What is DMZ? Call of Duty Warzone 2.0’s new mode explained

When Call of Duty Warzone 2.0 arrives on 16 November 2022, it’s not just bringing with it a new battle royale map and experience – there’s also an all-new mode called DMZ.

This is the COD take on a genre that’s been growing in popularity for a few years now: the extraction shooter. Here are all the details you need right now.

What is DMZ mode?

In essence, DMZ will task you and your squad with dropping into a section of the Al Mazrah map from Warzone 2.0 with a set of objectives.

Whereas in Battle Royale your task is to survive until no one else is standing, here it’s more about completing some tasks and then escaping alive. The map will be populated by AI guards and enemy players with their own objectives, to make this harder.

This could involve looting specific items, killing certain marked NPC enemies or eliminating rival operators from named factions, so expect plenty of mission variety.

Once you finish your jobs, you’ll need to make your way to specific exfiltration spots (which might be guarded by other canny players) to get out of the map with your loot.

Die along the way and you’ll face severe penalties, losing the loot you had on you and potentially waving goodbye to the weapon you were using for a good chunk of time.

The mode is inspired by the likes of Escape from Tarkov and Hunt: Showdown, both of which have large cult followings.

Call of Duty Warzone 2.0 DMZ mode release date

DMZ will be arriving at the start of Seasons 1 for Warzone 2.0 and Modern Warfare 2 – that means it’ll arrive on 16 November 2022.

To find out more about what else is coming to Warzone 2.0 in Season 1, check out our guide right here.

Is COD DMZ mode free?

Because it’s part of Warzone 2.0, rather than Modern Warfare 2, DMZ will indeed be completely free to play.

Warzone DMZ mode factions

Part of how DMZ will work is by having different in-game factions that you can complete missions for. There will be three at launch, from the looks of things.

These factions are called Legion, White Lotus and Black Mous, and each will offer missions with ascending levels of difficulty in the order we’ve named them.

This will make Legion an ideal faction for those getting used to the mode, while the next two factions can be move onto once you’re more comfortable.

We don’t yet know what the story behind these factions will be, but we may find out more soon.

Each faction will have multiple tiers of missions on offer, meaning we should be able to access a total of over 50 missions to work our way through at launch.

Warzone DMZ mode mission rewards

Of course, given the high levels of risk attached to a run in DMZ compared to Warzone’s battle royale modes, there has to be an incentive to play it.

This is where mission rewards come in – successful missions and runs in DMZ will give you welcome rewards, from small things like double XP tokens to spend and weapon charms to bigger deals like actual permanent weapon blueprints and operator skins.

If some of these are exclusive to the mode, expect them to become status symbols among the best players.

Warzone DMZ mode loadouts

Weaponry in DMZ will function a little differently from how it works in multiplayer and battle royale – while you’ll still be able to take Gunsmith weapons into the DMZ, this will have a risk attached.

If you do nothing, you’ll play with a Contraband Weapon that could still pack a real punch, but these weapons will be gone forever if you die.

However, you can also bring in your own Gunsmith weapons and accept the risk of losing them, by using what’s called an Insured Slot in your loadout. Dying with one of these doesn’t mean a permanent loss of access, but rather a timed window in which you can’t use it anymore. From gameplay footage shown so far, this could be as long as 10 hours to stop you from jumping back in with that gun.

This timer can be lowered by making more successful runs, though.

Warzone DMZ mode looting

One thing that is changing significantly for DMZ is how you interact with items and pick-ups – you now have a backpack and a much more in-depth looting system to learn.

This will be a bit more complex than the new version coming to Warzone 2.0, and will mean that looting a body or area is something you have to be very careful about.

Warzone DMZ mode radiation circle

To give time pressure to the various players on each server (we’re not exactly sure how many this will mean in total, yet), there is a radiation circle mechanic in DMZ.

In Battle Royale, the circle closes in on players, driving them together into a smaller area over time.

In DMZ, though, it’s the opposite – a slow spread of radiation outward in a circle will force players to run into an ever-narrowing band of the map to stay clear of it.

This only begins quite far into the match and is designed to force players to start planning their exfiltrations. As each exfil point gets enveloped by the gas, it’ll disappear, narrowing your options.

However, before the entire map is covered a final exfil point will appear, giving players a dangerous last chance to escape.

The radiation source will rotate each map for some randomness, as will exfiltration points.

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