Modern Warfare 2 Hardcore Mode | What Is "Tier 1" & When Will It Be Released?

Hardcore mode is not going to be in Modern Warfare 2, it's been replaced by a mode called "Tier 1". But what is Tier 1? And When will it be available to play?

Hardcore Mode
Where the hell is Hardcore mode in Modern Warfare 2? | © Activision

Modern Warfare 2 Is now live, and the wait is finally over. But when players first log in and try to find some of their favorite modes, they may be in for a little surprise. There is no Hardcore mode, instead it's being replaced with Tier 1. In this article we'll provide you with an overview of what Tier 1 is and when it's being released.

New Hardcore Mode: Tier 1 Explained

Tier 1 is just Hardcore mode renamed; the way the devs describe it, there are no actual rule changes:

Tier 1: A Tier 1 Playlist is designated within a Playlist’s name and offers a more challenging experience compared to traditional Multiplayer. Operators have less health and limited HUD elements, and friendly fire is on. These elements are consistent in all game modes that support the Tier 1 variant.

Why would they describe it as more challenging? Who knows. It's long been understood that this is the easier way to play, thanks to Hardcore/Tier 1's ridiculously low TTK.

Tier 1 Release Date

In a blog post released in late October 2022, Activision heavily implied that Tier 1 would be available to play as soon as Modern Warfare 2 launched. It was supposed to appear between Quickplay and 3rd-Person, but...

So where the hell is it? Well, we don't think this is going to be a featured playlist that only appears every so often, because that's reserved for actual game modes. And Hardcore, or Tier 1, is really a way to play other modes rather than a mode in itself. Also, Hardcore has been popular for over a decade now, so they're probably going to make it a permanent option.

Hardcore mode no more
Where Hardcore? | © Activision

We're quite certain you won't need to wait for Season 1 like you will for Gunfight, Ranked, Warzone 2 or the DMZ, otherwise they would have mentioned that in the blog post. Instead, we think they're slowly introducing all the content piece by piece over launch week. This would also explain why Control is not available right now either, even though we know it will be the third mode in competitive CoD this season. We'll update you as soon as we know more.

Is Hardcore/Tier 1 an essential playlist for you? Or, would you happily play Modern Warfare 2 without it? We were certainly content with just the core modes (and we said as much in our review), so if you are too, here's a link to buy MW2.

Check out what else there is to look forward to in Modern Warfare 2:

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