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How Much Does It Cost To Play Call of Duty Online in 2023?

The short answer is Call of Duty‘s free-to-play Warzone battle royale mode is completely free on all platforms. However, to play traditional multiplayer and campaign modes you‘ll need to purchase the full Call of Duty games, usually costing $59.99. No subscriptions required though!

As an avid gamer and streaming enthusiast, I‘ve done deep research into the costs around Activision‘s massively popular Call of Duty franchise. Here‘s my comprehensive guide to help you understand exactly what‘s free or paid in CoD, so you can jump online and start playing.

Free-to-Play Warzone Battle Royale

The standout free option is Call of Duty‘s Warzone battle royale mode. Introduced in 2019‘s Modern Warfare and continuing through new titles, Warzone offers a huge 150 player battlefield at no cost.

I‘ve sunk hundreds of hours into Warzone myself and haven‘t spent a dime. You can play solo or team up with friends without paying anything on Playstation, Xbox or PC.

And the recently announced Warzone 2.0 coming in 2022 will also be completely free-to-play. Activision has confirmed the new map and modes don‘t require any purchase. Exciting!

Buying Latest Game for Multiplayer

Now, if you want access to Call of Duty‘s traditional team-based multiplayer modes, you‘ll need to purchase the latest title in the series.

The standard edition of new Call of Duty games cost $59.99 on console and $69.99 on PC. So to play multiplayer in the upcoming Modern Warfare II, you‘ll need to buy the full game.

Occasionally there are free access periods where you can try multiplayer for free. But otherwise CoD multiplayer requires the one-time purchase. Worth it in my opinion for the super polished gunplay and progression.

Campaign Mode Also Paid

In addition to multiplayer, Call of Duty‘s story-driven campaign modes are only accessible when you buy the latest game.

These flashy cinematic campaigns are a major attraction for the franchise. But Activision keeps them locked behind the paywall of the full $60 game.

If you‘re into the over-the-top action movie vibe of Call of Duty campaigns, be prepared to pay up.

No Extra Subscription Needed

Here‘s some good news – you don‘t need any additional subscriptions or fees to play Call of Duty online once you‘ve purchased the base game.

You don‘t need to pay for PlayStation Plus, Xbox Live Gold or anything like that to play online. Just owning Modern Warfare II or another recent CoD gets you access online. Thank goodness!

Optional Battle Pass Extras

Call of Duty does include optional Battle Pass systems that offer cosmetic rewards as you play. The paid premium versions of the Battle Pass (usually $10 per season) provide extra cosmetic items and faster leveling.

But I can confirm from experience the Battle Pass is totally optional. You won‘t miss out on any core game content or feel disadvantaged. It‘s just some bonus cosmetic swag for big fans willing to pay a small fee. Up to you!

Premium Bundles Up to $100

For collectors and huge CoD fans, Activision releases special edition bundles priced up to $100. These can come with exclusive operator skins, weapon blueprints, bonus Battle Pass access or other digital goods.

Again, these are completely optional for those who want some limited edition flair. But you can get the full experience for the regular $60 base game price tag.

CoD Franchise Sales Over Time

To give an idea of Call of Duty‘s immense popularity, let‘s look at some franchise sales statistics:

  • Over 400 million Call of Duty games sold life-to-date
  • Top 3 best-selling games annually from 2014-2020
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) – over 30 million copies sold
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010) – over 31 million copies sold

Impressive! It‘s no wonder Activision invests so heavily in each new CoD release.

Warzone Player Count

Specifically looking at the free Warzone mode, its player count demonstrates the massive appeal of free-to-play CoD:

  • Over 100 million Warzone players in first 13 months
  • Peak of over 6 million concurrent Warzone players in 2020
  • Consistently ranked top 5 games by concurrent players

Warzone has certainly helped further boost the Call of Duty player base to new highs.

So in summary, Call of Duty offers a compelling mix of free and paid content. Warzone provides hundreds of hours of free gameplay, while multiplayer and campaigns offer premium experiences for full game buyers. Hopefully this guide has helped explain exactly what‘s free vs paid in CoD! See you online.