Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II – Ground War Guide (Standard)

The objective is for two teams, each with 32 players, to capture an odd number of targets on a large map.

Play / Mode Recon / Ground War (Standard)

Mode Details

Mission Parameters

What, in a broad sense, is Domination? The original mode of Ground War is the solution.

In Ground War, two teams battle it out to control an odd number of zones (often five) on a Battle Map that is denoted by flags and lettered waypoints (A, B, C, D, and E) in boxes that show up as icons on the minimap. At their “base,” which is a restricted region of the map where adversaries will be marked for death if they trespass for too long, the teams start off on opposite sides of the map.

Operators can either use their Loadout, which includes Field Upgrades and Killstreaks, or any vehicles that are currently on the map to collect these flags. These vehicles could be speedboats, helicopters for transportation, or even high-tech sports utility vehicles, each of which has advantages and disadvantages.
Outside of the maps available in Call of Duty: WarzoneTM 2.0, Ground War occurs on the largest maps in Call of Duty. Consider them to be about the same size as more compact areas of the Call of Duty: Warzone map… And if you think about it that way, it might help you get ready for future missions.

An example minimap is shown above, with Sariff Bay’s original Ground War mode visible. Each of the five objectives is marked, and each side’s base is “protected,” which means that anyone who enters enemy territory while not on their team will be hunted down and killed.

Ground War can be compared to the oversized version of Domination, with the exception of having a much more chaotic and huge battleground:

Standing close to its flag allows a team to take control of the area. For those in the zone, a “Capture Meter” will then show up. Outsiders will notice a trail being made around the lettered waypoint. When the meter is full or the waypoint has been fully followed, the zone has been taken.

If several Operators from the same team are stationed in the same zone, the time required to capture a flag is decreased. If there are an equal number of Operators from both teams in the same zone at the same moment, the zone capture is considered “blocked.” Otherwise, progress toward capture will go to the team having the most Operators in the zone.

Each team receives one point for each zone or flag they control every few seconds. A zone can be stolen by the opposite side after it has been taken by one team. If the team attempting to steal it leaves the zone, capture progress will slow down; conversely, if the defensive team enters the zone while there are no attackers nearby, capture progress will stop.

Both spawn flipping and halftimes are absent. Operators can either respawn at their base, at any flag that has been seized, or close to where a squadmate is.

Match Win Conditions

In Public Matches, the first team to reach a specific number of points — usually 500 — wins the match.

Main XP Gains

Achieve XP gains by doing the following:

  • Capturing objectives.
  • Eliminating enemies on or near objectives with Loadout items rather than vehicles.
  • Allowing squadmates to respawn on their position.

Key Terms and Definitions

A / B / C / D / E: Each of these letters corresponds to a zone in this mode.

Blocked: The state of a zone when an equal number of players of both teams are in it. When this happens, no progress is made and no points are earned.

Flag / Zone: Used interchangeably to describe the objective scoring zones in Domination. Flag is more common in the community, as this is what each zone is marked by on the map.

Squad Spawn: The process of respawning on a fellow squadmate, rather than on an objective or at a base. In Ground War, large teams are broken up into squads of four — Operators can respawn only on other Operators in their squad.

Total Domination: The state where one team has control of all zones.

Topline Tactics

A winning Ground War player:

  • Eliminates enemies near objectives.
  • Helps capture and maintain control of zones.
  • Is not afraid to pilot a vehicle (more on these in Vehicle Customization) to clear objectives or advance spawns forward.

Recruit Tactics

TIP: Stay in Your Zone

Ground War maps are massive, making it easy for a new player to get lost and get into positions where their Loadout is not effective. If you have trouble getting kills, try staying on or near one point of interest or objective where you know your Loadout can shine. For example, use a CQB Loadout in the building-heavy sections, or use a Sniper Rifle to rule massive open spaces.

TIP: Proper Reinforcements

After dying, pay attention to where you can respawn. Use the map to see where the action is. If a zone is under attack, try respawning on a squadmate near safety to help recapture it. Or, if all squadmates are heading toward danger that you are not ready for, adjust that respawn accordingly.

TIP: Hop In!

Ground War is a relatively low-stakes way to test drive vehicles. Try practicing your driving skills with smaller ones, such as ATVs and the RHIB, since most Operators tend to skip over these. They are fast enough to quickly move around the map, have limited respawn spaces so you are not leading squadmates astray, and are easy to handle.

Veteran Tactics

TIP: Focus

Ground War can get overwhelming for new and even veteran squads. Rather than trying to maintain control of one objective, it is better to focus yourself and the squad toward one. Have everyone agree on one place to capture and hold; then let the rest of the team worry about the rest of them.

TIP: Killstreak and Equipment Placement

The original Ground War is a fantastic spot to rack up Killstreak, Field Upgrade, and Equipment eliminations, as fighting is so focused in and around objectives. Try setting up these traps and pointing these armaments directly on contested objectives or where there are tons of active enemy vehicles for the best chance at multikills.

TIP: Water Works

Most Ground War maps have water to swim through. This can be used as a medium for stealth Operations. If an objective is impenetrable from land or the air, try going offshore with a silent Loadout, emerging from the depths only to breathe and when the enemy is not looking for amphibious attacks. 

Prestige Tactics

TIP: Be the Spawn Point

The Cargo Truck, Heavy Chopper, and other large vehicles can hold tons of friendly Operators, and some can be spawned into across squads. If you are searching for reinforcements on an objective, try parking the Heavy Chopper or another vehicle, piloting it for a few seconds and allowing friendlies to respawn en masse for a serious wave of firepower.

TIP: Resupply Often

Successful Operators will live long lives in Ground War, making ammunition management their most common problem. Try playing Ground War with a Munitions Box Field Upgrade or with Scavenger to resupply as a solo player, or kindly ask squadmates to run these for support and drop ammo if you’re running low.

The Bottomline: Conclusion

  1. Capture and Clear. Domination strategies and Ground War strategies are similar: Get to an objective, capture it, and clear out the surrounding area to ensure the enemy cannot take hold of it.
  2. Vehicles and Swimming. Boots on the ground is not the only means to success; use land, air, and sea vehicles to aid in capturing objectives, or go for a dip to stealthily flank enemy locations.
  3. More the Merrier. Ground War flags take a long time to capture, so try holding those zones with multiple squadmates to quickly gain control of them before the enemy arrives.
  4. Mind the Spawns. Remember to use the map during respawns to best position yourself for the next life, either near objectives or in safer scenarios.
  5. Many Squads, One Team. It takes each squad of four working together as part of a team of 32 to win Ground War. Coordinate across squads for the most effective tactics in capturing objectives and wiping out the enemy.

Ground War is the original big team battle for Call of Duty. Now with new party features, it is fully possible to field a 32-person squad for this massive fight for objectives. Try that out or just roll in with a regular team of four to get the most out of this massive mode.

Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 3019 Articles
I love two things in life, games and sports. Although sports were my earliest interest, it was video games that got me completely addicted (in a good way). My first game was Crash Bandicoot (PS1) from the legendary studio Naughty Dog back in 1996. I turned my passion for gaming into a job back in 2019 when I transformed my geek blog (Re-actor) into the gaming website it is today.

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