Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's campaign was remastered in 2020, and ever since, fans have been hungry for a remaster of its multiplayer component, as we saw with the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare remaster. Activision hasn't launched a remaster of the multiplayer package, but if you're on PC, you can actually play Modern Warfare 2's remastered multiplayer right now. In this article, we'll explain how to play Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer remastered.
The Story of Modern Warfare 2 Multiplayer Remastered
Activision rebooted the Modern Warfare subseries of Call of Duty with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019), after gauging interest in the setting with a remaster of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare that was originally included with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare's release in 2016.
Since the Modern Warfare remaster was packaged with a new, premium Call of Duty game and was monetized to hell with lootboxes, Activision didn't have to worry that much about siphoning off players from the mainline Call of Duty game, Infinite Warfare. However, as development on a remaster of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 progressed, Infinity neared closer to releasing Modern Warfare (2019).
There are countless leaks confirming that a multiplayer remaster of Modern Warfare 2 was in the works, but it made no sense at all to release such a product alongside, or even after, a reboot of the Modern Warfare subseries. Inevitably, fans nostalgic for the classic Modern Warfare 2 experience with upgraded graphics would prefer what they know to a new take on the Modern Warfare formula.
So, work on the multiplayer remaster was shelved, while assets from this work were pulled into Modern Warfare (2019) and are rumored to also be included in the upcoming Modern Warfare II (2022). These facts are precisely why we can't expect Activision to ever formally release a Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer remaster: It would simply take too much away from the new Modern Warfare games.
However, that doesn't mean Modern Warfare 2's multiplayer wasn't remastered by someone else...
IW4x, IW6x, and S1x Explained: PC CoD Remasters
If you're a PC gamer, you're already familiar with how passionate the community is about restoring and maintaing older beloved games, and this is unsurprisingly the case with the greatest, most popular Call of Duty games.
Enter X Labs. These folks have 'remastered' Modern Warfare 2, Ghosts, and Advanced Warfare. By remaster, this means they've added in new content like additional maps and guns; improved security as compared to the Steam release of these games; opened up modding tools to the community; implemented dedicated servers and anti-cheat; and X Labs even provides support for any issues you might run into.
This comes on top of the ability to run these games in modern resolutions, tweak your FOV, that kind of thing, too. Yes, it comes up short of rebuilding the graphical engine of these games and bringing their graphical fidelities to the level of a completely new, modern game, but a lot of the reasons why you wouldn't want to play these older games have been addressed by X Labs.
If the naming system confuses you, don't worry. IW4x refers to Infinity Ward's fourth Call of Duty game, Modern Warfare 2, while IW6x refers to Infinity Ward's sixth Call of Duty game, Ghosts. S1x refers to Advanced Warfare, Sledgehammer's first Call of Duty game.
As a note, many in the CoD PC remaster community encourage gamers to pirate older CoD games to play these remasters as they feel like Activision continues to charge high prices for these older games that don't work very well and aren't supported by the company. However, IW4x, IW6x, and S1x don't require any form of piracy to enjoy. If you've got a copy of whichever game on Steam, all you'll need are X Lab's files, i.e. a mod, to play.
The ethics and legality of modding continue to be a gray area in the video gaming world, but outside of Nintendo, the vast and overwhelming majority of companies are flattered by a community's devotion to restoring and maintaining older games that inevitably won't make much money years and years after the fact, especially if the game's publisher does not do a good job of supporting it.
Ultimately, it's possible Activision can shut this project down, but years after its release, this seems fairly unlikely.
How to Play Modern Warfare 2 Multiplayer Remastered
Head on over to the X Labs site, and navigate to the IW4x page to see the full process. As a note, you'll need an English copy of Modern Warfare 2 and its DLC on Steam for this to work.
Install the X Labs launcher. In the Settings page of the launcher, you'll be given the option to select your Modern Warfare 2 installation. Find that folder in your Steam folder, and select it.
Then, from the launcher, simply select the IW4x icon. The process only takes a few steps, as the data of the mod is built into the X Labs launcher, and all you need to do is give the launcher the location of your installation.
This process is the same for Ghosts and Advanced Warfare, too. Getting up and running only takes a few minutes, if you've already got your games downloaded and installed.