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Do I Need to Buy Modern Warfare to Play Warzone Caldera in 2023?

The Short Answer

No my friend, you do NOT need to purchase Call of Duty: Modern Warfare to access and play Warzone Caldera! Caldera is completely free-to-play for all players.

What Exactly is Warzone Caldera?

Warzone Caldera is the original Call of Duty: Warzone battle royale experience that launched back in March 2020. It features the massive Pacific island map Caldera along with fan favorite modes like Battle Royale, Plunder, and Resurgence.

Warzone Caldera is now a standalone free download separate from Modern Warfare, meaning you can enjoy all the classic Warzone action even if you don‘t own the paid Modern Warfare game.

Key Facts About Warzone Caldera

  • Free-to-play experience, no Modern Warfare required
  • Includes the Caldera map and Rebirth Island
  • Battle Royale, Plunder, and Resurgence modes
  • Supports up to 150 players
  • Cross-play across PlayStation, Xbox, and PC

Accessing and Downloading Warzone Caldera

As an avid gamer myself, I know the frustration of trying to find where to download Warzone Caldera as a standalone title. Here are step-by-step instructions for getting Caldera on each platform even if you don‘t own Modern Warfare:

Downloading Warzone Caldera on PC:

  1. Go to and download the desktop app
  2. Open the launcher and login to your account
  3. Search for "Call of Duty: Warzone" on the left sidebar
  4. Select Warzone and click "Install"
  5. Let the 70-100GB download complete

Once finished, Warzone Caldera will be ready to play directly through without needing Modern Warfare!

Getting Warzone Caldera on PlayStation:

  1. Go to the PlayStation Store on your PS4 or PS5
  2. Search for "Call of Duty: Warzone"
  3. Select the Standalone Warzone option and click Download
  4. Let the 80-100GB download complete

Downloading Warzone Caldera on Xbox:

  1. Open the Microsoft Store on your Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S
  2. Search for "Call of Duty: Warzone"
  3. Select the Standalone Warzone version and click Install
  4. The 80-100GB download will begin

It‘s that easy! Caldera will be ready to play as a free standalone title on all platforms.

What‘s Included in Warzone Caldera?

Let‘s take a look at exactly what content and features you‘ll get access to with a standalone Warzone Caldera download, even without owning Modern Warfare:

Core Warzone Game Modes:

  • Battle Royale – The classic 150 player mode across the massive Caldera map. Loot for weapons, gear up, and fight to be the last squad standing.
  • Plunder – Race to collect the most in-match Cash by taking down enemies and completing objectives.
  • Resurgence – Fast-paced action on Rebirth Island with respawns enabled. The last squad standing wins.

Multiplayer Maps and Weapons:

  • Access to over 100 primary weapons from Call of Duty games like Vanguard, Cold War, and Modern Warfare.
  • Other gear like lethals, tacticals, killstreaks, and field upgrades.
  • Rebirth Island map in addition to Caldera.

Progression Systems:

  • Weapon leveling to unlock new attachments and camos.
  • Battle Pass system with 100 tiers of exclusive content.
  • Operator missions to earn new cosmetic skins.
  • XP-based profile leveling from 1 to 1000.

So in summary, Warzone Caldera provides the full competitive Call of Duty battle royale experience for free! All without needing to buy Modern Warfare.

Using Modern Warfare Weapons and Content

A common question that comes up is whether you can use Modern Warfare weapons, operators, and other content without owning the base game.

The answer is yes! Any Modern Warfare items you may have unlocked previously through playing Warzone or past Call of Duty titles will still be usable in Caldera.

Your full inventory carries over since it is tied to your Activision account rather than which specific games you own.

Modern Warfare Items Accessible in Warzone Caldera:

  • Operators like Ghost, Alex, Mara, and more
  • Blueprint weapon variants with unique skins
  • Weapon camo and attachment unlocks
  • Watches, charms, stickers, emblems
  • Vehicle and finisher animations

Of course, brand new Modern Warfare content would require purchasing the actual Modern Warfare game. But anything you‘ve already obtained will work in Caldera.

So feel free to flaunt your favorite Modern Warfare operator skins and blueprints even if you‘re playing the free Caldera!

Warzone Caldera vs Warzone 2.0

With the recent launch of the next generation Warzone 2.0 in November 2022, you may be wondering how Caldera compares and what makes them different.

Here‘s a quick breakdown:

Warzone Caldera

  • Original Warzone experience from 2020
  • Caldera map and Rebirth Island
  • Core BR, Plunder, and Resurgence modes
  • Weapon integration across multiple Call of Duty games
  • Free-to-play, no Modern Warfare required

Warzone 2.0

  • Brand new Warzone for 2022 and beyond
  • New Al Mazrah map
  • New DMZ and third-person modes
  • Exclusive integration with Modern Warfare 2
  • Completely redesigned looting, inventory, and movement

So in summary, Warzone Caldera offers the original Warzone experience while Warzone 2.0 is a next-gen reboot. Both are great options depending on your preferences!

The Future of Warzone Caldera

With Activision shifting focus to Warzone 2.0, the original Caldera unfortunately will not receive significant updates anymore. However, the servers will remain online and free-for-all to play.

Here‘s an overview of what to expect:

  • No more new content like map changes, weapons, operators, etc.
  • Limited live events or playlists
  • Less frequent bug fixes or optimizations
  • Lower player population over time

Despite entering a more stagnant period, Caldera still provides a stellar free Call of Duty battle royale experience in 2023. Especially for those who prefer Caldera over the new Warzone 2.0.

And that covers everything you need to know! Let me know if you have any other questions about accessing Warzone Caldera or how it compares to Modern Warfare and Warzone 2.0. Enjoy the free Pacific paradise.