Power-Ups are featured in every Zombies map that help the player(s) in different ways. Power-Ups drop from Zombies, Hellhounds, the Pentagon Thief, Space Monkeys, Zombie Monkeys, the teleporters in Der Riese, the random teleporter rooms in Kino der Toten, George A. Romero, in between Gravity Lifts, or from the Quantum Entanglement Device. Each Power-Up's icon is gold with a green glow (with the exception of the Death Machine, Zombie Blood and Lightning Bolt, which are silver and glow blue) and hover above the ground. The icon will blink when it is about to disappear (except on the Nintendo Wii version of Call of Duty: Black Ops, where it becomes more transparent until it disappears). All power-ups give off a whistling or humming nose when a zombie drops them. Also, the Demonic Announcer will announce they have been picked up by saying a phrase that varies depending on the power-up, with the exception of the Random Perk Bottle.
Power-Ups can drop randomly from enemies in the Zombies mode, but only if the enemy is inside the map and not outside the barriers. There is no way to tell which enemy is carrying a Power-Up, as the probability is random, but in some cases power-ups will be given from specific enemies. Zombies have a chance to drop any Power-Up randomly except the Bonfire Sale, Random Perk Bottle, and Lightning Bolt. Max Ammo is guaranteed to drop off of the last Hellhound, the Pentagon Thief, and the last Space Monkey. If the Thief is killed, he drops a Fire Sale in addition to the Max Ammo. If he takes no weapons, he drops a Bonfire Sale in place of the Fire Sale. The Pack-a-Punch machine will now be 1000 points (If Bonfire Sale is grabbed)
In Ascension, the Random Perk Bottle can be obtained if all monkeys during a monkey round are killed before any perk machines have been touched. In Call of the Dead, the player will receive the Death Machine or the Lightning Bolt (depending on whether or not they've completed the Original Characters Trapped Easter Egg) and the Random Perk Bottle for killing George A. Romero. In Shangri-La, power-ups can be stolen by Zombie Monkeys and turned into a different power-up if the monkey is killed before it can get away. In Moon sometimes, power-ups float around the gravity lifts in the Biodome or a Bonus Points bonus may spawn from a Quantum Entanglement Device.
Power-Ups come in four colors. Green Power-Ups have passive effects on the player, Blue Power-Ups have an active effect, Red Power-Ups have a negative effect on the player or positive effects to zombies and negative effects to humans in Turned and Purple Power-Ups which only affect the zombies.
- Main article: Insta-Kill
- "Man up Zombies, it's time to die!"
- — Tank Dempsey after getting Insta-Kill
Enables players to instantly kill zombies with any weapon. It is wise to get it as soon as possible, but reckless action is inadvisable. The icon is a skull. In the World at War version of Nacht der Untoten, players are awarded 10 + 100 points for any kind of kills during the Insta-Kill duration, as opposed to the 130 for a knife kill, 60 for a torso kill and 50 for a limb kill they would normally get if Insta-Kill wasn't activated. In all Call of Duty: Black Ops maps the player will get 10 + [50/60/100/130] for [limb kill/torso kill/headshot/knife kill] respectively. It is recommended to only use a knife during the time that Insta-Kill is active to save ammo unless zombies are in a large horde. Also grenades become very useful as hitting a zombie with a grenade will kill it, and when the grenade explodes, it will kill all zombies in the blast radius. In Call of Duty: Black Ops II, if players do not get a kill during two consecutive Insta-Kills, they will be rewarded with Red Insta-Kill. It allows players to walk into zombies to kill them.
This doubles the point values for damaging or killing all kinds of enemies for zombies to Hellhounds to the Pentagon Thief and for boarding up windows. In Call of Duty: World at War, it does not apply to points earned from Nukes and Carpenter whereas in Call of Duty: Black Ops, it does double the points. The 25 points got from the bottom of the Perk-a-Cola machines on Der Riese are not affected by double points on both games. The icon is a 'x2', standing for "times two". In Ascension, if the rocket is destroyed a Double Points will drop below in the room before the Pack-a-Punch room.There is a Persistant Upgrade (Half-Off) that reduces all purchase costs by half during a Double Points Power-Up. This upgrade is obtained when the player accumulates three thousand or more points during a Double Points Power-Up.
When the Double Points power-up is active, hacking another player gives them 1000 points and still only deducts 500 from your score.
Gives player's weapons full reserve ammo and refills grenades. It does not fill up the magazine currently in the weapon. Downed players only receive the effect for the weapon in use, and the effect does not apply after being revived. The icon is a box with an ammunition belt coming out of the side. It refills both primary and special grenades on the maps Der Riese, Five, and Kino der Toten. If a player has put down two Bouncing Betties, and thus has none in their inventory, it will not give the player new Betties. However, if only one Betty has been put down, the player will get a second Betty. In Call of Duty: Black Ops, it will refill the player's inventory regardless of the number they currently have. Max Ammo is guaranteed to drop off of the last Hellhound of a Hellhound round, or the first zombie of the next round and the Pentagon Thief, regardless of whether or not he was defeated. Max Ammo also appears at the end of every Monkey Round on Ascension whether they took perks or not.
- Main article: Nuke (Zombies)
- "Ka-fucking Boom meatsacks!"
- — Tank Dempsey following the nuke's carnage
Kills all zombies on the map at the time of detonation and gives 400 points to every player in the game. If double points is active, it will give the players 800 points. Any unspawned zombies in the round will not be affected, and the round will continue after the bomb's use, unless the zombies on the map were the last in the round. Players are advised to get it as soon as possible, but to not be suicidal. The icon is in the image of the 'Fat Man' bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan. A deep voice also says "Kaboom". It does not kill as many zombies in Call of Duty: Black Ops compared to the Call of Duty: World at War zombies. Only some of the zombies will die instantly upon the activation of the nuke, the rest will die in sequence shortly after from their heads exploding. The Nuke kills zombies in a blast radius way, zombies closest to the nuke die first, and those farthest die last. It should be noted that these zombies cannot attack the player, and if left to their own devices, will approach the player as usual, but just stand in front of them shaking their heads until death.
- Main article: Carpenter
- "The stake that sticks out, gets hammered down."
- — Takeo Masaki activating Carpenter.
- Main article: Fire Sale
- "If this were Russia, it would be free. Just be polite."
- — Nikolai Belinski obtaining Fire Sale
Lowers the price of the Mystery Box from 950 to 10 points for 20 seconds. It also makes the Mystery Box spawn at every possible point. This power-up was introduced in Call of Duty: Black Ops. The icon is a large price tag that says "sale!!!". A 60's style rock 'n' roll song is played while the power-up is active.
- Main article: Death Machine
- "This thing's bigger than me?"
- — Sarah Michelle Gellar getting a Death Machine
Appears in every map after Kino der Toten on Call of Duty: Black Ops except for Shangri-La. Grants the player a Death Machine for 30 seconds (90 seconds if received from repairing the Casimir Mechanism in Ascension or opening the M.P.D. in Richtofen's Grand Scheme). It has infinite ammo and can be a significant asset later in the round. The icon is similar to the icon for the Rapid Fire attachment. However, the player wielding it cannot revive players and Perk-a-Cola's cannot be purchased when the power-up is in use, although it is possible to rebuild barriers with the power-up active. The icon is 5 golden bullets. Instead of the green glow, the Death Machine power-up has a blue glow.
- Main article: Bonfire Sale
Only appears in "Five". It links all of the teleporters to the Pack-a-Punch Machine, regardless of DEFCON level, and lowers the price of using it from 5000 points to 1000 points. The only way to get Bonfire Sale is to kill the Pentagon Thief before he steals anyone's weapons. The icon is a Pack-a-Punch Machine.
- Main article: Random Perk Bottle
Grants all standing players a free, random perk. Appears in Ascension, Call of the Dead, Shangri-La, Moon, Die Rise, and Buried. This power-up will drop in Ascension if the player successfully completes a monkey round without having any of the Perk-A-Cola machines touched by Space Monkeys. In Call of the Dead, the player must kill George A. Romero. In Shangri-La, it is only obtainable by killing the monkey that steals a Max Ammo (it cycles through all power-ups, the bottle appears in a split second). In Moon, it can be obtained by throwing a QED (Quantum Entanglement Device) near a perk machine ocasionally a perk will be given to the player, it can be used to exceed the 4 perk limit. In Die Rise if the player defeats the Minions on the special round with 100% accuracy, the last Minion will drop this power-up along Max Ammo. The icon is a bottle.
- Main article: Empty Perk Bottle
The Empty Perk Bottle is similar to the Random Perk Bottle, as it gives the player a random perk but does not give the player the random perk when obtained. Instead, it gives the player a extra perk slot, so he or she can obtain a random perk via Der Wunderfizz machine or a Perk-a-Cola Machine. If the player repeatedly does this, they will be able to obtain all nine perks. A tutorial of this can be found here.
- Main article: Lightning Bolt
- "Lightning is power!"
- — Samantha on the Wunderwaffe DG-2
Only appears in Call of the Dead. Awarded when the player frees the Original Trapped Characters. It grants the player a Wunderwaffe DG-2 that can't be pack-a-punched and will disappear when the player runs out of ammo (although Max Ammo refills it). It will also be dropped by George A. Romero upon death from then on. The icon of the power-up is the same icon as a Death Machine.
- — Samantha Maxis, when the weapon is picked up.
Only appears in Moon and Origins. In Moon, The player must throw a QED. When thrown, it may drop a random weapon, Pack-a-Punched or not. Players should be aware that picking up the power-up instantly replaces their gun with the one in the Power-up. In Origins, the player has to complete a challenge by Performing 115 Normal Zombie Headshots
- Main article: Bonus Points (Power-Up)
- "Points for everybody!"
- — Takeo Masaki after getting bonus points
Only appears in Moon, Dead Ops Arcade, TranZit, and Buried. In Moon, it only appears after the player has thrown a QED. The effect is random; it gives the player who picks it up (or everyone in the game) a random number of points. In Call of Duty: Black Ops II, in TranZit in Green Run, at the location Town, the Bonus Points can appear in the bank. After melee attacking the two keys, with Galvaknuckles, every 1100 points you deposit, the drop appears and the other player will get 1000 per 1100 the other player added. This also applies for Buried because the bank is there also. The power-up looks like a Z with two lines going across it, like a $ sign. It's model is based on a regular treasure in Dead Ops Arcade.
- Main article: Blood Money
In Origins, Blood Money is obtained through digging it up. It looks and has a similar function to Bonus Points, as it gives the player a random amount of points ranging from 25 to 500 points when obtained. If the player kills zombies near a Blood Money power-up it will result in the player getting more points from it. This power-up is affected by Double Points.
Anti-Power-Ups only appear in Moon and Diner Turned and are "negative power-ups". They appear only after using a QED in Moon, and at random on Diner Turned, and look like a normal power-up except with a red aura instead of a green one similar to the power-ups in Shangri-La when the monkey is randomizing it. Only zombies are able to grab these. Known Anti-Power-Ups include:
- Anti-Max Ammo: Removes all players' reserve ammunition, or in Turned, empties the clip of the player's gun.
- Anti-Perk Reward: Removes a Perk from every player, or spawns the first survivor in Turned.
- Anti-Bonus Points: Removes a random amount of points from all players.
- Anti-Fire Sale: Spawns the Mystery Box far from the player's location and doubles the cost to 1900 points.
- Anti-Insta kill: Zombies will down a player in one hit whether the player has Juggernog or not. However, this is a rare occurrence.
- Anti-Nuke: Only in turned, the zombie who grabs it will kill the live human and become the survivor.
- Anti-Double Points: Only in turned, zombies earn a double points bonus.
- Main article: Zombie Flesh
The Zombie Flesh power-up is only available in the Call of Duty: Black Ops II game mode Grief. It was first revealed in Delivery 7 on the Call of Duty official website. This power-up gives the player a piece of meat which can be thrown anywhere in the map. It lures the zombies towards it and they stop and stand near it. It can be stuck to a person, luring zombies to that person. If it is thrown outside of the map, the zombies will be unaffected by it and continue to attack the player. It emits a green aura.
Zombie Blood is a power-up that appears in Origins. It causes the player to be masked in a red fog and disguised as a zombie acting in a similar way to one of the abilities granted by Vulture Aid. The Power-Up itself looks like either the icon for the Achievement Acid Drip in Mob of the Dead or a bag of blood pack. The power-up lasts for 30 seconds, and can only be used by the player who picks it up.
This power-up can only be obtained in Origins, by killing 20 Templar zombies with the Thunder Fists at the excavation site. It gives the player an upgraded version of the Thunder Fists that can take on the elemental powers of any staff currently equipped.
- In the original version of Nacht der Untoten, power-ups showed how much time they had left on screen, but it was changed to an icon which blinked depending on how much time is left.
- Zombies killed by any Wonder Weapons except the Ray Gun, The Sliquifier 31-79 JGb215, Winter's Howl, V-R11 (By shooting a teamate or using Stuntman explosion), Wunderwaffe DG-2 (in Call of the Dead), and tactical grenades do not drop Power-Ups. This does not apply to the Max Ammo received at the end of a special round (Hellhound, Pentagon Thief, Space Monkey, Jumping Jack round), the Death Machine and perk bottle from George A. Romero, Max Ammos received from electrically charged zombies, or Power-ups held by Zombie Monkeys; those will be received no matter what.
- In Moon, various power-ups may be hacked with the Hacker to change them into Max Ammo. Max Ammo can be hacked into Fire Sale for 5000 points.
- On Moon, power-ups can spawn in the Biodome around any Gravity Lift when using them, as seen in this video.
- In Nuketown Zombies, a power-up will randomly spawn in the shed of the yellow house.
- The insta-kill will not give a 10 point bonus per kill if the weapon used to kill the zombie would have been an instant kill anyway.
- In Turned, a purple power-up will sometimes spawn. This means the power-up is available to the first person to grab it, the human or the zombies.
- It is odd for the Zombie Flesh to be named that way, as zombies are not attracted to each other, so it is likely human flesh instead.
- Green glow means that all players get the power-up, Blue glow means that only player who picked up power-up gets it.