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CoD MW3: How Armory Unlocks Work

The Armory unlock system in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 adds some extra complication to leveling up. Here's how it works.

Unlocking new weapons, gear, and other types of equipment is essential to progression in any modern FPS game. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has a new system called Armory, making progression grindier than ever. Why, I’m not sure. But here’s how Armory unlocks work.

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How the Armory Unlock System Works in MW3

Screenshot by GameSkinny

For the first 25 levels of your time with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, progression works much the same as it has for all of the rebooted Modern Warfare series. Level up your character and weapons to get new guns and attachments, and repeat until satisfied. In MW3, when you reach level 25, rather than continuing to unlock things normally, you start the Armory grind.

How to Get Armory Unlocks in MW3

To unlock items in the Armory, you need to complete Daily Challenges, and you only get three of those per day. Once you complete your three daily challenges, a fourth bonus challenge unlocks and never resets: win matches.

Related: How to Fix Bugged Daily Challenges Not Unlocking in CoD MW3

So long as you’re winning, you can get the Armory unlock points you need to access a full half of the game’s items. That includes weapons, killstreaks, perks, equipment, field upgrades, and the new Aftermarket Parts. Standard Daily Challenges reset every day at midnight, so you get three “freebies” per day. The rest you have to get the harder way.

Additionally, not every item requires the same amount of Daily Challenge points to complete. The Karambit knife melee weapon, for instance, takes five points. The Sidewinder Assault Rifle takes eight. You can only have one Armory challenge active at a time, though your progress carries over if you change.

What the Armory System Does Right (and Wrong) in CoD MW3

The best and worst part of the Armory for me is some of the best weapons in the game, including the MCW, aren’t locked behind it, but other world beaters, like the DG-58 or the Rival-9, are. Given how skill-based matchmaking attempts to push you toward a rough 50% win-rate average, a single gun might take you sixteen matches, at most, to unlock.

On the flip side, if there’s a weapon or streak you really want right now, you can target farm for it and get it long before it would likely have been available in previous games. On the flip side of that, if something is an Armory-only unlock, you have to engage with the system. Simply grinding out levels won’t suffice.

I’m trying to be courteous in describing how Armory works, but I find it needless complication for the sake of needless complication. And that’s been a problem since Modern Warfare (2019) added the Gunsmith. 75% of the attachments serve no purpose other than to fill space, and now entire progression systems are doing the same thing. It boggles the mind.

That’s how Armory unlocks work in CoD MW3. If you want more content on Modern Warfare 3, check out our guides on how to use double XP tokens, carry two primary weapons, 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.