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Is COD Warzone 1 free on PC?

Call of Duty: Warzone has become one of the most popular battle royale games since its release in March 2020. As a free-to-play game, Warzone attracted over 75 million players in its first year. With the launch of Warzone 2.0 in November 2022, some players are wondering if they can still download the original Warzone (now called Warzone Caldera) for free on PC. In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll cover everything you need to know about getting Warzone 1 on PC in 2023.

Is Warzone 1 still available for PC?

Yes, Warzone 1 is still playable as Warzone Caldera on PlayStation, Xbox and PC. The game no longer receives content updates and it only has the legacy battle royale maps Caldera and Rebirth Island.

Activision rebranded the original Warzone as Warzone Caldera when Warzone 2.0 released. This allowed them to keep the original Warzone available for players who wanted to keep playing it.

So if you want to play on Caldera or Rebirth Island, you can still install and play Warzone Caldera on PC in 2023. However, updates and future content will all be focused on Warzone 2.0.

Is Call of Duty Warzone 1 free?

Warzone Caldera itself is a free-to-play game just like the original Warzone. However, there‘s a catch for new players on PC.

Previously, you could download Warzone 1 as a completely standalone free game on PC through Now though, the only way to install Warzone Caldera is through Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019).

So, if you‘re looking to play Warzone Caldera, you‘ll need to download Modern Warfare. This also means that Warzone 1 is no longer free-to-play for new players. If you‘ve never played Warzone 1 before, then you‘ll need to purchase Modern Warfare 2019 in order to play it.

For players who already had Warzone 1 installed, you can still access it for free. But new players will have to buy Modern Warfare first.

Is COD Warzone free for PC?

The newest iteration, Warzone 2.0, is free-to-play on PC just like the original. You can install it without needing to own Modern Warfare 2 or any other Call of Duty games.

Here are the steps to download Warzone 2.0 for free on PC:

  1. Create a free Call of Duty account if you don‘t have one already.

  2. Download the desktop app.

  3. Open the app and install Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0.

  4. Once installed, launch Warzone 2.0 and enjoy!

As a standalone free download, Warzone 2.0 doesn‘t require any other games or purchases. You can play as much as you want without spending anything.

Is Warzone 1 or 2 better?

Warzone 2.0 has noticeable improvements over the original, but which one is "better" still comes down to personal preference. Here‘s a quick rundown of the major differences:

Warzone 1 Pros:

  • More familiar gameplay for veterans
  • Rebirth Island was a fan favorite map
  • Easier to run on low-end PCs

Warzone 2.0 Pros:

  • Modern graphics and engine
  • New interrogation mechanic
  • Larger map with more variability
  • Improved battle pass system
  • Better anti-cheat

Warzone 2.0 feels like a true next-gen evolution with its updated engine, graphics and mechanics. But some players miss the classic Verdansk map and straightforward gameplay of the original.

If you want a modern large-scale battle royale, Warzone 2.0 is the way to go. If you prefer quick intense matches on Rebirth Island, Warzone 1 may be more appealing. Both have merits depending on your preferences.

How to install WARZONE 1 on PC in 2023

To install Warzone Caldera on PC in 2023, you‘ll need to own Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019). Here are the steps:

  1. Purchase Call of Duty: Modern Warfare on if you don‘t already own it.

  2. Download and install the desktop app if you don‘t have it.

  3. Open the app and install Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

  4. Once Modern Warfare finishes installing, Warzone Caldera will automatically start downloading.

  5. When the download completes, you can launch Warzone Caldera from the app.

Without owning Modern Warfare purchased on your account, there is currently no way to install Warzone 1 as a free standalone game. You‘re required to own Modern Warfare in order to play Warzone Caldera now.

Can I play Call of Duty 1 in this PC?

The original Call of Duty game released in 2003 has some hefty system requirements that may prevent it from running smoothly on modern PCs. Here are the minimum and recommended specs:

Minimum Requirements:

  • OS: Windows 98 / ME / 2000 / XP
  • Processor: Pentium III 600 MHz or Athlon 600 MHz
  • Memory: 128 MB RAM

Recommended Requirements:

  • OS: Windows XP
  • Processor: Pentium IV 1.5GHz or Athlon XP 1500+
  • Memory: 256 MB RAM

To meet these requirements, you‘ll likely need to rely on an older PC or use an emulator. Call of Duty 1 won‘t natively run on Windows 10 or 11. Your best bet is finding an older PC still running Windows XP or using DOSBox emulator to mimic an older Windows environment.

Running Call of Duty 1 on a modern gaming PC is challenging without an emulator. The hardware and software has evolved well past what the game was designed for. For the full retro experience, your best option is DOSBox or a legacy PC.

Is All of Duty Warzone free?

Yes, Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 is completely free on all platforms. As soon as you download it, you can start playing without any purchases required.

Some key things to note about Warzone 2.0‘s free-to-play model:

  • No upfront payment or purchase necessary to download and play

  • Includes full access to battle royale and DMZ modes

  • New multiplayer modes and maps added over time

  • Cosmetic microtransactions available but not required

  • Battle pass offers cosmetics by playing or buying tiers

As a live service game, Warzone 2.0 is designed to keep players engaged long-term. But you can experience all of its core content without spending any money.

Is Warzone always free?

As a free-to-play game, Warzone has been free since it first launched in March 2020. It remained entirely free on all platforms until Warzone Caldera required owning Modern Warfare in 2022.

Here‘s an overview of Warzone‘s free status over time:

  • Warzone (March 2020 launch): Free standalone game

  • Warzone Caldera (December 2021): Remained free

  • Warzone 2.0 (November 2022): Free standalone launch

  • Warzone Caldera Now: Requires Modern Warfare purchase

While the current Warzone Caldera situation is confusing for new players, Warzone has otherwise always been a completely free experience. Even with the requirement of owning Modern Warfare, Warzone 2.0 extends the free-to-play model moving forward.

Is all of Warzone free?

Yes, the entirety of Warzone 2.0 is free-to-play. All major modes and maps can be played without spending any money. This includes:

  • Core battle royale
  • Third-person battle royale
  • DMZ extraction mode
  • New DMZ maps when added
  • New multiplayer maps when added

The only parts of Warzone 2.0 that require real money are cosmetic items and the battle pass. These are optional purchases that don‘t affect gameplay.

You can experience all of the core content now and well into the future without paying. For a AAA shooter, Warzone 2.0 offers an incredible amount of free gameplay.

Is Warzone 1 available?

As mentioned earlier, Warzone 1 is still playable as Warzone Caldera. However, there are some significant limitations:

  • Only accessible through Modern Warfare

  • No future content updates planned

  • Only includes Caldera and Rebirth Island maps

  • Limited playlist options available

So while technically available, Warzone Caldera is essentially in maintenance mode by Activision. It exists for players who still want access to the original Warzone. But updates and attention are now focused exclusively on Warzone 2.0.

Unless you specifically want to play Caldera or Rebirth Island, Warzone 2.0 will provide a fuller and more supported experience at this point.

Is Warzone 1 gone?

Warzone 1 isn‘t completely gone, but it is fading away as Warzone 2.0 takes over. Here‘s a quick rundown of what‘s happened to the original Warzone:

  • Rebranded as Warzone Caldera

  • Removed ability to download standalone

  • Locked to Modern Warfare owners only

  • No more updates planned

  • Limited to Caldera and Rebirth Island maps

So Warzone 1 is still playable, but in a very diminished form. Activision clearly wants to funnel players to Warzone 2.0. Outside of veteran players who want their Caldera/Rebirth Island fix, Warzone 1 is essentially being retired in favor of the new version.

How many people still play Warzone 1?

According to the player counter website PlayerCounter, Warzone 1 currently averages around 250,000 players online each day.

This is down significantly from its peak player count, but still shows a healthy population of regular players.

Here are some key stats about Warzone 1‘s current player base:

  • 250,591 average daily players

  • 5.3 million average monthly players

  • Peak of 6 million daily players in August 2021

  • Down 78% from that peak over past year

For a game that is essentially in maintenance mode, Warzone 1 maintains a sizable community. But the player base is a fraction of its 2021 heights when Warzone was the undisputed king of battle royale.

Is Warzone Caldera free?

As mentioned already, Warzone Caldera itself is free just like the original Warzone. But new players have to own Modern Warfare to download it now.

For existing Warzone 1 players who already had the game installed, Caldera remains free. But the requirement of purchasing Modern Warfare makes it not truly free for new players.

This change happened in late 2022 around the launch of Warzone 2.0. It means that while technically still free, Caldera is locked behind a Modern Warfare paywall for anyone new.

Is rebirth still in warzone 1?

Unfortunately Rebirth Island is no longer playable in Warzone 1. When Warzone transitioned to Warzone Caldera, Rebirth Island was removed along with Fortune‘s Keep.

Currently Caldera is the only playable battle royale map available in Warzone 1. Rebirth Island was a hugely popular map, so its removal was disappointing for many veteran players.

Unless Activision decides to add it back, Rebirth Island and other smaller maps are now Warzone 2.0 exclusive. Players who want the tight, chaotic Rebirth experience will need to move to the new game.

Is Warzone pay to win?

One of the common concerns around free-to-play shooters is whether they are "pay to win" – meaning paying money gives gameplay advantages.

The good news is that Warzone 2.0 is definitively not pay to win. All purchasable items are cosmetic only and provide no gameplay benefits.

Some key evidence that Warzone 2.0 is not pay to win:

  • No purchasable weapons, attachments or gear
  • Operator skins don‘t affect health or damage
  • Blueprints offer appearance only, not stats
  • Battle pass accelerates progression but is not essential

Paying can accelerate cosmetic unlocks but won‘t make you more effective on the battlefield. This creates a fair playing field for all players, regardless of how much they spend.

How big is free Warzone?

The install size for the free Warzone 2.0 is considerably smaller than previous Call of Duty titles. Exact numbers vary by platform, but here is an overview:

  • PC ( ~115GB

  • Xbox Series X|S: ~115GB

  • Xbox One: ~115GB

  • PS5: ~115GB

  • PS4: ~115GB

The next-gen consoles (Series X|S and PS5) require the least amount of install space at around 115GB. Previous Warzone games exceeded 200GB, so this is a big improvement.

Overall, Warzone 2.0‘s install footprint is large but reasonable considering its cutting-edge visuals and massive map. The free download gives you the entire core game.

How long is Warzone free for?

As an online live service game, Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 is designed to operate for multiple years rather than as a single release.

Based on Activision‘s approach with the original Warzone, we can expect Warzone 2.0 to remain free permanently. It will continuously evolve via new seasons of content vs just being a one-off free trial.

Activision also has a major financial incentive to keep Warzone 2.0 free and widely accessible. Its free-to-play model relies on a large player base to drive in-game purchases and battle pass sales.

Barring any drastic shifts in strategy, players can expect Warzone 2.0 to stay free indefinitely just like its predecessor.

How much does Warzone cost on PC?

The standard edition of Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 is completely free on PC. You can install and play as much as you want without needing to buy anything.

There is also a Vault Edition sold for $100 which includes:

  • Red Team Operator Pack
  • FJX Cinder Weapon Vault
  • Season 1 Battle Pass + 50 Tier Skips

But the Vault Edition is completely optional. You receive no gameplay benefits from purchasing it. If you just want to play Warzone 2.0, the free version gives you full access.

What part of Warzone is free?

Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 is entirely free-to-play across all parts of the game, including:

  • Core battle royale mode
  • Third-person battle royale
  • DMZ extraction/objective mode
  • Multiplayer maps added post-launch

The only components that are paid or require purchasing the full Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 are:

  • Full Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer
  • Modern Warfare 2 campaign
  • Special Ops co-op mode

But everything within Warzone 2.0 itself can be played free indefinitely. You get the full experience without spending money.

Is Call of Duty Warzone 1 on Steam?

Unfortunately Warzone 1 and Warzone Caldera are not available on Steam. Currently the only way to install them is via the launcher on PC.

This is because Activision has a partnership with Blizzard Entertainment for distribution. So unlike newer Call of Duty games that launch on both and Steam, the original Warzone remains a exclusive.

If you prefer Steam for your gaming library, your only Warzone option is Warzone 2.0, which is available free on Steam now. But Warzone 1/Caldera can only be accessed through the developer‘s service.

Will COD 1 run on Windows 10?

The original Call of Duty designed for Windows XP and earlier will not natively run on modern Windows 10 or Windows 11. You have a few options though:

Use Compatibility Mode

Enabling compatibility mode in Windows 10 tricks programs into thinking they are running in an older version like XP. This may allow Call of Duty 1 to work.

Get an Old PC

Finding an older desktop that still runs XP or 2000 is one way to play COD 1 in its original environment. But this can be tough to find and limited.

Use DOSBox Emulator

Programs like DOSBox let you emulate older Windows operating systems within your modern PC. This is the most seamless way to play Call of Duty 1 on a new computer.

So while Windows 10/11 prevents directly running Call of Duty 1, emulators provide a workaround. For best results, look to DOSBox for mimicking an old PC to play COD 1 just as it was originally designed.

Do I need Warzone 1 to install Warzone 2?

Fortunately, no – Warzone 2.0 is a completely standalone free game. You do not need the original Warzone installed or any previous Call of Duty title to download Warzone 2 for free.

This was a point of confusion during Warzone 2‘s pre-release, as some players got messages saying Modern Warfare 2 was required. But Activision clarified this was a bug and unrelated to playing freely.

As a new next-gen title, Warzone 2.0 runs independently. All you need is an eligible PC or console and free hard drive space. Ownership of past games provides some bonuses but is not necessary to enjoy Warzone 2.

Hopefully this guide covered everything you need to know about playing Call of Duty: Warzone on PC, both the original and newest games. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Warzone 1 is still playable as Warzone Caldera but requires owning Modern Warfare

  • Warzone 2.0 is completely free as a standalone PC download

  • Warzone 2.0 is considered superior, but Warzone 1 still has a player base

  • Running original COD games on modern PCs requires compatibility settings or emulators

  • No purchase or ownership of past games needed to play Warzone 2 for free

With two great yet different Warzone options on, there‘s never been more free Call of Duty action available. Just be sure to manage your hard drive space!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.