Image via Activision

When Can You Start the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Early Access Campaign

It's almost time to dive into MW3's campaign. In our guide, we'll cover when early access begins.

While multiplayer servers tend to go live on launch day, you might be wondering when you can jump into the single-player experience. Our guide will cover when you can get early access to the single-player campaign in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

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When is Campaign Early Access in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3?

Image via Activision

For the longest time, we’ve only had a tentative date for MW3 Campaign Early Access. However, there’s the first solid date I could find about accessing the content. In their latest blog post hyping Captain Price in Call of Duty: Mobile, Activision and Sledgehammer told us that early access starts on November 2, 2023, up to a week before the official launch on November 10.

If that sounds weird, blame time zones. Activision also reserves the right for the campaign to be available sometime after this announced date, depending on time zones, server stability, and other factors that might affect access. In other words, while Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3‘s official launch date is the 10th, depending on where you live, it might be 9 p.m. (for those on the West Coast, for instance) or much later.

How to Get MW3 Campaign Early Access

Getting early access to the Modern Warfare 3 campaign is simple: you pre-order the game at participating retailers. These include GameStop, Best Buy, the PlayStation and Xbox Stores, and Steam. It doesn’t matter whether you choose the Vault or Standard editions, only that you purchase the game before or during the Campaign Early Access period. EA begins on November 2, but you can pre-order anytime between the 2nd and 10th for access to the campaign.

You can preload the campaign on November 1 at 12:00 p.m. EST, with access opening at the same time on the 2nd. Preload for multiplayer and Zombies begins November 8 at noon, with the full release at noon on November 10.

This type of early access to games is relatively new to the gaming space, with Call of Duty jumping on the bandwagon with Modern Warfare (2019). Part of the draw in CoD’s case is, because all weapons level regardless of where you use them, playing the campaign early gives you a small but significant head start on weapon progression. You also get to dive straight into multiplayer if you finish the campaign before the official launch, should you take the time to do so.

Will MW3 Campaign Early Access Include Multiplayer?

Also, campaign early access is just that: single-player content only. Neither Zombies, nor multiplayer, and especially not Warzone will be available on November 2. All of those require online connectivity and live servers, which won’t be available until November 10. There’s a lot that goes into getting a huge multiplayer system like Call of Duty out the door with as few hitches as possible. The teams at Sledgehammer and their support studios will be all hands on deck for the last seven days to give players the best launch day experience.

The campaign itself is a direct sequel to last year’s Modern Warfare 2 reboot, and with Makarov finally reentering the picture, MW3 is probably going to end the current story arc following Captain Price and co. Or we could go one more cycle, where Modern Warfare 4 enters the fray in a few year’s time. Either way, everything will go crazy in just a few days.

For more coverage of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, stick around for more guides leading up to and after full release, including the best PC settings for good FPS, all Mastery camos, and more.

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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.