"You're the only one left! Finish the mission, comrade!"
— The Spetsnaz announcer, when a player is the last one left alive.
Search and Destroy, often abbreviated as S&D or SnD, is an elimination-based game mode that has been featured throughout the Call of Duty series. A one-sided game mode, the goal is for an attacking side to either eliminate the defending team or detonate either one of two bomb sites. Players only get one life per round, with most versions of the mode going to a best-of-seven rounds (first to four rounds wins). There is an intermission/half when two or three rounds are completed.
The mode is popular mainly due to its high XP potential; kills in Search and Destroy are typically worth five times that of in Team Deathmatch (50 points in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and 500 in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops(1000 points for a headshot). Only 100 points are awarded in Call of Duty: Black Ops II, due to the Scorestreak system, but 500 XP is awarded as a Medal called Elimination. No points are rewarded for a kill except by the way of a medal in any gametype in Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and you can view these medals at the end of a game through the screen that pops up at the end of a match, by pressing the Back button (On Xbox) or tab (on PC). On another note, the fact that players do not respawn until the next round could lead to long waits to play again, especially should the player die early into the round.
A Hardcore version has also been featured in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and all other games onwards. Modern Warfare 3 Hardcore mode also features the "Ricochet" setting.
At the beginning of a round one team is assigned as the attacking team while the other is assigned as the defending team. There is a bomb located close to where the attacking team spawns, which can only be carried by one player at a time. The bomb is dropped on the ground when the player carrying it is killed. The timer starts ticking as soon the round begins. The team that wins four rounds (or seven rounds in Call of Duty and United Offensive) first win the game.
After the first three rounds the two teams switch roles for another two rounds. If subsequent round(s) become(s) necessary the two teams alternate roles for each round.
In Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Call of Duty: World at War, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2,Black Ops, Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops II, after the first three rounds, the two teams switch roles, and is termed as "Halftime". If both teams are tied at 3 wins each (meaning, the second three rounds have passed), an "Overtime" will be called, the tie-breaker round. Teams may or may not switch roles during Overtime, depending on which team has more kills. The team with the most kills will defend.
Eliminate all enemies, or destroy an objective. Plant the bomb on one of two objectives, indicated by an A or B, then defend it until there is not enough time to defuse it. Note that the bomb can kill any nearby enemies, and the person who planted it. In the Hardcore Ricochet mode if a teammate is within the kill-radius of the explosion, and the player who planted is still living, if the bomb explodes it will kill the planter. If a player is able to plant the bomb during the last seconds of the given time limit, time is extended depending on the fuse time of the bomb (since the defending team has to defuse the bomb).
Eliminate all enemies, let time run out, or defuse a planted bomb. Remember that it takes 5 seconds to defuse the bomb on stock settings. Even if all enemies are eliminated after the bomb is armed, the attackers can still win the round if the bomb explodes. Victory is achieved as soon as the bomb is defused regardless of how many attackers are still alive. Defusing the bomb is very loud, and can be heard from quite a distance. If no bomb sites are destroyed, the defending team wins if the time limit is reached regardless of how many defenders and attackers are left alive. The defending team can also win if neither site is bomb-planted within the time limit, and at least one defender is still alive. A player should also note that when a bomb is planted the time limit is temporarily stopped until the bomb is defused or explodes.
Defusing and planting the bomb shows the player repeatedly hitting the 2 and 3 keys. After planting the bomb, the player tosses it on the ground. Also after defusing the bomb, the player taps the case twice and keeps it.
According to the sound files, players were originally going to be informed that there's just one enemy left. However this was removed as the playercard in top right corner indicates about the last survivor.
Throwing a special grenade immediately after defusing will cause the player to pull out the laptop again and start defusing again.
If players have claymores equipped, they can hold the RB button while planting or defusing, causing it to look like they're planting or defusing with a claymore. This only happens with claymores, and any other equipment will simply cancel the plant or defuse.
Rather than solely conventional explosives featured in other games, the briefcase contains two chemical agents which combine, causing a violent chemical reaction (the explosion). The briefcase also contains a radio which is tuned to 92.9 kHz or 93.0 kHz.
If respawn is enabled in a Custom Game, players will always spawn within their team's designated spawn point, similar to Demolition.
If the player with the bomb dies by falling into an inaccessible area, the bomb will reappear at its original position.
As of now, Call of Duty 3 is the only non handheld version to not feature Search and Destroy.
In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, & Call of Duty: Ghosts, if the player starts defusing the bomb right when it was planted, successfully defuses, and the planter did not die at any time during the defuse, the player will see a text in the top middle of their screen say "Ninja Defuse" & under it will say "Sneaky sneaky...".