Safeguard is a gamemode in Call of Duty: Ghosts, available in Squads, multiplayer Private Match, and multiplayer Local Play. It features 1-4 player(s) against escalating waves of A.I. controlled enemy soldiers, similar to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3's Survival Mode. The mode has three variants: Safeguard, which lasts for 20 rounds, Safeguard Extended, which lasts for 40 rounds (only selectable in a Private Match or in Local Squads, or multiplayer), and Safeguard Infinite which lasts for 100 rounds. It also has a DLC variant which is like normal Safeguard but only plays on the maps from the most recent DLC, called Nemesis. Compared to Survival Mode, the gameplay in Safeguard could be considered less arcade-like, as it is much closer to a multiplayer match. The player can survive less damage than in Survival Mode, while enemies are less numerous but individually more powerful. There is no purchasing system; instead weapons, Perks, and Killstreaks are periodically air-dropped into the combat zone during rounds. The player also passively has Resilience, Tac Resist and Recon.
Individual weapons have their own leveling up bars, in which the more it is leveled up, the more damage it does and the better it performs. If a weapon is switched but later picked up from a different crate, its level remains still the same as it was before. Acquiring a weapon that the player already has from a crate will instantly level up the weapon and refill its ammo. During the rounds, players' performances will fill up a Support Drop bar, which when filled, crates will fall from the sky. Crates with green outlines signify that the reward has not been changed yet. Crates with yellow outlines signify that the reward has been changed once and changing it again will result in the Ammo reward. Crates with a tan outline signify that the reward has been changed twice and cannot be changed again. These crates will always contain the Ammo reward. Crates with blue outlines hold killstreak rewards, such as a Sentry Gun, I.M.S., Battle Hind, etc.
Players start with an MP-443 Grach. As the rounds progress, enemies will increase in numbers and difficulty, spawning dogs, riot shielders, and more. At the start of every fourth round (round 4, 8, 12, etc.), all players get a random Field Order (getting 10 headshots, 10 knife kills, etc.), except if a previous field order was not completed yet. The Field Orders are "Team Field Orders", meaning that all Field Orders are done collectively. When a Field Order has been completed, all players gain a Minigun with explosive ammo (which also applies to the players' other weapons) for a limited time. The Minigun can also be upgraded to increase its performance.
Throughout the game, enemies have a chance to drop two types of special power-ups:
- One that upgrades the player's weapon to the next level instantly
- One that refills the team's reserve ammo and equipment.
There is no Self Revive in Safeguard; however, players start each game with the ability to call in an A.I. controlled Ghost Squad teammate who can revive downed players. Once killed, the A.I. controlled squadmate cannot be revived or re-summoned until later rounds where the option to call another in will be available. Ghost Squad teammates will become available every 20ᵗʰ round (round 1, 21, 41, etc.), and the player can have two of them simultaneously present (unlike strike package rewards), provided that the first one is still alive. The squadmate is very resistant to attacks from normal enemies and effective during combat against them, but at the same time he is easily vulnerable to attacks from dogs and riot shield strikers, which means the player has to protect him mostly against these enemy types. Should the player lose the game, a final KillCam will be shown from a third-person perspective of the enemy that killed them. A multiplayer match will end once all players bleed out, or once all players go down and have already exhausted their squadmates.
- MP-443 Grach with Extended Magazines (gets a reserve bullet every 1.5 seconds by itself until reaching its maximum ammo)
- I.E.D. (one at the start, two maximum)
- Concussion Grenade (one at the start, two maximum)
Support Drop WeaponsEdit
The weapons in the Support Drop crates, while randomized, are still limited to a few specific weapons, and some will not be available until a certain round in the game.
Loot Round Reward WeaponEdit
Field Order RewardEdit
- The Minigun can be earned by the player and their team in Safeguard by completing Field Orders. It has explosive ammo and is very effective against all enemies, though it lasts for a limited amount of time (one minute).
- Ready Up: Brings weapon up more quickly after sprint.
- Sleight of Hand: Reloads the weapon faster.
- Speed (Agility): Move faster.
- Marathon: Unlimited sprint.
- Stalker: Move faster while aiming down sight.
- Sprint Reload (On the Go): Reload while sprinting.
- Reflex: Quickly swap weapons.
- Steady Aim: Reduces hipfire spread.
- Quickdraw: Aim down sight quickly.
- Fast Health Regen (ICU): Regenerate health fast.
- Focus: Reduces flinching in combat, reduces weapon sway.
- Blast Shield: Provides damage resistance against explosives.
- Trigger Happy: This perk is exclusive to Safeguard. When the player gets a kill their gun will reload instantly, provided there is ammo in reserve.
These perks are given to the player from the start of the match, but are not shown on-screen.
- Resilience: Take no falling damage.
- Recon: See enemies through walls for a limited amount of time. Differs from the multiplayer version of the perk, in that explosive damage is not required to trigger the effect.
- Tac Resist: Immunity to tactical grenades.
Every fifth round (round 1, 6, 11, etc.) is a Loot Round. When this happens, Care Packages will spawn around the map, containing Strike Package Rewards. This round will last for 30 seconds before starting the next wave. Once the next wave starts, all of the care packages will disappear. However, if one is being captured and the next wave starts, then the crate will not disappear unless the player discontinues the process of taking it. Players can hold a maximum of three loot round rewards and can have more than one of the same reward.
Enemies in Safeguard are referred to as "Infected" by the level announcer, and as "Federation" by the victory screen. Safeguard has less enemy variety compared to Survival Mode, with enemies behaving more similarly to multiplayer bots than campaign enemies. Enemies in Safeguard do not drop their weapons after being killed. Additionally, their health and power increases rapidly with each successive wave, allowing them to survive more damage and kill the player more effectively, with enemies in later waves able to survive more than a dozen rounds from some weapons.
- Ravager: A hostile civilian wearing a hoodie, beige pants, and converse shoes, wielding a Bulldog shotgun. This is the first enemy that will be encountered. They sport the lowest health, the lowest range, and don't cause much trouble on their own. However, they sometimes tend to rush the players and stab them, and make up for their poor performance with large numbers. It is recommended not to rely on too much close-quarters combat against them.
- Enforcer: A hostile enemy soldier wearing a Maniac armor and wielding a Vepr submachine gun. First encountered at wave five. They are a step up from Ravagers, replacing the latter in later rounds due to their higher health and better range. They have half the player's health. Up close, they can inflict a lot of damage quickly, as they have excellent accuracy.
- Tower: A hostile German shepherd. First encountered at wave four. Like the Ravagers, they have low health and no ranged weapon, but make up for both with their small size, unpredictable manuverability, and high speed. These traits allow them to rush the player and deliver a nasty bite that, while not lethal on its own, may throw off the players' aim and open them up to a quick and humiliating death via other enemies. Towers will tend to spawn in "packs" which could easily pick off lone or vulnerable players.
- Striker: A Ravager wielding a Riot Shield instead of a Bulldog shotgun. Can kill the player with two consecutive melee attacks. First encountered at wave nine. Strikers are possibly the most annoying of all enemies, as while they cannot shoot the players, they keep their shield aimed at a selected player at all times while rushing in for the kill. At certain times while rushing, they even crouch to prevent their legs from being exposed to gunfire. The only time their body is exposed is when they are sprinting. They are best countered by having other players distracting them, while another makes the kill from behind or the sides. Alternatively, a solo player could fire at their exposed feet when they sprint.
- Destructor: A hostile enemy heavy soldier wearing heavy body armor and wielding a MK32 that fires Semtex grenades that detonate after a couple of seconds. Tougher than a regular enemy, but not as tough as a Juggernaut. First encountered at wave 13. Destructors, while not the most dangerous enemies encountered, tend to make up for this by using their grenades to mess with the players (i.e. throw off their aim, open them up for other enemies to make the kills, etc.) Their grenades don't deal a lot of damage; however, when the player gets hit by the explosion they will get stunned for a short period of time. They have the same health as the player; thus, two knife hits are required to kill them as opposed to one against previous enemies. Oddly enough, they will attempt to shoot down aerial killstreaks despite their bad range.
- Hammer: An Enforcer, wielding a Chain SAW light machine gun equipped with Flash Suppressor. First encountered at wave 24. They behave similarly to Enforcers, and as such, they should be treated the same. It is recommended to also make a change to the player's strategy to compensate for their larger ammo capacities. These are the longest-range enemies in the game, and they can hit the player from afar accurately, sometimes even destroying the Helo Scout and Battle Hind killstreaks. Hammers are the only enemies in Safeguard that can shoot at long distances from afar. At Round 45, Hammers will be given an A.I upgrade, which allows them to use the "dropshot" tactic similarly to multiplayer bots.
- While downed in Safeguard, the player begins to lose their perks one at a time every few seconds.
- If the player manages to kill the last enemy of a wave while downed, they will be instantly revived without the need of a squadmate.
- Reviving a downed teammate will reward the player with a Ballistic Vest.
- When changing the reward from a support drop, the third and last reward is always Ammo.
- Killed enemies do not drop weapons upon death.
- The squad teammate can take himself the ammo resupply power-up to refill the team's ammunition, but he cannot take the one that upgrades the player's weapon level.
- Enemies effected by the Concussion Grenade will retreat slowly and not attack until the effects have worn off.
- Picking up a weapon the player currently owns out of a supply drop will refill said weapon's ammo and give it a free upgrade.
- The .44 Magnum is named "Wild Widow" instead.
- The kill counter will only go up to 999. Any kills after this will not be counted.
- Despite its name, Safeguard Infinite only lasts for 100 rounds.
- In this game mode, the Chain SAW has a Flash Suppressor. This cannot be equipped in normal multiplayer mode.
- If the player is killed by a dog or by falling off of the level, then no final KillCam will occur.
- In the German version of the game, Safeguard is called Resistance.
- If Strikezone is selected as the map, the map will almost always be the post-K.E.M Strike version.