MW2 To play this, You'll Need To Buy It Xbox Error Explained

Are you getting the “To play this, You’ll Need To Buy It” error when trying to start MW2 on Xbox? Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II multiplayer is finally here! However, at launch, a number of players are currently experiencing a rather unpleasant surprise. Namely, they are informed that they don’t own MW2 on Xbox, despite buying the game and even playing the campaign over the last seven days. Are you getting this error as well? Read on as we explain why is this happening.

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MW2 To play this, You'll Need To Buy It Error Explained
Modern Warfare II To play this, You’ll Need To Buy It Xbox Error

To play this, You’ll Need To Buy It Modern Warfare 2 Error Explained

UPDATE: Since the most recent Modern Warfare 2 patch on Thursday, November 17th, a number of players are again experiencing the same issue. We will update the article once we have more information about it.

It’s midnight in your region, and you are finally ready to play MW2 multiplayer. However, you are unable to do this as your Xbox says that you don’t own Modern Warfare 2. When you try to start MW2, a message appears that says: “To play this, You’ll Need To Buy It”. Since you are fairly sure that you’ve bought the game, this is quite baffling to see. So, why is this happening? The good news is that you didn’t make any mistakes on your part. It has nothing to do with you accidentally doing something wrong. Rather, as reported by other players, it seems that the issue is caused by Microsft.

Apparently, it seems that some glitch caused Modern Warfare 2 pre-orders to be cancelled en masse on Xbox consoles. Many players are reporting the same issues. Thus, the first thing you should do is check Microsoft order history to see if the MW2 purchase was cancelled. Look for it in your email as well (the one you use for Xbox). If it turns out that indeed is the case, and your MW2 purchase was cancelled by mistake, then unfortunately there’s only one thing you can do. You will need to submit a ticket to Xbox Support and explain your problem. Though, you should be warned that many players are currently waiting in line due to the same reason. Thus, it might take a while until they process your submission and solve the problem.



  1. K
    Kaylee oeters

    Saying my process was failed on preordering mw2 but already played early access beta an campaign an went though with money in account

    1. J
      Jahid Agyemang

      Me too man idk what’s going on like I played Campaign and finished it why can I not play the game now, do you know why we’re having this issue?

      1. R

        I’m having same issue on series s, played campaign etc. when I go to see in Microsoft store it says I have put gases but 0/5 parts have been downloaded..

        1. B

          Gotta pre order this $160 to play later than anybody else tried to reinstall and now Microsoft wants me to buy again should never went back to Xbox

        2. B
          Boz fix

          You have to get Xbox app link Xbox then download off the phone only thing that’s worked had every problem saying declined or failed I haven’t paid

          1. M
            Micheal campbell

            Thx fam imma let u kno if it let me play

          2. K

            It worked for me. you are doing gods work thank you

          3. J

            Can you please explain this in more detail

    2. G

      So what happened is you probably preordered awhile ago well when you bought it, it didn’t take money straight from your account it waited 10 days until launch to do it, so you may not have had sufficient funds, at least that’s what someone on that stupid Microsoft support told me

    3. K
      Kedarious Stephens

      Very Frustrating

    4. X

      Bought the hard copy MW2, put the disc in, nothing. Took it back to the store, exchanged it, put it back in the console, nothing! Think they sold us blank discs. Installed it from the xbox app, put the disc back in, still says I need to purchase the game to play. Been on the phone with microsoft over a period of three days, no help. VERY FRUSTRATING and DISSAPOINTING!!!! ABSOLUTELY not SATISFIED with this one. (@MW2) (ACTIVISION) WISH I HAD 10 HANDS SO I COULD GIVE MW2 10 THUMBS DOWN!!

      1. J

        I’ve got a xbox one s and it says in the Microsoft store that mw2 is free, so I downloaded it and it also came with Warzone 2. And when I click the campaign to play it says I still need to buy it, even though I’ve downloaded all the resources to play it. It says on Google that when you buy an Xbox one s at target you’ll get mw2 for free, since I already owned one and it said free on the store I thought it’d be good to go.

      2. R

        Same here man, bought the physical edition from Argos in the uk, Xbox support have not been helpful, neither has activision. I can’t play anything except warzone and xbox support say they’ll ring me but never do. Beyond fucked off with this im going to Playstation next, fuck xbox.

  2. J

    It still says this for me

  3. J

    I tried deleting an reinstalling the game thinking I could play it if I reinstall it but now it says I have to rebuy the whole game to even download it

    1. H
      Hayden Campbell

      I did the same thing

    2. K

      Please let me know when you find something helpfull i also check cause im sitting with the same prob.

    3. J

      It’s doing the exact same thing for me. Microsoft needs to step up and acknowledge all of the canceled times pre-orders. I beat the campaign earlier this week so I don’t understand what the issue is

    4. P
      Paul Krieger

      You are able to redownload it if your phone has Xbox app

      1. D

        Are you able to play it after redownloading with your phone thank you

      2. J
        Juan Hernandez L

        Still can’t play it after downloading it to Xbox app and linking it to my Xbox series X

  4. J
    James Santi79

    I pre-ordered it back in June and it’s telling me that I’d never bought it. But I already played the beta and the campaign.

    1. R

      same here. probably on microsoft’s end

      1. E

        It’s been like this for over 24 hours now, it’s unacceptable

  5. G

    Microsoft is actually f****** trash. I played the beta version and campaign… Wtf is this s***? Pre-ordered the game long ago too and still saying I need to buy it

  6. D
    David Melrose

    PlayStation is about to get a lot more money. They need to fix this for the casual and hardcore fans. Warzone wouldn’t work half the time and I have the series X. Pretty bummed that a company with so many resources can’t take care of the loyal following. Please patch this or fix it Microsoft.

  7. D
    Dane Dixon

    All my mates are online playing and I’m stuck saying that i don’t have the game even when I completed the campaign and got to level 30 in the beta what is going on

  8. M

    Who else pre ordered game and played beta and campaign and gets pop up when starting game that you need to buy it again . And I even lost my money it never gave it back who else ?

    1. M

      My exact situatiin. REFUSE to pay anoth 60-70 dollars when i already paid and played, but now thats its finally released fully i dont have it? Bullshit

      1. W

        Same issues….seesh devs dont care

    2. X

      same thing happened to my boyfriend, im trying to figure out how to get his money back after he bought it and played it says he needs to re buy it again any one know how to get my money back?

  9. G

    I had to buy this stupid ****** game again online on Microsoft and hope it’ll work after this ****. 30th time downloading this trash-ass game and not being able to play other than the campaign. Microsoft absolute garbage

  10. C
    Connor miller

    Payed for vault edition pre order and it’s telling me I don’t own it. Looked at my email it says payment even tho they took the money out of my already back in September. So I’m just gonna go to my bank let them know my situation and never play that game ever.

  11. F

    On PS5 I have spent £100 GBP and I am not able to play the game…

  12. D
    Derrick Benavidez

    Did it work for anybody yet or does it really want me to re buy it again?

  13. T
    Tony Montana

    It won’t even let me purchase the game it’s self and I’ve tried all my cards and it goes oops there’s a Problem try again later

  14. T
    Tyler Ellis

    I can’t Even buy I have tried since 1 this afternoon and it keeps give me and like “Not sure what happened here. Please try again later.

  15. J

    Screw Xbox they did to me last call of duty release they want you to have to re buy in! It’s straight garbage ps4 here I come.

  16. S

    So Microsoft just gonna tell me to buy another and do nothing about it should’ve stayed on PlayStation

  17. C

    It’s doing the same for ps5

  18. N

    Has anyone found a way to fix this issue yet? Xbox is crooked for this

    1. J
      Juan Hernandez L

      Play Station is having the same issues

  19. B

    I checked my order history. It did that glitch where it said “declined” on the 25th. But I looked for the money in my bank and cash app. I DIDNT EVEN GET A REFUND! GIMME MY F****** MONEY BACK SO I CAN GET A F***** PC! I’M DONE WITH YOUR BS MICROSOFT! PROBLEMS WITH PARTY CHAT, AND THEN YOU ADD DISCORD WHICH DOESN’T EVEN F****** WORK

    1. B
      Bro it did the same for me , do you have any good news , I really want to play the freaking game

      Does anyone have any news yet , I really want to play the freaking game !!!

  20. T
    thomas hodge

    Make sure all of the game is downloaded, my was saying that I haven’t purchased the game but was still yet to download campaign, multiplayer ect
    Go into game and add ons and make sure all 5 parts of the game are installed before running

  21. J
    Juan Hernandez L

    So I downloaded it on the Xbox app again, it says launch on console. So I launch it and it gives me the same **** message about needing to buy this god damn game to play it when it’s already paid for 😡. Okay staying Gang is having the same issues as well. Don’t blame Microsoft, I think this is o
    The game developers

  22. J

    I’m bouta start my own console wars against my own console I have been a dedicated Xbox fan ever sense I played video games and this is happening to its most loyal fans suck my ****.

  23. W
    William Frantz Rodenhauser

    ME TOO, It seems Microsoft and /or Activision – Blizzard have now VIOLATED me Not Once BUT TWICE.

  24. W
    Whitney Dahlin

    ‼️MINE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH PREORDER!! My husband and I obviously share our Xbox One and we bought the game after it came out. And we happened to be on his account when we bought the game on Microsoft store and downloaded it. We like to split screen and multiplayer and now I can’t edit any classes on my account because it says I don’t own the game. And just gives me a link to go to Microsoft so whenever I click the Microsoft link it says I already own the game and open the game and it’s just like a circle. I can’t play the game alone and it keeps crashing whenever we’re on split screen. I tried contacting Activision a week and a half ago and I still haven’t heard a response. They gave me like an order number or whatever. Is there any way to fix this? There literally isn’t even an ability to buy the game again since the Xbox already owns it. Not that I would want to pay again and not that I should HAVE to. Can anyone give any help on this?

  25. J

    Booted up my Xbox one s and went to the MS store and saw that mw2 was free, im guessing because at target if you buy a xbox one s you get mw2 for free even though I’ve had my Xbox one for years it still said it was free, so I downloaded it and it even came with warzone 2. But im here because you guessed it, mw2 doesn’t work for some reason. warzone works but mw2 does not, I even downloaded the campaign, multi-player, everything and it still says I need to buy it. I don’t know if im just not doing it right, if it’s bugging out, or if I had false hope.

  26. B

    So how do I install from my phone I have the app, connected to console, and it says launch on console…..?

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