Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Everything We Know — Release Date, Gameplay, Multiplayer, and So Much More

From gameplay trailers to pre-order information, here's everything we know about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare so far.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, a reboot of the series' flagship franchise, launches in a little more than two months. So far, we've seen story and multiplayer trailers, learned about special editions, watched some of the biggest names in streaming duke it out, and heard from the devs themselves. 

Read on for an exhaustive list of everything we know about the latest Call of Duty title. Buckle up: there's a lot to cover.

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty details about multiplayer and single-player, let's go over some fast facts about the game.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Release Date and Platforms

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's release date is October 25, 2019. It will be playable on Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare Gameplay Trailer

If you're looking for gameplay trailers, you can find them here.

Launch Trailer

Official Reveal Trailer

Multiplayer Reveal Trailer

Spec Ops Trailer

4K Multiplayer Gameplay Trailer

Multiplayer Gameplay Recap

4K Gunplay Gameplay Trailer

Multiplayer Beta Trailer

Becoming Captain Price

Call of Duty Modern: Warfare Editions and Pre-Order Bonuses

  • Pre-order bonuses across merchants:
    • Playable Capt. Price Blackout Character in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
    • Early access to the Open Beta
  • Specific Pre-order bonuses 
    • GameStop
      • Call of Duty Endowment (C.O.D.E.) In-game Calling Card
    • PlayStation Store
      • Prestige Token in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
      • PS4 Dynamic Reveal Theme
    • Microsoft Store
      • Prestige Token in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

Standard Edition: $59.99

  • Core Call of Duty: Modern Warfare game
  • Applicable pre-order bonuses

Get it from:

Precision Edition (GameStop Exclusive): $99.99

  • Core Call of Duty: Modern Warfare game
  • A Collectible Steelbook Case
  • KontrolFreek Modern Warfare branded Performance Thumbsticks
  • KontrolFreek Modern Warfare branded Controller Skin
  • Custom In-Game Tactical Knife
  • “All Ghillied Up” Operator Pack
  • “Crew Expendable” Operator Pack
  • “War Pig” Operator Pack
  • Playable Capt. Price Blackout Character in Black Ops 4
  • Call of Duty Endowment Calling Card
  • Early access to the Open Beta 

Get it from: 

Operator Edition (Digital): $79.99

  • Core Call of Duty: Modern Warfare game
  • Custom In-Game Tactical Knife
  • "All Ghillied Up” Operator Pack
  • “Crew Expendable” Operator Pack
  • “War Pig” Operator Pack
  • Prestige Token in Black Ops 4
  • Playable Capt. Price Blackout Character in Black Ops 4
  • Early access to the Open Beta this September

Get it from:

Operator Enhanced Edition (Digital): $99.99

  • Core Call of Duty: Modern Warfare game
  • Custom In-Game Tactical Knife
  • 3,000 Call of Duty Points
  • “All Ghillied Up” Operator Pack
  • “Crew Expendable” Operator Pack
  • “War Pig” Operator Pack
  • Prestige Token in Black Ops 4
  • Playable Capt. Price Blackout Character in Black Ops 4
  • Early access to the Open Beta this September

Get it from:

The Dark Edition (GameStop Exclusive): $199.99

  • Core Call of Duty: Modern Warfare game
  • Functioning Night Vision Goggles. These are equipped with an automated light detector and allow you to see up to 65 feet in the dark
  • A Steelbook case
  • The Crew Expendable pack 
  • The All Ghillied Up Pack
  • The War Pig Pack
  • The Operator pack with three themed operator packs and additional items 
  • Custom in-game tactical knife
  • A Call of Duty Endowment Animated Calling Card

PS4 Pro Bundle: $399.99

  • Core Modern Warfare game
  • 1 TB PS4 Pro
  • DualShock 4

Get it from: 

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Beta Info

PlayStation 4

  • Pre-Order Early Access: September 12-13
  • First Open Beta: September 14-16
  • Second Open Beta: September 19-23

Xbox One

  • Pre-Order Beta: September 19-20
  • Open Beta: September 21-23

PC

  • Pre-Order Beta: September 19-20
  • Open Beta: September 21-23

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Season Pass 

The Season Pass is gone. New maps and a large amount of additional content will be free throughout the game's life cycle.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Battle Royale Mode

There will be no Battle Royale mode in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare at launch, but that doesn't rule out the possibility that it might come as a free update down the line. 

Black Ops 4 saw the series dip its toes into the BR genre with their Blackout mode, which received good reviews on launch. It went on to receive several new maps and plenty of new weaponry over the last year, and there's still more to come before October.

Joel Emslie, the Art Director for Infinity Ward's gone on record as saying that "We'll have to wait and see" if Battle Royale makes it to Modern Warfare, but that, "I personally like that game mode."

Check out our report on a potential Battle Royale mode here.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Crossplay

For the first time in the series, players across all platforms will be able to play in the same lobbies. Put another way, Xbox, PS4, and PC players can all join the same games at the same time.

Players on console will also be able to plug in a keyboard and mouse into their systems if they want a more PC-like setup. However, those using controllers will not compete against those using a mouse and keyboard

As far as we know, this feature will go live on launch day. The only limitation might be communication across PS4 and Xbox services, but with Discord so prominent and easy to set up, we doubt too many people will run into an issue.

Additional Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Facts

  • Killstreaks are back. No more score-based support.
  • Player perk customization is limited; weapon customization is paramount
  • Weapon and player progression syncs across all types of play
  • Weapon feel is uniform across all types of play
  • Maps come in several sizes:
    • 2v2, 6v6, 10v10, 20v20, 64 man, and 50v50

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Multiplayer

Many players come to Call of Duty for its narrative, even though historically the campaigns haven't been more than a sequence of ever-larger explosions and high-profile celebrity cameos. 

With campaigns rarely lasting longer than eight hours, if they even reach that length, it's the multiplayer portion of the game that keeps people hooked for months on end. Dedicated players stick around despite maxing out their progress, playing for the pure love of the game. 

Modern Warfare is going out of its way to recapture some of the magic that made the series the juggernaut it is. 

Unified Progression

The heart of this effort is in Infinity Ward's attempt to create a sense of "Unified Progression." No matter where you play, your weapons and progress translate to every other part of the game. Moreover, every weapon handles the same no matter where it's being used. In previous games, there were multiple versions of a gun, depending on the mode you were playing. No more.

Taylor Kurosaki puts it well: "The important thing about MP [and Modern Warfare in general]: these are not modes, this is not a modal game. When you're playing MW, you're playing MW, whether your p[laing MP or SP or Co-op, you're playing in this same world."

Of course, just taking things in that direction doesn't revitalize and reinvent a franchise. So what's new, and what's the same?

New Core Mechanics

  • Mounting: Rather than implement a contextual lean system, you can secure your weapon to a solid surface like a box, the ground, or a door jam. Doing so increases your recoil control and provides you with valuable cover. Add the ability to reload while aiming down sights, and you can control whole sightlines from a single entrenched position.

  • Tactical sprint: A short super sprint, you won't have control of your weapon, but you'll move faster than you ever have before in a Call of Duty game.

  • Doors: Yes, there are doors in CoD now, and you can do quite a bit with them. You can peek to check a room or throw a tactical through the crack, hit your melee the door to breach and clear, or throw or attach an explosive to blast your way in. You can also sprint straight through doors if that's your thing.

  • Squadmates: There is some teamplay mechanic that wasn't able to be shown at the MP reveal, but Infinity Ward wants players to focus on knowing where their teammates and "Squadmates" are, so we'll have to see how that develops.

  • Nightvision Goggles: Not "new" per se, but because the night variant maps are very dark, you'll be playing almost blind without NVGs. While wearing them, your HUD is significantly reduced, meaning every kill becomes a question. Plus, laser sights show up to everyone on the map, giving your position away if you aim down sight to much.

  • Player-Controlled Ground Vehicles: Also not "new," we haven't seen player-controlled tanks and the sort since back in World at War. 

  • Big Team Battles: We know there are maps specifically geared toward 10v10, 20v20, 64 man and even 100 man games. It's a first for the series.

  • Operators: Unlike every other player avatar in the series to date, Operators are purely cosmetic and serve no in-game purpose beyond making you look cool. They aren't specialists; they don't broadcast the weapon or perk setup you're using. Instead, they represent your best self in the game world.

  • Weapon Altering: Alter your weapons on the fly. You can fiddle with your weapon setup during a game, equipping new attachments in the middle of a match, or removing them, as you see fit.

Returning Mechanics

  • Unlimited sprint: Though the super sprint is new, because of the size of the maps and need to keep gameplay fast, you'll never run out of sprint in Modern Warfare, no matter how many times you circle the map.

  • Fast mantle: You'll be climbing and scaling walls, boxes, and all kinds of cover quickly and efficiently.

Okay, now it's list time. Below you'll find a list of everything we could learn from the Multiplayer Reveal stream a few weeks ago. There's a lot to unpack here, and I've explained whatever might be new.

Create-a-Class

The Pick 10 system is gone. Create-a-Class itself is also incredibly pared down, and you're left with one weapon, one secondary, three perks, one lethal, one tactical, two field upgrades, and three killstreaks. The real meat of the customization is in the Gunsmith system, which we'll get into a little later.

Now, let's talk Perks and Killstreaks.

Perks

Separated into classic Modern Warfare colors — blue, red, and yellow — there are sixteen perks your character can equip. 

  • Blue 
    • Double Time: Triple Tactical sprint time
    • E.O.D.: Reduced damage from non-killstreak explosives/fire. You can hack claymores, proxy mines, and C4.
    • Scavenger: Resupply ammo from fallen enemies, but not lethal or tactical equipment.
    • Tracker: Enemies leave behind trails/death markers. Your crouch speed is increased by 30%.
    • Tune Up: Increase the charge speed of your field upgrade.
  • Red
    • Ghost: Undetectable by UAV, radar drone, heartbeat sensor, High Alert. Hides the death marker of enemies killed.
    • Hardline: Killstreaks cost one kill less
    • Kill Chain: Killstreaks earned in current life earn kill credit for other killstreaks.
    • Overkill: Carry two primary weapons.
    • Restock: Recharge equipment over 30 seconds (this takes over for the second part of Scavenger).
  • Yellow
    • Cold Blooded: You're undetectable by AI targeting systems and thermal optics, and you're immune to snapshot grenades.
    • Battle Hardened: Reduces the strength of enemy flash, stun, and EMP effects.
    • Amped: Faster weapon swap and rocket launcher reload speed.
    • High Alert: Your vision pulses when enemies outside of your view see you
    • Shrapnel: Spawn with an extra piece of lethal equipment. explosive damage delays enemy health regen
    • Spotter: See enemy equipment, field upgrades, and killstreaks through walls. Mark them for your team by looking at them while aiming down sights 

 Killstreaks

  • Three kills
    • Personal Radar: Enable the radar for yourself and reveal enemy locations
  • Four kills 
    • UAV: Enables minimap for all allies and reveals enemy locations (four kills) 
    • Care Package: Call in one random killstreak reward box at your location
  • Five kills
    • Cluster Missile: Signal for a number of cluster missiles to hit the designated location.
    • Cruise Missile: Control a long-range cruise missile with boost capabilities
    • Precision Airstrike: Call in twin jets for an airstrike along the best available path; player controlled.
  • Seven kills: You'll use one of the two below streaks depending on the map size.
    • Wheelson: Remote-controlled UGV with powerful airburst turret (small maps). 
    • Infantry Assualt Vehicle: A manned light infantry vehicle with a .50 cal machine gun on top. One player mans the main gun; another mans the machine gun on top (large maps).
  • Eight kills
    • Emergency Airdrop: Call in three random killstreak reward packages at your location
    • VTOL Jet: Releases an initial missile barrage before guarding a location of the player's choosing
  • 10 kills
    • Chopper Gunner: Control an assault chopper armed with a turret and air to land missiles
    • White phosphorus: Cover the battlefield with white smoke flare canisters that will disorient the enemy and burn any that wander too close
  • 11 kills
    • Support Helo: Call in a heavy assault helo with twin turrets to patrol the map
  • 12 kills 
    • Gunship (AC-130): Heavy assault gunship with three types of armaments
    • Advanced UAV: Orbital UAV that reveals the enemy's direction on the minimap
  • 15 Kills
    • Juggernaut: Call in a care package that contains the Juggernaut assault gear. Also, heavy metal music plays as you roam about the battlefield. Other players can hear it in 3D space.

Gunsmith

Customization in this new Modern Warfare lives in the Gunsmith, where everything from attachments to weapon perks allows you to kit out your gun exactly how you want to play.

  • General Features
    • Weapons have between 30-60 attachments 
    • Each gun has a pool of "attachment points" that you spend to apply attachments and gun perks
    • You can rotate the gun to look at the monster gun you made 
  • Attachments types:
    • Muzzle
    • Barrel
    • Underbarrel
    • Magazine
    • Rear grip
    • Stock
    • Optics
    • laser
  • Each attachment has Pros and Cons with up to four levels of each, including:
    • Damage and Range increase
    • Recoil control
    • ADS speed
    • Hipfire accuracy
    • Bullet velocity (the game does not use hitscan mechanics)
    • Movement speed
    • Access to additional actions (Grenade launcher, shotgun, etc.)
  • Attachments can "create" additional guns from core weaponry. For instance:
    • To change an AK-47 into a 74u: remove the stock, change the caliber, and add a short barrel
    • To change an AK-47 into an RPD: add a drum mag, long barrel, muzzle break, and an ACOG
  • Gun Perks
    • Sleight of Hand: faster reload
    • FMJ: increased bullet penetration
    • Stance Control: greater crouch/prone recoil control
    • Mo' Money: increased headshot XP
    • Burst: toggle burst fire
    • Frangible: inflict wounding effect
    • Fast Melee: melee is faster
    • Burst Fire Enhanced: increased fire rate and burst toggle
    • Presence of Mind: infinite hold breath

Additional Create a Class Options

  • Lethals and Tacticals
    • Lethals 
      • Frag
      • Semtex
      • Molotov
      • Claymore
      • Throwing Knife
      • C4
      • Thermite
      • Proxy Mine
    • Tacticals
      • Flash
      • Smoke
      • Stun
      • Stim: Faster health regeneration
      • Decoy: Fakes the sound and radar ping of gunfire
      • Gas
      • Snapshot: Pings the compass with a momentary snapshot of enemies in its blast radius, but does not ping on the radar. Also shows enemy outline through walls)
      • Heartbeat Sensor

Confirmed Game Modes

  • Headquarters
  • Domination 
  • TDM
  • Gunfight
    • Fast-paced 2v2 deathmatch, the first to seven rounds is the winner. Players each spawn with random weaponry and health does not regenerate.
  • Cyber Attack
    • A Search and Destroy/Demolition hybrid. One neutral bomb needs to make it to two opposing bomb sites. There are no respawns, but teammates can revive infinitely. Teams win with six round victories, and rounds end when either side is eliminated, or the bomb goes off. The objective position and bomb spawn move with the round and the bomb takes only a second or so to arm and disarm.
  • Ground War
    • Something akin to Conquest Large in a Battlefield game, Ground War is a five-flag mode with the largest maps on offer, where everything Modern Warfare has to offer comes out to play.

Maps

  • 2v2
    • King: Reminiscent of Killhouse from CoD 4, there are two main lanes at ground level with sub-lanes int he middle and on the side. The middle lane is elevated with a hallway cutting through its center at ground level.
    • Stack: Much like King, but with two platforms at either end of the map for long-range fights, plus additional cover at the side lanes.
  • 6v6
    • Gun Runner: A close-quarters map in a trainyard/factory area. Seems more traditionally three laned, relatively square in shape. Plays fast.
    • Azhir Cave: Centered around a cave system surrounded by huts and side roads. The cave is a large, open space with plenty of cover and multiple routes in and out. Tunnels and lanes are vital on this map.
    • Hackney Yard: Very close quarters, primarily between buildings and side roads. Light verticality, reminiscent of Storm from Modern Warfare 2 but possibly better designed.
  • 10v10
    • Grazna Raid: Buildings and cross streets in the middle with plenty of verticality, surrounded by wide fields of little cover that lead into the middle sections
  • 20v20
    • Aniyah Palace: Central palace area (large indoor open space with lots of cover and movement, much more close-quarters) surrounded by streets and standing buildings. Several main lanes for longer range engagements

Field Upgrades

  • Support items that help the team with some objective
    • Tactical Cover: Think Torque's Barricade ability from Black Ops 4, but without the microwave.
    • Trophy System
    • Tactical Insertion is back but is thankfully on a cooldown
    • Recon Drones can scout areas and can be stocked with C4 to create a flying bomb
    • Stopping Power Rounds are an interesting addition. Once used, you receive a single magazine of higher damage rounds, and it seems to stack with the Extended Mags attachment.
  • You can have two Field Upgrades equipped, one support, one more deadly, with the second unlocking as a match progresses

Confirmed Weapons

  • Mp5: Classic submachine gun. Slow fire rate, high damage.
  • Mp7: Modern sub with a high fire rate and short-range but large magazine.
  • M4: An all-around good choice of an AR with good stats regardless of range
  • FR 5.56: Three burst, think Type 95 from MW3
  • L85: Slow firing AR with high damage and recoil
  • M2: Lever action Marksman Rifle with one shot potential to the head.
  • Two pump-action shotguns: Moderate range, a faster rate of fire
  • Breach loading shotgun: Longer range, slow reload
  • Deagle: High damage, slow fire rate pistol. Two shots to the body, one to the head of damaged foes.
  • P250: High capacity, moderate damage pistol. Good from most ranges.
  • Stella Rocket Launcher: Single-fire launcher, comes with two missiles.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Co-op and Spec Ops

Classic Modern Warfare fans will remember the Special Ops mode from MW2 and MW3.

In the former title, Spec Ops was a selection of short(-ish), one- or two-player missions set in various locations throughout the campaign. Your goal was to survive, take out a set number of enemies, defend an objective, beat the clock or some combination thereof.

Missions came in three different difficulty tiers, with Veteran tier (or low-time) completion rewarding the maximum Three Stars. All told, there were 15 individual missions of progressively harder difficulty that, once complete, were only good for playing with another one of your friends. 

Modern Warfare 3 had several such missions as well, but also featured an endless horde-style survival mode, complete with killstreaks, weapons and upgrades, and more. It was similar to Treyarch's Zombies mode but more focused on infantry combat against AI that shot back. There might have been some helicopters, too.

Thanks to a GameInformer questionnaire video (timestamped to the short Spec Ops discussion), we have a better idea of what the mode will look like, which will be officially revealed the week of October 7 according to the newest roadmap released by Activision. 

The new Modern Warfare is aiming to take things up a notch. As Joel Emslie says, "It not only has more depth than it did before, it has context." He goes on to say that it's a "continuation of the campaign." Plus, there are plans to support the mode going forward.

How Infinity Ward plans to tie Spec Ops into a tightly constructed narrative remains to be seen, but they seem dedicated to the mode nonetheless.

Joel also explains that Spec Ops is playable with up to four players this time around, and it allows for split-screen play as well.

Check out our Spec Ops article for more on the subject.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Single-Player

In Modern Warfare, the rules are different. Before there was endless bombast, a barrage of adrenaline-fueled set-pieces, and a narrative straddling the line between the real and the fantastic. Now there is muted, gritty realism.

For the most part, anyway.

While we at GameSkinny haven't gone hands-on with the latest Call of Duty, the folks over at GamesRadar have, so let's break down what they experienced.

First is what's likely an early mission in Picadilly Square in central London. Taking a cue from Modern Warfare 3, the mission opens with a tense standoff between police forces and a credible terror threat that becomes much more than just threatening. A van bomb goes off, sending one of London's busiest locales into chaos. 

Later on, the playable character for this section of the game — Sergeant Kyle Garrick — provides a team led of SAS Tier 1 operators led by Captain Price with intel on the attack. That the intelligence eventually leads Garrick to work side by side with Price as they collectively track an al-Qaeda leader known as "The Wolf."

Price and his team find the Wolf's trail via a raid on a townhouse, the location Garrick identified as his best lead. In this section of the game, we'll see not only a different take on Call of Duty gameplay but also Infinity Ward's new take on storytelling. 

The townhouse mission echoes the Crew Expendable mission from the original Modern Warfare back in 2007. This time, however, the stakes are higher, and the pacing is entirely different — the people you're shooing dress in civilian clothes. There are children and infants present. Hostages become aggressors. The screams of the frightened and the furious ring out as you clear a four-story building. 

The sequence ends in a tense standoff with a young woman claiming to be a hostage. However, instead of surrendering, she rushes to a detonator and dies for her efforts. On the desk with said detonator are plans for other attacks. 

Throughout the mission, the level of effort and detail on display is astounding. Using technology known as photogrammetry, the developers have scanned thousands of individual items, and people for that matter, and used these images to create a 3D model that's as close to real-life as is currently possible. 

The characters are seeing new coats of paint as well. This game's version of Captain Price isn't the same Price we remember. Voiced and performed by Barry Sloane, this character lives in the spirit of the original but is both a new portrayal and fresh look at the character. 

The last sneak peek is a flashback and sets up the other storyline being told in Modern Warfare. Twenty years in the past, players take the role of a character named Farah Kharim when she's a young girl. The sequence takes place during a Russian attempt to quell a terrorist uprising. Farah will one day grow up to become one of the leaders of a group of rebels and freedom fighters with her brother Haider. 

In the present, Farah works alongside a second player character, a CIA plant named "Alex," true name unknown, in the fictional country of Ursekstan. Together, they work to take down an oppressive force controlled by a rogue Russian general named Barkov, the same man responsible for Farah's tragic backstory decades earlier. 

One of the core story beats here is move from being ordered into a war and having the war come to you. Alex, for whom conflict is a job, must contend with Farah, for whom it is her life.

Central to both of these stories — as the narrative is essentially 50-50 between Price and Alex until they team up later in the campaign — is the concept of the morally gray. Infinity Ward wants players to feel uncomfortable with the choices they're making in-game, as well as understand what it feels like to be in different states of preparedness.

In addition to these three reveals, Infinity Ward also showed off footage of a Highway level and some kind of Embassy Riot mission, also likely in Ursekstan. It's a level where the player operates a drone collecting intel during a nighttime mission, and in trailers, we've seen an airstrip attacked by fighter jets.

There's also been mention of a Colonel Norris, but beyond being an antagonist of some kind — like General Shepherd was in Modern Warfare 2 — we don't know much else, other than the campaign premier will be at the end of September.

Whew! That's just about everything we know about this new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

Oh, and before we forget, there's a Tomagunchi that feeds off the dead souls of your enemies. That is a fact you now know.

Check out our other Modern Warfare articles for rumors and other info:

Contributor

John Schutt has been playing games for almost 25 years, starting with Super Mario 64 and progressing to every genre under the sun. He spent almost 4 years writing for strategy and satire site TopTierTactics under the moniker Xiant, and somehow managed to find time to get an MFA in Creative Writing in between all the gaming. His specialty is action games, but his first love will always be the RPG. Oh, and his avatar is, was, and will always be a squirrel, a trend he's carried as long as he's had a Steam account, and for some time before that.

Published Oct. 8th 2019

Cached - article_comments_article_63635
Related
More Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Content