The arrival of the second season of Call of Duty Warzone will require players to master new strategies.
As Gamelevate covered in this previous article, the game will add two brand new areas. There will also be a variety of new game mechanics that need to be understood. Fortunately, the game developers and publishers have provided COD players with an initial guide to gameplay in Season Two.
Call of Duty: Vanguard and Warzone Season Two reinforces a massive global conflict with Armored War Machines.
Season Two is also increasing Weapon XP earn rates in Warzone, as well as significantly boosting Daily Challenge XP rewards.
Although this guide does not detail every single change coming with Season Two in detail — head to Raven Software’s Patch Notes for details — it does cover nine major additions that could offer new strategies for claiming victory.
Here’s what you need to know before you drop into Caldera in Season Two, presented by Raven Software and High Moon Studios:
New Locations: Chemical Factory and Research Labs
When opening the Tac Map following the Season Two update, you’ll notice two major additions — Chemical Factory and Research Labs. The Chemical Factory — Factory, for short — is located mostly in quadrant F2 and spills upward into F1 with the island’s main north river. It is between the Docks to the northeast, Arsenal to the northwest, and at the Peak’s base near the Mines to the southwest.
In total, the Factory has six major structures, a small railyard with several stalled boxcars and a terminus within the main building, as well as several minor buildings. The complex is protected by natural rock outcroppings and two main archways on a main road leading through it. Armed Axis guards in watchtowers guard the facility. An Operator can easily get a fair amount of loot, Contracts, and engagement opportunities throughout the complex, especially in the auxiliary structures on the river’s east side.
However, a squad’s focus should be on the massive factory at center: two multistory structures with a covered elevated walkway linking the two, in addition to a variety of external steel staircases and overhangs. Use these to maneuver between levels on the outside or to make quick and unexpected movements within engagements.
Inside these Factory buildings, squads can enjoy searching through Supply Boxes with a higher chance of containing rarer items, especially those that either use Nebula V or protect against this unstable chemical. These are located on the main factory floors, the catwalks above them, the flat rooftops that also double as power-generation areas, and in smaller spaces such as storerooms, administration offices, and the control area high above each factory floor.
The control area contains one of many new mechanics with Season Two: a chemical trap.
Operators will find that all buttons on the control panels are inoperable except for one: a conveniently large red one. Interacting with it will discharge Nebula V gas onto the main factory floor for a short period of time.
Given that this release mechanism has a cooldown, its effectiveness depends on having good timing and knowing an enemy squad’s position. However, if it hits, it can turn into an advantage for a squad fight on top of the obvious height advantage.
Also, like any new area in Warzone, expect a high amount of traffic to drop in here at least for the first few weeks. Although Airfield purists may still want to drop straight back into familiar territory, Chemical Factory is likely to draw in those who usually head for the Peak and the Arsenal off the initial drop.
In addition to the Chemical Factory, Operators will also see seven drawn-in yellow circles on the Tac Map. Each of these indicates the relative locations of a rumored Research Lab hidden underground.
If you find one, expect a single entry point and no other escape route. Once inside, there are numerous Supply Boxes that can be opened with a higher chance of finding Nebula V and gas-related items. Just like the Chemical Factory, there are Axis soldiers patrolling the grounds, mostly in the interior tunnels.
Warzone veterans can expect to use similar strategies as they did in Verdansk and its bunkers…if they find them, that is.
Primarily, these areas are meant to be high-risk, high-reward zones in otherwise remote sections of the map. Other squads are also searching for these labs, so plan some defenses — perhaps a squadmate or two to act as a lookout — to avoid being ambushed by vulture-like rival Operators.
Enemy Encounters: Axis Soldiers and Armored Transport Vehicles
These new areas are as dangerous as they are valuable to a squad’s success — even if you venture elsewhere in Caldera, there are some new enemies to watch out for…
Axis soldiers are not here to win any Battle Royales — nor do they have the aim or the skills to even compete with a standard Operator — but these soldiers are ready to protect the secrets of Nebula V.
They may be found either on the perimeter of the Chemical Factory, most often on the watchtowers, or within the underground Research Labs. While they can technically down and eliminate you, those who have proper awareness, take cover, and fire accurately can neutralize them faster than they could down an armored-up Operator.
Although they deal only a modicum of damage, their unsilenced Assault Rifles are sure to draw attention. They appear as pings on the Tac Map, which can inadvertently alert enemy squads to your location. You have two ways to work with this:
The first is to run back those years of Campaign stealth mission training and execute them before they fire. A silent Sniper Rifle should eliminate them the fastest, but any suppressed weapon should do the trick.
Alternatively, you can use their itchy trigger fingers to draw out enemies who want to “third-party” an engagement.
Armored Transport Vehicles
The Axis will also deploy Armored Transport Vehicles around Caldera, which are much more threatening compared to the standard foot soldier. They are prepared to bring in these heavy reinforcements after the first week of Season Two, should their foot soldiers get overwhelmed by the elite Task Force Operators.
A few of these vehicles roll out for every Battle Royale match on one of six predetermined paths, such as within the Mine or a loop around the Lagoon, and they have their own red truck icon on the Tac Map. They cannot be stopped, but they can be destroyed by Operators willing to put the effort — and ammunition — into it.
Outside of rolling over any Operator in its path, these vehicles have three defense tactics: machine-gun turrets and mines.
The machine-gun turrets will autotarget Operators within its immediate vicinity, while the mines are set behind the truck as it rolls along. Both can deal damage but can be avoided: maintain some distance to avoid those machine-gun turrets, and don’t tailgate.
Like the Axis soldiers, the Armored Transport Vehicles are an environmental hazard — and potentially can be used as a distraction — when fighting other squads. It is also worth trying to destroy, as it contains a ton of high-value items…including some Nebula V weaponry!
Modes of Transportation: Bomber Planes and Redeploy Balloon
Prepare to take to the skies with these two modes of transportation — both adding their own potential strengths to your strategies for getting across Caldera.
These new aerial vehicles are here to add an additional layer of tactics to Vanguard Royale.
Bomber Planes are less nimble than their Fighter Plane rivals in the sky, but they have access to an explosive payload that can decimate vehicles, un-manned Anti-Air Guns, and tightly packed groups of Operators.
After taking to the skies, an Operator can drop four bombs before needing a long reload. This ordnance drops from a bay compartment underneath the plane, meaning an Operator needs to fly over their target while also accounting for any forward momentum and their target’s movement.
They can also destroy Loadout Drops with a precision-accurate bomb , which can fundamentally change how Operators approach these powerful sources of weapons and technology in Battle Royale modes.
Bomber Planes have one glaring weakness: They are defenseless against Fighter Planes. Think of this dynamic as a triangle of power:
– Bomber Planes are weak to Fighter Planes.
– A-A Guns and vehicles can easily be destroyed by Bomber Planes.
– Fighter Planes are weak to Anti-Air Guns and vehicles, since they must awkwardly strafe to hit targets.
If one vehicle seems to be more popular in a Vanguard Royale over the other, consider searching for their weakness and use it to bring squads back down to earth.
Arguably the fastest way around Caldera, the Redeploy Balloon allows Operators to hoist themselves into the air in set locations and parachute back down to safety, whether that be in tens or hundreds of meters away from their starting location.
Redeploy Balloons can easily be found with their own icon on the Tac Map in places like the Peak’s foothills and near Caldera’s two main airstrips.
In using these Balloons, an Operator risks complete exposure while rappelling up to the sky and during their flight. However, the opportunity to quickly rotate their position may be well worth this danger, as parachuting away from the Circle Collapse or a Bounty-hunting squad can be the fastest tactic available to your squad.
Redeploy Balloons can be destroyed by Operators who want to limit exit strategies for other squads. Other Operators can then reinflate the Balloons for a small bundle of Cash, which can be a good strategy if they have a surplus of funds but no other way out of a bad situation.
Another note: Redeploy Balloons can down planes if their pilot carelessly rams them, so be sure to avoid them in the skies.
Portable Decontamination Station (P.D.S.)
The Portable Decontamination Station, a new and rare Field Upgrade in Caldera, is a device that filtrates air for several seconds, protecting anyone inside from the Circle Collapses or Nebula V Gas.
Upon setting one up like a Trophy System, the P.D.S. creates a bubble of fresh air for a short period of time, preventing damage and lowered visibility from both kinds of toxic gas. This can be used to delay rotations to the larger safe area or be used in a pinch if another squad gets their hands on a Nebula V Bomb.
These devices impact all Operator Tac Maps, allowing everyone to see where they are currently activated, and they can be destroyed by explosives or ballistics. When setting one up, a squad should know they won’t be exposed to gas but will be vulnerable to much deadlier threats on the island: their rival Operators.
Nebula V Weaponized: Ammo and Bomb Field Upgrades
Outside of the P.D.S., the other two new Field Upgrades are built around Nebula V, the deadly gas produced in factories around Caldera.
Nebula V Ammo
Nebula V Ammo is no stronger than regular bullets with one major exception: when an Operator is downed with them, they emit a poisonous gas cloud.
After activating this Field Upgrade, an Operator will load a standard magazine amount of Nebula V Ammo into their weapon. They then can fight an enemy as normal, but will notice the gas cloud spew out of their target once they hit the floor.
Anyone attempting to revive a downed Operator — or standing within a few feet of them — will face similar complications to Circle Collapse exposure: coughing, blurred vision, and a slight amount of damage over time. Because the gas cloud’s short duration and small damage, Gas Masks will not trigger.
Furthermore, this gas cloud can reappear if Operators take additional damage from this special ammo type.
It is not expected to completely turn around squad fights, as the most elite players often down all enemies before finishing them off. But those who like to revive their allies before continuing the fight should notice this gas before letting off the trigger to make the revive.
This locked briefcase full of deadly gas with an explosive charge can alter how entire squads navigate around Caldera, but it is not found as easily as those clips of Nebula V Ammo – as it’s the rarest of all items found in Caldera.
The Axis often use Armored Transport Vehicles to move these around the island, and rumor has it, they may start re-opening their bomb supply lines during the first week of March…
Once activated and set down in front of an Operator, a Nebula V Bomb will detonate after a fixed countdown and cannot be disarmed or destroyed. Its initial explosion deals a high amount of damage in a small radius before spreading the gas outward, where it will hurt any Operator without a Gas Mask. The gas lingers for a short time before ultimately dispersing or feeding into the oncoming Circle Collapse.
Operators can outrun this explosive aftermath just as they would the Circle Collapse, but in terms of an area denial tool, the Nebula V Bomb is a game-changer. Those wanting to run through its aftermath should have a Gas Mask or Personal Decontamination Station handy.
In using it, a squad should plan to trap their enemies between this bomb’s effects and the Circle Collapse, limiting the number of safe routes by setting up additional traps. Repositioning is a major part of both attacking with and defending against this new tool, so learn its area of effect and know your surroundings to get the most out of the Axis’s most powerful weapon yet.
Prepare to Drop: 10 Tip Recap
1. The Floor is Lava…or Gas-Filled. In the Chemical Factory, stay off the main floor if you suspect another squad is on the catwalks above. Try to use the exterior stairwells and platforms to get on their level; otherwise they may have the advantage with the Nebula V trap and high ground.
2. Down the Hatch. Research Labs has only one entry and exit point. Prepare for ambushes even if other squads do not drop beside you. Either send one or two squadmates up to defend, or send a Killstreak — a Precision Airstrike or Mortar Barrage — down while inside the Lab to deter enemies from above.
3. False Alarms. Axis soldiers in both the Factory and Labs may not deal a ton of damage, but their unsilenced weapons can draw the attention of other Operators. Avoid and eliminate them quickly to stay under the radar, or cause them to fire if you want to throw nearby enemy squads off your position.
4. Know the “No Zones” of Armored Transport Vehicles. Instead of blind spots, these vehicles are ready to attack those who tailgate or are within a few meters of them. Leave enough space between you and them to avoid their attacks; then close in once they are destroyed to reap those rewards.
5. Rock, Paper, Bomber Says Boom. Bomber Planes are most effective against A-A Guns and vehicles. If one is starting to wreck the entire island, though, consider using a Fighter Plane to wrest control of the skies.
6. Use Redeploy Balloons for Rapid Repositioning. Need to fly away from the Circle Collapse or a Nebula V Bomb? Locate the Barrage Balloons on the Tac Map — or in the overworld, they are hard to miss — and rappel up them to get some serious distance, albeit at the risk of being exposed while airborne.
7. Falling in Style. Various improvements have been made to Parachutes in advance of the Redeploy Balloons being rolled out across Caldera. Operators can now use them sooner after exiting the infil plane, or deploy them when closer to the ground – just not too close!
8. P.D.S. is a P.D.A. Portable Decontamination Stations are Personal Displays of Attention — dropping one reveals your squad’s position on the radar, so watch for hungry squads ready to attack when you use it to avoid the Nebula V gas or Circle Collapse.
9. Nebula V Ammo — Deadly for Squad Combat. That single clip of Nebula V Ammo may not be much, but if it downs an Operator, it makes it harder for their allies to safely revive them. Use it in squad fights to prevent enemies from getting back to full strength.
10. Avoid the Aftermath. Nebula V Bombs create small pockets of Circle Collapse–like gas, which are easily visible on the Tac Map. Prepare to change those rotation strategies as soon as you are alerted to their presence, and look for other squads struggling to escape it for a better chance at victory.