Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0, the sequel to Activision’s shooter battle royale mega hit, arrives Wednesday. Like the original Warzone, it will be a free-to-play, stand-alone game — you don’t need Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (or any other Call of Duty game) to download and play Warzone 2.0.
Here’s everything else you should know about the launch of Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0.
When does Warzone 2.0 come out? Can you preload it?
Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 will go live Nov. 16, at 1 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PST. That’s the same time that Modern Warfare 2’s first season of content goes live, by the way.
As of Monday, players on all platforms (PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X) can start the preload for Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0. The game can be preloaded from the PlayStation Store, Xbox Games Store, Steam, and Battle.net.
Players who have already purchased Modern Warfare 2 already have Warzone 2.0 preloaded, an Activision rep said on the game’s Steam page. There will be a season 1 update before Warzone 2.0’s launch on Wednesday.
What’s new in Warzone 2.0?
A big new map, Al Mazrah, for one. Various multiplayer maps from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 are contained within Al Mazrah, including Al Bagra Fortress, Embassy, Zarqwa Hydroelectric, Taraq, Sariff Bay, and Sa’id. Warzone 2.0’s new map will be home to four-player special operations, 6v6 squad battles, Ground War operations, 150-player battle royales, and anything else Activision and Raven Software have planned.
More details on the Al Mazrah map and its points of interest are available on the Call of Duty blog.
Warzone 2.0 will also feature a new gameplay mode called DMZ, 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, all while fighting to survive toward exfiltration.” In other words, it’s Call of Duty’s take on Escape From Tarkov.
DMZ is expected to launch alongside Warzone 2.0 this week.
Warzone 2.0 will also include third-person playlists “allowing for different visibility tactics and an altered, but still action-packed gameplay feel.” Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’s core multiplayer mode also features third-person play.
What happens to the original Warzone?
Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 isn’t a full-on replacement for the original Warzone that launched in May 2020. Warzone 2.0 is a separate, stand-alone game and players who want to stick with the original Warzone experience will be able to. Eventually.
The original Call of Duty: Warzone will go offline for an “intermission” on Nov. 16, two hours before Warzone 2.0 is scheduled to go live. Warzone 2.0 will then become developer Raven Software’s focus, as the team attempts to ensure a smooth launch and makes sure the game’s “free-to-play ecosystem is running effectively.” After a short break for the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, the original Warzone will be brought back online under its new name, Call of Duty: Warzone Caldera. (Logically, Caldera will be the game’s primary map; Rebirth Island and Fortune’s Keep maps won’t be available to play when it relaunches.)
The relaunch of the original Warzone as Warzone Caldera is expected to go live at 1 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PST on Nov. 28.
What happens to my Warzone progress? And my stuff?
Perks and unlocks for the original Warzone will only apply to that game, the newly minted Warzone Caldera. Player progression, cross-progression for XP and weapon XP, inventories, battle pass content, weapons, and other purchases from the original Call of Duty: Warzone — and from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Black Ops Cold War, and Vanguard — will be accessible only within Warzone Caldera. It won’t carry over to Warzone 2.0. Double XP tokens in Warzone Caldera and Warzone 2.0 are not transferrable.
Similarly, progress in Warzone 2.0 will only be tied to Modern Warfare 2, and vice versa.
What do original Warzone players get with the launch of Warzone 2.0?
Anyone who played Call of Duty: Warzone will be gifted a few items to use in Warzone 2.0, Activision and Raven Software said. Players of the original Warzone can also get a personalized highlight reel showcasing their personal achievements, through the My Warzone Legacy website. Players just need to plug in their Activision ID.