Call of Duty Elite Hands On

Call of Duty Elite was first announced back in the summer, shortly after Modern Warfare 3 went public. A lot of gamers didn’t give it the warmest of welcomes as many simply saw this as the beginning of Activision charging to play Call of Duty. Thankfully, after Activision came out several times and reiterated that Call of Duty will always be free, people seem to have gotten the message that their fears were unfounded.

Instead, what we got in Call of Duty Elite is a mostly free service that runs alongside your Call of Duty gaming experience. It’s meant to show you a ridiculous amount of statistics from your time with CoD multiplayer, let you compare your progress with your friends, help you link up with other like-minded people and maybe even show you how to up your game a little bit along the way.

Although it got off to a very unstable start, the Elite status page has finally turned on the green light that signifies system stability, so we thought now would be a good time to you bring you the lowdown on what the service has been like for us, what Elite actually offers, and which features you’re forced to open your wallet for.




The career section is likely where people will spend most of their time. This is where all of your main stats are located, as well as your friends list and your own ‘vault’, which houses your saved replays and screenshots.

The total number of stats you can see in this section is simply staggering. Everything from basic stuff like your kill-to-death ratio and win/loss record, to more advanced information like specific gun stats and heat maps. Elite will even let you see all 2,230 challenges, as well as any challenges you’ve chosen to track for the long term.

For us, the star of the Career section is the individual weapon stats and the ability to create and modify your classes from the Elite app. If you’re looking to build a class based on previous success with your guns and equipment, it’s probably more efficient to do so from the Elite app rather than the game itself because all the information you’ll want to see is close together and very easy to reference by simply scrolling up and down the page.

There’s also a bit in this section where you can check out all of your console friends and see how they’re progressing. Or if you’re having a tightly contested battle with a couple of other players in an Enlistment challenge, you can track them individually so their progress is easy to reference at a later time.

The best part about all the info in the Career section is that all of it is free and the majority of it works well. The two things we could never get to work properly were the tracked challenges and the vault access, which is a shame because those are two components we were really looking forward to playing with.

It’s also worth noting that there are a few things missing from the Black Ops portion of Elite, and you can’t access any stats from Black Ops when using the console app.

Nonetheless, what’s there is set up intelligently, easy to navigate, easy to comprehend, and offers a wider variety of statistical evaluation than you’ll probably ever use.


[drop2]The Connect section is where you can start a clan, check up on the status of your current clan, or find a gathering of players to game with that have similar interests and hobbies.

Finding a clan is as easy as typing in a name, and starting your own clan is every bit as facile. From there you can invite other players to join (up to 100), leave messages for the entire group, check up on your clan’s status, and boot out the dead weight.

Elite’s clan system you collectively improve the clan’s rank by completing Enlistment events and placing ahead of other clans to earn XP. Moving up the ranks awards your clan with features like new clan logos, exclusive customizable titles for all those in the clan, double XP for all members, and even prestige tokens if you rank high enough.

Unfortunately, there are two pretty major drawbacks to clan support in Elite. For starters, ranking up your clan isn’t quite working yet. You can net an XP bonus by getting Elite Founders to join the clan but there are currently no clan Enlistments available, and that’s where all the clan XP seemingly comes from. Second, even when clan XP is finally available, you have to be a premium subscriber to help your clan rank up. You can still technically be in the clan and use some of the other features if you’re non-subscriber, but to rank up and receive the in-game rewards for doing so you’re going to have to open your wallet.

‘Groups’ are the other part of Connect and while a lot of people scoffed at this unique idea, gamers that love to play online but don’t have a ton of friends to play with might just find this bit useful.

With all due respect to Call of Duty multiplayer, it doesn’t exactly take a genius to play, especially if you’re just prowling around in Team Deathmatch, mindlessly shooting people in the face. The simplistic nature of Call of Duty’s gameplay opens the opportunity for off-topic conversation while you play. With Groups, you can find others that are willing to chat about the same things you enjoy, all while playing a friendly game of CoD.

Let’s say you’re a huge Manchester United fan and you can’t wait to talk with other fans about a big win. Doing that could be as easy as logging on to Modern Warfare 3. You simply need to go to the Groups section of Elite, enter whatever interest you’re looking for and voila!

While charging for the Groups feature seems a little more justifiable (even though they’re currently not), making people pay to take part in clan activities is a bit of a gray area. The upside is that even though you can’t help your clan progress as a free member, you can still join and make use of the in-game clan list to find clan mates, even if they’re not on your friends list.

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  1. I have no doubt it will be good…but its soooo frustrating that all features have still not been implemented (nearly a month after release). Lack of Clan XP is bothering me the most

    • Same….our Clan is 2 Founders away from 2 hours of Double XP! :)

      If there were Clan events live now, we could level-up properly!!

      Also, another gripe is that a lot of the Lone Wolf operations have been US times.

  2. There are actually quite a few problems still with Elite: random characters being thrown in to your Create a Class name when using the website then linking in-game; also Create a Class using German Name (das knife) when clearly everything else is in English; most of the time only 2/3 of each pages loads; clicking on peoples’ names take you to an error page, yet if you search manually it finds them but only loads 2/3 of the page; Clan events not live yet; lack of Lone Wolf operations; Operations don’t load on the web but do within the console App; 90% of Clan information is not yet available within the console App.

    This wouldn’t be so bad, but I’ve technically paid for the service with my Hardened Edition, and they said it would all be sorted by 1st December…’s now the 5th.

    • …oh, but when it all works well it’s very good – and a decent price since I’d be buying all the DLC anyway!

  3. Only thing I’ve used is creating my class online, then pushing it to the PS3. Worked very well.
    Apart from that, the clan stuff doesn’t seem to work too well, and some of the stats get displayed wrong.
    I’m still happy with it though, the main reason I got it was for the DLC, everything else is just a bonus. Shame it doesn’t totally work yet, but it’ll get better!

  4. You don’t have to pay to receive the clan benefits, the clan I’m in (G4L) is level 14. We all received the same in-game rewards. When clan operations start it will be far easier to rank up, however it’s worth noting that only the scores of the top 6 premium members count towards your clans entry in an operation.

    Elite is still pretty unstable, clicking on certain people results in a 100% fail page which is quite humorous about the situation. Some of the stats are shockingly inaccurate, domination matches show 1 capture regardless of how many flags you’ve capped. Overall it’s a pretty good idea but they need to get it working properly and fast.

  5. PS3 HD uploads don’t work.

  6. Sounds pretty good, find the legend of karl video pretty funny at too

  7. I mainly got the Hardened Edition, for the free Elite subscription, I mainly got Elite for the free DLC. But the extras have been a nice reward. Just needs to be smoother to use. I think Youles listed all the faults with it that need sorting. The biggy being the US times for Enlistments!

  8. Does anyone know when the phone apps are being released?

    • Was supposed to be last week. No word since then.

  9. My only problem with cod elite is for some reason a XBL account is magically linking itself to mine, either a glitch or someone’s doing.

    I have a XBL but never used it. The names louienoonie & when i looked it up on xbox, it was Chicago, IL.

    O.o i’ve emailed a few times but it’s like talking to the wall. The even worse thing is both of my cod accounts have the same problem.

    Other than this it’s a good idea but this glitch/hack is really putting me off using it & making me worry about my email account, even after a password change it happens again :/.

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