We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Best MCW loadout in MW3 and full class setup

The best MW3 MCW loadout turns this mighty AR into an absolute laser that will dominate Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer on PC, PS5, and Xbox.

Best MW3 MCW loadout: MCW in Gilded camo with a yellow outline in front of the Operator 627 image from MW3

What is the best MW3 MCW loadout? Few weapons are making a bigger splash than the MCW in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3. Marketed as a lightweight Assault Rifle with “phenomenal recoil control,” this versatile rifle is the spiritual successor to the ACR of past games. When kitted out with the best MW3 MCW loadout it’ll completely eviscerate lobbies, whether you’re playing on PC, PS5, or Xbox.

If you’re trying to unlock the MW3 camos as quickly as possible, then you’ll definitely need to spend some time with the MCW in what is one of the best FPS games. Right now, it sits among the best MW3 meta ARs in the game and is a contender for the top dog out of the MW3 guns overall. If easy Ws sounds like an appetizing prospect – of course it does – grab your best PS5 controller or best Xbox controller and read on.

MW3 MCW loadout

The best MW3 MCW loadout is:

  • Muzzle: XTen Ported 290
  • Barrel: 16.5″ MCW Cyclone Long Barrel
  • Underbarrel: Bruen Heavy Support Grip
  • Rear Grip: RB Claw-PSL Grip
  • Ammunition: 5.56 NATO High Grain Rounds

Best MW3 MCW loadout: MCW in the Modern Warfare 3 armory with all attachments on

The MCW sports an effective range of 26.7m – comparatively low for an AR – but a monstrous TTK of just 290ms. As such, it’s already an elite mid-range weapon at stock, while only SMGs like the MW3 Rival-9 loadout will kill quicker at sub-10m. Of course, there’s always room for improvement, which is why this build revolves around bolstering the MCW’s effective range while keeping it stable.

Kicking off at the nose of the MCW we have the XTen Ported 290 compensator. Offering up a ridiculous +3 to Vertical and +2 to Horizontal recoil, this is one of the best muzzles in the game right now, and is a must-use attachment for turning the MCW into a laserbeam.

Of course, if you do want to keep super stealthy – something the recommended class setup below emphasizes – then the VT-7 Spiritfire Suppressor is undoubtedly the best one for the job thanks to the bonus recoil control, bullet velocity, and damage range it offers.

For the barrel you have two choices: the 16.5″ MCW Cyclone Long Barrel, or the Second Line Mammoth Heavy Barrel. The MCW already sports excellent innate recoil control, so boosting its effective range and damage output is – as we’ve outlined – the way to go. With either barrel you’re getting plenty of added bullet velocity and range, though we favor the 16.5″ MCW Cyclone as it maxes out these values, while also increasing firing aim stability.

For the underbarrel, we recommend the Bruen Heavy Support Grip, which will not only bolster your gun kick control but also increases the firing stability, horizontal recoil control, and helps control the aiming idle sway. On the topic of grips, the RB Claw-PSL Grip should be equipped at the rear to keep things even more stable – remember, we’re playing to the MCW’s strengths here.

Finally, whack on some 5.56 NATO High Grain Rounds for – you guessed it – more bullet velocity and damage range. However, if you feel uncomfortable reloading regularly with the default 30-round capacity, then slap on a 40 Round Mag to reduce reload downtime between kills at the expense of the High Grain Rounds.

With the best MW3 MCW loadout now equipped, it’s time to match it with the optimal class setup to put you in the best tactical position to frag out.

MW3 MCW loadout: class setup with the MCW shown on screen

MW3 MCW class setup

Here is the best MW3 MCW class setup:

  • Secondary: Renetti / WSP Stinger
  • Vest: CCT Comms Vest
  • Tactical: None
  • Lethal: None
  • Field Upgrade: Munitions Box
  • Gloves: Quick Grip Gloves
  • Boots: Covert Sneakers
  • Gear: Bone Conduction Headset and Tac Mask

While the MCW can do a job at close range, it’s always best to pair it with something built to do the job. If you have one at its max level we’d instead opt for the MW3 Renetti loadout helpfully shared by our friends at PCGamesN, albeit with the Bruen Onslaught Assault Grip over the Slate Reflector if you’re struggling with the kick. At stock, the Renetti is pretty mid, but once you max its level out and unlock the JAK Ferocity Carbine Kit it becomes a full-auto monster that outstips even the WSP Stinger.

Of course, if you don’t want to spend time with the Renetti, then the Stinger is a beast. This Uzi-esque handgun is by far the best-in-class option at stock, and can quickly mow down anyone that gets too close.

As far as field equipment is concerned, you’re going to be burning through ammo en route to getting a nuke so a handy Munitions Box will go a long way. We’re also big fans of the A.C.S. on point capture-based modes like Domination. Though with how prevalent Breacher Drones are, Trophy System stocks have risen dramatically, so pick accordingly.

A final option that’s unsurprisingly powerful is the Comm Scrambler. Back in the beta, this was the go-to piece of field equipment for most, as it completely shuts down enemy UAVs as well as the ability to activate killstreaks for foes caught in its radius. Nasty.

Finally, let’s talk about tactical gear. When chasing killstreaks having an intimate understanding of enemy positions is crucial – enter the CCT Comms Vest. This immaculate bit of kit will not only increase the duration enemies stay on your radar, but it’ll also widen the mini-map radius and ping the locations of other enemies when you pick up the intel pack dropped by downed foes.

In return for your Lethal and Tactical slots, the CCT Comms Vest will also open up an extra gear slot for you, allowing you to combo up the Bone Conduction Headset and Tac Mask. The headset reduces combat noise, allowing you to hear enemies more clearly, which is disgusting when paired with the Covert Sneakers that eliminate your own footsteps. The Tac Mask, meanwhile, will mitigate the effects of your enemies’ own Tactical ‘nade.

Finally, Quick-Grip Gloves are important tools for close-range engagements as they increase the speed at which you switch between weapons. If you can get your sidearm out before a flash clears, it’s a freebie.

Best MW3 MCW loadout: MCW in Gilded camo being inspected during a match of MW3 multiplayer

MW3 MCW alternatives

The best MW3 MCW alternative right now is the MTZ-556. This snappy AR is of a similar profile to the MCW, with both options utilizing the 5.56mm ammo type. The MTZ-556 possesses a potent mix of damage, range, and fire rate, making it a solid second-string AR if you’re not vibing with the MCW.

Additionally, the MTZ-556 has the same effective range as the MCW, so you’ve become accustomed to that 26.7m cut-off for maximizing TTK, then you’ll feel right at home with the MTZ-556 in hand. It may take 47ms longer to kill than the MCW but hey, if it feels better for you then that can go a long way towards mitigating the difference.

How to unlock the MCW in Modern Warfare 3

To unlock the MCW in Modern Warfare 3, you’ll need to reach player rank 44 in multiplayer.

The MCW is high up in the progression ranks for MW3, but there’s a good reason for it – it’s widely considered one of the best MW3 guns right now, and picking the right attachments in the Gunsmith makes it one of the best MW3 loadouts too.

From our experience, we managed to level up the gun using Double Weapon XP tokens alongside the above loadout and got the Gilded camo within a few hours. It’s ridiculously easy to get killstreaks and be top-ranked in your team when using this assault rifle.

And that’s the best MW3 MCW loadout you can get your Quick-Grip Gloves on – you should also get your mitts on one of the best PS5 controllers or best Xbox controllers to give yourself that competitive edge. Before you go, make sure you’re well-acquainted with our MW3 multiplayer guide for more on everything you can get up to in its various modes. Happy hunting.