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Is the new ‘Warzone 2.0’ battle pass worth the money?

Plus, an explanation of how the new, non-linear ‘Warzone’ and ‘Modern Warfare II’ battle pass works

(Washington Post illustration)

“Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0,” the next iteration of Activision’s battle royale “Warzone,” released today with a revamped battle pass system. Instead of the linear progression of previous seasons, the new battle pass is a war map layout with different selectable paths for rewards. The new battle pass can also be found in “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II.” Here’s how it works.

The new battle pass is laid out on a map called the Battle Pass Area of Operations (AO). For Season 1, there are 20 “Combat Sectors,” which each hold rewards. In addition, there is a bonus sector (A0) that unlocks five rewards, including the new Season 1 operator, Zeus, when you purchase the battle pass. There is also a bonus Victory Sector when players complete all 20 sectors of the battle pass that rewards players with Zeus’s gold-plated “Olympus King” model, an M4 weapon blueprint called “Mortal’s Bane” and 300 COD points.

As with the previous battle passes, there are free rewards available to all players and an additional premier tier of rewards for those who buy the pass.

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The sectors labeled A0 to A20 touch each other non-sequentially. Unlocking one sector opens up the option to move on to an adjacent sector once you’ve unlocked all of the current sector’s rewards. So players now have some autonomy when unlocking rewards, but not total free rein.

Unlocking rewards in a sector requires a Battle Token Tier Skip, which you earn by simply playing and getting experience points in a match. You don’t need to do anything specific to earn experience points, but you can speed up your gains by completing the daily challenges like getting headshots with assault rifles or detecting targets using snapshot grenades for extra points.

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Each sector has a High Value Target (HVT), which is a big reward such as a weapon blueprint or an operator, but getting that HVT requires unlocking a bunch of other minor rewards like sprays and stickers from the sector first. After you clear out all the rewards in a sector, you can move on to an adjacent one.

The consumer value of the battle pass will vary from player to player. Most of the unlockable content is purely cosmetic and the items that can aid players in the game (weapon blueprints) can be reproduced through leveling up those weapons in the game. There are 10 new operator skins in the Season One pass, including the two Zeus skins, along with 21 weapon blueprints, including the base level blueprints of the newly introduced Victus XMR sniper rifle and the BAS-P submachine gun.

Completing all tiers of the battle pass also unlocks 1,400 Call of Duty points, which would pay for the cost of the next pass (1,100 COD points if nothing changes) and then some.

In previous linear versions of the battle pass, the new weapons (which were and remain unlockable to non-battle pass purchasers) would regularly appear in Tier 15 and Tier 31. In this new battle pass model, the earliest players can unlock the BAS-P is after 15 tokens/tiers. It will require a minimum of 20 tokens/tiers to unlock the Victus as soon as possible. The earliest players can unlock both new weapons together requires 30 tokens/tiers. In short, if players prefer one of the new guns over the other, they could earn it a little faster than in the previous battle pass model, and will get the second gun one tier earlier if they charge after both new guns as quickly as possible.

Overall, the new battle pass format gives purchasers a little more freedom than the linear model, but isn’t a truly significant shift from the previous version value wise. And again, much of how far players advance in the pass will hinge on how much they play the game. If you’re on the game daily and plan to max out each season’s pass, a one-time purchase for the equivalent of $11 could provide an influx of new content on the cheap. If you have a less regular approach to the game, you may want to just stick to the free items and new weapons each season and forgo the expenditure.

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