Getting Started in Modern Warfare®: Campaign

The fate of the world is in your hands, soldier. Read on to get the basics in starting the visceral and gripping narrative Campaign of Modern Warfare.

Getting Started in Modern Warfare®: Campaign

The fate of the world is in your hands, soldier. Read on to get the basics in starting the visceral and gripping narrative Campaign of Modern Warfare.

As we mentioned in our first Getting Started guide, Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® comes with three separate experiences within the greater Modern Warfare universe.

In this article, we’ll cover the basics of Campaign, the single-player story mode where you’ll engage in covert operations alongside Captain John Price to protect the world from stolen chemical weapons.

Although all three game modes can be excellent springboards into the greater Modern Warfare universe, the campaign background into the universe’s overall story and an expansive introduction to the game’s mechanics.

With that in mind, here’s how you can get started in Campaign:  

An Intro to the Campaign in Just Two Sentences

After chemical weapons fall into the wrong hands, Captain John Price and the SAS partner alongside the CIA and the Urzikstani Liberation Force to stop a potential global catastrophe. Play as SAS Sgt. Kyle Garrick, CIA Agent Alex, and ULF Leader Farah Karim in locales ranging from London to the Middle East, as this joint task force battles through betrayals, moral dilemmas, and tough situations with global implications.  

Choosing a Difficulty

Before the first mission begins, you’ll be asked to choose a difficulty setting. Here’s what each of these four difficulty settings mean:

Recruit: For players who are new to Call of Duty®. As the description states, Recruit is perfect for those experiencing a Call of Duty game – or even just an FPS game in general – for the first time. It’s also great for those who want to experience the Campaign’s story without facing too many challenges.

Regular: Your abilities in combat will be tested. This is the “normal” difficulty setting for Campaign. Infinity Ward marks this as the baseline difficulty, meaning it should warrant some skill without posing an extreme challenge. Those familiar with previous Call of Duty games may want to start here instead of Recruit.

Hardened: Your skills will be strained. Consider this a direct step up from Regular. Hardened may be great for a player who has played multiple Call of Duty Campaigns. Expect a bit more of a struggle against enemy forces.

Veteran: You will not survive. No, Infinity Ward isn’t kidding; there is little room for error when playing Campaign on Veteran. Given how difficult this setting is, it may not be the best setting for a first-time playthrough. Instead, Veteran is perfect for those who are dead set on being challenged or looking to earn some serious cred… Just be careful about what you wished for.

Realism: Veteran with limited HUD.

Basic Tips for Campaign

No matter what difficulty setting you choose, the basic controls and game mechanics within Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s Campaign are all the same.

You will be put in the boots of your playable character in a first-person perspective. Follow on-screen instructions to advance in the Campaign and eliminate those who intend to impede your progress.

During normal gameplay, your character may take damage and lose health. While there is no health bar nor hit points visible, relative health can be gauged by how your screen looks. Does the screen look clear? Then you’re healthy. Is everything starting to go black and white? Well… Get to cover, or else it’s good night.

In every difficulty setting, health regenerates over time. After taking damage, it may be wise to hide behind cover or disengage from combat temporarily in order to get back to full health.

While playing Campaign, your game will automatically save at certain points so that, should you need to exit the game for whatever reason, you’ll pick up right where you left off. When the “Checkpoint reached” messages appears, do not turn off the power or close the game, as this may corrupt your progress.

Veteran Status: Mastering the Campaign

If you’re looking to play the Campaign at higher difficulty settings, you might need to know more than just the basics.

Infinity Ward went the extra mile to make this Campaign a tactical experience, using the help of retired military consultants to add to its authenticity. With that in mind, succeeding at high difficulty settings may involve a bit of thinking like a Tier One Operator would.

A major component of that is exercising caution while in combat. In most scenarios, you will be outnumbered, so using cover to shield against oncoming fire, moving tactically throughout the play area, and paying close attention to surroundings for potential enemy locations are all some good tactics to consider.

Practice also makes perfect; don’t be discouraged if you make a mistake or take a while to figure out how to complete a mission effectively. Just dust off your boots, take a breath, and try again. It may also be best to complete the Campaign on an easier difficulty setting before tackling a Veteran playthrough. This way you will have an understanding of each mission, which should help against tougher enemy forces.

And, should you complete the Campaign on Veteran and are still craving a challenge within this experience, fear not: Infinity Ward knows how to get real when it comes to testing the most hardcore Campaign experts.

The narrative of Campaign is one that should not be spoiled, so this will be our lone guide in explaining what to expect within this game mode.

Needless to say, we wish you the best of luck in saving the world, soldier. And after you do, the story continues in Special Ops… Or you can continue your Tier One Operator career through Multiplayer.

Good luck and have fun! 


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