You don’t need to buy Modern Warfare II to play Warzone 2

Dollar signs cover Ghost's eyes.

Contrary to what the game’s menus seem to tell you, War zone 2.0 is free and you don’t have to buy anything Modern Warfare II.
Screenshot: Activision / Kotaku

War zone 2.0 has been out for a few days now and it’s a damn good time once you get past the most challenging part of the game: navigating a user interface that seems encoded in the fires of digital hell. Aside from the fact that it’s clunky, obtuse, glitchy, and not even remotely helpful in finding what you’re looking for, War zone 2 does a fantastic job of making you think you should buy Modern Warfare II to play the battle royale especially if you are looking to party with friends. While MWII is a good time (moreso for the multiplayer Then the campaign), I’m here to inform you that, no, you don’t have to buy Modern Warfare II to play War zone 2.0.

Modern Warfare II and War zone 2.0 (and the DMZ mode) are all accessed through the same launcher. While not necessarily a bad thing, it does lead to remarkably exhausting confusion. It gets even more confusing if you haven’t paid MWII and you party with people who have, and somehow even more confusing when you do it on PC and try to play cross platform. Rest assured, you don’t have to part with $70 to play Battle Royale mode with friends. Here’s how to connect with friends completely free War zone 2.0.

How to join with friends War zone 2.0 without buying Modern Warfare II

If you’re playing with friends on the same console (Xbox and Xbox, PlayStation and PlayStation) you should just be able to team up like you do in any other game – that said, no matter what platform you sit, if you haven’t paid MWIIyou need to navigate to the battle royale menu to avoid getting the prompt that says “Buy Modern Warfare II to access everything.” Again, you don’t have to buy MWII to play the battle royale. Don’t panic (or buy the game) if you see this error:

Don’t be alarmed if you see this. You just need to go to the Battle Royale submenu before accepting an invitation.
Poison: Activision / Kotaku

If you try to accept a team invite while staying in the menu that contains the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II launcher dumps you into it, you’ll probably see two warnings: one telling you the game may not have installed completely, followed by a prompt to buy Modern Warfare II. Ignore all that nonsense. Before accepting an invitation, scroll down to the bottom of the main menu and navigate to the battle royale map (or DMZ if you want to play that, which is also free). Accept an invite from a friend in the Battle Royale menu. If you don’t, the game will challenge you to buy Modern Warfare II.

If you don’t own Modern Warfare II, you’ll need to navigate to the Battle Royale submenu to join friends.
Poison: Activision / Kotaku

How to join friends through crossplay and on PC

Take a good, deep breath. It’ll be fine. War zone 2.0 doesn’t make it easy to figure out how to join a friend who’s on another platform, especially if you haven’t bought it Modern Warfare II.

First you need to find your Activision ID. If you are in the menus for either Modern Warfare II or War zone 2.0, then you have one. Go to the social tab in the main menu of the game, in the top right corner.

Here you will see the people who are currently in your party, as well as your selected operator. Select “View My Profile” from this menu and you will see your Activision ID on the right side of the screen. It’s a similar format to something like Discord, if you’re familiar with that: a username, # sign, and a series of numbers.

A screenshot of the Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 menu shows player information.

Your Activision ID is needed for crossplay (and be sure to accept invites from the Battle Royale menu!)
Screenshot: Activision / Kotaku

This is the name you use to befriend people. Once you know the Activision ID of the person you want to befriend and collaborate with, go back to the first social menu and click on the Friends tab. Click on “Add Friends” and enter the Activision ID there. If everything is correct, your friend will get a friend invite (check the bell icon on the top right for the notification if you miss it.)

With the addition of a friend out of the way, it’s time to team up. As mentioned above, if you have not purchased Modern Warfare IIyou need to open the battle royale menu to accept a party invite from someone. Scroll down and select DMZ or Battle Royale (whichever mode you want to play) and load into that particular menu instance. You know you’re in the right place when you see “Battle Royale” in the top left corner of the main menu. Send and accept friend invites with non-owner players Modern Warfare II from here and always only here.

If you’ve previously sent an invite and a player couldn’t join because they’re not in the correct menu, there are a few other options in the menu to send a new invite, but often this is locked (it seems that sometimes you can’t send more than one invitation to the same person). If you have this problem, just stop Dutyrestart the game, navigate to the battle royale menu, then send or request an invite.

Feeling tired? Yes, me too. It’s 2022 and menus are officially harder than the games they launch. But don’t let War zone 2.0 fool you into buying Modern Warfare II if you do not want. Now get together and start causing trouble on purpose.

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