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How to download and play Call of Duty: Warzone right now

How to download and play Call of Duty: Warzone
(Image credit: Activision)

When can you play Call of Duty: Warzone? The answer: right now. 

The new free-to-play battle royale game has landed for gamers across PC, PS4 and Xbox One – albeit with some different caveats for the last one – after a muddled announcement process, which saw a streamer's gameplay video go up on YouTube before Activision had even acknowledged the game existed. 

But Warzone is very much here and, with over six million players having jumped into its maps on day one alone, you can sure those 150-player matches have enough fodder to shoot and enemies to fear to keep things interesting. 

You can find out exactly why you should be playing Warzone in our Call of Duty: Warzone review, but if you're just looking to start up the game, you'll have everything you need in this guide below to get stuck in and shooting your friends online in this new battle royale title.

While Warzone initially had a staggered release, with those who already own Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) getting to play a few hours ahead of everyone else, it is now available for everyone. Here's how to get stuck in.

how to download and play Call of Duty Warzone

Every territory getting Call of Duty: Warzone (Image credit: Activision)

Call of Duty: Warzone platforms and pricing

Call of Duty: Warzone is currently available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

It is a free-to-play game, though anyone loading it up on Xbox One will require an Xbox Live Gold subscription to access the platform's online multiplayer features, usually costing $60 in the US, £50 in UK or AU$80 in Australia. You won't need to pay for a PlayStation Plus membership to do so on PS4.

While the recently-dropped Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remaster has a one-month exclusivity window on PS4, that thankfully isn't the case with Warzone.

How to download Call of Duty: Warzone

If you have Modern Warfare (2019), you simply load up the game, and head to the Classified panel in the game's main menu. The size of the Warzone download will vary depending on whether you've downloaded the latest patch, though – 18-22GB if you have, and more like 80GB if you haven't.

You can, however, download Warzone as a standalone title – which, indeed, most of you will likely end up doing if you won't already have Modern Warfare (2019).

It will be listed like any other Call of Duty title on the PlayStation Store, Xbox Store, or on PC (you'll need the desktop app for PC or Mac to download the game). Activision owns Blizzard, which is why Warzone is being pushed through Blizzard's portal – and the download will apparently be 80-101GB.

A blog post from Activision stated that "Download could take up to several hours depending on bandwidth, service provider, additional regional factors and will vary by platform."

You won't be able to download this game via Steam or Epic Games Store, in case you were wondering.

how to download and play Call of Duty Warzone

People, bots: what's the difference? (Image credit: Activision)

What to do while downloading Call of Duty: Warzone

Can't wait all those hours? The first 20GB includes an offline Gunfight mode to keep you occupied, though you'll be playing against bots rather than other antsy players:

"The Warzone download is segmented. The first segment of approximately 20GB will enable you to jump in – offline – to play solo in Gunfight matches with bots. During this offline play, your download progress will continue in the background. This offline experience is branded Modern Warfare and gives you a taste of the full Modern Warfare experience, but rest assured Warzone is on its way to you."

Henry St Leger

Henry is TechRadar's News & Features Editor, covering the stories of the day with verve, moxie, and aplomb. He's spent the past three years reporting on TVs, projectors and smart speakers as well as gaming and VR – including a stint as the website's Home Cinema Editor – and has been interviewed live on both BBC World News and Channel News Asia, discussing the future of transport and 4K resolution televisions respectively. As a graduate of English Literature and persistent theatre enthusiast, he'll usually be found forcing Shakespeare puns into his technology articles, which he thinks is what the Bard would have wanted. Bylines include Edge, T3, and Little White Lies.