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Warzone and Modern Warfare 3 Season 1 release date and time

Get ready for new maps, modes and Zombies updates.

ghost operator aiming a scoped weapon while standing on a tall building with other character parachuting and ziplining down behind him
Image credit: Activision
Warzone and Modern Warfare 3 Season 1 sees the true start of multiplayer for the latest title in the Call of Duty series. We may already have multiplayer maps, campaign missions and the new Zombies mode, but if you're a fan of Warzone, this is where the fun begins.

Since we now have a confirmed Warzone and Modern Warfare 3 Season 1 release date and time, we've listed it below alongside everything we know about the upcoming Modern Warfare 3 Season, including roadmap details for both that game and Warzone.

To prepare for the first season's release, check out our pages on the best weapons, best loadouts, and our next Warzone map explainer.

On this page:

Campaign Trailer Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III.Watch on YouTube

Warzone and Modern Warfare 3 Season 1 release date and time

Warzone and Modern Warfare 3 Season 1 are being released at the same time on Wednesday 6th December at 5pm (GMT) / 9am (PT).

Here's what date and time Warzone and MW3 Season 1 releases in other time zones:

  • West Coast US: Wednesday 6th December, 9am (PT)
  • Central US: Wednesday 6th December, 11am (CT)
  • East Coast US: Wednesday 6th December, 12pm (ET)
  • UK: Wednesday 6th December, 5pm (GMT)
  • Europe: Wednesday 6th December, 6pm (CET)
  • Australia: Thursday 7th December, 4am (AET)
  • Japan: Thursday 7th December, 2am (JST)

Season 1 is almost upon us, so, to make sure you're fully prepared, check out our page how to level up fast.

call of duty warzone 2023, four players holding their guns up ready to fight.
Image credit: Activision.

Warzone and Modern Warfare 3 Season 1 roadmap

We have lots of new information thanks to a recent blog post detailing the Warzone and Modern Warfare 3 Season 1 roadmap, including:

  • New multiplayer maps
  • The return of Gunfight mode
  • Six more permanent and limited-time game modes
  • New Vest
  • New killstreaks
  • Ranked Play
  • New Zombies content
  • New Classified Schematics
  • New Urzikstan map for Warzone
  • Reloaded content
  • Merry CODMAS event

Here's the official roadmap picture for Warzone and Modern Warfare 3 Season 1:

roadmap for season 1 of modern warfare 3
Image credit: Activision

If you'd like to learn more, here's everything we know about Warzone and Modern Warfare 3 Season 1 below:

New Urzikstan map for Warzone

We've got more information on our next Warzone map page, but in summary, here's what we know about the new Warzone update:

  • 11 major points-of-interest - And 27 additional large-scale points of interest.
  • Gameplay update - Including many of the new movement mechanics encompassing manoeuvring from both Warzone and MW3, like slide cancelling and Tac Stance.
  • Traversal - You can travel around the new map in a variety of different ways using items like horizontal ziplines and a drivable train.
  • Backup Pistol - You will always have a dedicated pistol when swimming or climbing ladders or ledge hanging, no matter your loadout.
  • Manual Gas Mask - You can now manually choose when to equip the Gas Mask.
  • Experimental Gas Grenade - This Tear Gas Tactical now deals gas damage, and as such can be countered with an equipped Gas Mask.
  • Dedicated Ammo Slots - Specific new Backpack slots cater to ammo, allowing quick and easy access. These slots will be automatically filled as Players find ammo. Additional ammo can still be stored in the all-purpose Backpack slots.
  • Improved water combat - Improvements will be made to water visibility, so now it is easier to see targets both when in and out of the water.
  • Loot Rarity - Weapons, equipment, Killstreaks, and more will now appear with a colour-coded tooltip to indicate the value and rarity of the item, as well as if a weapon is from a custom loadout.
  • Contract Activation Laptop - You now activate Contracts by interacting with larger, more easily identifiable laptops found throughout the map.
  • Updated Tac Map Icons - The entirety of the Tac Map has been updated, with a variety of new icons.
  • Classic Red Dots - The classic minimap style is back, so firing unsuppressed weapons causes Operators to momentarily appear as a red dot on the minimap.
  • Improved Loot Spreading - The loot distribution and spread when opening a Supply Box or eliminating an enemy has been improved to minimise loot overlap and facilitate loot identification.
  • New Perks - Including Overkill, which is enabled by default.
  • Improved MW3 multiplayer and Warzone switching - An update to Call of Duty HQ is aiming to make switching between the two games more seamless.
  • New Gulag - Available at launch.
call of duty warzone 2023 december 6 roadmap
Image credit: Activision

New multiplayer maps

There are six new 6v6 maps joining the multiplayer rotation in Season 1: Meat, Greece, and Rio, with Meat and Greece available from the first day of the season. As Gunfight is returning, there are also new 2v2 maps being added to Season 1, which we've detailed in the Gunfight section below.

Additionally, there will be "festive reskins" of other maps during Season 1.

tactical map and different perspectives of the greece map in modern warfare 3
tactical map and different perspectives of the meat map in modern warfare 3
tactical map and different perspectives of the rio map in modern warfare 3
Left to right: The Greece, Meat, and Rio 6v6 maps. | Image credit: Activision

The return of Gunfight

The 2v2 Gunfight multiplayer mode returns at the start of Season 1. In Gunfight, two teams are pitted against each other in a round-based match. There are no respawns, all players are assigned the same randomised loadout at the start of each round, and the assigned loadout changes every two rounds.

Each round of Gunfight lasts 40 seconds, in which teams attempt to eliminate the other side. If time runs out and both teams are still alive, an Overtime Flag will spawn on the map for 10 seconds. The first team to capture the flag or eliminate the enemy team wins the round. If neither team wins during Overtime, the team with the most health wins. The first team to win six rounds wins the match.

There are five Gunfight maps at launch:

  • Training Facility (new)
  • Alley (returning from MW2)
  • Blacksite (returning from MW2)
  • Exhibit (returning from MW2)
  • Shipment (returning from MW2)
tactical map and different perspectives of the training facility map in modern warfare 3
Image credit: Activision

New game modes

We know of six new game modes coming to MW3 Season 1 so far:

  • All or Nothing
  • Vortex
  • CODMAS: Santa's Slayground
  • Infected
  • Headquarters
  • Team Gunfight

All or Nothing is a permanent game mode available at the first season's launch. The basic premise is that you deploy with no ammo, but you do have Throwing Knives. Then, if you get one elimination, you activate the Scavenger Perk, which allows you to retrieve ammo pickups for your weapon. The first to land 20 eliminations in All or Nothing wins.

soldiers crouching in an airport walkway inside
Image credit: Activision

Vortex is a limited-time event available from mid-season. In this free-for-all variation, one player spawns with the Zombies Wonder Weapon, a one-shot Ray Gun. Whoever eliminates the Operator with this Ray Gun becomes the new owner of it. Vortex takes place on three remixed Multiplayer maps: Satan's Quarry, Sporeyard, and Tetanus.

a character dressed in a striped orange, black, and white hazmat suit pointing an otherworldly looking pistol with a green and blue mist covering the area
Image credit: Activision

CODMAS: Santa's Slayground is a limited-time game mode also available from mid-season. In Santa's Slayground, you have to complete event challenges to earn rewards and visit classic holiday-themed maps including Shipmas and Hangover. There will be more information on this event and other limited time modes closer to the mid-season.

a gaunt looking man in a dirty santa costume holding a gun
Image credit: Activision

Infected is a permanent game mode also available from mid-season. In Infected, one player is chosen at random to spawn as the infected. Their goal is to eliminate the other survivors, while those who are not infected must "use all the skill and firepower they've amassed to keep their humanity intact".

a soldier looking to the left holding a gun with a zombie shambling behind and looking at her
Image credit: Activision

Headquarters is a permanent game mode available from mid-season. In Headquarters, you fight to secure a Headquarter location and then hold that position for as long as you can. Respawns are disabled for the defending team, and the Headquarters slowly rotate around the map as the match continues.

two soldiers in a rundown corridor by a small set of steps, holding guns, and a dead body on the floor behind them
Image credit: Activision

Team Gunfight is a 6v6 version of Gunfight played on standard multiplayer maps, and is available from mid-season. In Team Gunfight, everyone receives the same randomised loadout at the start of each round. This loadout changes throughout the match.

a soldier in heavy armor pointing his gun to the left with another soldier behind him looking at an explosion
Image credit: Activision

New vest

There's a new vest called the Assassin Vest (Stealthy Killer) coming in Season 1. Copied verbatim from the Call of Duty blog, here are the Assassin Vest's stats:

  • Equipment Slots (2): Tactical, Lethal (Field Upgrade removed).
  • Gear Slots (3): Gloves, Boots, Gear.
  • Kills don't display skulls. Immune to UAV and enemy radar effects (including while stationary). Duplicate effects do not stack. If equipped with Ghost T/V Camo, (Gear), you gain the effects of Hijacked IFF Strobe (Gear).
menu view with no user interface of a beige vest in modern warfare 3
Image credit: Activision

New Killstreaks

There are two new multiplayer Killstreaks available at the start of Season 1 once you unlock each via an Armory Challenge:

  • Swarm (15 Kills, 1,875 Points): Deploys a large number of mosquito drones to provide blanket coverage over the entire area.
  • EMP (13 Kills, 1,625 Points): Electromagnetic pulse to disrupt enemy Killstreaks and equipment.
a dual image with an airstrike plane on the left and a blue pulse in the sky on the right
Image credit: Activision

Ranked Play

Multiplayer Ranked Play launches mid-season with new rewards to earn and updated Modern Warfare 3 maps, weapons, and loadout content.

Ranked Play is a stand-alone competitive multiplayer mode that leverages the Call of Duty League approved rules, restrictions, maps, and modes. You can track your standing with a visible skill rating and earn rewards across multiple Skill Divisions and Tiers. The best players are featured in the Top 250 Leaderboard and Division for the chance to prove themselves as the number one player.

a soldier holding a gun in an airport terminal with an explosion in the background and dead bodies behind the soldier
Image credit: Activision

New Zombies content

All of the announced new content for Zombies, except Warlord: Dokkaebi, is launching at the start of Modern Warfare 3 Season 1.

Modern Warfare's Zombies mode story continues in Season 1 when Strike Team Operators are tasked to investigate a huge mysterious gateway that has appeared in the Exclusion Zone.

This Season 1 Zombies update includes:

  • Dark Aether Rifts - A new end-game challenge to tackle after seasonal missions, Dark Aether Rifts give you objectives to complete before the 30 minute timer runs out. You need to find Sigils to unlock Dark Aether Rifts.
  • Modified V-R11 Wonder Weapon - This gun allows you to transform Zombie or Human enemies into loyal allies. Transformed humans join you in the fight, drawing the attention of nearby zombies, while transformed zombies "commence their ceaseless hunt for your enemy's flesh".
  • New Schematics and Acquisitions - A new category of unique Acquisition Schematics will test your skills to unlock them.
  • New Prestige Challenges to explore.
  • New Warlord to battle.
a glowing purple worm-like creature coming from the ground and opening its mouth to a black and dark purple night sky
Image credit: Activision

There are also new Classified Schematics being added, with Dog Bone, Golden Armor Plate, and Aether Blade available at Season 1's launch. Warlord: Dokkaebi is available from the mid-season point.

classified schematics for modern warfare 3 season 1
Image credit: Activision

Here's what we know about the three Classified Schematics coming at launch:

  • Dog Bone (Legendary) - Consume the Dog Bone to summon the strongest friendly Hell Hound companion. The pet Hellhound will follow you and attack nearby threats until its health runs out. This Season 1 item can help take off the heat when it's really needed.
  • Golden Armor Plate (Legendary) - Consuming the new Golden Armor Plate replaces the Armor Carrier with Plates that automatically repair over time, in addition to providing the user additional damage resistances.
  • Aether Blade (Lethal) - The Aether Blade is a special Throwing Knife with infinite ammo and a boomerang-like combat style. After striking an enemy, the Aether Blade locates the next nearest enemy to hit before returning to its Operator.

Leader of Terminus Outcomes, Jack Fletcher, will deploy Warlord: Dokkaebi to the battle space in the mid-season sometime. She is a South Korean born Dokkaebi who brings an intimate understanding of Electronic Warfare with her, and a fleet of self-programmed autonomous drones, ready to wreak carnage on Operation Deadbolts Operatives from the skies.

Reloaded content

The Reloaded part of Season 1 will be available in early 2024, bringing with it a number of new features including Covert Exfil - a new secondary exfil condition - as well as the Weapon Case similar to Modern Warfare 2's, but now with brand new rewards. In addition, players can expect a new Champion's Quest with fresh rewards.

call of duty warzone player duo on roof with heavy weapons
Image credit: Activision

Merry CODMAS event

Santa returns to Modern Warfare with the Merry CODMAS event, with Deck the Halls, Zombie Santa, and Slay Ride challenges and rewards to enjoy.

Deck the Halls sees you hunting for presents across the Urzikstan map, Zombie Santa sees you collecting keys to open portals that take you to face off against a zombified Juggernaut Santa, and for Slay Ride, Santa will be handing out presents to all the well-behaved Operators he meets from his train in Urzikstan.

The CODMAS event will also feature a new challenge for Warzone and multiplayer during the 12 Days of CODMAS event, and you get rewards for completing each challenge.

a gaunt looking man in a dirty santa costume holding a large gun with his other hand raised in the air while standing on top of a train in the snow
Image credit: Activision

Everything else we know about Modern Warfare 3 Season 1

Here's everything else being added or changed in Modern Warfare 3 Season 1:

  • Five free new weapons - The XRK Stalker sniper rifle, RAM-7 Assault Rifle, Stormender Launcher, HRM-9 SMG, and the TAQ Evolvere LMG.
  • Nine new Aftermarket Parts - JAK Purifier, JAK Ettin Double Barrel Kit, JAK Thunder LMG Kit, JAK BRB, JAK Bullseye, JAK Glassless Optic, JAK Signal Burst, JAK Beholder Rifle Kit, and JAK Headhunter Carbine Conversion
  • New Operators - Nolan and Dokkaebi.
  • Season 1 Battle Pass - Free and BlackCell premium versions.
  • New Store offerings - Deploy as Santa, grab Bundles related to Dune, and more.
  • Seasonal progression - Level up past Rank 55 and enter the Prestige Ranks, with new Challenge Rewards for both multiplayer and Zombies.
  • Call of Duty League Launch Pack - Earn rewards for watching the pros compete starting December 8.

That's all the information we have on Modern Warfare 3 Season 1! If you'd like to prepare now for the first season's launch, check out our pages on the best assault rifles, best sniper rifles, and best SMGs.

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Jessica Orr

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Jessica is a guides writer from Northern Ireland who likes screaming at her TV. Often at horror movies, occasionally at a Fortnite win. When not damaging her vocal cords, Jessica likes stressing over her inventory in RPGs, and getting lost in open worlds.