Grab the M79 grenade launcher, R1 Shadowhunter, or anything from the Melee list to get started.

Pick your path and the Ballistic Knife will be yours soon enough.

Black Ops Cold War Season 3 is now live on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

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