Modern Warfare 2 authenticator issue - How to fix the 2FA problem on Call of Duty

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The Modern Warfare 2 authenticator issue has been causing headaches for plenty of Call of Duty players, who are struggling to complete the authentication process that will allow them to play the game.

There are a couple of potential solutions to help people with this problem. But be warned as well, that decisions taken by Activision Blizzard are also a contributory factor. As such, a solution may not be within your control. We'll explain.

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How to fix the Modern Warfare 2 authenticator issue

For many users, the solution will be relatively straightforward. With the new title, users are required to add a phone number to their Battle.Net account (or Steam, if that's how you play the game). You can see more details here. So the first step is to log into the relevant account and make sure that your mobile number is added to your account details.

It's also critical to ensure that you don't enter the phone number incorrectly, or select the wrong country, as this could prevent you from being able to complete the authentication process. There's more information on 2FA with Activision accounts on the Activision website.

Make sure that your phone number isn't already linked to a different account. If it has already been registered with another account, then again, you will be unable to complete the verification process.

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Finally, this system only works with mobile phones in supported countries that have a data plan. It does not work with prepaid mobile numbers, or VOIP numbers. And it isn't the first time we've seen this, as Overwatch 2 authentication not working was a major issue when that game launched.

If you've already registered your phone number, then make sure that you're logging in with the correct email address. Log out, check you are using the right email, and log back in again.

If you've tried the above and are still having no joy, then you'll need to submit a support ticket.

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What is the Modern Warfare 2 authenticator issue?

So what exactly is going on here? As we alluded to earlier, Modern Warfare 2 now requires users to add a phone number to their Battle.Net account. It's a decision that also affects players on Overwatch 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

The idea behind this is to limit the number of free accounts that a single player is able to create, in order to reduce instances of cheating or toxic behaviour. It prevents people from hiding behind anonymous, prepaid burner phone numbers, for example.

This is linked to the new code of conduct that has been introduced on Call of Duty, which players must agree to before they are allowed to play. this includes competing with integrity and treating others with dignity and respect.

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Most people would agree with this in principle. It does, however, penalise legitimate players who, for whatever reason, do not have a phone number that meets the criteria they've set out.

If this is the situation in which you find yourself, then your options are somewhat limited. Submitting a support ticket is probably your only option, and hope that Blizzard eventually identifies some sort of workaround. You can also follow their official Twitter account, as this is where you'll likely see any updates.

The rules were softened for Overwatch 2 after an outcry. It's possible that we'll see a similar outcome with Modern Warfare 2.