CoD 101: Everything You Need to Know MW II and Warzone 2.0 Season 03, Including Tips and Tactics

Welcome to Call of Duty 101, a streamlined guide to what to do first in Modern Warfare® II and Warzone 2.0. Get the intel you need to dive in and experience all the fun for yourself!

How to Unleash Your Inner Competitor

Welcome to Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® II and Call of Duty®: Warzone™ 2.0.

With Season 03 dropping yesterday, we know there are a lot of places to start — or restart — your journey into the Modern Warfare® II universe. Pick up the full game to get access to all modes, as well as the ability to unlock over a dozen Operators and more. Here’s the Call of Duty 101 guide on diving into Modern Warfare II and Warzone 2.0, designed to help you focus on the new content, improve your game, and have fun.

First-Time Player Quick Guide

In addition to following all in-game tutorials, here is where new players should start across both games:

Warzone 2.0: Free-to-Play Starting Points

The Plan: We highly recommend playing Resurgence modes, as being able to respawn during the match allows for some flexibility especially when playing with squadmates.

However, if you are familiar with Battle Royale games, Warzone 2.0 Season 03 also has a traditional experience. Regardless of what mode you choose, an in-game tutorial is available to help guide you through the first few matches.

Tip: AI Combatant Takedowns: During these matches, we recommend finding and eliminating AI Combatants if they are in your chosen game mode, especially those AI at Strongholds or as part of the Data Heist event on Ashika Island (an in-game alert will notify you of this). Eliminating these foes is often easier than eliminating fellow Operators and offers a good amount of XP. Plus, Strongholds give out powerful items upon clearing them, which can be helpful for getting far during a Battle Royale match.

Once you complete a few matches (and level up to Rank 4 if you’re a brand-new player), start building a Loadout, which you’ll receive from a Loadout Drop or a Buy Station (in the form of your Loadout’s Primary Weapon) during a match. Take time to customize your weapon within the Weapons Menu prior to dropping into a match, and come back regularly to see what new items are unlocked (as you rank up, or level up your weapon and unlock more attachments). You can also head to the Store or check the Battle Pass to see what custom configurations — known as Weapon Blueprints — can be purchased, especially the Pro-Tuned Weapon Blueprints, which are built to perform to three labeled strengths right out of the box.

The Other Plan: Alternatively, you can start your journey in DMZ, an extraction game mode built for players who love taking a bit of risk to get some incredible rewards. You can read more about this mode here.

Modern Warfare II: The Best Way to Dive into Call of Duty

If you own Modern Warfare II, there are some great options for you to get used to becoming an Operator and saving the world:

Campaign is arguably the best place for new players to start across all modes. With adjustable difficulty, tons of AI Combatants to get you up to speed on typical combat pacing, the introduction of Modern Warfare II’s main story, and unlockable items such as Operators and a special Weapon Blueprint, this single-player mode is a great way to spend a few nights or a weekend until you feel confident enough to use those rewards in other modes.

Special Opsis another great choice, given that it is a co-op mode where you can play with friends against AI Combatants. Whether it is leveling up Kits by earning Special Ops Stars in missions or continuing the epic Modern Warfare II story in Raids, Special Ops is a great way to continue training your aim and earning some awesome rewards to use in this mode and others across Modern Warfare II and Warzone 2.0.

Multiplayer is the most popular mode choice in Modern Warfare II, with numerous maps and game modes to play, ranging from tactical Ranked Play to massive team battles in Ground War and Invasion. We highly recommend playing the following Multiplayer modes for your first time out:

  • Invasion: A mix of enemy Operators and AI Combatants make this mode incredible for newcomers.
  • Team Deathmatch: A no-frills, no-holds-barred Deathmatch is a great stepping-stone into player-versus-player combat.
  • Domination: More of an objective player? Domination is considered one of the easiest to understand, with three main objectives to achieve during a match. Try capturing two instead of all three for your team to set up a proper defensive position!
  • Ground War: Once you get comfortable with player-versus-player combat and objective play, jump into Ground War. Feel free to use vehicles to maximize your mobility and elimination potential.

PRO TIP: Don’t have anyone online to play Special Ops, Multiplayer, DMZ, or Battle Royale with you? Use the Find a Party feature, where you can find fellow Operators through in-game communication methods (e.g., Text Chat Only), translated into over a dozen main languages, including every language that this blog is translated into!

How to Use New Weapons and Get the New Battle Pass

One of the main updates for each season is its Battle Pass, which offers free content unlocked by playing the game, as well as the ability to upgrade to unlock all 20+ sectors of items like Weapon Blueprints, Operator Skins, and more.

You can see the Battle Pass in any main menu, usually next to the Events and Store tabs. Set your progress to either automatic (recommended for new players) or manual unlocks. You can also purchase the full Battle Pass or get BlackCell, an offering with incredible value, exclusive items, and free Battle Token Tier Skips. Learn more about these here.

In addition to Weapon Blueprints, Operator Skins, War Track packs for jamming out in vehicles, and more, each Battle Pass contains free functional weapons. For Season 03, you can unlock a brand-new Battle Rifle in the Cronen Squall and an FJX Imperium Sniper Rifle.

Tip: Need a great general-purpose variant for each new Season 03 weapon? Then unlock the Weapon Blueprints mentioned below as you complete the Battle Pass.

The Cronen Squall is unlockable in Sector C11 (15 Battle Token Tier Skips to unlock this weapon from the standard starting position), while the FJX Imperium is unlockable in Sector C4 (minimum 20 Battle Token Tier Skips to unlock). Once these weapons are unlocked, you can customize them like you would with nearly any other weapon in the game, although we do have some recommended builds for new players:

Weapon Detail: Cronen Squall

Weapon Blueprint: “La Espina” (Victory or 100% Completion Sector in Battle Pass)

This is Valeria’s personal Blueprint of the new Battle Rifle, built to be an all-around powerhouse. Battle Rifles have a fire select toggle, making it possible to go full-auto for close-range scenarios; you can then dial it back to semi-auto for precise headshots at longer ranges.

Precision is absolutely key for this weapon, as it gives a high headshot damage multiplier that considerably reduces your time to kill (TTK). Be sure to aim down sight to line up accurate shots, using long lines of sight and ample lower-body cover for the best shot at success.

Cronen Squall Full Loadout Recommendation

Secondary: KV Broadside (Shotgun)

Perk Package: Overkill, Double Time, Spotter, Survivor

Equipment: Frag Grenade, Flash Grenade

Field Upgrade (If Applicable): Munitions Box

A well-rounded weapon could find a place in a well-rounded Loadout, especially if there is a Shotgun like the KV Broadside around, which you can unlock by completing a simple weapon challenge. The Broadside can handle those extremely close-range situations, allowing you to focus the Cronen Squall on targets down range.

You need Overkill to make this weapon combination possible. The other Basic Perk we recommend is Double Time for better movement speed. Spotter is great for scouting the path ahead to ensure you or a teammate does not run into trip mines, while Survivor gives you an extra chance at life if you go down.

The Equipment and Field Upgrades are the definitions of utility: a Frag Grenade can hurt one or more Operators or damage enemy vehicles or equipment, while the Flash Grenade can blind and disorient enemies, increasing the chances of you winning an engagement with them. As for the Munitions Box, it will help you restock on ammo whenever it is available and will give you some serious team cred since it can also resupply squadmates.

Weapon Detail: FJX Imperium

Weapon Blueprint: “Dead Center” (Sector C17 In Battle Pass)

Since its first version in Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® 2 (2009), the FJX Imperium is a mythical Sniper Rifle that rewards accurate Operators with lightning-quick elimination potential. The weapon’s recommended attachment setup is built for more traditional sniping roles, as it kits the FJX Imperium for steadiness when aiming down sight and phenomenal accuracy at longer ranges.

If you have the hand-eye coordination, try “quickscoping” with this weapon, aiming down sight just enough to see a target down range, then firing and scoping back out. This allows for high mobility before or during engagements, which is ideal for an aggressive style of play.

FJX Imperium Full Loadout Recommendation

Secondary: Combat Knife

Perk Package: Bomb Squad, Battle Hardened, Focus, Ghost

Equipment: Proximity Mine, Shock Stick

Field Upgrade (If Applicable): Tactical Camera

Whether you need a fast way to move around the map or a blink-and-they-miss-it fisticuffs melee option, the Combat Knife is a formidable combination with the FJX Imperium. A Sidearm is also great for those not ready to play around with melee options — we especially recommend the automatic X13 Sidearm (or one of the two new ones coming at mid-season) for this job.

The Perk Package, Equipment, and Field Upgrade recommendations are all built for a traditional sniper playstyle. Bomb Squad and Battle Hardened are great Perks due to their protection against enemy equipment, and Focus allows you to aim while holding your breath longer, which is ideal for making long-range shots. Ghost rounds out the Package as an all-around great Ultimate Perk against enemy UAVs and other reconnaissance tools.

The Proximity Mine and Shock Stick are two great defensive equipment pieces that can cover your flank or make a high-traffic area tougher to navigate. Also, a quick pro tip: Both of these equipment pieces have special water properties…

As for the Tactical Camera, it is useful when placed in a high-traffic location. At the very least, it will warn you when enemy players are in its field of view, and at best, you can take a break from sniping and call out enemy positions by tapping into the camera remotely.

Mode Spotlight: Massive Resurgence

Imagine a regular Battle Royale match where the last squad (or solo) standing wins, then amplify it with the ability to get back into the game more often.

That is Massive Resurgence; for those unfamiliar with Resurgence rules, if a squad member is eliminated in a match, and one or more squad members are still alive, a countdown will appear beside their name. When this countdown hits zero, they will redeploy to the DZ. This countdown can be shortened by your squadmates if they perform specific in-game actions such as eliminating enemies, which incentivizes aggressive play. This countdown grows longer with each circle collapse until the final few circles — where all redeploys, save for those bought through a Buy Station — are disabled.

This is slightly different in Solo modes, where everyone gets a free second life, then has to scramble to refill their own countdown meter to survive.

Massive Resurgence Tips

1. Clocked Out. Resurgence is about making every second count. Earn eliminations, complete contracts, and scavenge for Supply Boxes to cut down the Resurgence Timer.  

2. Play Smart, Not for Eliminations. For newer players especially, facing an enemy head-on with a SMG from 100 meters out is a recipe for disaster. Know what weapons you have to hand and consider not shooting on sight in favor of setting up a more favorable position for a tactical engagement.

3. Down, But Not Out. Go down in Resurgence? Most likely, you still have that chance to come back because of the Resurgence timer. Do not get discouraged on the first death – even the best players have one and go on to win, sometimes with incredibly high elimination counts. That’s all just a part of what makes Resurgence great.

Learn more about Massive Resurgence here.

Mode Spotlight: Gunfight 

If you’re starting Season 03 Modern Warfare II with a buddy, then the Multiplayer mode Gunfight is a great option to check out for a change of pace.

This 2v2 mode has you dueling against a fellow Duo on small maps with random Loadouts, so there is no need to worry about perfecting that Custom Loadout before dropping in. Each match is in a round-based format, so if you lose one round, your Duo can easily fight back in the next one.

Gunfight Tips

Here are some tried-and-true tips for Gunfight:

1. Operator of All Trades. Because Gunfight uses random Loadouts, it’s a great way to try the full suite of Modern Warfare II weaponry. If you like a weapon or two in Gunfight, throw them in your Loadouts or work toward them if they need to be unlocked. Plus, they will get some Weapon Level progress toward attachments due to your play in Gunfight!

2. Patience Means Victory. Duos often lose Gunfight rounds because they over-aggressively push toward their opponents. Play safe, lock down long sightlines, and communicate with your Duo about the other squad overcommitting, and you’ll be looking at some wins before you know it.

3. Play for Overtime. If a Gunfight round ends with neither team eliminated, a flag spawns in the center of the arena. Use it to your advantage; if the other Duo is out of position, capture the flag as soon as possible for the win. Alternatively, you can use the flag as “bait” to trap the opponent into standing out on the open objective for you to then finish the round.

Learn more about Gunfight here.

Mode Spotlight: DMZ 

As the newest experience inside Call of Duty, DMZ in Warzone 2.0 is recommended for all new players, especially those who love high-intensity, single-life games. Despite its ruleset being based on player risk — you lose any non-insured weapons and Keys if you die during an infiltration — DMZ offers a few new-player-friendly features, particularly the first few missions for each faction every season.

Initial Mission Planning: These first missions are easy to complete, they teach you how to play DMZ, and they offer a great amount of XP in addition to DMZ-specific rewards (Contraband Weapons and Keys) and permanent rewards like Weapon Blueprints. Combined with playing alongside more experienced players, who can help you through the dangerous DZs of Al Mazrah, Ashika Island, and Building 21, DMZ should be fun, especially in the first few infiltrations when you are guided by those starting missions.

Use These Features: Once you are in DMZ, take advantage of the new Persistent Operator feature to save your best-kitted Operators for tougher missions or planned extended infiltrations. Feel free to experiment with another Operator on your roster who won’t lose much if they get downed, and then stack all those valuable items and Contraband onto your fully armored Operator with Killstreaks and more at the ready.

Surviving and Thriving: Finally, winning in DMZ is about shifting your perspective. Simply surviving an infiltration and completing a Contract within the DZ grants you a Perk (or multiple, if you get an exfiltration streak going) that can be extremely helpful for the next infiltration and that can help you gather all the cool Contraband and items during the match. Consider yourself proficient in DMZ if you can survive and complete missions and/or contracts every other infiltration, because even the best DMZ players in the world cannot say they survived every infiltration.

Oh, and feel free to open that microphone or type in text chat within DMZ; the community here is full of people who want to help others complete missions, so say hello and send them an invite to join your party!

Learn more about DMZ here.

How to Get Rewards During the Trophy Hunt Event

As part of Season 03, you may see an enemy drop a golden skull coin. This is known as a trophy, a key part of the limited-time Trophy Hunt event across Modern Warfare II and Warzone 2.0.

Trophy Hunt trophies, which again look like trophies, can be collected through the following modes:

  • Modern Warfare II Multiplayer: Trophies drop from each unique player killed. Collect Trophies and finish the match to add them to your bank.
  • Warzone 2.0 Battle Royale / Resurgence / Plunder: Both enemy Operators and AI Combatants drop trophies. Trophies can also be found in loot. Trophies must be collected and secured at an Upload Station to add them to your bank.

Warzone 2.0 DMZ: Both enemy Operators and AI Combatants drop trophies when killed. Trophies must be collected and secured at an Upload Station, or extracted to add them to your bank. These trophies can then be exchanged for permanent prizes, including Weapon Blueprints, Calling Cards, and more.

You don’t need to collect all these items, but if you do, there are two awesome Operator Skins waiting for you. At least aim to get the two Weapon Blueprints — the “Nightsting” and the “Venom Strike” — as these are awesome, well-balanced weapon preconfigurations.

Additional items will be released midway through the event. Learn more about this event here.

Complete Challenges, Earn Rare Rewards

The limited-time Trophy Hunt event isn’t the only chance you have at earning some in-game rewards, because Modern Warfare II and Warzone 2.0 are full of them. Here are four of our favorite ways to unlock free items in both games:

1. Calling Card Challenges. Located in the Challenge menu, Calling Card challenges reward you with cool graphics for your Player Profile and Showcase, all for doing in-game actions you would normally do to win matches. Tasks such as earning kills, earning headshots with certain weapons, collecting Cash in DMZ, or winning specific matches or challenges offer Calling Cards for your efforts. More Calling Card Challenges unlock once you hit certain Prestige Ranks (after Player Rank 55), so check back often to see what new challenges you can complete and to see your current progress!

2. Modern Warfare II Operators. You can unlock over a dozen Operators by owning Modern Warfare II and by completing a variety of challenges across all of its game modes. Check the Challenge menu to see how easy it can be to expand your Operator roster by completing specific Campaign missions, such as finishing the whole Campaign to unlock Hutch; finishing Special Ops missions; or performing tasks in Multiplayer.

3. DMZ Seasonal Mission Rewards. Every season of DMZ offers new rewards through mission completion across each faction, including the Modern Warfare II owner-exclusive Crown Faction. Weapon Blueprints, Operator Skins, Emblems, Calling Cards, and more can be yours by proving yourself in DMZ. Play with friends and get these rare rewards together!

4. Raid Episodes. Both Raid Episode 1 and 2 are available for Modern Warfare II owners, with a third one on the way at midseason. Completing these Raids unlocks a new Operator Skin for Gaz and Price (in Episode 1 and Episode 2, respectively), and there are even more rewards for completing it on a higher difficulty or figuring out some of the mission’s secrets…

5. Camo Challenges. In leveling up weapons, you unlock the ability to earn camouflages — coats of paint that can be applied to nearly every weapon in the game. Go into your Loadout and, while editing a weapon, see what Camo Challenges you can complete to unlock some new Camos. You may even be able to get a Gold Camo, a weapon-specific unlock that acts as a single proof of mastery of a weapon. And if you think you have what it takes to go for Platinum, Polyatomic, or the fabled Orion camouflage, read our Camo Challenge blog here before taking on this ultimate achievement quest.

Everything Else in Season 03

This intel drop has only scratched the surface: There’s a lot more content in Modern Warfare II and Warzone 2.0 leading to countless other ways to play in Season 03.

In addition to two brand-new Multiplayer maps — the perilous Pelayo’s Lighthouse and the oilfield night infiltration known as Black Gold — and several feature updates across both games, you still have nearly everything to enjoy from launch, Season 01, and Season 02, including Special Ops Missions, Multiplayer Maps like Himmelmat Expo and Shipment, the built-for-Resurgence Ashika Island Warzone map, and more.

There is never a better time to dive into Modern Warfare II and Warzone 2.0 than right now, so drop into all this action, and, as we always say around Task Force 141…

Stay frosty.

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