How to Stop Playing Call of Duty – A Step-by-Step Guide

Welcome to our guide on How to Stop Playing Call of Duty. Learn step-by-step exactly what you need to do to quit the game so you can spend more time being productive and improving the quality of your life.

Call of Duty is one of the biggest gaming franchises in the world.

The game is a first-person shooter released in 2003. It offers a Battle Royale mode called Call of Duty: Warzone and free-to-play version Call of Duty: Mobile. The latter was released on October 1st, 2019, and saw one of the largest mobile game launches in history, generating over US$480 million with 270 million downloads within a year. Today the game has over 100 million players and is one of the most popular games in the world.

However, Call of Duty can be addictive for some players thanks to its fast-paced gameplay, in-game loot boxes, and competitive nature. 

That’s why Call of Duty addiction is such a big problem today. With an increasing number of players, more and more people are looking for strategies on how to stop playing Call of Duty.

What Makes Call of Duty so Popular?

call of duty addiction

Call of Duty has a long tradition as a video game.

If you started playing video games in the early 2000s, then the first versions of Call of Duty games might have shaped you as a gamer. Games such as COD 2, COD 4, Black Ops, and Modern Warfare II remain nostalgic for gamers. Many people play Call of Duty because of brand loyalty and may have played the franchise for a decade or longer.

After all, Call of Duty is the third most profitable gaming franchise, behind Pokemon and Mario.

Spoko, a recovered gamer shares, “Call of Duty was so in-depth compared to the other games I had played. Players took losing seriously and were adamant about becoming the greatest gamer they could be. Clan after clan existed throughout the community, and I was excited to become a part of it. If I were able to go back in time and stop myself from becoming addicted to games, this would’ve been the point where I would’ve tried to convince myself that there was more to life than gaming.”

The second reason why Call of Duty is so popular is that it offers a perfect combination of engaging (and potentially addictive) elements of game design:

  • Fast-paced gameplay
  • Social interaction
  • Competitiveness
  • Loot boxes and in-game rewards
  • The potential to improve as a player 

In addition, Call of Duty: Warzone, the most popular Call of Duty game, offers a free-to-play Battle Royale mode.

Lastly, we must not ignore the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. From the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to April 2021, the player count has risen from 30 million to 100 million for Call of Duty Warzone.

Related: 9 Most Addicting Games in the World

Addicted to Call of Duty?

Some players who play Call of Duty report it affecting their lives in negative ways. Common negative effects of gaming include poor grades, low motivation, lack of productivity, poor relationships, or struggles with employment or work performance.

So how do you know if you might be addicted to Call of Duty?

Concerned about your gaming? Take the Video Game Addiction Test.

First, notice if you are playing more and more and neglecting regular life responsibilities such as school or work. Often someone who is developing a gaming problem will withdraw from activities such as sports to create more time to play games, such as this recovered gamer in the Netherlands:

“I had stopped playing soccer, tennis, and piano because I could play Call of Duty with my friends. Those were the first things I started giving up to play more games, the games I loved so much toy would constantly challenge me mentally.”

Next, notice if you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you can’t play, such as becoming more irritable and moody. Do you find yourself feeling frustrated or arguing with people in your life when you can’t play? Are you having trouble focusing at school or work because you want to be at home gaming? 

Finally, notice if you continue to play even though it is harming your life. Do you find yourself justifying why you should continue to play, even though you know you have played enough? Are you staying up too late, causing you to be tired to play? Do you find yourself becoming more apathetic about the quality of your life?

If you are resonating with this, then you want to follow the advice below. Call of Duty addiction is a big problem, but it is possible to stop it or learn to moderate it.

Austin struggled with a Call of Duty addiction (among other games) and managed to moderate his gaming and use his valuable time for other things, so he became an entrepreneur.

Improving Your Life is Possible

call of duty victory

First of all, you should realize that quitting Call of Duty is not going to be easy. You will struggle at times and might even relapse, but that’s okay, as long as you realize it and try to stay on the path.

Whenever it gets challenging, try to remember why you want to quit playing Call of Duty.

Is it limiting your real-world chances of meeting new people? Is it getting in your way towards better grades, having a job, friends, or a life worth living? Or are you just tired of being unable to resist the urge of playing another Warzone or CoD game at 3 am?

Here are some additional tips to remember before we get started with strategies on how to stop playing Call of Duty for good:

  • Quitting Call of Duty (like any other game) is a marathon, not a sprint. Be patient and take it one day at a time.
  • Commit 100%. Don’t allow yourself to play “just one more game.” Before you know it, it will be another one, and another one, until you’re caught up in the same old cycle again.
  • Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to tell your friends, parents, or anyone you trust. If you don’t have anyone you trust, try speaking with a video game addiction therapist.
  • Start today, not tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, or next week. Today.

How to Stop Playing Call of Duty – Step By Step

call of duty quit

Follow these steps to stop your Call of Duty addiction.

Step 1: Find Out The Reason Why You Play Call of Duty So Much

The first step will happen in your mind, but it’s essential to stop for a moment and think about the reasons why you play so much.

In our experience, there are four main reasons why people play games excessively:

  • Temporary escape
  • Social connection
  • Measurable growth
  • Challenge

These four reasons are basic needs we have. There’s nothing wrong with wanting an escape from stress, or to socially connect with friends, or to experience progress, or to challenge yourself and achieve. The key is to be intentional in how you fulfill these needs.

So why do you play Call of Duty? What do you enjoy about it? How does it fulfill your life? The more clarity you can find in why you play Call of Duty, the easier it will be for you to stop playing.

It’s an important step, so you should not skip it. Take some time to think about why you play, and it will make it easier for you later on as you’ll look to find new activities that address the needs that gaming covers for you.

Step 2: Start a 90-Day Call of Duty Detox.

The next step is to start a 90-day Call of Duty detox

What does this mean? 

Essentially, you should spend 90 days without playing Call of Duty (or any other game), period. 

Why 90 days?

Because that’s how long it will take for your brain to rewire from the dopamine you get while playing games.

As you play games, your brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for how we feel pleasure. Gaming is hyper-stimulating, so the more you play, the more your brain will require the same level of dopamine to feel satisfaction.

After 90-days, you will be able to decide whether you want to play Call of Duty in moderation or quit gaming forever. You can also delete all of your Call of Duty accounts and games from your computer if you want to stop right now.

It will be challenging, especially in the first few days, but the next step will help you.

If you’re a parent reading this, a 90-day detox may not be feasible for your circumstances, or your child. Speak with a professional who can help you make that decision. Book a consultation today.

Step 3: Find Replacement Activities

When you stop playing Call of Duty for 90 days, you will have several hours of free time. You’ll need to replace the time you spent playing Call of Duty with new activities.

To be successful, we recommend finding new activities that fulfill the needs that gaming fulfilled. To help you do this, we have prepared a list of 60+ hobby ideas that you can consider trying to replace Call of Duty. 

To start this step, you’ll have to think again about why you played Call of Duty – what did it fulfill in your life?

For instance, if you played CoD because of social interaction, find hobbies that bring social interaction. It could be playing basketball with friends or if you don’t like sports, maybe joining a club or a community with like-minded people. You can also join the Game Quitters Forum to connect with new peers.

If you’re still unsure which replacement activity is for you, try out our hobby tool. It will provide you with hobby ideas for your specific needs.

Step 4: Structure Your Time

During the 90-day detox, there will be times when you will be bored, especially during the times that you would typically have spent playing Call of Duty.

What to do if that happens? Well, first, chill. Although boredom can feel frustrating, it will pass. It’s also helpful to structure your schedule, so you never run out of activities to do.

Use a calendar or plan and write down your schedule for the day. Pay close attention to the times you usually play games, such as after school or work. Fill that time with activities and hobbies that you’ve picked previously. It can also be helpful to have multiple new activities to replace gaming instead of just one.

The rewards of doing this will be huge. Never forget why you want to quit Call of Duty in the first place.

Step 5: Join a Support Community

Quitting Call of Duty will be easier with the help of a support community. There are many great communities, both online and offline. Here is a list of online support communities:

You can also try joining communities in your local area. You can also organize a group of friends who support each other to quit Call of Duty at the same time and be each other’s motivation.

Need Help to Quit Gaming?

Reading this and still don’t know where to start? Check out Respawn, our proven step-by-step system designed to help you quit gaming and take control of your life once again.

Guide to Quit Gaming

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