An In-Depth Analysis of Modern Warfare 3's Top Weapons: A Tiered Ranking Approach
Modern Warfare 3 boasts a diverse array of firearms, including both iconic classics and newer additions, each with its own unique characteristics and performance. While many of these weapons prove to be effective in their own right, discerning players understandably seek the very best options.
To address this quest for excellence, we've undertaken the task of meticulously tier-ranking every weapon available in MW3 thus far. This comprehensive assessment ranges from the pinnacle of the meta, residing in the esteemed S-Tier, to the less viable choices residing in the D-Tier. We've also considered the possibility of leveling even the least favorable weapons, given the alternative of MW3 Zombies for an engaging experience.
Please note that our evaluation is an ongoing process, with our current insights primarily drawn from our experiences with the beta version. Nevertheless, we have already identified several weapons that we anticipate will emerge as some of MW3's premier firearms upon its full release.
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MW3 Best Guns: Tier-Ranking Overview
MW3's Premier Weapons: S-Tier | Meta
In the world of Modern Warfare 3, these weapons reign supreme, occupying the pinnacle of excellence. Among them are the firearms that are destined for competitive play in the CDL or face the prospect of being banned.
S-Tier: MCW (ACR) / Assault Rifle
The MCW, colloquially known as the ACR, embodies the essence of a timeless classic. Its near-absence of recoil and pinpoint accuracy evoke memories of legendary weapons from MW2019. While the impact of increased base health is noticeable, requiring approximately 5 to 6 shots for a mid-range kill—a performance typical of assault rifles—no other mid-range weapon within our purview offers the same level of comfort and precision.
Furthermore, the MCW boasts compatibility with 60-round box magazines, making it a likely contender for the Warzone metagame upon MW3's integration later this year.
S-Tier: MTZ-556 / Assault Rifle
In the upper echelons of MW3's weapon hierarchy, the MTZ-556 claims its rightful place. While its damage per bullet may lag behind the MCW, its superior rate of fire results in a marginally improved time-to-kill (TTK) across most engagement distances. However, the defining contrast emerges in the form of their respective handling characteristics.
In comparison to the MCW's proficiency in recoil control, the MTZ-556 excels in mobility and swifter handling. It embodies the archetype of an aggressive and short-range assault rifle, distinguishing itself as the ideal choice for those seeking a more dynamic and close-quarters combat experience.Unlock the full potential of Assault Rifles in MW3 with our MW3 Assault Rifles Leveling service in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Our skilled team can assist you in quickly leveling up your Assault Rifles and achieving better combat performance. Learn more on our MW3 Assault Rifles Leveling product page.
S-Tier: Striker (UMP-45) / SMG
Among the elite selections within Modern Warfare 3's armory, the Striker (based on the iconic UMP45 from MW2, circa 2009) stands out as a true gem. This SMG embodies the spirit of its predecessor while showcasing remarkable performance.
Despite its relatively lower rate of fire for an SMG, the Striker compensates with its incredible efficacy, requiring just four shots for a kill. This translates into one of the most impressive close-range time-to-kill (TTK) values in the game. Beyond its exceptional lethality, the Striker also boasts minimal recoil and swift handling, elevating its appeal even further. It's worth noting that despite a nerf during the beta, the Striker continues to shine as the undisputed premier SMG choice in MW3. Looking to master SMGs in MW3? Check out our MW3 SMG Leveling service in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Our experts can help you swiftly level up your SMGs and dominate the battlefield. Explore the details on our MW3 SMG Leveling product page.
S-Tier: Pulemyot 762 / LMG
Within the realm of heavy LMGs, the PKM, affectionately known as the "Pulemyot 762," secures its place in the prestigious S-Tier, despite the inherent drawbacks often associated with such weaponry—lengthy reload times, limited mobility, and the like. Its formidable firepower, characterized by exceptionally high damage per bullet, sets it apart as a dominant force in the MW3 arsenal.
This remarkable damage profile extends to remarkably long ranges, granting a distinct edge in confrontations against assault rifles and even multiple adversaries. Managing recoil, a common concern in MW3, poses little issue with this weapon, requiring minimal attachment investment to maintain control. Instead, players have the opportunity to enhance the Pulemyot's mobility, facilitated by the availability of an exceptional Aftermarket Part attachment, further solidifying its standing in the S-Tier.
MW3 Weapons: A-Tier | Competitive
Within the realm of competitive play, several formidable weapons emerge that, while not reaching the zenith of MW3's armory, nonetheless prove themselves as strong contenders.
A-Tier: BAS-B (XM7) / Battle Rifle
The BAS-B, a battle rifle, gravitates closer to the realm of assault rifles rather than the more specialized marksman rifle category. It embodies the quintessential characteristics expected of a battle rifle—high damage output, commendable range, a swift rate of fire, and manageable recoil. Additionally, the availability of high-capacity magazines is a crucial asset, further enhancing its competitive viability.
This isn't a weapon for the smaller maps, but in any fight past 25 meters the BAS-B can noticeably outgun comparable ARs. In situations where they will need five or six shots, the BAS-B will often only need four, and this makes it a clear A-Tier choice.
Beware: The BAS-B available in "The Demolitionist" default class has an issue with bullets not registering, but it doesn't seem to affect the BAS-B when used in custom loadouts.
A-Tier: Rival-9 (Scorpion Evo) / SMG
While the Rival-9 may not quite match the Striker in terms of time-to-kill (TTK), making the latter the preferred choice for most players, it brings a distinctive set of attributes to the table that appeals to a particular playstyle. What sets the Rival-9 apart is its exceptional mobility and handling, surpassing all other SMGs in this regard.
For aggressive players who fully exploit MW3's enhanced movement mechanics, the Rival-9 emerges as a compelling option. It affords players the ability to traverse the map with remarkable agility, enabling a dynamic and fast-paced approach to engagements.
A-Tier: AMR9 / SMG
Among the array of choices available in the SMG category, the AMR9 may not emerge as a frontrunner, given the compelling alternatives at hand. It may lack the standout qualities found in the Striker's exceptional time-to-kill or the Rival-9's nimble mobility. However, the AMR9 possesses its own merits, making it a well-rounded and capable SMG.
Distinguished by its commendable handling, a brisk rate of fire, and manageable recoil, the AMR9 proves itself as a versatile close-range weapon. While it may not command the spotlight in the meta, it stands as a formidable choice that can contend effectively with various adversaries, deserving of more consideration than it currently receives.
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A-Tier: KV Inhibitor / Sniper
Within the ranks of MW3's snipers, the KV Inhibitor earns its place in the A-Tier, showcasing a blend of strengths and drawbacks that set it apart. While it may not consistently secure one-shot kills—requiring upper-torso or headshots to achieve this feat—and falls short of being a rapid quick-scoping powerhouse, it boasts commendable attributes.
The KV Inhibitor features an impressive rate of fire and a respectable aim-down-sight speed, striking a balance between efficiency and versatility. It proves to be a user-friendly sniper, catering to a broader range of players. However, one notable downside lies in the default scope's reticle, which some may find less than satisfactory.
A-Tier: Longbow / Sniper
Among the ranks of MW3's snipers, the Longbow distinguishes itself as a member of the "light sniper" category, renowned for its exceptional speed. Its outstanding aim-down-sight speed, combined with the advantage of 25-round magazines and consistent damage output, positions it as a standout choice in the sniper arsenal.
In many ways, the Longbow evokes similarities to the Kar98k of previous iterations, offering a compelling blend of attributes. While it may yield more hitmarkers compared to the average sniper, it compensates with exceptional handling and mobility, catering to those who favor agility in their playstyle.
Furthermore, the Longbow's potential in Warzone is noteworthy, making it a worthy candidate for those who engage in this game mode, where its advantages in handling and versatility could shine brightly.
MW3 Firearms: B-Tier | Still Viable
In this tier, we encounter weapons that fall into the category of "just good." Utilizing these firearms won't present a significant challenge, but they also won't grant you a substantial advantage over your opponents.
B-Tier: SVA 545 (AN-94) / Assault Rifle
The SVA 545 draws its inspiration from the AN-94, a familiar sight from MW2 (2009), boasting a unique firing mechanism wherein the initial two rounds are discharged almost instantaneously, followed by subsequent rounds at a standard rate. While this mechanism carries a degree of novelty, it fails to elevate the SVA 545 beyond a decidedly middle-of-the-road status.
To be clear, the SVA 545 doesn't rank as the weakest weapon in the game, and it maintains viability for the average player. However, when measured against its AR counterparts, it undeniably falls slightly short, lacking the punch and versatility found in other options.
B-Tier: Holger 26 / LMG
In the context of MW3's weaponry, LMGs face a different landscape compared to their more comfortable role in Modern Warfare II (2022). The game's faster pace diminishes the appeal of wielding these heavy weapons, as the disadvantage of reduced mobility becomes more pronounced.
The Holger 26, unfortunately, suffers from the inherent sluggishness associated with LMGs in a fast-paced environment like MW3. It fails to offer a compelling advantage over the top-tier ARs and BRs, aside from its increased ammo capacity, a feature that holds less significance in traditional multiplayer settings. While it's by no means an ineffective choice, it struggles to assert itself as a standout option in a game characterized by swift movement and dynamic combat.
B-Tier: MCW 6.8 / Marksman Rifle
When it comes to Marksman Rifles in MW3, they don't particularly shine in this firearm category. However, among the available options, the MCW 6.8 distinguishes itself as the most noteworthy choice. Its simplicity is evident, requiring just one shot to the head or two shots to the body, mirroring the performance of the Interceptor.
What sets the MCW 6.8 apart is its superior rate of fire and enhanced handling characteristics, outclassing the Interceptor in these aspects. While it may not ascend to greatness, these attributes elevate it to the B-tier within our assessment. In the context of multiplayer, Marksman Rifles may feel somewhat redundant, especially when compared to the exceptional sniper rifles available in the game. However, their potential relevance may be more pronounced in the Warzone setting.
MW3 Firearms: C-Tier | Noticeably Weak
This tier comprises weapons that can significantly impact your in-game performance, leaving you at a disadvantage in gunfights against similarly skilled players.
C-Tier: MTZ-762 / Battle Rifle
Now we delve into the territory of firearms that unmistakably underperform, and the MTZ-762 serves as a glaring example of this. The MTZ-762's subpar shooting experience is exacerbated by its unimpressive time-to-kill (TTK) and lackluster handling.
The sole reason the MTZ-762 doesn't occupy an even lower tier in our MW3 weapon ranking is due to its potential for improvement through the application of appropriate attachments. With the right setup, it becomes marginally usable at mid-range engagements, providing a slight reprieve from its otherwise lackluster performance.
C-Tier: Riveter / Shotgun
The Riveter, a full-auto AR-style shotgun, undeniably exudes a certain level of visual flair and badassery. However, its effectiveness is hampered by its highly situational nature, primarily due to its limited range.
This shotgun finds its niche in scenarios like Hardpoint, where close-quarters combat dominates, making it a viable choice for those who adopt an in-your-face playstyle within the hill. Nevertheless, it's crucial to recognize the Riveter's inherent limitation: its effective engagement range rarely extends beyond seven or eight meters. While the inclusion of Dragon's Breath rounds adds a unique twist, the impact of fire damage in MW3 appears less pronounced compared to more recent titles like Vanguard. Consequently, the Riveter, while appealing aesthetically, may struggle to assert itself as a top-tier choice within the game's broader weapon pool.
C-Tier: MTZ-Interceptor / Marksman Rifle
The MTZ-Interceptor, functioning as a two-shot semi-automatic marksman rifle with a universal range, falls into the C-Tier category due to its underwhelming performance. Despite its potential, it grapples with a series of limitations that hinder its overall effectiveness.
The primary issue lies in its subpar rate of fire for a semi-automatic weapon, characterized by a noticeable delay between shots. This delay often leaves users vulnerable between their first and second shots, making it challenging to contend with skilled adversaries.
In theory, a marksman rifle should offer a balance between power and speed, setting it apart from traditional snipers. However, the Interceptor fails to deliver on this promise, as it feels equally sluggish to its sniper counterparts while lacking their firepower. While it might find some utility on larger maps, it struggles to establish a compelling case for its use, prompting questions about its relevance and viability within MW3's weapon ecosystem.
D-Tier: Lockwood 680 / Shotgun
At the bottom of the barrel in MW3's weapon hierarchy resides the Lockwood 680, a pump-action shotgun that struggles to find relevance in the game's meta. This shotgun's situational nature and inherent limitations consign it to the D-Tier, a designation that signifies its ineffectiveness.
For reasons that may include the game's increased health mechanics or a less favorable damage model for shotguns, the Lockwood 680 often exhibits inconsistency in securing one-shot kills, even at close range. The need for multiple shots to eliminate opponents leaves users vulnerable, as the time required to pump the shotgun and fire a subsequent shot frequently proves too long to survive encounters.
While there may be specific scenarios, such as on a map like Skidrow, where the Lockwood 680 could be employed with some success, its utility remains limited. In most other contexts, it is advisable to opt for alternative weapons to enhance one's effectiveness in MW3.
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In conclusion, when it comes to navigating the vast arsenal of Modern Warfare 3, understanding the hierarchy of weapons through a comprehensive tier list is invaluable for players seeking to maximize their performance. A well-structured tier list helps you identify the best guns, allowing you to make informed choices that can significantly impact your gameplay experience.
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