MW3 Prestige Leveling Guide – How to rank up quickly in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 (Version 2.0)
“Our deepest fear is NOT that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”
This guide is meant to help you level up faster while playing Modern Warfare 3. I started making leveling guides for call of duty back in MW2 because I needed a way to level up quickly. I have a wife, 2 kids and a full time job so I don’t have as much time as I did in college to play video games. Yet, I still wanted access to all of the bonuses that come with prestiging in Call of Duty so I began researching leveling strategies and techniques to help me level up fast. After dozens of hours of testing and implementing different leveling strategies, I feel I have created the most comprehensive and most beneficial leveling guide available.
If you want updates on when I make revisions to my guides or post new guides, subscribe to my youtube channel at youtube.com/oTradeMark
Why should you listen to me?
I have been playing video games all my life. I consider myself a gamer through and through. I have won over $40,000 worth of prizes playing in Call of Duty competitions. By using the techniques in this guide I was able to max out at 8th prestige Level 80 with around 4 days of in game time played. That means on average I was going through an entire prestige every 11 hours. Talk about overdrive. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Dozens of well known call of duty players within the community have praised my guide as being one of the best guides they have ever seen, including Woodysgamertag & WickedShrapnel.
Why should I prestige?
Other than increasing the size of your e-peen, prestiging in MW3 gives you a unique in-game prestige icon or emblem that shows up next to your player name. You also unlock prestige tokens that can be used to purchase in game rewards through the prestige shop.
In the prestige shop, you can spend prestige tokens on the following rewards:
- Extra custom class slots
- Double XP (2 hours in game time)
- Double Weapon XP
- Regular Package (unlocks an extra callsign title & emblem)
- Hardened Package (Requires prestige 5: unlocks an extra callsign title & emblem)
- Veteran Package (Requires prestige 10: unlocks an extra callsign title & emblem)
- Unlock Gear (choose one weapon, equipment or perk to unlock permanently on every prestige from that point forward)
- Reset All Stats (resets everything, including your prestige level)
NOTE: If you prestiged in any of the previous call of duty games (xbox 360 and PS3 only) you will automatically receive one bonus token for each COD game you have already prestiged in. You can only receive one token per game, regardless of your prestige level in that game, for a total of 4 potential prestige tokens (COD 4, COD WaW, COD MW2, COD Black Ops)
The prestige emblems or in-game icons that you unlock for each prestige are shown below.
Update: Five Prestige Levels and Icons were added during a recent update. Another five are supposed to be released at a later date. There emblems are shown below (There is so much diversity, I know…)
Before deciding to prestige, ask yourself if it is worth it. Do you enjoy leveling up? Is there a prestige icon that you really want? Do you want extra custom classes or other prestige bonuses? Every time you prestige you will lose all your unlocked guns, perks and equipment so make sure that you want to do it. Some people like to prestige just because they enjoy leveling up and unlocking things. Other people despise leveling up and just want to stay at level 80 forever. I am somewhere in the middle. I enjoy leveling up, and I really like the 8th prestige icon. So I decided to level up to 8th prestige and then I stopped leveling there. That allowed me to unlock all my custom classes and display my favorite prestige icon next to my name.
How much experience is required to prestige?
The maximum amount of experience you can earn per prestige in MW3 is 1,746,200 XP. This is spread out over 80 levels. That is quite a bit different from Modern Warfare 2, which had 70 levels and a maximum experience of 2,516,000. So while MW3 has 10 more levels to go through than MW2, the total amount of experience necessary to prestige is more than 30% less.
Leveling scales up as you level up, which means that the later levels will take much longer to get through than the early levels. Experience wise, half way through a prestige is around level 60.
Here is a breakdown of each level in MW3, and how much experience is required to reach it:
|Level||XP Required||% Complete||XP to Next Level|
How long is this going to take?
Leveling up in Call of Duty even when using the tips in this guide is still a lengthy process. Depending on the skill of you and your team it could take anywhere from 12-24 hours of in game time played to prestige.
If you can complete 80 levels in under 12 hours of game time played you are leveling at a great pace. I maxed out at 8th prestige Level 80 with around 101 hours (4.21 Days) of in game time played. That means I leveled at a pace of about 7.12 levels an hour and on average I went through 1 prestige every 11.2 hours of in game time played. While this is not the fastest I have seen, it is up there.
As I mentioned earlier, leveling is based upon experience earned while doing in game tasks such as kills, assists, captures, calling in pointstreaks or destroying enemy poinstreaks. So the number one way to level up quicker is to get better at the game. That being said, this guide is not focused on helping you get better at the game. If you would like some tips on getting better at Call of Duty, subscribe to my youtube channel at youtube.com/oTradeMark
Aside from active in game tasks that earn you experience, the 2 other main ways you earn experience is through your match bonus and your challenges.
Match bonus is experience earned at the end of each game as a bonus for staying until the game ends (rather than quitting out or dashboarding). The multiplier for your match bonus is twice as big if you win than if you lose. So that brings me to my first leveling tip of the guide:
Leveling Tip #1: Win
And what’s the easiest way to win consistently? Play with a competent group of players that communicate and go for the objectives. If you usually play solo, try getting a group together of people you can play with. If you don’t have any friends that you play with already, checkout hupitgaming.com to find some players you can play with.
If you would like to know exactly how the match bonus is calculated read below (thanks to Pozzuh & BlakCrow @ reddit)
Match Bonus = S x T x ((R + 6) / 12) … Where:
- S = Scaler (1 if Win, 0.5 otherwise)
- T = The length of time the game lasted (in seconds)
- R = Rank (1-80)
So let’s say my rank is 65. I’m playing FFA which has a max game length of 10min and I won the match after 7 min and 46 seconds (=471 sec)
Match Bonus = 1 x 471 x ((65 + 6) / 12) = 2787
And let’s say my rank is 80. I’m playing Kill confirmed which has a max game length of 10min and I lose the match after 10 min. (=600sec)
Match Bonus = 0.5 x 600 x ((80 + 6) / 12) = 2150
Leveling Tip #2: Play the game types which cater to you and your teams play style while still being able to enjoy the game.
In previous COD games there have been stand out gametypes that offer leveling advantages. In MW3, I feel that the best gametype for leveling depends on your strengths and preferences. Overall, I think the 4 gametypes with the best leveling potential are Search and Destroy, Team Defender, Domination and Kill Confirmed.
Search and Destroy is a 1-life per round, bomb plant based game. The winner is the team that wins the best of 7 rounds, or first to 4 round wins. SnD has always been a strong way to level up for players who can get a lot of kills each game. SnD offers a whopping 500 XP per kill and bomb plant, which turns into a huge 1000 XP per kill when used in conjunction with double XP. For players that can consistently get a lot of kills and plants/defuses in SnD, this is a great way to level up. But if you are impatient like me and find yourself running straight into the nearest enemy claymore at the start of each round,then you are just going to spend most of the game dead, watching your teammates play and earning absolutely zero experience.
Team Defender is a new game type to MW3. It is similar to Halo’s oddball. The game is TDM based, first team to 7500 score wins, but the catch is that there is 1 flag on the map at all times. Whichever team possess’ the flag also earns a bonus score towards the team whenever they earn kills. Most people dislike Team Defender, as the spawns are very tightly bunched, sporadic, and lead to a lot of hectic deaths and score changes. But a solid group of players will learn how to camp one area and rack up kills very quickly on the enemy team. The reason these games are so quick to level up is because it is basically a TDM game where the enemy team is constantly running towards the flag (rather than camping like usual TDM games). Just make sure that you play this game type with a team of competent players, because if you play against another team that is well organized you will figure out that it is very difficult to break a 6 man defense all camping a couple of choke points on the map.
Domination is my next recommendation for game types and by far my most played game type. Domination earns you +50XP for a kill as well as +150XP for a flag capture and +50XP for a flag defend. If you play aggressively in a game like this you can easily rack up a lot of points and kills. Because it is my favorite game type I am partially biased towards it, but statistically it offers a lot of advantages too. If you strictly compare Score Per Minute on gametypes you will see that SnD offers a huge advantage versus other traditional gametypes, as it takes 10 domination kills to equal 1 SnD kill. But what most players don’t take into consideration is that when you are playing SnD, you are going to have a very difficult time earning in game challenges, as most of them are based around kills or other actions that do not happen nearly as much in SnD. Through one prestige I will earn hundreds of thousands of experience points on challenges alone, which I believe trumps the leveling potential of SnD.
NOTE: Challenge XP is not doubled. So if playing on a double XP weekend or while utilizing double XP hours, S&D becomes even more effective for leveling.
Kill confirmed is my final game type recommendation. Kill Confirmed is another TDM based gametype which rewards you for kills and collecting dog tags (confirming or denying a kill). The reason why kill confirmed is a great game type to level up quickly is because it’s faster paced than TDM and at the same type offers more leveling potential. When you kill a player you get +50 XP. When you deny a kill you get +50 XP. When you kill a player and collect their dog tag, you earn +100 XP. When you kill a player AND A TEAMMATE collects that dog tag, YOU STILL EARN +100 XP. Then last but certainly not least, when you die and recover your own dog tag you get +250 XP, the equivalent of 5 objective kills! Kill confirmed is a great way to level up for these reasons. Even if you aren’t the best slayer, you can collect and deny dog tags all game and earn more XP than the highest killing person on your team!
To sum it all up, the best game type for leveling depends on what type of a player you are as well as who you play with and what type of players they are. And remember that you should be playing this game to have fun, so if there are certain gametypes that you dislike, simply don’t play them.
Aside from being rewarded XP for your match bonus and in game actions, the other major way you level up is through completing in game challenges. MW3 challenges are specific tasks that you need to complete in order to earn a set amount of experience and they are either static (complete once and you are done) or progressive (multiple tiers or levels of the challenge are consecutively completed)
No matter who you are, as you play the game you will complete challenges. But if you want to maximize your leveling efficiency, you want to plan out your challenges in a way that maximizes your experience gain during the time you spend playing. The next few sections are dedicated to all the different challenges in the game,
Leveling Tip #3: Complete your primary and secondary weapon challenges as efficiently as possible. Get 500 kills with a primary before moving on, and earn the mastery challenges for your best secondaries.
Primary Weapon Challenges
Let’s take a look at a typical set of challenges related to a primary weapon:
XP Per Tier
Veteran Gun 1
Veteran Gun 2
Veteran Gun 3
As you can see, you get more XP per kill for different tiers within the same challenge. Because of this, you want to try and complete the most efficient challenges of a gun at the same time before moving onto a different weapon. The easiest way to do this is to use the same primary weapon for 500 kills before moving onto a new gun. The first 500 kills for a weapon each prestige will earn over 8,000 more XP than kills 501-1000, so those kills have a distinct leveling advantage. You will also be working on your Veteran prestige challenges, which are unlocked after you prestige your first time (and do not reset upon consequent prestige levels). So getting 500 kills with a weapon your first time after you prestige will earn you an additional 10,000 experience. Finally, you should also complete the Mastery challenge (unlock all attachments) during your first 500 kills, which earns you another 10,000 experience. As you can see, using a primary weapon for 500 kills per prestige before moving onto another gun maximizes the experience you will earn.
NOTE: Technically, the marksman 5 challenge (300 kills) gives you more XP per kill than the marksman 6 challenge. But in order to maximize your XP earned you would need to get the mastery challenge completed within those 300 kills and keep track of the veteran challenges on your own as the first 2 veteran challenges do not match up with 300 kills per prestige. So to make it easier to remember, I just tell people to get 500 kills per primary per prestige.
DISCLAIMER: now, that being said… don’t use a weapon if you suck with it. If you are getting frustrated and not getting any kills with a gun just because you are trying to get the veteran challenge, you are just going to end up missing out on more experience than you would have if you just stuck with a gun you are good with. It’s better to play well with guns that aren’t helping you level up than it is to play poorly with guns that are “supposed” to be helping you level up but aren’t.
Secondary Weapon Challenges
Secondary weapons for the most part are harder to get kills with and therefore slower to level up with. But where they lack in killing power, they make up for in challenge XP. All secondary weapons have a mastery challenge that you can complete for 10,000 experience and they require less work to complete.
Completing the mastery challenge for a machine pistol only requires 75 kills and completing it for some pistols only requires 50 kills. This is some really great experience you can earn for very little work. I usually get the mastery challenge for every machine pistol and revolver in the game, a total of 60,000 XP for 400 total kills.
Also another secondary weapon with huge leveling potential is the stinger. The stinger is a secondary launcher that is vehicle lock only, meaning it is worthless to get kills with. But stingers are a great secondary to use for 2 reasons: The first reason is that shooting down enemy air support will immediately earn you XP and pointstreaks in game. The second reason the stinger is so great is because you complete marksman challenges for destroying enemy air support. You only have to shoot 40 enemy streaks out of the air to get your first 10,000 XP bonus.
I run a stinger on almost all of my classes as soon as I finish the machine pistol challenges. Use a stinger as your secondary weapon and be conscious of shooting down all enemy pointstreaks when you have a chance.
Leveling Tip #4: Complete the attachment and proficiency challenges for your weapons without decreasing your combat efficiency.
Weapon Attachment & Proficiency Challenges
The next set of challenges that can help you level up quickly are the weapon attachment challenges and the proficiency challenges. The weapon attachment challenges are static 750-1000XP challenges that are earned for getting kills while using specific attachments on a weapon. The proficiency challenges are progressive challenges with 6 tiers earned by completing specific tasks related to a proficiency while using that proficiency on a weapon.
Both of these challenges offer a lot of potential experience to be earned during a prestige, but you need to use caution when completing these challenges, as not all of them offer good XP and/or are easy to complete.
When it comes to attachment challenges, some players do really bad with certain attachments (ie thermal or acog sights). The amount of experience you earn for these challenges is between 750-1000XP, the equivalent of 15-20 kills on domination/kill confirmed. So if you end up struggling with a weapon attachment and could have earned more than 15-20 additional kills during the time you were using it, it ends up being slower leveling than if you had just used your favorite attachment. Let’s take a look at some standard attachment challenges:
|AR Red Dot Sight||Get 60 kills while aiming down sights with an attached red dot sight||60||1,000||16.67|
|AR Silencer||Get 15 kills with an attached silencer||15||750||50.00|
|AR Grenade Launcher||Get 20 kills with the attached grenade launcher||20||750||37.50|
|AR ACOG||Get 20 kills while aiming down sights with an attached ACOG sight||20||750||37.50|
|AR Rapid Fire||Get 40 kills while using rapid fire||40||1,000||25.00|
|AR Heartbeat||Get 40 kills while using an attached heartbeat sensor||40||1,000||25.00|
|AR Shotgun||Get 40 kills with an attached shotgun||40||1,000||25.00|
|AR Holographic||Get 40 kills while aiming down sights with an attached holographic sight||40||1,000||25.00|
|AR Extended Mags||Get 40 kills while using extended mags||40||1,000||25.00|
As you can see most challenges will earn you 25 XP per kill. This is a nice bonus (50% increase for dom/kc) as long as you are decent with the attachment. But if you struggle with an attachment then it’s not worth the effort. I personally get the RDS, Silencer, ACOG, RapidFire, Heartbeat, Holographic and Extended Mags challenges out of the above attachments.
One thing to note is that you can actually stack attachment challenges by using the attachment proficiency, allowing you to attach 2 attachments to your weapon. And while we are talking about proficiencies let’s take a look at a standard proficiency challenge list:
XP Per Kill
|Proficiency 1||15 Proficiency Kills/tasks||15||500||33.33|
|Proficiency 2||30 Proficiency Kills/tasks||30||1,000||66.67|
|Proficiency 3||60 Proficiency Kills/tasks||60||2,500||83.33|
|Proficiency 4||120 Proficiency Kills/tasks||120||5,000||83.33|
|Proficiency 5||300 Proficiency Kills/tasks||300||10,000||55.56|
|Proficiency 6||750 Proficiency Kills/tasks||750||10,000||22.22|
As you can see, proficiency challenges take 2 giant dives in XP per kill during the proficiency V & VI challenges. Also some proficiencies are earned for straight kills while other proficiencies require you getting kills in certain ways (for example Impact requires you to get kills through objects). For this reason I only level up the following proficiencies and only work on the first 5 challenges of a tier: Kick, Attachments, Stability, Range (smgs), Damage (shotguns). Depending on your play style and preferred weapons, you might never use a proficiency at all during a prestige (ie speed which is only available on snipers and lmgs)
So what do all these challenges mean in terms of leveling? Basically, you are trying to maximize your XP per action/kill without hurting your overall combat effectiveness. If you equip an attachment/proficiency and consequently do really poorly for 10 games in a row, you will probably earn less XP completing the challenges than you would have just using your best class setup. So it all boils down to how diverse you are as a player and how well you do with different attachments/proficiencies.
Leveling Tip #5: Complete the perk and pro-perk challenges for all perks that offer a high XP per task reward. If the tasks are easy, complete all 6 challenges. If the tasks are hard, avoid all challenges together.
The next set of challenges that can help you level up quickly is the perk challenges. Each perk challenge has 6 tiers to complete and when you unlock the pro version of that perk you also unlock 6 tiers of a new challenge related to that pro perk. Completing these challenges can earn you up to 58,000 XP per perk, a great boost to your leveling.
In order to help you understand how perk challenge XP works let’s take a look at the challenges associated with the Scavenger Perk:
XP Per Task
|Scavenger Pro I||Resupply X times while using Scavenger||10||500||50|
|Scavenger Pro II||Resupply X times while using Scavenger||25||1,000||66.67|
|Scavenger Pro III||Resupply X times while using Scavenger||50||2,500||100.00|
|Scavenger Pro IV||Resupply X times while using Scavenger||100||5,000||100.00|
|Scavenger Pro V||Resupply X times while using Scavenger||250||10,000||66.67|
|Scavenger Pro VI||Resupply X times while using Scavenger||500||10,000||40.00|
|Hoarding Ammo I||Get X kills while using Scavenger Pro||15||500||33.33|
|Hoarding Ammo II||Get X kills while using Scavenger Pro||30||1,000||66.67|
|Hoarding Ammo III||Get X kills while using Scavenger Pro||60||2,500||83.33|
|Hoarding Ammo IV||Get X kills while using Scavenger Pro||120||5,000||83.33|
|Hoarding Ammo V||Get X kills while using Scavenger Pro||300||10,000||55.56|
|Hoarding Ammo VI||Get X kills while using Scavenger Pro||750||10,000||22.22|
As you can see, after you resupply 10 times while using scavenger you earn 500 XP, then you earn 1000 XP for your next 15 resupplies. Following your next 25 resupplies, you earn 2500 XP. As you can see up until Scavenger Pro V, every challenge results in a higher XP yield per task. Then at Scavenger Pro V and VI you see large XP drop offs. Your final challenge requires 250 resupplies to net you 10,000 XP, that’s only 40 XP per resupply, less than you get per resupply for your first 10. The same thing happens with the hoarding ammo challenge. In fact if you look at every perk challenge in the game, the XP per task always drops off at the 5th and 6th challenge.
From this information, we can conclude that in order to get the best per task experience gains from these challenges we would complete only the first 4 levels of each challenge before moving on. But certain perk challenges are so easy that it’s worth it to complete all 6 challenges, and other perk challenges are so hard that it’s not worth completing any of the challenges.
Every player has different strengths and weaknesses, so exactly what perk challenges you go for is up to you. If you struggle to get kills, don’t go for the really big 750 kill 10k challenges. Instead work towards the support challenges like blind eye and sit rep.
That being said, I am going to list the challenges for all of the perks below as well as my tips on how to complete them in the least amount of time possible.
|Tier 1 Perks & Challenges|
|Recon Pro||Paint 3/10/20/40/100/250 enemies with explosive damage while using Recon||Flash grenades, noob tubes, and xm-25 launchers all count as explosive damage so spam those explosives|
|Paintball Gun||Paint 15/30/60/120/300/750 enemies with bullet damage while using Recon Pro||Use an LMG with Deep Impact and hold down the trigger while aiming in the enemies general direction|
|Sleight Of Hand Pro||Get 15/30/60/120/300/750 kills while using Sleight of Hand.||I always finish all these challenges, SoH is one of the best perks in the game|
|High Noon||Get 15/30/60/120/300/750 kills shortly after swapping weapons while using Sleight of Hand Pro||I don’t specifically go for this but when you run out of ammo, instead of reloading swap weapons for a quick kill|
|Blind Eye Pro||Destroy 3/10/20/40/100/250 enemy killstreak rewards while using Blind Eye||Carry a stinger as your secondary|
|Restricted Airspace||Destroy 3/10/20/40/100/250 enemy killstreak rewards by locking on while using Blind Eye Pro||Carry a stinger as your secondary|
|Extreme Conditioning Pro||Sprint x miles while using Extreme Conditioning||Run around|
|Parkour||Mantle 3/10/20/40/100/250 objects while using Extreme Conditioning Pro||Try to complete this challenge & featherweight at the same time by vaulting a rail and falling a long distance|
|Scavenger Pro||Resupply 10/25/50/100/250/500 times while using Scavenger||Use a weapon that reloads fast and needs a lot of ammo, like machine pistols|
|Hoarding Ammo||Get 15/30/60/120/300/750 kills while using Scavenger Pro||Great pro perk challenge for easy XP|
Tier 2 Perks & Challenges
|Quickdraw Pro||Get x kills within a few seconds of aiming down your sights while using Quickdraw||Use in conjunction with stalker to maximize XP gain|
|Bringing The Boom||Get x kills with your secondary weapon while using Quick Draw Pro||Use in conjunction with stalker to maximize XP gain. MP9 is a great secondary for ADS kills, it’s like a bumpy MP7|
|Blast Shield Pro||Survive x explosions while using Blast Shield||Dropzone or objective game types where a lot of explosives are thrown at one area are great for completing this|
|Can’t Phase Me||Get x kills shortly after being flashed or stunned while using Blast Shield Pro||Dropzone or objective game types where a lot of explosives are thrown at one area are great for completing this|
|Hardline Pro||Get x pointstreaks while using Hardline||Specialist streaks count towards hardline pro, easy challenge|
|And One!||Get x assists to count as kills while using Hardline Pro||Use hardline pro in conjunction with recon to maximize assists|
|Assassin Pro||Get x kills while enemy UAV is active and using Assassin||Assassin + Silenced Weapon + Dead Silence = Ninja Mayhem|
|Surprise!||Get x kills while enemy Counter UAV or EMP is active and using Assassin Pro||Assassin + Silenced Weapon + Dead Silence = Ninja Mayhem|
|Overkill Pro||Get x kills with your second primary weapon while using Overkill||I don’t ever use overkill, it’s a waste of a perk slot. There are plenty of strong secondaries|
|Overkiller||Get x kills with your secondary primary with an attachment while using Overkill pro||I don’t ever use overkill, it’s a waste of a perk slot. There are plenty of strong secondaries|
Tier 3 Perks & Challenges
|Marksman Pro||Get x kills while holding breath and using Marksman||I don’t unlock marksman pro since I never snipe|
|CQC Not For Me||Get x long distance kills while using Marksman Pro||I don’t unlock marksman pro since I never snipe|
|Stalker Pro||Get x kills while aiming down the sights and using Stalker||Use in conjunction with quickdraw to maximize XP gain|
|Trip Delayed||Trip x enemy explosives and survive while using Stalker Pro||This one just happens as you play, don’t be scared of running into enemy equipment|
|Sitrep Pro||Destroy x enemy devices while using SitRep||Just play while using sitrep and if you see enemy equipment, destroy it|
|I Heard That||Get x kills while using Sitrep Pro||Although sitrep pro is a pain to unlock, this challenge is easy XP once it’s unlocked|
|Steady Aim Pro||Get x hipfire kills using Steady Aim||PP90m1 + Rapid Fire or Akimbo FNG9’s… Spray and Pray, enjoy the hatemail|
|Runner’s High||Get x kills shortly after sprinting while using Steady Aim Pro||PP90m1 + Rapid Fire or Akimbo FNG9’s… Spray and Pray, enjoy the hatemail|
|Dead Silence Pro||Get x close range kills using Dead Silence||Silenced SMG will work nicely here|
|Featherweight||Fall x times that would have normally caused you damage while using Dead Silence Pro||Try to complete this challenge & parkour at the same time by vaulting a rail and falling a long distance|
Leveling Tip #6: Use the specialist or support strike package to quickly gain additional XP bonuses each game.
The 2 best strike packages for leveling up quickly are the Specialist & Support strike packages. The specialist strike package earns you specialist bonus XP for every perk reward you earn and also allows you to work towards all of your perk challenges at the same time. The support strike package on the other hand allows you to rack up a lot of XP through taking down enemy kill streaks and getting assists. If you have a Kill/Death ratio under 1.5 or like to play the objective then you will probably want to use the support strike package.
Specialist strike package
The specialist strike package offers a huge amount of leveling potential. Not only do you earn bonus XP for every perk you unlock, you also earn bonus XP for every other kill you get when you unlock one man army (earned by getting 8 points, 7 with hardline).
The best part about getting an 8 pointstreak (7 with hardline) while running specialist is that you can work on every single perk challenge in the game at the same time. The best thing about unlocking one man army (earned by getting 8 points) is that you can work towards completing challenges for every perk in the game at the same time. This leads to hundreds of thousands of potential experience earned from just completing challenges while using this strike package.
When using the specialist strike package I always recommend that you equip Hardline Pro as your custom class red perk. The reason that you should use hardline as your red perk is that the first point you get of each life results in your first perk reward being unlocked. If you were running Assassin or Quick draw as your red perk it would require 2 kills for you to unlock your first perk reward and you miss out on potential specialist bonuses. Another advantage of running hardline pro is that every other assist you get counts as a kill and a point towards your specialist streak. Let’s say that you have 1 assist and you throw a flash bang at an enemy before you die. If that enemy is killed by your teammate while still flashed and you earn your second assist, you will respawn with your first perk reward automatically unlocked, since your second assist counts as a point. If you were running another red perk you would not get credit for that assist, even if you unlocked hardline as a perk reward because you would lose hardline upon death.
Support strike package
The support strike package is the best way to level up if you find yourself dying a lot while playing call of duty. It is also the most beneficial strike package to your entire team so if you find your team is struggling to win try to run support.
The reason the support strike package has so much leveling potential is because your point streak does not reset upon death. So even if you are dying just as much as you are getting points, your streak remains intact.
The secret to earning a lot of experience while using the support package is to combine hardline pro with perks and pointstreaks that get a lot of assists. I recommend using this class:
Perk 1: Recon
Perk 2: Hardline Pro
Perk 3: Marksman / Sitrep
Primary: Anything (Grenade Launcher attachment is nice if using Recon)
Lethal & Tactical: Semtex & Flashbangs if using Recon, tac inserts if playing kill confirmed, otherwise anything is fine.
Support Streaks: UAV, Ballistic Vests, Recon Drone -OR- Recon Drone / Stealth Bomber / EMP
Ballistic vests are good because you earn XP for your teammates picking them up. Not only do they help you, your teammates are able to absorb additional damage for picking them up. The vests are timed and are not affected by how many teammates pick one up. You can earn hundreds of XP for a well placed ballistic vest (try to place it out in the open near where your teammates spawn)
Stealth bombers are the only offensive pointstreak in the support package. Personally, I think it was retarded of the developers to put stealth bombers in the support strike package, but that’s another story. This is one of the best pointstreaks available. Not only can it clear an entire section of the map, you can easily get hundreds of XP in kills by placing a bomber in the correct location.
Also, EMP’s are a great pointstreak. A lot of players opt to use the escort airdrop but I feel that is a mistake. Escort airdrops will earn you kills or XP depending on if you pick them up or your teammates do, but they take forever to drop and a good team will shoot it down before it gets a chance to drop the care packages. EMP is a pointstreak that instantly kills all enemy air support AND prevents the enemy from calling in any pointstreaks for an entire minute. I can’t tell you how annoying it is to run into a team that is using multiple EMP’s… 60 seconds feels like forever in one round of MW3. EMP’s won’t help you earn that much XP (aside from whatever you destroy when calling it in), however they are game changers and they will help your team win games.
And last but certainly not least, the majority of your XP will be earned using the Recon Drone. The recon drone is a remote controlled helicopter that allows you to “spot” enemy players that will show up constantly on your teammates radar UNTIL THEY DIE! That’s right, until they die. In other words, when you tag an enemy player you basically give them a death sentence. Tagging a player earns you +50XP and when that player dies you earn an additional +20XP. Since all players are likely to die after being tagged you are basically earning +70XP per tag. I have seen people get over 30 assists in a single game running this support streak layout. That is over 2000 XP per game from your assists alone. Not to mention that every other assist of yours counts as another point towards your point streak.
That is why I recommend setting up your support streak in one of 2 ways. The first way is to put recon drone as your last earned pointstreak… With hardline, that is only 9 points. If you are constantly helping your team with objectives you can get over 3 recon drones in a single match. The other method of setting up your support streak is to use the recon drone as the first unlocked streak, followed by higher reward streaks like the EMP or Stealth Bomber. This makes it so your assists while flying the drone will count towards your higher pointstreaks. Either way you should be earning a lot of assists and XP using one of these support strike package setups.
Leveling Tip #7: Be aware of unique static challenges that can be completed with as little effort as possible.
There are some static challenges in this game that are not typically completed that offer great leveling potential for relatively little work.
WARNING: One thing to note about static challenges is that a lot of them are odd challenges that could directly affect your statistics, so if you are a K/D or W/L stat whore completing these challenges can affect your stats.
NOTE: Not all static challenges are available when you first prestige. Each set of challenges requires a certain level to unlock.
Anyways here are is a break down of all the static challenges I have deemed worth “considering”. They aren’t challenges I completed in every prestige but are ones that I feel reward enough XP to consider doing them. Keep in mind that a challenge that rewards even 500 XP is equivalent of getting 10 kills in an objective game type or 5 kills in TDM.
- Basic Training (Lvl 4)
- Flyswatter (1000 XP) – shoot down an enemy helicopter. Grab a launcher and earn the easiest 1000 XP you will ever get.
- Goodbye (500 XP) – fall 30 feet or more to your death. A good place to do this is on the map “Seatown” by the “A” domination spawn there is a big well you can jump down to complete the challenge
- Base Jump (750 XP) – fall 15 feet or more and survive. Just find a ledge and jump off it… most people get this unintentionally.
- The rest of the basic training challenges are just ones you will earn as you play… don’t worry too much about them.
- Operations (Lvl 15)
- Bomb down (1000 XP) – Kill a bomb carrier in Sabotage or S&D. Pretty much just play Sabotage for a minute and camp a bomb and you will get this.
- Last man standing (1000 XP) – This is the easiest to do playing S&D solo. Join a game then just wait in your spawn while on the attacking team… If your team is bad you will guaranteed be the last man standing.
- Saboteur / Defuser / Bomb Defender (2 tiers on all 3 challenges for 1500 XP a piece) – I don’t enjoy sabotage and have only played it a couple of times in MW3, so this is mostly hypothetical. But in Blops there used to be a great way to earn defuses and plants and that’s by playing Sabotage with a team. Basically you plant then bomb then everyone hides near the point and lets the enemy team defuse the bomb. Then you kill the enemies and replant the bomb. Rinse, Repeat. You would be surprised how many enemy players will continually run to the bomb and defuse it, like lambs to the slaughter. The defuser is exactly opposite in that you let the enemy plant the bomb then kill them and defuse. Rinse, repeat. Then bomb defender is basically the same as above except you kill the enemies while they are defusing instead of letting them defuse. If you completed both tiers of all 3 of these challenges you would earn 4500 XP and these can all be completed in one match of sabotage (although bomb defender is the hardest)
- FFA Victor (3 tiers for 4000 XP total) – Place 1st, 2nd or 3rd at least 10 times in FFA. If you are decent at playing free for all. Quickly play 10 matches for a total of 4000 bonus XP from this challenge. While you are playing FFA, try to complete the finishing move challenges at the same time.
- Proficiencies (Lvl 20)
- Talked about earlier in this guide next to weapon attachment challenges
- Precision (Lvl 30)
- The Surgical / Mach 5 / Dictator / Perfectionist (2000 XP per challenge) – fire an entire magazine into your enemies without missing using an AR, SMG, LMG, Sniper. These 4 challenges are pretty difficult to complete. The sniper one is probably the easiest and the LMG challenge is very difficult. I don’t ever go for these but if you are a good aim you can probably do it. The best way to get this done would be to come up behind an enemy juggernaught and unload a full clip of your gun before he turns around.
- Finishing Moves (Lvl 40)
- Finishing moves are all challenges to get a game willing killcam in a certain way. These are great ways to earn quick experience if you are good at free for all. What you want to do is rush to 29 kills and save the killstreak or item you need to get the game winning killcam with until the very last kill. So let’s say I rush to 29 kills and I saved a predator missile until the end. I could kill 1 enemy for the final killcam and earn the “Drone Killer” challenge. You can also have a class ready to switch to with a riot shield, throwing knife, or other finishing move challenge so that when you reach 29 kills you can die and switch to that class.
- Humiliation (Lvl 50)
- Car Bomb 1 & 2 (3000 XP & 5000 XP) – Kill 5/10 enemies by destroying cars. You can do this by setting a bouncing betty near a group of vehicles or just by throwing explosives at vehicles when an enemy is taking cover nearby. Usually completed just by playing.
- Backstabber (3000 XP) – stab an enemy in the back with your knife. I take back what I said about flyswatter… this is the easiest 3000 XP you will earn.
- Misery Loves Company (3000 XP) – Kill yourself and 1 enemy by cooking a grenade without throwing it. This is the Durka Durka Jihad challenge. It’s pretty easy to do for a quick 3k xp. Just prime a grenade near an unaware enemy and blow yourself up right next to them.
- Think Fast Stun / Flash / Frag – Finish an enemy off by direct impact. These challenges are easy to complete if you find a final stand noob on the ground. Final stand players only have 1 health and are pretty much immobile. Throw a flash/stun/frag at them and earn a quick 3k XP, but watch out for their final stand douchebaggery trying to kill you.
- Payback (Lvl 60)
- I don’t ever go for any of these specifically, it’s hard to specifically go for revenge kills. Just ignore these and be happy if you complete some of them.
- First Class (Lvl 65)
- Fast Swap (4500 XP) – Hurt an enemy with a primary weapon, then finish them off with a pistol. This is easier to do with sleight of hand pro. It’s a pretty easy challenge if you try to do it.
- Star Player (4500 XP) – Play an entire match of any game type with a 5:1 kill / death ratio. This usually just happens but if you struggle to get a 5 K/D just try and run predator/airstrike(or chopper)/reaper as your assault streaks and just camp for 1 round. If you do this you should be able to get a 5 K/D.
- How the ? (4500 XP) – Kill an enemy by using bullet penetration to shoot an explosive device through a wall. Equip sitrep and shoot an enemies C4 or explosive through an object or wall. With a bit of luck they will be nearby and you will get the kill.
- Survivalist (4500 XP) – Survive for 5 consecutive minutes. Be a beast and run and gun for 5 minutes without dying or be a bitch for 5 minutes and hide with blind eye / assassin
- The Survivor (4500 XP) – Get a knife kill when all of your ammo is empty. Equip an AA-12 as your primary & SMAW secondary. Shoot all your bullets and rockets then go get a knife kill.
- Intimidation (Lvl 70)
- No Secrets (2500 XP) – Call in a UAV 3 times in a single match. You can use UAV with hardline pro and not have a 2nd and 3rd streak. Should make it super simple to call in 3 UAV’s in one match.
- Sunblock (2500 XP) – Counter the enemy’s UAV 3 times in a single match. Same as above except run UAV/CUAV on support. Wait until the enemy puts up radar then call in a counter. Groundwar gametype usually has a lot of UAV’s.
- Afterburner / Air superiority (2500 XP per challenge) – Call in an Airstrike / Attack Heli 2 times in 1 match. Use hardline pro with Predator/Airstrike/Attack Heli as your streaks. Your streaks stack so you should be able to earn both challenges in 1 game.
- Prestige (unlocked after you enter your 1st prestige. These challenges do not reset unlike all other regular challenges)
- These are all just career challenges that you shouldn’t specifically go for, but will contribute XP for you over time as you go through the prestige ranks.
Daily & Weekly XP Challenges:
Daily & Weekly challenges are IW/Sledgehammers failed attempt at Treyarchs contracts. In concept, they are a good idea, but they are poorly implemented. The issue with challenges is that all daily challenges earn you 1000 XP, and all weekly challenges earn you 5000 XP (at least they do right now). Some challenges are super easy (call in Assault UAV 2 times) while others are pretty difficult (get direct impact kills with a launcher, etc). These challenges do not reward you with more XP for completing more difficult tasks. In some ways this is good because you can get 5000 XP for some really simple weekly challenges. But in other ways it’s bad, because there are some difficult challenges that just aren’t worth the effort to complete. Feel free to check these challenges for some easy XP but don’t go out of your way to get them done.
Leveling Tip #8: Complete all challenges as efficiently as possible by using class setups that compliment each other.
Creating class setups that compliment each other in order to maximize your experience gains is probably the most important tip to leveling quickly, but it can be a little confusing. The idea here is that you want to setup your classes in a manner that will allow you to work towards multiple challenges at the same time.
Consider the following scenario:
Completing the first 5 marksman challenges for an Assault Rifle by getting 300 kills earns you 28,250 XP. That is over 94 bonus XP per kill.
Completing the first 5 kick proficiency challenges by getting 300 kills aimed down sights earns you 19,000 XP. That is over 63 bonus XP per kill.
Completing the first 5 SoH challenges for getting 300 kills with SoH earns you 19,000 XP. That’s another 63 bonus XP per kill.
Completing the first 5 Quickdraw challenges for getting 200 kills within a few seconds of aiming down sights earns you 19,000 XP. That’s a bonus 95 XP per kill.
Completing the first 5 Stalker challenges for getting 300 kills while aiming down sights earns you 19,000 XP. Again that’s over 63 bonus XP per kill.
Completing the red dot and holographic sight attachment challenges for getting a total of 100 kills while aiming down sights earns you 2,000 XP. That’s a bonus 20 XP per kill.
All of these challenges are great bonus XP when looked at individually. But now consider this. You can complete every single challenge I listed above at the same time with 1 custom class. If you were to get 300 kills while aiming down sights with a custom class that had an Assault Rifle + Kick proficiency + Red dot sight (and holographic at some point), plus Sleight of Hand, Quickdraw, Stalker… you would earn an astounding 106,250 experience through your challenges alone. That means that for those 300 kills, you would be earning an incredible 354 bonus XP per kill! The leveling potential is outstanding! Keep this in mind when creating your custom classes.
DISCLAIMER: Certain challenges are not unlocked until certain levels. For example proficiency challenges are not unlocked until level 20, so the above class would lose out on some potential until you reached level 20. In order to maximize your leveling efficiency keep this in mind when working towards each challenge.
I am going to list out all of the custom classes I have personally used to efficiently help me earn experience. If I did not mention a weapon class or perk that means you can use anything you want. For example the class above focuses on your primary, so it doesn’t matter what secondary weapon you use. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any good ideas to add to this section.
Primary: Assault Rifle + Kick proficiency + Red dot, Silencer, Acog, Heartbeat, Holographic (as the attachments become available)
Perks: Sleight of Hand, Quickdraw, Stalker
Tips: This is a great class to start out with each prestige because all 3 of these perks are unlocked by default. You can use the M4 with this class as it is a pretty good AR unlocked by default. As mentioned above, if you aim down sights for your kills you will work towards all of the challenges related to your perks and attachments at the same time. Stalker allows you to move faster while ADS’d so always make sure you are utilizing that left trigger finger especially going around corners or into heavy traffic areas.
Primary: Any sub-machine gun
Secondary: Any machine pistol (use akimbo once unlocked)
Perks: Extreme Conditioning, Hardline (if using specialist) or Blast Shield, Steady Aim
Tips: This class is great for run and gunners. You will earn your Extreme Conditioning miles while racking up your steady aim kills and leveling up your SMG/Akimbo MP’s. Always fire from the hip when within reasonable distance to gain steady aim kills. You can also use this class with akimbo machine pistols to quickly get your mastery challenges completed. One quick tip is that if you run with an MP9 or Skorpion out you will have a longer sprint duration. This makes it easier to unlock extreme conditioning pro.
Primary: Silenced SMG
Secondary: Silenced pistol or mp9
Perks: Scavenger, Hardline, Dead Silence
Streaks: Specialist – Assassin, Sleight of Hand, Extreme Conditioning
Tips: This class is great for getting those close quarters silence kills. You can work towards your assassin/dead silence kills at the same time while picking up scavenger packs for scavenger pro. When you unlock scavenger pro you also unlock the hoarding ammo challenge which you complete by getting kills while using scavenger pro. Also, 1 tip for picking up scavenger packs is that if you have full ammo you can fire 1 bullet, reload, pick up a scavenger pack, then rinse, repeat. This allows you to pick up a bunch of scavenger packs even if you have full ammo.
Blind Eye Sitter
Perks: Blind Eye, Assassin, Sitrep
Equipment: Semtex / EMP Grenade
Streaks: Support – UAV/Vests or UAV/Vests/Recon Drone or Recon Drone/Stealth Bomber/EMP or Advanced UAV/Stealth Bomber/EMP
Tips: This class will allow you to work towards your blind eye and stinger challenges at the same time. You can also be on the lookout for enemy equipment to destroy to work towards sitrep challenges. Be aware that sitrep pro is difficult to obtain. There is a glitch where you can knife your own trophy system to work towards the challenge but it could be considered boosting so do it at your own risk.
Recon Hard Spotter
Primary: AR with Grenade Launcher Noob Tube attachment
Equipment: Semtex / Flash grenade
Perks: Recon, Hardline Pro, Any perk 3
Streaks: Specialist – Quick Draw Pro, Scavenger, Asassin
Tips: This class is catered to completing the recon & hardline challenges. You can paint enemies on the map by damaging them with explosive damage (bullet damage paints enemies once recon pro is unlocked). Throw your flashes at heavy populated area to quickly rack up your “spots”. Also, hardline pro is great with this class because you will be getting so many assists from painting enemies on the map and it will help you complete your hardline challenges. Your noobtubes and xm-25 are explosive damage so don’t forget to shoot them anywhere and everywhere. The more things you shoot at the more things you paint. When you unlock recon pro then you can mark enemies with bullet damage. Equip recon and use any gun you would like. Every single enemy you hit with a bullet from then on while using recon pro counts towards your recon pro challenge.
Primary: SMG or Shotgun
Secondary: Dual Machine Pistols
Equipment: Tactical Insertion
Perks: Extreme Conditioning, Blast Shield, Any perk 3
Streaks: Support – UAV/Vests or UAV/Vests/Recon Drone or Recon Drone/Stealth Bomber/EMP or Advanced UAV/Stealth Bomber/EMP
Tips: This class is specifically for hopping on objectives like domination flags, headquarters points, or demolition bomb points. Use your tactical insertions to spawn close to the objectives and continuously rush your objectives. You will work towards extreme conditioning and blast shield at the same time from running and getting hit with all kinds of explosives on the objective points. SMG/Shotgun is used for close quarters combat and to give you full movement speed. Support streak is used because you will be dying a lot and you will still be racking up points from your objectives.
Leveling Tip #9: Utilize as many double XP sources as possible within MW3.
Double XP has always been a good way to level up quickly in the COD series. Up until MW3, the only way to earn double XP was to play during double XP weekends or events, that usually happened after a map pack release. But MW3 has really gone above and beyond with double XP, adding numerous ways to earn double XP as well as basing XP time on in game hours rather than actual time.
There are 5 methods that I know of that you can use to earn Double XP in MW3:
- Double XP Weekends
- Prestige Token Double XP
- DewXP.com Mtn Dew / Doritos Double XP
- Elite Clan Double XP
- MOAB Double XP
First off, double XP weekends are a great way to level up. Not only are they available to anyone that plays the game during the specified time frame, they are also one of the only methods that stacks onto your barracks double XP. They are real time based, which means that you want to pack in as many games during the double xp event as possible.
Prestige token double XP is a waste of a token in my opinion. I used one of my 4x bonus tokens on 2 hours double XP and I have regret that decision ever since. 2 hours of double XP is just not enough to justify spending a token on. I would recommend unlocking gear or a custom class instead.
Dewxp.com is a great way to earn double XP. The promotion ends on December 31, so you will want to act fast. But basically you can buy specially marked mountain dew or doritos bags and redeem the double XP codes on the dewxp.com website then push double XP to your gamertag.
Elite clans are probably the best way to earn double XP. Elite clans earn double XP hours for all members when you reach a certain level. Your clan earns 2/4/6/8/24 hours of double XP for reaching level 10/20/30/40/50 respectively. My elite clan just hit level 30, and I was able to claim our first 12 hours of double XP all at the same time. Elite clans level up by completing clan challenges and clan competitions, or through the 500 bonus XP given to elite founders.
Finally, one method of double XP which is not very well known is M.O.A.B. double XP. If you don’t already know, a M.O.A.B. (Massive Ordinance Airblast Bomb, Mother Of All Bombs) is an easter egg killstreak which you earn when you get 25 consecutive gun/knife/grenade kills, or 24 consecutive kills while using hardline. (pointstreak kills don’t count toward this total). When you or someone on your team calls in a MOAB, your ENTIRE TEAM will earn double XP for the rest of the round. The great thing about MOAB double XP is that it actually stacks with other forms of double XP. So, if you get a MOAB on a double XP weekend while utilizing barracks double XP you will get 8x XP!!! Talk about leveling potential.
Leveling Tip #10: Get better at the game, visit youtube.com/oTradeMark and GamingUpgrade.com for help!
Getting better at MW3
As I mentioned right at the start of the guide, the number one way to level up faster in MW3 is to get better at the game. But getting better at the game takes knowledge and practice. I think one of the best ways to get better is to watch or play with some players that are noticeably better than you. If you would like you can check out some of my games, I post videos at youtube.com/oTradeMark and occasionally stream my games on twitch.tv/oTradeMark. I have won quite a few competitions playing Call of Duty and won all sorts of cool prizes including t-shirts, hoodies, a water bottle, an iPad, a USB flash drive and even a 2011 Black Ops Jeep Wrangler, so hopefully I can help you get a little better at the game.
Summary of the Top 10 Tips to help you level up faster in MW3:
- Win as many games as possible by playing with a team that communicates and goes for the objective.
- Play game types which cater to your play style while still being able to enjoy the game.
- Complete your primary and secondary weapon challenges as efficiently as possible. Get 500 kills with a primary before moving on, and earn the mastery challenges for your best secondaries.
- Complete the attachment and proficiency challenges for your weapons without decreasing your combat efficiency.
- Complete the perk and pro-perk challenges for all perks that offer a high XP per task reward. If the tasks are easy, complete all 6 challenges. If the tasks are hard, avoid all challenges together.
- Use the specialist or support strike package to quickly gain additional XP bonuses each game.
- Be aware of unique static challenges that can be completed with as little effort as possible.
- Complete all challenges as efficiently as possible by using class setups that compliment each other.
- Utilize as many double XP sources as possible within MW3.
- Get better at the game, visit youtube.com/oTradeMark and GamingUpgrade.com for help!