Warzone 2.0 Plunder mode alleviates the stress of battle royale

Call of Duty has been in a rough spot lately, with declining player counts and frustration from the community. But Activision has offset some of the negativity, at least slightly, with the release of the Plunder mode in Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0. This fan-favorite mode was introduced in the original Warzone, but was absent from the sequel until now. In Plunder, the focus isn’t necessarily on surviving, but rather on collecting as much cash as possible. Respawns are enabled and loadouts are available by default, and the overall pacing is faster, so Plunder plays differently from Battle Royale.

It’s a refreshing break from the stress of attempting to be the last squad standing in Battle Royale, making Plunder great for players looking to chill. Since its release, I’ve had such a blast with Plunder that I almost forgot about all the massive problems plaguing Warzone 2.0 at large.

Learning the ropes

Characters parachuting in Warzone 2.0 Season 3.

During Warzone 2.0’s Battle Royale, a lot of the experience comes down to dumb luck. Sure, skill plays a major role, but even an expert player can meet an untimely demise due to something outside of their control. Imagine entering a building, expecting to find armor plates, only to get subsequently outgunned by someone with a sliver of health left. That’s one reason Battle Royale can be off-putting, even to the most hardcore of Call of Duty fans. In Plunder, luck still plays a role as players race to collect the most cash, but you aren’t penalized as hard when things go south. This is thanks to the respawn mechanic, which allows players who are killed to quickly get back into the action.

While this might not seem like a big deal, it truly did impact the way I played. Knowing I could respawn in a matter of seconds pushed me to play more aggressively. The rewards outweigh the risks, as taking an aggressive stance might lead to a satisfying team wipe, while losing the engagement simply cost me the time it took to respawn. Playing more aggressively also only made me better at winning gunfights, so I’d recommend Plunder to anyone looking to refine their Call of Duty playing skills. Everyone else is playing more aggressively as well, so Plunder can end up feeling like Team Deathmatch at certain hotspots like Al Mazrah City, Observatory, and Airport as players continuously drop in.

Play at your own pace

Player in a Plunder match in Warzone 2.0.

The best thing about Plunder is how it lets people play and progress at their own pace. In Battle Royale, players are forced to move alongside the deadly gas, which can make it difficult to learn the ins and outs of certain points of interest as the gas influences how players maneuver throughout a match. Thankfully, Plunder doesn’t include a gas mechanic, meaning you’re free to explore and take in the sights however you see fit during the time limit. The ability to spawn in with custom loadouts was also a welcome addition, as I could spend more time using my favorite weapons and learning how to use new ones instead of utilizing ground loot.

Plunder is also a fantastic way to level up my weapons thanks to the sheer number of engagements. Battling opponents earns players valuable weapon XP; in turn, this allows players to quickly earn the best attachments. Those who don’t feel like racking up a slew of eliminations to earn lots of XP can also take a more passive approach by completing nearby contracts. Either way, there are lots of options for leveling up weapons within Plunder, making match-to-match progression more consistent than Battle Royale.

Two characters from Warzone 2.0 Season 3.

Since Plunder matches play a lot less competitively than Battle Royale, it appeals a wider degree of skill levels as well. It’s unclear if the skill-based matchmaking is any different in Plunder compared to Battle Royale, but the general feeling is that you’re less likely to come across only expert players (or newcomers). The wide range of skill levels found in Plunder makes each match feel varied, with plenty of fun to be had throughout. Some games I played felt extremely intense, as enemy players carefully coordinated to emerge victorious, while other matches filled with newcomers made it easier for me to win. No two matches feel the same, as the mode caters to a more diverse set of players.

Plunder certainly doesn’t solve all of Warzone 2.0’s problems, but it’s a refreshing mode that feels distinct from Battle Royale in all of the right ways. It’s an excellent way to practice getting into gunfights and caters to casuals as well as veteran players across the board.

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