COD: Modern Warfare Multiplayer Not Working? Try these fixes

There’s a weird issue going around with Call of Duty Modern Warfare affecting users that are currently attempting to play the Multiplayer mode. On Playstation and Xbox consoles as well as on PC, some users are being asked to purchase the main game again even if they already should have ownership to play the Multiplayer mode and the SinglePlayer campaign.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare Multiplayer not working

After investigating this issue thoroughly, it turns out that there are several different underlying scenarios that are capable of producing this type of issue. We’ve compiled a list of potential culprits that might prevent you from playing the multiplayer mode on Call of Duty Modern Warfare:

  • Corrupted cache data on consoles – By far, the most common issue that is known for causing this problem is a situation where cached data is tricking your console or PC into believing that you don’t actually have ownership of the multiplayer component of the game. In this case, you should be able to fix the issue by ensuring that all cached game data currently stored on your PC or console is cleared.
  • Improper licenses (Playstation Only) – On Playstation 5, this particular issue can also be caused by a license inconsistency. When dealing with this kind of problem, the only viable fix is to restore the licenses cluster on your Playstation 4 or Playstation 5 console. This should sort the issue out and help your sony console figure out that you actually have ownership of the game.
  • The game is launched through the Cold War interface – There’s an ongoing bug that might produce this error when you attempt to launch Call of Duty Modern Warfare from the Cold War launcher. There is no proper fix yet, but you can avoid the error entirely by launching Modern Warfare separately and not through the Cold war interface.
  • Missing Multiplayer packages on Next-Gen – If you’re experiencing this issue on a next-gen console (Playstation 5 or Xbox Series), chances are you’re dealing with a missing MP package brought about by this new ability to install parts of the game. In this case, you can get the issue fixed by installing the missing MP packages on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S and X.

Now that you are familiar with every scenario that might cause this COD Modern Warfare issue, here’s a list of fixes that other affected players have successfully used to get to the bottom of this issue.

Launch Call of duty Modern Warfare separately (if applicable)

This has been an ongoing problem ever since Activision decided to incorporate Modern Warfare Multiplayer and Warzone inside Call of Duty Cold War. There are users reporting that the Multiplayer component of Modern Warfare is not accessible through the Cold War launcher.

Fortunately, there’s a solution that works for both consoles and PC – Running the game separately (from its dedicated launcher) and not from Call of Duty Cold War.

Don’t launch COD Modern Warfare from COD Cold War

If if you’re experiencing this issue while attempting to launch COD Modern Warfare from the Cold War launcher, just stay away from it.

Instead, launch the game from its dedicated launcher. This is confirmed to work on both consoles and PC.

Launching Call of Duty Modern Warfare

If you’re on PC, just double-click on the COD: Modern Warfare executable.

If you’re on a console, just launch the COD: Modern Warfare from its dedicated listing and not from the Cold War interface.

In case you already tried this and you’re still unable to access the multiplayer component of Call of Duty Modern Warfare.

Clear the cache of your console or launcher (Consoles & PC)

As Activision themselves have confirmed, this type of issue is most likely associated with a cache issue. Most likely, you’ve installed Call of Duty Warzone first and now the temporary files generated by this game version are preventing your system from recognizing the ownership of the paid version of Modern Warfare.

This problem is ongoing on both consoles and PC and is affecting users’ ability to play any other multiplayer mode (other than Warzone).

Fortunately, if you’re one of them, you should be able to fix the issue swiftly by clearing the cache of your console or game launcher on PC. Of course, the instructions for doing so will be different depending on which console you’re using or if you’re on PC using Steam or Battle.Net.

But, to make matters easier for you, we’ve put together a series of sub-guides that will walk you through the entire process of clearing the cache of your console or PC launcher for the following platforms:

  • Playstation 5
  • Playstation 4
  • Xbox One
  • Xbox Series X
  • Steam
  • Battle.Net

Follow the sub-guide below that’s applicable to the platform where you’re encountering the issue with Call of Duty Modern Warfare:

Clear the cached data on Playstation 4

The Playstation 4 doesn’t have a specific menu that will allow you to clear the cache of your console.

Fortunately, you can still force all the currently cached data pout by following the procedure below:

  1. With your Playstation 4 console turned on, press and hold on the power button (on your console) and keep it pressed until you hear a beep.
    Power-cycling the PS4 console

    Note: It’s important to turn your console off and not put it into Rest Mode (Hibernation Mode).

  2. Once you hear the beep and the light indicator on the Playstation 4 console have stopped blinking, unplug the power code from the back of your console.
  3. Wat at least 30 seconds to give the power capacitors enough time to drain themselves – once this happens, the temporary data that is currently cached will be cleared.
  4. After this time period passed, plug the power code back in, then start your console normally and see if you are able to launch Call of Duty Modern Warfare Multiplayer mode.

Clear the cached data on Playstation 5

Just like the Playstation 4, the next-gen version (Playstation 5) also doesn’t have a specific menu that will allow you to clear the cache. You’ll still have to do it manually by unplugging the cord from the back of your Playstation 5.

However, the procedure is slightly different since the power capacitors on Playstation 5 are bigger and take more time to fully discharge.

Follow the instructions below to force the clear to be cleared on your Playstation 5 console:

  1. With your Playstation 5 console fully turned ON, long-press the power button on your console (not your controller) until you hear a beep and wait until it powers down.
    Press the Power button on the Playstation 5

    Note: If you short press the power button, you’ll enter rest mode instead which will not allow you to complete the procedure below.

  2. Once the lights on your Playstation 5 console are fully turned off, go ahead and unplug the power cord from the back of your console.
  3. Wait for 2 minutes or more in order to give your power capacitors enough time to clear themselves.
    Note: This operation is absolutely essential since it will make your console ‘forget’ the cached data.
  4. Once the time period is passed, plug the power code back into your Playstation 5 console hit the power button, and wait until it turns itself back on.
  5. After your console boots back on, launch Call of Duty Modern Warfare once again and see if you can access the multiplayer component.

Clear the cached data on Xbox One

If you’re still on Xbox One, you can use the ‘unplugging method’ to clear the cache and resolve the issue that is currently preventing you from accessing the multiplayer component of Call of Duty Modern Warfare.

This procedure involves putting your console into the ‘no-power mode before unplugging the power cord in order to clear the currently stored cached data.

Follow the instructions below for the complete steps of clearing the cached data on Xbox One:

  1. First things first, ensure that your Xbox One console is powered on and not in hibernation mode.
  2. Next, press and hold the power button (on your console). Keep it pressed until the LED on the front of your console turns itself off.
    Power-cycling your Xbox One console
  3. Once the console no longer shows any signs of life, unplug the power cable from your Xbox console.
  4. Wait for at least 30 seconds to give the power capacitors enough time to clear themselves and remove the cached data.
  5. Once the power capacitors are cleared, go ahead and plug the power brick back into your Xbox One console before you turn it back on.
  6. Boot up Call of Duty Modern Warfare and see if you are able to access the multiplayer component now.

Clear the cached data on Xbox Series X|S

The next-gen console from Microsoft has an easier way to clear the cache of your console without the need to physically unplug the power cord.

On Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X, there’s also a software method that will allow you to clear the persistent cache storage.

Follow the instructions below to learn how to clear the cache on your Xbox Series X | S console:

  1. While on the home screen of your Xbox Series console, press the glowing Xbox symbol in the middle of your controller.
  2. Next, from the guide menu that just appeared, scroll to the right to the Profile & System.
  3. From the Profile & System tab, select Settings, then press the A button to access them.
    Accessing the Settings menu
  4. Once you’re inside the Settings menu, go to the Device & Connections tab, then select Blu-Ray from the list of available options.
  5. Inside the Blu-Ray dedicate menu, go to Persistent Storage, then use the Clear Persistent Storage button to get rid of your current cache cluster.
    Clear the persistent storage cache
  6. Once the cache has been successfully cleared, reboot your console and see if the problem is fixed by attempting to launch the multiplayer component of Call of Duty Modern Warfare.

Clear the cached data on Steam

If you’re on PC and encountering this issue while launching the game through Steam, you can expect to face this issue if you recently purchased the full COD: Modern Warfare game after previously owning only COD: Warfare.

In certain scenarios, Steam will have trouble recognizing that you actually have ownership of the game and will force you to pay for it again.

To fix this issue, you’ll need to verify the integrity of the game files.

Note: On top of checking for any missing game files and replacing corrupted files with healthy equivalent, an integrity check procedure will also clear the current cache associated with the game.

Follow the instructions below to trigger an integrity check on Call of Duty Modern Warfare:

Note: Avoid performing an integrity check while your system performs another intensive task in the background (such as virus scanning, rendering, or defragmenting). This might cause the integrity scan to interrupt abruptly.

  1. Open up Steam and make sure you are signed with the account that you’re having issues with.
  2. Next, make sure that you select Library from the menu at the top.
  3. Locate Call of Duty Modern Warfare inside the vertical menu on the left, then right-click on it and click on Properties from the context menu.
    Accessing the Properties menu
  4. Once you’re inside the Properties Menu of Call of Duty Modern Warfare, select Local files from the vertical menu on the left, then click on the Verify integrity of game cache button.
    Verify the integrity of the game files
  5. At the confirmation prompt, click Yes and wait until the operation is complete.
    Note: Keep in mind that it’s not unusual for one or more files to fail. This is normal for most games including Call of Duty Modern Warfare. The files that fail are usually the ones that the scan deems should not be replaced as part of this process.
  6. After the integrity scan is complete, reboot your PC and see if the issue is fixed once the next startup is complete.

Clear the cached data on Battle.Net

If you’re launching Call of Duty Modern Warfare using Battle.net launcher, you should know that a corrupted cache folder is a pretty common occurrence among PC COD players using these platforms.

Keep in mind that Battle.Net doesn’t have a software solution for caring the cache folder reliably – you’ll need to do the cleanup yourself by removing the Blizzard Entertainment folder from ProgramData after making sure that there’s no interfering process that’s currently making use of it.

Follow the instructions below for a step-by-step guide that will walk you through the process of cleaning the cache folder of your Battle.net launcher:

Note: The instructions below will work for every recent Windows version.

  1. First things first, start by ensuring that Battle.net and no Blizzard programs are running in the background.
    Note: This includes any game or supporting software.
  2. Next, press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open up Task Manager. If the simple interface is opened by default, click on More details.
    Open the expert Task Manager interface
  3. Once you’ve successfully opened the expert interface of Task Manager, access the Processes tab at the top.
  4. Next, look through the list of processes and see if Battle.net agent or Battle.net Update agent processes are currently running. If they are, right-click on them and choose End Task from the context menu.
    Ending the Battle.Net background processes
  5. Once you’ve ensured that every potentially interfering process is closed, press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Inside, type ‘%ProgramData%’ inside the Run field and press Enter to open up the hidden cache folder (ProgramData).

    Accessing the hidden Program Data folder
  6. Once you’re inside the hidden ProgramData folder, locate the two folders holding Batte.Net cached data (Blizzard Entertainment and Battle.Net) and delete both by right-clicking and choosing Delete.
    Deleting the folders containing cached data
  7. Once the two folders have been cleared, restart the Battle.net application, relaunch COD Modern Warfare and see if the problem is now fixed.

Updating the licenses (Only on Playstation)

If you’re encountering the issue on a Playstation console (PS5 or PS4) and none of the methods above have been effective in your case, you should start considering the fact that you’re dealing with a licensing issue.

Sony’s consoles (both last-gen and next-gen) are known for being notoriously bad at keeping the trap of your digital media ownership.

With this in mind, if you started off playing COD: Warzone and only recently purchased COD: Modern Warfare, your console might not yet be aware that you actually own the rights to access the multiplayer component.

This issue will rectify itself after a while (if you are connected to the internet), but you can speed up the process considerably by updating your licenses.

The procedure of restoring your Playstation Store licenses is slightly different depending on if you’re on PS5 or PS4, but in neither of these cases will this process affect your data.

If you’re unable to access the multiplayer component of COD Modern Warfare and none of the methods below have been effective in your case, follow one of the guides below (the one that’s applicable) to update your Playstation Licences:

Restore the Licences on Playstation 4

If you’re trying to restore the licenses on Playstation 4, you’ll need to access their Account Management menu and trigger a license restore from there.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. From the home screen of your Playstation 4 console, cycle through the different options and access the Settings menu.
    Access the Settings menu on PS4
  2. Once you’re inside the Settings menu, find the Account Management menu and access it.
    Accessing the Account Management menu
  3. Inside the Account Management menu, select Restore Licences, then confirm the operation and wait until the operation is complete.
    Restoring the licenses on Ps4
  4. After the licenses are restored, reboot your console and see if you can now access the multiplayer component of Call of Duty Modern Warfare.

Restore the Licences on Playstation 5

On PlayStation 5, the restore licenses menu is hidden under an additional layer, but the procedure is very similar.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. From the home screen of your Playstation 5 console, access the Settings menu (top-left corner of the screen).
    Accessing the Settings menu on PS5
  2. Once you’re inside the Settings menu, access the Users and Accounts menu tab from all the available options.
  3. Inside the User and Accounts menu, go to Other.
  4. From the next menu, access the Restore Licences menu.
  5. Inside the dedicated Restore Licences menu, choose Restore, then confirm the operation and wait until the operation is complete.
    Restore the licenses on Playstation 5
  6. Once the licenses are restored, reboot your console and see if you are able to access the multiplayer component of COD Modern Warfare once the next startup is complete.

If this method is not applicable to your particular scenario or you followed it to no avail, move down to the next potential fix below.

Install COD: MW Multiplayer Pack (Playstation 5 / Xbox Series Only)

There’s a lot of confusion around the requirements of playing the Multiplayer mode of Call of Duty Modern Warfare precisely because Activision has changed the games of the packs so many times before.

As you know, COD: MW is a huge game on next-gen consoles, so the developers have decided to split the games into packages that you can install or separately in order to preserve precious system space.

In order to ensure that you have all the required packages in order to be able to play the MP component of Call of Duty: MW, it’s best to look at the size of the packages rather than the name.

Here are the packages that you need to have:

  • Base Game (90.2 GB)
  • Multiplayer Pack (6.0 GB)
  • Multiplayer & Special Ops Pack (6.7 GB)
  • Multiplayer Pack 2 (22.1 GB)

If you’re missing any of these packs, you will be denied access to the multiplayer component of Call of Duty Modern Warfare.

In order to make sure that you have every required package installed, follow one of the sub-guides below for step-by-step instructions.

Install Required COD: MW Multiplayer Packs on Playstation 5

On Playstation 5, the best way of installing the missing multiplayer packages is from the game itself. You can also do it from the Playstation Store, but some users have to get a different error when going this route.

Follow the instructions below to install the packages required to play the Multiplayer mode on Call of Duty Modern Warfare:

  1. First things first, make sure you have plenty of free internal space on your Playstation 5 console (at least 90 GB).
  2. Open Call of Duty Modern Warfare and wait until you get to the home screen.

    Home Screen of Call of Duty Modern Warfare
  3. Once you arrive at the screen that contains all the game modes, press R3 on your controller to arrive inside the Manage Installs menu.
  4. Inside the Manage Installs menu, select the Modern Warfare Game Packs using the ribbon above, then go ahead and install the following packs: Multiplayer Pack (6.0 GB), Multiplayer & Special Ops Pack (6.7 GB), Multiplayer Pack 2 (22.1 GB)
    Install the missing Multiplayer packages on PS5

    Note: It’s important to stay inside the game while these packages are installed.

  5. After the missing MP packages are finished installing, reboot your PS5 console and see if the problem is now fixed.

Install Required COD: MW Multiplayer Packs on Xbox Series S | X

On Xbox Series X, you’ll be able to fix this issue by searching for the game on the Microsoft Store and scroll down to the ‘In This Bundle‘ category to install every missing package that’s required for the multiplayer mode.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. From the home screen of your Xbox Series console, access the Microsoft Store.
  2. Once inside, use the search function to search for “modern warfare” and access the game listing from the list of results.
    Searching for COD: Modern Warfare on the MS Store
  3. Once you’re inside the store listing, scroll all the way down to ‘In this bundle‘ category and you’ll see a list of all the available game packs.
    Required Multiplayer packs
  4. Next, go ahead and use this menu to install each of the following multiplayer packages on top of the base game: Multiplayer Pack (6.0 GB), Multiplayer & Special Ops Pack (6.7 GB), Multiplayer Pack 2 (22.1 GB)
  5. Once every missing multiplayer pack is installed, reboot your console and see if the problem is now fixed.
Kamil Anwar
Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.

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