Perks got an overhaul in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Now, rather than being insubstantial aspects of your character, they’re now pieces of equipment you put on. The effect is the same, of course. It’s more of a name change than any gameplay update. MW3 also introduced a fourth perk, which in this case is the vest you wear. As with the rest of the system, it’s still a perk in all but name. We’ll go over all MW3 perks and what they do in this guide.
All Perks in Modern Warfare 3 Listed
Every class you make in Modern Warfare 3 can use four pieces of equipment: Gloves, Boots, and Gear, and a Vest. Combined, these make up your perk selection. Again, there’s no functional difference between the likes of Scavenger Gloves and the Scavenger Perk. it’s a matter of flavor. We only have access to a selection of perks in the beta, either because we’re level-gated or because some aren’t available in the menus, but we’ll list what’s currently available.
All Glove Perks in Modern Warfare 3
Gloves mostly deal in effects that have to do with your hands: reloading, swapping weapons, and picking things up. Currently available are:
These gloves increase you weapon swap speed. Don’t expect an instant swap. The effect seems to improve weapon swapping speed by about 25%, which is still nothing to sneeze at.
With these gloves equipped, you’ll pick up a single magazine of ammo and a throwing knife from dead players whose bodies you run over. You need to be very close to where the enemy player died, and you won’t be getting back lethal or tactical grenades. Additionally, Scavenger Gloves do not improve your Field Equipment recharge rate.
No, these do not vastly increase your melee range. Instead, they simply allow you to reload while sprinting. I don’t know if that effect is worth picking over Scavenger, as there’s usually enough downtime between fights.
All Boot Perks in Modern Warfare 3
Boots are an essential part of your mobility kit in Modern Warfare 3, and what you pick can drastically change how well you can move around a map. Note that certain Vests will rob you of the ability to equip Boots, and footstep sounds are very loud in MW3, so think carefully about that choice.
As their name suggests, Lightweight Boots let you move faster. They also increase your swim speed and reduce the amount of noise you make while swimming.
These boots make you climb and mantle faster and also reduce the amount of fall damage you take. With so many places to climb and mantle in both the core multiplayer and Ground War playlists, I think these Boots are some of the most valuable, as they make navigating the map a much more comfortable experience.
If you want better movement while aiming down sights or while strafing, these are the boots for you. They don’t go as far as Stalker or the Stock attachment from MW3 (2011) or Black Ops 2, respectively, but they can give you an edge in an aim duel if necessary.
This set of boots are for everyone who wants to make use of sliding and slide canceling in Modern Warfare 3. They increase you slide distance, allow you to ADS while sliding, increase how fast you transition between stances, and improve your crouched movement speed. They do nothing to quiet the sound of your footsteps, but that hardly matters if you’re jumping all over the place.
Like the Ninja and Dead Silence perks before them, the Covert Sneakers apparently eliminate the sounds your footsteps make. It’s unclear how effective they are, as you can’t yet equip these Boots. If they’re anything like previous iterations, they’ll be essential in 6v6 modes.
Gear Perks in Modern Warfare 3
Gear is kind of a catch-all group, as the effects of this equipment set run the gamut. Anything a perk did in previous games that can’t be quantified by boots or gloves go here unless they’re in the vest slot.
Think Flak Jacket from Black Ops 2, though not quite as effective. Any non-killstreak explosive or fire effect is much reduced when wearing this piece of gear, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve hit someone with a Frag or Semtex and had them walk away because of this perk.
It’s back, and while it’s not as effective as the likes of Tac Mask Pro from the original Black Ops, look no further if you want to reduce the strength of flash, stun, and gas greandes. This version of Tac Mask also grants immunity to Shock, EMP, and Snapshot Grenades, turning what were once massive headaches into non-issues.
It’s Hardline. Wearing the Mission Control gear reduces the amount of kills you need for a streak by one, or reduces the amount score required by 125. I run this perk exclusively, but mostly because I suck.
Bone Conduction Headset
Like Sitrep from previous games, the Bone Conduction Headset makes enemy footsteps easier to hear. However, rather than increasing footstep sounds, they decrease the amount of noise you hear in-combat, effectively accomplishing the same thing.
I’m actually not sure what this equipment does. If I were to guess, it acts like High Alert, warning you that someone is aiming at you, and from which direction. The description says the equipment “warns of hostile laser and radiation sources,” but I’m not sure how much of that is flavor and what’s actually part of the perk.
Ghost T/V Camo
Once again, the Ghost perk only works while moving. If the enemy has a UAV up, or can use some other source of radar, including a Heartbeat sensor, you’ll be undetectable so long as you’re not sitting still. Why Ghost or Cold-Blooded hasn’t done this for years in other games escapes me.
Vest Perks in Modern Warfare 3
Vests are another catch-all category, but they handle perks that affect multiple parts of a player’s kit rather than changing one specific aspect. That might be equipment access, ammo count and reload speed, or another sweeping effect. Note that certain Vests can conflict with other types of equipment. If you have a pair of Boots that does the same thing as one of the vest effects, the Boots will default to another piece of equipment. The Vest’s perks always take precedence.
The default Vest, this one has the same affect as the Double Time perk from previous Modern Warfare games. With it equipped, your Tac Sprint duration and refresh time are improved. In other words, you can use your super sprint for about twice as long and it comes back in about half the time. It’s probably one of the best vests in the game, at the moment. Should you have the Running Sneaker’s equipped with the Infantry Vest on, you instead gain the effect of Lightweight Boots.
The Engineer Vest changes a lot about your current loadout in addition to the abilities it grants. Not only does it allow you to spot enemy mines and such on the field, you can also see their Field Upgrades and Killstreaks through walls. If you ADS at an enemy, you highlight their location for the whole team, and just having this vest equipped makes your Field Upgrade recharge faster.
Then there’s what it does to your loadout itself. You lose your Lethal grenade, gaining two tactical on spawn. You can also equip two types of Gear, meaning you could have Mission Control and Ghost at the same time, or any other combination of your choice. Finally, it doesn’t overlap with any piece of equipment you can equip, which is a boon.
The Gunner Vest is built for those who want all the ammo, all the time. Not only does it allow you to spawn with the maximum amount of ammo possible, it also lets you reload more quickly. It gives Sleight of Hand, in other words. However, equipping the Gunner Vest removes the ability to equip boots of any kind.
If you have the Mag Holster equipped (not available in beta) while using the Gunner Vest, the Holster instead becomes the Mission Comlink.
The simplest vest in the selection is also one of the most powerful. Your loadout doesn’t gain or lose anything with it on. Instead, you trade a lot of the other effects for one: the ability for your lethal and tactical equipment to recharge every 25 seconds. Use the Demo Vest with Scavenger Gloves and there’s almost no time when you aren’t topped off of bullets and throwable options.
And those are all the Perks you can currently equip in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Oh, and did I mention that’s just from the beta? When the full game releases on November 10, we’re bound to get more. Stay tuned to our MW3 coverage for more guides then.