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CoD MW3 November 21 Pre-Season Patch Notes: Nerfs, Buffs Hit Multiplayer and Zombies

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 gets another patch on November 21, ahead of its Season 1 update.

AAA games tend to release under the pretense of “release now, patch later,” but when studios are actually serious about patching, it can work. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is following that strategy heading into Season 1 in another set of pre-season patch notes today.

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Modern Warfare 3 Pre-Season 1 Patch Notes for November 21, 2023: Full Details and Takeaways

Image via Activision

Going through the November 21 pre-season patch notes — which are included below — the main things that stand out to me are the nerfs to some popular weapons.

  • Both the DG-58 and FFR 5.56 were hit with the nerf hammer across all their relevant stats, likely to cut down on cross-map one-burst kills.
  • The Holger 556 also got some downward adjustment, and rightly so.
  • The biggest surprise, though, was the massive buff to the Striker SMG. That thing was a beast in the early parts of the beta but was incredibly underwhelming at launch. Hopefully, it’s got some of its teeth back now.

Two weapons got smaller adjustments: the AMR-9 got a buff to its damage and performance from the hip, and the Striker-9 got an overall range nerf.

Related: CoD MW3 Preseason Nov. 17 Patch Notes: Slide Cancel Buffs, Armory Fixes, and More

There were also multiple fixes to bugs in the UI and cosmetics, including a crash that could occur in the weapon challenges screen and some other graphical corruption issue. There has been no mention of a wider fix for challenges not working, so expect to still have daily challenges bug out for the foreseeable future.

Zombies got some mission bugs fixed, as well as some quality-of-life updates to its various missions. However, the absolute best change is the reduced armor damage from Mercenaries and the nerf to Shield Soldier rate of fire. Armor was effectively useless against the Mercenaries before, so hopefully it will actually do something now. Find the full list of changes below:

Enjoying this article? Don’t forget to check out our MW3 Zombies Big Bounty Locations Guide


Stability & Performance

Resolved a crash that could occur while viewing Weapon Challenges.


  • Bug Fixes
    • Closed an exploit that allowed players to equip Weapon Camos they have not yet unlocked.
    • Addressed an issue that prevented players from equipping the Borealis Weapon Camo once it has been unlocked.


  • Dragonfly Blueprint for the M4 (MWII) will now appear as expected across all platforms.
  • Addressed an issue that prevented the appearance of the Io Operator (MWII) from dynamically changing as expected.
  • Adjusted the Ghoulie Camo (MWII) to prevent it from becoming overwhelmingly bright in dark environments.



  • Wins will now progress Armory Unlocks without first completing Daily Challenges.
    • Developer note: Today’s update includes UI modifications to reflect this previously-implemented change.
  • Bug Fixes
    • Players will no longer experience graphical corruption when transitioning between the Field Upgrades and Social menus.
    • XP requirements in the Progression menu will no longer display as negative values under certain conditions.
    • Attachments that are incompatible with the current selection can no longer be equipped to a Weapon.


  • Challenges
    • Updated the description of the Gilded Camo challenge for the MTZ-556 (Assault Rifle) to accurately reflect the intended requirements.
    • Weekly Challenges requiring Triple Kills and Quad Kills will now properly track completion.


  • Derail
    • Adjusted environmental fog to increase contrast, improving visibility.
  • Estate
    • Decreased grime on windows of the Lodge to improve clarity.


  • Holger 556 (Assault Rifle)
    • Decreased headshot damage multiplier from 1.4x to 1.3x.
    • Decreased neck, upper-torso, arm, and hand damage multipliers from 1.1x to 1x.
    • Increased sprint to fire time from 210ms to 231ms (+10%).
  • DG-58 (Assault Rifle)
    • Decreased maximum damage from 44 to 40 (-9%).
    • Decreased medium damage from 35 to 33 (-6%).
    • Decreased neck damage multiplier from 1.4x to 1.1x.
    • Increased burst delay from 100ms to 120ms (+20%).
  • FR 5.56 (Assault Rifle)
    • Decreased maximum damage from 44 to 43 (-2%).
    • Decreased near-medium damage from 40 to 36 (-10%).
    • Decreased minimum damage from 36 to 33 (-8%).
    • Decreased headshot damage multiplier from 1.5x to 1.4x.
    • Decreased leg and foot damage multipliers from 1x to 0.9x.
    • Increased aim down sights time from 240ms to 260ms (+8%).
    • Increased sprint to fire time from 210ms to 231ms (+10%).
  • Striker (Submachine Gun)
    • Increased maximum damage range from 9m to 19m (+114%).
    • Increased near-medium damage from 33 to 36 (+9%).
    • Increased far-medium damage from 27 to 33 (+22%).
    • Decreased aim down sights time from 240ms to 230ms (-4%).
  • AMR9 (Submachine Gun)
    • Increased lower-torso, lower-arm, and hand damage multipliers from 1x to 1.1x.
    • Decreased sprint to fire time from 294ms to 206ms (-30%).
  • Striker 9 (Submachine Gun)
    • Decreased maximum damage from 32 to 27 (-16%).
    • Decreased aim down sights time from 275ms to 225ms (-18%).

Developer note: The highlight of this balance pass is a reduction to the lethality of the FR 5.56 and DG-58. Both Weapons will now require two headshots to kill an enemy with a single 3-round burst fire. Additionally, these changes aim to improve the consistency and viability of Submachine Guns to the intended target for the class.


  • Ordnance Gloves
    • Removed undocumented reduction to the cook duration of Frag Grenades.



  • Missions
    • Storm the Castle
      • Warlord kill credit is now squad-based, and the required mission item will now spawn when a member of your squad kills the target.
    • Interceptor
      • Destroy Mercenary Convoy now accurately tracks completion.
      • Picking up a Keycard from a mercenary at the convoy will always count toward mission completion.
  • Perk-A-Colas
    • Tombstone Soda
      • Tombstones will no longer appear in the next session if a player exfils while in last stand.
  • General
    • Essence can no longer be stowed.
    • Addressed an issue where newly stowed items, acquisitions, or schematics would be replaced, and therefore lost, with previously sold items that underwent a swap item menu interaction.
    • Closed various exploits related to the use of Cymbal Monkeys.
    • Closed an exploit that permitted duplication of scorestreaks.


  • Zombies
    • Zombie spawn priority has been adjusted to favor increased ground spawning.
      • Players can expect fewer ambient Zombie spawns on rooftops and higher elevations.
  • Terminus Outcomes
    • All Mercenaries
      • Mercenary damage against Player Armor has been reduced.
    • Shielded Soldiers
      • Shielded Soldiers now have a slower fire rate when engaged.


  •  Pack-A-Punch
    • Addressed an interaction and UI issue that would incorrectly show Pack-A-Punch Level III as Pack-A-Punch Level IV.


  • Various stability fixes.

Those are the latest patch notes today for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 November 21 update. They’re a really good step in the right direction. For more content, check out our guides on how to get the Uncommon Aether Tool Plans, how to get the Ghost perk, and more in our MW3 guides hub.

Liked this article? Check out our MW3 How to Get Uncommon Aether Tool Plans guide and dominate Uzbekistan by upgrading one weapon to Uncommon rarity.

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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.