Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War isn’t just the first next-gen Call of Duty title: it’s a Call of Duty game that will be available for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, and PC at the same time when it’s released on Nov. 13 (check out the launch times here). While that’s good news for Call of Duty fans who don’t want to upgrade to a next-gen platform just to play the latest entry in the hit shooter franchise, the game’s ambitious release strategy has rightfully raised questions about the extent of its cross-platform and cross-play capabilities.
The good news is that Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War does support cross-platform options such as cross-play and cross-progression. Simply put, you will be able to play Cold War with your friends regardless of which platform they’re on. As noted on the Activision blog, “an entire Multiplayer party (max of six) could be comprised of players who are playing the game across the available five platforms, including next and current generation consoles as well as PC.” That should eliminate any cross-play and cross-generation concerns you might have, assuming that the system works as intended.
What’s even more impressive than Cold War‘s cross-play options are its cross-progression capabilities. Because your profile and all unlockables in Cold War are tied to your Activision account rather than a specific platform, you’ll be able to carry our progress to any device you play on. So if you start the game on PC and decide to pick up a PS5 or Xbox Series X, all of your unlocks will be waiting there for you when you buy the next-gen version of the game.
That said, Activision notes on its blog that “in-game progress or identity may exclude items that are not cross-platform supported, such as (but not limited to) Call of Duty Endowment Packs, or items exclusive to a particular platform.” It’s not entirely clear how many unlockables that policy will actually end up affecting, but you’ll want to keep an eye out for content that won’t quite make the leap.
Warzone players will also be happy to learn that the battle royale mode will not only support the aforementioned cross-play and cross-progression features but benefits from a somewhat unusual (at least for the CoD franchise) system which lets you retain progress made in Modern Warfare as well. As Activision notes, “Warzone players will still have access to previously earned content: Weapons, Operators, Blueprints, Equipment, Cosmetics, and so on, that they earned during their experiences in Modern Warfare.” On top of the content that you’ve already unlocked, Warzone players will eventually be able to participate in Cold War‘s new battle pass system which allows “players to unlock new functional content to be used in both titles.”
Based on what we know so far, Cold War represents Activision’s most ambitious attempt in years at not only supporting multiple platforms but, in the case of Warzone, supporting something introduced in the previous Call of Duty game even as the publisher moves on to the next installment.