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When is the Warzone nuke event?

Warzone nuke event
(Image credit: Activision)

Want to know the Warzone nuke event time? If you've been paying attention to the many rumours, leaks, and obscure teases over the last month or so, you'll know that Verdansk's future is looking pretty bleak. We've known for some time that Verdansk will explode some time during Call of Duty: Warzone Season 2 and as the zombies move into more areas of the map, it's been fairly safe to assume that the end is nigh for the popular Warzone map as we know it.

Now it has been confirmed that the end is coming on April 21 at 12pm PT/3 pm ET. The timing fits earlier estimates: The end of Warzone Season 2 was expected on April 22, based on the listed end of the season battle pass. That gives you less than a week to get your affairs in order, but in the meantime, here's everything we know about the Warzone nuke event. 

New Warzone skull icon: The contamination rate is now 100 percent 

Following an update on April 15, the skull icon contamination level has not only reached 100 percent, but players are being turned into zombies if they die within 'toxic zones'. Zooming in on certain infected areas on the map reveals a nuclear symbol. If you try to enter one of these zones, you'll start taking damage.

'The end' is set for April 21, when we'll presumably see the Warzone nuke event in-game to usher in the start of Warzone Season 3. So you've still got a few days to take in the sights of Verdansk before all hell breaks loose—y'know, more than it already has.

Current Warzone zombies location: Gora Dam

The zombie infestation is growing—not content with wreaking havoc at the Shipwreck, Prison, Hospital, Acropolis National Bank, TV Station, and Superstore, they have now descended on the Gora Dam. 

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As already noted, the contamination rate has now reached critical levels and is sitting at 100 percent. Clearly the situation is getting out of hand and drastic action will need to be taken to get things back under control—cue the hugely anticipated nuke event, which is set for April 21. 

Warzone nuke event time: What to expect

Warzone celebrated its first birthday on March 10, but you wouldn't have known that by logging into the game. There were no playlist changes or hints on its anniversary that indicated it was a special occasion for the battle royale, which makes the looming speculated nuke event all the more mysterious.

The devs published a blogpost to commemorate its anniversary. This article looks back over each Warzone season so far, spanning from its launch during the Modern Warfare era to its integration with Call of Duty: Cold War. It's the end of the article that's most interesting though, here's what it says:

Win more with these Warzone loadouts

(Image credit: Infinity Ward)

Best Warzone loadout: The gear to choose
Best M4A1 loadout Warzone: Top all-purpose AR builds
Best MP7 loadout Warzone: Effective SMG setups
Best Grau loadout Warzone: Strong AR builds
Best M13 loadout Warzone:  Attachments to choose
Best Kilo 101 loadout Warzone: Boost the punchy AR

"It seems that after a year of smooth sailing, Warzone may have to prepare for a threat never before seen in Verdansk, and any Operators who wish to survive might need to save the celebration for another time and get back in the fight before it’s too late.

Once again, thanks to you, the community, for being with us for the past year of Warzone. With Season Two’s story continuing through the game’s one-year milestone, we cannot wait to share with you what’s in store for the year to come… but it’ll be better for you to experience it for yourself.

Execute the mission."

The current theory speculates that the zombies will completely overrun Verdansk, which will trigger the nukes below its surface to detonate on April 21.

A recent leak details a casual sandbox mode, including time trials, vehicle races, and some obstacle courses. The same audio leak references a zombies 'plague' mode that may coincide with Verdansk's send-off. One of the lines highlights that "this is your last chance to save Verdansk", so we may see this mode appear at some point in the future.

(Image credit: Activision)

What happened in Warzone on March 11?

Zombies appeared in Verdansk at the beginning of Season 2 and are still on the move. On March 11 they moved from the Shipwreck to the Prison, and have continued to appear in different locations on the map since. They currently appear to be on a weekly schedule, here's where they've visited so far: 

  • Vodianoy (Shipwreck)
  • March 11: Prison
  • March 18: Hospital
  • March 25: Acropolis National Bank
  • April 1: TV Station
  • April 9: Superstore
  • April 15: Gora Dam

We expected Warzone's zombies to continue spreading across the map over the course of Season 2, but so far they've simply been jumping from place to place, instead. We can still participate in the same special event at the Bank by activating the challenge, eliminating 40 zombies, and grabbing the key card for some gear.

(Image credit: Activision)

Considering that the anniversary blog post simply ends with "execute the mission", we can't make a definite call on what will happen next, but whatever the developers have in mind is clearly going to be big. Interestingly, the post also highlights that it's better if we experience the upcoming events ourselves. Not only does this state the obvious in that we'll definitely want to hop in and play when a big update releases, this phrasing leads me to believe that we may have another 'Know Your History'-type event to engage with.

Back in August, this mission led us to the Warzone Stadium where we were able to watch the world premiere of the Cold War trailer. If there's a catastrophic explosion and a new map on the horizon, this is the perfect way to introduce them. Personally, I'd love to see us taking Verdansk's destruction into our own hands in a special mission.

Over the past few weeks players have been sharing clips captured on Warzone's Rebirth Island map. These secret interactions consist of players' screen distorting which then triggers a Russian VO. These voice lines usually refer to the Vodianoy ship, which gave us a good idea that the ship would crash onto the Verdansk coast before Outbreak launched, but the reports are still continuing to surface.

(Image credit: Activision)

A new map is expected

As previously reported by VGC, it's been assumed for a while that the new Warzone map would release this April. The current season's battle pass expires on April 22, and with 'the end' scheduled for April 21, this is likely to be when we'll finally see Warzone shift into the Cold War era. 

It's believed that Verdansk's explosive exit will pave the way for the new '80s-flavoured Verdansk map. And a recent leak, quickly taken down by Activision, shows the new map, featuring an under-construction stadium, an aqueduct, an underground mine shaft, and a huge radar array, similar to the one at the end of Black Ops Cold War's campaign.

According to VGC, Warzone was supposed to head to the 1980s at the end of last year, but it was pushed back and will now release much closer to its first birthday. One thing's for sure, waiting for the new Warzone map is exhausting.

As PC Gamer's guides writer, Emma is usually juggling several games at once. She loves competitive first-person shooters like CS:GO and Call of Duty, but she always has time for a few rounds of Hearthstone. She's happiest when she's rescuing pugs in Spelunky 2.