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

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
1 0 0.00% 800
2 800 0.05% 1100
3 1,900 0.11% 1200
4 3,100 0.18% 1800
5 4,900 0.28% 2200
6 7,100 0.41% 2500
7 9,600 0.55% 2800
8 12,400 0.71% 3200
9 15,600 0.89% 3600
10 19,200 1.10% 3900
11 23,100 1.32% 4400
12 27,500 1.57% 4900
13 32,400 1.86% 5400
14 37,800 2.16% 5900
15 43,700 2.50% 6400
16 50,100 2.87% 6900
17 57,000 3.26% 7400
18 64,400 3.69% 7900
19 72,300 4.14% 8400
20 80,700 4.62% 8900
21 89,600 5.13% 9400
22 99,000 5.67% 9900
23 108,900 6.24% 10400
24 119,300 6.83% 10900
25 130,200 7.46% 11400
26 141,600 8.11% 11900
27 153,500 8.79% 12400
28 165,900 9.50% 12900
29 178,800 10.24% 13400
30 192,200 11.01% 14000
31 206,200 11.81% 14600
32 220,800 12.64% 15200
33 236,000 13.52% 15800
34 251,800 14.42% 16400
35 268,200 15.36% 17000
36 285,200 16.33% 17600
37 302,800 17.34% 18200
38 321,000 18.38% 18800
39 339,800 19.46% 19400
40 359,200 20.57% 20000
41 379,200 21.72% 20600
42 399,800 22.90% 21200
43 421,000 24.11% 21800
44 442,800 25.36% 22400
45 465,200 26.64% 23000
46 488,200 27.96% 23600
47 511,800 29.31% 24200
48 536,000 30.70% 24800
49 560,800 32.12% 25400
50 586,200 33.57% 26150
51 612,350 35.07% 26900
52 639,250 36.61% 27650
53 666,900 38.19% 28400
54 695,300 39.82% 29150
55 724,450 41.49% 29900
56 754,350 43.20% 30650
57 785,000 44.95% 31400
58 816,400 46.75% 32150
59 848,550 48.59% 32900
60 881,450 50.48% 33650
61 915,100 52.41% 34400
62 949,500 54.38% 35100
63 984,600 56.39% 35950
64 1,020,550 58.44% 36670
65 1,057,220 60.54% 37380
66 1,094,600 62.68% 38150
67 1,132,750 64.87% 38900
68 1,171,650 67.10% 39650
69 1,211,300 69.37% 40400
70 1,251,700 71.68% 41150
71 1,292,850 74.04% 41650
72 1,334,500 76.42% 42650
73 1,377,150 78.87% 43150
74 1,420,300 81.34% 44150
75 1,464,450 83.86% 44650
76 1,509,100 86.42% 45650
77 1,554,750 89.04% 46150
78 1,600,900 91.68% 47150
79 1,648,050 94.38% 47650
80 1,695,700 97.11% 50500
MAX 1,746,200 100.00%
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.

Leveling basics

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

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

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 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

Marksman 1

10 kills




Marksman 2

25 kills




Marksman 3

75 kills




Marksman 4

150 kills




Marksman 5

300 kills




Marksman 6

500 kills




Marksman 7

750 kills




Marksman 8

1000 kills




Expert 1

5 headshots




Expert 2

15 headshots




Expert 3

30 headshots




Expert 4

75 headshots




Expert 5

150 headshots




Veteran Gun 1

500 Kills




Veteran Gun 2

1000 Kills




Veteran Gun 3

2500 kills




Master 1

250 headshots




Master 2

500 headshots




Master 3

1000 headshots




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.
Perk Challenges

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
(Blue Perk)
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
(Red Perk)

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
(Yellow Perk)

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.
Strike Packages

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)
Secondary: Stinger
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.

Static Challenges:

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.
Class Setups:

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.

Assault ADS
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.

Hip-fire SMG
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
Streaks: Specialist
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.

Scavenger Ninja
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
Secondary: Stinger
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
Secondary: XM-25
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.

Cannon Fodder
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:
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
  • 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. 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 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 and 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 and occasionally stream my games on 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:
  1. Win as many games as possible by playing with a team that communicates and goes for the objective.
  2. Play game types which cater to your play style while still being able to enjoy the game.
  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.
  4. Complete the attachment and proficiency challenges for your weapons without decreasing your combat efficiency.
  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.
  6. Use the specialist or support strike package to quickly gain additional XP bonuses each game.
  7. Be aware of unique static challenges that can be completed with as little effort as possible.
  8. Complete all challenges as efficiently as possible by using class setups that compliment each other.
  9. Utilize as many double XP sources as possible within MW3.
  10. Get better at the game, visit and for help!

344 thoughts on “MW3 10th Prestige Leveling Guide – How to level up fast in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3”

  1. Hey this guide is very useful so thank you for taking sharing it.

    I was just wondering if there as any point in going for Master III on any weapon (1000 headshots), because it took me the best part of 2 prestiges to get 250 headshots with my UMP45. I would only do it if there was an emblem/callsign to obtain.

    Thanks again for the guide, I only found it now so I’m going to start using your tips.

    1. Hey the master challenges are great XP but I find that I don’t specifically go for them… If I get them I get them, otherwise I don’t worry about it.

        1. yes, all unlocks are reset when you prestige (except for ones you unlock via prestige token, those are instantly unlocked at level 4)

  2. austin tingelstad

    hi i have mw3 and i did not know many of this however it would be better to add some stuff, and use less words to describe your guide i however am currently working on a guide…i have no tips yet but i will soon and i will write them down in a notebook……..then i will post them and we can combine our tips to make a mecca of tips for leveling up i personally would go for domination, regular perks=slight of hand,assassin,and marksman or steady aim then my unlocks =hardlie first then quickdraw,then blind eye this way you start out invisible (just use a silencer) and you can reload faster, then you get hardline and unlock killstreaks and perks faster then quickdraw to help aim faster which basically puts you in the right position to look for enemies, then blind eye this blocks you from the rest of things that enemies plat……then you have your occasional challenge completions. all this together can rack up sme serious xp.

    1. I don’t mind if you write a guide and use information from mine, but please add a link to my guide somewhere within yours.


    1. You’re welcome, thanks for reading. I had to make a decision to include information that would cater only to average/experienced player or explain everything for even the new players. I figured since it is a leveling guide some players might have never played COD before so the basics need to be outlined.

      Stay tuned for the next few revisions, the class layouts and specific static challenges are usually the tips that most average/advanced players do not know about.

  3. Awesome guide man, thanks a lot for the tips, it didn’t occur to me to switch weapons at 500 kills, based on that you could still use the same weapon (say, ACR 6.8) over the course of 5 prestige tiers so that you get maximum XP for it and also complete the 2500 kill challenge… does that make sense?

    My favorite way to level up is playing Kill Confirmed using the Specialist perk and Hardline. Each odd kill up to 7 (1, 3, 5, 7) gets me 100XP (not including the tags). Also, I usually rack up between 10-15 assists with the recon drone, which are awarded at 50XP each (same as a kill).

    1. The issue with going for the 3rd vet challenge is that it takes you 3 prestiges to earn that 10,000 XP… If you are decent with other guns it is better to rotate them as you would get to 10th without having to go 3rd vet challenge on any gun.

  4. Wow, great article. Well written, in depth analysis of the xp reward system. Thanks for taking the time to put this together. Bookmarked for future reference.

      1. shut up the way to level up is get mp7 proficiency attachments silencer and extended dun go play sum domination and search and destroy and you will reach level 80 in no time REALLY IT WORKS NO JOKE

  5. I think you should add Kill Confirmed to those game modes to level up fast. Not in a boosting sense either. If you are playing with a group that sticks together it,s easy to stay alive and communicate about collecting your own red dog tags. I have friends who are truth to this. 10th prestige with only 6 days of gameplay.

    1. Yeah I mentioned it in my update, thanks for reading.

      10th Level 1 in 6 days is a little less than 2 prestiges in 1 day of game time… which is fast but I am still a tad bit faster using domination… which leads me to think that they are both good ways to level depending on the type of player you are and the team you are playing with.

      1. ur a dirty liar…. even if you got 10,000 xp every game you couldn’t get to 10th prestige it took me a month and a half to get to 10th prestige

        1. First of all, it’s in game time played which is not equivalent to actual real time.
          Secondly, I never went to 10th prestige. I maxed out 8th prestige and stopped leveling… which took me just over 4 days in game time to reach.
          Last of all, do some research before accusing people of being “dirty liars”. I’ve made over $40,000 worth of prizes playing Call of Duty… I think I can handle writing a guide on how to level up quickly.

  6. great advice mate, used your advice and im on prestige 2 now after just under 2 days playing. Only began playing cod games when black ops came out and i reached 11th prestige on that.

    keep up the good work and happy new year!

  7. Hey I was wondering how FFA ranks up with the other game modes if your gonna play solo? I’ve heard its one of the worst but I can get kills almost twice as fast as in other game modes and I win more then 1/3 of my FFA games. This means I would get the same xp as TDM but I would get a lot more kills towards the 500 for my gun until I get the 10000 bonus. Thanks for this great page and I will hopefully prestige faster than my first 2 which took 2 days and 3 hours.

    1. Good question. I enjoy FFA as well but haven’t ever directly compared the gametype to others for XP. Is it 100XP per kill in FFA? If so then yeah it would be better than TDM if you are good at it. Make sure that you win most of your games though as the match bonus will play a factor as well.

      If you use double XP in conjunction with FFA, I can see it being very quick to level.

  8. I heard the recon drone killstreak reward offers great xp. 100xp for each tagged enemy and a bonus when a team member kills that person of 40xp i believe ..

  9. Im kind of lost. Im on level 50. Can I level up on the one player ” special ops” gameplay? I started doing the levels on harden. Am I wasting my time? Do I need to be in multiplayer mode???? My main purpose of leveling up is to unlock all the good equipment to use on survival mode.

    1. Survival/Co-op mode has an independent leveling system than multiplayer so don’t play multiplayer if you want to unlock equipment in survival. I’ve never played survival mode so I can’t comment on how to level up quickly there.

    2. LOLOLOL i just started reading this when looking for tips on XP efficiency, anyway ripp if you wanna level up really fast in Survivial use Dome, as this map contains the catwalk around the rotted out sphere, and is much easier than Outpost. Lay prone at the top of the ladder facing away from the concrete bunker, and aim through the grate at the ladder. Adjust your aim to target the head as the enemies run up and begin to climb. This is very easy with a handgun the first 3 levels, as the African Militia enemies don’t fire until seeing 100% of your body. Each shot kills instantly the first 3 levels from the neck up. Therefore, this means 0 damage, 0 loss of the Body Armor you start out with, and a consistent Head Blast achievement every 5 head shots. With each successive Head Blast achievement, the payout increases by 500 XP/dollars, not counting the Kill Streak achievement that you earn as a result of no damage. The first 5 head shots you get will give you 500 XP for each individual kill, 500 for the Head Blast achievement AND 500 for the Kill Streak achievement. If the enemies are being really thick and climbing that ladder one after the other as fast as possible (i’ve seen it happen sometimes), then you’ll also get 500 XP for the Rampage achievement. So, that’s 1,500-2,000 XP/dollars with the first 5 kills depending on how thick they’re being.
      *For clarification, the payout increase mentioned above means 1st time achieving it, 500, 2nd time 1,000, 3rd time 1,500 and so on.

    3. if you wanna level up in survival quickly. just play and try to survive.
      I only use guns computers drop save my points and use preds to get maximum points
      utilze getting kills one after another for more points
      also c4 if used correct can get multipal kills
      try using it on resistance on the stairs by A in domination use all ten then herd them like in zombies on blops and huge point can be achieved
      in doin so i went from 1 to 60 in a few short hours of solo

  10. InsaneLegend614

    Nice guide! It’s really good, and I plan on using it soon!
    Woodysgamertag sent me here from Facebook BTW!

    1. Sorry, I’m afraid I don’t… I’ve never played the survival/co-op mode aside from trying to complete “Stay Sharp” in under 20 seconds.

  11. First and foremost, thank you sooooo much for making this leveling guide!! I wasn’t even going to prestige until i read this. Now I am at level 27 on my third prestige with 56 hours of game play! I left a comment on your YouTube channel but never mind that. I have a couple of questions that i hope you don’t mind answering. First, I usually run blind eye in all of my classes but previously ran sleight of hand. I am stuck in the middle on these two perks and was curious about which one you would recommend. Second, I am having trouble with the concept of the not moving on to another gun until you get 500 kills with the weapon. I tried this and felt like i was having more success using separate guns at the same time. Will you please attempt to explain this in further detail (might be impossible lol) so I can utilize the weapon challenges better? Finally, should i go with a silencer or no silencer? Thanks again!

    1. Hello, thanks for reading, glad it helped. In regards to your blue perk it depends what type of player you are. If you get a lot of kills sleight of hand is the better one to go for as it’s challenge is purely a kills challenge. SoH’s pro perk challenge is hard though so I don’t recommend it. If you are a more support type player equip a stinger and focus on blind eye. The nice thing about blind eye pro challenge is that it is practically the same challenge as the regular one when using a stinger. So if you have a stinger and shoot down 40 enemy streaks then it’s worth getting 100 more enemy streak kills with the striker as it will earn you a lot of XP for the tasks. (Around 38,000 XP for completing the 5th challenge of both blind eye and blind eye pro)

      In regards to getting 500 kills for the weapon challenges, it has to do with your prestige challenges. All marksman challenges reset when you prestige, however your veteran challenges do not. They roll over to the next prestige. Let me give you an example.

      Let’s say that I use the M4 for my first prestige. I get 500 kills on both weapons and complete all the attachment challenges. I would get around 8,000 XP for the attachment challenges of the M4, 10,000 XP for the mastery challenge, around 26,000 XP for the marksman challenges of the M4 and 10,000 XP for the 1st veteran challenge of the M4. A total of 54,000 XP for the M4. If I did the exact same thing with 4 other Assault Rifles I would earn another 54,000 XP per gun, a total of 270,000 XP in 1 prestige from those 5 weapons. (not including headshots or related challenge XP). This is based upon getting around 2500 kills per prestige. Some players get more (I averaged around 2800 kills per prestige) while some players will get less.

      Now let’s say that instead of working towards 500 kills I switched weapons after 150 Kills. I would earn a little over 8,000 XP for the marksman challenges 1-4, plus maybe a few of the attachment challenges, let’s say for an additional 3,000 XP. If you did that for 2500 kills you would have worked your way through 16 and a half weapons, earning you around 182,000 XP total in 1 prestige.

      You see in the second scenario, I would have missed out on 5 veteran challenges at 10,000 XP a pop and 5 mastery challenges at 10,000 XP a pop, a really big chunk of 100,000 XP would be lost. Even if you did the same thing with your weapons for several prestige levels, you would never land exactly at 500/1000/2500 kills as required by the veteran challenges.

      So if you want to maximize your XP per kill for your weapons, you would use a weapon for 500 kills after which you would immediately switch to another primary weapon.

      In regards to your question about silencer vs no silencer… I always try to complete attachment challenges. One thing to keep an eye on is that there is a prestige challenge for silencer kills… so if you complete your attachment challenges and want to know what attachment is best, I would have to say that the silencer attachment is indeed the best for leveling.

          1. yo trademark in ur newest vid 3/14/12 why did u keep backing out of FFA matches an joing new ones?

          2. once I win I back out to get in a new game… those 3 were recorded during a lone wolf ffa operation.. it’s to maximize the games I get into.

    1. It should be a d-pad button, at least it is for the xbox. The d-pad is used to select things like pointstreaks, equipment, and certain attachments.

  12. hey! your guide is SO HELPFUL!! I have it bookmarked on my computer, and as a page on safari on m iPhone. Like you have recommended, I have been playing domination. I was just wondering, what would be the average score of a good domination game? Like how many points should I be getting per domination game if I want to prestige in like say 15 hours? 2500?3000? Also, I didnt understand the part of the perks. should I just change all the perks that are pro to perks that are not? like when is it a good time to change? I know you said to change it when it’s insanely hard, but can you give me some examples of perks that I should make pro to the max level? I would really like answers to these questions. I know they are confusing and long but it would really help me out. thanks once again for your time and this guide. I’m so lucky I found it. btw I saw ur MOAB on YouTube. I’m gonna sub tomorrow!

    1. Hey pankcake, I’m not sure how many points I get on average… “Points” don’t give you an accurate reading of how well you did each game. Let’s say that both of us get 4000 points in a domination game… But along the way I earn one man army on specialist 4 times, pick up 50 scavenger packs, shoot down 5 enemy streaks… and you only get your points through capping and defending points.

      Well we would earn the same amount of XP that match but in the long run I would have earned the perk/oma challenges faster, which equals more XP for me in the long run.

      I would say on average I probably get 30 kills and 5 captures per game… all while trying to maximize any challenges I can during the round… (like pick up scavenger packs or shooting down enemy air support)

  13. I’ve been playing COD since the first MW but I wasn’t in the US and its not practical playing online due to connection speed. So I spent most of the time playing campaign and just very few online.

    Now I started playing online and just reach level 50+. I am a total noob in this. My average kill per game is maybe just 5, most I got is about 12:( Do you know a site where I can join a group and can help me improve my game play? Is one on those sites? Thanks.

    Great guide too. Especially for new ones like me.

    1. If you want a group to play with, is a great resource.

      If you just want basic tips on how to get better at the game, youtube is the place. That allows you to watch better players and learn from them

  14. 1st of all, thanks for the guide. Well done.

    This is basically a well thought out and beautifully detailed version of what goes through my mind, while I go through my COD prestiges (currently 8th/60), but with an ample amount of tips and tricks. One thought, is a section on “class make strategy” to combined ones beautifully orchestrated 10K XP bursts, i.e. running SCAV/OVERKILL/SITREP for example + specialist package; take the gun you wish to level up and place it as your second weapon – @ the start of each match/life immediately switch to your secondary weapon (which is actually a favorite primary) and go through the challenges mentioned above. I do not have the time to go through an excel spread sheet of XP @ the moment, but earning 2.5/5/10K bursts for a primary weapon, an attachment, proficiency, 3 regular and Pro Perk variation challenges (SCAV and SITREP pro variations are just kills – no other requirements), and specialist simultaneously will astonish you. Seeing 25K – 40K bursts on your screen when you hit certain levels is amazing. When you reach your 300/500 kills, switch weapons and perks (leaving Overkill as the only static perk), maybe RECON and Dead Silence next, but believe me it is a great feeling when you get one kill and jump (2) levels.

    I do have a few questions for you in regards to Clan leveling though;

    (1.) How is your clan LVL 30?
    (2.) How do you level your clan other than Founder Status XP?
    (3.) How many members does your clan have vs. how many of them are founders?
    (4.) If you add someone to your clan now, will they have access to the 12 HRS of DBL XP (and no I’m not asking to be added, just would like to know the info for my clan)?

    … and thanks again for the time and effort you put into this guide, glad I’m not the only guy who loves spread sheets for gaming and MW3.


    1. Hey Cy, thanks the section that talks about class loadouts is not complete but it will definitely be added.

      In regards to clan leveling:
      1. Our clan is level 30 by recruiting founders (500 XP founders bonus per member)
      2. You currently can’t level your clan up any other way than founders XP
      3. We had 100 members (maximum) and now we are at like 96 members. I would say 90 out of 100 had founders XP.. You can find out the exact number by dividing our current clan XP by 500.
      4. Once you claim the double XP (which we have already done) then adding members to your roster will not reward them with the double XP. So if you are your clans leader I recommend hanging onto the double XP until you have a full roster before claiming it. This allows all members to benefit from the double XP

      1. …again great info, thanks for the detailed response, but now I have a few more questions:

        (1.) Where did you recruit founders? Is there some special forum that I should be a part of or is this some massive conglomerate of YouTube/machinima partners?
        (2.) What is the name of your clan (if you don’t mind), so that I can peep it on Elite?
        (3.) Do you GB/MLG and if so, how often do you scrim vs. play matches?
        (4.) If you do if fact GB/MLG, do you post those videos somewhere, and if not, is there a source to watch competitive play other than MLG streams and Holiday Doc’s channel?

        Thanks in advance,


        1. 1. I used gaming forums like hupit, denkirson, iplaycod, etc
          2. Elite Win (Casual):
          New Breed (Competitive):
          3. I am a self proclaimed pub star and have never done GB… but I just started scrimming with some clanmates as they are very strong MLG players
          4. I don’t post competitive vids, but I suggest you take a look at, he is the best pub/competitive player that I play with.

        1. register at, if you are a premium member you can join either clan there.

  15. What if you get like 5 guns at 299 (MArksman V = 10,000) kills then use double weapon XP. will that make it 20,000 for one gun challenge?

    1. Unfortunately no, double weapon XP only applies to the weapon level, not actual player experience. And I’m pretty sure that even with double weapon XP you would not get 20,000 weapon XP for a challenge, since just like when you are using double XP your challenge XP isn’t doubled. For example if I’m using double XP and I unlock Marksman V challenge I still only earn 10,000 XP, not 20,000.

  16. Hello, first of all: thanks for taking the time to write this guide! I love this game, although to be honest i’m a mediocre player :). (k/d 0.83). One question tho: i was surprised you don’t recommend the double XP -prestige reward. To me it seemed like the most obvious method to level up faster. Could you explain why it is not and also why unlocking gear would be a good choice?
    (o and also for the record: i am a girl, my tag in mw3 says so, you wouldn’t believe how many messages i get from guys that accuse me of lying… i wonder why)

    1. I didn’t mention it mostly because I just forgot to be honest… and because I think using double XP for a token is a waste of a token.

      I used 5 tokens for custom class unlocks, 4 tokens for gear unlocks, 2 tokens for titles/emblem packages, and 2 tokens for double XP… (8 tokens for prestiging, 4 bonus tokens for prestiging in previous games, and 1 bonus token I got for being a premium elite member)

      I feel like the 2 tokens I spent on double XP early were a waste. For 2 reasons. First I feel that 2 hours in game double XP is not really that much… That’s only 12 games at 10 minutes a piece. Secondly, double XP only counts for in game actions, and most of your XP will actually be earned through challenges, which aren’t doubled for double XP time.

      I would rather unlock gear, perks, etc because not only are they available for every prestige right at level 4 (when you unlock custom classes) but the challenges associated with that gear is also unlocked.

      So for example, when you first prestige usually you only have a few weapons to choose from… but if you unlocked a high level unlock weapon like the MP7, you could use that right after prestiging. Also perks like Dead silence that take a long time to unlock can be used right at level 4.

      I unlocked the MP7, AK47, MK14 and Dead Silence with my tokens. If I started over I would have used 6 tokens for unlocking gear (assuming you have 4 bonus ones from previous games) to unlock the following:
      1. dead silence
      2. MP7
      3. Portable Radar or Trophy System
      4. AK47
      5. Striker
      6. ACR

        1. Well, “good” is subjective. The FAD has the fastest rate of fire in the game for Assault Rifles and the biggest head shot multipler as well. It’s capable of a 2 shot head shot and so it’s capable of a really fast time to kill if you can get headshots consistently. I personally don’t use it though because I like consistency like the ACR and T95 over a “chance” at getting quick headshots.

  17. What gun would you suggest I use my one token on. I am prestige Level 1 and about to level two but have one token. I use the SCar and type 95 alot cause i play kc and drop zone

    1. Well, personally I would unlock the MP7.. it’s the best SMG in the game in my opinion and is a late unlock. I don’t worry about unlocking weapons you normally unlock before level 50, as you can get to level 50 relatively quickly when compared to the last 30 levels.

      If you don’t like SMG’s then unlocking the ACR or AK47 would be a decent choice as well. I wouldn’t unlock the scar or type 95 as they are unlocked relatively early in the leveling process.

  18. Thanks for putting a lot of effort into this guide; it has proven very useful for me. I am brand new to online gaming but have been playing offline since the nintendo days.

  19. I was curious about something. you did not mention any differences between hardcore and core modes. I was wondering if you can provide your input. I basically play HardCore Kill Confirmed. I am already at Prestigue 6 Rank 51. Just wondering if I should switch back to Core rank up faster.

    Also, I recently started using the Specialy Kill Package. I debating about using specialist or support. I do use HardLine Pro with specialist so I get 200xp for the first kill instead of 50xp. For Support I normally run UAV, Ballistic Vest, and Recon Drone. I will probably switch to Ballistic Vest, SAM, and Recon Drone.

    Which setup will get me to rank up faster? Which setup is best for Hard Core game modes and Core game modes?

    1. XP gains should be the same regardless of you playing core or hardcore. Hardcore tends to be a little more campy in my opinion so I don’t play it but it should give you the same leveling potential as core, especially if you have quick reflexes as hardcore is all about getting the first shot off…

      One thing that can help you get more kills and level up quicker in hardcore is to always use weapons that have a high min damage value… The ACR and MK14 are both 1 hit kills regardless of range or attachments (with the exception of shooting through objects like walls)… so they can be really deadly.

  20. I would also like to know more about your clan.
    1) ps3/xbox
    2)are you recruiting still
    3) what are requirements

    I am at fitst prestife lvl 72 with a 1.91 kd. 1.18w/l. And 26.06 acurracy.

    1. 1. Xbox
      2. Not actively recruiting but since clan challenges and competitions haven’t started we don’t really do anything either
      3. No requirements… I am still trying to figure out what I’m going to do as far as clans are concerned. Elite Win was just a clan I created to earn double XP and meet new people

  21. Great guide, man! Can’t say that it really helped me because I’ve known most of this stuff since the launch of MW3, but the potential for newer and less experienced players to improve using this guide is definitely there.

    I’m not exactly fussed about W/L or K/D stats, but my win/loss is around 1.3 and my ratio is somewhere around 2.1. I tend to play competitively only against my friends. I currently am 7th prestige, level 47 with 3 days, 32 minutes played, but most of that is thanks to a tip from a friend of mine. I usually run SoH, Assassin and Marksman for my Assault classes and SoH, Hardline and Steady Aim for my specialist rushing classes, but I have turned onto a new method of earning quick XP and that is to use machine pistols and handguns as primaries as soon as you unlock them until you reach weapon level 10 with each one. All in all, you get 10,000 XP times the amount of viable secondaries in the game (10), which equals to a hefty 100,000 XP. Yes, it may be slightly unconventional and a little hard to get used to for the average Joe, but I find that I zoom through each secondary in roughly 2.5 games of free-for-all. That’s 100,000 XP in 25 games if you’re a decent player! And that’s not mentioning the specialist bonuses that you earn whilst using them.

    To summarize, you have written an awesome guide but I believe you should include the secondary challenges in your guide for the more experienced players who find them a viable option. My recommendation is to only use them in free-for-all and on maps you feel comfortable with, otherwise you might run into some trouble beating the stubborn SMG users and such.

    Anyway, thanks for reading and I hope you found this tip helpful.

    1. Secondary challenges are already listed under tip #3 in the section labeled “Secondary Weapon Challenges”…

      Did you miss that or were you just saying to go into more detail about the challenges themselves? I agree that getting secondary mastery challenges are a great and often overlooked method of racking up a lot of 10k challenges.

      1. Oh, my bad. I just realized that I missed the second part of #3 entirely. It’s not too easy skim reading on an iPhone, haha.

        Also, do you think I’m progressing through the prestiges at a decent rate? I’m finding it hard to fit Call of Duty into my daily life without losing focus on some of the other, more important things.

        Once again, great guide and thanks for replying to my other comment so quickly 🙂

        1. =) yeah that’s a lot of content for a smart phone..

          In regards to your leveling rate, 7th prestige in 3 days is extremely quick… that’s faster than I level. The fastest I have seen someone hit max 10th prestige was just over 4 days in game time played, I think you might be on track to hit that!

          Good job keep up the good work… and good job keeping your priorities straight.. leveling quickly can be fun and help you get through the prestiges quickly, but at the end of the day COD is just a game and needs to be prioritized accordingly.

  22. Just tested the recon drone with hardline pro. Tagged assists don’t count towards your point streaks. Still good XP and damned useful but not as nice as your strategy suggests.

    1. Thanks for the information, for some reason I thought they did since assault streaks stack. I will adjust the guide accordingly.

  23. Great guide, some awesome tips here! Thanks and well done.

    Question if you don’t mind. I’m considering prestiging for my first time on MW3, I have no more unlock tokens left since using my only one earlier in the game, but do I get another one for prestiging, and can I unlock a weapon straight away?

    1. Thanks for reading. You get 1 token per prestige, so you will get another token. You can use that token to unlock gear at level 4 (when create a class becomes available). That’s why I recommend only unlocking weapons that are usually unlocked after level 50… since you get a big advantage out of them having them available right away.

  24. Hey TradeMark,

    First, Thanks for this guide. I am a lot like you (married, 2 young children, a full-time job and a full-time student) so COD time is extremely limited compared to what many people do each day. So it is nice to read a guide by a competent player that understands that dropping life to play a video game for 10 hours straight is not a viable option.
    I do have just a few questions that I would like to know the answers to if you (or anyone) has time:
    1. When you use a Prestige token to unlock a weapon for use in future prestige levels, is it just the early use of the weapon that is unlocked, or is it the weapon as is? For example: I am at level 75 of my first run (normal still, no prestige yet) and I am hoping to get that first token in the next few days, I want to make the best use out of it so I was planning on unlocking a weapon. I have a few ARs that I like alot (ACR is the best), so I was planning on unlocking that. If I do, when I hit level 4 on my prestige run, will it be a bare bones ACR or will it be what it is now (level 30 everything unlocked except gold camo)?
    2. I have noticed that many people play Kill Confirmed a bit unusually: They will find a spot and take out enemies and leave the tags, even if they are just a few feet away (as opposed to someone sniping from across the map and leaving tags). The reason seems to be to set a ‘trap’ that enemy players will fall into by seeing red tags and rushing to them to deny enemy kills. Is this a leveling strategy that works by essentially creating a sort of grinder that kills an enemy then turns that one kill into two and two to four and so on? If so, is it more efficient than simply trying to win by getting the tags as quickly as possible?
    3. Are there any maps/gametypes that require unique styles of play to be better at? I have noticed that people will talk about which loadout they are going to use in the lobby. I am guessing that when you update your class selection section you will talk a little about this, but can you add in a bit about when and where to use each type as well as what the class should look like.
    4. Is there a particular order that you typically unlock perks/weapons that is out of the normal order? Or do you just do 500 kills as they become unlocked and then move on?
    5. Any idea when the ‘class setups’ section update will come out? That is probably the only area I still can’t figure out on my own.

    Again, thanks for taking the time to put this together in a way that is easy to understand and helpful to people that cant afford 80 hours of MW3 in a week. And thanks for taking the time to respond to each and every comment/question as well.

    1. Hey, thanks for stopping by, to answer your questions:
      1. Unlocking weapons only unlocks the bare weapon at level 4. No attachments or skins are carried over. As far as leveling goes this is actually advantageous to you though since using that weapon early allows you to get the marksman, mastery, and veteran challenges for the gun every prestige instead of just the first prestige you use it within.
      2. Kill confirmed gives you +50 XP credit for killing an enemy, then +50 XP for you OR your teammate recovering that tag. So sometimes leaving a tag for your teammate to recover is the best strategy for helping both yourself and your teammates level up quickly. The same goes for your teammates killing enemies in that you should recover the enemies fallen tags when possible. In regards to leaving tags on the ground to setup “traps” for the enemy I would say this is more a tactic than an actual leveling strategy. Yes leaving tags on the ground can be a good way to bait several enemies to the same location and rack up some kills. But as far as leveling quickly, both kills and recovering tags is important. The only leveling “strategy” that kill confirmed has is that recovering your own tags earns you +250 XP. Some players will go out in the open and lay a tactical insertion down, then when they die they immediately respawn and recover their own tags, effectively giving them 5 tags worth of XP. This strategy destroys your K/D and in my opinion is not that effective so I don’t use it.
      3. Certainly, I can give recommendations based upon game types, but this also has a lot to do with your play style. If you are an aggressive player then an SMG runner class paired with an objective game mode like domination or Kill Confirmed will suit you well. If you are a defensive player then an AR or sniper class paired with a slower game mode like TDM or SnD will suit you well. So I guess a lot of it depends on what type of player you are, where your strengths are, and what guns/perks you enjoy using the best.
      4. I work on perk challenges to try and maximize actions per XP. In other words I try to make classes that have perk challenges that cater to each other. For example Sleight of Hand, Quickdraw, Stalker, Kick, Red Dot can all be completed at the same time by getting kills while aiming down your sights. You can get exponentially more XP using perks that compliment each other. As far as guns go, I use prestige tokens to unlock the late unlock guns (MP7, ACR, AK47) and use them at the start of a prestige, then I use the medium unlock weapons as they become available as you level up.
      5. Working on it now, It should be done by the weekend.

      1. Thanks! One last question: Is it worth purchasing an Elite membership? Is the DLC included in the membership or does it just become available for purchase to elite members first? And what other worth while benefits do you get? I dont think i would use it for too much other than DLC and maybe the prestige token (you do get 1, right?) so would it still be worth $50 in your opinion?

        I guess that was more than one question….

        1. I got a prestige token but I don’t know if anyone who signs up gets a prestige token after signing up. Because of the message I got from beach head it sounded like the prestige token was a “Christmas Gift” for all elite premium members…

          Maybe it is retro-active though I’m not sure.

          Elite Premium gives you a years worth of DLC, from December 2011 to December 2012. It doesn’t matter when you sign up for elite you can download any DLC that launches during that time frame. If you choose to cancel your membership next year you always own the DLC content.

          Basically elite premium is worth it if you plan on buying the map packs. In fact you get a discount for signing up for elite instead of buying the packs individually.

  25. Hey, great guide and i will sub to your You Tube channel. I had a question though, what is the best shotgun for leveling up and what smg is best for leveling up? btw im 3rd prestige level 62 and i hope we can play together on xbox live. my gt is: k1ll3r705 if you would freind me that would be great 🙂

    1. The best shotgun overall is the striker. But it’s not really a “good” gun until you unlock extended mags which is the last attachment. Using extended mags gives you 1.5x pellets per shot, effectively increasing your damage by 150%. Add onto that the damage or range proficiency and you have a pretty good weapon. Second best shotgun is the Spas. I personally don’t level shotguns at all as it’s a frustrating grind to unlock extended mags but that’s what I would use if I were you.

      As far as SMG’s go my favorite is the MP7. It’s a late unlock though so unless you use a prestige token to unlock it then you might not get to use it much. You could also opt for the PP90 as it is a good SMG as well. If you run rapid fire on the pp90 it is arguably better than the MP7 (for CQC it is at least)

      My xbox friends list has 99 friends, I leave 1 spot open so people can add me and send party/chat invites. I am currently working on a method that will allow all of my subs to add a gamertag and then I will just send game invites out accordingly.

  26. I get called a hacker and stuff because I have 6 days 20 hours and 39 minutes gameplay at 9th prestige. Is it even possible for someone to get as high as I am in the same time I did or did I just fluke it?

    1. Yeah, it’s very possible… I hit 8th with 4 days played and I have a friend who hit 10th prestige in 4 days played… Just be good and maximize challenges.

  27. Bookmarked this guide after about 2 mins of reading. I haven’t gotten the kids as yet but a wife+work alone kills CoD playing time. The best part is that you don’t simply say “Play SnD, it’s the best for leveling” and stop….you explain the premise for your statement – that shows Maturity.

    Why is it that women keep asking “you not tired of playing??”…..just because you’ve been playing for 5 or 6 hours 😉
    It must be a rhetorical question IMO 🙂

    I notice you haven’t made any notes about Drop Zone. It became unlocked sometime in December and it seems to do well in the XP department but if you get a chance to analyze it as you’ve done other game types, let us know and update.

    Thanks again for this guide – much appreciated.

    1. Hahaha, yeah women definitely have their own “subtle” ways of letting us know that they are receiving our undivided attention.

      I’ve been told that dropzone has a glitch or perhaps intended effect in that you don’t get XP for getting points while holding the dropzone… If that’s true that the only XP you get from dropzone is from kills… while even though the spawns are always close to the action is still not that great.

      Couple that with the fact that dropzone does not have streaks so you can’t use specialist at the same time and I still feel that other gametypes offer better leveling potential.

      1. Well, since taking on your strategy, I’ve moved quickly from Prestige 2 to 7 in a short time. Close to level 60 now…and my dilemma is that most guns already have Marskman past 1000. So very soon – i won’t get that Double 10,000 XP.

        I know this strategy works well because my friend and I were at level 52 at the same time. Next couple of games, i’m at 54 and he’s still at 52. As we play, every time he levels – I’ve leveled twice already. and we get the same kills – many times he more than me 🙂

        Just writing to say thanks – really helped. I’ve never maxed out Prestige in any of the CoDs b4 – but i’m sure i’m going to reach Level 10 this time around.

        Hey – Infected is out – scoring is really slow so not even worth anything. Just destroys K/D (if it matters to people) BUT is LOADS of fun when you have several people running you down as you try to take them down.

        1. Yeah if you already have Veteran II on your favorite guns then you have 2 options, work towards veteran III on a weapon you like or discover a new weapon that you enjoy using. I find that there are several guns in the game I haven’t used very much that I do pretty good with when I pick them up off the ground.

          Thanks for reading

          1. Drop Zone strategy is the new way to upload fast….
            50pts per kill
            20pts per sec in Drop Zone
            300pts per Care Package Helicopter Shot down
            Extra Points for shooting down Killstreaks

            You don’t even need to hold the drop down – just sit back with Blind Eye Pro and use LMG/AR to shoot down the Care Package Helicopters. The Average XP gained is twice that of Kill Confirmed and most of any other game type.

            Check it out.

  28. Hey, Love your guide,

    It basically set me off into a whole new method of playing. I kinda wanted to check in with you about it.

    I made an excel spread sheet with all of the guns(other than the ones I had already used too much) and coded them with their attachments, kills, and headshot challenges. Also, I included proficiency’s and perks that I use on the next two rows.

    Basically, its a printed check list for all of my challenges, so I can check them off easily in real time, while playing a round. I find it to be an extra level of satisfaction, and I don’t waste as much time looking back and forth at the barracks screen.

    I am completely willing to e-mail it to anyone that wants to test it out. Super easy to plug in your own favorites. Just e-mail me, and I will send it when I can.

    1. Depends on your match bonus and how much you do in game… Also if you have double XP and if you complete challenges during the game then that is ended to your end of game total

  29. Awesome guide, thanks very much for the time and effort you’ve put into it. It didn’t teach me anything new i don’t think but like a few other comments have said, its a great guide for newer players in the community and something I wish was around in the first couple of weeks I was playing the game.
    With regards to the guy a couple of comments ago about the excel spreadsheet (again awesome idea btw, you must have been very bored at work ;o) ). I’m a VBA code writer, which to cut the geek speak means I automate and do weird and wonderful things to spreadsheets for a living, If you wanted to send me the spreadsheet I could combine it with the gun/perk unlocked at level “X” “, XP and gun XP per kill per game type, XP rewards per attachment and XP required per level up to pretty easily write some coding script to outline the most optimum stratergy based on given variables (for example, average K/D per game, W/L ratio, preferred game types yes/no double XP etc etc).
    You could even recruit pretty low level page designer friend if you have one and you could link the info onto your page and make it completely intereactive. I have no online audience and such things don’t interest me so if you have a use for it I don’t mind occupying myself for a couple of hours to do it for you.
    Happy Hunting

    1. Thanks for reading, hopefully the last few sections I add will help you out, as they are the most in depth and most advanced strategies for leveling up quickly.

      I will send you an email with the spreadsheets… I’m not sure exactly what you are going to do with them but it sounds cool =)

  30. Your a fucking nerd. You need to start fucking the ole lady some more. Does she know your a gammer nerd? Do you have a pic of her? Sounds like she needs a good fuck.

    1. Cool story bro… Yes I’m a nerd, yes she knows I’m a nerd… Yes I have many pictures of her… Yes, she is absolutely beautiful… No, I’m not going to post a picture of her so you can jack off to the idea that a hot woman would actually marry a gamer.

      Now run off and keep dreaming that some day you will be half the man / boyfriend / husband / father that I am…

    2. Don’t mind this pre-pubescent child oTM. It’s kids like these that give a bad rep to gaming.

      gamer519pjhtty …. you’re not a gaming nerd? then why are you at this site reading his posts? I believe YOU, son, are the lonely loser that needs a good ram up your ass. Like you’ve probably heard many times from your mommy and daddy…”if you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.” No one cares about your opinion!!! Now run along child with your magazine and relieve yourself.

      BTW…Great info oTM. Read every word and learned a lot. Thanks for spending time to share your knowledge. You probably don’t get paid to do all this but I know many benefited from it. GREAT JOB!!!!

    1. Kill confirmed is on par if not better than domination. The more I play it the better leveling potential I see within it. I think it’s a matter of preference if you prefer TDM based games or objective based games.

      No real way to rank up guns fast… Weapon XP is only earned from kills and weapon challenges. One strategy I have heard but never tested was to use a prestige token for double weapon XP then play Search and Destroy. You “should” get 1000 weapon XP per kill, although I haven’t confirmed this

  31. hi, great guide. i knew alot of these tips already but its great for beginners/amateurs. One thing im anticipating are the custom class layouts. I never really felt like working out any optimum classes. Any idea on when they might be available and is there a way to subscribe or something to let me know when the guide gets updated? Also would it be possible to send me that spreadsheet, would like to take a look at that too, sound like it could save some time going back and forth in the barracks. Thanks for taking the time and effort in making this guide.

    1. Custom classes will be launched with version 2 of my guide in a content locker portion of my site… it’s to help cover the costs of hosting the site due to the traffic this guide is receiving.

      You can follow me on, subscribe at for updates on when I post things.

  32. Thank you for making such a fantastic guide. I just started playing COD in October so I’ve had a ton to catch up on, and I appreciate how you made this guide usable for less experienced players. I probably would not have tried to prestige at all if I hadn’t read this since I had no idea how the XPs were calculated (the one-line explanation of a bonus that pops up during a match after you complete a challenge is pretty much impossible to read, and COD Elite’s challenge tracker isn’t very descriptive either), it seriously just felt like numbers such as the match bonus were being generated at random. I also probably would have just stuck with TDM, but you sold Kill Confirmed and Team Defender so I tried them out and wow, they are way more intense and fun.

    Thanks again for all of the time you put into this & I’m looking forward to checking out more of your YouTube videos. I would definitely be interested in a Path to Prestige series for MW3 which you mentioned in your most recent video, that would be amazing. And lastly, I’m glad you mentioned that you’re not going to prestige past 8 because you like the icon… I thought I was the only one who thought about things like that (though I like the way 7 looks the best).

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the guide… I like the 7th prestige icon as well… in fact if you look at the 8th prestige icon you will notice that in the center of the gold cross the 7th prestige icon is actually embedded inside of it… the best of both worlds =)

      1. Hey, thanks for taking the time to reply to all these comments. I’m still trying to get the first prestige, and had a question about the weapons challenges. Do you know why there is a discordance between the # kills counted under the Marksman and Veteran challenges? I thought they would be the same since I’m still at Prestige 0, but for example, my M4A1 Marksman lists 519 kills while the M4A1 Veteran has 501, and my G36C Marksman has 560 kills but the G36C Veteran only has 168. Or is that only happening to me for some reason…

  33. Hello, your guide is absolutely amazing the in-depth breakdown is phenomenal and i just started using this tonight at level 62 and by morning i was already 21 levels into my 2nd prestige. I’m currently experimenting while also following your guide as my core resource, i never really got into COD until after Halo 3 but ive loved it ever since i started playing. I wanted to know a couple things, First off is your clan recruiting at all i would absolutely love to join and be around more players such as yourself that way i can learn and show other people tips like these. Second do you have any tips when it comes to sensitivity what ive come to realize is a lower sensitivity is more accurate and a higher setting is more alert, what is your preference? Lastly could you post some classes you have made that have customized for quicker leveling. Thank you i would really appreciate 😀

    1. 1. Our clan is at a stand still right now… Elite has a 100 member limit so I am trying to figure out a way to split the clan into multiple clans under 1 general leadership… details will come soon I hope

      2. I recommend playing at whatever sensitivity you do good at… 90% of pros play on 2-4 sensitivity.. A few exceptions play 5-6. No one really plays above that unless you are sniping or run and gun like an smg with steady aim.

      3. Custom classes and other content should be done shortly… I’m working out some details with a content locker to pay for the hosting costs I accrue.

      1. How could i begin a clan of my own? is there a cost or anything? …and i do play at 5. or 6 but sometimes i find myself moving so quickly i shoot next to the enemy instead of at him.

  34. super nifty guide, kinda cool to see that i am smart enough to level up on my own fairly quickly by doing what you, as a seemingly “pro” has done. for the things i hadnt thought of doing already, your guide was quite informative. it was actually worded well, tho long, and i appreciate the time you took to make this, thanx!

  35. So when you shoot down a helicopter for example it pops up saying +200… Is this straight XP? Does it reflect air support shot down in the post game overview thing that shows how you got all your xp? Doesn’t seem like it sometimes when I shoot down alot of air support I don’t notice it making much of a difference anywhere.

    1. It should be direct XP but I’ve never confirmed it. The post game overview will reflect all XP earned but it won’t break it down and say how you earned that XP.

  36. Excellent info for a poor aimer like myself. Thanks for the breakdowns, they really shed light on what’s worth doing and what’s not.

    Now if only I could complete all the hard challenges .

  37. So I have to purchase tokens to get past rank 80?? What’s up with the different colored tokens. Sorry for such a noob question but I’m at level 80 and wondering if my rank will return to 1 with a different colored token?? Or am I finished with promotions??


    1. If you choose to enter prestige mode you will reset your level to level 1 and earn a prestige token to use in the prestige shop. Then you can continue through the 80 levels again and you get a different emblem next to your name. There are 10 prestige levels and emblems to unlock before maxing out, at which time you can choose to reset your stats with your final token and start all over again, if you are crazy enough to do that…

  38. Just watched your awesome YouTube video, that’s where I got you website and was wondering I u would tell how u have your class set up in those vids, I’m a run n’gun player but your setup looks easier then what I run…any help/info would be great.

    1. Hm, well setting up classes for leveling is different than setting up classes to do good.

      If I want a run and gun class that I own with I will setup this:
      Primary: PP90 rapid fire/ext mags or MP7 Range Silencer
      Secondary: Akimbo fmgs or mp9s
      Perks: Sleight of Hand, Hardline, Ninja
      Streak: Specialist rewards: Steady Aim, Assassin, Scavenger

      If I want to level quickly I would use a run and gun class that I can complete multiple challenges for at the same time. Something like
      Primary: whatever smg and attachment I’m working towards on the challenges
      Secondary: whatever machine pistol I haven’t gotten the mastery challenge for
      Perks: Ext Conditioning, Hardline, Steady Aim
      Streak: Specialist rewards: whatever perks I can compliment steady aim kills with (scavenger pro kills, sleight of hand kills, recon pro paints, etc)

  39. You can also track your challenges on the mobile Elite app in addition of selecting up to 50 challenges to track. This is a great and easy way to see your current status “on the fly”.

    Great article oTM!

    1. Thanks for the tip, do you have the iOS app or the droid app? I downloaded the droid app but it seemed very basic to me.

      1. I have the Android app. Yes, its basic in a sense, but you have to select the challenges on the PC in order to see it on the mobile. However, it still is a neat little app, but needs more functionally, and user preferences. Hoping the developer will add and improve this app.

        Again, great article!

  40. 6th prestige and 5 days played, first prestige took forever just trying to figure out the game. Anyways, I’m on my elite page right now changing classes and checking my challenges to maximize what I’ve been wasting. I’ve tried to in a way do what you’ve pointed out in this guide but no true research or thought really put into it.

    I’ve always worked at shooting down air support using the sam turrets and such. I have a specialist class that i use at the beginning of a dom game – SMG, ext cond,hard line, sit rep. pick up blast shield after the first flag and while dropping a trophy system and knifing it for my sit rep challenge. then i’m set up to speed to B. afterward i’ll switch to a class with assassin just because I hate showing up on the radar, makes rushing a lot more fun.

    500 kills seems perfect per gun plus the secondaries i never though about that. I used to tell everyone in BLOPS to shoot down air and to use money to buy all the guns they can, I used to run out of ammo not running scav, so I would pick up a fallen gun and if i bought that gun i’d get credit for the challenges even if not mine.

    Thanks again, I watch youtube vids all the time, I’ll definitely be subscribing.

  41. I found your chart of level/xp% quite useful to know about where I am in my prestiging.

    You say ” Experience wise, half way through a prestige is around level 60.” which is correct in terms of XP numbers but not quite in terms of time played since you get smaller xp bonus in the beginning and larger xp at the end. I don’t know enough math to figure it out, but can you look into it?

    1. Yeah good point, I’m not sure exactly, but I plan on doing a path to prestige series on my youtube where I record every game necessary to prestige. That would allow us to determine where the half way point would be.

  42. Very good guide. Thank you and I hope to stay up on future changes (although prest 10 is only a couple weeks away so I might get there before much more is added). Seriously the best straight-talking dollars & cents approach to leveling. It took me a few weeks to figure this stuff out on my own and you still managed to add some new things to my leveling strategy. Much of the playing time on my account is used up by my kids so my KD & WL is always shot but I try and build it back up for the 2 or three hours I get and I am able to get through each prestige in about 10-14 days (playing 2-3 hours a night) so I like my current pace.

    I never used specialist package before. I run assault packages until I get the bonuses for UAV, Care Pack & Pred because they are super easy – even without Hardline. Then I switch to support so I can get more of the higher rewards. After reading you guide a few days back, I am running a specialist package so all those bonuses are kicking in now while I am running through the last 300k exp of Prest 6. I think I will still do the easy (3,4,5) support & assault bonuses early but will be using specialist a lot more now once I pass the initial levels.

    A couple of comments:

    First is a “quick start” twist to your thinking. I also like the career weapon bonuses and they have helped me a lot but I do them a little differently. I like to get one of the lesser used weapons just to the edge (245-249 or 495-499) then let it sit until AFTER I prestige. My rationale is simply that when you are in the last 15 levels of a prestige (L65-80) you get a lot of experience just from game bonuses because your Scaler variable is so much higher, 5-10k exp per game. While you are in the first 15-20 levels of a prestige your game bonuses suck, less than 1k usually. So there is a significant benefit to passing through them in as few games as possible. The sooner you increase the Scaler the sooner you can get the higher game bonuses and your leveling will be much more efficient as a result. If Rule #1 is to win game for the bonuses then you have to also prioritize your current level as well.

    So the start of every prestige is basically: Get to level 4 in your first game (3100 exp).. Then complete all the BT challenges (save the sniper one) in the next game or two (they are all very easy – just ignore the ghille one) and get at least one 10k bonus from a weapon. Just with these few targets you get (18k for the 8 BT challenges + 10k for weapon bonus + 3100 for L4) about 31-35k exp (lvl 13-14) after just 2 or 3 matches. And this doesn’t include any of the other bonuses which should net you a few thousand on their own. At this point your other bonus tiers start kicking in so you can really get going quickly!!! Even for a mediocre player like me this is very doable!!!

    Secondly: You gave a really good class outline for a leveling class. But I almost feel like you are teasing us because I know you really need a few classes to get through 80 levels rapidly. And if you continue your reliance on challenges they pretty much should be completely different (to expose new bonus tiers). I am very curious to know what #2 and #3 are in your little bag of tricks when it comes to classes… Because this, I think, is what separates guys like you from the rest of us (that and a much better K/D and the fact that you don’t suck like we do)


    1. Thank you for reading.

      In regards to your first comment, getting quick starts on your leveling definitely helps you out as your match bonus is in part determined by your level. The only issue that getting veteran challenges to 290-299 or 490-499 before you prestige is that you are also going to miss out on that marksman challenge, since your marksman challenge will never be ahead of your veteran challenge. For example let’s say that during your first prestige you get 6 starting weapons to 299 kills, and then prestige. Your next prestige will start out with a huge jump start, since you are going to be able to get 6 kills with those 6 weapons and instantly jump up 60,000 XP. The issue is that you also missed out on 60,000 XP from the previous prestige, when you reset your marksman challenges during the prestige. For this reason I always recommend achieving both the marksman and veteran challenges during a prestige.

      One thing you can do however is line up your prestige challenges (separate challenge section that is not veteran challenges) to be able to complete them immediately after you prestige for a nice little early prestige boost.

      In regards to your second comment, yes I have several revisions that I am done with that I have not uploaded to the website yet. My entire website is going to be completely revamped with a new design and several new sections, to include more information than just the leveling guides. I also have had offers from people trying to purchase my guides to include on their own websites. I won’t be selling my guides but one thing I am in the process of doing is trying to upgrade to a dedicated server for my website and I want to somehow give people an incentive to support me through contributing to the website.

      More details will be released shortly. Thanks for stopping by.

      1. The logic of matching up the veteran & marksmen is good.. but I think it’s a bit late for that for me. I didn’t really start managing this until the 2nd or 3rd prestige so it was really off by then for too many weapons – plus my kids playing on my account screwed up a bunch of my favorites as they were overused. And I only do it with one or two bonuses per prestige. I am kind of rationing them as based on the 6 weapons I typically use for leveling (4 SMG / 2 AR). I have to assume a lot of others players are in my shoes in that respect and didn’t start their MW3 career with a managed plan and are now trying to make the best of their current situation. So I guess you could consider my tactic more of a “Plan B” – what to do if you didn’t do what you were supposed to do the first time through…

        The prestige challenges are a nice touch that I have not incorporated yet. I’ll have to figure them out tonight as I am L76 and will probably need to do something to prep one or two of them in the next few levels.

        Your guide caused me to look at another stat I wasn’t paying much attention to. Exp/Kill. I will start tracking this (as well as exp/day) as a way to determine my leveling efficiency..

        One more tip I would suggest: Don’t play large or problematic maps… at all!! If I’m soloing and the group picks a problem map I just leave because I know my kill & cap totals (domination almost exclusively) will be lower and therefore my exp/game will be lower. I know this upsets some people but time is precious and I would rather get my 20 kills and 5-6 caps in a small-medium map then spend the whole time running around for 3 captures and come away with 11 or 12 kills. For me this includes Interchange, Outpost and Mission; the first 2 because they are just too big and the last because it is too often abused by teams who can exploit the spawns down by position “A”. Liberation and Seatown are larger maps too but both have very playable close-range strategies for nubs like me and you can still get 4-5 caps a match. My vote will always go to the map where I typically get the most points (not necessarily the most kills). In domination, small maps mean more caps and usually more defends/kills as well..

        Thanks again for the great article and I look forward to more…


          Extreme Conditioning returns in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 as a Tier 1 perk. It allows users to sprint for eight seconds instead of the usual four. The Pro variant allows users to climb obstacles faster. It is unlocked at level 22, and the Pro version being unlocked after sprinting 20 miles.

          It seems like forever though… They really need to make Extreme Conditioning 4x sprint duration or Unlimited like Black Ops and then allow you to regenerate stamina faster. As it is now it is such an under powered perk.

    1. When you max out at level 80 you need to go into barracks -> prestige mode -> more info -> prestige to actually move onto the next prestige. Be aware that this resets you to level 1 and takes away all your unlocks (as well as giving you a new prestige icon and prestige token). So only do it if you want to repeat the leveling process through 80.

  43. Thanks for taking the time to make such a great guide. Reading this and watching the videos gave me a new perspective on playing MW3. BTW, what is your kill death ratio?

    1. Hm… I used to do paid training sessions but don’t really do that anymore… I would recommend watching livestreams or youtube videos.

  44. Quick question…. Do silencers affect the damage dealt by the gun. Let’s says it takes 4 hit markers to take down an enemy at so many yards. Will it take 5-6 hit markers to take down that enemy with a silencer attached to your gun?

    1. Silencers make it so that your weapon damage drop off begins at a shorter distance. For example the ACR does 45 damage up close and 30 damage at long distance. The damage begins to drop at a range of 1000 units (~25 meters using the XM25 distance) and then at 1500 units the gun hits it’s minimum damage value of 30 damage. If you put a silencer on the ACR the damage will begin to drop off 25% sooner, at 750 units and reach it’s minimum damage value at a shorter distance as well. The range proficiency gives you a 25% longer distance before damage drop off begins, so range + silencer cancel each other out..

      In other words, adding a silencer to any weapon will make it the same amount of hits required to kill up close and at a long distance, but at mid range there are going to be certain distances where your weapon requires 1 more shot.

      1. Thanks for the reply. That’s what I was thinking, but I thought I’d ask the cod expert. Awesome article, thanks for taking the time and putting it together!

        1. you’re welcome… also about range + silencer on SMG’s… I was wrong.. After reading some things I think it’s multiplicative and the silencer is calculated first before the range… so a silenced SMG + range would have about 94% of it’s original drop off range. (which is pretty good considering the advantages of a silencer)

          1. First things first – Thank you very much for this massively helpful and substantial article! Also I did know a lot of stuff already – it´s a great overview!
            When it comes to the loadouts: SMG + range + silcencer is beast, especially with the MP7 equipped (no secret I guess).

            Sometimes I got the feeling that the damage drop off varies… strange thing. 😀 hahaha
            One more time – I´m really excited to see your loadout recommandations 😉

            Personally I love to play different styles with different loadouts – makes it more challenging and keeps the game interesting IMO… My k/d suffers though (1,53) beacause of that playstyle -> anways as you mentionef before – It´s all about the fun you´re getting out of the game. And it is a real huge load of fun to track down dozens of enemies with the Model1887 or to build up a makeshift assault rifle with the RSASS e.g. 😀

            thx again
            Greetz from germany!

          2. Thanks for stopping by! I will post on my youtube channel when the site redesign is launched so feel free to subscribe at

          3. Yes bud – did it seconds ago 😉 love your “How to win stuff…” vid and the message along with it. Maybe it´s the age (I´m 28 myself) but I got the feeling that´s it´s getting more rude from version to version. If you´re good player you are getting loads of negative mail (same in the pen btw). Well let´s hope your vids change some mind 😉 greetz

  45. Dear Otrademark,
    I Have a tip (if this is in your artical im sorry i just wanna tell u) Have a great gun in a class, with a stinger, an EMP and a Frag, Scavenger, Sitrep, and somthing else. Use the stinger to take down aircrafts, use emp on Pave lows, and a Frag if you run out of ammo. Sitrep will make you unstopable from Claymores, Bouncing bets. Ect
    If you want, My gamer tag is Im Bakes Irl

    1. Thanks for the tip, you sound like a very helpful teammate, your class setup is extremely beneficial for your team.

      Send a friend request to the gamertag “GamingUpgrade”. It is a gamertag I made for all the people who find me through this website.

  46. Thank you for detailed information. I have been playing games since pacman ! FPS’s since Unreal, but with online games I find it hard to stay alive long. MW2 was terrible for me and I never reached higher than Lv 30 (although I didn’t play it for that long), MW3 is a bit better since at least I can see red names over enemies. I am in level 50 and it has taken me quite a bit of time (24 hours or so of playing it) to get to that. Although I am better than before because I know where enemies can emerge and I have better guns, my reaction time is not as fast as my days playing Unreal Tournament online and normally being on top. Since you are married with children, I am wondering how old you are and whether my slower reaction time can be associated with my age, or I will have better skills once I reach level 80. I am 35.

    1. I am still in my 20’s so I don’t think my physical speed has degraded at all but I do think that staying alive has a lot more to do than just reaction speed.

      To me, how good you are or “skill” in Call of Duty or any FPS for that matter is broken down into 5 areas:
      1. Reaction speed – This is pure physical and mental reaction speed. How quick can you react when seeing someone… How fast can you pull the trigger. Twitch reflexes. This area will obviously be affected by your physical condition and age as well as factors like eyesight, general health, etc.
      2. Controller skills – Controller skill or skill on “the sticks” is the physical ability to manipulate the controller you are using. This is similar to reaction speed but different. This is how well your hands do what your mind is telling them to do. How long can you keep your gun on target of the enemy, how well can you manipulate the controller to do what you want. For example jumping into a prone drop shot 180 requires a lot of controller skill.
      3. Game knowledge – game knowledge itself is broken down into a ton of areas and this is in my opinion the biggest area for most people to improve on. Game knowledge includes map layouts, spawn manipulation, weapon statistics, game physics, etc. The best way to improve your game knowledge is reading, watching and practicing. Reading guides like this one, watching streams and videos on youtube, then taking that information and applying it to in game practice.
      4. Mental awareness – mental awareness is the ability for your mind to absorb all of the information being given to you in the game and then your capacity to react and adapt to that information. Inexperienced gamers have static mindsets. They watch only what is happening right in front of them and they have a very narrow focus. Very experienced gamers are able to absorb everything going on around them. They hear their teammates, they see the dots on their minimap, they know approximately how many shots are left in their current magazine and how much ammunition they have in reserve, they know the score of the game and how much time is left in the game, they hear footsteps, gunshots, equipment, and explosions, they see the edges of enemy weapons and equipment poking out around a corner. They are absorbing everything that they see, hear and feel within the game and then reacting to that information. Mental awareness works hand and hand with game knowledge. If you see a dot on the mini-map but can’t envision in your mind where that person is located, your mental awareness goes to waste.
      5. Intuition – Intuition is the ability to sense or feel what is going to happen. Intuition separates good players from great players. I know that this area can sound silly but this is essentially your gamer instincts so to speak. It is the ability to sense what is going to happen based upon your previous experiences and current premonitions. Intuition without being strong in the above 4 areas is useless, but this is how champions are born. It is a players ability to go beyond their practice, and sense what is necessary to win.

      If I had to suggest an area to work on in order to generally get “better” at a game I would suggest starting with game knowledge. That is the most basic thing you can do to improve your skill in a game. After that work on your mental awareness. Reaction speed is inherent and controller skill is just developed over time. Intuition isn’t really something that can be taught but just something you learn to recognize over time.

  47. thank you for doing this but what guns should i use if i want to be hidden from enemies. for example i use the scar-l with acog and and silencer with assassin pro, blind eye pro and stalker pro. is that a good setup

    1. Well as far as being “hidden” on radar any gun with a silencer does the trick. If you want one that is relatively quiet sound wise I’m not sure which gun results in a lower dB… I like the PP90m1 or the MP7 silenced. ACR is beast silenced but it is still kind of loud.

      Also, Blind Eye and Assassin are good for hiding from enemies but Dead silence is better for stealth than stalker… especially combined with a surround sound headset.

  48. hey mate, all good stuff in here, just wanted to let u know that wen u play demolition after level 60 or so u get a savage amound of xp, if u win and the game goes on for quite a bit u can end up with 5-6000 xp just for winning and then 2-3000 if u lose, so thats a total of 9000xp which is almost as good as getting 300 kills with a weapon, its only good to play in later levels tho

  49. great guide dude. very usefu; information and all your math seems to be perfectly in line with my calculations i did on my own. bravo

  50. What do you think about S&D, it gives you lots of xp if u destroy a objective and around 1500 round xp, round xp not match xp, and usually i get 10 kills so in total i get 10000-12000 xp per match, and tell what you think about sabotage as well.

    1. S&D is great if you can consistently do well in it. The only issue is that you are going to complete very few barracks challenges since most of them are kill/task related. If you did S&D throughout an entire prestige you would see that almost all of your XP comes from in game actions and very little of it comes from challenges. That being said, double XP with S&D is great leveling potential.

      There are certain methods in sabotage that would allow high point and XP gains but they require the co-operation of your team.

  51. Just wanted to let you know I was able to cut down my time to prestige from ~24 hrs when not paying attention to XP to ~18 hrs when following your guide and watching weapon/perk XP. Also I found a good Support setup that I think gives pretty good XP and helps the team alot. I run UAV and Ballistic vest leaving the 3rd spot open. With Hardline on it takes only 4 points to get your 100xp for UAV and 200 + pickups for vests. Also this means your team always has UAV and vests litter the floor everywhere. I play mostly Domination which has a more predictable spawn pattern so it works well for this method as your team spawns near your vests more often.

  52. 1. thanks a ton oTradeMark. great info. I’m at prestige 7 and went from lvl 12 to 16 in one match. this is easily faster than what I was doing prior.
    Wish I would have found your site before unlocking the FAD, lol.

    2. your youtube channel needs more MW3 videos, unless I just don’t understand how to view them?

    3. questions about the one gun at time to 500 kills. even at my prestige is it still the best way to go?
    and is it like this; ACR to 500 kills then M4 etc. excluding using other guns until I reach 500 kills for ACR?
    or can it be AR, SMG, LMG, trying to get them all to 500 in different match settings?

    4. again, many thanks. you’re a credit to the COD family.

    1. 1. Thanks for reading, glad it’s helping.
      2. Yeah stay tuned I have quite a few series I will be launching when I start the youtube channel growth contest
      3. Check your current marksman challenges compared to your veteran challenges. There are 2 veteran challenges that are key. Veteran 1 at 500 kills and Veteran 2 at 1000 kills. This is for every primary gun in the game (atleast AR’s and SMG’s). You want your marksman challenges to line up to those veteran challenges before moving onto another weapon to be most efficient.

      For example let’s say your ACR has 200 kills in your current prestige… but your veteran challenge is up to 750 kills. If you get 250 more kills you will get 10k experience for veteran 2 (1000 kills) but you would only be at 450 kills for marksman. If you were to prestige at that point you miss out on the 10k marksman challenge for the ACR to hit 500 kills on the marksman.

      So to be most efficient you want to be getting the following challenges each prestige for the primary weapons you choose to use during that prestige:
      1. Mastery challenge (unlock all attachments) = 10k XP
      2. Marksman challenge VI (500 kills) = 10k XP, or if your veteran challenge is not aligned go at least to Marksman V (300 kills) and make sure you get mastery.
      3. Veteran challenge I (500 kills) = 10k XP, or if you already have veteran I from another prestige get to veteran challenge 2.

      As you can see… If you were to get 2500 kills per prestige, you would go through 5 weapons each prestige for a total of 2 prestiges before moving onto 5 new primary weapons. If you were to do this same thing for all 10 prestige levels then you would use approximately 25 primary weapons by the time you maxed out.

  53. so i die alot my KDR is like 0.80..any tips on staying alive long enough to level up …would i have to resort to camping..or finding a solid team

    1. Team play is important to getting big match bonuses. As far as strategy goes I think camping is actually a slower leveling method. But my playstyle caters to fast paced rushing and it’s what I enjoy so that may play a factor in my decision as well.

      Subscribe to my youtube channel:

      I’m going to be posting a video series to help people that are struggling with the game and want to get better.

  54. thanks for the response oTradeMark., (oTM after this to save typing. lol)
    I’m really impressed by your commitment to respond to my and others questions.
    as an older man, I understand time, family and life are important and this steals some of that time.
    so thanks again.

    ok, enough smoke blowing 😛

    so I can make sure I have the logic correct; current levels of two primary weapons,

    1. ACR: 15/500 for marksman 10,000 xp bonus
    2500 kills already achieved.

    2. MP7: 180/300 for marksman 10,000 xp bonus
    1828/2500 veteran 10,000 xp bonus

    so, the ACR is really only good for 10,000 xp in any further prestige and actually robs me
    of xp that can be gained by say the M4A1 that I have very few kills using.

    the MP7 is out of whack as far as timing of marksman and veteran but the same can be said once I hit 2500 kills

    Your post was clear on this I think. I’m just confirming my understanding.

    I think prestige 9 has the best emblem to me, so I’ll probably stop there…then it’s just better my aim as much as I can.

    thanks oTM

    1. Exactly, the ACR is essentially hurting you at this point because no veteran challenges are being rewarded. Usually when a gun hits 500 kills in line with a veteran challenge you earn 20k exp while with your ACR you would only be earning 10k exp.

      The MP7 is out of line of the veteran challenge but at least there is still something there to be earned. You could get the Marksman V (300 kills) this prestige then work towards 550 kills the next prestige which would get you both Marksman VI and Veteran III on your next prestige.

      The M4 as you have already pointed out, is the best of all 3 weapons since it has it’s full potential for 2 prestige levels. Marksman, Mastery, and Veteran for 2 prestiges.

      If you need weapon suggestions, these are the guns I used while leveling up. I used each of them for at least 2 prestiges, getting them to 500 kills for the Marksman/Mastery/Veteran combo. A few of the guns: MP7, ACR, PP90 were used in 5 prestiges to get all the way to veteran III.

      MP7, ACR, PP90m1, G36, P90, Type 95, M4, MK14, Striker

      1. Cool, you can teach an old dog new tricks!
        I look forward to your upcoming info/videos.

        I’ll have to sub something for the MK14. I can’t hit a dead cat with that thing, lol.

        1. evilalienovrlord

          It is easier to get better with the MK 14 when you play hardcore, since it is essentially a one shot kill. OTM, GREAT guide! Very informative….

          1. Thanks, and I wouldn’t say that it’s easier to get better with any gun playing hardcore, HC requires a different mindset and because of the lack of gunfights it’s probably harder to get better playing purely HC game modes.

    1. Well assault will get hardline pro faster, but specialist has better leveling potential so I use specialist almost exclusively once I get to level 20.

    1. I agree that reading guides and watching videos can help you get better at the game… but don’t post your affiliate links on my site thanks

  55. nice guide but.. i cant use it.. *not anymore :(((( * i got stuck on prestige 1. i cant go 2 prestige 2… when i get a screen that i go 2 prestige 2. it does nothing. it just reset the xp with 3k each time. but i still get the prestige tokens.. im sick of it . got around 7 prestige tokens. when im still on prestige 2 mode. + i hope i dont get banned for it because its a stupid glitch and i dunno how 2 fix it… its just sad that this happend 2 me. 2 much glitches in mw3. like : the time of playing = wrong. when i look on the main page i saw i did 1 day and 11 hours. *barrack screen , multiplier : 2 days 13 hours* :(((

    1. Hm, that’s very strange. I’m guessing if you contacted iw/sh support they could reset you completely to level 1… It’s not the best “fix” but at least you could level normal again.

  56. Hey, really nice guide. Thanks for taking the time to put it together! Now this may be a silly question, but I have seen people on the lobby leaderboard who have 500 kills and they are prestige level 6 and up. Their score is equal to the amount of kills they have. How could they be prestige 6 and have such a low score?

    I don’t want to call anyone a cheater, but this seems strange to me. It doesn’t bother me, just curious. As long as they’re not lag switching and using an aimbot, then I really don’t care.

    1. Hm, I’m not sure about kills but Elite is not very accurate in regards to a lot of things. For example HardCore hours are not counted on Elite. That’s why you can see people prestige 10 with only like 10 hours played because they play mostly HardCore gametypes.

      I’m guessing it’s just a glitch like that. But you can always report people via in game function and on the elite support section and they will look into players like that. Thousands of players have been reset for boosting or cheating in MW3 already so they do look into it.

      1. Thanks, I have noticed that Elite is not very accurate in my recent match stats, but I didn’t know that Elite doesn’t count Hardcore hours. I wonder why there is such a disconnect between Elite stat tracking and the game stat tracking? Anyway, thanks again.

  57. Hey man I have a question you must know alot about what’s going on with mw3 and I have heard from several people now that it might be going to prestige 20???! Is this true?!!

    1. The latest update unlocked 5 new prestige levels. Some people supposedly cracked the game files and found prestige icons for 10 more prestige levels but the final 5 probably won’t be unlocked until a later DLC drop.

      I think it’s a great idea except all of the icons from 11-20 are identical except for a roman numeral change above the icon… which to me is ridiculous… It would have taken them 30 minutes a piece to make some minor changes to each icon.

  58. Great post and some excellent tips. Nice to see others in my age range (early 30’s) in this forum. Im going to post about how I play, and levelling tips for MW3 later (not that Im amazing, just a few useful tips for some maybe), but I wanted to point something out that I noticed yesterday. I entered into my 6th prestige yesterday, and while working through my 5th prestige I got the MP5 to 496 kills so I could use it after lvl 4 in a custom class and get the 10,000 XP bonus when it hit 500 to give me a bit of a ranking boost right out of the gate. This worked fine, but the unintended effect that I got was that after the game, the MP5 which I had about 8 kills with was a weapon level 9 or maybe 10. The same result happened with the MP9, I used it after it is unlocked at lvl 16 (I think) I got about 10 kills with it and after the game it was at lvl 10. So Im guessing that the levelling of weapons is actually tied to the XP earned with the weapon, instead of the kills with the weapon. Unless this is some type of glitch, maybe something to do with the 1.09 patch? Thoughts anyone? Thanks.


    1. Hello, thanks for reading. Weapon XP is earned by getting kills with a weapon and completing challenges for a weapon. So as you have stated completing a veteran challenge early in a prestige instantly jumps that weapon level up to a high level.

      The only issue with this as pointed out to a previous reader is that if you stop getting kills right before 500 kills, your veteran kills stay in place but your marksman kills get reset. So let’s say your MP5 had 495/500 kills for Marksman VI and 998/1000 kills for Veteran II. When you prestige you could get 2 kills with the MP5 and get 10,000 XP and a huge boost on your weapon level. But you also missed out on the 10,000 XP you would have gotten the previous prestige from the final 5 kills of the marksman VI challenge.

      So the only time I would recommend saving a veteran challenge for an early level in a new prestige is when your marksman challenge and veteran challenge are not aligned. Let’s say that you have 320/500 kills for Marksman VI and 495/500 kills for Veteran I (because you used that gun for 175 kills in a previous prestige)… In this case you have already gotten the 10k for the Marksman V challenge and are still 180 kills away from Marksman VI… so in this rare circumstance it would be okay to save that weapon for the next prestige when you could utilize that quick Veteran boost.

  59. Thanks for the info. I was already using this kind of information to prestige in a fastrack way, but your extra information will help me more. What I do to prestige faster is to complete the challenges playing War Zone, where you can have either Kill Confirmed, Team Deathmatch or Domination, and playing with the different perks to obtain the challenges. I will change weapons as soon as I get the mastery (but avoid getting the challenge of the shotgun, I suck with it), and usually it will take me three to four weapons (asault rifles) to get the prestige.
    I have a question, a friend of mine told me that there is a way to finish a marksmen challenge so that you will see the others team red names without putting down the sights. Do you have any info on this?

    1. Yeah, ground war is a good way to level up fast because there is always a lot of players to kill. In regards to seeing enemy names there is no “challenge” per se that allows you to see enemies names but the perk in tier 3 called “Marksman” allows you to see enemies from further away and you can see their names through smoke and other debris. I imagine your friend was referring to this perk. It’s a very underrated perk although I still prefer dead silence or sit rep pro in tier 3.

  60. I was gonna stop leveling my pp90 as I had already maxed out on veteran points, but I noticed that I was 7/8 in mastery challenge which is 10k points. I’ll probably get the mastery (gun level 26) in few more kills then I’ll already hve 400 kills, so I might as well go to 500 for the next 10k points. Did you account for ther mastery 10k pts when you say you should not level weapons more than 2 prestiges?

    1. The 3 challenges you should complete for a primary weapon in a prestige is Marksman VI (500 kills), Veteran I or II (500 or 1000 kills), and then Mastery (all attachments unlocked). The reason I don’t use a weapon more than 2 prestiges is because Veteran III challenge is not reached until 2500 kill. So your first 2 prestige levels you would be getting 20,000 experience when you hit 500 kills, but the 3rd prestige you would only get 10,000 XP (Marksman VI).

    1. If you really like the ACR and play much better with it than other Assault Rifles then you might want to take it to 2500 kills. But don’t get the rest of your 1500 kills in the same prestige. I recommend you split those 1500 kills up into 3 prestige levels at 500 kills a piece. That way you are still getting the Marksman and Mastery challenges for the weapon. Basically you never want to be getting kills on a weapon that isn’t working towards multiple challenges at the same time.

    1. Hm… I’m not sure what you mean. XP per action in MW3 is pretty similar to Black Ops. There aren’t things like contracts in MW3 but there is a lot of leveling potential through the various challenges in MW3.

  61. Awesome guide mate!
    so profetional, great job!
    I will be using this method from prestige 10th to 20th (im sure they will release other 5 prestiges in couple of months

  62. Great Guide! For people who are looking for xp, try Hardcore Search and Destroy. Just camp around somewhere good and kill enemies without dying. hardcore is because so u can kill people faster and not get spotted on radar.

    1. Yeah HC S&D is a good mode for campers or people that are very patient/defensive. Overall HC is too boring for my tastes but it’s a good suggestion. Thanks for commenting.

  63. Thanks for posting this guide. It’s very informative. Out of interest whats your average number of kills in a game of tdm? You must be getting a good number of kills In each game to rank up fast?

    1. Well I don’t typically play TDM, but it will depend on if you are playing with a team or not. If I roll solo then I will usually get about 30-40 kills per TDM game. If I run with a team I usually only get 15-30 kills as my teammates are very good as well.

    1. Hey Matt,

      That looks like a pretty cool spreadsheet/calculator you have.

      Feel free to link to this site anytime.

      I have another person who contacted me and showed me a spreadsheet that allows you to easily track your challenges.

      It would be cool if we could take all the spreadsheets and combine them into one public one online through google spreadsheets or a tool on this website.

  64. Great guide! You seem to know a lot about score calculation. I have been trying to find out how to get your end score to be higher than your kills plus assists. I see it every once in a while where some one will have more points than what they would get from their kills and assists on the final scoreboard. Example: 10 kills and 4 assists would give you a final score of 1080. I have seen people with, say 10 kills and 4 assists, with a higher final score than 1080. This is on TDM, not an objective game. Any help would be great, I have tried everything and am completely stumpped. Thanks!

    1. That is strange. To be honest I don’t know the answer to your question. I have seen all sorts of strange things happen in regards to the score notifications. For example I posted a video on my youtube channel where I got 2 captures that said I got +37 points. +37 is not really a score you should ever get for any action in game but it happened twice. Everyone came up with all these wild conspiracy theories saying that I had some glitch or mod that allowed me to rack up dozens of captures at one time. lol, some people.

      Check it out here:

      1. The answer is use the recon drone. I happend to run into one of the top 100 recon drone users in the world online tonight who confirmed that the points you get from the recon drone show up in your final score. Next step is to test this out… next time since I didn’t unlock it yet.

    2. Assuming TDM and therefore no objective points: I believe that things like multi-kill bonuses show in the game score (maybe because they are tied to actions which are part of the game score). I can’t confirm/deny the recon drone but that would make sense as well as it is tied to an event that is reflected in the game score (assists). Once I started seeing large increases in gamescores from multi-kills I started to watch it and it seems like they go to the game’s score. And these can get huge if you have a few triples in a match.

  65. Thanks for the great guide! I am having trouble recruiting people for my PS3 clan on Elite. Have any ideas on recruiting people or other ideas?

    1. Right now it’s very hard to recruit players because there are basically no founders left and Elite basically failed with their launch of clan ops, so clans don’t have a way to level up and promote themselves.

      First off, you need to define a purpose for your clan. Are you trying to win all the clan operations? Are you trying to unlock emblems, titles and double XP? Are you trying to meet new people and have a good time?

      Once people know what you can offer them as a clan they are more prone to joining. You usually want to define a demographic as well. Like clans that say 20 years or older or 2+ K/D put restrictions on what they allow and make the clan feel more exclusive to your prospective members.

      Other than that, just play with people on xbox live and get to know new people then ask them if they know about COD elite. Maybe explain to them what the benefits of joining a clan are and ask them if they want to join yours.

  66. Great Guide! I was able to reach tenth prestige in a little over 4 days of game time played thanks to this guide. What are your thoughts on prestige challenges?

    1. Prestige challenges are nice but usually I don’t specifically work for them. They just happen. It’s always good to be “aware” of what challenges to go for but if you tried to get all the challenges in the game every game your mind would explode. There is just too much to do. And there are also challenges that have very difficult tasks to complete that don’t make it worth the XP you gain.

  67. Just to reiterate oTradeMark’s point on how important winning is to help you rank up faster: Im a big stats guy, so I have kept careful stats on each prestige so far, (just entered my 8th) so I can see how I have improved through each prestige. It had taken me, on average, about 27 hours to get thorought my last 4 prestiges, with a K/D of about 0.98 and a win % of 45. On my most recent prestige, it took me just under 23 hours, with a K/D of 1.05, but a win % of 52. I can also tell you that I did _not_ average a great number of more kills/game, nor did I complete a ton of extra 10K challenges. The only difference was the win percentage. So a 7% increase may seem small, but taking about 4 hours off prestiege time is pretty huge. I will also point out that it is more beneficial to win games while you are higher rank, as per the match bonus formula above. since your winning doubles your match bonus, which is based off your rank. I know everyone wants to win every game, Im just saying it is better to win 20 in a row at the end of your prestige than at the start, in terms of saving time to get you to the next prestige.

    1. Good point, match bonus relates to your level… so the discrepancy in XP between a win and a loss is much more at higher levels.

      Thanks for commenting

  68. Hey, although I don’t play this, the info is really great for anytime I have questions, thanks alot man.
    Just a tip, if you were to remove maybe 1-2 words a sentence, or make a few things simpler, you may be able to get more people to read it since it would seem shorter.
    Just a tip, please don’t think im trying to tell you what to do like others probably would.

    1. Thanks for the advice, when version 2 comes around I will try to simplify it. The videos should also help make it easier for people who want to listen rather than read the material.

  69. If you can make a blog on completing challenges I’d be happy to submit the rationale on how to complete them all.
    The only two I have yet to do is ‘Dictator’, but there doesn’t appear to be a legit way to complete it and deflecting 50k bullets with the riot shield because it’s god awful time consuming…..

    p.s. Finishing Moves: Droppin Crates is super easy if you know what you’re doing on Free-for-all. Got it on my second try legit.

    1. Thanks for the offer, I already kind of do something like that occasionally on streams where I hunt for specific challenges.

  70. Trying to get most of the emblems and titles unrelated to gun and prestige challenges… I am having a hard time getting the 10 kills while enemies are diffusing bombs. I have tried sabotage and search and destroy and have only gotten 5 out of 10. Sometimes I think I get another one but the enemy must let go of planting before I kill him all the way (if that makes sense). I also tried getting the kills while enemies are planting and managed to get 9 out of 10 and need one more. I am the 5th prestige level 65 and trying to do this before I can go to the next prestige because I don’t wanna waste XP just trying to get emblems. Any thoughts on how I can manage to get these more quickly??

    Thanks oTradeMark and good article!

    1. Well, I wouldn’t recommend going for challenges that are difficult to complete until you are done prestiging. If you are trying to unlock a specific emblem or title that’s one thing but a lot of challenges are terrible for leveling and are only recommended when necessary.

      I will be doing a video series on how to unlock hard titles/emblems though so stay tuned.

  71. My K/D is .085 is that terrible meaning i got to use support D: im also really great using specialist.

    Also what is the best game mode to get alot of exp!

    1. No, that’s not terrible. But I would definitely suggest running support as you will get more XP over time than specialist when you are dying more than killing.

      Best game mode for a support player is objective modes where you get points for doing stuff. Domination is a good idea or ground war allows you to shoot down a lot of stuff.

  72. Great info !!! very well done. I get killed a lot and finding it hard to level up as only starting now and everyone is a few prestige levels and im only 34 level very informitive, Thanks

  73. update, what this guide did for my prestige time :

    prior to finding this site I was prestige 7 with most
    good/liked weapons used to the point they would not earn
    me max XP, per the formula oTradeMark laid out above .
    I used the ones that were left, that I liked, and could give me max XP.
    I didn’t track prestige 8 to 9 because I forgot.

    the math:
    prestige 1-9 took 329 hours total or 36.5 hours avg per
    prestige. 9 to 10 took 27 hours, saving me 9.5 hours on
    that prestige, I followed this information as well as I could.
    but, I play solo TDM 85-90% of the time so match win bonuses
    where infrequent, so it probably would have been faster.
    I’m prestige 11 as of now and feel that I got to it faster than 9-10.
    no numbers to back that up though.
    If you follow this guide even half the time (about what I did), you will
    see a major decrease in prestige time.

    My suggestion is to set at least 1 custom class aside and load it
    with your favorite weapons/perks etc. then use it when just lvlin up
    gets tedious, and it will, so you can remind yourself that MW3 is really
    freaking fun.

    Thanks again oTradeMark
    XBL GT: snooknine

  74. Fantastic guide!! I have played since COD2 but never took an interest in the prestiges, it seemed all to complicated to bother sorting out the best ways to rank up quickly. You knocked it out of the park, the Article is long becuse it needed to be and covered all the key bases for me it made it all make rational sense. KEEP IT UP!!!! this is why gaming communities rock 🙂

  75. One good perk is dead silence, since its a high level perk, I unlock it with a token, and it’s easy to make it pro. After I have it pro, I just began falling from stairs or high floors so I get a bonus, it’s just 100 falls for 28k xp, also get extreme conditioning pro, and then do park our for easy xp.

    1. Yep, I did a video about this… and it’s definitely worth a token if you have one to spare.

  76. Great guide BTW. I want tobuse hardline pro but then struggle as my reactions arent as quick as others so dropping say, quick draw or something like that affects my play. I also use kick as my aim is also poor and i find this helps so im not shooting every where and not the target. Any recommendations to what set up with perks and streaks i should try.

    1. Hm… quickdraw is a strong perk 2 but it’s not great for leveling… But if it helps you do well then it will help the leveling process overall. Specialist is great in conjunction with hardline so maybe unlock quickdraw as your first unlock or something.

  77. im 8th prestige and i usually prestige once a week. i play domination and SnD until level 50 then play Demolition and SnD until level 80.i only play demolition for the match bonus ( Avg bonus is 4250 points when i win the round). What can i do to increase my levels with less playtime(excluding the things in your guide) i have tried KC
    and didnt like it as i always got fustrated when i was about to pick up a tag an get killed)

  78. i have had a triple MOAB before… has anybody else my XBOX name is Fred9135 send me a message or friend request and we could play…

    1. lol twatboarding = dashboarding. Dashboarding causes an immediate disconnect and loss on your stats as well as loss of any xp in that game, while if a host just leaves it will migrate hosts

  79. Thank for the help what gun do you think is best for kill confirmed.But i only use machine guns and i am looking for one which is fast killing but with hardley any recoil but for it to still be very powerful.Do u have any in mind?

  80. At this point in my cod career I feel like the fellowship of the ring entering the mines of moria, there is no turning back…
    A little history; the last game system I owned before February was a sega genesis. Through the years I’ve played at friends houses, but never that often. After playing mw3 a few times I was sold. Bought a ps3 and I’ve spent the last two months learning the game and just getting better.
    I just prestiged for the first time and though some readers may think it’s strange, I used my token to unlock the MK14 single shot AR. After hitting level 80 and unlocking everything, I started to play around with different guns, and fell in love with this one. Though my k/d ratio is around .4 I know that’s because I started with virtually no experience. Using the mk14 I’m getting a much better ratio. It makes me focus and aim which has helped my game with other guns as well.
    Now I’ve discovered this guide and I can’t wait to put it to use. The biggest fear of prestiging was a manor drop in game play and having to level up again. But starting again with a weapon I’m good at helps and your advice will add to that exponentially.
    1. Do you think the mk14 was worth my token? Tried it because I wanted to snipe quickly and repetitively without the recoil and low ammo that comes with a sniper rifle. When I got the acog scope and grenade launcher was when my productivity really increase.
    2. Now that I’m a much better player, but still not great, I feel like at some prestige I should reset my stats. I don’t care about extra classes, double xp seems like a waste, etc. Whatcha think? If I do it it will be on the next token or so.
    And, you haven’t talked about it much, but drop zone was en excellent way for me to learn the game. it’s still my favorite.

    Sorry if this is garbled or misspelled or downright gibberish at some points, iPhones are hard to type on

    1. 1. I unlocked the mk14 with my first token. I use red dot / rapid fire with attachments proficiency. It’s a great gun if you can fire quickly and be accurate. Most people would say the ACR is a more beginner friendly gun though.
      2. You can’t reset until prestige 10 I don’t think so it is a very big decision. I personally would never do it because of how much time it takes to get to that point, before you know it the next COD will come out and it won’t matter anyways.
      3. Dropzone came out after I wrote the guide, but it’s a decent gametype. My only dislike of it is that you can’t run specialist and level up your perks and overall it is a slower gametype to level in than most other gametypes.

      1. I didn’t realize that the reset feature wasn’t available until later when I asked. Definitely not gonna do that.
        Glad to know you chose the MK14 as well. Most people would scoff at that buy it s a helluva gun. And lately I’ve noticed more and more people using it.
        Thanks for the response and the guide. It has helped me level much qui ker this time. I’m holding on 80 before I prestige again and testing some seldom used weapons to see which one I want to unlock this time. At this point I can see no advantage of any weapon over the ACR with my playing style. I’m finally getting to where I have a positive k/d ratio in most of my games, and that’s usually with the ACR.
        Though I love to have the smaw with most primary weapons because ts so effective, I may choose overkill with my third token just to have the power of MK14 and the ACR from early on. It’s an effective combo.

  81. With Prestige Levels 11-15 now available (and 16-20 speculating to come)…I suggest an update to the guide for persons who’ve reach 1000 kills with the weapons they find most useful.

    For me – I’ve reach 1000 kills with all Assault except MK14, Type95, M16 – simply because i’m not good with Burst fire weapons
    I’ve reach 1000 kills with all SMGs.
    I haven’t done Pistols or Machine Pistols challenges yet – I’m going to do those next….more Machine Pistols more than then Pistols to reach the 10,000XP goal
    I’m currently using shotguns USAS, AA12 and Striker to get the 10,000XP.
    I’m not going to try with the LMGs – my game style doesn’t work with LMG at all.

    I would suggest – if you find that you’ve reach 1000 Veteran kills with all the guns you like (and don’t plan to try another gun) – next prestige level, just stick with getting master up to the full 1000 kills. That will bring you Veteran to 2000 kills. Next prestige, your back to getting 10,000 + 10,000 as this Guide describes

  82. I too have a very efficient way to level up, here is how:
    1st: Set a class with a tactical insertion and preferably an AR or Sniper
    2nd: Go into a game of kill confirmed and use this class
    3rd: (Going into a building is a good idea for this) Put your tactical insertion down
    4th: Pick people off and when you die pick up YOUR tags which will result in you getting 250 xp per tag
    5th: Enjoy getting loads of xp;)

    1. 402 tweeted that this is a form of boosting and you will get reset if you get reported for it. I would say it is a relatively low risk tactic as not many people care if you repeatedly want to die and not many people would report you but I’m just letting you know that there is a risk.

    1. Around 100 by now… I lost around 25 of the recordings when I did a moab livestream and forgot to record the games from theatre.

  83. Noe(Noah in English )

    I am sort of not that good like u at MW3 but I liked ur tips for rank up so thanks hit me up on xbox360 at xDrIvEby101x

    1. Thanks, send a friend request to gamertag: GamingUpgrade, I invite people to play that are friends with that account when I am just playing pubs

  84. Can you earn title on survival like The one 4 gun for getting a amount of certain kill like Acr get 1000 kill but you get 1000 on survival do you earn the title on multiplayer

  85. have you looked into strike package challenges? obviously recon drone will return max XP, but I noticed that calling in 150 UAVs return same xp as 150 AUAVs. So if you get 25 points per game and you use it on uav, it seems to be more efficent use of points than auav. Which streak setups will maximize XP?

  86. thanks 4 the info it helped a lot i just need help to get past level 70-80 in a day or 2 is that possible if u play alt least and hour or two a day? please help me!!!

    1. Sure, level 70-80 is possible in 4 hours but it’s going to require you to play pretty well during those hours as the last 10 levels are the hardest to get through.

    2. Roberto101 (add me!)

      LOL Emmanuelim at ame level as you, i play 3-4 hours a day on infection or domination and ive gotten the game weeks ago, and im no prestige level 71… am i just a noob?

    1. If you are good at S&D then that, otherwise domination or kill confirmed are solid choices for strong players. For weak players headquarters, domination, or game types where you can level up by supporting or playing objectives are good choices.

  87. I think there is a mistake when you are discussing the recon Drone you stated that for every two assists you get with the recon drone, you get an extra kill bonus when using hardline. I believe this is Incorrect, as I use recon drone frequently with hardline and do not seem to earn extra Kills

    1. That might be true… I think drone assists only count for your next streak up so if you are cycling drone then it won’t count towards your cycle. In other words using recon drone, bomber, emp your assists would count but using uav/vests/drone your assists would not count.

      1. Recon drone assists don’t count for Hardline Pro in any way. I’ve tested this on PC and with both Killstreak setups you recommend here (Vests>SAM>Drone & Drone>Bomber>EMP). It’s still a very good way to get XP, but I think it’s more useful in deathmatch-like modes (Kill Confirmed, Team Defender) than objective ones, as you are more efficient by helping cap/defend the objectives in most cases.

      2. Nah Bro, I am pretty sure drone assists dont get ya Dick with hardline in terms of kills… they do get ya assists, and mad points, but dont add up to kills.

  88. Dude, your guide is totally awesome!
    And I was watching your videos… man, you’re totally insane!
    You must be, by far, the best player I’ve ever seen.
    Thanks for the guide dude, I hope one day I could be as good as you are.

    1. can’t tell if serious….

      Anyways, did you prestige right away when you hit level 80 the first time? How long would you say it takes you to get through a prestige?

      If you have a 5 K/D and average 3 days per prestige I’m afraid you probably play like Wings of Redemption and I can’t help you…

  89. II Bixterss x

    Hi, first off thanks for writing this guide. I particularly loved the ‘Veteren Challenge’ tips. I’ve just got one question. My K/D ratio is 1.4, however my win/loss ratio is around 0.8! I do not play with my friends because, well, they’re diabolical! Do I need to play with a clan to boost up my win/loss ratio or try something else? Thankyou!

    1. Playing with a team is really the only way to improve your win/loss… You don’t need them to be friends though… just try partying up with players you play against who are solid players as well. They don’t have to be allstars, just competent and you will win the majority of your games.

  90. Hi, All

    Superb guide, and thanks for writing it. I have been using your techniques to help me prestige and am about to start 8th Prestige. I am a terrible player, and a slow learner, but finally managed to get the hang of things and am hitting 2k-3k per TDM at the moment

    I wanted to share the following ideas for all…

    Thought 1:

    I use support package, and sometimes only use 2 things on the package, which are UAV and Counter UAV. I have several reasons for doing this…

    a) The bonus awards for completing challenges for these are pretty much in sync, so that when you make one, you pretty much make the other at the same time
    b) They are both very low level streak rewards, so with Hardline you hit UAV at 3 kills, and Counter UAV at 4. The next reward is SAM Turret at 8 kills, and the next after that is Drone at 10. So I choose to miss SAM and Drone and go straight back to UAV and Counter UAV, which I feel gets me more treak awards faster…. which leads into point (c)
    (c) Getting to Hardline Pro fast is important for getting faster Assists to count towards your streaks, so I prioritise getting to Hardline Pro by only doing UAV and Counter UAV, as I think it’s faster that any other combo
    (d) With these streaks I always have UAV and Counter UAV up, because by the time they have gone away naturually, I have the next ones ready to use. It’s very infuriating to be blind when the other team can see where most of your players are, and that’s why I like it so much
    (e) After I activate Hardline Pro I often add extra streaks like Recon Drone because it does indeed award massive rewards. Also, I could have sworn on my life that Recon Drone gave assists that helped towards Kill Streaks during my first few Prestige levels, but then it just stopped happening. I wonder if they nerfed it about a month or two ago so that it no longer awards assists. I did read the point above about the assists only being awarded for higher streaks, and I am going to test it when I have levelled up again (only just reset to start Prestige 8 at 02:00 last night, and at work til 18:00 today… so inconvenient !!! After I have found the results I will let you know ! If it does indeed only award assists for higher streaks then it will change my game totally, because I would love drone to be able to get me closer to EMP and Stealth Bomber

    Useful Fact 1: Did you know that a Counter UAV a produces a remote controlled drone in the air which can also be Stinger’ed just like a Counter UAV? I did not know that until I accidentally saw one in the air at about Prestige 5 !!!

    Sorry to have gabbled on for ages, hope you understand my meaning, and thanks again for the guide, and all the cool discussion afterwards !

    See you online

    1. Thanks I appreciate your input…

      I love running low support streaks… UAV/CUAV is a great streak setup and very beneficial to your team… but I still feel specialist is faster at overall leveling and you level up hardline pro just as fast since each perk unlocked (every other kill) counts towards your hardline pro.

  91. If I use the fad and I have throwing knife and flash and my perks are sob/overkill/stalker and I use support uav/Sam turret/stealth bomber what should I use on my second primary and what else whould you suggest to help me level up faster? Please awnser asap?(;

    1. I never use overkill, I feel it’s a waste of a perk unless you use specialist. There are really strong secondaries that might as well be primaries (ie silenced MP9).

      In regards to leveling up faster… uh read the guide again? I don’t know what to tell you all my knowledge is here

  92. ive had the game since about march or so still havnt prestiged and ive played it everyday 🙁 i just want to prestige thats all and im only level 71 unprestiged it takes forever for me to level i get min 5 or so kills per game and highest ive ever got it around 20 any tips on levelling fast with bad skills? and thats on xbox not pc and dont get started on which is better xbox or ps3 its annoy and untrue

    1. Hm, I would say first work on your COD skills in general first. Getting better at the game will help you level up a lot faster.

      Secondly, always play gametypes and use classes that benefit players who don’t get a lot of kills. IE: domination or CTF and play a support class with low killstreaks like UAV/CUAV

  93. I’m a little late to this, but just wanted to thank you for your hard work. I was at Prestige 5 when I read your guide. I’m Prestige 8 now. I went from an average of 32 hours per Prestige for the first 5 down to 19 hours per Prestige for the last 3. Nothing to brag about, but for me it has made a big difference. Thanks!

  94. Hey trademark I read this guide right after watching your YouTube guide on leveling up with the dead silence pro and extreme conditioning pro challenges. I have a question however on what your favorite technique is to level up from levels 1-20 when you don’t have many perks, I love to play search but for those first 20 levels it is hard without dead silence or assassin to keep quite and off the radar. Got any tips?

    1. After the sitrep pro buff SND is a really tough gametype to play without having all perks/pro unlocked. I would say KC is a decent gametype to rack up XP without needing any specialized perks.

  95. I play offline splitscreen(Xbox) with my friends. It’s a VERY small number of players, and I wanted to know if there are any specific techiniques for leveling up quick. I am level 63, at my first run on MW3.

    1. offline? Do you not unlock everything automatically? You could always go into an xbox private match, all weapons are unlocked there.

      I’ve never done offline / splitscreen leveling but since it’s offline I imagine you could just kill each other a bunch of time to quickly complete challenges to level up.

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  97. Really enjoyied this article and i found it very informative, i have given your suggestions a really good go and with my style of playing it works, thanks for your help.

  98. Awesome guide. I never was a huge MP guy with any of the MW games, but I have decided to start recently (a little late in the game I know lol).

    I notice that, well, I suck. I’m playing against guys that have been killing others for quite some time now and it shows when playing against me.

    Thanks a lot for writing this. I will put it to use. Prestige stuff still kinda confuses me. Learn with time I guess.

    Thanks again!

    1. yep, it’s always hard to come into a huge MP game like this late in it’s cycle and pick up quickly since so many players have been playing for so long. Just keep practicing and watching players that are better than you.. you will get there.

  99. Another way that iv found is that you can plant a tactical insertion in kill confirmed and just stand on top of it and get shot by the enemy team. When you respawn you will get your tags and this will rack up a lot of points if done right.

    1. Be careful with this method, a long time ago IW tweeted that this can be an offense that could get your stats reset. I’m not sure how much they enforce this anymore but at one time they were pretty against it.

    1. Well, it depends if you consider being married, having 3 kids, and a full time job having “no life”….

      But go ahead and keep hating on people over the internet if it makes you feel better about yourself.

  100. Hopefully this is still valid, but I’ve hit a serious progress wall as it seems I have become absolute trash at the game. Everyone has better reflexes and response time than me and the harder I try the harder I lose. I just want to have everything unlocked so I can make up my own classes and play more relaxed.

  101. Hi um I’m only like level 3 and at the end of the match with my little brother it said most kills of higher rank ? What does that mean ?

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