Warzone was a breakout hit for the Call of Duty franchise. This standalone, free-to-play battle royale game took the popular mode and infused it with the rock-solid gameplay and mechanics people come to the CoD franchise for. After a few years, we finally have our hands on the latest version of this live-service title in Warzone 2.0. This sequel updates the entire game with a new map, guns, mechanics, and battle pass system. However, the developers didn’t just stop there.
Just like the original was heavily inspired by other popular games in the battle royale space, Warzone 2.0 is inspired by another unique mode made popular by Escape From Tarkov. This results in a new DMZ mode, but also the inclusion of Strongholds in both the battle royale and DMZ modes. They function differently in each, but play a major role for players drawn to the more high-stakes gameplay found in DMZ. If you’re dropping in for the first time, here’s everything you need to know about how Strongholds work in DMZ.
To most Warzone 2.0 players, they will have no idea what Strongholds are. However, regardless of whether you’re playing battle royale or DMZ, you will want to pay close attention to these new locations.
Strongholds are special buildings on the map that are packed with some of the best loot and tons of cash to scoop up. However, these goodies aren’t just free for the taking. They’re protected by AI soldiers that will attack anyone who attempts to storm their location.
Strongholds can appear in as many as 77 different locations on the new Al Mazrah map, but will only show up in a select few in any given match. You will need to locate each one every time you start a game by looking for the castle icon on the map.
In DMZ, Strongholds are on the map as soon as the game begins. However, unlike in battle royale, the actual buildings are locked, requiring you and your team to first find a keycard before being able to infiltrate them. Keycards can be found as random drops of loot on the map, but also purchased from any Buy Station for $5,000. Since they’re not that rare of a drop, you’re better off saving your cash and just looking around, or even killing AI. You can spot them by the blue glow they give off.
Once you’ve taken a keycard and entered a Stronghold, you will be given an objective to complete in that specific building for a reward. Most of the time, this involves simply clearing out all the AI soldiers inside, although there are some objective-based missions like cracking a safe or defending a location from waves of AI. Once completed, you will get a random assortment of high-level loot for your efforts, such as armor vests, killstreaks, gadgets, and even weapons.
Strongholds are packed with high-value Contraband items and intel needed for different faction missions. While the AI itself isn’t terribly dangerous, they are another element of risk. If you’re going to take on a Stronghold, it is highly recommended that you go in with a full squad and have some decent weapons and equipment prepped beforehand just in case.