How to fix “To play this, you’ll need to buy it” Xbox error for MW2

How do you fix this?

Call of Duty games have their fair share of bugs and errors at launch, and Modern Warfare 2 is no different. Since its release, many players on Xbox consoles have reported error messages stating, "To play this, you'll need to buy it." This is the standard message that players on Xbox will receive when they attempt to play a game they have not yet purchased, but the issue with MW2 is that even players that have preordered the game are receiving the error.

Modern Warfare 2 Multiplayer "To play this, you'll need to buy it" error fix

Unfortunately, there is no real way to fix this error message. Players can attempt a workaround by restarting their console to see if it resolves the issue, but since the issue is on Microsoft's side, players can't do much to help. Players can check some common issues that may cause this error to appear, but if none of these are occurring, the only options are to wait it out or contact Microsoft support and hope that they can help resolve the issue.

Related: How to reach Price using the first vehicle in Keeping This One achievement - MW2 Campaign Guide

What causes the "To play this, you'll need to buy it" error message on MW2

Players can encounter this message for several reasons, even if they have already purchased the game. Past Call of Duty games, namely Call of Duty: Cold War, saw an issue that caused some players' preorders to be canceled just before the game was released. In this case, players can resolve the issue by checking to be sure that their preorder is still in place and repurchasing the game if not. Some players have also reported the issue being caused by the timezone/location setting on their Xbox console not being set to the correct option. Be sure to check this in the Xbox console settings to be sure it is correct before launching the game.

Interested in other helpful Modern Warfare 2 Multiplayer guides and want to read more? Check out Is there Hardcore in MW2 Multiplayer? on Pro Game Guides!

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get updates on your favorite games!

About the Author

CJ is a freelance writer with a passion for modern and retro video games, with an emphasis on RPGs and Pokemon games. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his cat and drinking way too much coffee.
Find CJ Kuzdal On: Twitter

Write A Comment

How to fix “To play this, you’ll need to buy it” Xbox error for MW2

Comments are on moderation and will be approved in a timely manner. Please read the following rules before commenting:

  • All comments must be on topic and add something of substance to the post
  • No swearing or inappropriate words
  • No asking or begging for anything free
  • Do not attempt to start a poll in the comments
  • Comments in all CAPS will be removed
  • We reserve the right to remove a comment for any reason
  • Do not impersonate a staff member or influencer

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.