Call of Duty: Warzone 2 DMZ mode guide

warzone 2 dmz mode - a man wearing sunglasses points a rifle offscreen
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

The new Warzone 2 DMZ mode is a pretty different creature to its battle royale counterpart. It isn't nearly as PvP intensive, but it does have its own challenges to contend with—overzealous enemies that seem to down you before you know it, locked "strongholds" that you have to figure out how to crack open, and loot-hungry opposing players who can take contracts to hunt you down. Did I mention the slowly expanding radiation cloud, too?

That said, DMZ is a mode packed full of rewards for those willing to try something new, whether it's the M131B assault rifle you get from defeating The Chemist, or the fact that every gun you extract with unlocks forever in all other modes. Here's everything you need to know about the Call of Duty: Warzone 2 DMZ mode, how it works, as well as a few handy tips.

How does Warzone 2 DMZ mode work?

(Image credit: Activision)

DMZ is Call of Duty's take on the extraction shooter genre—a mode where you drop into Al-Mazrah in a squad of three, to complete contracts, raid strongholds, and try to extract with as much loot and fancy weaponry as your lil backpack can carry. It's high-risk, high-reward, since you only have one life, and if you die without extracting, you lose everything you have. No gulag here.

There are some friendly features that DMZ has added to soften this, though. The first is the insured weapon slot, which lets you protect a non-contraband weapon that you can bring with you. If you lose it during DMZ, you'll have to wait for its cooldown before you can take it again, but you can shorten this by playing more. If you don't have any weapons to take, you can select the "free weapons" option when choosing loadout, and this will give you some random, basic guns.

Equipment is important, because Al-Mazrah is a hazardous place. There's the constant threat of a radiation cloud that gradually expands to cover the whole map over the mode's 25 minute duration, blocking off exfiltration points as it does. There are also squads of enemy operators—other players—who are trying to snatch the best loot before you do. The basic rule is: the longer you stay, the higher the rewards, but the more likely you are to die or be left unable to extract.

What should I do in the DMZ?

With so many options, it's a little hard to know where to start in DMZ, especially if you've never played an extraction shooter. There are a variety of activities you can try:

  • Contracts: Just like in Warzone's Battle Royale mode, these mini-missions are the best way of earning money. There are all sorts of contracts you can take, each with their own particular dangers and difficulties, ranging from a simple cargo delivery, to hunting down an enemy squad that the game reveals the general location of. Some of these are quite complex, so for more details on how to complete each, see our Warzone 2 contracts guide.   
  • Strongholds: These bases, marked with a castle on the map, contain dangerous enemies, but are also great if you need some decent weapons or equipment. However, if you want to take a stronghold, you'll need a keycard, which drops randomly from the enemies that you kill. While you can find keys for certain buildings across the DMZ, a stronghold keycard will work on any stronghold, so once you have one, head to your nearest. Unlike in Battle Royale mode, you won't have to disarm any bombs, and you won't get a black site key when you finish.
  • World activities: These are mostly related to faction missions, which you can select before you head into the DMZ, and will reward you with fancy cosmetics and keys when you complete them. Drilling safes can be a decent source of cash and valuable items to sell, SAM sites can shoot down planes to provide supply drops, while UAVs can give you more detailed map info.
Win more Warzone 2

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(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

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Warzone 2 cash: Make bank

It's totally fine to just mess around, complete contracts, loot some stuff, and do whatever you feel like in DMZ, provided you extract before things get irradiated. I would say, however, if you are pursuing missions, you should make sure to prioritise their completion, since before you know it the radiation will move in. Equally, don't bite off more than you can chew. It's better to stay safe and actually extract with some stuff to use, than to die with a backpack stuffed with loot.

I usually make sure to get myself some decent weaponry, items, and to stock up on armour plates by heading to an ammo depot, or by raiding a stronghold if I happen to find a keycard early on. This just ensures that if you do run into enemy operators, you'll have a decent chance of trading evenly with them. It's also worth not killing enemies just for the sake of it if you have stuff to do, since it will bring more heat, and alert other nearby operators to your presence.

How to make money in Warzone 2 DMZ mode

"Eliminate HVT" and "Raid Weapons Stash" are the best contracts for making money in Warzone 2's DMZ mode. Eliminating a high value target (crosshairs on the map) is a high payout contract that only requires you visiting one location, unlike several other contract types. It helps that HVTs in the DMZ are AI enemies, not players, so it's easier to know just how tough a fight you're in for. The weapon raid contracts (box with a flag on the map) are another great choice because they'll net you cash and weapons simultaneously.

In the regular battle royale mode you're stuck earning money through contracts and looting cash directly. In DMZ mode though, you can also hoard loot and sell it at buy stations. Some loot is marked as rare with a golden icon and those are pretty much a no-brainer. You'll definitely want to grab the $8,000 gold bar or $6,500 vintage wine if you come across them. There are lots of smaller loot items though, and grabbing the right ones can really help you cash in at the buy station if you've grabbed some efficient picks.

Here's what you should stuff in your backpack to make the most cash:

  • Watches: $800 each, find these on shelves, jacket pockets, and all over the place.
  • Hard drive: $500 each, found inside computer towers underneath desks.
  • Imported tea: $500 each, red plastic packaged found on shelves.
  • Liquor: $500 each, bottles usually inside a fridge.
  • Documents: $250 each, tan folders often on shelves.
  • Laptops: $1300 each, inside safes or dropped by AI enemies, but be warned they don't stack, so keeping 3 watches or hard drives is actually more efficient.

Can you play DMZ solo?

(Image credit: Activision)

If you have your own missions you want to complete and don't want to abandon a squad to do it, you can play DMZ by yourself. All you need to do is disable 'Squad Fill' when you're about to enter the mode. The real disadvantage of going solo is that no one can revive you if you get downed, though it might let you stay stealthy and speedy in a way that hanging around with two gun-toting strangers won't. If you are running solo, try to grab a self-revive kit if possible—these can be found in some enemy strongholds and will bring you back to life once. You can also bring them back with you for use in a subsequent game.

Sean Martin
Guides Writer

Sean's first PC games were Full Throttle and Total Annihilation and his taste has stayed much the same since. When not scouring games for secrets or bashing his head against puzzles, you'll find him revisiting old Total War campaigns, agonizing over his Destiny 2 fit, or still trying to finish the Horus Heresy. Sean has also written for EDGE, Eurogamer, PCGamesN, Wireframe, EGMNOW, and Inverse.

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