Update 02/21/2023: This guide has been updated to reflect season two’s sweeping changes
Officially revealed back in September and coming November 16, Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 is the latest CoD battle royale offering. Warzone 2.0 will be connected to progression systems in Modern Warfare II and will share a Battle Pass with it. There are a bunch of changes to the inventory, vehicles, the gulag, and more. Those who want to hang onto the original experience won’t be left out in the cold, however. You’ll be able to drop into it with an exclusive Warzone: Caldera experience tailored to the original map and separate from Modern Warfare II and Warzone 2.0; all of your cosmetics and progression via the older CoD games will remain intact in Caldera, but you’ll have to wait until November 28 for this dedicated mode. But if you’re anxious to know what awaits in Warzone 2.0, here are all the tactical details.
If you’re looking to be the last player standing in Warzone 2.0, you’re gonna need things to shoot (and will have to avoid getting shot at). While the map will be full of surprises, opportunities, and resources to take advantage of, your custom loadout will play a major role in the game. You’ll want to take advantage of this to use weapons you’ve previously kitted out to improve your stats and increase your odds at taking down the opposition.
You’ll be able to grab your primary weapon from the shops (a renamed version of the buy stations from the first Warzone). You’ll of course need cash for that, earned in the game by looting fallen enemies and taking on contracts. But, like the original Warzone, you can also grab loadouts from loadout drops that’ll deploy onto the map in various locations at random times. Note: Any player on the field can take advantage of these drops.
Update 02/2023: Season two brought back loadout grenades from the first Warzone, letting you grab your main, secondary, and perk package for the following price tiers at any Buy Stations (which are also greater in number):
Battle Royale Solo: $8,000
Battle Royale Duo: $16,000
Battle Royale Trio: $24,000
Battle Royale Quad: $32,000
And a new addition to Warzone 2.0 offers yet another way to get your loadout. Earn your favorite guns/perks by a Stronghold or Black Site; these are cool, AI-populated challenges for you to take on alone or with a squad. We’ll talk more about those in just a bit.
Season two also streamlined Warzone 2.0’s inventory system. All players start with a two-thirds full three-plate vest and only have a single backpack size (medium and large backpacks only exist in DMZ now). Furthermore, loot now pops out of killed players and loot chests instead of forcing you to sift through a menu to choose your items.
Gunning down the other players on the map isn’t the only task you’ll have in front of you in Warzone 2.0. Filled with AI opponents (who can also sometimes guard supply caches), Strongholds and Black Sites will feature unique challenges and rewards, conveniently located on your Tac-Map. Here, you’ll be clearing out AI, disarming bombs, and earning keys to unlock better gear.
Black Sites are the more dangerous challenge in Al Mazrah, and you’ll need to clear a Stronghold first if you want to earn a key to get in and retrieve your custom loadout from them.
Update 02/2023: The community was heard loud and clear with season two’s update: The gulag has returned to a 1v1 showdown with a single capture point in the middle once the match goes into overtime. And, you know, while I still kinda miss the frolicsomeness of 2v2, the 1v1s are kinda growin’ on me.
Warzone 2.0 offers some new teamwork and griefing opportunities with proximity voice chat. If you’re like me and usually shut voice chat off, you might miss out on this. But the new feature means that you’ll be able to hear voice comms from anyone nearby which, as the update blog points out, is an interesting way to deal with foes camping out in more hidden areas.
That’s not all when it comes to interacting with other players. Not only can you actually team up with enemies in specific battle royale playlists and the DMZ mode, but a new feature will also let you gain some intel on enemy squads. Downed enemy players can now be interrogated, giving you the location of enemies in their squad. There’s not a whole lot of information on how this works just yet, but it should add a bit more nuance to how you’ll deal with enemies. Straight up killing them may not always be the best tactic.
And you can swim! Modern Warfare II’s inclusion of aquatic combat is fully realized in Warzone 2.0 with wide open sea, rivers, and waterways. You’ll have boats and your own arms to help you move through some H20 and, like in MWII, you’ll be limited to sidearms, melee weapons, throwing knives, and equipment when fighting in the water.
Like MWII’s multiplayer, water that doesn’t kill you on contact offers not only changes in elevation but tactics as well. Whether you’re looking to move to another area undetected, sneak up on enemy players camped out on a boat, swimming is going to open up a whole set of new options for attack and defense.
Vehicles also present some new gameplay challenges in the new battle royale mode. While I’m sure hearing that you’ll need to fuel up with gas (that includes electric vehicles) might make you wince, know that the new resource management feature of vehicles comes with the ability to repair them at gas stations where you’ll refuel.
Here’s the entire list of available vehicles in Warzone 2.0:
ATV: Nimble three-seater with little protection
UTV: All-terrain lightweight four-seater.
Hatchback: Four-door civilian vehicle without any significant protection.
SUV (Standard): All-terrain civilian 4x4 with a boxy frame.
GMC Hummer EV: All-electric supertruck engineered for off-road.
Cargo Truck: Large industrial vehicle with a flatbed.
Light Helo: Twin-engine light helicopter for rapid traversal and combat support.
Heavy Chopper: Heavily armored search-and-rescue helicopter.
RHIB: Maneuverable tactical boat designed for Special Forces.
Armored Patrol Boat: Reinforced aquatic vehicle with mounted .50 Cal machine guns.
Warzone 2.0 promises a bunch of new features and opportunities, one of which is a major change to the core of the battle royale experience: multiple death rings. That’s right, randomized rings will close in on players across Al Mazrah. This ought to help turn up the heat in unexpected ways; you won’t be able to rely on there always being quiet downtime while the player count diminishes. At any moment, you might find yourself pushed into a given area to avoid the ring, forced to think quick to survive and take down enemy forces. But don’t worry, there’s still a “final showdown” at the end, so classic, nail-biting battle royale conclusions aren’t going anywhere.
Along with the brand new Al Mazrah map featuring 18 unique points of interest that are offer opportunities for aquatic combat, and a dash of PvE challenges via Strongholds and Black Sites, Warzone 2.0 still has a few tricks up its sleeve.
The new DMZ mode is described as an “open-world narrative-focused extraction mode where Operator squads have free rein to complete faction-based missions, take on additional side objectives, engage with enemy Operators or AI combatants, and search for valuable items.” A more thorough breakdown of this mode is expected next week.
And for my SOCOM-starved comrades, there’ll be a third-person-exclusive playlist. Third-person happens to work exceedingly well with CoD, so this is a mode to keep your eye on.
If none of these features have your attention, worry not. Warzone: Caldera will sustain the legacy experience of CoD’s first battle royale. The original Warzone will go dark on the morning of November 16, replaced shortly after by Warzone 2.0. An entirely separate experience, the original map and mode will return as Warzone: Caldera on November 28.
If you’ve played the original Warzone, you’ll get some new items to take with you into Warzone 2.0, but note that progression in Modern Warfare II won’t count in this separate mode. 2019’s Modern Warfare, Black Ops Cold War, and Vanguard, however, will have their progression systems feed into Caldera for what’s being described as a “standard Battle Royale Playlist.”
XP tokens from MWII are not transferable to Caldera, and Rebirth Island and Fortune’s Keep maps will also not be available.
Warzone 2.0 is a pretty dramatic overhaul of CoD’s battle royale experience. There are a ton of interesting combat opportunities to get into on your own or with squads, and with added resource management via the backpack system, vehicle fuel, and the Strongholds and Black Sites. Warzone 2.0 will be available at 10 a.m. PT on November 16.