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How to play Warzone: getting started with Call Of Duty: Warzone

The Modern Warfare Battle Royale is finally here!

The long-awaited Call Of Duty: Warzone has finally arrived, people. We've heard rumours for months of the upcoming Modern Warfare Battle Royale and all its shiny new features, from 150-player matches to contracts and the infamous Gulag... but for those who are out of the loop, we'll walk you through how to play Call Of Duty: Warzone below, and give you a primer on everything you can expect in this brand new FPS experience.

How to play Call Of Duty: Warzone

If you already own Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare, you already have access to the new Warzone Battle Royale. Just load the game, wait for the ~20GB update to finish, and get started!

If you don't own Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare, don't worry - as long as you're reading this after 12pm PDT, you can still start playing Call Of Duty: Warzone right now for free. Head to the Battle.net store, find "Call Of Duty: Warzone", and start downloading. You may be waiting for a little bit, because you'll need to download a hefty 150-200GB; but once it's done, you can start playing along with everyone else.

In the meantime, let's take a look at how Call Of Duty: Warzone will play out!

Warzone features:

Warzone modes: Battle Royale & Plunder

Warzone modes: Battle Royale & Plunder

  • Warzone includes two separate PvP multiplayer modes: Battle Royale, and Plunder. Both modes are available to select from the main Warzone menu.
  • Battle Royale is... well... Battle Royale. Taking place on the colossal map Verdansk, you must drop down alone or as a team, gear up, avoid the encroaching circular border, and fight to be the last one standing out of up to 150 players.
  • Plunder is a slightly less tense game mode, where the aim is to accrue as much Cash as possible before time runs out. You can earn Cash by looting the map, completing contracts, and killing other players. If you die you respawn within a few seconds, but you lose all your Cash.

Warzone map: Verdansk

  • Warzone takes place on Verdansk, one of the largest maps we've seen in any Battle Royale game. Over four times the size of the map in Call Of Duty: Blackout, it looks like Verdansk will be even larger than any of the maps in Apex Legends, Fortnite, or even PUBG.
  • There are 20 major named locations on the Verdansk map, with the largest and most prominent POIs looking to be Airport, Downtown, and Stadium.
  • You can hit "M" (by default) while in-game to view the map at any time. You'll also be able to see important POIs such as Vehicles, Buy Stations, and Contract targets (more on these below).

Vehicles in Warzone

  • There are five types of vehicle available in Warzone, and you can find many of each type scattered across the map every match. Here's how Infinity Ward describe each one:
  • ATV – two-seater, provides minimal protection, good at off-roading, fast.
  • Tactical Rover – four seater, provides minimal protection, solidly fast, solid at off-roading.
  • SUV – four seater, provides good protection, medium speed, not ideal for off-roading.
  • Cargo Truck – holds the squad plus equipment, excellent protection, not for off-roading, slowest.
  • Helicopter – four seater, decent coverage, flies.

COD Warzone Gulag

The Gulag

  • Death is not the end in the Call Of Duty: Warzone Battle Royale mode. If you are killed, you enter the Gulag and can fight for a chance to return to the battle.
  • In the Gulag, you are entered into a queue, after which you will be pit against a single other player in the Gulag, armed with basic weapons and equipment. Win this fight, and you'll be returned to the overall match.
  • If you lose this 1v1 battle, it's still not the end, because your squad can use Buy Stations to purchase a tool to redeploy a fallen teammate - if they have the Cash.

Cash & Contracts

  • Cash is the currency of the Warzone game modes. In Plunder, the aim is to earn the most Cash, but it's also an extremely important resource in the Battle Royale mode.
  • There are several ways to earn Cash. You can find Cash strewn about the world as loot; you can kill other players to earn Cash rewards; and you can pick up and complete Contracts.
  • There are multiple different types of Contracts which can be activated by picking up the Contract dossier as a loot drop. Your squad can only activate one Contract at a time.
  • Some contracts may include finding and opening supply boxes, or killing specific targets, or securing a specific location, just to name a few. As well as earning you Cash, completing Contracts may earn your team unique abilities such as seeing the next circle location before it starts to close.

Buy Stations & Loadouts

  • Cash is so important in Warzone Battle Royale because of Buy Stations. There are many Buy Stations scattered across the map (which you can see on the map overlay), and they all offer you powerful upgrades and rewards in exchange for Cash.
  • Examples of what you can buy at Buy Stations include Field Upgrades such as UAV drones, equipment such as Armor Plates and Gas Masks; and even lethal Killstreak rewards such as airstrikes.
  • But most importantly, with enough Cash you can use a Buy Station to deploy a Loadout Drop. This will drop a crate at your location which will allow you to pick a preset loadout of weapons, perks, and equipment - the ultimate reward.

Progression between Modern Warfare & Warzone

  • Progression is carried over from the main Modern Warfare game and the free-to-play Warzone. So all your unlocked cosmetics and items will remain unlocked for Warzone.
  • If you don't own Modern Warfare, you can still unlock everything just by playing Warzone. And if you ever decide to buy Modern Warfare, all your Warzone unlocks will carry over to Modern Warfare.

How to play COD Warzone

Alright - that should be enough of an info-dump to get you ready and raring for Call Of Duty: Warzone! I'll let you get on with it. See you in Verdansk.

About the Author

Ollie Toms avatar

Ollie Toms

Guides Editor

Ollie is known round these parts for having just about the deepest voice in existence. Some say he used to be pretty darn good at Rocket League, but he has since sacrificed that accolade in order to become passably decent at Apex Legends. His favourite pastimes include playing piano covers of his favourite game soundtracks, and burying his face in the warm fur of his two cats.

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