Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 DMZ Season 03 Overview
DMZ – The Story So Far
The faction war continues across all Exclusion Zones, and it’s up to you to stake a claim in this seemingly never-ending global power struggle.
Season 03 for Call of Duty®: Warzone™ 2.0 is the perfect time to drop into DMZ, as the experience will see several new features that will fundamentally change how Operators can stock up on Contraband, Keys, and other equipment. If you’re interested in a high-stakes mode with tons of permanent rewards, this seasonal update is a great entry point – or re-entry point – given several new ways to save precious items, edit Contraband, and work around – or out of – the Exclusion Zones.
So far, there are four Factions vying for control: Legion, based somewhere in the Americas, White Lotus, with ties to Asia, Black Mous, who are a decentralized organization, and Crown, who appears to be from or affiliated with the United Kingdom.
Legion were quickly corrupted once they learned what was inside the various Exclusion areas, as they pushed out White Lotus who are ultimately vying for revenge. Black Mous meanwhile continue to sit in the shadows planning their ultimate power play, while the newcomers known as the Crown are also well on their way to fulfill their own agenda…
With all that said, and outside of everything our Operators need to find for themselves, this is everything you need to know about DMZ in Season 03:
Outside of being important mission items, most of the collectible, non-lethal items in DMZ will have another purpose once the Season 03 update is live:
Across every Exclusion Zone, all Buy Stations will have a new option in addition to buying Gear and Weapons for Cash: Bartering. This is where you use “Recipes”: These give instructions to your Operator, including a component list, in order to build new equipment that can be more useful to your current situation. In other words, Bartering is where you exchange items for others. At the start of Season 03, some Bartering Recipes will be available for most of the new Plate Carriers and Backpacks (detailed later in this overview), Killstreaks, Self-Revive Kits, and Keys. However, each Exclusion Zone has its own set of Barter options across its Buy Stations, adding one more additional element to fully exploring everything in DMZ.
There are dozens of item trade combinations that will launch with Season 03, meaning anyone can memorize these Recipes, share them with squadmates, and search for specific items to load up on loot. Given these Recipes range from Operator items like Bomb Drones and Self-Revive Kits to other important Keys and items, the Barter system is ready to help Operators stock up on those harder-to-find items and reward them for their scavenging efforts.
The other new feature at Buy Stations – found near them, not at them – are Workbenches.
For a nominal Cash fee, the Workbench allows an Operator to add attachments they have unlocked for any weapon platform onto a piece of Contraband or Insured Weapon. Operators can also remove them piece by piece. These Workbenches provide this attachment-swapping service, but for a price, given how much a weapon’s strengths and weaknesses can change based on the attachments it has or what is removed.
The obvious example is to attach what you believe as the most advantageous attachments on Contraband weapons, as most of the time, such weaponry won’t have all five attachments you seek. Some attachments to consider are suppressors, which are great for stealth situations, and thermal optics, for help seeing through smoke or more easily acquiring targets via their heat signatures.
However, any DMZ Operator knows that the Vaznev-9K with a high-magnification scope or the RPK with a 30-Round Magazine may not be the most ideal attachment combinations for how these weapons are typically used. In those cases and more, especially with Contraband picked up from fellow Operators, the Workbench is here to help scrap those attachments and slap on ones you feel more confident with.
Active Duty Operator Slots
By far one of the largest changes to DMZ since its launch, Active Duty Operator Slots are a critical part of this experience’s core value of taking calculated risk for incredible rewards.
At the start of Season 03, every player will have three Active Duty Operator Slots, which equates to three separate Operators that have their own on-soldier items. These items include your Backpack, Plate Carrier, Killstreaks, Self-Revive, and Gas Mask. You are free to swap around who these Operators are in your Active Slots, so if you have a Default Operator skin for a while and pick up Alejandro or Valeria in the Battle Pass, there is no need to worry about losing that Active Duty slot’s progress.
Before launching into a match, you choose which Active Duty Operator you bring into the Exclusion Zone. Whatever they bring back that is not part of the global loadout – Primary Weapon, Secondary Weapon, Lethal, Tactical, and Field Upgrade – is only for that specific Active Duty Operator. That means Contraband Weapons are shared between Active Duty Operators, but not Keys.
As we suggested in our Announcement blog, Active Duty Operator slots allow for strategies around designated Operators for specific Missions or supply runs. Another way to think about it is that Active Duty Operators are like “lives” in DMZ, but again, remember the core part of “taking calculated risks” part of DMZ. Each Operator life is separate and can easily go back to barebones.
In other words, using just one main Operator – like in DMZ prior to this update – may limit you to strategies like building up every Operator to full strength on scavenging runs, then using them all, if necessary, to knock out a difficult Mission or secure a Weapons Case.
New Equipment – Plate Carriers, Backpacks, Rebreather
What will those Active Duty Operators bring back from Exclusion Zones? In addition to the abundance of existing on-soldier items, there are a few new items that are coming in at launch and during the season:
New Backpacks – Secure and Scavenger
Secure Backpacks, as the name suggests, secure items between runs. This means that those non-Contraband, non-on-soldier items are secured in your inventory and don’t convert to XP upon extraction. Plus, items in a Secure Backpack are kept to that Active Duty Soldier if they are eliminated in an Extraction Zone.
Most likely one of the biggest game-changers in DMZ alongside Active Duty Operator slots, as this can help with supply runs and Mission objectives. And both of them come from the same idea of persistence: in DMZ, you need to continue doing missions and tasks despite getting knocked down some times.
For the Secure Backpack, even if you lose one important mission item, it will still be there with a Secure Backpack (and remember that there is a Barter recipe for it, too).
As for Scavenger Backpacks, these take out that third weapon slot usually found in Medium and Large Backpacks and add additional item slots. Perfect for completing Missions when there are a ton of valuable items that need to be picked up.
New Plate Carriers: Tempered, Revive, Comms, and Stealth
You may already be familiar with Tempered Plate Carriers from the previous Call of Duty: Warzone, but in case you need to reassess the intel, we wrote about these in our Tactical Overview. As for the other, DMZ-exclusive Plate Carriers, here’s a quick overview:
A 3 Plate Medic Vest grants both faster revives on squadmates, as well as faster self-revives when using a Self-Revive Kit. All-around a helpful vest, but especially great for those who find themselves as the squad’s medic.
A 3 Plate Comms Vest is like a signal booster and has a few benefits: it increases the duration of all UAV technology – the Killstreak, UAV Towers, and enemy radios dropped by AI – and makes them function as Advanced UAVs, meaning they also show player direction and location. As another bonus, the vest also gives you an audio cue when an enemy Operator is close to you, like an auditory version of the High Alert Perk. It could be great for a Solo runner especially, given that they could level the communications advantage that having a Duo or Trio provides.
Finally, the Stealth Plate Carrier comes built-in with the Ghost Perk, keeping you off enemy radars. Built for those times when keeping a low profile is essential to the mission.
Also, be on the lookout for Armor Satchels coming back during the season…
Rebreather Field Upgrade
A brand-new Field Upgrade you may recall first seeing in a Raid Episode, the Rebreather is built for amphibious Operators who navigate around the various waterways in Al Mazrah and Ashika Island.
This tool allows Operators to breathe underwater for longer periods of time, perfect for stealth infiltrations or tricky maneuvers where air is limited. Like a Stim Pistol, it has multiple uses before it expires, and it can even be swung as a two-handed melee tool in a pinch.
Those familiar with the phrase know that a Skeleton Key can unlock (nearly) any door in DMZ. The only exception is getting the Building 21 Access Key; although you cannot earn a Building 21 deployment, you can open every door that requires a Keycard or Key in Building 21 or the other Exclusion Zones.
These keys can only be created through a special Barter system recipe. Because every item can matter in DMZ, and Bartering means losing items to make others, it may be best to save it for those incredibly tough to find keys… Or use it as a back-up for those Missions that require a specific key.
What To Expect with New Missions
Season 03 of DMZ will not reset your mission progress. Furthermore, the new REDACTED Faction, available to all players, will have three of its mission tiers available at Season 03 launch, with two more to come at mid-season.
One More Thing About DMZ Activities
Remember that missions are not the only thing to accomplish in DMZ. The new Bosses, as well as something completely [[REDACTED]] happening mid-season, are sure to give even more challenges and rewards to all Operators.
Supply Run Contract
Most Operators who play Battle Royale know the details about Supply Runs, but now these Contracts are coming to DMZ, and they are similar in name only:
A Supply Run is a great contract for gearing up when your Active Duty Operator is brand new. Think of it as a lower-stakes Safecracker: instead of iron safes, all your Operator needs to do is find wooden crates. All items there are free for the taking.
Birds in the Sky – New Vehicle, Exfil Option
The Heavy Chopper is back, and there will be a new way to privately exfiltrate an Exclusion Zone DMZ in Season 03: both of which can help you exfiltrate safely.
First, the Heavy Chopper, seen in Ground War and Invasion within Modern Warfare II, will add to the aerial vehicle lineup.. Unfortunately (for you), it is completely drained of its fuel, so Operators must find its special fuel around the airport in order to get it in the sky.
Once topped off with its fuel, the Heavy Chopper can fly around the map and even outside the boundaries, which is how you can exfiltrate at any time for free. After getting out of bounds, a countdown will appear just like a normal exfiltration until you ultimately are given the same treatment as a successful exfil.
The other new feature here is a new Buy Station item known as a Private Exfil. Once bought, an exfil will be available on an unused exfil point (for that match) on the map. Consider it an extra escape route if needed, especially during Prisoner Rescue Contracts.
Upgrade to Modern Warfare II, Get Rewarded in Warzone 2.0
Haven’t experienced Modern Warfare II yet?
You are missing out on Premium XP while playing Warzone 2.0 as well as the Crown Faction in DMZ, which has its own missions and rewards on top of the main three factions. Modern Warfare II also has quick ways to level up over 50 Weapons through Multiplayer and Special Ops, Multiplayer Ranked Play and its exclusive rewards, and the ability to unlock 14 exclusive Operators to use across both games.
Plus, those who own Modern Warfare II can access content coming as part of Season 03, including the return of Gunfight, new Special Ops content such as Missions and Raid Episodes, and nine additional Multiplayer maps across Gunfight, Core 6v6 modes, and Battle Maps for all-out Ground War skirmishes.
© 2023 Activision Publishing, Inc. ACTIVISION, CALL OF DUTY, CALL OF DUTY WARZONE, and MODERN WARFARE are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc. All other trademarks and trade names are the property of their respective owners.
For more information, please visit www.callofduty.com and www.youtube.com/callofduty, and follow @Activision and @CallofDuty on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook