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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Special Ops guide

The new Spec Ops in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II provides a challenging and gruesome co-op experience. This guide will help you understand everything you need to know.

Special Ops Guide Featured

The four-player Special Ops cooperative missions introduced in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2019 were not received well. However, Infinity Ward seems to have completely transformed the co-op experience in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 for 2022.

The new two-player Special Ops cooperative experience features three missions that can be completed with friends or random players online through matchmaking. The semi-open world experience offers various methods through which you can complete the missions. You can either go guns blazing or take a more stealthy approach.

In this guide, you will learn everything there is to learn about the new cooperative mode experience in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

The Stars System

One of the new co-op features is the new stars. The stars act as a progression currency for your co-op mode. Stars can be earned by either completing the three launch missions or challenge-related missions.

The challenges reset daily, which is different from the Multiplayer daily challenges. You can earn up to nine stars through the three launch missions, and the stars earned through the missions reset every week. The stars play a role in upgrading your kit tiers—more on the kits below.

You can only earn up to nine stars per week, as far as the kit tier unlocks are concerned.


There are three main kits, each with up to 10 tiers. As you earn more stars, you unlock more tiers until you reach tier 10. Each tier makes the kit much better than the previous tier as it adds more attributes and benefits to the kit.

The co-op has three main kits: Assault, Medic, and Recon. Each of these kits has a set of equipment, weapons, perks, killstreaks, and field upgrades resembling that of a Multiplayer.

You must earn the weekly stars playing with the kit you want to level up. If you want to earn stars for the Recon kit, you must complete the mission and earn stars by selecting the Recon kit.


The Assault kit focuses on better protection and includes an Armor Box Field Upgrade. As you go up a tier by earning stars, you get better equipment, such as an Assault Suit, increased armor capacity, and free Stims to start the mission.

Assault Kit

  • Tier 1 - You can use 3 plates in your Plate Carrier instead of 2. Armor Box Field Upgrade: provide armor plates to your team every 2 minutes.
  • Tier 3 - Assault Suit: Once per mission, get full armor plates plus 60% extra health.
  • Tier 5 - Use grenades and equipment faster. Reload and switch weapons faster.
  • Tier 7 - Max armor inventory increased from 3 extra plates to 5.
  • Tier 10 - Begin missions with 2 Stims in your backpack.


The Medic kit, as the name suggests, provides healing support to the teammate. The kit focuses on quicker revives with a Revive Pistol Field Upgrade. Even if the downed player is far away, the pistol can be used to revive them by shooting at them. Upgraded tier levels feature a Double Time perk, anti-tank mines, and a free Bomb Drone.

Medic Kit

  • Tier 1 - Revive teammates twice as fast. Revive Pistol Field Upgrade: instant revive every 60 seconds.
  • Tier 3 - Begin missions with a Self-Revive.
  • Tier 5 - Bomb Drone: Once per mission, seek out and kill enemies with a deadly explosive.
  • Tier 7 - Tactical Sprint for twice as long. Move 30% faster while crouched.
  • Tier 10 - Begin missions with Claymores in your backpack. Begin missions with AT mines in your backpack.


The Recon kit focuses on gathering Intel and better equipment usage with a Snapshot Pule Field Upgrade to see nearby enemies. The upgraded tier levels add the ability to restock the lethal and tactical equipment automatically over time. You can also carry extra equipment and get a free Heartbeat Sensor and a Spotter scope in the backpack.

Recon Kit

  • Tier 1 - Snapshot Pulse Field Upgrade: throw to highlight nearby enemies every 60 seconds.
  • Tier 3 - Begin missions with a Sentry Gun Killstreak. Begin missions with a Cluster Mine Killstreak.
  • Tier 5 - Recharge lethal and tactical equipment every 60 seconds.
  • Tier 7 - Carry 1 extra lethal and one extra tactical grenades.
  • Tier 10 - Begin missions with a Heartbeat Sensor in your backpack. Begin missions with a Spotter Scope in your backpack.

The Missions

Three launch missions are introduced in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II. Feel free to follow along with our video guides showing the complete walkthroughs of each mission.

The missions are as follows:

Low Profile

This is more of a stealth-based mission where you're required to infiltrate three different enemy sites and obtain radioactive objects from each location. You don't necessarily have to do it while sneaking, as you can do it much faster by just eliminating the enemies head-on.

Radioactive Object Low Profile

You can go with whatever kit you want for this mission. Our recommended kit would be the Assault kit.

Just be careful of the juggernaut at site C. He can instantly take you out. He is patrolling just outside the building. The best way to approach this mission is to land on site C, go to B, and then to A. We go to A last since the Exfil site is closer to A.

You get a Geiger counter device which helps you find the radioactive object in the buildings. The buildings are always the same but with slightly different object locations. The locations are not that far apart, maybe a room might be different, or a wooden cache in the same room might be different.

Low Profile Stars

Star Requirements

  • 1 Star: Complete Low Profile.
  • 2 Stars: Complete Low Profile in under 25:00 minutes.
  • 3 Stars: Complete Low Profile in under 15:00 minutes.

Denied Area

Denied Area is probably the hardest of all three as it is quite long and requires good teamwork to earn 3 stars. In this mission, you and your teammate need to go to different enemy camps and destroy their S.A.M turrets. However, getting to these locations is time-consuming, and each location is heavily guarded by soldiers.

The kit we recommend for this mission is the Assault kit.

Each location has one or multiple RPG users who will continuously fire rockets at you, dealing a lot of damage. Whenever you get to these locations, your priority should be to take out the soldiers wielding the RPG. They are usually on rooftops and watchtowers.

Rooftop Machine Gunner

You always need to keep a lookout for a vehicle as well. Without a vehicle, you cannot complete this mission in time for 3 stars. It is impossible. Luckily, each site has at least one vehicle for you to take to reach the next site. You will need to complete the mission a couple of times to know where they are parked exactly. But, generally, they are in obvious spots and easily identified.

Vehicle Denied Area

Another critical aspect of this mission is to always have the PILA rocket launcher on hand. When you drive from one S.A.M site to another, you will get a lot of resistance, including enemy helos. You must use the PILA rocket launchers to take them out. The best way to do this is always to have one teammate drive while the other climbs on top of the roof, defending the vehicle.

Enemy Helo Denied Area

In addition to the enemy helicoptors, you will also find enemy soldiers with RPGs on rooftops and watchtowers on the side of the road. The player on top of the car must use their AR or Sniper Rifle to take them out. The Sniper Rifle can get a bit hectic. We recommend swapping your pistol with one of the enemy dropped ARs and your Sniper Rifle with the PILA rocket launcher.

Rpg Solider Roof Denied Area

You can find the PILA rocket launcher at one of the Ammo refill stations or the back of the enemy cargo trucks.

Pila Launcher Ammo Station Denied Area

The first site is directly ahead of you when you start the mission. You can quickly go in there and plant the explosives to destroy the site.

Sam Site A

It is wise just to ignore the enemies and quickly rush into the building (highlighted in yellow) ahead of you. Go up to the roof and take out the enemy soldier controlling the rocket machine gun. This deals a ton of damage and will kill you easily. If you think you can dodge the shots by running in either direction, it won't work, as the AI in this game is intelligent. The soldier on the roof leads his shot so that you will run into the rockets.

While one teammate goes to take him out, the other can clear some enemies around the S.A.M (highlighted in purple) and plant the explosives. As soon as you plant, quickly grab the PILA rocket launcher from the weapons station (highlighted in red) on the right side of the building, hop into the car (highlighted in green), and go to the next marker. Remember, you also have flash grenades that you can use to immobilize enemy soldiers briefly.

This is when you will come across your first enemy helo. The chopper will always counter the first shot, thanks to their flares. However, a quick follow-up shot should easily take it down.

Enemy Helo Destroyed Denied Area

Now, you will get three more S.A.M sites spread across the map. You will get sites B, C, and D. According to our playthrough, the best order is to go to site B, then D, and then lastly, site C.

All Three Sam Sites Denied Area

Sites B and D will have the same enemies along with RPG and artillery users on top of the roof. Adopt the same strategy of rushing into the building, taking out the artillery soldier, and then focusing on planting the bomb.

When you get to site C, you must be extra careful as it has a juggernaut. These juggernauts are no joke and instantly take you out. The best way to infiltrate site C is to climb up to the site and go to the left-most entrance (highlighted in blue). It will also have a vehicle (highlighted in green) parked outside, which we will use to escape. You will also find a weapon's station (highlighted in red) by the vehicle in case you want to refill your armor and ammo.

Sam Site C Entrance

Take out some enemies, and enter the site. Keep hugging the left wall of the site, and carefully make your way to the S.A.M. Remember, the juggernaut is also here. Ask your teammate to shoot at him and distract him.

Juggernaut Sam Site C Denied Area

Since you have the Assault kit, put on your Assault Suit, which is essentially a "mini-juggernaut." You unlock it at tier 3. It is okay if you don't have it, but you must be fully armored up before entering site C. The Assault Suit gives you extra protection along with 60% extra health.

Plant the bomb, and communicate with your teammate to run to the vehicle parked outside the left-most entrance.

Planting Sam Site C Denied Area

Get into the vehicle and start driving toward the Exfil point. Once again, you will face a lot of resistance, including enemy helos and enemy vehicles filled with soldiers shooting at you.

Enemy Helo Sam Site C Denied Area

Enemy Vehicles And Soldiers Denied Area

Keep driving until you reach the Exfil site with a plane. Enter the back side of the plane to complete the mission successfully.

Plane Exfil Denied Area

This mission will certainly take quite a few tries, so don't be discouraged if you cannot complete it on your first, second, or even third try. The most important thing in this mission is communication with your teammate and doing individual roles effectively.

Denied Area Stars

Star Requirements

  • 1 Star: Complete Denied Area.
  • 2 Stars: Complete Denied Area in under 25:00 minutes.
  • 3 Stars: Complete Denied Area in under 16:00 minutes.

High Ground

High Ground is the first mission where both players are given two roles. Each player can either be a ground unit or pilot the chopper to assist their teammate on the ground. Whatever role you choose, both must work together as they both play a critical role in completing the mission under the given time requirement for three stars.

You will be on the ground team if you choose the chopper on the right.

Assault Ground Team Chopper

If you go for the one on the left, you will pilot the assisting chopper.

Attack Helicopter Chopper

The basic idea of this mission is to go to three different buildings and destroy the server equipment inside. Each building will have three pieces of server equipment you must destroy, and each is randomly generated anywhere inside the building.

Equipment In Office High Ground

There are two ways you can locate them. The player on the ground can stumble upon the equipment themselves as they explore the building, or the player in the chopper can mark it for them. They will appear as small boxes (similar to hitboxes in square shape) from the sky.

There are three main buildings that the ground player must go through and clear: Office, Market, and Compound. Each building gets progressively difficult to clear as more enemies try to stop you. Market and Compound also house the heavily-armored Juggernaut.

Let's discuss each role individually with some tips that may help you finish this mission in under 15 minutes, a three-star requirement.

When you're the pilot, you must ensure that you take out any incoming enemies. You must lead your shots to hit them accurately. The best way to do this is to switch to thermal vision when you start the mission. This will help you see enemies better.

Thermal Vision High Ground

Whenever you find enemies with an RPG, prioritize taking them out first, as they equally damage your chopper and player on the ground.

Rpg Enemy High Ground

If you find any vehicles coming your way, use your hydra rockets to take them out along with the enemies inside.

Vehicle Hydra Rocket High Ground

When the ground player reaches the building, the player in the chopper will find three boxes on the building. These boxes represent the locations of the server equipment inside the building. The player on the ground cannot see these boxes and instead must actually come across the equipment inside the building.

Box Equipment Chopper High Ground

Use the ping feature by aiming in the middle of the box, and the equipment will be marked on the screen for the ground player. This will make it easier for them to get to the equipment and destroy it.

Marked Equipment Ground High Ground

When the ground player gets to the equipment, they must shoot all over it. Make sure not to miss even a single piece of equipment, or it might not count. Try shooting up, down, left, and right. Ensure you cover everything in that general vicinity. Aim for all the screens, the server racks, and other equipment to make it easier.

Server Destroyed High Ground

When the ground player destroys the third piece of equipment, it will drop a hard drive. Be sure to grab it before moving to the next location.

Grab Hard Drive High Ground

The pilot can continue to follow the ground player while in the air and clear the incoming enemies using the chopper machine gun and hydra rockets.

Once the ground player has destroyed all three pieces of equipment in the first building, they can start making their way to the next one. In this case, it is the Market. The Market will also have a Juggernaut on the second floor.

Juggernaut Market Floor High Ground

Repeat the same with the next two buildings and clear. It is best to avoid the Juggernaut in both buildings. It takes a lot of rounds to take it down, whether the player on the ground shoots at it or the player in the chopper takes responsibility. It is faster to just avoid it. You can juke the Juggernaut and run past it, as they take a while to start shooting or make a turn.

But be very careful to be out of their line of sight as they will instantly take you out if you're not fast enough.

If several enemy soldiers are in a single place, like you might encounter at the Compound, use your flash or stun grenades to disorient them first and then shoot them.

Group Of Enemies Stunned High Ground

This gives you a window of opportunity to eliminate them. If you go in with all of them attentive toward you, you might get downed with shots from three or four enemies all at once.

Group Of Enemies Stunned High Ground

It is also worth noting that if one of the pieces of equipment is by the window, the chopper can use its hydra rockets to destroy it.

Equipment Destroyed Hydra High Ground

Equipment Destroyed Hydra High Ground

Once all buildings are clear, the ground player needs to make their way back where they started from. Now it's time for exfil, and you will face a lot of RPG enemy soldiers. The pilot must be quick and wary of these soldiers on the ground and take them out accordingly.

It is recommended that the ground player stick to the far-right side of the map and avoid the main road. Most of the enemies will come from the main road and beyond. If you stick to the right, you might hardly encounter any enemies.

Exfil Route High Ground

Get to the exfil point while the pilot player covers you and themselves. Then get into the exfil chopper to complete the mission.

Exfil Chopper Ground High Ground

Star Requirements

  • 1 Star: Complete High Ground.
  • 2 Stars: Complete High Ground in under 20:00 minutes.
  • 3 Stars: Complete High Ground in under 15:00 minutes.

Defender: Mt. Zaya

The final mission is a six-wave survival mission where you must protect three sites from enemy soldiers. The soldiers will try to infiltrate the site and plant bombs. The mission starts with you first clearing bunker A and defusing the bomb.

Bunker Area A Mt Zaya

Defusing A Mt Zaya

We recommend using the Assault kit for this mission.

After that, the first of the six waves will begin. The first three waves are quite easy, as the enemies will only attack at one site (A, B, or C). And you must stay on that site, protecting it. The sites that will be attacked are always marked with a blue circle on your mini-map. While the first three waves are easy, be wary of the enemies with bomb vests on wave 3. They get close to you and explode, dealing massive damage. Shoot them as they're running toward you to ensure they explode at a fair distance.

Blue Circle Mini Map Mt Zaya

You must not let enemies inside the area, or else they will plant the bomb. Your mini-map is just as crucial as anything else in this mission. You must keep track of how far the red dots are. The UAV is active throughout the mission.

The criteria for getting 3 stars on this mission is having three or fewer planted bombs. If enemies manage to plant more than three, you won't get 3 stars. It doesn't matter, even if you defuse the bomb. It's the planting that counts.

Between each wave, you get some time to return to the HQ to stock up on ammo and buy whatever killstreaks you want.

Weapons Station Mt Zaya

We don't recommend buying anything for the first three waves as they are relatively easy to manage. Both teammates can stay on one site and defend it. However, the trouble starts when you reach wave 4.

On wave 4, you must defend two sites. Once again, this is slightly more challenging than waves 1 to 3, but not so much that you may be unable to prevent a plant.

Also, remember to keep buying reinforcements from the buy station between each round. These soldiers will keep multiplying the more you buy. These soldiers are useful because they can delay the planting of bombs by defending the sites until you get there. Don't forget to buy the Self-Revive kit as well.

Buy Station Mt Zaya

Ai Reinforcements Mt Zaya

You will get mortar teams on wave 4. These mortar teams will be slightly far off in the distance, firing on the marked sites. You can either stay at the site and defend until all enemies are defeated. Or go and defeat the mortar teams. You will always get two mortar teams, one for each site that needs defending.

Mortar Team Mt Zaya

When defending two sites, the marked sites are always random. So, you must improvise with your teammate. The main objective here is to prevent bomb planting. If you go out of your way to defeat the mortar teams, there is a high possibility that the incoming soldiers will reach the site and plant a bomb. This happened multiple times during our run.

It is best to stay at the site until all enemies are defeated. Both players must take positions at each site and defend it. Try to stay under a roof to avoid getting hit by the incoming mortar.

It is also worth noting that once you've defeated all enemies, the mortar teams will approach the sites and try to plant the bomb themselves. This is why it makes more sense to stay at the site and defend it from incoming enemy soldiers until none remain. Then you can take care of the mortar teams. The mortar team soldiers are armored.

Mortar Team Mt Zaya

Wave 5 also tasks players with defending two sites. This time, you will get enemies with riot shields. These riot shield soldiers are extremely dangerous. They block all shots and simultaneously shoot at you. The best way to deal with them is first to flash/stun them and quickly rush behind them to shoot their backs.

Riot Shield Soldier Mt Zaya

If you've taken high ground at a distance, there is a possibility that the riot shield soldiers might not come toward you and simply go to the site. This also allows you to shoot them in the back, killing them.

Finally, you reach wave 6, where you must protect all three sites. This is where the challenge goes up a notch. This wave also spawns in a juggernaut which is another issue. The best way to do this round is to first buy a drone missile killstreak and a sentry gun killstreak from the buy station.

Killstreaks Wave Mt Zaya

Go to B and place the sentry gun somewhere on a high ground that overlooks the whole site. The containers are a good spot. The sentry gun is put on site B because the area is out in the open, making it easier for the sentry gun to target the enemy soldiers, hence delaying the plant.

Sentry Gun Placement Site B Mt Zaya

If you deploy the sentry gun at either C or A, it won't be as effective inside the buildings (or bunker), and the confined space gives plenty of opportunities for the soldiers to plant.

After setting up the sentry gun, one player should defend C, while the other must overlook A. Keep defending the other sites until one of the sites have no enemies left, and then quickly rush back to B and defend it. The sentry will have enough ammo until you return to B to keep the enemies from planting the bomb.

The other player can also return to B once they've cleared the enemies at their site. However, one thing to look out for is the juggernaut.

Juggernaut Mt Zaya

This is where we will use our drone missile killstreak to take him out. As soon as you see him, take note of his position and take cover somewhere nearby but out of his line of sight.

Juggernaut Drone Missile Mt Zaya

Activate the killstreak, and use your position on the screen as a reference point to locate the juggernaut and guide the missile on him. One direct hit will take him out. That's the hard part done. Now continue eliminating any leftover enemies and you should be done with this mission.

Mt Zaya Stars

Star Requirements

  • 1 Star: Complete Defender: Mt. Zaya.
  • 2 Stars: Complete Defender: Mt. Zaya while allowing 9 or fewer bombs planted.
  • 3 Stars: Complete Defender: Mt. Zaya while allowing 3 or fewer bombs planted.

Gun Game: Mt. Zaya

The objective of the map is exactly the same as Defender: Mt. Zaya. However, the only difference is that you do not get to choose your weapons.

As the name suggests, it is a gun game. You will still have to protect the bomb sites and prevent the AQ soldiers from planting the bombs, but you will get a random weapon every 30 seconds.

You can see the timer on the left side of your screen indicated with a question mark and a timer below it.

Gun Game Mt Zaya Image

The requirements are still the same. You must not have more than 3 bomb plants to earn three stars.

Star Requirements

  • 1 Star: Complete Defender: Mt. Zaya.
  • 2 Stars: Complete Defender: Mt. Zaya while allowing 9 or fewer bombs planted.
  • 3 Stars: Complete Defender: Mt. Zaya while allowing 3 or fewer bombs planted.

Cooperative Career Progression & Rewards

Completing missions and earning stars allows you to unlock new rewards such as weapon charms, calling cards, and a weapon blueprint. These earned stars are called career stars.

Star Rewards

Career stars and weekly stars are two different things. The stars you earn from the missions are called weekly stars, and they reset every week. The weekly stars are used to upgrade your kit tiers.

Career stars are the total stars earned. These stars unlock new rewards, which you can check by going to the career stars menu. You can check the rewards and the required stars to unlock them.


  • Ribbit (Weapon Charm)
    Unlock requirement: 20 Stars
    Ribbit Charm Spec Ops Reward
  • The Button (Calling Card)
    Unlock requirement: 30 Stars
    The Button Calling Card Spec Ops Reward
  • All Mighty (Calling Card)
    Unlock requirement: 50 Stars
    All Mighty Calling Card Spec Ops Reward</a
  • Treasure (Calling Card)
    Unlock requirement: 75 Stars
    Treasure Calling Card Spec Ops Reward
  • The Rebel (Weapon Blueprint)
    Unlock requirement: 100 Stars
    The Rebel Weapon Blueprint Spec Ops Reward

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Hassan Sajid

Hassan Sajid // Articles: 694

Gaming has been a part of Hassan’s life for as long as he can remember, and he has an excellent grasp of all types of games. Hassan is best known for his the in-depth written and video guides that he produces for Xfire. He graduated with a degree in engineering from the National University Science & Technology (formerly known as Caledonian College of Engineering). The research and technical writing skills he earned throughout his time in the university have allowed him to contribute to the gaming community by creating guides.
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