While many Call of Duty fans are ready to hang up their M4s from Modern Warfare 2 and move on to the recently leaked Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Activision and the lead dev team from Infinity Ward want to remind us that there’s still plenty of life in the 2022 premium COD title. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone will both be getting the Season 5 treatment shortly, and with that comes a whole host of new game modes, vehicles, Operator bundles, and maps. This is your official breakdown of everything you can expect at launch (with some mid-season refresh teases, for good measure) for Call of Duty’s Season 5 update.
Call of Duty—Season 5 release date
Fall is always a busy time for the Call of Duty franchise with new game betas, the Call of Duty NEXT showcase, and eventually the release of a brand new title. But all that hype being generated for the upcoming premium release each year doesn’t mean that the last year’s title gets thrown out in the cold. There’s still plenty of content to be had, and Operator bundles to purchase. The next wave of content will usher in Season 5 for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone and will be available simultaneously on all platforms on August 2 at 9AM PT.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2—New multiplayer maps
An impressive collection of 4 new maps will be dropping into Multiplayer during Season 5, including revitalized classics and new locales alike. Pick up your favorite loadout, and get ready to battle it out on 2 core maps and 2 gunfight maps at launch, with another core map coming later with the midseason refresh.
Welcome to Punta Mar, a brand-new map developed by Infinity Ward. Located in Las Almas, Punta Mar sees a once lively town on a hill overlooking a beach in South America now abandoned following a recent evacuation. Work your way through the local shops, bunny hopping across rooftops and through abandoned homes that are all centered around a quant old cobblestone street. The window shops offer elongated sight lines for snipers, while the side streets and alleys combined with interior zones provide quick, close quarters combat scenarios.
First making its appearance in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare over 15 years ago, Strike has been fully remastered by Infinity Ward thanks to advances in the Call of Duty engine, and it remains quite similar to how you might remember it from a decade and a half ago, but there are some slight tweaks and adjustments that have been made to make the map fit more into Modern Warfare 2’s timeline.
This stunning upscale club features stairs and a balcony for a good long sight line across the main chamber, a high-octane game room and an attention-grabbing stage with a grand piano under the spotlight. It’s a tiny map that’s exceptional for rapid, risky game play which of course means Infinity Ward will only allow us to play on it on the small squad modes such as Gunfight. Those of us who stick to normal 6v6 playlists could only dream of such chaos.
Yet another limited small-squad and Gunfight map, Canal takes place in the vicinity of Vondel and features a brewery with some slight verticality thanks to the cellars below, and the streets above combined with the actual waterway for popping each other underwater. This map is considerably larger than some of its Gunfight-limited-brethren but it's still not big enough for 6v6s, supposedly.
A sneak peek at a map coming later as part of the midseason refresh, DRC-Zone 1 is based off of the DMZ’s treacherous Building 21. Located around a visiting center, players will be able to explore the inner workings of the DRC facility including Research and Development, laboratories, and shipping and receiving areas. Shortcuts, outflanking and close quarters combat are key here as Infinity Ward claims that DRC-Zone 1 is a small sized map for core game modes.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2—Multiplayer modes
HC Shipment 24/7 is undeniably one of the best modes Modern Warfare 2 has to offer, and yet for some obscure reason unbeknownst to everybody but Infinity Ward it only shows up when there’s a free play weekend, at which point it dominates the Most Popular playlists segment of the menu. Discontent with actually letting us play the one playlist we all actually want, Infinity Ward is willing to at least give us some other new modes to try out during Season 5.
Inspired by classic arena-shooters from back in the day crossed with the unpredictable nature of a roguelike, Havoc joins the multiplayer mode lineup to keep players on their toes. With a slew of modifiers to keep things fresh, players can rest assured that no two matches of Havoc will play out the exact same way. Things start off with a standard Team Deathmatch play style, but there are no perk packages, killstreaks or field upgrades here.
The first team to reach 12 kills will evoke a modifier that will further affect both teams for the remainder of the match. This occurs again for every multiple of 12—12, 24, 36, 48, and 60—and the modifiers continue to stack until the match is over. While there will be 14 modifiers available when Season 5 drops, we only get a preview of 5 of them to start with:
- Ammo Feeder: Auto reloads a weapon (from stock ammo) upon elimination.
- Boots Off the Ground: Moon gravity. Affects only player jump heights, not thrown equipment or ballistics.
- Flameshot: Flame-tipped Crossbows and Molotovs only. All Loadouts change immediately to this upon modifier activation.
- Hero Landing: Landing from a big drop causes a frag-grenade-like explosion around you.
- Perspective Shift: Everyone swaps to a third-person camera view.
Havoc will be available at the launch of Season 5.
Big Capture the Flag
Can’t get enough of big teams dominating battle maps? Well, boy are you going to be excited by Season 5. From the streets of Guijarro to the Mawizeh Marshlands, you will now be able to capture the flag in 20v20 matches across your favorite sprawling maps. Watch out for those long sight lines which are sure to be guarded by crafty snipers, and plot strategically with your squad about the best way to get a flag from one side to the other with tanks, helicopters and more.
Pick up your favorite dueling partner and hit up the smaller maps on Modern Warfare 2 for some challenging 2v2 battles. Three new variants will be coming to Gunfight with Season 5, including Gunfight Customs at launch which will allow you to bring weaponry from your favorite loadouts to the fight while following all other Gunfight rules. Mid-season Gunfight players will be able to enjoy Gunfight Snipers and hop in with their favorite sniper or marksman rifle only—all other gear will be left at the door.
Armored Gunfight will drop at a later to be announced time during the Season, and players who hit this mode will be able to play with all standard Gunfight rules but now with armor enabled. Replacement plates and health regeneration are disabled, however, so plan accordingly.
Approximately 30 days into the new season we will get hit with the midseason refresh, and fans of Shipment 24/7 may want to pay particular attention to Faceoff when it returns for Season 5 Reloaded. The squad size has been upped to 4v4 this go around, and players will be offered modes like Team Deathmatch and Kill Confirmed on all the available Gunfight maps, no killstreaks invited.
Call of Duty: Warzone—New vehicles
The word “new” is doing some heavy lifting here, as both of these vehicles were previously available in Warzone Caldera, which will be shutting down for good in September.
A popular, but risky vehicle choice for traversing the map quickly and in style the dirt bike has come in clutch for many a Warzone player who has found themselves outside of the designated safe zone at an inopportune time. These nimble motorbikes are capable of making hairpin turns in an instant and can squeak their way through tight alleyways and other restrictive areas. Plus, you can pop a wheelie. Just be mindful that you’re unprotected lest somebody pop you.
The MRAP—or Mine Resistant Ambush Protected—vehicle is a massive cargo truck covered in heavy armor and plating with turrets equipped. It's slow and cumbersome, but also very effective for attacking and holding defensive positions. It's most likely to be seen early on in a mode that will be introduced during the midseason refresh. If you plan to tackle a team who is holding out with an MRAP you’ll want to equip yourself with LMGs, killstreaks, and rocket launchers aplenty before mounting your attack.
Call of Duty: Warzone—Season 5 events
Season 5 is surprisingly light for Warzone at launch, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to look forward to here.
Vondel Champions Quest
An all new Vondel Champions Quest event will mirror the champions quest for Al Mazrah but on the smaller, recently released map. A team on a five-in-a-row winning streak will have the opportunity to take on the Champion’s Quest. The first step of the Champions quest is to build the M.G.B, and players will need to find, hold and never drop necessary elements. This change is universal for all Champions Quest challenges, so you can no longer rely on dropping your elements in the water and recovering them later in the match. You’ll also need to find and hold three new elemental compounds:
- Gallium: Holding Gallium reveals all nearby team members who held it previously, as if you were affected by a Snapshot Grenade.
- Deuterium: This fatigues any Operator, which includes causing them to cough if they try sprinting.
- Neptunium: This periodically electrocutes all nearby Operators as well as hay-wiring vehicles, with similar effects as the Shock Stick.
Call of Duty 2023 reveal event
We’ve already had quite a bit of info leak about Call of Duty 2023, but it’s nice to see Activision actually acknowledge the game is real. A limited time Warzone event will have players joining the ranks of Shadow Company and taking on the Konni forces that have swarmed Al Mazrah to stop the growing chemical weapons threat. There’s no time frame for the reveal just yet, however.
The return of the MRAP marks the return of Armored Royale, a traditional Battle Royale experience with one notable difference: everybody’s armored up with their individual MRAP. Fortify your MRAP, repair it, shield and protect it, and it will help you tear through enemy MRAPs as they challenge you for the #1 spot. Armored Royale will show up sometime in-season during Season 5.
For better or worse, the sands of Al Mazrah have managed to find their way into nearly every aspect of Call of Duty since the map’s release in the fall of 2022. The last remaining hold out was Resurgence mode, but with Season 5 a new map will be introduced that takes a slice of the greater Al Bagra Fortress area —which will also be recognizable to Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer fans—and drops it into the Resurgence map rotation between Ashika Island and Vondel.
Faction Showdown event
Starting on August 4, an intense battle is set once a cease fire goes into effect between Task Force 141 and mercenaries with Shadow Company. Which side you pick is up to you, but either way you're going to be tasked with earning 50 Operator kills. Under the events tab, choose the Faction you wish to join then complete the designated challenges to earn event rewards. And yes, you can swap between the two factions as often as you'd like to earn all the available rewards.
Completing challenges will unlock battle pass tier skips, vehicle skins, and a weapon blueprint. At the end of the event the faction with the most community Operator eliminations will unlock a free Operator Skin for either Soap or Horangi, depending on who wins.
Call of Duty: Warzone—Season 5 DMZ story
Al Mazrah, Ashika Island and Vondel are all under attack from the Konni, who have successfully commandeered Building 21. New hidden tunnels have appeared below the city in Al Mazrah following the death of the Cartel in the Koschei Complex. Task Force 141 operators are tasked with joining Shadow Company, who will not take the first shot against Operators in the DMZ and will help battle the Konni, but they will not tolerate friendly fire. So, aim carefully.
New urgent missions (and rewards) can be found in the Forward Operating Base, and players can expect to see 4 new field upgrades at launch, as well.
Disguise Field Upgrade
Built for pure stealth engagements, the Disguised Field Upgrade allows you to appear as a member of a DMZ Combatant (AI) Faction. Equip the Disguise and DMZ Combatants of the same faction will not attack unless you blow your cover and act aggressively towards them.
An experimental stimulant offering an adrenaline rush as you complete a self-revive: A Self-Revive mixed with pure Battle Rage! After using it to get up from Last Stand, it immediately activates Battle Rage’s effects, allowing you to heal more quickly. The Tactical Sprint is also constantly refreshed for a short period of time.
Much like an Armor Box, this Field Upgrade holds multiple Self-Revive Kits. Perfect for squad-based infiltrations.
Scuba Gas Mask
This is a Gas Mask that also acts as a Rebreather, providing protection from radioactive winds, gas, and allows for underwater breathing for an extended period of time.
Call of Duty: Season 5—New weapons
Available as part of the battle pass at launch, the FR Avancer looks similar to the old school Famas we all knew and loved, with a high fire rate and exceptional maneuverability this assault rifle is an aggressive bullpup that is nearly unstoppable at midrange. That kind of power comes with some serious recoil, though, so you’ll want to be sure you tune the weapon to accommodate for that or you’ll be doomed to lose gunfights when your weapon is pointing at the sky after each shot.
Despite its stubby bullpup snout I am absolutely convinced that this is the return of the old school Walther WA 2000. The Carrack .300 is free for everyone in Season 5 through the battle pass, but it's built with the hardcore sharpshooter in mind. The Semi auto bullpup design is effective at long ranges, but you’ll need to take a long breath and ensure you’re getting that head or upper chest shot if you want to be victorious.
The smaller, versatile counterpart to the M13B will be available later on in Season 5.
A new, mysteriously unnamed SMG and side arm combo are slated to launch later on in Season 5, along with a Pickaxe for the melee category.
Call of Duty: Season 5—Operator bundles
With a new Call of Duty so close we can all taste it, the idea of buying a new Operator bundle in MW2 seems absurd. In the past, operator bundles stayed with their respective premium title and were nontransferable between two games with the exception of Warzone. In a tweet from the official Call of Duty account, however, we recently learned that Modern Warfare 2 Operators will be forward compatible with Call of Duty 2023.
There are 6 new operators slated for a Season 5 release and since they will be moving on with you to the next premium COD title you can feel a little better about picking up some of these new bundles during MW2’s waning days.
Task Force 141’s brotherhood with Shadow Company puts the mercenary group at the forefront of Op bundles this season. Oz is a highly decorated cyber soldier who uncovered a fatal security flaw in the U.S. military system before he even graduated high school. Shepherd has tasked Oz with being the Shadow Company’s “de facto leader”, leading the mercenary’s global presence and controlling the narrative around certain incidents including CIA-affiliated operators and one Commander Graves.
If you’ve played through the Modern Warfare 2 (2022) campaign, you probably thought this guy was dead. We’re not going to get a good answer as to why he’s not because this is Call of Duty and that’s just the way it is. Graves is the CEO of Shadow Company, the global risk management team and private military firm under the hand of General Shepherd. Players will be able to unlock Graves via the Battle Pass.
Arthur is part of the Faction Showdown Launch Window event and will be available to those who have the BlackCell upgrade along with his faithful companion, Merlin. Merlin serves as part of Arthur’s finishing move, pouncing on and savaging opponents when the opportunity arises. Arthur is also equipped with Gwen, a talking Gunscreen attachment with a small speaker that provides intel regarding in-game events. Arthur will be available for $29.99 as part of the BlackCell upgrade.
There’s no intel on Mila, just yet. Stay tuned for when Redacted info is revealed.
Velikan was previously assigned to protect Building 21 but was ousted when Konni Group took over the building. He’s mysterious and the source of many exaggerated stories and fairy tales.
Coming midseason, Mace is a returning mercenary with a mask that will be available during Season 5 reloaded.
In addition to story themed bundles, MW2 is getting a series of operators to celebrate 50 years of the hip hop industry. Chief among them is Snoop Dogg who will be returning to Call of Duty for his second Operator bundle and his third time being DLC in a mainline Call of Duty title. More details on the Snoop Dogg bundle will be revealed in the future.
For the first time ever, a self-named female Operator is hitting the battlefield in Call of Duty and it is none other than “Red Ruby Da Sleeze”, Nicki Minaj. She first teamed up with COD in 2022 to celebrate the launch of MW2, and now she’s ready to join the roster as her own store bundle. Minaj's joining Call of Duty makes her the first self-named woman to get an Operator bundle in the game despite COD's long history of working with male celebrities and even streamers, with mixed results.
Born in London and raised in Atlanta, the award winning rapper 21 Savage is a philanthropic king who gives back to his community. You will be able to pick up the 21 Savage bundle for yourself when Season 5 reloaded hits.
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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.