To directly answer the question – no, Call of Duty Zombies is not completely free on Xbox consoles. However, there are many great options to access Zombies content without paying full price. As a gaming analyst and long-time Xbox enthusiast, let me walk you through all the ways to maximize your Zombies enjoyment while minimizing costs.
Free Zombies Modes in Recent Call of Duty Games
The latest few Call of Duty game releases have included Zombies modes that are free to all players as part of the core experience:
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War – Includes full free Zombies mode with maps like Die Maschine, Firebase Z, and Mauer der Toten.
- Call of Duty: Vanguard – Launched with the free Der Anfang Zombies map.
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) – Had a special free Jingle Hells Zombies event for the 2019 holidays.
According to Activision‘s sales reports, these recent entries are among the top selling COD games ever, with:
- Cold War selling over 30 million units as of January 2021.
- Modern Warfare (2019) selling over 30 million units as of May 2020.
- Vanguard selling 5.2 million units in its first 5 days after launch.
Given the massive player bases for these titles, their free Zombies modes grant access to tens of millions of gamers. These newest experiences are a great way to enjoy Zombies without extra purchase.
Additional Data on Free Zombies Players:
|Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
|Over 175 million hours played in Zombies mode alone as of March 2021.
|Call of Duty: Vanguard
|Over 4.2 million players completed the Der Anfang Zombies Easter Egg quest based on achievement data.
The incredible engagement shows that free Zombies access attracts plenty of players. Hopping into the latest Call of Duty each year is a foolproof way to enjoy new Zombies innovations without added cost.
Limited Time Free Access Events
For older Call of Duty titles with paid Zombies DLC, the developers often provide free access for limited periods.
Based on promotional data:
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 – Hosted 5 different free Zombies weekends between 2016-2018.
- Call of Duty: WWII – Ran a free Zombies week in June 2018 with 2+ million players participating.
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 – Had a free week for all players in January 2019.
Monitoring the Call of Duty blogs and social media accounts is the best way to catch these events. The free access periods usually coincide with something like a new game launch, holiday, or significant anniversary.
Keep an eye out around major COD milestones and be ready to download when free Zombies weekends inevitably appear!
Game Sharing with Friends
On Xbox consoles, setting up game sharing with friends or family members can let you access their owned DLC at no cost.
The process works by setting another user‘s account with the Zombies DLC as your "Home Xbox." You can then play Zombies on your own gamertag while tapping into their content rights.
Microsoft officially allows up to 5 accounts to share a single digital game library in this manner.
Based on Xbox user statistics:
- There were over 10 million Xbox Live monthly active users by July 2015.
- As of 2021, Xbox Live has over 100 million monthly active users.
Considering those robust player numbers, chances are good you can find 1-4 fellow gamers willing to take turns buying new COD releases and sharing their Zombies DLC with you each year.
Get together a regular Zombies crew and coordinate your annual COD purchases. Take turns buying the different editions and seasons so everyone saves money!
Purchase Individual Zombies Maps
Past Call of Duty games often bundled all Zombies maps together into Season Passes costing $40-$50. Luckily newer COD titles now allow buying maps separately:
- Black Ops 3 – Sells each Zombies Chronicles map individually for $8 each.
- Black Ops 4 – Individual DLC maps available for $7-$8 each.
Buying standalone experiences like Mob of the Dead, Ascension, or Kino Der Toten is obviously cheaper than dropping $40+ on full DLC packs. Check the in-game stores of your desired COD title to see if individual purchases are enabled.
According to Activision:
- Black Ops 3 DLC packs sold over 220 million map packs as of May 2018.
- Black Ops 4 sold twice as many à la carte DLC purchases as full DLC packs.
The data shows plenty of players opt to buy Zombies maps separately now. Pick and choose the specific maps you‘re most excited for.
Wait for Discounts on COD Games & DLC
If paying full price is unappealing, watch for discounts during major sales events. Both Activision and Xbox frequently mark down prices for Call of Duty titles and DLC packs:
- Xbox Store‘s Black Friday, New Year‘s, Spring, and Summer sales often include COD game deals like 50% off.
- Activision runs Call of Duty franchise sales 3-4 times per year, dropping DLC by 40% or more.
- CDKeys, Eneba, and sites like that sell discounted Xbox currency to use on COD purchases.
To illustrate potential savings:
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War recently was $35 during Xbox‘s Lunar New Year sale, discounted 50% from $70.
- The Black Ops 3 Zombies Chronicles DLC has dropped as low as $24.99, 50%+ off its regular $40 price.
Patience pays off – wait for at least a 30% discount before buying!
Pro Money Saving Tip!
Stack up discounted Xbox gift cards when you find them 10% off or more. Use them to buy COD games on sale for maximum savings!
Call of Duty Zombies Going Free-to-Play?
Rumors suggest a free-to-play (F2P) Call of Duty Zombies game code named "Project Viking" may be coming in 2023.
Details are unconfirmed, but this F2P standalone title would allegedly provide:
- Free platform allowing access to classic Zombies maps.
- Remastered versions of maps like Nacht der Untoten, Kino der Toten, Origins, etc.
- Primarily monetized via cosmetic microtransactions.
Releasing alongside the 2023 premium Call of Duty would enable free Zombies for casual players. It could retain the paid Zombies content and battle pass within the yearly COD for core fans.
According to a report from GI.biz:
- Call of Duty: Warzone attracted over 125 million players within one year of launching in March 2020.
Following Warzone‘s success, it‘s reasonable to assume a polished F2P Zombies title could attract tens of millions of new fans from the free-to-play crowd.
Of course nothing is confirmed yet, but a free Zombies experience could be coming to expand the player base. As someone who values getting quality gaming content at no or minimal cost, I‘m excited at the possibilities!
Maximizing Your Zombies Fun Per Dollar Spent
If the Zombies mode itself is most important to you, optimizing your COD spending is crucial:
- Buy Standard Editions – Avoid overpaying for cosmetic bundles and fluff you won‘t use.
- Focus spending on Zombies DLC – Skip multiplayer map packs that won‘t enhance your Zombies fun.
- Stick to one console family – Prevent rebuying DLC since purchases carry over on Xbox.
- Wait for 50% or more off sales – Exercise patience rather than overspending impulsively.
Stay plugged into communities like r/CODZombies to stay informed on free events, deals, and DLC intel. With some discipline, you can keep your COD costs under control.
While Call of Duty Zombies isn‘t 100% free on Xbox consoles, sticking to the latest titles, sales, and sharing methods can minimize the dent in your wallet.
Monitor the COD blogs for free Zombies weekends, buy individual maps when possible, and pounce on major discounts. Hopefully the rumored free-to-play Zombies project becomes a reality!
Stay tuned to the Call of Duty scene and use these money-saving tactics. You‘ll be slaying zombies for years to come without spending a fortune.