Before you even step foot in Verdansk, you’ll need to learn what – and how – you will see in game. This guide breaks down the basic controls, settings, and heads-up display for Call of Duty®: Warzone™.

You have an exceptional breadth of options to control your character within Warzone with countless tweaks, configuration changes, sensitivity toggling, and masses of other minor elements to finely tune. Here, we’ll offer a quick overview of the different settings you can fiddle with, most of which can be changed before and during gameplay. Plus, we’ll go over all the basic controls and features of your heads-up display (HUD).

Note: This guide covers the Xbox Series X | S version of the game.


Heads Up Display: Information from the Field of Battle

The images below show examples of the in-game HUD you would see in Warzone. The different elements of the HUD provide quick, important, and tactical data that you must learn and utilize as you grow as a player. Here’s a brief look at what appears on-screen:

HUD Intel: In-Game

Mini-Map (Top Left): Need to know where you are? Look up here to see where you, and your squadmates, are located within a portion of Verdansk that represents your immediate vicinity. A more detailed Tac Map can be seen by pressing the View Button (see additional information on the Tac Map below).

Timer (Top Left): Next to the mini map, a timer shows the number of minutes and seconds until the next circle collapse, or until the current collapse is over.

Contracts Timer (Top Left): When a Contract is active, you may see a timer showing how much time remains to complete the associated objective.

Active Contracts and Objectives (Top Left):  Any active Contract and its level, along with objective information and Payout information, is situated underneath the mini map.

Compass (Top Middle): This offers complete 360-degree information. The precise degree you’re facing is shown in a yellow/brown color in the middle of the Compass. Numbers change to Compass directions within five degrees of 0 (North), 45 (Northeast), 90 (East), 135 (Southeast), 180 (South), 225 (Southwest), 270 (West), and 315 (Northwest).

Compass (Other Markers): Other markers may appear here including, but not limited to:

Red Diamond Markers: These markers show where enemies are firing from. They appear as solid red diamonds if the enemy fire is coming from in front of you (within the bar of the Compass), or red arrows to the left or the right if the enemy is to either side of you.

Chevron Arrow Markers that you or your squadmates have placed on the map (using the same color as your squadmate).

Loadout Drop Icons showing where a Loadout Drop has been delivered (Battle Royale mode only).

Pinged Icons revealing Vehicles or Items that you or your team has marked.

Contract markers that show the general direction of objectives.

These markers disappear from the Compass and rotate around the perimeter of the screen when you aren’t directly facing them.

Lobby Info (Top Right): See the number of players – or squad, if applicable – left alive in the game, as well as the number of spectators – if any – that are watching you play from the great beyond. The final icon, a skull, indicates how many kills you have in the game.

Crosshairs (Center): Displays the location your weapon will fire at. Depending on the weapon you’re employing, whether you are hip-firing or aiming down sights, or being stationary versus moving about, your crosshairs will be large, small, or be replaced by the weapon’s iron sights or attached optic sight picture.

Item Pick Up and Information (Center): When you encounter a Supply Box, Buy Station, or an object that’s available to pick up, a context button and information box is displayed.

Expect the following Items to be found, many color-coded with their Rarity:

            Ammo, Armor, Contracts, Loadout Drops, Field Upgrades, Gas Masks, Tactical and Lethal Equipment, Cash, and Weapons.

This expanded information box displays information such as:

         Name and Type: The official name and type of object you’re about to gather.

         Rarity, Color-Coding: The rarity, which refers to how often you’ll find the item in the Warzone, and sometimes (but not always) also refers to the potency of the item in question, is also shown, both as a diamond icon as well as a related color, as follows:

Light Red (Player): Either your starting pistol or weapons that come out of a Loadout Drop (Battle Royale) or a Loadout you bring with you (Plunder). A “diamond within a diamond” icon.

                     White (Common): A ubiquitous item, found in most locations, such as Ammo. An “empty diamond” icon.

Green (Uncommon): Found relatively easily across the combat zone. A “diamond within a diamond” icon.

Light Blue (Rare): Found sporadically across the combat zone. A “diamond with two diamonds within” icon.

Purple (Epic): Expect only a few of these to be found during a game, with a potent item to use. A “diamond with three diamonds within” icon.

Gold (Legendary): Expect one or two of these most powerful items to be acquired during a game. A “diamond filled with four other diamonds” icon.

Dark Red (Ultra): Usually not found within a game at all, this rarity is exclusive to Mastercraft and Reactive Weapon Blueprints out of the game within the Battle Pass or Store Bundles. A “diamond with four chevrons around a diamond at center” icon.

Attachments (Weapon): Aside from Loadout Weapons you’ve personally equipped and can obtain via Loadout Drops (Battle Royale mode) or at the start of a match (Plunder mode), all other weapons gathered across the Warzone that can have attachments fitted to them, have a fixed number based on their rarity, as follows:

Common (0). Uncommon (1). Rare (3). Epic (4). Legendary (all 5).

         Take/Swap (Ammo, Items, Equipment, Weapons): As you have a finite amount of equipment you can carry, if an item can be added to your inventory, theS word “Take” appears in the box. If an item in your inventory must be dropped in order to use the item, the word “Swap” appears in the box.

            Amount (Ammo): If there’s multiples of an item (almost always ammunition), the amount of that item is displayed.


Weapons Detail (Bottom Right): This gives immediate knowledge of the weapon you’re currently holding, the chamber and total ammunition, the weapon’s rarity, and the type of firing option you’ve selected for your weapon (if applicable). In addition, your tactical and lethal equipment, along with the amount carried, are also prominently displayed.

Killstreaks/Field Upgrade (Bottom Right): If you come across a Field Upgrade – a special equipment piece or ability – or a Killstreak – a powerful offensive, defensive, or reconnaissance item – during your travels, it will appear above your Weapons Detail. Killstreaks will appear on your HUD in small boxes, while Field Upgrades will show up inside of a circle.

Operator Stance: A small silhouette of your operator is shown in one of three different stances; Standing, Crouching, or Prone (Crawling), shortly after going into one of these stances. You can quickly glance to see your stance, and the advantages (and disadvantages) your stance grants you depending on the situation.

Drop (Bottom Middle): Access the quick drop using the d-pad, then the Triangle button, and you’re able to drop certain items on the ground, usually for squadmates to pick up. The subsequent Drop menu shows (from left to right); Cash, Self-Revive Kits, Armor Plates, and the five different ammunition types. Also use this menu to quickly check how many aforementioned items you have.

Armor Plates and Gas Mask (Bottom Left): When you’ve acquired, but not used an Armor Plate, it is displayed here (you can carry up to five). Equip an Armor Plate using the Triangle button to increase the armor bar (above your health bar). When you’ve acquired the Gas Mask, it is displayed here. The amount of health the mask has will appear next to your health.

Health (Bottom Left): A single white bar represents your total health. When it drops to zero, you enter a downed state where you can slowly move without the ability to defend yourself, until a squadmate can revive you or you bleed out.

Cash (Plunder Mode only): The total Cash you’ve collected is also displayed here. Below this is a sliding bar showing your squad’s total Cash gathered (both banked and carried) along with your ranking within the match, and how much Cash the number one squad has gathered.

Armor (Bottom Left): Above the Health bar are three blue rectangles; this represents the number of armor plates you currently have on your operator. You find and use Armor Plates to fill this bar up to three times, giving you Level 1, 2, and 3 armor respective to the number of equipped Armor Plates. Note additional Armor Plates you’re carrying are indicated just to the right of this bar.

Squad Details: Your squadmates’ names, health, armor, and Cash will appear above your personal stats as smaller bars. In addition, an icon displayed close to your squadmate’s health bar indicates the following:

         Contract Icon: They are completing a contract.

Parachute Icon: They are parachuting into the combat zone.

Redeploy Icon: They have a Self-Revive Kit (displayed by a cross in a circle below your squadmate’s health bar).

White Cross with one of three arrow types: Your squadmate is downed. The color of the associated arrow and status bar indicates your squadmate’s specific state:

         Down Arrows and Red Status Bar: Your squadmate is downed and bleeding out.

         Up Arrows and Green Status Bar: Your squadmate is being revived by another squadmate.

         Up Arrows with Teal Statue Bar: Your squadmate is using a Self-Revive Kit.

Gulag Skull: They are fighting for their life in the Gulag.

Skull: They are neutralized but may be redeployed.

Steering Wheel: They are driving or piloting a vehicle.

Gunfire Icon: This flash icon appears intermittently and indicates when a squadmate is firing their weapon. Use it in conjunction with other methods to ascertain the combat situation your team is in.

Lastly there is other HUD information that isn’t always displayed on your HUD:

Pinged Icons: The following pinged icons can appear on your HUD:

Chevron Arrow Icon: A generic marker set by one of your teammates.

Red Diamond Icon: A marker that is meant to caution you and your teammates about enemies at or near that area.

Yellow Exclamation Point Icon: A marker set on an open door or Supply Box that indicates that an enemy already opened it.

Green Skull Icon: Appears on or in the direction of the nearest Buy Station is so that you can redeploy a teammate.

Vehicle Icon: Appears on or in the direction of the vehicle that was pinged. The icon represents the specific vehicle that was pinged.

Item or Weapon Icon: Appears on or in the direction of an item or weapon that was pinged. A generic image of the item, as well as its rarity color, is shown within this ping.

Loadout Drop Icon: Appears on or in the direction of a Loadout Drop.

Buy Station Icon: Appears on or in the direction of a Buy Station that was pinged.

Green Cash Icon: A green $ icon that appears on or in the direction of a piece of loose Cash that was pinged.

Cash Drop Icon: A green $ icon in a box that appears on or in the direction of a Cash Drop that was pinged.

Cash Extraction Point / Green Piggy Bank Icon: This green piggy bank appears to show the location of a Cash Extraction Point to deposit Cash in Plunder. When it is bright green, it means that a helicopter has been called in to extract cash.

Additional HUD Intel: This is information that will only appear in certain situations and won’t always be on your HUD. For example, a reload prompt will come up when you’re low on bullets in your chamber. In addition, expect other icons to appear, indicating in-game action commands such as mantling when there are objects you can mantle over, or areas you can mount your weapon to (while holding down the aim/ADS trigger). Status on capturing an objective also appears will appear on the HUD. The display location can vary, but typically this type of information will appear on the center of your HUD. 

Additional HUD Intel: Pre-Match In-Game Lobby

Altimeter (Right): When parachuting into a pre-match, in-game lobby, or descending during your initial Infil drop, the right side of your screen shows your altitude, as well as your speed, and last possible parachute-deployment height.

Lobby Population (Upper Middle): Just under the Compass is the updated number of players waiting in the lobby, prior to Infil.

Additional HUD Intel: Tac Map (In-game)

Bring up the map during a match, and you’re presented with a variety of icons and content, as follows:

Circle Timer (Battle Royale mode only) (Top-Left): A circle of lethal gas is slowly encroaching on the Warzone and keeping track of it is of paramount importance. The circle itself is visible on the map, but the timer shows how long the circle will remain in its current state before shrinking, forcing those outside the circumference to seek safety in the breathable atmosphere inside the circle.

Redeployment (Battle Royale mode only) (Top-Left): You can redeploy in multiple ways throughout a Warzone match. This indicates how much time there is left before redeployment is no longer available to you or your squad.

Gulag (Battle Royale mode only) (Top-Left): This reveals how many players are currently fighting in the Gulag for the chance to redeploy, as well as when the Gulag shuts down (after which, no further 1v1 Gunfight matches are allowed). The Gulag closes at the end of the fourth circle collapse, after which you cannot enter the 1v1 Gunfight portion of the prison.

Self-Revive Kit and Squadmate Revive Kit (Top-Left): This shows how many Self-Revive kits you have. Acquire these by purchasing them at Buy Stations and use them on yourself or drop them for your squadmates to pick up. The last possible time to use Self-Revive Kits is also flagged here. Note you can purchase revive kits for as long as you can reach a Buy Station and have the Cash funds.

Tac Map (Main Central Image): This map of the entire warzone is updated in real-time and shows many (but not all) of the landscape sectors, as well as various important icons listed in the Legend. Check this for a variety of reasons; to see your squadmates’ locations, the deployment path, Circle Collapse (in Battle Royale mode), and other pertinent data.

Note the coordinates (X axis and Y axis) which can be optionally utilized by your squad to call out locations (for example, “I’m landing at H1” instead of “I’m landing at Quarry.”).

Legend (Right): Icons of you and your squad are revealed, along with Loadout Drops you may have called down. Contracts, Buy Stations, and Vehicles are also flagged here.

Map Manipulation Functions (Bottom): You can zoom in and out, move the map around to study it and the icons placed on it, zero in on your current position, and place or remove Ping markers that is displayed on you and your squad’s Compass. Use Pings on general areas to highlight specific objects (such as Buy Stations, Vehicles, or Contracts).

Additional HUD Intel: Vehicle (In-game)

Should you pilot, drive, or take a seat inside one of the vehicles, there are a couple of additional HUD assets to be aware of:

Vehicle Health (Bottom Middle): The health of the vehicle you are currently utilizing is displayed in a white horizontal bar. Consider extracting yourself from the vehicle when this bar is diminished. The vehicle explodes when the bar is empty.

Vehicle Seats and Controls (Bottom Middle): The important controls of the vehicle, along with where you (and your squadmates) are sitting, is also displayed.

Gaining Complete Control

When using an Xbox One Controller in Warzone on default settings, its buttons have the following commands (these settings can be adjusted in the Controller Settings Options menu):

Left Stick – Move: Push this stick in any direction to have your Operator move around.

Left Stick (Press) – Sprint/Tactical Sprint/Steady Aim Freelook : If you’re maneuvering, tap while you move to sprint, or tap twice quickly while moving to tactical sprint (which causes you to move more quickly than a sprint, but with your weapon pointed up and held in one hand, lengthening the time it takes to aim and engage the gun). If you’re using a sniper rifle, tap this to take an inhale of breath, and steady your aim by a significant amount. While infiltrating or parachuting, tap this to switch from a first to a third-person perspective while parachuting; this allows you to increase your peripheral vision which can help you reach a landing spot, or see enemies landing close to, or behind you.

Right Stick – Aim/Look: Push this stick in any direction to have your Operator look around or aim a weapon.

Right Stick (Press) – Melee: Pistol whip, strike, or otherwise bludgeon a foe at close quarters with the melee attack or hold to attempt a Finishing Move when attacking an unsuspecting foe from behind. You can also use this button to open doors.

A – Jump/Mantle/Open Parachute: Jump across gaps, mantle over lower objects such as barriers or windowsills, and climb certain scenery using this button. The height of your jump may be influenced by your speed and the number of successive jumps you’ve taken. During infiltration, this is the button you press to open your parachute, which is crucial to your survival.

B – Crouch/Prone/Slide: When moving under normal circumstances, you tap this button to crouch, and hold it to go prone, or tap it again to stand. If you’re sprinting and hold this button, you’ll slide into a crouch or a prone position if you keep holding the button (on the default sliding controls).

B (Airborne) – Cut Parachute: When your parachute is open during infiltration, press this to cut it loose, should you deem a fall too slow for your liking. You can always re-open a parachute if you cut it loose too early.

Y – Use/Reload: If you need to access a context-sensitive object (like opening a door instead of charging through it), or you’re low on ammunition and wish to reload your weapon, utilize this button.

X– Switch Weapon/Equip Armor: Depending on how and when this button is pressed, this button has more than one function. Tapping the button will swap the weapon in your hands, whether it be a primary to a secondary weapon, vice versa, or any weapon you’ve picked up during a match. Holding the button makes your Operator equip an Armor Plate (and continue to equip Armor Plates if continuously held), if you have one.

LB – Tactical Equipment: This utilizes the tactical equipment that you’ve found; usually a non-lethal Grenade, but a Stim or Heartbeat Sensor are also options.

RB – Lethal Equipment: This utilizes the lethal equipment that you’ve found; which ranges from Proximity Mines to C4, to a Throwing Knife, to a good old-fashioned Frag Grenade.

LT – Aim Down Sight: This narrows the field of view to focus on a specific target for more precise gunfights. Additionally, ADS zooms into your equipped sights (reticle or native). Pressing L2 also allows you to mount your weapon if you’re close to a wall, windowsill, or other scenery that allows it. Specific settings for Weapon Mount Activation can be configured in the Options Menu, but the default is ADS + Melee.

RT – Fire Weapon: This expels projectiles from your weapon’s chamber. Pay attention to your weapon’s firing mode – single, burst, or fully-automatic – as you may need to press this trigger multiple times for continuous firing.

D-pad Up– Ping/Gesture/Spray: Pressing this button will ping a 3D position in the environment and put a marker on the map for you and your squad. Holding it enables a chosen hand gesture or spray in Warzone. Use them to:

Gesture: Direct squadmates without a microphone and taunt opponents.

Spray: Brighten up your immediate surroundings.

D-pad Left – Fire Mode: Utilize this function when using a weapon that offers multiple firing modes to change the fire mode – i.e. an assault rifle that has both fully-automatic and burst fire modes.

D-pad Right – Killstreak: This engages a Killstreak that you found in game. Tap right to launch a Killstreak or hold right to open a radial menu and select a Killstreak if you have more than one available.

D-pad Down – Drop: Do you have extra ammo or Cash to share with a squadmate? Press this to open the Drop menu and share those supplies.

View – Tac Map: Tap this to see the entire in-game map. Along with a coordinates chart and a topographical version of Verdansk, you can also see where your squadmates are, where the collapse is closing in on, and icons that represent Contracts, Vehicles, and more. These icons can be toggled on or off with a simple on-screen button prompt.

Menu – Pause/Dismiss Pause Menu: This brings up or dismisses your Pause menu. In the Warzone menu, you can see your squad’s score, including damage dealt, revives, kills, and Cash. In addition, you can access social options and enter the robust Options menu to change every aspect of control scheme.

Speaking of Options…

An Overview of Options

A whole slew of sliders and settings awaits in the Options menu, with most, but not all, available to you in the middle of the game. Here’s a brief look at what you can expect here:

Controller Settings


Warzone comes with over a dozen presets for buttons and stick controls that you can toggle through to find something that fits your playstyle, with each option changing the preset controller layout functionality from the Default setting.

Among the various settings here is the ability to adjust horizontal and vertical look sensitivity on a 20-point scale. These options impact how fast or slow your operator is looking along the X and Y axis, respectively. A high sensitivity allows for quicker turns and may be ideal for those who can manage precision through micro-adjustments. A low sensitivity could be great for those who find making precise shots easier at slower speeds. There are also two more sliders that adjust look speed while aiming down sights with scopes that zoom with high magnification (marksman scopes) and low magnification (rifleman scopes).


Want to automatically switch weapons when the one you’re firing runs out of ammo? It can be done. Care to change the button combination necessary to mount a weapon on specific environmental structures, or disable mounting completely? Be our guest. Would you like to disengage weapon mounting via movement? It’s possible. Want to choose between holding or toggling your aim button while in ADS, or how the use/reload button behaves? It’s your decision.

While there are many options, there are two we want to call out: Aim Assist and Aim Response Curve Type.

Aim Assist: By default (Standard), your look and aiming speed will slow down when the on-screen crosshair is placed near an enemy target. There are also two more options for Aim Assist: Precision tightens the area for aiming slowdown, but makes that slowdown more powerful, while Focusing gives a stronger aim slowdown when your aim would normally miss the target by a narrow margin. Precision could be ideal for those confident with aiming, while the latter might be better for those newer to playing games with analog aiming controls. You also have the option of disabling Aim Assist all together.

Aim Response Curve Type: There are three variants: Standard, Linear, and Dynamic. Standard employs a curve from your aim stick to aim rate, while linear is a direct path from aim stick to aim rate. For those who want to switch it up try Dynamic which reverses S-curve mapping for fine aim rate control. The changes in curve type directly impact the feel of gunplay, so it’s worth fiddling with.


This smaller menu has several important options, the first of which is Slide Behavior, where you can change the command for sliding from a tap and hold to a simple tap. In addition to Auto Move Forward, which allows players to continuously move forward by pushing the movement stick twice in quick succession, and a Vehicle Camera Recenter toggle, there are two others that need to be called out:

Automatic Sprint: When enabled, moving forward while standing makes your Operator automatically sprint, while double pressing the Sprint command activated Tactical Sprint. There is also Automatic Tactical Sprint within this setting; when enabled, moving forward while standing will make your character automatically activate Tactical Sprint. Note that Automatic Sprint will not change your current stance (e.g.: crouched, prone) and will not cancel other options in progress (e.g.: reloading, aiming down sights). For more information on Automatic Tactical Sprint

Parachute Auto-Deploy: Operators who want to live on the edge can choose to disable the auto-deployment of the parachute, allowing them to reach the ground faster by deploying their parachute later than someone with Auto-Deploy turned on. However, turning this off means that it is ultimately up to the Operator to pull their chute, which means those who don’t will meet an untimely death.

General Settings

In-Game Controller: This section contains one lone option: the ability to choose between playing with a keyboard & mouse (yes, even on console) or controller if both are plugged in at the same time. By default, the game will recognize what input device you have if only one is connected for one user. You also can check your screen’s safe area and adjust it so none of the action at the edge of your screen isn’t visible. There are brightness adjustments you can make too, as well as film grain: This adjusts the strength of the visual noise applied in-game, which makes the game look more like a movie for those who want a more cinematic experience. The default setting is 25.00/100.00, and the more noise you add, the grainer the game looks.

Accessibility: Aside from subtitles and language selections, we have two separate adjustments for colorblind gamers: You can choose the colorblind type (none, protanopia, deuteranopia, or tritanopia), which changes the color of various interface elements to match your type. You can also apply a colorblind target filter over the entire game world, the HUD interface, or everything on the screen. Below this, there is the ability to disable or enable world motion blur (the simulated blurring of moving objects), and weapon motion blur (the blur effect when the camera or objects are moving rapidly).

HUD: Three options exist in this section, starting with the option to change the Mini Map Shape between Round and Square. Next is Mini Map Rotation; by default, the mini map will always be oriented in the direction the player is facing, but it can be disabled in order to make the mini map static, with only the player icon rotating within the mini map. Last, the Compass Cardinal Direction Text can be changed to show letters at certain degrees (e.g. W at 270 for “West), or just numbers.

Content Filters: Here, you can enable or disable text chat, the profanity filter within text chat, and dismemberment and gore effects on character models.

Game Installs: This is where you manage your DLC pack installs to save hard disk drive space.

Credits: View this to see everyone who made Warzone possible!

Audio Options

Volumes: Just like the customizations for graphics and controls, Warzone allows you to adjust the audio mix to best suit your gaming preferences.

Voice Chat: Separate to all the other Volume options, this is where you can adjust voice chat volume, microphone volume, open mic recording threshold, and voice chat effects.

Account Options

Online: This is where you can turn crossplay and crossplay communication on and off, display unique ID numbers on player names, view your COD/Activision, account, and enable Streamer Mode, which replaces other players’ names with random names.

Network: This section has four options for advanced users: the connection meter (a near real-time measurement of ping and packet loss in-game), geographical region, external IP address, and internal IP address. We highly advise leaving the last three options hidden if you visit this menu while live streaming, taking screenshots, or doing video capture.

That essentially wraps up all the controls and settings within Warzone. While this guide may have helped answer a few questions, it’s best to experience the game for yourself and follow the in-game instructions. 


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