No events

Understanding Maps in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Jalen Lopez

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare features a large group of diverse maps that require players to adapt to each unique scenario. The map design in Modern Warfare is very different from other Call of Duty titles and does not always favor the standard “run n’ gun” gameplay.

This article breaks down the new map design, provides a description of each map, and how to understand and play each map featured in Modern Warfare.

Map Design

Modern Warfare steps away from the traditional three lane layout in favor of a more realistic design. A three lane map has three routes from each teams spawn. Most engagements and firefights occur in the middle. So objectives are normally based in each spawn and the center of the map and has been the standard design in Call of Duty in recent titles.

This layout allows for players to understand and predict where the enemy will be pushing from, places there will likely hide, and what routes to cut off on defense. Modern Warfare’s map design completely strays away from this concept and features more realistic maps with fleshed out buildings.

This change means that players can no longer pick a route and take it directly to an objective or enemy spawn and must learn and navigate each unique map. Every map has its own hiding spots and power positions that players must learn and remember to successfully take and defend objectives.

Players who are only after kills must also learn the new style because they can no longer run a route and know exactly where an enemy will be. The design change may cause players to play slower at first. Once you understand the layout you can navigate and eliminate the enemy effectively.

Arklov Peak

Arklov Peak call of duty

Arklov Peak is a medium sized snow laden map that has two large open areas on both sides and a cluster of buildings centered around a courtyard in the middle. Both open areas have lines of sight to each spawn and are better suited for snipers or assault rifles. The buildings around the courtyard each feature a power position on the second floor with visibility of the entire area. Rushing through the middle is not advised as it is easy to pick off players from each building. Make sure to coordinate with teammates before pushing to either trade kills or provide support.

Azhir Cave

Azhir Cave call of duty

Azhir Cave has two distinct areas: A cave and village. The cave system has an entrance from each spawn, an entrance leading to mid, a smaller entrance near one of the spawn areas, and a small tunnel leading from a well in the village.

The village area has several partially destroyed buildings that provide hiding places and viewpoints into the entrances of the cave system. This map features some of the most frequent long-range engagements and an assault rifle is recommended. Professional Call of Duty player Ian “Crimsix” Porter broke down the competitive meta for Modern Warfare and specifically listed Azhir Cave as the reason for two AR flex players.

Most engagements will be based around or in the cave system, so controlling at least two the entrances is important.

Grazna Raid

Grazna Raid call of duty

This is one of the more notorious maps featured in Modern Warfare. Grazna Raid is infamous for its large open areas. The side of the map features an open street with buildings on both sides that are perfect spots for snipers. The center area is several connected buildings that result in a lot of close quarter combat. The other side of the map is a large grassy area with little cover that should be navigated quickly and quietly.

Run n’ gun gameplay will be difficult on this map due to the amount of open areas, but if a player can make it into the center buildings, they can pick up a few easy kills.

Gun Runner

Gun Runner call of duty map

Gun Runner is a fast-paced map that doesn’t have an overwhelming amount of open areas. The center of the map is an industrial zone with tight corridors and small spaces perfect for SMG’s and shotguns. One of the spawns is in a train yard that is perfect for assault rifles to watch the exit from the industrial zone and both paths to either side of the map.

Hackney Yard

Hackney Yard call of duty

Sub machine guns thrive on Hackney Yard as it is dominated by buildings and provides plenty of cover to navigate without having to run through a wide-open area. The middle lane of this map should be avoided most of the time as it provides little to no cover and can be avoided by using buildings on either side.


Piccadilly call of duty

Piccadilly is the biggest departure from the three lane layout and is centered around the Piccadilly Circus road junction. The center of the map is almost wide open besides a monument and a few buses that provide cover. One side of the center has a second story clothing store that provides a bird’s eye view. Directly across are scaffolding that also provides players with a better vantage point.

The main open area should be avoided due to the lack of cover. Players should navigate the map through outlying buildings. Team coordination is key in challenging second story power positions and pushing objectives.


Rammaza call of duty

Vertical gameplay is very prominent in Rammaza. The map has several buildings with multiple stories that have lines of sight into the middle of the map. Clearing out the opposing positions is key to maneuver on this map because it is easy for players to sit in one spot and lockdown the various paths.

St Petrograd

St Petrograd call of duty

The Modern Warfare version of St. Petersburg features urban gameplay including buildings and streets. An open street on one side of the map is a hotbed for snipers, so players should stick to the middle to avoid getting caught in the crossfire. The map consists of multiple two-story buildings that can be reached by stairs or windows. Holding a second story position is a great way to support your team and control the map.

Aniyah Palace

Aniyah Palace call of duty

Aniyah Palace is a large map with outskirts of buildings centered around a destroyed palace. The interior of the palace is small and confined and can be difficult to maneuver. The outside has several vantage points for snipers to sit and provides several routes for players to flank the enemy.

Euphrates Bridge

Euphrates Bridge call of duty

The spawns on this map are on both sides of the bridge and most matches will require players to take or defend the bridge. Each spawn has buildings that provide cover from enemies on the bridge who have a view or the entire map. Players should avoid the open area between buildings and the bridge when possible to avoid being easy kills for the enemy team.

Shoot House

Shoot House call of duty

Shoot House is a small map featured in its own 24/7 playlist and actually has a threelane layout. The map is small and hectic with very quick gameplay. Both outside lanes allow players to flank the enemy and push objectives. The middle lane has four entrances and is constantly watched from either spawn by snipers or other long ranged weapons. The key to success on Shoot House is mobility and constant movement to avoid being pushed out of your spawn.

There are several other maps in Modern Warfare that are game mode specific, remasters of old maps, or variants on existing maps.

Remastered maps


Vacant call of duty

Vacant is a fan favorite that was first featured in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. The map has an inside area full of hallways and rooms that are perfectly suited for close quarter weapons. Two main hallways stretch the entire length of the building and provide lines of sight to hold the entrances from each spawn. Both sides of the map feature outside areas with paths to flank the enemy, so if a player can sneak by the enemy, they will have the chance to cause havoc.


Shipment call of duty

Shipment is another map returning from Call of Duty 4 and is the smallest map featured in the core playlists of Modern Warfare. The map is featured in its own 24/7 playlist and will be making a return. Gameplay on shipment is notoriously hectic and players will encounter an enemy within seconds of spawning. Long range weapons are not effective on this map. Players should stick with a gun that allows for mobility and a quick aim down sights speed.


The last map to return from Call of Duty 4 is Crash. The map centers around a helicopter crash with buildings on all sides. Second story power positions are dominant in this map and teams should control at least 2/4 of the buildings to control movement around the map. The most prominent power position is the third floor overlooking most of the map which is a go to position for snipers and AR players. Crash features medium to long distance engagements so assault rifles should be used instead of SMGs.

Gunfight Maps

Gunfight is a 2v2 game mode that features smaller maps and random weapons each round. Each map is designed for fast engagements and quick rounds, so understanding lines of sight and routes is very important.


Docks call of duty

Docks features a semi-three lane layout with two buildings and a mid-lane between them. The two buildings have one access point from each spawn, but a window towards the opposite spawn. Players can use these for an elevated advantage if their weapons are appropriate. A bridge connects the two buildings. Therefore, it should not be used early on because both teams have a line of sight on the bridge.


Atrium call of duty

Atrium is one of the smallest Gunfight maps and is nearly symmetrical. An open courtyard with a fountain blocks each team from each other, and a hallway connects the perimeter of the map. The weapons available for the round should determine a rush through mid or a slower paced strategy peeking the hallways.


cargo call of duty

Cargo is set in the cargo hold of a ship and has a very odd layout. Each spawn can access a stairway that provides a view of the entire map, but also leaves the player exposed. Most of the containers on the map can be climbed, so players should always look up when moving around the map.

Gulag Showers

Gulag Showers call of duty

This map has three lanes through a series of showers which provide the opportunity for long range engagements depending on the weapons available. Players should use caution when peeking any lane and avoid standing still for long. There are sinks in each spawn players can climb on to get a better view of the shower area and are a great way to counter a push.


Hill call of duty

Hill is a very open map with a hill in the middle separating the spawns. Pushing on Hill is very difficult due to the lack of cover. Players should either wait for the enemy to push or coordinate with their teammate trade kills if needed.


King call of duty

King is set in a warehouse set up as a training area and provides has a mix of close quarter and long-range engagements. Players spawn across the warehouse from each other and can immediately see the enemy. If long range weapons are available players need to immediately move to cover and try and pick off the enemy. The middle of the map has a two-story area that is a very popular spot for players to rush.


Pine call of duty

Close quarter combat or long-range engagements are both possible on Pine. Both spawns have access to wooden huts that provide a viewpoint of the map. The center of the map has two paths around or in a shipping container that provide cover for players advancing.


speedball call of duty

Speedball takes place on a paintball field and features short to medium range engagements. There are two paths with cover on either side of the map, and obstacles in the middle lane. These provide enough cover for players to effectively push.


stack call of duty

Stack is another map that immediately allows players to engage with one another after spawning. Interestingly, the center of the map features an elevated platform that is a go-to route for rushing players. The spawns are elevated areas with good cover that can be used to eliminate enemies from a distance.

Ground War Maps

Ground War is a 32 v. 32 game mode and features very large maps and vehicles. The map design for Ground War is like a Battlefield map. Therefore, players will have to adjust to the new mechanics introduced.

Karst Rive Quarry

Karst Rive Quarry call of duty

Karst River Quarry features large open areas with land and air vehicles to navigate the map faster. However, open areas should be avoided by players on foot because they will be easy targets for snipers. Vehicles also mainly patrol these areas, so players who do not have launchers in their load out should stick to buildings. The interior of the buildings is where most of the objectives are placed and are home to very intense gunfights. Players should remember that almost all maps are big enough for flanking if done correctly, so sneaking past the enemy may be a better choice than taking on the 32-player team directly.

Krovnik Farmland

Krovnik Farmland call of duty

This map has some of the biggest open areas featured in a ground war map and is a great map to rank up sniper rifles. The center of the map has several buildings to provide cover, but each spawn has hills and buildings to use as vantage points to eliminate unsuspecting players. As a result, vehicles can maneuver through most of the buildings on the map. Therefore, avoiding roads and open areas are key to push objectives.

Port of Verdansk

Port of Verdansk call of duty

Point of Verdansk is one of the newest maps introduced to Modern Warfare. The open areas for vehicles are kill zones for infantry players and should be avoided at all costs. There are several vantage points on buildings, cranes, and the roads themselves for players trying to cover entrances to objectives.

Therefore, objective buildings are well designed close quarter areas that require a coordinated assault to capture.

Tavorsk District

Tavorsk District call of duty

Tavorsk District has some of the most vertical game play in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare because several tall buildings are accessible by players. Therefore, the top of buildings provides an overview of most objectives and will constantly be used by snipers. You should use claymores to cover the stairways because it is easy for enemies to sneak up and eliminate unsuspecting squads.

Other rooftops are also visible to each other. Therefore, you should try making sure that they are not easy targets for enemy snipers.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has several different maps. The unique map design require players to learn to be effective.  Each map will require a few plays to fully understand but remembering to check all corners and to expect the unexpected will be a good start.

Jalen Lopez

Jalen Lopez

Jalen has been destroying noobs for almost as long as he could read. When not working full time in marketing, Jalen is combining his passions of gaming and writing as an esports writer.

More from author

Want more Hotspawn delivered right to your Inbox?

Sign up for the Hotspawn newsletter to receive the latest esports and tech news, exclusive offers, giveaways, and more!