Call of Duty is finally taking on PUBG with Warzone, a free-to-play shooter that offers a giant 150-person battle royale - and more.
The entirely free game got a surprise announcement in March 2020, and while it’s built on the bones of the 2019 Modern Warfare remake, you don’t have to own that game to play it.
Here’s everything you need to know about CoD: Warzone, from where you can play it to the download size, trailers, and gameplay modes.
When is Warzone out?
Now. As in, if you’re reading this you can already play it.
Activision surprise-announced the game on 9 March for a 10 March release date, handily saving us all from months of anticipation.
How much does it cost?
Absolutely nothing - you don't even need to own Modern Warfare. That means there are micro-transactions, unsurprisingly, but that's not so bad when the game itself costs nothing.
What platforms is Warzone on?
This probably won’t surprise you too much, but you can play Warzone on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. We’d expect it to get ported to the PS5 and Xbox Series X when they each launch, but nothing has been confirmed yet.
Will there be a mobile version?
Maybe. Call of Duty: Mobile is a pretty big deal, so it makes sense that Warzone might make its way to phones eventually - especially since PUBG and Fortnite have both done so well on mobile already.
Activision hasn’t announced anything yet though, so don’t hold your breath for a mobile option. Similarly, there’s been no Switch port announced either so you probably won’t get to play Warzone on the Nintendo console.
Does Warzone support crossplay?
Yup! Whether you’re on PC, Xbox One, or PS4 you can play with other players across all three thanks to built-in crossplay.
Watch the trailer
Check out the slick announcement trailer for Warzone right here:
How big is the download?
It depends. If you already have Modern Warfare then it isn’t too bad - 15-22GB should get you the upgrade to Warzone.
If you don’t have Modern Warfare - or just don’t have it on your platform of choice for Warzone - then it’ll take you a little longer, as the download will be 80-100GB depending on your platform. That’s… a lot!
What are the gameplay modes?
At launch there are two main modes to Warzone: the now-familiar Battle Royale, and Plunder, which offers something slightly different.
Battle royale modes should be familiar to most gamers in the wake of PUBG and Fortnite, and Warzone doesn’t rock the boat too much.
The highlight is the 150-player count, which means even more people in the mix for a larger scale fight. You’ll drop into the Verdansk map either alone or in teams of three or four, and fight to be the last squad standing.
You can collect money within the map which you can use to purchase equipment, Field Upgrades, Killstreaks or Revive Tokens for fallen teammates. There are also Contracts, optional mini-missions mini-missions located throughout the map that can net you loot, in-game currency, XP, or Weapon XP upon completion.
There’s one final twist to Battle Royale: dying isn’t always permanent. We’ve already mentioned that you can buy items to revive teammates (or yourself, in fact) using in-game Cash, but there are also Gulag 1v1 fights that let you earn the chance to revive by defeating another downed player in a winner-takes-all gunfight.
If you don’t want to play a standard battle royale, you might consider Plunder, a twist on the genre that’s new to Warzone.
It’s still a large-scale squad-based free-for-all on Verdansk, but instead of fighting to be the last team standing you’re trying to amass as much Cash for your squad as possible. Right now you can only play this in a squad though - there's no solo option for Plunder.
You earn more by raiding Supply Boxes, killing opponents, completing Contract missions, or taking control of deposit locations dotted around the map.
The biggest difference to the regular Battle Royale is that you get unlimited respawns - along with full control of your loadout and killstreaks - making it feel much more like a standard Call of Duty experience, but with the added chaos that a battle royale brings.
Season 3 updates
Season 3 of Modern Warfare and Warzone dropped on 8 April, and brought with it a fair few new changes to Warzone specifically:
- Quads mode, with four-player squads
- Vehicle skins
- Silenced & non-silenced variants for every weapon
- Changes to the loot pool
- New weapon-type modes like 'Scopes and Scatter Guns'
Are there vehicles?
Yup, both land and air vehicles are included in Warzone, just as you’d expect from CoD, with two-seater ATVs, four-seater tactical rovers and SUVs, cargo trucks, and four-seater helicopters. Expect more vehicles to be added after launch.
Do I need Modern Warfare to play Warzone?
No - Warzone is totally free, whether you own Modern Warfare or not. Though as mentioned above, if you own the base game that will cut down on your download/install size.
There are other benefits for Modern Warfare owners though. There’s unified progression between the two games, which means any Battle Pass items, Operators, weapons and customization items earned in Modern Warfare will carry over to Warzone, and any progression in Warzone will in turn count towards Modern Warfare.
Handily, if you don’t own Modern Warfare yet then any progress you make in Warzone now will then be applied if you ever do decide to grab the full paid game, giving you a bit of a head start.