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Do you have to download the campaign pack to play multiplayer in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2?

The short answer is no, you do not need to install the single player campaign content to play MW2 multiplayer. The campaign and multiplayer are completely separate downloads. This guide will explain MW2‘s download packs in detail, so you can get online fast without wasting space on unnecessary files.

As a gamer myself, I know the frustration of waiting for huge downloads to finish before you can jump into multiplayer matches with friends. By understanding MW2‘s modular install system, you can optimize your experience.

Breaking Down the MW2 Download Packs

MW2 has three main content packs you can choose to install on PC and consoles:

Campaign Pack

  • Includes single player missions, cutscenes, characters etc.
  • Approx. 18-20GB download.
  • You do NOT need this for multiplayer.

Multiplayer Pack

  • Provides access to all online MP maps, modes, progression.
  • Approx. 5-6GB download.
  • This is the only pack needed for multiplayer.

Co-op Pack

  • Content for the cooperative Spec Ops game mode.
  • Approx 3GB download.
  • Not needed for multiplayer.

As you can see, the multiplayer and campaign components are completely separate. Next I‘ll go into more detail on exactly why you don‘t need the campaign installed to play online.

Playing Multiplayer Without the Campaign

One common question from new MW2 players is:

"Do I need to install the single player campaign just to unlock multiplayer?"

The answer is no.

The campaign is a purely solo experience with its own dedicated download. It does not support any co-op or multiplayer functionality with other players.

In previous Call of Duty games, playing the campaign was required to open up online multiplayer modes. However, this is not the case in MW2.

You can install just the 6GB Multiplayer Pack and immediately play online without downloading the 18GB campaign.

This was confirmed by Infinity Ward in a tweet before MW2‘s release:

Campaign and Multiplayer are separate downloads. You do not need to download/install Campaign to play Multiplayer

Separating them allows players to save storage space and get online faster by skipping unnecessary single player content if they only care about multiplayer.

A Look at Install Sizes

Here‘s a quick comparison of the install sizes for MW2‘s content packs on PlayStation 5 to illustrate the difference:

Pack Size
Campaign 18.84 GB
Multiplayer 5.49 GB
Co-op 3.24 GB

As you can see, the multiplayer pack is significantly smaller than the chunky campaign download.

On my PC, I have a 500GB SSD. By only installing the multiplayer component, I saved around 13GB of precious drive space.

Selective Installation

MW2 supports selective installation on PC via Battle.net and on consoles through their respective stores.

This means you can pick and choose which parts of the game to install. For example:

  • Only install Multiplayer to save drive space.
  • Install Campaign and Multiplayer if you want to play both.
  • Only install Co-op if you just want to play Spec Ops with friends.

Here are the steps to manage installs on Battle.net for PC:

  1. Open the Battle.net app and select MW2.
  2. Click the "Options" icon next to the Play button.
  3. Select "Modify Install"
  4. Check or uncheck the packs you want.
  5. Confirm your selections.

Using selective installation is handy if you have limited bandwidth or hard drive capacity. You can tailor MW2‘s footprint to match your needs.

Troubleshooting Tips for Missing Packs

If you‘re running into errors about missing Multiplayer Packs or DLC, don‘t worry – here are some troubleshooting steps to fix it:

  • Fully restart your PC or console – this resolves many installation issues.
  • Check for updates to MW2, drivers, or system software and install if available.
  • Scan for corrupt data and re-install MW2 if needed.
  • Make sure you‘re online with an active internet connection when installing packs.
  • Double check that the Multiplayer Pack is selected for install in your platform‘s store/library.
  • Close background apps or free up disk space if your system is low on storage.
  • Disable VPN connections, ad blockers, or firewalls temporarily during install.

Following these steps should get the Multiplayer Pack downloading properly so you can start playing. Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions!

Key Takeaways on Downloading MW2 Multiplayer

To summarize the key points:

  • MW2‘s multiplayer and campaign are completely separate.
  • You only need the Multiplayer Pack installed to play online.
  • The Campaign Pack is for single player only and is not required.
  • Use selective install to skip unneeded packs and save space.
  • Troubleshoot issues with missing packs by re-installing, checking for updates, verifying files etc.

Hopefully this guide has helped explain everything you need to know about getting MW2‘s multiplayer up and running smoothly. Now get out there and start racking up those killstreaks! Just be sure to keep your gaming time balanced with some exercise too.

Let me know if you have any other MW2 questions in the comments!