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Modern Warfare 2 Hardcore Tier 1 multiplayer modes explained

Everything we know about the renamed Hardcore playlists.

Hardcore modes, renamed Tier 1 for multiplayer in Modern Warfare 2, are a set of playlists that have gained fan-favourite status in Call of Duty over the years.

Modern Warfare Hardcore modes are not to be confused with the Realism mode, which is a separate thing entirely.

Although you might be eager to jump straight into Tier 1 at launch, you might have to wait a little longer than expected, but we'll go over everything we know about Hardocore modes, AKA Tier 1, in Modern Warfare 2 below.

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How to play Tier 1 Hardcore modes in Modern Warfare 2

Although still generally referred to as Hardcore, these difficult playlists have been renamed to Tier 1, however that's not the only reason you can't find Hardcore in multiplayer right now.

With Tier 1 not showing up in multiplayer playlists, you might be wondering if Modern Warfare 2 even has Hardcore mode in multiplayer. Thankfully, you will be able to play Hardcore eventually, but it's unfortunately not available at launch.

Originally, developer Infinity Ward didn't give specifics on when it would be added, but did note that Tier 1 would be "available soon".

Over launch weekend, however, their official multiplayer overview post was updated to confirm that Tier 1 Hardcore is being added to Modern Warfare 2 at the start of Season 1, so we won't be able to play Tier 1 playlists until Wednesday, November 16th.

Disappointing if Hardcore is usually your go-to for multiplayer in Call of Duty, but there are still plenty of modes you can play right now while we wait for Tier 1 to drop, which include:

  • Team Deathmatch
  • Domination
  • Kill Confirmed
  • Free For All
  • Headquarters
  • Hardpoint
  • Search and Destroy
  • 3rd Person Moshpit (in Team Deathmatch, Domination, and Hardpoint)
  • Invasion
  • Ground War
  • Prisoer Rescuew
  • Knock Out

When Tier 1 does get added to multiplayer, accessing it might be clear from the multiplayer menu, or it might follow the same process as it did in the original Modern Warfare reboot. This was done by selecting the 'Filter' option in the main multiplayer lobby.

When you pressed 'Filter', you were able to select and deselect the modes you wanted to play. Then you had to reveal the Tier 1 Hardcore playlists by pressing 'Square' on PlayStation, or 'X' on Xbox.

How Hardcore was accessed in Modern Warfare (2019).

Hopefully it's a little more streamlined than this in Modern Warfare 2, but we won't know until Tier 1 is available.

Getting stuck into multiplayer? We explain the best guns in Modern Warfare 2 and how to unlock all weapons and attachments - as well as individual pages on putting together an MP5 loadout, FTAC loadout, M4 loadout, Kastov 762 loadout, SP-R 208 loadout, TAQ 56 loadout, 556 Icarus loadout, Vel 46 loadout, M16 loadout and FSS Hurricane loadout. At launch, you might be wondering where the Battle Pass and Hardcore Tier 1 modes are, as well as how to claim Modern Warfare 2 Twitch drops. Elsewhere, learn how to turn off crossplay on PlayStation and Xbox, get and use Double XP, level up fast, get gold camo, check KD and unlock all MW2 Operators. Playing the story? We have explainers on how long the Modern Warfare 2 campaign is and all safe code combinations.

Everything we know about Tier 1 Hardcore modes in Modern Warfare 2

Tier 1 (AKA Hardcore) will be a lot more challenging compared to traditional multiplayer modes in Modern Warfare 2.

Operators have less health and limited HUD elements, and friendly fire is on. These gameplay alterations are consistent throughout all game modes that support a Tier 1 variant.

What these game modes are exactly, we're not sure, but based off playlists included in Modern Warfare back in 2019, we might expect the following Tier 1 Hardcore variations:

  • Tier 1 Team Deathmatch
  • Tier 1 Cyber Attack
  • Tier 1 Domination
  • Tier 1 Search and Destroy
  • Tier 1 Headquarters

Based on how it worked in previous Call of Duty games, it's also likely that you will be able to track your ranking against those of your friends within the 'Leaderboards' part of the multiplayer lobby.

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