Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Pre-Order Guide: Beta Access, Next-Gen, and Bonuses

What a mess!

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is officially official, despite the usual round of leaks leading up to the surprise not being a surprise anymore. But the show must go on, and the reveal that took place within Warzone was pretty dope aside from the whole terrifying photorealistic Ronald Regan thing. But more importantly, shortly following the reveal Activision dropped a ton of details on the usual wave of pre-order SKUs, and boy are they a doozy this time.

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How to Pre-Order Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

The biggest problem is, well, two problems. Black Ops Cold War is going to be a cross-gen game with cross-play features, which is great. But Activision also loves its backroom publisher deals, which means there are perks for the Sony side that the Microsoft side doesn’t. While that usually isn’t a big deal, what it does here is make pre-ordering way more confusing than it needs to be. With that being said, let’s take a look at your options, one by one.

First of all, we need to establish that the current-gen and next-gen versions of this game are separate SKUs. There are also upgrade options, but for the purpose of pre-ordering, there are important distinctions between the two in ways you really have to pay attention to. That’s doubly true if you’re planning on being an early adopter for one or more of the upcoming consoles. There are different ways to upgrade or otherwise acquire next-gen upgrades as well, so again, don’t gloss over the details if you need them.

Related: Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Relies On Player Choice, Single-Player Character Creation

There are three Standard Editions for Black Ops Cold War. Current-gen physical, next-gen physical, and digital. If you pre-order digitally, you get early access to the Multiplayer Open Beta, the Confrontation Weapons Pack, and the Woods Operator Pack (for Modern Warfare and Warzone). You will be able to purchase an upgrade for either console from their respective store, but you can also play the previous-gen version on the next-gen consoles. You won’t get the upgrade features, however.

For the physical Standard Edition, you will be able to get an upgrade for the PS4 version through the online store, and it will require the PS4 disc to play. An upgrade option will not be available for the physical Xbox One Standard Edition. However, if you pick up the Standard Edition for Xbox Series X, it will include a disc that is playable on Xbox One. The PS5 Standard Edition is just a PS5 disc, that only works on a PS5.

There is also a Cross-Gen Bundle available for both platforms as a digital pre-order. If you purchase this, you will be able to access either version of the game once they launch, and you’ll receive the digital pre-order bonuses.

Next is the Ultimate Edition. This is another digital-only option that gives you a bit more than the Standard Edition. You’ll get the Cross-Gen Bundle here, along with the digital bonuses. You’ll also get the following additional content:

  • One Season of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Battle Pass Bundle, including 20 Tier Skips
  • The Land/Sea/Air Pack for use in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
  • Three Operator Skins
  • Three Weapon Blueprints
  • Three Vehicle Skins

The Ultimate Edition will also be available for purchase in the Modern Warfare and Warzone in-game stores. If you go for this route, you’ll also receive 10 Tier Skips for whatever the current Battle Pass is (currently Season 5).

That’s a lot of options! Activision is clearly really pushing the digital version since it seems like as of right now there are no bonuses associated with the physical versions, aside from the case and disc. We may see retailer bonuses later down the line, but if you want to skip the Open Beta line and get Woods for your current game, you need to go digital. And if you’re planning to upgrade, be careful if you’re on the Xbox side. That’s the long and short of it.

Let us know what you think of this setup over at the Prima games Facebook and Twitter channels!


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Lucas White
Lucas plays a lot of videogames. Sometimes he enjoys one. His favs include Dragon Quest, SaGa and Mystery Dungeon. You can find him on Twitter @HokutoNoLucas. Wanna send an email? Shoot it to [email protected].