Modern Warfare 2 beta release date and how to play

All the details on the Modern Warfare 2 beta release date, platforms, how to join in, and what maps and modes are available to test out

Ghost holding an assault rifle as he sneaks through a metal container in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2

The Modern Warfare 2 open beta is upon us, with PC players able to join in the fun any day now. We’ve got all the details on how to join and what to expect when it launches. With both Warzone 2.0 and the Modern Warfare 2 release date quickly approaching, the anticipation for the upcoming FPS game grows and, thanks to the beta, you can get your hands on the shooter ahead of time and test out new MWII maps, modes, and mechanics.

We know that the Modern Warfare 2 beta is rolling out in stages, with the first weekend launching as a PlayStation exclusive. PC and Xbox players can then join them the following week, with crossplay available.  Whether you’re waiting to play on PC or console, everything you need to know is detailed below, including details pertaining to Warzone 2.0.

Modern Warfare 2 beta release date

Here’s when players will get access to the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 open beta:

Weekend One (PlayStation exclusive)

  • Early access: September 16 – 17
  • Open beta: September 17 – 20

Weekend Two (PC, Xbox, and PlayStation)

  • Early access: September 22 – 23
  • Open beta: September 24 – 26

The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 beta release date is set for September 16 – 20, though this period is exclusive to PlayStation 4 and 5 users. The first two days of the beta are exclusively for players with early access codes – more on how to get one of those below. After the early access phase ends, the open beta can be played by anyone who fancies trying it out.

The dates of the Modern Warfare 2 open beta in September 2022

The second stage of the Modern Warfare 2 beta begins on September 22 – 26 and is intended to test the crossplay functionality between PC and consoles. PC and Xbox users need to acquire an early access beta code to play the game during the first two days of this period, but PlayStation users can continue where they left off as the second weekend for this platform launches in open beta. Finally, the Modern Warfare 2 open beta can be accessed by anyone from September 24 – 26.

How to gain early access to the Modern Warfare 2 beta

There were two ways to gain early access to the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 open beta. If you got one watching CDL Championship matches during August 4 – 7 you’re good to go, but this method is no longer available.

Instead, you’ll have to pre-order Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 from your chosen retailer. Pre-ordering the game is the only way to secure an early access code for the open beta in September. Without it, you can still join in during the open beta dates.

Modern Warfare 2 beta maps, modes and mechanics

Developers typically use beta periods to test aspects of the game that they want to improve based on public feedback. Call of Duty Vanguard’s beta gave players a chance to try out the brand new Champion Hill game mode, and we now know that we can experience a bunch of new multiplayer modes and maps in the MW2 open beta.

New water mechanic

Previously in Modern Warfare, hitting water was cause for instant death – a far more humiliating demise than being gunned down by an opponent. In Modern Warfare 2, water is a game-changer in an altogether different way. Use it for stealth, escape by boat, and even descend below the surface. Take the beta as a chance to work out how your weapons fire differently when used in open water.

New vehicle gameplay

In addition to a range of brand-new vehicles coming to MW2 and Warzone 2.0, there are some new in-vehicle mechanics to grasp. If you’re confident with your car control, you can shoot out the window. Yes, even the driver. Blow out tyres, destroy vehicle bumpers and doors, and pilot cars, boats, and planes in one match.


All-new Modern Warfare 2 Gunsmith weapon customisation changes what you know of the system with new weapons platforms and fewer attachments per weapon, simplifying the system since Vanguard.

New Multiplayer modes


Combining elements from other COD multiplayer modes with the final circle aspect of Warzone, you and your team must close in on a specific area on the map in order to grab a bag of cash. Get the bag, or eliminate the opposing team, to take the win in this fast-paced, round-based mode.

Prisoner escape

Search and Destroy with extraction. Now, enemy teams are holding hostages and you need to get them out. Simply protecting them won’t work, and enemy weapons won’t hurt them anyway, it’s more just to slow you down. Get them to safety, keeping in mind that the operative carrying them will be slowed.


Invasion, the new Ground War experience, is a mammoth, chaotic fight to the death. Massive teams consist of both AI and player enemies, push towards the front line, take either out for points, and the team with the most points wins.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Knockout mode

Multiplayer maps

Battle maps

With lessons learned from Verdansk, new Ground War mode maps have been created. These larger maps even make up POIs from the upcoming Warzone 2.0 map and support up to 64 players (32 v 32), while every building and vehicle can be interacted with.

Core maps

Smaller, 6v6 maps create more intense close-combat battles, and have been designed simpler than previous multiplayer maps – this is helpful since you’ll need to know them inside out to take the advantage. Some of the maps we know we can test in the beta are Valderas Museum, Farm 18, Mercado Las Almas, and – hopefully – Grand Prix.

Third-person perspective

Modern Warfare 2 is bringing an all-new perspective to Call of Duty multiplayer with third-person playlists. While first and third-person perspectives are remaining separate, this could change following beta feedback. In the third-person setting, you can see a wider field, swap between shoulders, and still aim accurately with a first-person view while aiming down sights.

Is there a Warzone 2 beta?

A lot of the new features available in the Modern Warfare 2 beta will put you in good stead for Warzone, but there is no beta for the latter, so you’ll just have to wait until the Warzone 2.0 release date. Before then, use the Modern Warfare 2 open beta to test out some of the features which will be in Warzone 2.0, and get a head start on your opponents.

Most crucially, some of the Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer maps will reveal POIs from Warzone 2.0, so dump enough time into MW2 beta Ground War modes and you’ll already find yourself familiar with parts of the Al Mazrah map when the time comes.

Another confirmed crossover is all-new COD vehicles, at least some of which will appear in Warzone 2.0 within the existing vehicle mechanic, and you can also start work to discover your favourite weapon attachments. Universal Attachments unlocked in MWII, Warzone 2.0, or Warzone mobile, will be immediately available in all three games.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 beta rewards

Play the beta for in-game rewards

Anyone who plays the Modern Warfare 2 open beta can earn in-game rewards, and show off their loyalty when the release date rolls around. Up to ten in-game items will be available to earn, including the Collision Operator Skin, Frontal Impact Weapon Blueprint, Side Impact Weapon Blueprint, and more.

MWII Vault Edition bonuses available during beta

If you have purchased the Vault Edition of Modern Warfare 2, you will be able to access some of your unique bonuses as soon as you drop into the beta. Your exclusive operator pack, Red Team 141, will be available to show off from day one, as will the first-ever Weapon Vault, the FJX Cinder.

That’s everything you need to know about the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 beta release date, maps, modes, and more following Call of Duty Next. For more on the COD battle royale, take a look at our regularly updated Call of Duty: Warzone 2 release date guide.