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Is Warzone 2.0 Free as Well? Yes, the Massively Popular Battle Royale Remains Free-to-Play

The short answer is – yes! Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 carries on the free-to-play legacy of the original Warzone. On November 16, 2022, Warzone 2.0 became available as a free download for all players on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC as part of the launch of Modern Warfare 2 Season 1.

Gamers can experience the thrilling sequel battle royale and check out the brand new DMZ mode without spending a dime. While integrating with Modern Warfare 2, Warzone 2.0 stands alone as a stellar free experience welcoming to all players.

Why Free-to-Play Matters

By remaining free, Warzone 2.0 continues Call of Duty‘s remarkably successful bid at making battle royale gaming accessible to the masses. Released in March 2020, the original Warzone rocketed to over 100 million players in its first year, largely thanks to its free model.

As industry analyst Daniel Ahmad points out, "Warzone showed the opportunity of free to play done right…Despite releasing years after rival titles, it has grown to be the biggest FPS battle royale."

Warzone 2.0 will hopefully repeat this success. Early indications are positive, with over 25 million players jumping into the game in its first five days.

The New Warzone 2.0 Experience – Fresh and Free

As a friend who enjoys free multiplayer games, I know you must be wondering – what exactly does the new Warzone 2.0 offer, and how does it compare to the original? Let‘s dig into the details.

The most obvious change is the brand new, larger map. Called Al Mazrah, it covers 15 square kilometers of diverse terrain including a city, farmlands, coast, and more. This Arabian-themed environment is ripe for tactical play.

Warzone 2.0 also overhauls many gameplay systems to keep veterans on their toes while remaining approachable for newcomers. Some major changes include:

  • Backpack-based looting system – Gone is picking up weapons directly. You now have a limited inventory to fill by collecting ground loot into your backpack. This adds more strategy around what to loot and when.

  • Buyable loadouts – Want your customized primary weapon? You‘ll need to save up cash and purchase your loadout at a Buy Station, you can‘t just wait for a free airdrop anymore. This makes early game more varied.

  • Revamped Gulag – The infamous 1v1 Gulag has been replaced by a 2v2 format with randomized loadouts. A jailbreak mechanic also gives teams a chance to respawn.

Warzone 2.0 Key Features
Brand new map Al Mazrah
Backpack loot system
Buyable loadouts
New Gulag 2v2 format
Improved graphics and audio
New vehicles including aquatic options

These radical changes to the Warzone formula aim to keep gameplay exciting even for existing fans. And the best part is experiencing them without paying thanks to the continuity of free-to-play.

Integration With Modern Warfare 2

Now you may be wondering: if I buy the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, does that give me an advantage in Warzone 2.0?

The answer is you‘ll definitely enjoy some nice perks and progression bonuses. But overall, Warzone 2.0 remains highly competitive and fun for non-buyers.

Here‘s a quick rundown of what Modern Warfare 2 owners gain in Warzone 2.0:

  • More operator choices – 14 extra playable soldiers, including series favorites like Ghost and Soap

  • Streamlined progression – Faster unlocks for weapons, gear, and other content

  • Cosmetic bonuses – Unique skins and blueprint weapon variants

However, none of these advantages make you inherently more powerful than free players. Skill and strategy rule the day in Warzone 2.0, not expensive upgrades. And many players actually enjoy the slower grind of leveling up organically.

Warzone 2.0 vs. the Competition

How does Warzone 2.0 stack up against its primary free-to-play battle royale rivals? Games like Fortnite and Apex Legends have long perfected the model, but Warzone brings its own strengths based on the Call of Duty franchise.

First and foremost, Warzone 2.0 delivers that signature CoD action. The gunplay is polished and impactful, the movement quick and fluid. Pair this with fast-paced mechanics like the Gulag and you get a distinctly quick and aggressive experience compared to the more methodical Fortnite.

Warzone also derives natural appeal from being part of gaming‘s most popular shooter franchise. Familiar elements like Modern Warfare 2‘s weapons and Operators add continuity for fans invested in the series‘ lore and storytelling.

That said, competitors like Fortnite and Apex offer their own distinctive art styles, character roster, and gameplay innovations. Not to mention frequent content updates and in-game events.

Ultimately, Warzone 2.0 will come down to preference. But its Call of Duty pedigree immediately puts it in the upper echelon of free shooter options. And the series‘ immense following guarantees a huge player base to squad up with.

What About Original Warzone?

With Warzone 2.0 now the spotlight, what happens to the original Warzone, aka Warzone Caldera?

The good news is Activision has confirmed they will continue supporting the original experience for the foreseeable future. Players who prefer Caldera over the sequel can keep enjoying new updates and seasons.

However, most of the developer resources have clearly shifted to Warzone 2.0. The original Warzone is no longer receiving new game modes, maps, weapons, and other content. Support will remain limited to quality of life fixes and balance changes rather than major additions.

So the original Warzone will stick around in maintenance mode rather than evolving significantly. But players invested in Caldera now have a stable, fixed experience to enjoy as Warzone 2.0 leads the way forward.

The Verdict: Exciting, Free Battle Royale Gaming

In closing, Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 proudly continues the franchise‘s free-to-play legacy by opening up the next evolution of Call of Duty‘s massive battle royale experience.

Key highlights:

  • Warzone 2.0 is entirely free-to-play, no purchase required

  • The new map, looting system, and Gulag bring fresh gameplay

  • Modern Warfare 2 owners get Operators, faster progression, and cosmetics

  • Competes with polish against Fortnite and Apex Legends

  • Original Warzone will remain online in maintenance mode

So whether you‘re a budget-conscious gamer, battle royale fan, or Call of Duty devotee, Warzone 2.0 offers an exciting new chapter you can be part of completely free. Now‘s the time to squad up with friends old and new to master the expansive new map. Good luck out there!



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