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Warzone Iron Trials rules - all the changes in the competitive mode

Find out all you need to get the best start in Warzone Iron Trials, the unique, competitive spin on the battle royale.

Two Warzone operators fight as the gas closes in behind them

 This content is not currently available in-game following the discontinuation of support for the Black Ops Cold War version of Warzone. However, Iron Trials could return again in the future, so this guide will be updated and will be useful if so.

With Iron Trials, the limited-time competitive event mode debuted in Black Ops Cold War’s version of Warzone, players finally had a chance to put their skills to the test. However, the Iron Trials rules were vastly different to the standard battle royale.

Iron Trials was designed to be a hardcore battle royale experience with a considerably harder skill ceiling. But what made the mode so different to standard Warzone? Well, for a start, operator stats had been cranked up, the time to kill was increased, and you needed a fat stack of cash to treat yourself to something new at a buy box.

While it’s not currently available in Warzone, it is possible that the Iron Trials will return. Although it debuted in Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War’s version of the battle royale game, it did return in Call of Duty Vanguard. However, it has not been seen since.

Warzone Iron Trials rules

Iron Trials was a hardcore version of Warzone, but it still shared DNA – the last team standing won, the circle shrunk, and those who died early could respawn via the Gulag. However, in Iron Trials, all of these mechanics had been tweaked to provide a more competitive experience for all.

The first major change was that everyone’s health had been increased from 100 to 250 and health regeneration was much slower than in standard Warzone. This meant the average time to kill was a lot higher and you had to consider what perks and equipment you took into battle with you.

Matches were shorter by about two minutes in Iron Trials because the round timers were decreased by 12% and the speed of the circle was increased by 12%. This meant you needed to be on your toes and think more frequently about your next rotation.

Free loadouts – you know, the ones that fall from the sky in standard matches – were binned in Iron Trials. This was to force players to actively save their cash for meaningful purchases, rather than spaffing it on three UAVs in the second circle. It also meant you needed to buy a loadout if you wanted to use your own guns – but this would set you back $15,000.

Sniper Rifles were also nerfed in Iron Trials. A single headshot within 30 metres would still down an enemy, but it didn’t down them at ranges longer than this. This allowed players on the receiving end of a long shot to react. Likewise, the stun from stun grenades lasted 50% less and the medical syringes regeneration rate was halved.

ATVs and bikes were the only vehicles in Iron Trials too – so no more driving around in Big Bertha trucks to save you.

Warzone Iron Trials: An operator sneaks up behind another player who is fighting.

Warzone Iron Trials loot

When you first dropped into a game of Iron Trials, you were given a Magnum and a big old sledgehammer to play with. You could, of course, chop and change your loadout as you progress through the game, but it’s worth noting the floor loot was significantly different from that found in standard Warzone. This was to put an emphasis on map awareness and the contract system in the game.

Common weapons started with an attachment (most have extended mags) and epic and legendary weapons were harder to find. There was, however, a new rarity of Cold War weapons called Classified, which spawned with more than five attachments.

The drop rates of killstreaks were also reduced, as were piles of cash. Dead Silence and Stopping Power rounds were entirely removed to make it an even playing field for all.

Warzone Iron Trials Buy Station prices

The whole point of Iron Trials was to provide seasoned veterans with a bit of a challenge. To get the upper hand in this fight to the death, you wanted a helping hand from the goodies you could pick up at the Buy Station. However, prices were much higher than those found in the standard mode.

These were the Iron Trials Buy Station prices:

  • Armor Bundle: $2,000
  • Gas Mask: $4,000
  • Cluster Strike: $4,000
  • Precision Strike: $4,500
  • Self-Revive: $5,000
  • UAV: $6,000
  • Loadout: $15,000

The biggest price hike was to the loadout markers, which were $5,000 dearer in Iron Trials. UAVs were also $2,000 more expensive in this mode, so if you wanted an Advanced UAV, you had to get grinding.

Warzone Iron Trials: A player on the back of a quad bike aims a rocket launcher at another player riding a bike.

Warzone Iron Trials Gulag

Iron Trials still had a Gulag system, but it was stripped back in comparison to the standard mode. You wouldn’t see any akimbo weapons or full and semi-automatic shotguns here – just pure gunfights that let the better player earn their redeployment.

If you won, you were dropped back into Verdansk with the weapons you won in the Gulag.

Iron Trials calling card

As a reward for conquering an Iron Trials lobby, winners could nab themselves a sweet-looking Iron Trials Calling Card to use in Warzone and Black Ops Cold War. There was no real benefit to this card, but it did allow you to brag about your skills when you returned to Verdansk and Rebirth Island.

So there you have it, everything there is to know about the unique Warzone Iron Trials mode in case it ever returns to one of the best FPS games series.