Everything you need to know about DMZ (Faction Missions, Contrabands, Strongholds, Keys)

DMZ is the next best mode for Modern Warfare II, and here's everything you need to know about it.

DMZ is a new open-world free-to-play mode added alongside Call of Duty Warzone 2.0. DMZ is a narrative-focused extraction-based survival mode where you drop into the new Al Mazrah map in a squad of three to loot, gather resources, and exfil for unique rewards such as calling cards and emblems. Yes, DMZ shares the same map as Warzone 2.0.

Dmz Guide Featured

The primary objective of the mode is to exfil with as many resources and as much cash as possible. This is done by completing different faction missions and contracts, and looting supply caches. You also get to do other activities that involve fighting the AI bots guarding different enemy outposts.

The majority of the enemies that you will face in DMZ will be bots. You rarely encounter other players, as the player count is around 60. All the players are usually busy completing their own faction missions.

Each deployment lasts 25 minutes before radiation starts to engulf the circle. A singular radiation zone will expand after the 25 minutes timer ends. DMZ offers a range of new rewards, including weapon blueprints, cosmetic items such as Operator skins, and other items that facilitates your bragging rights.

In this article, we've covered everything you need to know about the new mode and how you can survive the deadly AI combatants of Al Mazrah.

The Loadout

Before we get into exploring Al Mazrah, let's talk about the loadout system in DMZ mode. You have very limited options, and much of it is directly connected to each DMZ deployment you go through.

Loadout Screen Dmz

You can set your loadout and choose the weapons before you drop into the map. However, you are limited to only the equipment you have on hand. You can go in with either insured or contraband weapons - more on them below.

At this point just note that, in DMZ, if you take something with you in the game that is not: (1) an insured weapon; (2) tactical/lethal equipment; or (3) a field upgrade and die with it, you will lose those items until you can find them again, in-game.

This includes contraband weapons, keys, killstreaks, gas masks, armor carriers, and even the self-revive kit. Anything you have in your On-Soldier inventory and backpack will be lost if you've died in the game.

As noted, you can re-equip your tactical and lethal equipment and the field upgrade without limitation. These items are not lost upon your death. The only way to ensure you have the contraband, keys and other items such as the killstreaks and gas masks for your next match is to exfil with them.

It is also important to know that only the player with the weapon equipped will be able to keep that weapon in their contraband stash upon exfil. The other players will not unlock the same weapon if they do not have it equipped or in their inventory.

DMZ has two types of mode-specific inventories: On-Soldier inventory and your backpack.

On-Soldier Inventory

The On-Soldier inventory is your main storage that carries all your important equipment, such as the armor carrier, the gas mask, the killstreaks, and the self-revive kit. You can only carry four items at a time, and they are always available as long as you exfil with the items on you. If you die with them in DMZ, they will be lost forever until you find them again on your next run.

On Soldier Inventory Dmz


The backpack carries all your keys that you find on your DMZ runs. It also shows you the size of your backpack (small or large). The larger the backpack is, the more keys you can carry. We will talk more about the keys below. These keys are critical to you getting valuable loot.

Backpack Image Dmz

Items other than the weapons are automatically converted into XP when you exfil. The looted items include the items that are worth the cash and can be sold at the Buy Station.

Insured & Contraband Weapons

You can equip two types of weapons in DMZ: Insured and Contraband. Both weapon types have different mechanics.

Contraband Weapons

Contraband weapons are the staple weapons found in DMZ. You can take these weapons into DMZ, but the Contraband weapon is lost forever if you die. You cannot modify Contraband weapons through Gunsmith.

Contraband Weapons Stash Dmz

You get six Contraband weapons by default to start your DMZ journey. But be careful of what weapons you equip, as they will be lost forever if you do not exfil with them during your run.

The Contraband weapons are easily recognized thanks to a red band with a label that reads 'Contraband.'

Insured Weapons

The Insured weapons are the regular weapons that you can modify via Gunsmith. You can modify them with your desired attachments and equip them for your DMZ run. You won't lose the weapon when you die. However, you will get a 2-hour long cooldown timer before you can take the insured weapon into the game again.

Insured Weapon M Dmz

You have three insured weapon slots. The first slot is open by default, while the rest you must unlock by completing the faction missions (see below). You can reduce this cooldown timer by exfiling with cash. The more cash you exfil with, the more the timer will go down.

Insured Slot Timer Dmz

Faction Missions

You're now set up and ready to deploy into your first DMZ game. But what do you do? For starters, you've got several faction missions to complete. Faction missions are narrative-based missions that provide exclusive rewards and a lot of XP.

DMZ has three main factions: Legion, White Lotus, and Black Mous. Each of these factions offers multiple missions that you can complete in Al Mazrah. You can only have up to three active missions during each run. Each faction has tiers attached to them.

Faction Mission Lotus Stronghold Dmz

The three factions have difficulty levels, with Legion being the easiest and Black Mous being the hardest. To begin, you will have four tier 1 faction missions available under the Legion faction. You can select up to three of these four missions and jump into the action.

Each faction has multiple tier levels. The missions get challenging with increasing tiers. The max tier level is 3.

Complete all tier 1 missions to unlock Legion's tier 2 faction missions. Complete all tier 2 to unlock tier 3 missions. The same goes for the White Lotus faction. White Lotus doesn't have any tier 3 missions. To unlock the final faction, complete tier 2 missions for Legion and White Lotus. Black Mous faction only has tier 1 missions.

As you progress through the faction missions, be mindful of your equipment. Try to gather valuable resources and hold onto them. Valuable resources include a 3-plate armor carrier, a self-revive kit, gas masks, and strong contraband.

Key Stash

Earlier, we mentioned that the backpack that can be used to store keys. Keys play an important role in DMZ as they are used to access locked areas with high-value loot. To succeed in DMZ, you must deploy with a mindset geared toward looting high-value items.

Key Stash Image Dmz

What are keys used for?

The keys unlock rooms and buildings with valuable loot. The building a key belongs to is labeled on the key.

Locked Door For Key Dmz

There are mainly two types of keys - POI keys and Regular Keys. The POI keys have an icon beside them that opens up the main POI building for you to loot.

The regular keys do not have any icon, but instead feature a description that you must use to find the hidden area or a building to unlock the loot.

How to get keys?

There are several methods you can use to obtain the keys in DMZ. The most convenient way of getting the key is also one of the most expensive methods. You can always buy one key for $30k from the Buy Station. The key you buy will be random for each run and may unlock the same or a different building.

K Key Dmz

The second and one of the best methods to obtain keys is to visit the Post Office POI. The Post Office always has a bunch of keys that you can scavenge. The Post Office is represented by an envelope icon on your tac map.

Post Office Poi Dmz

Finally, a rare way to obtain keys to getting them off soldiers. Some high-value soldiers, such as Juggernaut or the Chemist, may drop keys. Even regular soldiers can drop the keys, but very rarely. You can also complete HVT contracts to get the keys by defeating the target. Duffle bags and supply caches may also contain random keys.

Loot Key Dmz

Key Durability

The keys in DMZ can have multiple uses. The uses are represented by little bars beside them. Once you've used all the bars, your key will be destroyed, and you must find a new one in DMZ. There are over 100 different keys, and the one you get is always random. It is all luck-based.

Key Uses Dmz

The RNG is frustrating for players looking for a specific key, and the specific key hunt will surely come into play, given there are some easter eggs that may require specific keys to unlock some caches or rooms.


DMZ features a wide range of contracts that players can complete for cash and XP. The contracts are represented with a green phone icon on your tac map. Currently, the game features nine different contract types, and they are as follows:

Eliminate HVT

By accepting this contract, you need to find a high-value target guarded by several armored AQ soldiers. Once you defeat the target, you will get high-value rewards.

Eliminate Hvt Image Dmz

Destroy Supplies

In this contract, you are tasked with planting bombs at two different sites. The sites are heavily guarded by the AQ soldiers. Defeat the soldiers, and plant the explosives.

Destroy Supplies Image Dmz

Secure Intel

In Secure Intel, you need to go to the marked location to find Intel on hard drives. Then you must go to the marked communication tower and upload the given data through it.

Secure Intel Image Dmz

Rescue Hostage

In this contract, you must go to the marked location and rescue a hostage from the AQ soldiers. You must carry the hostage to the nearest exfil point marked on your tac map.

Hostage Rescue Dmz

Secure Nuclear Material

In this contract, you are first tasked to the marked location to pick up a Geiger Counter. Once you get the Geiger Counter, you must go to the marked regions to locate the radioactive cache.

Secure Nuclear Material Image Dmz

Ship Cargo

In this contract, you need to deliver some goods using a boat. You will face some resistance, such as an enemy chopper, as you drive to the marked location.

Ship Cargo Image

Deliver Cargo

Deliver Cargo is similar to Ship Cargo, but in this case, you must deliver the goods by driving an armored truck to the marked location on land.

Deliver Cargo Image

Raid Weapon Stash

In this contract, you are tasked to go to the marked location and loot a protected safely. The safe will be protected by several AQ soldiers. Eliminate the soldiers, and open the safe to get the rewards.

Raid Weapon Stash Dmz

Hunt Squad

Finally, we have the Hunt Squad contract, which is similar to the bounty contracts found in Warzone 1. In this contract, you are tasked with eliminating a real enemy team.

Hunt Squad Zone Dmz

World Activites

Like the Contracts, DMZ offers several world activities for players to keep busy. These world activities are also part of several faction missions and reward players generously.

The world activities are marked with a plain white icon on the map. However, each icon is different from the others and represents different missions. Here is a list of all the world activities found in DMZ.

UAV Towers

You can activate UAV towers in DMZ that activate a UAV within a certain radius of the tower, revealing all AI combatants and real enemy players.

Uav Tower Image Dmz

SAM Sites

These SAM Sites offer anti-air turrets that players can use to knock down cargo planes flying in the sky. Go to these turrets and capture them. They will then destroy any incoming cargo planes. When you destroy these cargo planes, they drop supply boxes carrying high-value loot.

Sam Site Image Dmz


These safes are located throughout Al Mazrah, and players can crack them open to find a ton of cash. However, it takes time to drill open the crack. As the drill eats away the safe, you get a progress bar, but it also alerts the nearby AI combatants and other enemy players. It is a high-risk but high-reward activity.

Safe Drilling Image Dmz

Hidden Caches

Hidden Caches are not visible on the tac map but spawn in fixed locations. You can find a lot of good loot inside these hidden caches. If you manage to memorize the locations of these hidden caches, you can walk away with plenty of cash and other high-value loot.

Hidden Caches Dmz


Strongholds are highly guarded enemy posts with high-value items, including unique weapon blueprints. You need a stronghold keycard to access the buildings in these strongholds. More on the strongholds below.


Strongholds are highly fortified and similar to the Black Sites found in Warzone 2. Infiltrating strongholds is considered the main method of obtaining new weapon contraband and new intel documents for faction missions. Strongholds are home to several unique and rare loot items.

Strongholds On Tac Map Dmz

To access the strongholds, you need a stronghold keycard. You can obtain the keycard in two ways. The first method is eliminating the AQ soldiers in and around the stronghold. Or the AQ soldiers patrolling the area in general. One of the guards will eventually drop a blue keycard, representing the stronghold keycard.

Stronghold Keycard Dropped Dmz

The second method is to buy it directly from the Buy Station. The stronghold keycard costs $5k at the Buy Station.

Weapon Case Event

When you drop into a game of DMZ, you will notice a yellow highlighted region with a briefcase in the middle of it having a "?" icon on it. This is a weapon case event.

Weapon Case Event Image Dmz

The weapon case event has a whole chain of rewards associated with it that give you exclusive rewards only obtainable through this event. The obtained cosmetic items can then be used in both Call of Duty multiplayer and Warzone 2.

You only get one weapon case event per game, so if other players manage to complete it before you, you will need to restart the game. You can expect to run into real enemy players near the weapon case, as it is a hot zone for many.

When you enter the yellow region, you will encounter several AQ soldiers and a heavily armored juggernaut. Similar to the Chemist, when you are near the juggernaut, you will get an on-screen notification that the juggernaut is nearby.

Juggernaut Weapon Case Dmz

You must defeat the juggernaut, and he will drop a weapon case. You need to pick up the weapon case and exfil with it. The only issue here is that your location is visible on the map to other players as soon as you pick it up.

Weapon Case Dropped Dmz

All the players in the lobby are notified of your location and that you are trying to exfil with the weapon case. You can see how this could be a problem and make things challenging!

If other players kill you, they can grab the case and exfil with it to claim the rewards. The same is true for you. You can also eliminate other players, grab their weapon case, and exfil to claim the rewards.

You can exfil with the weapon case seven times. This means you must play through seven different DMZ games and exfil successfully with the weapon case to earn all seven rewards.

Of Weapon Case Rewards Dmz

Weapon Case Rewards

The following is a list of all the rewards you can earn through each weapon case exfil.

  • Caution Tape RPK Weapon Blueprint
    Requirement: Exfiltrate with the Weapon Case for the first time.
  • Biohazard Weapon Sticker
    Requirement: Exfiltrate with the Weapon Case for the second time.
  • Jungle Incognito Helicopter Skin
    Requirement: Exfiltrate with the Weapon Case for the third time.
  • Gas Gas Gas Weapon Charm
    Requirement: Exfiltrate with the Weapon Case for the fourth time.
  • Weapon Crate Calling Card
    Requirement: Exfiltrate with the Weapon Case for the fifth time.
  • Weapon Crate Emblem
    Requirement: Exfiltrate with the Weapon Case for the sixth time.
  • Biohazard Konig Operator Skin
    Requirement: Exfiltrate with the Weapon Case for the seventh time.

Radiation Zone

The radiation zone is marked with a biohazard icon on the map and has a fixed yellow highlighted region. This location is highly toxic, and you will take damage if you go inside the area without a gas mask.

Radiation Zone Dmz

Luckily, you can get gas masks quite easily in Al Mazrah. You can kill the AQ soldiers in and around the radiation zone, and they will drop the gas mask for you to equip. You can even find durable gas masks by looting orange supply boxes found inside the zone. Durable gas masks last longer than regular gas masks.

Gas Mask Radiation Zone Dmz

The radiation zone starts to engulf all of Al Mazrah once the 25 minutes timer ends. The radiation zone starts to get bigger and bigger until all of Al Mazrah has been covered by the yellow circle. As the circle touches the exfil points, they will also keep disappearing.

The zone is also home to the Chemist. He is a stronghold boss found inside the zone, wearing a bright yellow hazmat suit. If you kill the Chemist, you get a rare and unique M13B 'Health Hazard' weapon blueprint. Exfil with the weapon to have it as contraband, unlock it for future DMZ runs, and permanently unlock the M13B for use in Multiplayer and Warzone 2.

Feel free to check out our dedicated guide on acquiring the M13B blueprint for yourself.


Once you're satisfied with the scavenged loot, you may prepare for the exfil. Look for the exfil location represented by a blue icon on the tac-map. You can exfil at any time you wish during your match by interacting with the blue exfil icon you see on your tac map. Whether its 5 seconds into the match or 10 minutes.

Exfil Icon Dmz

Go to the location, and interact with the green flare smoke to call in the chopper. It will take a few minutes before the chopper arrives.

You may need to defend yourself from the storming AQ soldiers trying to stop you from exfiltrating. Stay in cover and fend them off until the chopper arrives. Remember, if you die, you lose all the looted items.

When the chopper arrives, you get a 35-second timer before you, and your squad can board the chopper. If all the team members enter the chopper, the timer is automatically reduced to 5 seconds.

Exfil Heavy Chopper Arrives Dmz

You complete the run of DMZ once you successfully exfil with all your looted items and cash. Any items that you may not have sold at the Buy Station will automatically be converted into XP and cash.

Hassan Sajid

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. Find Hassan on LinkedIn or find him gaming on Steam.
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