Empire's Modern Warfare 3 Multiplayer Survival Guide
Posted on Sunday November 6, 2011, 14:30 by Ali Plumb in Infinite Lives
If you’re in possession of a games console and a pulse then you’ll doubtless be picking up a copy of Modern Warfare 3 when it hits stores next week. While some of you will immediately jump into the game’s multiplayer nirvana with aplomb and start lighting up noobs like there’s no tomorrow, a great many of you will more likely end up on the wrong end of a Barrett .50 cal, getting your arse handed to you by bloodthirsty twelve-year-olds. Because we’re the caring sort here at Empire, we’ve assembled a few broad tips that should keep MW virgins from spending all their time watching killcams and waiting to respawn.
1. Know what kind of player you are
Even if you’ve only played first person shooters a couple of times in your life, you’re already going to have an inkling as to what kind of player you tend to be. Do you like to get up close and personal with a shotgun, blasting away at short range? Do you prefer to run and gun, M4 in-tow? Or are you a vile camper who sets up shop in a hidey-hole and waits for stray enemies to blunder past your crosshairs? Each map requires different skills, and eventually you’ll need to be a master of most if not all of them, but to get started, play to your natural strengths. If you’re a wizard shot, able to pick out a moving pixel half a map away then a scoped rifle or ACOG sight is a good place to start. If you’ve got ninja-quick reflexes and a godly twitch response then keeping on the move and relying on your quick draw is going to deliver results.
A lot of being a proficient Modern Warfare player is knowing your kit – more on that later – so if you know you like long distance sniping, for the love of God, don’t walk around with an SMG. Even if you do like to snipe and you do want to re-enact Enemy At The Gates, camping is still not a sensible option. You’ll get fewer kills, you’ll get bored and everybody will hate you. You think you’re having fun, but you’re not. Find a sniper perch, rack up a few kills and then move on. MW is a fast-paced game and the action rarely stays in one place for long. To see how godly mobile sniping can be, take a look at some of the MW2 videos made by The Mighty Hutch.
2. Know your weaponry, and know how it works
Guns are your friends. It’s important to get to know them well. Very, very well. A detailed analysis of every single weapon would take a rather long time to read (and write), and besides, we’ve not played the game anywhere near enough to say which guns are imba powerful and which have been nerfed beyond belief. As a newbie, consider the assault rifle. They’re the most varied, most popular weapon in the game, and models vary between semi-automatic, automatic, and three-round bursts, depending on what suits your style. Infinity Ward themselves have specific tips for assault rifles, and to save you the trouble of looking them up, here they are: “Aim for the chest or neck region on burst fire assault rifles. For full auto assault rifles, do the same but fire in groups of three to five rounds. Doing this will make the muzzle climb for recoil and give you a second or third round headshot.”
A cheap way to take people down in MW2 was the trusty pistol / riot shield option. With this set-up, you can be more considered, resist more attacks, and not annoy your team so much by constantly dying. Be warned, however: a good way of getting rid of pesky pistol-wielders waddling around with riot shields is semtex, or stun/flash grenades. The latter will force you to break cover and give the enemy time to drive some lead into your noggin, so if you see one coming, run. Hell. If you see any grenade coming, run. As for the rest of the options available, try them out at your leisure and see what suits you.
Also, again, consider the map: in MW2, Scrapyard and Rust are up-close-and-personal levels – put the sniper rifle away, big fella. Well, not until you’ve learned quick-scoping, anyway. And if you are a sniper, Derail, Wasteland, Estate, Afghan, and Underpass are the maps for you. Or were on MW2, anyway. MW3 has similarly weapon-weighted maps and you’ll need to learn these if you want to dominate them. You might think that campaign mode is the best way to get yourself accustomed to each and every armament but the similarity between modes is passing at best. The quickest way to get to grips with a gun is to jump online and start killing with it. MW3 rewards weapon fidelity with specific unlocks, too, so if you find one that works for you – stick with it! Once the game is released, a full breakdown of weapon stats will doubtless appear on this site, which number-crunchers and power gamers will appreciate.
3. Know your grenades
Grenades are fantastic, as long as you’re the one throwing them. Frags can be “cooked” by holding onto them for a couple of seconds, so they explode quicker, they can also bounce off walls, and can be chucked nearly half away across certain maps. Remember that they can be thrown back too, mind. Stun grenades cause little damage but are invaluable as a distraction, handy for incapacitating an enemy briefly as you’re flanking them. Flash grenades also work well this way, but bear in mind that enemies can still kill you by shooting out at random, and if they know the map well enough, they’ll be able to get into cover pretty well without the benefit of sight.
Semtex is useful primarily for sticking onto riot shields or directly onto victims, both options offering up pretty darn satisfying outcomes. It can also be used as a sort of trap for would be chasing pursuers, as long as the timing is right and you reckon your foe won’t hear the Semtex’s telltale beep-beep-beep. As for claymores, they aren’t as useful as they were in MW, as they’re more identifiable on the fly – that said, still worth using one to offer protection / a warning to people walking into or past your sniping position. MW3 also reintroduces the Bouncing Betty, which took off more than its fair share of legs in Call of Duty: World At War.
4. XP and how to get it quickly
The overriding concern for all new MW players will be levelling up and for that you’ll need XP. XP leads to levels, levels lead to unlocks and unlocks let you dominate with bigger and better hardware. Until the final servers go live it’s impossible to say which modes will net the most XP per hour but Headquarters is usually a solid choice if you’re playing with friends and can drum up a modicum of teamwork. If you reckon yourself an uber player then you probably shouldn’t be reading this beginners’ guide but godly MW3 players will find Search And Destroy the single greatest source of XP.
It’s a hardcore game mode though (even more so when playing on actual hardcore) and you won’t respawn till the end of each round so if you can’t hold your own on the battlefield then you’re likely to end up with no XP whatsoever. Team deathmatch is the mode for kills to level your weapons up (in truth you can probably rack up more by flag camping in domination but there’s a special hell reserved just for people who do that). Ground War variants makes for a target-rich environment but can also play havoc with your kill/death ratio, especially if the sky is constantly full of killstreak rewards.
5. Have fun
Remember, this is a game and you’re supposed to enjoy it. If you’re so determined to own the scoreboards that you lose sight of actually having fun then it’s time to take a step back. If you want to let rip with a noob tube (grenade launcher) once in a while just for the sheer giddy fun of it then go nuts – just don’t make a habit of it.
See you on the battlefield (probably through a crosshair).
Oh, and if you're serious about your gaming, or just want to take your pwnage to the next level, you might want to check out Call Of Duty Elite. Its website explains how it all works, but basically it's a great way of organising your MW games and improving your (s)kills, access premium content and get yourself some unique DLC.