Call of Duty Warzone 2 release day: Start time, how to preload, Al Mazrah map, DMZ

Liam Mackay
warzone 2

Warzone 2 brings a brand-new battle royale experience to Call of Duty. Here’s everything you need to know about Warzone 2’s release day including the launch times in each region, preload details, gameplay, the Al Mazrah map, DMZ mode, and more.

Warzone is set to receive a major evolution as Modern Warfare 2 Season 1 brings ‘Warzone 2.0,’ the sequel to the incredibly popular Call of Duty battle royale.

Call of Duty: Warzone 2 is the sequel to CoD’s hit battle royale, an entirely new free-to-play game that brings Warzone to the brand-new Al Mazrah map with new weapons, vehicles, Operators, the Gulag 2.0, and plenty of new mechanics.

For those interested in all of the details, here’s everything you need to know about the launch day including what time will Warzone 2 be playable in each region and how to preload.

warzone 2.0 operators in aircraft

Warzone 2 release time & date

Call of Duty: Warzone 2 will release on November 16, 2022, and will be playable at the following times:

  • West Coast US: 10 AM PT
  • East Coast US: 1 PM ET
  • UK: 6 PM GMT
  • Europe: 7 PM CET
  • Australia: 5 AM AEDT (November 17)

November 16 will also mark the start of Modern Warfare 2 Season 1 and bring the highly anticipated DMZ mode alongside Warzone 2 Season 1.

How to preload Warzone 2: Dates, time, download

Warzone 2 players can pre-load the game from November 14 so they can jump straight in when it goes live on November 16.

Just look for ‘Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0’ in your platform’s store and, because it’s free to play, you’ll be able to download it ahead of the full release. Modern Warfare 2 owners will need to look for an update that will download all of the Season 1 content for both games, making Warzone 2 ready to play at 1 PM ET.

Warzone 2 map

Warzone 2 Al Mazrah map

The biggest battle royale map yet, Warzone 2’s Al Mazrah takes players to Western Asia and includes classic maps from the Modern Warfare series.

While exploring Al Mazrah players will be able to find classic Call of Duty maps such as Showdown, Terminal, Quarry, Highrise, and Dome. The map also takes advantage of Modern Warfare 2’s swimming mechanics, so the rivers and ocean are all traversable via swimming or boat.

Warzone 2 gameplay

Warzone 2 is similar to the original Warzone but features some brand-new mechanics to shake up the gameplay.

You’ll still be fighting to be the last man standing in Warzone 2, but the way you loot, acquire loadout weapons, and fight in the Gulag have all received major changes.

Here’s everything you need to know about Warzone 2’s gameplay.

Loadouts return to Warzone 2

After the devs made a controversial decision to remove loadouts in the Call of Duty Next build of Warzone 2, they officially confirmed that Loadout Drops will be returning in Warzone 2.

According to the Call of Duty blog, there are three ways players can earn a Loadout or at least one of their custom weapons:

  • Shops – Players can use in-match Cash at the Shops (the new name for the Buy Station) to purchase their Primary Weapon from their created Loadouts.
  • Loadout Drop Public Event – Loadout Drops will drop into Al Mazrah in the middle of Battle Royale matches. However, these are not limited or assigned to individual squads, but instead can be accessed by any player.
  • Strongholds and Black Sites – Players can also earn their Loadout in the early game as a reward for clearing a Stronghold or a Black Site.

Looting & inventory

Warzone 2 will feature a new Backpack system, which is “fully integrated for DMZ and streamlined for Battle Royale modes.” Rather than loot sprawling out of eliminated enemies, players will now interact with a loot menu.

For a more detailed explanation, check out our guide on the Backpack system in Warzone 2.

The Shops

Each Buy Station in Warzone 2 will offer a “unique set of items for purchase in limited quantity.” This means that items like Killstreaks, Armor Plates, and more may not be available at every Buy Station, and they may run out of the item by the time you get there.

Players will still be able to buy their eliminated teammates back, all “within a new interface.”

Gulag 2.0

Warzone 2.0 players in Gulag

Since receiving feedback at the Call of Duty Next event, the devs have decided to keep the 2v2 Gulag experience in Warzone 2.

The Gulag has also undergone a massive change with Warzone 2, where players will now fight 2v2 with a temporary teammate. Each player will spawn with a predefined loadout, which at launch will either be a “Pistol or a Shotgun, a Lethal Grenade, and a Tactical Grenade.”

More effective weaponry and gear can be found towards the center of the Gulag map, but be careful, as the other team as well as the AI Jailer will be on the lookout.

Warzone 2’s Gulag features a Jailer, who “will appear in the middle of the match to help speed up combat.” If this AI is killed, all four Operators return back to Al Mazrah, offering a dilemma: “Do both Duos agree to wait and fight this powerful enemy together, or does one team get greedy and try to go for the elimination victory?”

If players take too long to either kill each other or the Jailer, all Operators will lose as the Overtime feature has been removed.

AI, Strongholds & Black Sites

Warzone 2 players can also find AI in three places across the map: Strongholds, Black Sites, and the Gulag.

Strongholds and Black Sites offer objectives that if complete, can reward players with a Custom Loadout and more. Players will need to enter a Stronghold and find and disarm a bomb, which will then earn them a key to a Black Site and their Custom Loadout.

Other teams who stumble across a completed Stronghold will have to “eliminate a specific number of defenders (AI or players)” to earn their loadout, but not a Black Site Key.

Black Sites are more dangerous than Strongholds, but they “offer a permanent Weapon Blueprint reward and even more valuable in-match items for those who clear it out.”

Warzone 2 vehicles, fuel & Gas Stations

warzone 2 operators hanging out of vehicle

Warzone 2 brings back a host of vehicles from the original, as well as some new wheels. Check out the full roster of vehicles below.

  • ATV: Nimble three-seater with little protection
  • UTV: All-terrain lightweight four-seater.
  • Hatchback: Four-door civilian vehicle without any significant protection.
  • SUV (Standard): All-terrain civilian 4×4 with a boxy frame.
  • GMC Hummer EV: All-electric supertruck engineered for off-road.
  • Cargo Truck: Large industrial vehicle with a flatbed.
  • Light Helo: Twin-engine light helicopter for rapid traversal and combat support.
  • Heavy Chopper: Heavily armored search-and-rescue helicopter.
  • RHIB: Maneuverable tactical boat designed for Special Forces.
  • Armored Patrol Boat: Reinforced aquatic vehicle with mounted .50 Cal machine guns.

The brand-new Warzone experience also brings brand-new mechanics for vehicles, as players will now have to manage fuel, as vehicles will no longer have unlimited gas. “Vehicles can be refilled either with Gas Cans found around the map or at Gas Stations.”

These new Gas Stations will also allow players to repair vehicles, restoring their health. Players can also repair flat tires at Gas Stations or on the go by interacting with the busted tires manually.

Aquatic Combat

boat vehicle in warzone 2

Operators in Warzone 2 can now interact with water, whether that’s by actually swimming or hopping into a boat. Only Sidearms, melee weapons, and Lethal and Tactical Equipment can be used while submerged in water, so pick your aquatic battles carefully.

Circle Collapse

In Warzone 2, the devs have decided to change the way the traditional battle royale zone works, by introducing three circles instead of one. Now, there will be three safe zones for teams to settle, all eventually collapsing into one zone.

Proximity Chat

Warzone 2 will also feature Proximity Chat, a highly requested feature that will bring more immersion and communication to the game.

This means that “any in-game chatter can be picked up by any other squad,” so be careful if you’re trying to be sneaky, as you might just give your position away to enemies lurking around.


“In squad-based DMZ modes, as well as special Battle Royale playlists, you have the choice to join up with enemy Operators and form a larger squad.”


New to Warzone 2, players will be able to interrogate other downed enemy players in squad-based modes for intel on their remaining squadmate’s locations.

Third-Person playlist

Coming in Season 1 of Warzone 2, players will be able to experience the battle royale in third-person: “This shift in perspective could completely change the Battle Royale fundamentals in Call of Duty, allowing for different visibility tactics and an altered, but still action-packed gameplay feel. Modern Warfare II owners can already get a taste of Third-Person now through the game’s Multiplayer.”

Third-Person Playlists will be introduced into the Battle Royale weekly rotation during Season 1.

RICOCHET anti-cheat

Furthermore, Call of Duty devs have confirmed that the RICOCHET anti-cheat system will be available in both Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2 at launch. This should provide a fresh opportunity for players looking to play a cheater-free battle royale from the start.

Warzone 2 DMZ mode

Arriving with Warzone 2 on November 16 is the new extraction-style mode called DMZ.

This mode is an “open-world, narrative-focused extraction mode where Operator squads have free rein to complete faction-based missions, take on additional side objectives, engage with enemy Operators or AI combatants, and search for valuable items, all while fighting to survive toward exfiltration.”

If you’d like a more in-depth guide to this mode, check out our dedicated guide to DMZ.

Warzone 2 platforms

Warzone 2 will be released on both current and last-gen consoles, as well as and Steam for PC. Following in Modern Warfare 2’s footsteps, Warzone 2 will be available on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC.

Activision confirmed the news on June 8 as they look to provide a wide-reaching experience across both titles.

What happens to Warzone after Warzone 2 releases?

Activision have confirmed that Warzone will continue to exist after Warzone 2 is released: “Warzone will continue as a separate experience that will include a continuation of player progression and inventories within that Warzone experience.”

On November 16 the original Warzone will disappear and it will return as Warzone Caldera on November 28 without Rebirth Island and Fortune’s Keep.

For more details, check out our piece on what’s happening to Warzone after Warzone 2 releases.

For more on Warzone 2, be sure to check out everything in the Season 1 Battle Pass and player progression!

Image Credit: Activision / Infinity Ward

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About The Author

Liam is CharlieIntel's Editor. After graduating in Journalism from Edinburgh Napier University, Liam made use of his passion for FPS games, including Call of Duty, by writing for sites such as The Nerd Stash, Red Bull Gaming, and GAMINGbible before joining CharlieIntel in November 2020. You can contact Liam at [email protected].