Warzone 2: Everything we know about the new Call of Duty battle royale

·12 min read
 Modern Warfare 2 screenshot
Modern Warfare 2 screenshot

Warzone 2 sounds genuinely wild. Developer Infinity Ward has developed its new battle royale game alongside Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, meaning that the biggest innovations are shared between the two. The games share a new engine, progression, mechanics, and systems, and the results are incredibly impressive – you can try many for yourself soon, with the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 beta dates confirmed. Warzone 2.0 will feature a brand new map, which has been in development since 2020, and it'll host what could be the most absurd battle royale experience on the market. Honestly, after Call of Duty Next, Call of Duty Warzone 2 has become one of our most anticipated upcoming PS5 games and upcoming Xbox Series X games of 2022.

Thankfully, Infinity Ward has confirmed that Warzone 2 is not next-gen only. One of the biggest new games for 2022 will also be released on PS4 and Xbox One, with Activision hoping to draw the 125 million players who dropped into the original Warzone back into the carnage in the expansive desert battlefield of Al Mazrah. There's a lot going on in Warzone 2, from new ways to shoot and move, to expansive ways to interact with the map and other players around you. So keep on reading to find everything we know about Warzone 2 so far.

Warzone 2 release date

Modern Warfare 2 screenshot
Modern Warfare 2 screenshot

The Warzone 2 release date is set for November 16, 2022. Infinity Ward confirmed the Warzone 2.0 release date news as part of Call of Duty Next, with the studio's new and expensive take on the ever-popular battle royale genre set to launch a little over two and a half years after the original Warzone made its debut on March 10, 2020. Modern Warfare 2 will release on 28 October, so you'll have about two weeks to get a handle on the new gameplay mechanics before jumping into Al Mazrah.

Warzone 2 platforms

Modern Warfare 2 screenshot
Modern Warfare 2 screenshot

Will Warzone 2 be on PS4 and Xbox One? Infinity Ward has confirmed that Warzone 2.0 will be available for PC, PS5, Xbox Series X, PS4, and Xbox One from November 16. We know that the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 beta will have cross-platform play enabled, so it seems likely that Warzone 2 crossplay will be supported. That was functionality available in the original Warzone, which allowed PC, PlayStation, and Xbox players the opportunity to jump into the fun together and communicate with one-another, regardless of platform allegiance.

Will Warzone 2 be free?

Activision has confirmed that Warzone 2 will be free-to-play for everyone. Thanks to some changes made to PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live in recent years, it's likely that you won't require an active PS Plus or Xbox Live Gold membership to enjoy Warzone 2 – as has been the case for its predecessor for the past 12 months. There will of course be a Warzone 2 battle pass, so if you're hellbent on spending money within the Call of Duty ecosystem, there will be opportunities to do so.

Warzone 2 map

Warzone 2.0 Al Mazrah
Warzone 2.0 Al Mazrah

The Warzone 2 map is entirely new. We'll be saying goodbye to Verdansk, Caldera, Rebirth Island, and Fortune's Keep, and welcoming Al Mazrah – a stunningly expansive new playspace designed specifically to take advantage of the new mechanics and systems being introduced to Warzone 2. Al Mazrah is an expansive desert map with a really varied mix of geographies, including a mix of industrial areas, different sized towns (including one which is half-submerged), and a sprawling city. There are 18 points-of-interest, and a river system runs all throughout the map too. Warzone 2's Al Mazrah is the "biggest battle royale map that Infinity Ward has ever made" and, in a nice touch, it also looks like it'll include some revised reimagined of favorite spots from Verdansk and Verdansk '84 – including Quarry, Airport, and the Observatory.

Warzone 2 proximity chat

Modern Warfare 2 screenshot
Modern Warfare 2 screenshot

One of my favorite parts of Warzone was the brief few seconds you could hear an enemy player after killing them – typically somebody half-way around the world moaning about perceived camping or hacking, but forever entertaining. Infinity Ward is expanding this functionality with the introduction of full Warzone 2 proximity chat. The game will feature location-based proximity chat to allow different squads to communicate with one another in the heat of battle, and a new system called "cloud parties" which will allow squads the opportunity to dynamically bring on new teammates – perfect for those opportunities where somebody drops out at the first opportunity.

What is DMZ in Warzone 2?

Warzone 2 DMZ is a brand new "sandbox experience" launching the base experience on November 16. Infinity Ward is calling it "Call of Duty's extraction mode" – although it sounds an awful lot like a mixture between Escape from Tarkov and Hunt: Showdown. In DMZ, you'll need to infiltrate Al Mazrah with your squad, accomplish micro-objectives, and then extract from the battlefield when the opportunity presents itself. You'll have the entire map as your sandbox, and you'll not only need to worry about rival groups of players but enemy AI too. The AI won't just be contained to Strongholds in DMZ either, as they'll also patrol areas of interest, and will reinforce depending on how squads of players interact and press the map. Infinity Ward has promised a range of activities and approaches, although no further information was presented at Call of Duty Next.

Warzone 2 gameplay

Modern Warfare 2 screenshot
Modern Warfare 2 screenshot

As the Warzone 2 gameplay has parity to the massive changes coming to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, there's a hell of a lot coming to the battle royale this November. The headline feature is the addition of swimming and aquatic combat, with weapon ballistics impacted by your depth and positioning. Additionally, weapon physics have been totally overhauled, as have the movement options – giving you more freedom than ever before to interact with the environment around you. That's a lot, but Infinity Ward hasn't stopped there. There's also all-new equipment, perks, and field upgrades to contend with (the Tactical Camera is going to make camping and assaulting fixed locations a tense nightmare), as well as a suite of new weapons to get a handle on. Honestly, it sounds like we may as well forget all of our Warzone training, because Warzone 2 sounds like a massively expanded experience.

Warzone 2 third-person playlist

Modern Warfare 2 screenshot
Modern Warfare 2 screenshot

Okay, so this is exciting. A Warzone 2 3rd-person mode is being introduced, giving you an all-new perspective on Al Mazrah and combat encounters. Of course, it would be disastrous if third-person movement and first-person action – Warzone has traditionally been enjoyed as one of the best FPS games out there – were to mix, which is why Infinity Ward is constraining third-person Warzone 2 experiences to its own playlist. To complement this, Warzone 2 is introducing a suite of new movement and traversal mechanics, including the ability to slide, hang off of ledges, and dive through elements of the environment – such as windows, should a player (or grenade) get the drop on you while defending a room.

Warzone 2 vehicles

Modern Warfare 2 screenshot
Modern Warfare 2 screenshot

Cars, quads, and helicopters were always a big part of the Warzone experience, but Infinity Ward is doubling down for Warzone 2 vehicles. There's a bigger focus on this aspect of play – with over a dozen vehicles being introduced – not to mention some pretty wild solutions to balance their presence on the map. For example, Warzone 2 will feature a robust set of physics and handling mechanics which change depending on the condition of your vehicle. Rival players can shoot off tires to impact the handling of your car, while explosives will impact vehicles differently depending on the weight. Additionally, almost every vehicle in Warzone 2 has a finite amount of gas, which can be replenished as one of the gas stations on Al Mazrah – tires can also be repaired here, although you can do that yourself out in the field if you can find enough cover from rival players. Mark my words – occupying gas stations is about to become the new meta-game.

Warzone 2 Gulag

Modern Warfare 2 screenshot
Modern Warfare 2 screenshot

Some massive changes are coming in the Warzone 2 Gulag. As you may remember, the Gulag offers players unfortunate enough to get killed in the early game the opportunity to fight their way back to redeployment. Warzone 2 will bring the respawn system back, although with some notable changes. For starters, it's now a 2v2 affair – where you'll form a temporary allegiance with another random player; if you make it out alive, you'll be enemies once more, but for a fleeting gunfight you'll need to rely on the skill of strangers. The new Warzone 2 proximity chat functionality will allow you to communicate with your temporary friend, which'll be necessary given the new multilevel arena, the need to gather loot so you aren't fighting with your fists, and the presence of AI enemies – while you can defeat your opponents to earn reentry to the map, you could instead choose to eliminate the 'Jailer' and use their keys to escape.

Warzone 2 Circle collapse

Modern Warfare 2 screenshot
Modern Warfare 2 screenshot

Infinity Ward is making some critical changes to the Warzone 2 circle. While Al Mazrah will gradually be enveloped by a storm – just as Verdansk and Caldera before it – you can now expect to see some wild variations to the final third of play. Instead of the circle collapsing on one final location, it will instead split into multiple safe zones. Weather pattern anomalies in Al Mazrah will create up to four circles, splitting up groups of players and creating micro-battles, before the circles eventually reconverge into a single safe zone for the final battle. Multi-circle closure is only going to heighten tension, so we can't wait to see how it all plays out.

Warzone 2 AI and Strongholds

Modern Warfare 2 screenshot
Modern Warfare 2 screenshot

There will be AI soldiers all over the battlefield in Warzone 2. This is likely to be the most divisive introduction to play, which is why Infinity Ward is containing these forces to Strongholds. In Warzone 2 you'll find reinforced buildings that are staffed by a high density of AI combatants – each of which has been trained to defend some of the best loot of Al Mazrah with their lives. If you want to get your hands on unique rewards, free loadout items, and some of the best ground-loot weaponry in Warzone 2, you'll need to successfully contend a Stronghold with your squad. Interestingly, Infinity Ward has also teased that you'll find the locations of 'Black Site' areas in Strongholds that contain "even cooler" stuff inside – so it sounds like Warzone 2 has its own version of Warzone's Vaults!

Warzone 2 loot

Modern Warfare 2 screenshot
Modern Warfare 2 screenshot

Much like with the original Warzone, there will still be multiple tiers of loot in Warzone 2. Humming crates are returning, as too is ground-loot. However, Infinity Ward says that it is introducing more predictability to its loot systems to help offset players' desire to just rush toward calling in a loadout of their favorite weapons. For example, medkits will be found in bathrooms for you to replenish your health, toolboxes will always replenish grenades, while hidden caches (which always spawn in the same locations across the map) will give you an opportunity to grab loadout items. As these locations can be memorized, it presents the opportunity for players to develop paths throughout the map, and always see viable routes toward survivability after returning from the Gulag.

Warzone 2 Buy Stations

Modern Warfare 2 screenshot
Modern Warfare 2 screenshot

Warzone 2 will see the return of Buy Stations, letting you spend accused resources to help imbue your team with new weapons and abilities. Interestingly, Infinity Ward has teased the enhanced Buy Station which will be where you can buy back squadmates after they fail to listen to your orders and get themselves killed (classic); purchase mission-critical gear like Gas Masks, Armor, and Killstreaks; sell back valuable loot you no longer need for money; and even buy and upgrade your weapons.

Warzone 2 Gunsmith

Modern Warfare 2 screenshot
Modern Warfare 2 screenshot

The Warzone 2 Gunsmith experience has been overhauled. Infinity Ward has completely changed how weapon progression will function in Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2, so you'll now have the ability to completely reshape your favorite weapons. Essentially, unlocks can carry across between weapons – there are now universal attachments, meaning everything from optics to muzzles to underbarrel attachments can be shared. Warzone 2 Gunsmith puts more emphasis on a gun's receiver, which is what determines the functionality of a weapon; an assault rifle can become a marksman rifle, SMG, or LMG depending on the receiver attached. Basically, expect the Warzone 2 Gunsmith to completely overhaul the meta this November.

Warzone 2 Battle Pass

Modern Warfare 2 screenshot
Modern Warfare 2 screenshot

The Warzone 2 Battle Pass will share progression with Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2. This is how Warzone functioned with Modern Warfare, Black Ops Cold War, and Call of Duty: Vanguard, so it's good to see Infinity Ward bring this progression back. Season One of the battle oass will launch on November 16, 2022, which is two weeks after the launch of Modern Warfare 2. Expect the same mixture of weird items, calling cards you'll never use, new Operators and skins, and unique weapon configurations to unlock through the Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2 battle pass.

Warzone mobile

Warzone Mobile screenshot
Warzone Mobile screenshot

The Warzone Mobile release date is set for 2023, and Infinity Ward is promising that it'll be a faithful conversion. The Warzone Mobile map is confirmed to be Verdansk from the original Warzone, which will host 120 players. Warzone Mobile will replicate the core Warzone experience, including finishers, contracts, the Gulag, and the ability to revive squad members from Buy Stations. Warzone Mobile will not feature any crossplay with Warzone 2 players on PC and console, although it will have shared battle pass progression with Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2.