(Pocket-lint) - Call of Duty: Warzone is building up to something big - anyone who's logged into the game in the last few weeks will have seen at least something to indicate that things are about to change in Verdansk, and with Season 3 just around the corner there are plenty of rumours about what might be coming. 

These range from the likelihood of new weapons to a potentially map-altering live event and the destruction of the landscape as so many players have known it so far, with everything likely to coincide with the end of the current battle pass on April 21st. Here's everything you need to know about the next season of Call of Duty: Warzone. 

When will COD Warzone Season 3 start?

The current battle pass for Warzone has a countdown to let players know how much longer they have to get through its tiers and unlock all of its content, and that countdown should end on April 21st. That makes this the most likely date for the next season to begin.

With that said, it's also possible that the season won't actually start until April 22nd, depending on how Raven Software and Activision manages things. Either way, by the time April ends, we should be playing the new version of the game, complete with a new battle pass to complete. 

What's coming to COD Warzone Season 3? 

Season 3 looks set to involve a lot of changes to the formula that has made Warzone so popular, and there are plenty of different elements to consider.

Nuke event

Firstly, there are countless signs by now pointing to the end of Season 2 concluding with a live event of some sort involving the destruction of Verdansk in a nuclear strike, designed to eliminate the zombie threat that has been slowly spreading through the region in recent weeks. 

As the zombie live event has moved around the map, more and more locations have been struck down, and missiles are starting to fly overhead during matches to demonstrate that there's a real likelihood of a destructive strike. In some cases, these are also glitching into a later stage than intended, and heading for the ground. 

Warzone hasn't done a huge amount by way of live events so far, the only real exception being the Cold War announcement, which had players running around in a special game mode to experience a short unveiling of the new game. Hopefully this nuclear event can break new ground for the game by offering something closer to the huge live events that Fortnite, for example, is a specialist in providing. 

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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 a new version of Verdansk that will replace the current map at the start of Season 3. This will be set in the 1980s, tying the game into the timeline used by Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War. 

Images and footage of the map surfaced after an early version of a new trailer for the game leaked, but Activision has been carefully scrubbing them from the internet with copyright claims (which you might say make them all the more likely to seem genuine). 

It looks like the map's layout will be the same, but key landmarks will be noticeable different, with a less built-up Downtown, a stadium that has far less of a roof, and no dam at all - instead, there's a tall bridge to navigate. Whether a re-skin of Verdansk goes down well with the community is anyone's guess, but it's looking like the most likely map change right now. 

New operators 

A mainstay of Warzone's battle pass system is the introduction of at least one new operator to act as the front for the season. Past passes have introduced Naga, Captain Price and Ghost, so we could welcome someone recognisable from the series' campaigns.

Most likely, we'll say hello to someone from the Cold War campaign, like Hudson for example - so be ready to see a lot of players running around donning whatever new skins are released in the battle pass. 

New weapons

Similarly, after the huge drop of new weapons when Cold War integrated with Warzone in late 2020, the trickle of new weaponry is back to a more reasonable and manageable rate (after all, many of the Cold War weapons still don't feel fully balanced even months down the line). 

Battle passes and new seasons have typically introduced two new weapons, and they're also generally included as free tiers to ensure that everyone has the same chance to unlock them without having to fork out any COD Points.

What weaponry we'll get isn't sure, but we're expecting a new Cold War-era sniper, since there are still so few available to choose from, while another LMG could also be nice. We'll find out, though, when Season 3 lands. 

Writing by Max Freeman-Mills.