Modern Warfare 2 Spec Ops co-op mode details

Modern Warfare 2 Spec Ops has made a welcome return as the main co-op mode in the FPS game, but some aspects are a little different this time

Modern Warfare 2 Spec Ops co-op mode details: three soldiers work together, each aiming a different angle

Modern Warfare 2 Spec Ops has returned to Call of Duty, giving players a chance to team up and tackle self-contained missions in the FPS game. With a story following on from the Modern Warfare 2 campaign, find your most trustworthy squad mates and prepare to sharpen your communication skills as well as your aim.

As usual in Infinity Ward-developed Call of Duty games, Spec Ops appears in place of the Zombies mode we often see from Treyarch in the Black Ops series. A worthy inclusion, Spec Ops is a different flavour of multiplayer game, especially if getting dominated online starts getting old. It also includes new features this time around, and will prepare you for new, upcoming Spec Ops Raids. That said, here’s everything you need to know about Modern Warfare 2 Spec Ops.

Modern Warfare 2 Spec Ops co-op mode details: a soldier holds a minigun, firing into the distance

What is Spec Ops?

Modern Warfare 2 Spec Ops is a cooperative game mode that sees you and a friend taking on self-contained missions. These could range from an asymmetrical assault on an enemy base, where one player is on the ground, gun in hand, and the other is situated in a circling AC-130, to an Army of Two type of situation, standing back-to-back, mowing down anyone who gets in your way.

Spec Ops works as both a narrative experience and also as an arcade-style point/time attack, as you compete in ranking as high as you can on the leaderboards. It adds an element of replayability, and forces teams to create a game plan as the difficulty levels go up. Earn up to a maximum of three stars for each Spec Ops mission, and use that progression to upgrade your kits ready for upcoming three-player Spec Ops Raids.

Following on from the Modern Warfare 2 campaign missions, Spec Ops missions see familiar characters returning to the fray, and each of the maps are based in or around Al Mazrah, just like Warzone 2.0 and the Modern Warfare 2 Ground War maps. While there are only three missions on launch, Infinity Ward have confirmed that there are to be more added in an episodic format, long into the game’s future.

Modern Warfare 2 Spec Ops co-op mode details: a firefight seen through night vision goggles


Earn up to three Stars every time you complete a Spec Ops mission, with higher star-ratings awarded for completing them within a set timeframe or other specific criteria. Keep replaying Spec Ops missions and earning Stars in order to earn enough to unlock Star Rewards like weapons charms and calling cards.


Instead of your usual loadouts, you’ll choose one of three kits when heading into a Spec Ops Mission: Assault, Medic, or Recon. Each of them come with their own selection of items depending on your preferred style of gameplay. Use your hard-earned stars as you complete mission to level up your kits, which you will use again and again, for replaying current missions, dropping into future missions, and in Raids.

  • Assault: Improve your armour with the Armor Box field upgrade. Upgrade for faster loadout item usage, increased armour capacity, and free Stims.
  • Medic: Revive team-mates quicker with a Stim Pistol field upgrade for ranged instant revives. Upgrade for a free Bomb Drone, similar benefits to the Double Time Perk, and free Claymores and anti-tank mines.
  • Recon: Receive superior intelligence with the Snapshot Pulse Field Upgrade to reveal the status of nearby enemies. Upgrade for the ability to automatically restock Lethals and Tacticals every minute and carry extra equipment, plus a free Heartbeat Sensor and Spotter Scope.


To add another degree of replayability to Spec Ops, there are 110 Intel fragment collectibles to look out for in order to earn even more mode-exclusive rewards, maybe more once future Spec Ops missions are released. If you’re struggling to find them, we’ve got you covered with a guide to Spec Ops Intel locations.

Modern Warfare 2 Spec ops challenges

While Stars are earned for just completing Spec Ops missions, more specific daily challenges will also help you progress, just like in the other multiplayer game modes.

While the first daily challenge is always generic, such as ‘get five melee kills’, the second and third daily challenges range from generic, mission-specific, or cooperative-specific. In addition, the bonus challenge has a “split objective”, which means you get a choice to complete one of two mission challenges.

You get mostly XP for completing these tasks, but the third daily challenge and bonus challenge can award XP and Special Ops Stars, which you can use to upgrade Special Ops kits and unlock new tiers.

Modern Warfare 2 spec ops - two soldiers ascending stairs with guns drawn. One is wearing sunglasses and tactical gear, while the other is wearing a metal mask and body armour.

How Spec Ops has changed

When 2019’s Modern Warfare was released, it brought Spec Ops out of its 11-year retirement, changing the format to four-person teams with much longer engagements and convoluted mission objectives.

Unfortunately, fans never took to it as much as the original, which is why Infinity Ward has opted to bring the mode back to its roots – two players, and a tighter, more curated, cooperative experience.

While your Spec Ops kits are pre-determined, the other game modes feature similar perks and killstreaks to those we’re used to, so make sure you’re familiar with them all. And you can play Spec Ops as any one of your available Modern Warfare 2 operators, including legendary faces like Soap and Price.