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 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 Wii version of 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 three colors. Green Power-Ups have passive effects on the player, Blue Power-Ups have an active effect, and red power-ups, which have a negative effect on the player.
- 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 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.
This doubles the point values for damaging/killing all kinds of enemies for zombies to Hellhounds to the Pentagon Thief and for boarding up windows. In World at War it does not apply to points earned from Nukes and Carpenter whereas in Black Ops it does double the points. The 25 points got from the bottom of the Perk-a-Cola machines on Der Riese aren't 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.
When the 2X Power-Up is enabled, 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 2 Bouncing Betties, and thus has none in their inventory, it will not give the player new Betties. However, if only 1 Betty has been put down, the player will get a second Betty. In 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 Thief, regardless of whether or not he was defeated. Max Ammo also appears at the end of every Monkey Round on Ascension regardless of if 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 Black Ops compared to the 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, 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 him 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. 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, except Shangri-La. Grants the player a Death Machine for 30 seconds (90 seconds if received from repairing the Kassimir Mechanism in Ascension or opening the M.P.D. in Richtofen's Grand Scheme). It has infinite ammo and can be a significant asset in the later rounds. The icon is similar to the icon for the Rapid Fire attachment. However, the player wielding it cannot revive players when the power-up is in use, although it is possible to rebuild barriers with the power-up active.
- 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.
Random Perk Bottle
- Main article: Random Perk Bottle
- Main article: Lightning Bolt
- "Lightning is power!"
- — The Demonic Announcer 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.
- — The Demonic Announcer, when the weapon is picked up.
- Main article: Bonus Points (Power-Up)
- "Points for everybody!"
- — Takeo Masaki after getting bonus points
Only appears in Moon and Dead Ops Arcade. 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. 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.
Anti-Power-Ups only appear in Moon and are "negative power-ups". They appear only after using a QED, 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. Known Anti-Power-Ups include:
- Anti-Max Ammo: Removes all players' reserve ammunition.
- Anti-Perk Reward: Removes a Perk from every player.
- 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.
- In 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 Weapon except the Ray Gun, 31-79 JGb215, Winter's Howl, 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, Space Monkey, Pentagon Thief round), the Death Machine and perk bottle from George A. Romero, or Power-ups held by Zombie Monkeys; those will be received no matter what.
- On the map 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 Launch Pad when using them, as seen in this video.