Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3‘s multiplayer features standard 6v6 playlists, as well as Ground War and War mode for large-scale fights. If you’re a new or returning player, this year’s multiplayer might feel a bit overwhelming with the updated movement mechanics and fast-paced action. Here we provide some of the best tips to help you score wins across all game modes in Modern Warfare 3’s multiplayer.
Adjust your settings
Modern Warfare 3 gives plenty of customization in the menus. There are tons of settings for audio, visual, and input devices that you’ll likely want to change for a better experience. For example, some of the game’s default visual settings aren’t great for multiplayer. Turning off things like motion blur, film grain, and depth of field will greatly help with visibility. There are also settings like changing the field of view to zoom out and see more information on the map. If you’re on console, we have a recommended settings guide for getting the most out of Modern Warfare 3 on PlayStation or Xbox consoles.
Grab a headset
You’ll want to use a headset if possible. Having a headset with a mic is crucial for communicating with teammates, which is especially important when you’re playing objective-based modes. Additionally, a headset also provides better audio quality for increased map awareness, allowing you to better hear enemy footsteps and pinpoint their positioning.
Build custom loadouts
Once you start leveling up in Modern Warfare 3, you’ll unlock plenty of perks and weapons to use. Some guns will be easier to handle than others, and you’ll likely want to choose attachments that help improve the handling and mobility of the weapon. Perk choices will depend on your preferred playstyle.
We do have a recommended loadout guide to help you choose some of the best weapons and perks in Modern Warfare 3.
Choose your streak preference and best streaks
Score-based or kill-based
Just like last year, Modern Warfare 3 lets you choose how you want to earn your streaks, meaning you can work towards killstreaks or scorestreaks. The choice isn’t tied to a perk or any disadvantage; you can simply pick how you want to earn your multiplayer streaks. So, just consider your personal playstyle here. If you’re a player who likes to play aggressive and go for kills, you can leave the streaks on the default setting. However, if you’re someone who likes to play the objective, you might want to switch to scorestreaks.
To choose between killstreak or scorestreak, you’ll simply want to press the right trigger (R2/RT) on the killstreak menu to toggle between the two options. You can change this option at any time between matches, so you don’t have to worry if you change your mind on how you want to play.
Additionally, when choosing killstreaks you want to make some smart choices. Some of the high end streaks like the Chopper Gunner or Juggernaut suit can be a lot of fun to use, but if you’re new to Call of Duty or just struggling to earn streaks, you’ll likely want to go for the choices that either feed you information or take information away from your enemy.
This means the UAV, which is the lowest-cost streak in the game, is actually one of the best to equip. It reveals enemy locations on the minimap and gives you and your teammates map awareness.
The Counter-UAV is another solid choice for a low-end streak, as it will take info away from the enemy. Additionally, the Advanced UAV is a great high-end option as it provides you and your teammates with an untargetable orbital UAV that reveals each enemy’s direction on the minimap in real time.
MW3’s Skidrow remastered map
Navigate the map wisely
Modern Warfare 3 is launching with the entire map pool from 2009’s Modern Warfare 2, and while all of the maps are remastered with only very minor changes, not everyone will be familiar with these old map layouts.
One helpful tip I always give to new friends playing Call of Duty is to work the outskirts of the map. If you just rush straight into the middle of the map, you’re putting yourself in the hot zone, and you run a greater risk of being targeted from multiple angles and enemies. You’ll still get plenty of gunfights working from the outskirts and slowly working inwards, but this gives you time to get more familiar with the gunplay, fast-paced movement, and learn the hot spots for each map.
For example, if you just rush straight to the crashed plane near the center of Afghan, you’ll likely get insta-sniped from a number of different directions.
Keep your gun up
Modern Warfare 3 doesn’t feature a time-to-kill as fast as MW2, but the game does include much faster movement mechanics, meaning an enemy can easily slide or jump around the corner in a flash.
The best way to counter this is to make sure you’re aiming your gun as you navigate through buildings and turn corners. Never have your gun down in these moments, because in the seconds it takes to raise your gun and aim down sights, an opponent can appear out of nowhere and fire at you.
Make use of your HUD
The traditional minimap returns to Call of Duty this year, meaning enemies will show as red dots on your map when they fire unsuppressed weapons. Knowing where your opponents are is always helpful information, but it’s also smart to watch where your teammates (the blue marks) are spawning. If you see all the blue dots suddenly start spawning on the opposite end of the map, that means the enemy is likely spawning close to you. Or, if a nearby blue dot disappears near you, then you know they just died to an enemy who could still be close by.
There’s even a compass at the very top of the screen. This often seems to get overlooked by players, but this will also ping red dots for enemies firing their weapon. This is great for large-scale modes like Ground War or War where you might want to use directional callouts to let your teammates know about a far-off tank or sniper.
Additionally, there’s also a ping system to mark enemies using the D-pad, but sometimes it doesn’t actually ping the specific player or area you’re aiming for.
Even a seasoned veteran can have trouble carrying a team of randoms to victory if no one is communicating or playing the objective. Try to party up with at least one or two friends to give yourself better odds of scoring a win.
Additionally, we have a guide on how to level up faster in Modern Warfare 3, including both player rank and weapon progression. Modern Warfare 3 includes the Tac-Stance mechanic for faster and more precise firing without ADS, but here’s our guide on how to turn off this awkward new feature.