Call of Duty Warzone 2: How to Find the Tactical Nuke

Rumor has it that there's a nuclear weapon hidden somewhere in the Warzone 2 map. Here's what we know about unlocking that item of mass destruction.

Call of Duty Warzone 2
Photo: Activision Blizzard

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Call of Duty players are all-too-familiar wiht the power of tactical nukes. As the name implies, that item allows players to essentially blow up the map and kill any enemies caught in the weapon’s considerable blast radius. Previously, that weapon was limited to Call of Duty‘s traditional multiplayer modes, which allow players to respawn after being nuked. However, it turns out that Warzone 2 features its own version of that deadly item.

Yes, Warzone insiders have revealed that there appears to be a nuclear weapon in the new battle royale mode. More than a mere leak, it seems that some members of the Warzone 2 team have privately confirmed to early-access players that Warzone 2 does indeed include some kind of tactical nuclear weapon. That information came as a shock to many. After all, how can a battle royal mode without instant respawns possibly support a nuclear weapon?

As it turns out, though, you have a much better chance of dying to your opponent’s superior loadout than their nuclear weapon. While the Warzone 2 team hasn’t revealed the specifics of how the Warzone 2 nuke will work, we do know that it will not be available in every Warzone 2 match. In fact, reports and leakers suggest that the nuke will only be available in a statistically insignificant number of Warzone 2 matches. It’s more of an elaborate Easter egg than anything.

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Actually, a Warzone 2 squad just discovered the first in-game nuke moments ago. Here’s some footage that shows exactly what happens when you find and detonate that unique weapon:

As you can see, the Warzone 2 match ends as soon as the nuclear weapon is activated, and the victory goes to the squad that detonated the weapon. So how do you find the nuclear weapon in Warzone 2?

Well, it’s still not entirely clear how that process works. As previously speculated, the nuclear weapon is tied to a contract. Specifically, players will need to accept the “Champion’s Contract” when it appears in-game. That contract assignment will task a squad with discovering various pieces of a nuclear weapon spread across the map. Once a squad has collected every piece of the weapon (it looks like you need to collect three separate components), they’ll be able to assemble the nuke, detonate it, and win the match.

The catch is that the squad that accepts that contract and starts picking up the nuclear weapon pieces will not only be marked on the map but can actually have their collected nuclear weapon components stolen from them by other squads. Furthermore, each piece of the weapon causes some kind of negative effect (like persistent damage) while it’s being carried. Even if you manage to bring all the pieces together, you won’t be able to trigger the nuke until the match is nearly over.

In other words, here’s what you need to do to find and launch the nuclear weapon in Warzone 2:

  • Accept the “Champion’s Contract”
  • Collect all three nuclear weapon components
  • Avoid being killed by other players trying to collect those components
  • Wait until close to the end of the match
  • Assemble and activate the nuclear weapon

The only piece of the puzzle that isn’t entirely solved as of yet is what triggers the “Champion’s Contract.” The current theory is that it’s only unlocked once a squad has won a certain number of matches in a row together. However, even the first squad to detonate a nuke hasn’t been able to confirm beyond any doubt why the contract appeared for them in the first place, so there’s still a little detective work to be done.

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Of course, we will be updating this article as more information about the Warzone 2 nuke becomes available. For now, it’s best to start scouring the map, finishing contracts, and generally performing as best as you can in order to chip away at the seemingly complex process of eventually turning the Warzone 2 map into the setting of Fallout 5.