Image via Lionsgate and Activision.

The COD DMZ UAV Bundle is Pay-To-Win And I Exposed it Myself

If you think it's not pay-to-win, you're wrong.

I never thought the day would come when I had to explain why paying for UAV in COD DMZ is pay-to-win, but here were are. For some reason, part of the DMZ community in Call of Duty is adamant about defending the latest wave of gross bundles in the store and it seems like they’ve lost the plot.

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Plenty of players have decided to claim that paying for UAV and having it available at the start of each DMZ deployment isn’t an advantage. Or they have claimed it’s not pay-to-win because UAV towers exist and you can’t win a deployment. I’m here to tell you that’s not the case, and I proved it myself. UAV towers won’t save you and building a Stealth Vest won’t save you from an average player that decides to buy the latest pay-to-win UAV bundle.

I Bought the Roze and Thorn UAV Bundle and Ran My Own COD DMZ Experiment

How do I prove to the rest of the community, that isn’t on the same page, that the bundle is absolutely a pay-to-win advantage? It’s simple. I bought the bundle myself and decided to jump into 20 different COD DMZ matches. In every single one, I used the new Roze Operator that comes equipped with a UAV. My goal was to use the killstreak as soon as possible and record the results. There are even clips here for you to see before you believe.

Because there is a 60-second timer before you can use the UAV in COD DMZ, I would have to wait until the 24-minute mark in each match. Sometimes I had to wait just a bit longer. Either way, every use of the radar was within the first 90 seconds of the match starting. After using the radar, I would look for an enemy Operator team and attempt to take them down. We’ll get to the results below, but it’s not a shocker to learn that plenty of squads were wiped from existence.

Keep in mind with the results that I ran 18 of the 20 matches as a solo player in the DMZ. I also only used gear that I found within my matches. Considering the UAV can be a snowball effect for even better loot, it made sense to use the gear I looted by paying for an advantage. With all that said, let’s finally put to rest the pay-to-win defense.

The UAV Bundle is Absolutely Pay-To-Win

I ran 20 different deployments in COD DMZ with the Roze Operator and that means I had a UAV ready for use at the start of every match. Out of those 20 matches, I was able to find 17 teams within the first 90 seconds of the match starting by using my radar. In many cases, I spotted enemies that were keeping a low profile and I would have otherwise missed them without having the radar.

Before getting into the rest, it’s important to look at what this means. In over 80% of the spawns for DMZ, I encountered players that didn’t have a 3-Plate Stealth Vest and they didn’t have a UAV to counter me. Any players saying “Just use ghost” or “Just get a UAV” have no idea what they are talking about. UAV Killstreaks cost 12k and have typically been randomized at Buy Stations around the map. They are not common items and most teams don’t spawn with them.

UAV Towers also don’t help, so stop mentioning those as well. The difference between towers and the actual UAV is the map. When you activate a UAV tower, you will likely have to get the attention of all the AI in the area, and it also marks a giant red circle on the map for all players showing that there is radar. UAV killstreaks, on the other hand, are impossible to see and sometimes there isn’t even an audio cue for them.

The next important takeaway from these 20 matches is how many squads were wiped out as a result of the UAV. I was able to take down 14 of the 17 squads I encountered in my COD DMZ experiment. Nearly 75% of the time, a decent solo player with random gear will be able to wipe out the first squad off spawn. Over and over again, I was able to use the UAV, watch where players were moving, and take them down before they even know what happened. Most of them had full gear.

In some clips, you’ll notice that my UAV has gone away and I’m stalking a squad on my own. That’s because I found their markers and was still able to see each of their locations before the UAV left the area. It gave me time to plan my attack and take out the weakest links before they had any clue I was around. Squads were continually wiped each time I used the radar and I’ve never had an easier time getting loot and eliminating Operators in the DMZ. But if that somehow isn’t enough for you, let’s talk about the times I failed to find or wipe a squad.

The Only Thing That Beats Pay-To-Win UAV is Roze

There were three times when I wasn’t able to find a squad. The likely case is that there was no one close enough to my spawn or the Operators quickly left the area. It’s possible that they had 3-Plate Stealth Vests, but none of the AI were moving either. Regardless, even if those squads had ghost, the other 17 did not.

I also only killed 14 of the 17 squads I found using the UAV. One player simply ran away and I lost them and another squad was well prepared for my attack, even though I did get the drop on them with the radar. Out of the two times I lost my fight in this experiment, one of the squads was using the Roze Operator. The player used a UAV and I wasn’t expecting a counter pay-to-win, but it was clearly effective. How do you beat pay-to-win? You also pay-to-win.

My previous feature about the UAV mentioned how many players are buying up these bundles, and I want to reiterate that here. Even in my experiment, there were multiple matches with Operators using pay-to-win bundles. This isn’t the end of the line for pushing these, it’s just the beginning.

If You Believe the UAV isn’t Pay-To-Win, You Don’t Understand the COD DMZ

The Call of Duty community that’s supporting these bundles needs to hear this: If you think UAV isn’t pay-to-win then you don’t understand the game and you’re likely one of the squads that I’m wiping out. Anyone who understands FPS games knows that radar is one of the largest advantages you can have, and when you give it out so easily to better players, it’s a recipe for the average player base to get eviscerated.

Some players will continue saying that UAV is super easy to get and everyone has it, but it’s simply not true. The only time I had a UAV used against me at the start of a match was when someone else was using the pay-to-win UAV bundle. If that doesn’t paint the picture, I don’t know what will.

Related: They Really Did It… COD DMZ Has Pay-To-Win UAV Killstreaks Now

And before the rest of the players defending this say “You can’t win in COD DMZ,” that doesn’t matter. Pay-to-win means and always has meant, paying for an advantage. I paid for the UAV bundle and was able to eliminate 14 out of 17 squads. Ask yourself if that’s an advantage and hopefully we can push back against these as a community. Don’t let these leak any further.

Season 4 will be the real test for COD DMZ players and the Call of Duty community as a whole. If you don’t want anything worse than UAV, we need to be aware as players of what these advantages mean. Now let me go clean this disgusting bundle off myself.

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Daniel Wenerowicz
Dan has been writing gaming guides, news, and features for three years after graduating with a BA in writing . You can find him covering Call of Duty for eternity, action-adventure games, and nearly any other major release.