Warzone 2.0 brings with it several major changes, including a 2v2 Gulag, reworked loadouts, and a new circle mechanic that can potentially change how you navigate the map.

The circle is the biggest defining feature of the battle royale genre. Every game has some variation of it — from Fortnite’s storm to what Apex Legends calls the Ring. In Warzone, the circle took the form of a deadly gas.

It has the effect of narrowing the play area, forcing the remaining players to face off until only one squad remains.

Warzone 2.0 shakes things up with more variety. In some games, the circle collapse will behave as normal, which means one circle that closes in several stages. In others, things can get a little tricky — the circle can split into multiple smaller ones, and these will eventually merge again.

How does the new Warzone 2.0 circle mechanic work?

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 circle mechanic
Credit: Activision Blizzard

When the circle splits, the resulting circles will inevitably be smaller than a regular circle collapse. However, their size depends on how early or late the circle split happens in the match.

This means that you should expect more close-quarters combat, so weapons such as SMGs that are typically more useful in the late game may find increased value earlier on.

There can be up to three circles at any one time, and the split can happen at any time between the first and final two collapses.

It is also possible to engage with enemies in a different circle, even if visibility may be slightly impaired. Snipers who can account for bullet drop may be able to find some sneaky kills on opponents who will only be focused on the circle they are in.

Gas Masks and Stims can also help players make their way to a different circle, especially if they’re pinned down in the current one.

The game’s new selection vehicles, including everything from an ATV to a cargo truck, will also help in outrunning a circle collapse.

All the different circles will merge by the end of the game, overlapping in the manner of a Venn diagram. The Tac Map is crucial for planning your next steps, allowing you to check the location of the next circle.

Read more about the next generation of Warzone in Activision Blizzard’s blog post.

READ MORE: The best guns to level before Warzone 2.0 launches