Ranked Play in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 limits the weapons you can use in a match. What you choose matters more than ever. From ARs and snipers and SMGs, here’s my list of the 10 best weapons for Ranked Play in MW3.
What are the Best MW3 Ranked Play Weapons to Pick?
10. WSP Swarm
The WSP-Swarm is at the bottom of my list of Ranked Play weapons to pick, but it can be deadly if played right. Leath at close range, the gun’s mobility and low weight give you the element of surprise. At least before your enemies can surprise you. It’s just not effective from anything further than close range.
Ranked Play has two sniper rifles, and the XRK-Striker is the better of the two. I’ve included it for the same reason I included the WSP-Swarm: speed. Removing downtime from an engagement is always good. A single death can change the tide of a match. While the XRK doesn’t have the one-hit-kill hitbox of more powerful rifles, it handles better and can still dish out tons of damage in the right hands.
The unfortunate Striker-9 received a massive nerf early in MW3‘s lifecycle, but it’s still a powerful weapon in specific situations. It’s easier to control than the WSP-Swarm. It also has a better damage profile and increased range. I find it a bit lackluster past medium-ish ranges, and depending on the mode you’re playing, there are better options. But it’s worth using in Ranked in a pinch.
The new HRM-9 is available in Ranked Play with all its attachments unlocked, and I think it’s a worthwhile addition to MW3‘s SMG selection. It boasts fair stopping power, good handling, and recoil control, and I won more fights with it than I lost, especially close-up. There are better options — and I’ll get to those — but if you want a little variety in your weapon selection, the HRM-9 is a good choice.
6. Gutter Knife/Karambit
Knives are almost stupidly powerful in Modern Warfare 3. With close-quarters fights available in CDL Control and Hardpoint, I’ve seen players go on massive streaks with nothing but their wits and a knife. You won’t win every fight, especially those where enemies can maneuver a little, but if you know how to get around a map quickly and efficiently, there’s almost nothing better.
The Rival-9 remains a top-tier SMG regardless of mode or map. But it’s especially good in Ranked Play because of its decent range, stopping power, and its rate of fire. It’s also very easy to control on both controller and mouse and keyboard. No matter what platform you play on, the Rival-9 is a fantastic option if you want a solid, go-to weapon as an objective-first player.
Despite a nerf early in MW3‘s life, the Striker has since returned to its former glory as the best SMG in the game. Controllable, powerful, and just fun to use, it’s competitive at longer ranges than any other weapon in its class. I don’t think there’s much bad you can say about the Striker. Except that it’s outclassed by the last three weapons on my best weapons list.
The newest Assault Rifle added to Modern Warfare 3 is the RAM-7. It’s kind of a blend between an SMG and an AR, thanks to its fast fire rate and higher recoil. It remains superior to every SMG in Ranked Play, however, because it has an AR range profile. While it’s a bit harder to control than the top two weapons listed here, I can still top-frag with it fairly consistently.
2. SVA 545
The SVA 545 is the starting AR in MW3, and it remains one of the best weapons in not just Ranked Play, but the entire game. It’s not the end-all-be-all in Ranked Play that it can be in regular 6v6 multiplayer, but I find it easy to hang with my team and the opposition with it equipped. Its largest downside is a slight lack of stopping power and tougher-to-control recoil at longest ranges.
If you’re surprised that the MCW is at the top of my Top 10 best weapons in MW3 Ranked Play, I’m not sure where you’ve been all season. The gun is just good at every conceivable range — except across the map. It has a fantastic damage and recoil profile and can hang with SMGs in closer ranges. There’s a really good reason all of your teammates use the MCW: it’s just that good.