Warzone bug won't let you play without a paid Xbox Live Gold subscription

Call of Duty character aiming down the sights of a gun
(Image credit: Activision)

Update: Raven Software has acknowledged the Warzone Xbox Live bug and is working on a fix.

“We are investigating an issue where Xbox Live Silver users are unable to play Warzone.”

Original story: A new season has dropped in the free-to-play battle royale Warzone, but some players are reporting that they can't play without an Xbox Live Gold membership.

As covered in our live blog for Warzone Season 3, Twitter users started logging the issue and were pretty ticked off about it. Not only is Call of Duty: Warzone free-to-play, but Microsoft's rolled out an Xbox Live Gold policy change to ensure f2p titles wouldn't need a paid membership for their online multiplayer.  

So the sudden requirement for a paid subscription has, rightfully, got players up in arms.      

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"The new Warzone update broke my game," lamented one player, posting a screenshot showing the issue. 

"I haven’t had Xbox live gold or any subscription for months now and I’ve been able to play free to play games including Warzone. Microsoft instituted that policy last year. please fix."

A number of other users are running into the same problem, but at the time of writing, neither the devs nor the publisher has acknowledged or responded to the complaints. 

This isn't the first time this has happened; at the tail end of last year, a Warzone update rolled out that did this exact same thing. The @charlieINTEL Twitter account noted the error at the time, tweeting:

"For those Xbox players who are getting 'A network service failed' alert when trying to play Warzone, it appears the update overnight has made Xbox Live Gold a requirement to play Warzone again, even though free to play games don't need it anymore on Xbox."

It was obviously resolved, but it's not ideal to force players to deal with this again. This is one of a handful of issues that popped up when the update went live. It's frustrating that there's no official response or idea of when it'll be fixed. 

Raven Software is already dealing with a 'Corrupted Loadout Data' error that some players have bumped up against. It said it would tweet out an update when it was resolved, but there's been nothing since. Undoubtedly, this problem will be sorted out eventually, but it's got to be annoying for fans who've weathered the giant update, ranked play not working, error messages, and now this. 

Shabana Arif
News Editor, TechRadar Gaming

Shabana has been writing about games for almost a decade now, as well as covering tech, politics, food, and other random tidbits at Gizmodo UK. She's stepped outside of news every now and then to write game guides, and always appreciates a DM if she's helped get you out of a pickle. During her time freelancing, you may have spotted her words at VG24/7, GamesRadar, and IGN. She's also held the position of news editor at Gizmodo UK, T3, and The Sun Online.