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CoD MW3: Best Way to Level Weapons

Your weapon defines you in Modern Warfare 3. Here's how to level it up fast.

Almost every AAA first-person shooter that releases these days has a weapon progression system, especially if it has multiplayer. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is no different, so knowing the best way to level your weapons in CoD MW3 is paramount.

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How to Level Weapons Fast in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

There are actually three ways to level your weapons fast in MW3:

  • By doing well in multiplayer.
  • Killing a lot of Zombies.

Which you choose will depend on what you enjoy more and what your tolerance for PvP is. Playing Warzone follows the same logic as multiplayer. The more players you take out, the higher your weapon XP will go.

Regardless of your choice, you’ll absolutely want to use a Double Weapon XP Token if you have one. Start with the one-hour version, allowing you to stay in matches longer and waste less time in the lobbies. Remember: XP Token timers count down no matter what you’re doing, so the more time you can spend slaying, the better.

How to Level Your Weapons in MW3 Multiplayer

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There’s no real secret to leveling weapons in MW3 multiplayer, whether you’re playing 6v6, Ground War, or Warzone. The higher your kills, objectives captured, and general score accumulated, the faster your weapons will level.

As a point of comparison, I can regularly manage 20-30 kills in most matches of Domination, Kill Confirmed, or Hardpoint. MLG performance, I know. But in that time, with a Double Weapon XP Token active, my weapons will regularly go up two to four levels per match.

Most matches in MW3 6v6 multiplayer are about 10 minutes, depending on the lobby. That means if you perform at about my level, you can earn between 12 to 24 weapon levels per hour. That averages to 18 levels per hour at fairly average performance.

  • Few of the weapons in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 have more than 33 levels, so you could conceivably max out a single weapon in a single hour if you consistently play well.

I have less data to pull from when it comes to Ground War. There are more players per square foot there, but more square feet means more potential downtime between fights. If you’re the kind of player who can get more kills in Ground War than you can in standard 6v6, then, by all means, stay in Ground War.

The long and short of it, though, is that the best way to level your weapons in MW3 multiplayer is to do well. If you sit in a corner and only get a few kills a match, or don’t play the objective, or both, your weapons will go nowhere fast.

Related: How to Get the Ray Gun in MW3 Zombies

How to Level Your Weapons in Zombies

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I’ll be honest: leveling your weapons in MWZ technically takes longer than in multiplayer. That’s thanks to rank-and-file zombies and NPC mercenaries only awarding 20 XP per kill. However, the potential experience gains outweigh multiplayer. The higher-difficulty zones offer mini-boss and boss-level enemies that award hundreds of XP per kill.

Farming Exfil Zones

There’s also the sheer volume of zombies you can gather into a group and kill en masse. That’s especially true if you want to farm Exfil zones. Calling in an exfil chopper causes a swarm of zombies to appear, and if you keep to the low-threat areas, you can grind XP in relative safety. Just, you know, don’t get on the chopper when it arrives.

Do Contracts and Loot Everything

You can also do the many Contracts available on the map, as well as loot everything you find, both of which award tons of additional XP. Not all of it will go to your weapons, but whenever you start a Contract, zombies and mercs will spawn in greater numbers, giving you ample opportunity to farm them.

Farm Level 3 Zones

If you have a competent squad to play with — or are a truly stellar solo player — you can even go into the Level 3, high-threat zone and farm there. There are few better places to get weapon and character XP than in the hardest difficulty zone in Zombies, but it’s also much easier to die. You’ll still keep all the XP you earned if you do get forcibly sent back to the lobby, but better to make it out for the bonus experience and to keep all your upgrades.

In short: to level your weapon fast in MWZ, kill as many undead and NPC mercenaries as possible, loot, do Contracts, and farm large groups whenever possible.

Short of any small optimizations you can make to your own gameplay, these are the best ways to level weapons in Modern Warfare 3. They are, at least, the most consistent I’ve been able to find. For more, including guides on completing Zombies solo, all Zombies field upgrades, 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.