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Is Warzone 2.0 Free? Everything You Need to Know About Playing the Blockbuster Sequel

If you‘re a first person shooter or battle royale fan, you‘ve likely heard the hype around Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0, the long-awaited sequel to the original free-to-play Warzone that took the gaming world by storm upon its release back in March 2020.

The short answer is: Yes, Warzone 2.0 is completely free! You do not need to purchase Modern Warfare 2 or any other Call of Duty title in order to download and play Warzone 2.0 across console or PC.

Now let‘s dive deeper into what exactly Warzone 2.0 brings to the table, what‘s changed compared to the original, and why you should give this blockbuster sequel a shot.

What Exactly is Warzone 2.0?

Warzone 2.0 is a new and improved take on the uber-popular Warzone formula that provides a massive, free-to-play competitive Call of Duty experience centered around Battle Royale gameplay.

Like the original Warzone, 2.0 supports up to 150 players on a single gigantic map featuring locations ranging from urban cityscapes to remote rural areas. You can play solo or in teams of two, three or four players.

Matchmaking is cross-platform, so you can squad up with friends on any console or PC. The basic gameplay loop entails looting weapons/items, completing contracts, fighting through AI enemies, and ultimately battling it out against other players in an ever-shrinking zone until just one team is left standing.

On top of Battle Royale, Warzone 2.0 introduces an entirely new mode called DMZ that provides open world, story-driven PvPvE extraction shooter action for up to four person squads.

So whether your preferred flavor of Call of Duty is competitive Battle Royale or tactical cooperative PvE, Warzone 2.0 has you covered – all at no upfront cost.

Okay, Seriously – Warzone 2.0 Doesn‘t Cost a Dime?

That‘s right! While many major video game franchises have been moving toward $70 base prices for new releases plus season passes and microtransactions, Call of Duty has kept Warzone completely free as a gateway into the series.

In an industry where people are feeling "multiplayer fatigue" and rising costs are discouraging gamers from jumping into new titles, Warzone 2.0 provides a stellar AAA multiplayer experience at zero financial risk.

Per Activision:

"Warzone 2.0 is completely free for everyone. Download now on console and PC and drop in."

The only requirement is a free account such as a Battlenet ID for PC or Xbox/PlayStation account to enable online connectivity. An internet connection and a relatively modern gaming platform are recommended, but no payment necessary!

And while there will inevitably be options to purchase cosmetic skins, blueprints or battle pass levels, the core gameplay and content are fully accessible to all without spending a dime.

What‘s New in Warzone 2.0?

As a live service game, Warzone 2.0 is much more than a fresh coat of paint over its predecessor. The team at Infinity Ward rebuilt the Warzone framework from the ground up using cutting edge technology to provide a truly next-generation experience.

Here are some of the major changes and improvements in Warzone 2.0:

  • Brand new map "Al Mazrah": Set in the fictional country of Al Mazrah, this vast and intricately detailed map features 18 distinct sectors ranging from cities to coastal regions and the barren Ashika Island.

  • Overhauled visuals and presentation: Runs on an entirely new engine with photogrammetic terrain scanning, raytracing support, enhanced physics and GPU/CPU utilization for a major visual leap.

  • Redeveloped gameplay systems: Updated gunplay feel and mechanics, new aquatic combat with swimming and underwater engagements, overhauled vehicle handling, revamped looting system, and more.

  • Strongholds and AI combatants: PvE dynamics with high risk Strongholds that reward players with permanent weapon blueprint unlocks, and AI enemies patrolling key areas.

  • DMZ mode: New open world extraction shooter experience blending PvP and PvE elements with a continuous narrative through self-contained missions.

  • Inventory/progression overhaul: Brand new multiplayer progression systems and approaches to customizing loadouts and weapon tuning.

While I could expand on each bullet above even further, you get the point – Warzone 2.0 aims to feel like an entirely fresh game rather than just a basic refresh.

What About Content/Progression from Original Warzone?

This is a major point of note – absolutely nothing from the original Warzone carries over into Warzone 2.0.

Your previously earned skins, blueprints, operator unlocks, battle pass progress and customized loadouts remain in the prior iteration, now rebranded "Warzone Caldera" and accessible through Modern Warfare 2019.

Per Activision:

*"Progression and inventory will not carry over from the current Warzone. Players will start fresh in Warzone 2.0"

This means everyone begins Warzone 2.0 on equal footing. For many players frustrated with Warzone‘s prior meta dominated by a handful of overpowered blueprints, this reset is a welcome change that opens up creative loadout building.

However, those who invested significantly into the original Warzone will need to readjust to building their inventory and classes from square one.

Here is a quick data table outlining account differences between the two Warzone editions:

ProgressionWarzone CalderaWarzone 2.0
Level/Battle Pass RankCarries overResets to 1
Unlocked OperatorsRemain unlockedMust re-unlock
Weapon BlueprintsRemain accessibleMust re-acquire
Loadout ClassesStill customizableCreate new ones
Previously Acquired SkinsStill equippedLost
COD PointsBalance persistsBalance persists

What Game Modes Are Available at Launch?

If you‘re used to a wide variety of alternate game modes beyond core Battle Royale in the original Warzone, the initial launch slate for Warzone 2.0 is narrowed down:

  • Battle Royale – Core 150 player mode across Al Mazrah
  • DMZ – New extraction PvEvP mode for 1-4 players

Popular modes like Plunder and Resurgence will return in seasonal updates after launch. Per Activision:

"Plunder will return later in Season 1 and beyond."

So at least at launch, the focus rests heavily on Battle Royale. But DMZ provides an entirely fresh new avenue for tactical gameplay in Al Mazrah that should help diversify the experience.

Expert Tips for Getting Started

As someone who has collectively logged over 30 days of game time across the Warzone franchise, here are some tips I‘d recommend to newcomers looking to make the most of Warzone 2.0 from the start:

  • Play both solo and squads – Playing quads helps learn team dynamics while solo teaches self-reliance. Find your preferred style.
  • Tune your settings ASAP – PS5 & Xbox Series X can run 120 FPS – enable this for smoother performance! And crank audio quality to pinpoint enemies.
  • Pick a specialty – Want to master sniping? Vehicles? Rushing bunkers? Focus your loadout and style around a specialty.
  • Learn the new stronghold dynamics – Take time to explore strongholds and practice clearing them efficiently to build permanent blueprint rewards.
  • Equip Ghost early – The Ghost perk is more crucial than ever with ubiquitous AI and Realtime Events pinging uncontrolled players.

Why Play Warzone 2.0 Over Other Major Shooters?

The FTP shooter genre grows more crowded by the day with Fortnite still dominating, Apex Legends seeing a major resurgence, and newcomers like Hyper Scape trying to carve out market share.

So why should you prioritize Warzone 2.0 as your next game? A few key factors:

  • Polish and presentation – Call of Duty always provides an uber-polished, visually stunning experience thanks to AAA production values.

  • Gunplay feel – Subjective, but Warzone nails that visceral, satisfying FPS combat feel that keeps you coming back.

  • Cross-play – Party up across all major platforms thanks to full cross-play support.

  • Name recognition – Love it or hate it, Call of Duty is one of the marquee names in gaming. Warzone pulls from that appeal.

  • DMZ innovation – Very few titles offer a large scale, open world PvEvP experience like DMZ within their core package.

Let‘s take a quick look at some numbers for context on the power of the Call of Duty franchise:

  • Call of Duty 2020 unit sales: 30 million
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2019 units: 30 million
  • Warzone players in first year: 100 million
  • Warzone hours played in first year: 2.1 billion

Call of Duty consistently ranks near the very top in terms of active players, revenue, and engagement. And now you can join that massive community by stepping into Warzone 2.0 at no upfront cost.

Wrapping Up: Experience AAA FPS Thrills for Free

At the end of the day, Warzone 2.0 presents an exciting evolution of the free-to-play FPS experience Call of Duty pioneered. Between a brand new high fidelity map built for next-gen hardware, rebuilt gameplay systems and innovations like Strongholds and DMZ, Warzone 2.0 pushes the franchise into fresh territory while capturing what made the original so compelling.

For first person shooter fans, it‘s the perfect opportunity to experience AAA production values and satisfying gunplay without breaking the bank. And now is the ideal time to drop in and master the new Al Mazrah playground, explore DMZ, and build new Warzone memories from the ground up with friends old and new.

See you in Al Mazrah! The new era of Call of Duty awaits.



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