‘Modern Warfare 2’ multiplayer game modes list

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Credit: Infinity Ward.

Modern Warfare 2 builds upon the last game in the series, adding in new weapons, maps and modes. The modes are particularly interesting this time around, with a new third-person view available in some of them. Each mode has a different set of objectives, player count and maps, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into before loading in.

From large-scale battles across huge maps, to tight each and destroy-style affairs, there are plenty of different modes to enjoy in Modern Warfare 2. Now that the game has launched, we can see what the full suite of modes is at release.

To help get you battle ready, this guide will lead you through every Modern Warfare 2 mode we know about so far. We’ll give some info on each, including objectives and how many players can be on each team. Let’s get started.

Modern Warfare 2 game modes list

close up of assault rifle with red decal highlights
Credit: Activision

Here are the Modern Warfare 2 game modes available at launch. We’ve listed them below, and then we’ll be going into a bit more detail on each.

  • Team Deathmatch
  • Domination
  • Invasion
  • Ground War
  • Prisoner Rescue
  • Knock Out
  • Hardpoint
  • Search and Destroy
  • Free-for-All
  • Headquarters
  • Control

It’s likely that there will be additional modes announced in the near future. When this happens, we’ll be sure to update this page.

Team Deathmatch

Team Deathmatch is your classic team mode. 6v6 players face off to get kills and reach a score of 75. There’s also a time limit that will end games if the score limit is not reached. This mode generally takes place on small to mid sized maps like Farm 18 and Breenbergh Hotel.


Domination tasks players with capturing and holding three objectives to earn points. There’s no time limit here, and matches will only end once either team reaches 200 points.

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Credit: Infinity Ward.
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Credit: Infinity Ward.



Invasion is the first of the modes to take place on large-scale maps like Sariff Bay and Sa’id. This is an all-out war mode, with 40 players battling it out alongside AI enemies. You’ll be placed into a 4-player squad and sent out to take down the opposing team. 20v20 elimination.

Ground War

Now onto Ground War. If Invasion is a large-scale Team Deathmatch, Ground War is kind of like a massive Domination match. Objectives will need to be captured and held, with huge teams of 32 battling it out for supremacy.

Prisoner Rescue

Teams of 6 battle it out. One team must locate hostages and extract them. There are no respawns here, and if the attacking team are eliminated then they lose. Defending team is there to eliminate their opponents, all the while stopping hostage extraction. Team revives are enabled.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Credit: Infinity Ward.

Knock Out

A 6v6 with no respawns. There is a package that can be held to earn points and win, but generally this is an elimination mode. Multiple rounds to play through.


A moving objective called a Hardpoint must be captured and defended to earn points. 6v6 round-based matches where the winner must reach a score limit. Generally takes place on smaller maps.

Search and Destroy

One team plants a bomb while the other defends an objective. No respawns, and once a bomb is planted it must be defused before impact for the defending team to win. Attacking team just needs the bomb to detonate. Smaller maps and short, quick rounds.


Eliminate everyone in sight. The first player to reach 30 kills ends the match.


Work to capture the Headquarters, then defend it. Respawns are disabled for the team that holds the objective. New zones are then released upon completion. First team to 200 points wins!


Take turns attacking and defending two objectives. Each team has 30 lives, and if the attacking team takes one objective they gain more time to grab the second. The defending team wins by letting the time run out before both objectives are taken. In addition, either team can win by clearing the other’s pool of 30 lives. The first team to win three rounds wins.

That’s every game mode we know about in Modern Warfare 2. For more on the game be sure to check out our guide on the best weapons in Modern Warfare 2. Once you’re done there, head over to our FSS Hurricane loadout guide for the top way to set up the best SMG in the game.

Elsewhere in gaming, Mark Rubin, who was an executive producer at Infinity Ward until 2015, has shared that he’s “not a fan” of the skill-based matchmaking system that’s present in Call of Duty and other multiplayer games.

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