Image via Activision

CoD Modern Warfare 3: How Big is the MW3 Install Size?

Looking to install Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3? You'll need a big chunk of hard drive space if so.

Modern games are getting downright obnoxious with the space they take up on our consoles and PCs. Call of Duty has long been one of the worst offenders, and this year’s installment is no different. So, how big is the MW3 install size?

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How Much Space Do You Need to Install MW3?

There has been a lot of speculation about MW3‘s install size in the lead-up to release, but now we have official word from Activision on the matter, as well as information from PlayStation Game Size on X (formerly Twitter).

  • At the most, the PC version will need a whopping 213GB of free space. This includes the hi-rez assets cache of 64GB. This isn’t required for all resolutions — or at all. At a minimum, you’ll need 149GB of free space for the entire package: campaign, MP, Warzone, and CoD HQ.
  • PlayStation and Xbox will need 140GB of free space.

Of additional note is that MW3‘s 149 GB install size includes the entire Call of Duty: HQ: Warzone, the MW3 campaign, and multiplayer. You can’t actually uninstall Warzone if you have CoD HQ installed, so MW3‘s total size is technically 90 GB. It’s a bit of a moot point because even if all you want to install is the campaign, you still need to download 100+ GB of data.

You can get a more detailed breakdown of the hi-resolution cache expectations over in our system requirements breakdown.

Does MW3 Require an SSD?

If you’re on PC, yes, you’ll need an SSD to play Modern Warfare 3 based on the system requirements revealed on the Call of Duty blog. There’s no mention of hard disk drives (HDDs) in the blog, and if I were to guess, the PC version of Modern Warfare 3 uses the same systems as current-gen consoles. That means the SSD in your PC will be competing with custom-built solid-state drives in both the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S.

Don’t take that as a challenge and overspend on upgrading your SSD for MW3, should you already have one. Any solid-state drive from the past few years will be more than fast enough to play Modern Warfare 3 without sacrificing performance.

The main consideration in this case is size. If you currently have an SSD installed or need to upgrade from even a fast HDD, 1TB is the smallest I would recommend. Thankfully, 1TB SSDs are very affordable. Whether internal or external, they’ll ensure you have the best possible Call of Duty experience.

Image via Activision

How to Make Room on Your SSD/HDD

Steps for Console Players

Terrible as it sounds, if the SSD in question is in your PS4, PS5, Xbox One, or Series X|S, you need to start uninstalling all those games and removing videos, images, music, and other files. Do that until you have at least 150 GB of space so you don’t completely clog up your drive with Call of Duty goodness (and leave space for future updates and content).

Steps for PC Players

The first step for PC players is much like console players, but there are other options to consider.

  • Go into your game folders/applications and either move or uninstall enough games until you have the space to spare.
  • Empty your Recycling Bin.
  • Remove any programs you don’t use anymore.
  • Do a general inventory of what’s installed on your PC and delete anything you don’t need.
  • Use a program like CCleaner to find files you don’t use or are just taking up space, then delete them wholesale. You don’t need CCleaner to do the work for you, but it can expedite the process.

The Nuclear Option

Then there’s the nuclear option: buying a bigger SSD or a second one entirely. If your motherboard supports it, M.2 NVMe drives are very affordable these days, even at the 1TB. You could also buy an external SSD to run CoD wherever you might be. The same is true of your console. External SSDs work with PS5 and Series X as well.

That’s what the MW3 install size is, as well as if you need an SSD and how to make room for the game. For other tips and tricks, check out our guides on whether you should use killstreaks or scorestreaks, how to use controller on PC, and more in our guides hub for the game.

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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.