(Pocket-lint) - Call of Duty: Warzone has long since settled into its new 1984 time setting, which updated the familiar Verdansk map with some new locations and a lick of new paint.
Season Six has now launched, and it looks like it could bring some pretty big changes to the map (at last), along with the return of a familiar gulag. Read on to find out more.
Warzone Season 6 launch date
Season Six of Warzone started on 7 October 2021, and runs for a couple of months, right through the release of Call of Duty: Vanguard. It's now been confirmed that it's the last full season that'll take place on the Verdansk map, before everything changes when Vanguard's integration happens in late November.
What's new in Warzone Season 6?
Read on to find out all the key additions and tweaks that have taken place as part of the new season's launch. Find out all the minute details by checking out Raven's own patch notes for the update.
Warzone Season Six map changes
Firstly, some decent map changes have arrived, with huge rifts opening up through Stadium and Downtown, two areas that haven't changed much in a while. This should open up new movement lanes and flanking opportunities, and we're hoping it might reduce the power of rooftop positions in downtown particularly.
There are also WWII bunkers opening - we'd expect these to be in the same locations as the modern-day version of Verdansk used to offer, since many of those doors are still there, but we'll find out when we drop in soon.
Finally, we're going back to the original gulag. Raven Software has heard the players' pleas, and for the final season of Verdansk we'll be fighting in the showers, back where it all started.
Warzone Season Six new weapons and Battle Pass
The season brings five new weapons to the table, three immediately and another two further down the line. First up, we're getting a lever-action shotgun, the .410 Ironhide which is a two-shot kill close-up, or a one-shot if you're in their face.
The Grav assault rifle has a high rate of fire and range but modest damage, while the battle-axe melee option is exactly how it sounds. Coming later in the season will be the LAPA SMG, which you'll be able to earn during The Haunting event, and the Hammer and Sickle melee.
On top of that, a post-launch update has also added items from Call of Duty: Vanguard ahead of its release, offering 24 different unlocks. This includes the StG-44 assault rifle and M1 Garand - both of which can be equipped with up to 10 attachments, giving a glimpse of things to come once the new game integrates with Warzone.
Get a jump start on leveling up 24 tiers of #Vanguard Battle Pass content just by playing #Warzone or #BlackOpsColdWar ️— Call of Duty (@CallofDuty) October 12, 2021
Learn more about the content you can claim here: https://t.co/EOoPtYhXtc pic.twitter.com/p5AUforexb
There's also a whole new Battle Pass to work through, so check out the above video to get a sense for the many cosmetics you'll be able to unlock if you can grind your way through it.
Warzone Season Six weapon balancing
Raven hasn't just left the existing pool of weapons alone, though - it's made adjustments to the EM2, C58, MG82 and Stoner. All have had their recoil changed to be harder to manage since they were all a little too dominant at all ranges.
That's really it, though - compared to previous updates, there isn't too much weapon balancing going on here.
Warzon Season Six: The Haunting event
The haunting of Verdansk in October 2020 was one of the most successful limited-time modes Warzone has hosted, with a night-time mode and zombies switching things up hugely. Now, a new experience is on the way just in time for Halloween.
More details are coming later in October, and we can't wait to see what's cooking.
New Warzone clan system
An interesting part of the season's launch is that COD's Regiment system is being frozen, ahead of the integration with Vanguard, which will launch a new clan system that should apparently offer more freedom and control to players. It means that you now can't swap between Regiments or add/remove players from them.
The Numbers live event - start and end dates
As teased over a number of weeks, the latest live event is now ongoing in Call of Duty Warzone - The Numbers. The event started on 21 September, and runs for two weeks. It'll conclude on 6 October, which gives you plenty of time to earn the rewards on offer.
“16… 11… 1… 9… 21…”— Raven Software (@RavenSoftware) September 21, 2021
The "Dragovich Program" tapes have begun playing across Verdansk.
Operators are reporting an unfamiliar voice and strange hallucinations.
Don't lose your head.
The Numbers event is now live in #Warzone. pic.twitter.com/uBwOhT1Iu1
The Numbers event - how to get the Sai
The biggest (alright, only) real reason to get into The Numbers event is to earn a brand new melee weapon - the Sai. These twin knives look like a load of fun, and it's pretty easy to earn them.
The Numbers event has activated the broadcast stations that were added to the map with Season 5's start, and each one can now be turned on once per match to earn the player who does so a $5,000 reward. You're tasked with listening to the broadcast of each of the nine stations, with each station giving you a small cosmetic reward, like a weapon charm or calling card.
Once you hear all nine, you'll unlock the Sai for your loadouts. Here's the best bit, though - you don't have to turn on the stations to earn the rewards, you just have to go near enough to hear the broadcasts. So, next time you drop into Battle Royale, grab a helicopter and fly around them each in turn. If you manage to survive unnoticed, you should earn the Sai within a round or two. It's that simple!
When did Warzone Season 5 Reloaded start?
Looking further back to the mid-season update that Raven deployed for Season 5, it launched on 9 September 2021 at 9AM PST.
What's new in the Warzone Season 5 Reloaded update?
As the official image above demonstrates, and as is fleshed out by the extensive Call of Duty blog post about it, the update looks like it has arguably brought just as much to the table as the start of Season 5 did.
Full Season 5 Reloaded patch notes
We've got a full set of patch notes for the update's launch from Raven Software, and there's loads to dissect in them, including a bunch of weapon balancing that's hopefully taken some of the gloss off the likes of the Krig-6 and C58 assault rifles.
New in-season event
The biggest news for the game overall, we think, will be The Numbers, an in-game event that started on 21 September, that Warzone's been leading up to for a long time. It brings the broadcast stations that have appeared around the map into play.
New game modes
We also got two limited-time game modes - Clash and Iron Trials '84. The first is a 50v50 deathmatch that we've played before in Warzone.
The second, Iron Trials, is more interesting, with a raised health pool and faster regeneration that makes the whole game feel very different. There aren't any free loadout drops, prices are raised and the Gulag is stripped back to simple weapons only. Winners in this mode can earn a special calling card.
The update brings new operators to try out, too - alongside Hudson from the Black Ops Cold War campaign, the big news is that Judge Dredd has come to Warzone. The skins for Beck come in colour and black-and-white versions, and the bundle has hit the store with Dredd's trademark futuristic weapons in tow. Get ready to see the Law running all around Verdansk, if previous tie-in skins are anything to go by.
When did Warzone Season 5 start?
Going back in time a little, it's not that long since this season started. First up, the key timing - Season 5 began on 12 August 2021, and the season looks set to last for about two months, with the Battle Pass kicking off with a 57-day countdown active.
What's new in Season 5?
Season 5 hasn't brought the most titanic set of changes that Warzone's seen, it's fair to say. Here are all the details.
We've got a couple of new weapons, aside from the Tec-9 machine pistol, including the EM2 assault rifle and the Marshal handgun (plus the Cane melee option). The Tec-9 and EM2 will be unlockable in the battle pass when it comes out, although we'd also expect to see some blueprints in the store early doors.
The bigger news is the addition of two new Warzone-specific perks. The first, Tempered, makes you quicker to armour up by having each plate hold 75 points of armour, so that your maximum is two instead of one. It also refills your armour when you first equip it from a loadout drop. That could be big for more quickly resetting during a fight. It's in the same slot as Ghost and High Alert, though, so we'd imagine it'll be a niche pick.
The other is Combat Scout, which will live ping and highlight any enemy you're doing damage to for your team - this could be great for playing with random teammates, as communication can be a challenge, while more experienced squads might see it as a little redundant.
Meanwhile, High Alert has been updated to counter Dead Silence by negating its effects, and Cold-Blooded has also been tweaked to counter Combat Scout.
Map update and new gulag
The map update for this season looks minimal, with new mobile broadcast stations dotted around Verdansk sending out the codes that Kitsune put live in the cinematic trailer, but we're getting another new gulag at least, based on the multiplayer map Rush.
Shortly after it started, Season Five hosted a big event called The Battle for Verdansk to announce Call of Duty Vanguard - the event saw players battling together to destroy an armoured train and earn cosmetic rewards, before debuting Vanguard's first full trailer.
That might not be all, though - we also know that there's an event called The Numbers planned, which is seemingly separate from the last event. That hopefully means that we're in for another proper live event at some point.
Given that Vanguard is going to bring a new map to the table entirely, that could even mean that we get some sort of event to say a final farewell to Verdansk (even if its actual destruction already happened further forward in the timeline).
What was new in Warzone Season 4 Reloaded?
Season 4 Reloaded, the previous patch, also wasn't a huge update on the content side - there was a new weapon, the OTs 9 SMG, and a Mace option for melee fans, plus a new operator, Weaver.
We also know that the red doors added in Season 4 might be getting more complicated, although not exactly how. One thing they'll get is the rare chance of providing a new killstreak, the sentry gun, which will scan and shoot enemies for a minute once you deploy it.
That could shake the meta up a little, and we'll have to hope it's balanced and genuinely scarce. Beyond that, the real meat of this update for keen players comes in the form of sweeping balance changes to a huge number of in-game weapons.
The #Warzone Season Four Reloaded update is going live soon!— Raven Software (@RavenSoftware) July 15, 2021
Includes various Gameplay changes, Bug Fixes, a big ol' Weapon balance pass, new Accessibility features, and more.
The Patch Notes can be found here:https://t.co/rTxbRBzJiA
Screenshots in the thread below: pic.twitter.com/O5coHGDeFm
You can see the full range of buffs and nerfs in the extensive patch notes but, in short, it looks like Raven Software is making good on its promise to lengthen the time-to-kill in Warzone from its previously brutal levels.
There are major changes to damage multipliers on loads of assault rifles and SMGs in particular, and it'll be interesting to see what that does to the meta in the coming weeks.
What did Season 4 add?
Looking back to Season 4's main launch, Raven Software fully detailed the main changes that arrived as part of themupdate, and there were absolutely loads of points to check out.
The biggest visual change was the arrival of a variety of crashed satellites at various points around the Verdansk map, which added some interesting cover and combat opportunities. Plus, there was a new vehicle for the very first time since launch - a dirt bike that's perfect for a single rider with one passenger.
There was also a new gulag map, which was welcome - it's based on the central part of multiplayer map Hijacked, so will be familiar to some in layout. Finally, the Black Ops series' signature red doors started to appear around Verdansk, zapping players around to rewarding loot.
We also got new operators, as usual: Jackal and Salah. They brought new weaponry to play with too, in the form of the C58 assault rifle, MG 82 LMG and a stealthy nail gun,. There was also a seasonal event called Groundfall which brought some challenges and cosmetic rewards for a week or two.
Big news was also there on the technical front for PS5 players - the game finally added support for 120Hz displays for improved framerates, like the Series X. We'd been under the impression this wouldn't arrive until a full native PS5 version is eventually released, but Raven seems to have cracked the code somehow.
The biggest changes in some ways might be those detailed in Raven's super-extensive patch notes, though, which included loads of detail. There have been big changes to how barrel attachments work on Cold War guns, making them more viable than ever, as well as big balance changes to individual weapons (and yet another nerf for the beloved AMAX!).
Perhaps most interesting of all, it looks like we've finally got a major adjustment to the much-hated Roze skin, Rook - its all-black advantage seems to have been shaved away by a new greyer colour-scheme. Here's hoping people don't just migrate to a new sweaty skin if this change really does work!
What arrived in the mid-season Season Three Reloaded update?
Looking further back, Warzone's Season 3 update may have been sizeable, but it still left plenty to be fixed and updated, so Raven Software didn't wait too long to bring a sizeable mid-season update to bear.
The patch brought some new content, including unlocking the new AMP63 SMG, which players had been looking forward to equipping and levelling up.
We also got some major tweaks to a number of weapons including initial balance passes for the popular AMAX assault rifle, the FARA, Sweetsweeper shotgun and the Bullfrog SMG, all of which had felt a little overpowered at times.
More have arrived, in the form of changes to how suppressors work on Cold War weapons, and some tweaks to make Cold War snipers feel more viable compared to their Modern Warfare counterparts. Plus, and this is hugely welcome, there's been a major reduction in the spawn rate of Stopping Power rounds.
Most pressingly, though, the Reloaded update brought a new content drop focusing around a couple of 80s action icons - Rambo and Die Hard's John McClane. The below trailer gives a good sense of the madness that kicked off before the event ended.
There was a load to sink into, including the arrival of Die Hard's Nakatomi Plaza in Downtown with a host of new minor objectives to complete in and around it. It's the tallest tower ever in Warzone, so sniping is still hugely fun from its peak.
What was new in COD Warzone Season 3?
Wraith says she'll see you in Season Three...— Call of Duty (@CallofDuty) April 19, 2021
Make a name for yourself right from the start in Season Three of #BlackOpsColdWar and #Warzone.
Get all intel on Season Three here: https://t.co/GHu7htmrZP pic.twitter.com/Jogklct3Ge
Looking back to when Season 3 kicked off, it brought a lot of changes to the formula that has made Warzone so popular, with plenty of different elements to consider.
New Verdansk 1980s map
Warzone players have been waiting for ages to be able to explore a full-sized new map for the game, with the smaller Resurgence Island map not big enough to really count for much. For a long time, the common assumption was that we'd get a map set in the Ural mountains, bringing in a bunch of multiplayer locations that were set in that locale.
However, recent leaks have indicated that this map was shelved a while ago, in favour of the new version of Verdansk that replaced the current map at the start of Season 3. This, as we now know, is set in the 1980s, tying the game into the timeline used by Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War.
The map's layout is largely the same, but key landmarks are noticeably different, with a less built-up Downtown, a stadium's more a building site, and no dam at all - instead, there's a tall bridge to navigate now instead, along with a Summit installation. There's loads more to explore, too, so it'll take a while for everyone to get used to each change.