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Modern Warfare tips: 13 essential tips to know before you play

Whether you're tackling the campaign on veteran or looking to improve your KD ratio online, we've got the Modern Warfare tips for you. While this game is a reboot of the classic franchise that started in 2007, there's some new tricks up Captain Price's sleeves. New guns, mechanics, gamemodes, and more feature in Call of Duty Modern Warfare, so we've got 13 essential Modern Warfare tips for you to take on board before you jump into the latest Call of Duty experience.

1. Don't be afraid to change the difficulty

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The Modern Warfare campaign comes with five difficulty modes, each of which provides a completely new challenge. While Infinity Ward has set "Regular" as the baseline, there are other options available to you depending on your proficiency with first-person shooters and experience with other entries in the series. Recruit has been retooled to be an even better entry point for those that are new to the genre, giving you an opportunity to experience the story without dying every other step. 

If you're finding Recruit and Regular to be a little too easy, Hardened should provide a nice challenge to those with a lot of experience with the series. If, on the other hand, you want a serious challenge then there are Veteran and Realism modes available to you. While we wouldn't recommend these for a first run through – Veteran features more aggressive enemies and an even rougher time-to-kill, with Realism increasing the challenge further by offering Veteran settings with a limited HUD – they are available to you from the start. Give any of these modes and remember, you can always change it later; nobody is going to judge you for retooling the difficulty part-way through the game if you need to!

2. Move with caution

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It's incredibly easy to die in Modern Warfare. Unlike other recent entries to the long-running series, Modern Warfare is a grounded experience that focuses on the power of the individual soldier. It means that you'll need to take in each scenario and work out the best way to weave through firing lines. Fight the temptation to sprint out in the open, instead you should attempt to push forward slowly. Move between cover – whatever cover you can find – before taking a few shots and repeating the same process again. If you spend too long out of cover, out in the open, or taking aim at enemies, you will be punished for it. 

3. Find your favourite guns

Modern Warfare tips

(Image credit: Activision)

This should come as no surprise, but Modern Warfare features a hell of a lot of guns. The campaign is a great place to try out a huge variety of Modern Warfare guns before you get into the killing fields of multiplayer. While each of the missions will start you off with a predefined loadout, you'll find that new weapons can be found across the map and in safe-houses, as well as picked up off of the bodies of conquered enemies and fallen comrades. Get your hands on as many of these as you can in the campaign, and you'll feel better prepared for awaits you in the multiplayer. 

4. Campaign experience will help online 

(Image credit: Activision)

The tactics that you learn in the campaign will directly inform how you should play the multiplayer. The lessons that you learn here, from moving cautiously and using cover, to working with your squadmates to clear rooms and the importance of checking corners, are great strategies to learn early on. The campaign doesn't pit you against giant armies or ridiculous waves of enemies, it's a smaller and more intimate affair, a direct parallel of the sort of challenge you should expect to encounter against real foes. The campaign is a great time, but you should also think of it as a learning experience. 

 5. Don't be afraid to camp

Modern Warfare tips

(Image credit: Activision)

Maps in the single-player and multiplayer of Modern Warfare have been designed to be more intimate affairs than those typically seen in other Call of Duty games. That means that camping is something of a legitimate strategy, especially as you can now click in the right stick while near cover to 'mount' your weapon. This improves stability and lessons the impact of recoil, giving you a stable centre to hold down positions and suppress enemies around objects and key points of interest. 

6. You can now now reload while aiming, and should

Modern Warfare tips

(Image credit: Activision)

Keeping a close eye on the position and movement of enemies is more important than ever before. In campaign, you'll need to watch your blind spots – the AI will use them to their advantage! – and that's doubly true in multiplayer, where the lack of a universal mini-map makes survivability more challenging than ever before. You need to keep a tight track of foes and communicate that back to your team-mates; one way to help you in this effort is that you can now reload while aiming. It may sound like a small change, but it's actually an awesome way of keeping your reticule focused on advancing enemies – be warned through, this does come with a penalty of increased exposure to enemy fire and has a significant hit on your movement speed, although that can be mitigated at a cost by editing your weapon in Gunsmith to help. 

Use doors to your advantage

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Honestly, the amount of enemies – be they real or AI – that sprint blindly through doors is almost funny. Thanks to the increase in interior environments this time around, there's now plenty of opportunities to use doors to your tactical advantage. Sprinting into a door will cause you to kick it open – it'll make a loud noise but it could give you the element of surprise. Opening a door while aiming down sights will actually give you a small window to peek through the door and get a grenade into the adjacent space, while there's always the option of simply camping a door or shooting directly through them to take advantage of less careful foes.

8. Keep an eye out for alternate paths

Modern Warfare tips

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Flanking has always been a key tactic in Call of Duty, and that's especially true in Modern Warfare. Infinity Ward has given movement and mantling a bit of a refresh here for Modern Warfare, giving you a little more scope to use the environments to your advantage. In both the campaign and multiplayer, you should keep a close eye out for alternative paths through the levels and opportunities to mantle up and over cover to keep new firing positions – most of the maps feature various alternate routes. 

9. Experiment with aim assist settings

Modern Warfare tips

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If you're playing on console, you may want to consider giving the Options a little once over before ducking into campaign and multiplayer play. For campaign, these new aim assist settings are there to help you get a little more comfortable with general play; for multiplayer, they may just make all the difference, especially if cross-play is activated. Console players will now be going up against PC players online – against those wielding a hyper-sensitive mouse and keyboard set up – and so you may want to consider giving a few of these a try if you're struggling to settle in to the new feel and speed of play. 

10. Use Gunsmith responsibly

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The loadout system in Modern Warfare is a complex beast. Weapons have individual levels and it won't be long before the game is flooding you with a wide variety of attachments such as scopes, stocks, attachments, perks, and more. Because of the variety being offered here, it's really really easy to completely mess up the performance and capability of an otherwise decent weapon. Each attachment has its positive and negatives, so you'll want to carefully consider your options before running wild with the Modern Warfare Gunsmith system

11. Spec Ops is a great way to unlock gear fast

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Spec Ops is a colossal challenge, one that will require four team-mates to be working together, and in constant communication to survive this wave-based objective/survival mode. It is, however, also a great way to grind out individual levels for your weapons. If you're keen to quickly unlock your favourite attachments for your favourite guns, you might want to consider ducking into Spec Ops to get them ranked up against the AI forces instead of just bashing your head against real players over and over again. Weapon progress carries over from Spec Ops to multiplayer, so jump into this awesome co-op mode and start working out your loadouts. 

12. Edit your loadout mid-game

Modern Warfare perks: Slot Two

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If you're struggling to make a dent in Modern Warfare's multiplayer, it's worth remembering that you can now edit your loadouts while you're in the middle of a game. That's right, if you find that you've brought the wrong set of weapons to the party – or that you've made a change in error in Gunsmith – you can always duck into the menus and give everything a tweak while you're waiting to respawn. You can make universal changes to your loadouts, altering the weapons you can take with you out into the field to getting into the nitty-gritty, altering customisation and attachments too. 

13. Create classes, not loadouts

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare multiplayer

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Given the wide variety of different maps, modes, and game types available in Modern Warfare – and the fact that you can edit your loadouts on the fly – you should consider building different dedicated classes, rather than a mess of slightly alternate takes on your favourite loadouts. This is particularly useful when jumping between modes like Ground War – which require a keener focus on anti-air weapons and mid-to-long distance guns – and modes like Realism or 20-man TDM, which are more intimate affairs. 

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