Perks significantly enhance your abilities or give you bonuses during combat. These are game-changers, so you can only utilize three at a time. Perks unlock as you level up, and pro versions become available after completing specific challenges while that perk is equipped. Don’t worry - unlocking pro perks is much easier in Modern Warfare than it was in Black Ops.
Tier 1 -
Recon: Explosive damage paints the target on the mini-map. The target will show up in the same fashion as it would had you used an AUAV (sustained and direction-indicated). This effect lasts a full 12 seconds and the target appears on your entire team’s minimap. “Explosive damage” includes flash grenades and concussion grenades too. This is an incredibly useful team-oriented perk, especially the pro version, which includes bullet damage.
Sleight of Hand: Faster reloading. This reduces reload times by half. Useful for aggressive players, a quicker reload can mean the difference between life and death in the heat of combat. The pro version cuts your weapon swap time in half.
Blind Eye: Undetectable by air support, sentries, and thermal scopes. The pro version dramatically increases your ant-air capabilities. Launcher lock-on time is cut in half, and your bullets will do far more damage to airborne vehicles. This means you could easily take out aircraft without wasting your secondary slot on a launcher!
Extreme Conditioning: Sprint for longer distances. The distance that you can sprint before running out of steam is doubled. A fantastic perk for aggressive, short-range players. The pro version doubles your mantling (pressing A/X to get over an obstacle or through a window) speed.
Scavenger: Pick up ammo and throwing knives from fallen enemies. This is great if you have a love affair with your particular weapon, and you have the skill to survive long enough to need more ammo. Scavenger does not allow you to pick up grenades this time around. The pro version gives you two extra ammo clips per spawn.
Tier 2 -
Quickdraw: Faster aiming. This doubles ADS speed, which can be crucial in one of those twitchy one-on-one battles. The pro version cuts the time it takes to use any equipment in half.
Blast Shield: Increased explosive resistance. This reduces all damage from grenades, rockets, claymore, etc. by 45%. A useful perk in team-based objective matches where defense is crucial. The pro version cuts the time you spend reeling from flash grenades and concussion grenades in half.
Hardline: Killstreaks require one less kill. This works for all Pointsreaks and Deathstreaks in the game. The pro version turns two assists into a Killstreak point and knocks an additional death off the Deathstreak requirements.
Assassin: Undetectable by UAV, portable radar, thermal, and heartbeat sensors. A fantastic stealth perk. Snipers will enjoy this as it lets them stay undiscovered for longer periods of time. The pro version removes the red name and crosshair that normally shows up for an enemy when they put you in their sights. It also makes you immune to EMPs and CUAV (counter UAVs).
Overkill: Equip two primary weapons. This a great choice if you want to train with other weapon types but hate giving up old faithful for when the going gets tough. The drawback is you cannot equip any attachments to the second weapon. The pro version, however, allows for a single attachment.
Tier 3 -
Marksman: Identify enemy targets at longer range. This means that you can see the red names above your enemy’s head at a greater distance than usual, aiding in target acquisition. The pro version allows you to hold your breath for twice as long as normal.
Stalker: Move faster while aiming. More specifically, 100% movement speed while ADS. The biggest benefit comes from being able to strafe faster during firefights while maintaining accuracy. The pro version delays all detection-triggered explosives by two seconds, effectively removing any danger if you’re moving quickly enough.
Sitrep: Detect enemy explosives and tactical equipment. Enemy equipment, including grenades, will be highlighted in red on your screen even if walls or obstacles are in the way. This comes in handy when playing against enemies at higher levels, since dangerous equipment like Claymores aren’t unlocked until level 53. The pro version makes enemy footsteps much easier to hear.
Steady Aim: Increased hip-fire accuracy. This reduces bullet spread by 35% when not ADS. This perk is only really valuable to aggressive SMG/Shotgun wielders. The pro version allows for 40% quicker recovery from melee strikes.
Dead Silence: Silences footsteps and reduces the effects of the Recon perk to six seconds. Obviously this is the tier 3 perk of choice for stealth builds. The pro version completely removes fall damage.
Frag Grenades: Standard, bouncy, rolling grenades that take three and a half seconds to explode without any cooking.
Semtex: You cannot cook this explosive, but it does detonate faster than a frag and you can stick it to anything or anybody.
Throwing Knife: A quick, silent, and lethal option. You only get one, but you can retrieve it if you can find it. You can even throw in the middle of a reload if needed. Hold the throw button to pull up a reticule or tap for an instant attack.
Bouncing Betty: A proximity mine with 360-degree detection that jumps into the air before exploding. The damage is a bit less than a grenade, and players can completely avoid injury by quickly going prone.
Claymore: A proximity mine with only frontal detection but higher damage than both a grenade or a Bouncing Betty. Players can also see the red lasers projected from Claymores, which telegraph their general detection range and damage area.
C4: A remotely detonated explosive with a full 360-degree damage radius. It does as much damage as a Claymore, but can only be set off manually. You can switch to the detonator or double-tap the reload button to detonate planted C4.
Flash Grenades: If the your target is close enough to the blast and facing directly towards it, a flash grenade can blind for between five and six seconds. These can also be slightly cooked, though their fuse is about half that of a frag grenade’s.
Concussion Grenades: Similar to flash grenades, only they stun enemies (slow them down). These can be cooked, but unlike flash and frag grenades, will not explode until they hit the ground.
Scrambler: These devices scramble the radar of any enemy caught in the effect radius. These are especially useful during team-based objective matches.
EMP Grenades: These grenades disable the huds of anyone caught in their blast. EMPS have huge radii and can even take down certain aircraft. The fuse, however, is incredibly short, so make sure you are close to your target.
Smoke Grenades: These go poof then a cloud of smoke appears.
Trophy System: This equipment will shoot down any incoming projectile within its ten meter radius. The drawback is that it can only take out two projectiles before shutting down permanently. Use this during objective matches or to fortify a sniper perch.
Tactical Insertion: Drop this equipment where you want to spawn after your next death. This is perfect for returning to objectives quickly, or getting revenge by magically appearing in an enemy stronghold. Be aware that enemies can see the tactical insertion (it appears as red smoke to them) and can destroy it.
Portable Radar: This equipment scans a twenty meter radius every two seconds, showing enemy positions on your mini-map and giving off an audible ping. Useful for snipers who need to be aware of flankers.
Modern Warfare 3 has taken a different approach to streaks this time. Yes, the standard concept of ‘kill x enemies in a row without dying to gain bonuses’ still exists, but now you can also earn rewards by completing objectives and even from consecutive deaths.
There are three ways to earn a “point” towards your streak: killing an enemy, completing an objective, or by getting two assists with Hardline Pro equipped. It’s important to note that kills earned by your streak rewards stack, meaning they count towards more streak rewards. This was not the case in Black Ops.
Assault Strike Package
Assault packages are mostly offensive. This is where you’ll find such devastating rewards such as airstrikes, drones, and aircraft gunners. Pointstreaks reset when you die.
Support Strike Package
Support packages consist of mostly non-lethal rewards such as ballistic vests, AUAVs, and EMPs. Pointstreaks DO NOT reset when you die.
Specialist Strike Package
The specialist package rewards every two kills with a new perk (the pro version if you have it unlocked) that you don’t already have equipped. You can earn up to three perks with six consecutive kills. At eight consecutive kills, you are granted all perks as well as all weapon proficiencies. Pointstreaks reset when you die.
The MOAB (Mother of All Bombs)
This is a hidden streak reward, obtained only by accumulating 25 unassisted kills with your weapon (meaning Pointstreak kills don’t count). This is a massive bomb that kills every enemy on the map, eliminates all enemy equipment, and activates an EMP for one minute. Unlike the Tactical Nuke from MW2, the round will not automatically end once the MOAB is used. Any strike package can earn the MOAB.
Deathstreaks: Finally, rewards for dying. Consecutive deaths will grant you bonuses in Modern Warfare 3, though these perks aren’t especially valuable. The system does, however, slightly ease the pain and humiliation of death.
Rule #1 of most online shooters: If you’re in TEAM deathmatch then you should probably work with your TEAM. Call of Duty becomes an entirely different animal when a team of eight is coordinating properly. Admittedly, this is tough to do in a random online match, but that’s no excuse for some of the play we’ve seen out there. If no one is willing to work together, then tag along behind one of the lone wolves. It may not be the most glorious tactic to concede control to someone unwilling to play properly, but at least he’ll get shot in the face before you, and you two may just *gasp* accidentally work together.
If you spot a teammate lying prone in an area or crouched near the open window of a sniper perch, and he’s not shooting, don’t run up to him and start firing wildly at whatever he’s looking at. That’s the last thing he needs when he’s laying low trying to line up a shot on an unsuspecting enemy.
Learn different primary weapon types. You can do just fine only ever using an assault rifle, but there are other guns for a reason and someone who can use them effectively is going to have more success. Even if it means sacrificing your K/D ratio for a bit, go a whole match using a weapon you’re unfamiliar with. By the end of the match you’ll have gained valuable experience (an appreciation) and in no time you’ll be able to...
...Choose your loadout according to the map. At the start of every round you can see the map on screen, giving you time to prepare if you’re not already familiar with the location. Create classes that are suitable for short, mid, and long range combat and switch between them frequently.
Many factors other than reflexes and skill come into play when two players spot each other at the same time. Perks, weapon type, and even internet connection all factor in to determine who wins in a situation like this. If you find yourself losing most of these battles, stick to cover and play more conservatively. It’s not the main way you want to be racking up kills anyway.
Watch your ammo. If you plan on surviving more than 60 seconds at a time, chances are your gun will run dry. If you can anticipate ahead of time, you can exchange your secondary weapon for a fallen enemy’s primary weapon. That way when your main gun is empty, you’ll have a fully capable backup.
Stick to the perimeter and areas with lots of cover. If you need to get across an open section, do it quickly, and preferably only when you’re fairly certain it’s safe (multiple teammates moving through, no UAV dots, etc.).
Don’t always automatically reload after a kill. In a game like Call of Duty, there is likely another enemy just around the corner who is ready to put you down while you fumble with a new magazine. Reload only when you are fairly sure it’s safe.
If you spot an enemy’s pile of ballistic vests, quickly get away and find a good view of said pile. Players flock to these en masse, often with little regard for the surrounding area, so a well timed grenade or a surprise bullet barrage will go a long way.
Doorways. Don’t get caught standing in them. It’s a bad habit to stand in a doorway scoping the area beyond to see if it’s safe. Ironically, this turns you into a ridiculously easy target, and you’ll often be punished by the opposition. Move quickly through doors, and if you don’t have a good feeling about what’s on the other side, avoid them all together and find another way around.
Cook those frags. An uncooked frag is often useless, taking a full three and a half seconds to explode. That’s more than enough time for your enemy to get away from the blast radius, shoot you in the face, and teabag you before your grenade detonates.
Look for barrels and cars strewn about the maps. These explode when damaged, and instantly kill anyone foolish enough to take cover near them. The best way to detonate these objects is with explosives of your own.
Claymores don’t unlock until you reach level 53, but once you can use them, use them often. Because of the high requirement, many players can’t use them, and therefore may forget they exist. This may change as more of the online MW3 population levels up, but for now it’s a solid tactic.
UAVs last 30 seconds. If you activate a UAV while another is already scanning, it will only add five seconds to the original scan. However, two active UAVs will double the scan rate, and three will grant the same effect as an Advanced UAV (constant enemy positioning and direction).
Either carry a launcher at all times or have a build on standby featuring a launcher. High level enemy aircraft can severely hurt your chances in team-based matches, and relying solely on your teammates to deal with them is a bit cruel.
Like it or not, explosives have been weakened overall for MW3, and grenades can no longer be picked up with the scavenger perk.