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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. 

To help you get started with the new battle royale title, we've brought together all the timing, release and download information you need to get stuck in and shooting your friends online.

The official Call of Duty Twitter account released this Warzone download schedule, that you can see below. It's a staggered release, with players who already own Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) – the mainline COD entry that released last year on PS4, Xbox One, and PC – getting the chance to play Warzone a few hours ahead of everyone else. (Though it is now available for everyone.)

That said, Warzone is still free to play, even if those who have given Activision some cash in the past get a brief exclusivity window. Enjoy your rewards, trigger-happy soldiers!

When can I play Call of Duty: Warzone?

Right now, it's available for everyone – so you can skip to the next section for how to download and start playing the game.

For gamers who own Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019), Warzone unlocked at 8am PDT / 12pm BRT / 3pm GMT / 4pm CET / 11pm SGT on Tuesday 10 March, which is 12am KST / 2am AEST on Wednesday 11 March for those regions.

For everyone else, the game unlocked four hours later – so at 12pm PDT / 4pm BRT / 7pm GMT / 8pm CET on Tuesday 10 March, or 3am SGT / 4am KST / 6am AEST on Wednesday 11 March.

how to download and play Call of Duty Warzone

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

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 will apparently include 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."