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CoD MW3: Best AR in Modern Warfare 3

The best AR in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 comes down to two choices. Find out all about them here.

No matter how well a developer tries to balance a game, there will always be a “best weapon” in a first-person shooter. The best AR in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 ultimately depends on a few subjective factors. However, there are two contenders that stand above the rest.

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The Best Assault Rifle in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

I think naming the best Assault Rifle available in Modern Warfare 3 comes down to your taste and on what control scheme you play the game on. My personal preference is the MCW for almost any engagement, but the Holger 556 is usually better for closer-range engagements.

The MCW: The Best MW3 AR for PC Players and Those Who Fight at Range

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The MCW is Modern Warfare 3‘s answer to the classic MW2 (2009) ACR. That gun was a literal laser gun that had zero recoil and was accurate to any distance. The difference here is that the MCW has a bit more kick but much more stopping power. If you want to build it for close-range fights, you can. However, in my experience, it excels at the middle and longer ranges where you can better control the variabilities of combat.

With the right MCW build and a smidge of recoil control, the gun is as close to a high-powered ACR as you can get in MW3. There are multiple ways to accomplish that as well, and what you choose to use depends on how much you expect to be in a close-range gunfight.

It’s the controllability and relative consistency of the MCW that puts it above the Holger 556 for me as a PC player on mouse and keyboard. I can fairly predictably tell how the gun will perform at any range. Its consistent performance also makes it great for keeping your opponents at distance. The MCW still hits like a truck out to at least 50 meters. It’s easy enough to control, letting you hit shots at that range, too.

If you build the gun for laser-like accuracy, you’ll sacrifice hip-fire and Tac Stance effectiveness, putting you at a distinct disadvantage up close. How you choose to mitigate that is up to you. But my stubborn brain sticks with a pistol and takes the death 99/100 times.

The Holger 556: The Best MW3 AR on Controller and For Closer Gunfights

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Whenever I use the Holger 556 in Modern Warfare 3 — even spec-ed for recoil control — the damn thing bounces all over the place. No amount of increased stopping power will save me from myself. However, I can’t discount that it’s just better when put in a close-range situation. It might not shoot as fast as the MCW, but the increased damage potential easily outstrips any other misgivings I might have.

That lower rate of fire can make it easier to control in two situations:

  • You don’t have my particular issues with using a gun with more kick.
  • You’re able to lock on target better than I can.

Controller users likely have a better time with the Holger 556 thanks to the generous but not completely overbearing aim assist. Once you’re on target with the Holger on the sticks, it can be hard to get off.

I also find the Holger easier to use up close. I don’t need to build for close-range fights for that to be true. In both Tac Stance and from the hip, it just performs better when you and your enemies are up close and personal. I can only imagine what it could do if you built the Holger 556 for rushing.

There are no attachment differences worth noting between the MCW and Holger 556. If you enjoy one more than the other, I suggest running the weapon you prefer. You’ll need to use other guns if you want the game’s new camos and other cosmetics. However, if the enemy team, or even a particular player, is getting on your nerves, you have these to fall back on.

That does it for our guide on the best AR in CoD: MW3. You get a two-fer here, and both are great for particular playstyles. Try each one and see which fits your style best. For more tips and tricks, check out our guides on how to prestige, the best aim assist settings, and more in our MW3 guides hub.

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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.