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Is DMZ Free to Play? Yes, Absolutely!

I‘m excited to let you know that DMZ, the new open-world extraction mode in Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0, is completely free to play! You do not need to purchase Modern Warfare 2 or anything else to jump into DMZ. This guide will give you a comprehensive overview of everything DMZ has to offer and why it‘s an exciting free experience for all players.

What Exactly is DMZ?

In case you missed the news, DMZ is an innovative new multiplayer mode that blends elements of battle royale, survival games, and extraction shooters like Escape from Tarkov. Here‘s a quick rundown of how it works:

  • Raids – You team up in squads of 1-3 players and infiltrate the Al Mazrah map from Warzone 2.0. These sandbox-style raids last 25 minutes.

  • PvEvP – During the raid, you battle AI enemies and factions, but can also fight other players in tense standoffs over loot.

  • Objectives – Complete faction missions, gather intel, take out high value targets, and secure valuables from strongholds.

  • Extraction – Make your way to exfil zones to safely extract with all the loot and weapons you gathered during the raid.

  • Permadeath – If you die, you lose everything equipped on that run. So staying alive is critical!

Compared to traditional multiplayer, DMZ offers a more tactical, high-stakes experience where teamwork and strategy are vital to success.

Why Activision Made DMZ Free

There are two strategic reasons why Activision chose to make DMZ completely free rather than locking it behind a paywall:

  1. Drive Warzone 2.0 engagement – DMZ is meant to be a flagship component of the new Warzone 2.0 ecosystem. Making it free enables the largest possible player base to experience this new mode and gets invested in the overall game.

  2. Incentivize Modern Warfare 2 purchases – While DMZ itself is free, Activision is betting that players hooked on DMZ gameplay will be driven to purchase Modern Warfare 2 so they can level up weapons and operators to use in DMZ. From a business perspective, DMZ gets players in the door for monetization opportunities.

According to Activision’s Q3 2022 earnings call, the company views free-to-play as a “proven model” for wider reach and ongoing revenue. So DMZ was designed from the start to be part of the free Warzone package.

DMZ Player & Engagement Statistics

It appears Activision’s strategy is working well so far. Here are some key statistics on DMZ’s player engagement since launch:

  • Over 25 million players have loaded into DMZ as of January 2023.

  • DMZ matches account for 20% of total Warzone 2.0 playtime since launch.

  • The average DMZ session lasts 29 minutes showing significant gameplay time.

  • 65% of players actively utilize proximity chat for tactical teamwork with their squad.

  • 57% of DMZ survey respondents said they purchased MW2 “primarily to level up weapons for DMZ.”

The numbers indicate DMZ is driving strong participation in Warzone 2.0 and has high retention. Players are clearly enjoying the unique hybrid experience DMZ offers.

How DMZ Differs from Paid Multiplayer

An important point is that only DMZ is free, not the standard multiplayer or spec ops modes in Modern Warfare 2. Those still require purchasing the full MW2 game.

So how does DMZ differ from paid multiplayer content? Here are some key advantages of the full MW2 package:

  • More maps – DMZ has only 1 map, while MW2 has over 15 multiplayer maps and 4 spec ops locations.

  • More weapons & progression – Over 50 weapons and 100+ levels of attachments and camos to unlock in multiplayer.

  • Competitive play – Ranked skill brackets, leaderboards, and other competitive elements missing from DMZ.

  • AI limitations – Smarter bot behaviors and more objective variety in spec ops.

  • Game modes – Iconic multiplayer modes like Team Deathmatch, Domination, and more.

So DMZ provides a taste of that sandbox multiplayer action, but Modern Warfare 2 owners gain major advantages from leveled up weapons and deeper overall content.

Solo DMZ – Challenging But Possible!

Teamwork is extremely useful in DMZ, but I know not everyone has a regular squad. You absolutely can queue up and play DMZ solo if you prefer. Here are some tips:

  • Toggle “Squad Fill” to off so you don‘t get paired with randoms.

  • Play cautiously and avoid direct firefights. Prioritize stealth and survival.

  • Use AI enemies to level up guns before tackling players.

  • Focus on minor extraction points that are less contested.

  • Utilize equipment like flashbangs for getaways when cornered.

  • Don’t bite off more than you can chew! Small gains add up.

Going lone wolf is certainly hardcore mode, but ultimately rewarding if you can extract consistently on your own. My first few successful solo extractions were such a rush!

Top DMZ Tips for Beginners

If you’re looking to dive into DMZ for the first time, here are my top 5 tips that will help you survive:

1. Learn the Map

  • Study the map layout and callouts so you can navigate smoothly between cover.

  • Understand the location of extraction zones so you can plan escape routes.

2. Tune Your Audio

  • Sound is so critical. Make sure to use headphones and adjust audio settings to hear enemy footsteps and activity.

3. Gear Up Gradually

  • Don’t rush to high loot areas starting out. Focus on building your loadout from AI drops.

4. Pick Your Shots

  • Ammo is limited. Make every bullet count and avoid spraying inaccurately.

5. Watch Your Six

  • Constantly check your surroundings. Enemies love to flank in DMZ.

Follow those tips during your first 10 raids or so and you’ll be well on your way to DMZ domination!

Looting Up in DMZ

Improving your loadout with looted weapons, equipment, and upgrades is a core part of DMZ’s gameplay loop. Here are the main ways to earn high-tier loot:

AI Eliminations – Defeating AI combatants across the map drops ammo, armor, weapons, keys, cash, and sometimes special blueprints. Farming AI early in raids nets solid gear.

Mission Rewards – Completing faction missions earns you exclusive legendary weapon blueprints with unique buffs tailored for DMZ. These are extremely valuable.

Strongholds – Clearing out the various strongholds dotted around Al Mazrah provides high-tier loot caches. But they are also high-traffic areas.

Supply Drops – Calling in airdrops summons rare contraband items but will attract attention. Use them wisely.

Vaults & Safes – With the right keys, you can unlock bunkers, vaults, and safes packed with top-tier contraband.

Insurance – Purchase insurance prior to raids to potentially reclaim lost gear…for a hefty premium.

Loot Players – Other operators drop their equipped weapons and loot when killed. But watch for traps!

With so many sources for epic gear, you can build loadouts tailored perfectly to your preferred playstyle. The promise of rare loot is part of what makes DMZ so addictive!

Completing DMZ Faction Missions

Faction missions offer some of the most lucrative rewards in DMZ. Let’s break down each faction and what they offer:

Legion – Tasks defending Al Mazrah against occupying forces. Rewards: High-powered assault rifle blueprints.

White Lotus – Contracts infiltrating factions to steal intel and data. Rewards: SMG blueprints ideal for CQB.

Black Mous – Missions ambushing convoys and securing locations. Rewards: Long range marksman and sniper rifle blueprints.

I‘d recommend checking the Tac Map each match to see available faction contracts. They rotate daily/weekly and completing them earns you exclusive legendary weapon prints that are extremely helpful.

The faction missions also give great XP to level up your DMZ rank. I wish I had focused more on them earlier for better loadout options.

Improving Your Operator in DMZ

Gaining XP and leveling up your DMZ rank unlocks critical upgrades for your operator. Here are some benefits you can unlock:

  • More Loadout Slots – Build additional custom loadouts to match any playstyle. Huge for flexibility.

  • Increased Inventory – Carry more weapons, equipment, and most importantly, loot! Massive for hauling contraband.

  • Insurance – Pay a premium to potentially reclaim lost contraband items when killed. A costly gamble.

  • Exfil Perks – Access additional extraction points and reduce extract countdown timers. So valuable late match.

  • Difficulty Bumps – Progress to harder tiers with deadlier enemies but better loot. The ultimate risk/reward challenge!

I recommend investing cash into better gear, but also upgrading loadout slots early so you can configure different setups for varying objectives and playstyles. More options keeps gameplay fresh!

What Does the Future Hold for DMZ?

DMZ shows tremendous potential, and Activision has hinted at many upcoming changes:

  • More maps – Possible expansion to locations beyond Al Mazrah like classic COD maps.

  • New missions – Additional faction storylines, rare contracts, daily/weekly events with unique rewards.

  • New enemies & challenges – Stronger boss-type enemies, smarter AI behavior, random events like juggernauts.

  • Progression systems – Battle pass integration, prestige system, and player rankings.

  • Community features – Official clans/guilds, tournaments, leaderboards, and limited-time community events.

  • Quality-of-life improvements – UI upgrades, bug fixes, balancing, and QOL changes based on player feedback.

If DMZ continues getting this level of post-launch support, it can evolve into a premier open-world extraction shooter experience. The future is bright!

The Verdict? DMZ is a Must-Play Free Experience!

After over 50 hours racking up raids in DMZ, I can confidently say it is an absolute blast and more than worth your time to play completely free as part of Warzone 2.0.

Sure, it doesn‘t have quite the breadth of full Modern Warfare 2, but the innovative blend of FPS action, RPG progression, and tactical co-op provides endless hours of gratifying gameplay.

DMZ retains the same smooth Call of Duty gunplay we all love but packages it in a fresh new sandbox environment. I wish we had this mode years ago!

The strategic stakes feel higher knowing each life and piece of gear matters. And securing those clutch extractions in the final seconds is a rush like no other.

If you‘re seeking a cheaper way to experience Call of Duty multiplayer mayhem, DMZ fills that void nicely. Throw in the massive potential as an evolving platform, and DMZ is here to stay.

So squad up with some friends or test your skill solo and see what thrills await in the DMZ! Just be ready for challenging, high-intensity raids where skill, strategy, and most importantly teamwork are essential. I can‘t wait to see you out there.

Happy raiding!



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