Call of Duty Season 2 Reloaded — Team RICOCHET update, new operator bundles, and upcoming crossover events

Call of Duty Season 2 reloaded
(Image credit: Activision)

This is a battle pass progress checkpoint — How are we all doing with Season 2 of Call of Duty: Warzone and Modern Warfare 3? Have we hit the level cap, yet? Are we all prestiged out? I hope not, because there's a smorgasbord of new events on the horizon, fresh new operator bundles, new weapons, and more to keep us all grinding until Season 3 starts in early April.

Season 2 Reloaded is already live, so let's take a little time to break down what content dropped in the mid-season refresh and reflect on what those changes mean for players.

Call of Duty Season 2: Mulitplayer reloaded

Multiplayer is my preferred stomping ground, and there is only one thing I've been asking Sledgehammer Games for. Okay, that's not true. There were actually 7 things I wanted to see changed in Modern Warfare 3. But the one thing I secretly wanted most of all was the return of Call of Duty: Vanguard's chaotically small Das Haus map.

Ask and ye shall receive!

New map: Das Haus

(Image credit: Activision)

There was nobody more excited about the return of Das Haus than me, and Season 2 reloaded kicked off with a Das Haus 24/7 playlist option to boot. When Das Haus first hit map rotation in Call of Duty: Vanguard, it was a small training facility with destructible walls and the perfect mid-row sight line for lobbing noob tubes. Das Haus in Modern Warfare 3 is a bit different, primarily because COD fans found no love for destructible walls, but also because it has been remastered as new construction atop a skyscraper. In fact, you can even see another popular Call of Duty tower (Highrise) from one spawn point. 

The remastered changes are a bit more than I anticipated, however. The map is now set during the daytime, as opposed to being shrouded in darkness as it was in Vanguard. The walls that were bearing destructible elements in Vanguard are now wide open, replaced with the occasional pillar or post. There is less overhead cover, as well, making players more susceptible to air strikes. 

Das Haus' new daytime mode has made me stop and take notice of just how few nighttime maps there are in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. 

New map variants: Airborne, Skidgrow

If you are pining for darker, hazy maps, the best way to find this is in the new Vortex playlists. These reimagined versions of classic maps are often gritty and grimy, and appeal to fans who like Call of Duty's light horror elements.  I'm not going to go into too much detail on Airborne (a variant of Terminal) and Skidgrow (a variant of Skidrow) here, as I covered them at the start of Call of Duty Season 2. These map variants are limited to the Vortex playlist, where players can jump into Team Deathmatch, Kill Confirmed, and Hardpoint on these eldritch-themed alternatives to classic COD maps.

New mode: Juggermosh

(Image credit: Activision)

Everybody loves being the juggernaut, but not everybody can earn one of these high-score requirement kill streaks. Thanks to a crossover event with Warhammer 40K, that's about to change — at least in one playlist. Joggermosh is a third-person perspective jug fest in Kill Confirmed and Domination. The juggernauts are decked out in Warhammer crossover skins, with one team rocking "Ultramar's Vengeance" armor while the other dons "Baal's Wrath". Despite the sweet new skin, the juggernaut's capabilities will remain the same as the ones set for the Recon Juggernaut kill streak. 

The center of the map holds a Chainsword, and the wielder of this magnificent weapon can pull off one-hit-kill (OHK) melees on their foes as they tremble with fear in their juggies. 

If you like the Juggernaut skins and want to keep them permanently to trigger flashbacks to those who have fallen to the Chainsword after the event is over, there's good news for you! The two armor variants will be available as part of the Warhammer 40K tracer pack in the store, so you can rock it in all playlists (if you can earn it.)

Additional multiplayer changes

That's right — there's more! In addition to general bug and UI fixes, there are a few other major changes for multiplayer. This year's Shipmas map, added temporarily for the holiday season, has returned as the permanent replacement for Shipment. Shipmas '23 was coated in ice and snow, making the small, nighttime map brighter and limiting places where operators clad in dark apparel could easily hide.

Along with Shipmas '23 replacing Shipment, Dome from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is returning to the Quick Play playlist rotation thanks to Carry Forward. 

Call of Duty Season 2: Warzone reloaded

The return of Fortune's Keep to Call of Duty: Warzone's resurgence mode was heavily anticipated by a lot of players. I wasn't lying when I said you'd find me in the lighthouse. There have clearly been some complaints about players holing up in the keep, the cellar, and other well-entrenched areas as Season 2 Reloaded introduced a new kill streak to combat popular hidey-holes. A new point of interest (POI) was also introduced to Fortune's Keep, and a popular field upgrade from Warzone's past has resurfaced.

New killstreak: Bunker buster

(Image credit: Activision)

I've got a bone to pick with Raven Software over this one. The bunker buster is a giant missile that drops down onto everybody's favorite lookouts, sending a shocking blast that wipes out armor plates and incapacitates allies (I refuse to die to one of these things.). The bunker buster then proceeds to spread gas down multiple levels, just to add insult to injury. 

If you, like me, want to hang out on the lighthouse taking potshots with sniper rifles from the safety of the ring, the bunker buster is here to spoil your fun. There are some caveats to it, though. An indirect blast will break out your plates, so you can survive the first assault if you're hiding inside when the missile hits. Gas masks or a PDS (I'll get to these in a moment) can also protect you from the gas that spreads throughout. You'll need to actually be in a position to acquire all those goods, however, if you're going to survive the bunker busters. 

Using a bunker buster is a breeze. It's a kill streak, so pushing right on the D-pad when one is equipped, pointing the green laser at your target, and pulling the trigger is all it takes. Then wait for the evacuating survivors to bail from the gas to rack up a squad wipe or two. Bunker busters can only be picked up as ground loot and earned as rewards. At least we're spared from the people who like to sit at the buy station and spam mortar strikes on the lighthouse, having a more lethal weapon readily available.

New field upgrade: Portable Decontamination Station

(Image credit: Activision)

Portable decontamination stations were all the rage in the original Warzone. Hard fought battles were won and lost over the ability to hoard one of these bad boys until the final circle. These field upgrades clear gas from a small area, but dispersing a concoction of chemicals into the air. The radius is fairly small, and you have to stay close to it to benefit from the air cleansing capabilities, which comes with its own risks. 

The reintroduction of the PDS can help alleviate the stress of a potential bunker buster being dropped on your hiding spot, as it can clear the air when that dreadful gas works through the building after the missile's impact. The PDS is one of those field upgrades that genuinely has the ability to turn the tide of battle. Throw one on a vehicle and drive off into the gas with a sweet little bubble of protection. Stock upon masks and PDS upgrades and see how long you can outlast the competition.

New POI: Research vessel

(Image credit: Activision)

While we were all very excited about the return of Fortune's Keep, the developers were busy finding new ways for players to experience the map. To kick things off, the grotto was completely destroyed by Konni activities, leaving a giant crater in the central zone that exposed an underground laboratory. It's all very cool, but now it's time for something new. Say hello to the Research Vessel, a mobile POI floating off the coast of Fortune's Keep. 

The giant pontoon boat will float around the island for the first two minutes of a match, then eventually it will drop anchor at one of its predetermined destinations. On board, players will feed a myriad of benefits, but only if they can hold control of the ship. A built-in decontamination station in case you get pummeled by a bunker buster. A UAV tower and a special buy station can also be found on the Research Vessel. There's an easter egg to uncover a special loot-filled room, and of course, you can toot the horn. This is Call of Duty, after all.

Call of Duty Season 2: Weapons and bundles reloaded

Two new weapons have joined the armory with the mid-season refresh, though you will need to work a little bit to unlock them for your own loadouts.

New weapon: Soulrender

(Image credit: Activision)

The first half of Season 2 was all about that crossover with AMC's The Walking Dead, so it makes sense that there's a sweet new blade to go along with the Michonne Operator bundle. This rapid slashing melee weapon can be unlocked via a set of challenges introduced with the battle pass's mid-season sector. A new Omnigenesis weapon camo has also been introduced for those who want to complete a Soulrender-specific weapon challenge.

New weapon: SOA Subverter

(Image credit: Activision)

Packed with 7.62 rounds, the Subverter is a heavy hitter in the battle rifle class, ideal for longer range engagements. The Subverter offers the highest fire rate in the BR class and a predictable recoil, and packs enough of a punch to take out an enemy without armor in just three to four shots. It also features three new weapon camo challenges. Unlock the SOA Subverter with a weekly challenge in order to make it part of your favorite loadout.

New aftermarket parts: Backsaw kit, Outlaw-277 kit

Switch up your loadout with two new aftermarket kits: the JAK Backsaw Kit and the JAK Outlaw-277.  The Backsaw kit can be attached to the Holger 556 assault rifle and features a high-capacity drum mag with a double barrel (whyyyy!?) configuration, allowing it to fire two bullets at once. The Outlaw-277 fits the BAS-B battle rifle and turns it into a lever-action rifle. The rate of fire becomes significantly slower, but the accuracy and damage it kicks out certainly makes up for it. 

New Operator bundles: Warhammer 40k, Kong, Dune

I see crossovers. So, so many crossovers. These are probably my least favorite part of each new season. As someone who has stuck by Calisto's Witch operator skin for the last two games, I much prefer original Call of Duty character bundles instead of these partnerships. That doesn't stop these crossover bundles from being fruitful money trees for Activision. 

The Walking Dead and DUNE crossover events have come to pass, and for the second half of Season 2 it's Warhammer time! Three Warhammer 40K bundles are available in the store, including the Sisters of Battle Tracer Pack, the Astra Militarium Tracer Pack, and the Space Marines Tracer Pack. Each pack includes designated weapon blueprints, calling cards, finishing moves, and more.

When the first iteration of Warzone was shut down to make way for the current version, players were dismayed at the loss of the operator bundles they had purchased, which were not able to carry forward. This included Mecha-Godzilla and Kong skins. While we haven't gotten a new CODZILLA vs KONG event, we are getting another Kong operator bundle to celebrate Godzilla x Kong: New Empire. A very heavily armored Kong operator skin is bundled up with new LMG and assault rifle blueprints, tracer rounds, a Kong-smashing finisher move, and the usual weapon charms and stickers.

2400 Call of Duty Points | $20

2400 Call of Duty Points | $20

If you're picking up operator bundles, weapon blueprints, or the Season 2 battle pass you're going to need to top off your COD points.

Available on: <a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink?id=kXQk6%2AivFEQ&mid=24542&u1=hawk-custom-tracking&murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.xbox.com%2Fen-US%2Fgames%2Fstore%2F2400-modern-warfare-ii-or-call-of-duty-warzone-20-points%2F9NHDTJ6T2G8B%2F0010" data-link-merchant="click.linksynergy.com"" target="_blank">Xbox | <a href="https://target.georiot.com/Proxy.ashx?tsid=8428&GR_URL=https%3A%2F%2Famazon.com%2FCall-Duty-400-Points-Digital%2Fdp%2FB0BGMF7MF2%2Fref%3Dsr_1_3%3Fcrid%3D1CAUPLO16QDBD%26keywords%3D2400%2Bcod%2Bpoints%26qid%3D1686449277%26sprefix%3D2400%2Bcod%2Bpoints%252Caps%252C84%26sr%3D8-3%26tag%3Dhawk-future-20%26ascsubtag%3Dhawk-custom-tracking-20" data-link-merchant="Amazon US"" data-link-merchant="click.linksynergy.com"" target="_blank">Amazon

New event: Warhammer 40K: For the Emperor!

(Image credit: Activision)

Even in space, you must heed the call of duty. Starting on March 13 and lasting until March 27 a brand-new Warhammer themed event will be taking place, with players able to earn XP to unlock in-game rewards. Purchasing a bundle and equipping either the "Ultramarines" Operator Skin or "Blood Angels" Operator skin can boost your XP gain during this event. The following rewards will be available to unlock:

  • “Inquisitorial Seal” Weapon Sticker.
  • “Know No Fear” Large Decal.
  • “For the Emperor” Emblem.
  • “Righteous Hatred” Weapon Charm.
  • “Psyk-out” Grenade Tactical Skin.
  • “Sons of Sanguinius” Animated Calling Card.
  • “March for Macragge” Calling Card.
  • “Innocence Proves Nothing” Animated Emblem.
  • “Adeptus Astartes” Loading Screen.
  • “Righteous Storm” WSP-9 SMG Weapon Blueprint.

New event: Vortex: Decay's Realm

(Image credit: Activision)

The blight is back, and so is the opportunity to drop into some twisted and rotting map variants, including the new ones for Season 2. Vortex: Decay's Realm will span March 27 through April 3rd, with the following unlocks available:

  • “Apocalyptic” Calling Card.
  • “Valve Replacement” Emblem.
  • “The Swarm” Weapon Charm.
  • “Grave Worm” Weapon Sticker.
  • 1 Hour Double Weapon XP Token.
  • “Wriggler” Weapon Camo.

Call of Duty Season 2: Zombies reloaded

(Image credit: Activision)

If you read my write-up about Season 2 for Modern Warfare 3, you'll notice it was light on Zombies content. That's because there were no updates at the start of Season 2 for Zombies, with all new content for the popular mode being shelved until the Season 2 reloaded launch. Modern Warfare Zombies is spearheaded by Treyarch Studios, who are currently toiling away on Call of Duty 2024, which is rumored to be Black Ops Gulf War

The studio is also saddled with managing Call of Duty's Ranked Play modes. With Treyarch spread thin, there's only so much zombie content that we should be looking forward to for the next four seasons of Modern Warfare 3. There's also no promise that the mode will continue with the next Call of Duty title (though, with it being a Treyarch release, a zombie mode of some form is very likely.)

Before we get ahead of ourselves thinking about the future of the MWZ, let's appreciate what Season 2 Reloaded has given us.  

New story mission and dark aether rift

As the dark aether closes in on the exclusion zone, a new story mission featuring new enemies and another anomaly come with it. Operation Deadbolt players will be guided by Sergei Ravenov as they take on Terminus Outcomes mercenaries and zombies alike. Completing the story mission opens a brand-new dark aether rift full of cryptic clues and timed tasks for new limited rewards.

New warlord: Keres

(Image credit: Activision)

There's a new warlord to track down, and this time players are stalking the elusive chemical warfare specialist, Keres. She can be found at the Killhouse in the Orlov Military Base, but an army of snipers, turrets, and traps must be dealt with before you can even get a chance to battle it out with this toxic warlord. 

New schematics

Schematics in the exclusion zone allow players to bring special equipment and gear in with them that they would otherwise have to grind to easter eggs or quests for. The Wonder Vehicle, for example, is a purple flame-spouting motorcycle that plows through enemies, is nearly indestructible, and can even ride over water. With Season 2 reloaded, you can now craft a Blood Burner Key to instantly summon the wonder vehicle without all the hassle of finding the one that spawns natively on the map.

The same is true for the V-R11 Wonder Weapon. With the new schematic, you can craft a V-R11 and take it with you into the exclusion zone, then use it to freely transform zombies and mercenaries into friendlies. It can even save your squad, as shooting a friendly with the V-R11 provides them temporary immunity from the horde.

The third new schematic is one that, on the surface, doesn't sound that impressive. In practice, the Mag of Holding will allow players to skip the reload and continue to draw on their weapon's ammo reserves to mow down the undead.

Call of Duty Season 2: RICOCHET update

(Image credit: Activision)

As with any update, the more that gets patched, the more issues manage to crop up. Season 2 reloaded, unfortunately, brought with it some significant issues with RICOCHET anti-cheat. Players were quick to voice their frustrations with Season 2's bugginess, reporting issues like flying vehicles, increased use of third-party hardware, and an increase in cheat tactics taking place in Ranked modes.

Team RICOCHET, the Activision team behind cheat mitigation and management of the RICOCHET anti-cheat system, shared an update on Twitter about efforts to mitigate negative behavior. Patches for flying vehicles, enhanced protections and increased response times for kernel-level drivers on PC, optimizations to improve the speed of cheat detections in Ranked play, and improved detection of third-party hardware were all introduced with Season 2 Reloaded. 

See more

When it comes to anti-cheat mitigation, Team RICOCHET has been open about its unconventional measures to deter cheaters. From cloaking to damage mitigation and most recently SPLAT, cheat mitigation has relied on keeping confirmed cheaters in a game to collect data on the cheat tools being used while preventing them from negatively affecting the game for innocent players. With Season 2 Reloaded, Team RICOCHET has introduced the aptly named BOOM method as a cheat mitigation for those who still manage to get on the flying vehicle trend. Any vehicle that shouldn't be airborne can now randomly explode.

Call of Duty: Looking ahead

(Image credit: Activision)

Season 3 of Call of Duty: MW3 and Warzone is expected to launch at the beginning of April. While it's impossible to know for sure what the development team has up its sleeve for a new season, there are some things we can make reasonable guesses about. Season 2 brought an absolute onslaught of multiplayer content, and it's likely Season 3 will offer a similar number of maps. 

Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile is expected to launch on March 21, and will include cross-progression and cross-buy support with the PC and console versions of the game. Content for Season 3 will need to tie in with Warzone Mobile, which would technically be on its first season. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is expected to have 6 seasons, which puts April's seasonal update at the halfway mark for post-launch support.

Crossover bundles and events are also likely to continue, and it looks like the new trend of a new event every 2 weeks may be here to stay. At least until Call of Duty 2024 launches, however. Speaking of COD '24, we know that Treyarch Studios is spearheading this next premium title, the first to be released following the finalization of Xbox's merger with publisher Activision Blizzard King and the devastating layoffs that ensued. It will also be the first Call of Duty release that is free from the PlayStation marketing arrangement that has had a grip on the franchise for the last several years.

Cole Martin
Writer

Cole is the resident Call of Duty know-it-all and indie game enthusiast for Windows Central. She's a lifelong artist with two decades of experience in digital painting, and she will happily talk your ear off about budget pen displays.