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Modern Warfare 2 wants your phone number before you can play on PC

Ghost from Modern Warfare.
(Image credit: Activision)
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Activision Blizzard has released the system requirements for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's open beta, including the rather oddball insistence that PC players "must" have their phone number linked to their Battle.net or Steam account. I doubt Bobby Kotick's going to be using it for late night booty calls but, all the same, why does a game need your mobile number to run on your PC?

Beta access is as ever predicated on pre-orders, and is more like early access to a finished product than a beta, so these requirements can be taken as applying to the final game. The biggest surprise is how relatively modest the requirements are for one of the biggest series in gaming: Modern Warfare 2 will run at minimum specs on a GTX 960, a card that launched in January 2015.

Modern Warfare 2 minimum requirements (1080p, 60fps, low settings)

  • OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-3570 or AMD Ryzen 5 1600X
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 or AMD Radeon RX 470
  • RAM: 8GB 
  • STORAGE: 25GB
  • SOUND: Any DirectX Compatible card

The recommended requirements aren't too much worse either, though you will need a decent amount of RAM. I also like how Activision Blizzard has a specific category for sound cards, but doesn't actually specify any sound cards at any point.

  • OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit 
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K or AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 580
  • RAM: 16GB RAM
  • STORAGE: 25GB
  • SOUND CARD: any DirectX Compatible card

The recommended GPU being a GTX 1060 shows nothing so much as how broad Call of Duty's appeal is. This card is now fairly described as 'venerable', but it's a workhorse and the publisher wants as many people as possible to be able to play this title. Still: the fact that it will apparently give you 1080p and 60fps in a 2022 tentpole AAA release is decent to say the least.

On that note, there isn't a huge step up between the minimum and the game's recommended settings⁠—expect Modern Warfare 2 to have plenty of options for the graphics lovers and their mighty rigs.

PC players who pre-order will be able to access the open beta from September 22-26. Those who pre-order will also have early access to the Modern Warfare 2 campaign (opens in new tab) on October 20, one week before the game launches on October 28. Yes, it's enough to make you nostalgic for a time when games had one release date (opens in new tab).

There'll be more on Modern Warfare 2 soon: the Call of Duty: Next (opens in new tab) showcase happens tomorrow, September 15, and will feature a multiplayer reveal and some sort of update on the next Warzone.

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."