Do you need a phone number to play Modern Warfare 2?
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Earlier this month, Activision stirred up some controversy within the Call of Duty community; a report stated players would need to enter an SMS-capable phone number in order to play Modern Warfare 2. This system was somewhat in place during the MW2 beta, as Steam players needed to enter an active phone number to play. However, the new report suggested that all players, even those on console, would need to provide a phone number to enter MW2.

Naturally, players on a prepaid phone or those without a phone number entirely were concerned they wouldn’t be able to play the game. This measure is in place to stop cheaters; if a phone number can only be registered once, then cheaters are out of luck if and when their account gets banned.

The system recently made headlines in Overwatch 2, developed by Activision’s sister company Blizzard. Overwatch 2 players without a valid phone number were thrown for a loop when they were told that they needed a valid number to play the game.

With Modern Warfare 2, though, players are already paying $60-70; unlike Overwatch 2, which is free-to-play. On top of that, console players were confused as to why they would need to provide a phone number; after all, cheating is a primarily PC-focused issue, so it seemed strange that Activision would enforce this on console players.

Luckily, Activision recently came out to set the record straight.

According to the company, only PC players will need a phone number to play Modern Warfare 2. All players need to do is provide — and verify — an SMS-capable phone number. Activision said, “The SMS requirement for game access is used for security purposes only. Call of Duty does not use SMS verification data for marketing purposes.”

If you’ve played Warzone on PC before and are going to play MW2 on Battle.Net, then you don’t have to do anything. Steam users can use the same phone number they used for the MW2 beta. However, new players on either platform will need to enter their phone numbers upon first booting up MW2.

Joey Carr is a full-time writer for multiple esports and gaming websites. He has 7+ years of experience covering esports and traditional sporting events, including DreamHack Atlanta, Call of Duty Championships 2017, and Super Bowl 53.