Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3: How to Level Up Fast

Leveling up fast in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 takes a bit of gameplay optimization. Here's how to get more XP.

Image via Activision
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Leveling up fast in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is actually pretty easy. While there aren’t as many avenues to tons of XP quite as quickly as in previous games, if you play specific modes in certain ways, you can still get tons of experience for relatively little effort. You’ll even help your team win because objective play is key to getting the most XP in MW3, as are certain killstreaks. In this guide, we’ll go over how to level up fast in MW3.

How to Level Up Fast in Modern Warfare 3

In my time with Modern Warfare 3, there are four big tips I can give to getting the most experience and leveling up fast:

  • Play the objective.
  • Run UAV and Counter UAV.
  • Be aggressive within your skillset.
  • Play the right game mode, either Ground War, Kill Confirmed, or Domination.

Play the Objective

Objective play in MW3 is critical to leveling fast. Like previous games, you get double the experience for capturing an objective than you do for a kill. 200 XP vs 100, in most cases. Additionally, whether it’s yours or not, killing an enemy while near an objective usually grants an additional 50 points.

To that end, I recommend always sticking near the objective, though where you need to be will depend on what game mode you’re playing. If you’re running solo in Domination, being around the B flag is almost always the best way to ensure a steady flow of enemy traffic and kill potential.

Don’t be afraid to recapture the nearest objective to your spawn and using all your equipment to deal damage around objectives, as well. If you’re in Hardpoint, it’s almost always beneficial to toss a grenade toward the currently occupied Hardpoint, even if your team holds it. There should be at least one enemy making their way toward the objective, and if you catch them for free, all the better.

Image via Activision

Run UAV and Counter UAV

There are a few good reasons to always run UAV and Counter UAV when leveling. First, they’re easy to earn, so you can always contribute to the team without needing to work too hard. Second, and more important, is that every kill your teammates get with both of them up rewards 20 XP. In a fast-paced match, these streaks’ 30-second duration can be an effectively free 30-400 XP.

If you’re playing Ground War, that amount could easily double, though it needs to be a competitive match for that to work. Some of the Ground War I played testing UAV/Counter-UAV was so one-sided I got almost nothing for my efforts.

Be Aggressive with Your Skillset

Camping is never the answer. Not only because it rarely benefits the team, but also because it rarely provides the raw XP that playing more aggressively will. The caveat here is that you need to know how aggressive is doable for you. But you do need always be close to the action so you can get the streaks and objective points necessary to level up as fast as possible.

In a worst-case scenario, be slow-aggressive. That is to say, play a little less aggro, holding down sightlines around or in the objective instead of constantly moving around the map. Careless aggression is also liable to get you killed, as one of those players who does want to camp will probably catch you eventually.

Image via Activision

Play Kill Confirmed, Domination, or Ground War

Kill Confirmed is probably the best overall mode for leveling up in Modern Warfare 3. Not only do you get the full 100 XP per kill, you also get 75 XP per tag collected. Should a teammate pick up a tag you made, you get 25 XP for their trouble. The great thing about Kill Confirmed is you don’t need to be the best fragger on the server to get rewarded. If you want to be a human vacuum and hoover up all the tags you can see with no regard to anything else, you’re actively rewarded for doing so.

Domination is a fantastic game mode because if you’re on a team that can control the match, you can effectively funnel kills in your direction without needing to call the spawns. The problem becomes when a game becomes a steamroll, and you don’t get enough time in-game to earn a lot of experience. If your team is the one being steamrolled, even worse.

Ground War is technically the most rewarding overall when it comes to experience, but you get it over a longer period. Every flag rewards 300 points per capture, and every time a squadmate spawns on you, you get a free 25 XP. Taking down vehicles (especially if there are multiple players inside) is a massive boost of XP, but you need to actually get the vehicle kill. The biggest XP boost in Ground War is running UAV/Counter UAV, as there are so many players getting kills that the gains can be huge.

Those are our best tips for how to level up fast in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Using them in addition to playing well will ensure you can level up faster than someone who’s not taking their progression into account. You might not have the highest K/D, but that will be a much smaller issue once you reach max level and can equip all the best gear. Then you can focus on attachment grinding for all the weapons, and camo grinding, and prestige grinding. Stay tuned for more MW3 guides as we get closer to the release of MW3 on November 10 for PC, PlayStation, and Xbox platforms.

About the author

John Schutt

John Schutt has been playing games for almost 25 years, starting with Super Mario 64 and progressing to every genre under the sun. He spent almost 4 years writing for strategy and satire site TopTierTactics under the moniker Xiant, and somehow managed to find time to get an MFA in Creative Writing in between all the gaming. His specialty is action games, but his first love will always be the RPG. Oh, and his avatar is, was, and will always be a squirrel, a trend he's carried as long as he's had a Steam account, and for some time before that.