With the highly anticipated launch of Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0, players have started dropping into the new battle royale experience. The original Warzone was complex enough on its own, and its sequel continues that trend, with new mechanics that will likely confuse even the most dedicated players — at least at first. While Warzone 2.0 is fundamentally very similar to its predecessor, it comes with a host of changes you should be aware of.
The list of differences feels practically endless, but here, we’ll highlight the most notable changes between Warzone and Warzone 2.0.
Much to the relief of the community, Loadouts remain in Warzone 2.0, but they work differently than before. We’ll dive into more specifics in a separate guide, but the main thing you need to know is that you cannot simply purchase a Loadout Drop from a Buy Station anymore.
Instead, you have to complete Strongholds, which require players to defeat AI and complete an objective. The other way to get your Loadout weapons is to grab one from a world drop, just like in the original Warzone. However, in this game, there are a set amount of Loadout Drops that appear (as opposed to one for each team), and once they’re taken, they’re gone for good. This means not everyone will be able to get a Loadout Drop from the world event.
As mentioned previously, Warzone 2.0 features AI enemies who appear in Strongholds. These appear in random locations around the map and are limited to three per match. Not only do Strongholds contain AI enemies, but they’re also the main way to obtain your Loadout in the new game, so you’ll want to familiarize yourself with them as you play.
This does mean you’ll spend a considerable amount of time battling AI, which is a point of contention with the new installment.
Warzone 2.0 also features a new Gulag, and it’s quite interesting. Instead of throwing players into 1v1 battles for survival, the new Gulag features 2v2 fights. In it, you get paired up with a random player who also died (it seems like the game prioritizes matching you with teammates, which is nice), making it much better for those who enjoy teamwork.
After a certain amount of time, if no team has been eliminated yet, a Jailer (who is similar to a Juggernaut) comes out, and the first squad to take down this enemy wins. There are a lot more variables with the new Gulag, but it does seem far more forgiving, with more of a dynamic feel. It’s certainly less straightforward than before, but the pacing remains just as fast as ever.
The entire looting system has gotten an overhaul, and while players don’t seem to love it just yet, it has the potential to be special after a few tweaks. The main difference is that players have access to a limited number of inventory slots, in the form of backpacks. This means you’ll spend a considerable amount of time arranging items in your own backpack, as well as navigating through the backpacks of defeated foes.
You’ll also find the act of picking up items to be a lot slower than before, especially when your backpack runs out of room. This is because you’ll have to swap out items to make room for new ones. This is far different from the original Warzone’s looting system, which was much faster thanks to its simplistic design.
Another aspect of the inventory that received a substantial change in Warzone 2.0 is the way your armor reserve functions. In the original Warzone, you could apply three armor plates at any given time, and had a reserve of five by default (eight if you acquired a satchel). In Warzone 2.0, the default number of armor plates you can apply is two — you can only add three if you collect a 3 Plate Armor Vest.
This means players will frequently go into battle with only two plates, especially at the start of a match. Seemingly, this change is minor, but you won’t want to neglect this new feature because it can be the difference between winning and losing a gunfight.
One of the most intriguing new features in Warzone 2.0 is the way the final circles work. No longer are players restricted to just one final circle. Instead, up to three can appear during the final stages of a match, before coming back together at the very end. This is a monumental change that increases the pacing and forces players to come together.
Keep in mind, the gas circles won’t always split, so make sure to pay attention to your map as the match goes on.
A simple, yet important change is the implementation of swimming in Warzone 2.0. Previously, interacting with any body of water up to your chest would instantly kill you, which was oftentimes a frustrating experience. Now, you can swim across large bodies of water on the Al Mazrah map (or even traverse them by boat!), offering more ways to navigate your surroundings.
Interestingly, you can still fire a handgun underwater, so keep that in mind as you utilize the new mechanic. Likewise, the water does provide a bit of cover from enemies firing at you on land, but you aren’t indestructible while swimming.
Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 is available now on PlayStation 4, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC, and mobile devices.