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MW3 meta, top weapons and classes ahead of Season 1

Find out all the top weapons, equipment, gear, Vests, and more that are dominating the MW3 meta right now, based on our experience and community data.

MW3 meta: An armed soldier angled to the left side, turning to face the camera. To the right is a red line graph iconic pointing upwards. In the background is a blurred image of Season 1 gameplay.

What is the current MW3 meta? With so many weapons, equipment, gear, and more to choose from – all of which are constantly the target of buffs and nerfs – the MW3 meta will always be changing. We’ve already seen some of the most popular weapons and best equipment nerfed, and Season 1 adds even more guns and gear into the mix. To help you keep track and give you a better idea of what you should be using and why, here’s the low-down on the Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 meta right now.

Finding out the current Call of Duty MW3 meta will give you the best idea of what to use to rise to the top of the scoreboard consistently. Not only will you know all the MW3 guns you should be using in MW3 multiplayer, but we’ll also give you pointers for strong equipment and gear, which is just as important when it comes to the best MW3 loadouts in the game. Though if you value style over substance, then do yourself a favor and check out all the new and returning MW3 camos on offer. Nevertheless, what is the current meta? Well, after hours and hours of playing the game for our MW3 review, here’s all you need to know.

What is the MW3 meta?

The current MW3 meta is:

  • Holger 556, MCW, BAS-P, Rival-9, DG-58, Striker, Longbow – meta weapons
  • Breacher Drone, Battle Rage, Flash Grenade, Frag Grenade – meta equipment
  • Comm Scrambler, Dead Silence, Portable Radar – meta Field Upgrades
  • Quick-Grip Gloves, Tactical Pads, Covert Sneakers, EOD Padding, Ghost T/V Camo, Bone Conduction Headset – meta gear
  • Gunner Vest, Overkill Vest – meta Vest

As you can see, there are a lot of different categories you’ll have to consider when making meta loadouts beyond which weapons you bring with you. Most important is how the Vest system works, which dictates which gear slots you have available to you while also offering other benefits that can change your playstyle significantly.

With the largest selection of weapons in any CoD game thanks to the full suite of guns from MW2 – and more being added with time – we can expect to see this meta shift over time. However, it’s highly likely that SMGs and assault rifles will always lead the way simply due to how deadly and versatile these weapon categories are; we’ll just see new additions steal the spotlight as they arrive. Keep an eye on our guide to the MW3 best guns to find out the top ones to use each Season.

Gear and Vests, on the other hand, are likely to receive several changes to the effects they provide, though likely not too many new additions in post-launch content. Nevertheless, given the knock-on effects these items have, there’s potential for builds to change quite significantly as and when changes are made.

It’s also worth mentioning how attachments fare in the MW3 meta. Right now, optics generally aren’t all that valuable in standard multiplayer. With few maps having long sightlines, optics aren’t necessary as most guns have relatively clear, unobscured iron sights.

As a result of not needing to use an attachment slot on an optic, you’ll also have a slot free for a more performance-focused attachment, such as a grip, barrel, or magazine which more directly impacts the power of your weapon. This is why most of the best loadouts won’t feature an optic attachment, as you can use the slot for something more valuable. Needless to say, some players do prefer using an optic, so the option is always open to you.

MW3 meta: A player holding the Holger 556 at the ready in a sandy, urban environment, painted with a green and black camo.

MW3 meta weapons

As always, the weapons are the stars of the show. Right now, the most interesting topic of debate is how these new weapons fare against the full suite of returning weapons from the previous game, which have all been rebalanced. Generally, the MW3 meta is more skewed towards the new arrivals, though there are still popular returning guns you can do well with. Nevertheless, we’ve experienced a handful of weapons that clearly stand above the pack to dominate the MW3 meta.

The most glaring MW3 meta weapon right now is undoubtedly the Holger 556. Being a mid-level unlock, you unfortunately won’t get it right away, but it’s clear to see why players are eager to get their hands on it – it’s incredibly reliable.

Though the MCW does boast a faster TTK overall, the 10m range advantage puts the Holger ahead, sitting in the sweet spot for most maps. Even better, however, is that this range doesn’t come at the cost of close to mid-range handling. With the best MW3 Holger 556 loadout, you can have a strong assault rifle that’s able to come out on top at almost any range. It is worth keeping in mind that the fire rate is fairly average, so you will be at a disadvantage in SMG and shotgun range if you’re not landing headshots consistently.

MW3 meta: The MCW assault rifle, also known as the ACR, against a black background.

Seeing the MCW assault rifle in the MW3 meta should be no surprise. Also known as the ACR in previous entries, the MCW boasts incredible recoil control paired with reliable damage and a great rate of fire. The MCW is our second most-used weapon right now for good reason – it’s easy to use.

In fact, even after it dominated the beta, the MCW is still one of the best assault rifles for most maps because of its absurdly quick TTK, albeit with a shorter effective range than other ARs (though this is CoD, so it’s rare to find truly long-range fights outside of Ground War anyhow).

Able to drop foes with lethal precision at nearly all ranges – even beating out snipers if you’re skittish enough – it’s hard to turn a blind eye to the great, all-round effectiveness of the MCW. Whether you’re going toe to toe with an SMG at close range or a sniper across the map, all it takes is a few well-placed shots to secure the kill, and the laser-beam accuracy makes that a breeze.

Check out our MW3 MCW loadout to learn more about this meta weapon build and class setup.

MW3 meta: A player holding and inspecting the BAS-B battle rifle during a match.

While battle rifles have dominated Warzone in the past, it’s not common to see them ruling the arena multiplayer – especially with the MW3 battle rifles being fairly lackluster. Well, then there’s the BAS-B, a fully automatic, heavy-hitting weapon that’s virtually a high-powered assault rifle.

Don’t let its base stats and handling deceive you, with attachments to control both vertical and horizontal recoil, the BAS-B is a swift TTK upwards of 35m that’s able to outmatch assault rifles. Though it behaves almost identically to an AR like the Holger 556, being a battle rifle affords it greater stopping power and even bullet penetration, letting you snag kills through thin walls. We’ve found this especially useful when players are trying to escape our volley of fire, only to get finished off through the very wall they sought for safety.

Given how unruly it is by default, we recommend using our guide to the best MW3 BAS-B loadout to find out how to rein in the recoil. Once you do, you’ll have arguably the best weapon in the MW3 meta right now.

MW3 meta: A player holding and reloading a peach-colored Rival-9 SMG.

Next up when it comes to stand-out weapons in the MW3 meta, we recommend you keep your eyes on the Rival-9. Sure, many players love the Striker and the WSP Stinger, but you shouldn’t sleep on this weapon. With a 287ms TTK at up to 10.2m, the Rival-9 has the second fastest TTK value in the entire game at a slightly greater effective range than the Striker, making it an even deadlier choice. The only thing holding it back is the high recoil plaguing this weapon which makes it harder to use outside of point-blank range. Thankfully, with the right MW3 Rival-9 loadout, this recoil is mitigated fairly well to make it a devastating SMG.

Thanks to it being a submachine gun, it’s also highly mobile so you can easily duke out enemies with slick moves if you’ve got the skill. We’ve had a lot of success pairing the Rival-9 with the Breacher Drone to get the drop on foes, especially if you’re moving in and out of cover swiftly.

With buffs to the Striker and the AMR9, the Rival-9 now has more competition in the MW3 meta than ever, so it will be interesting to see where each one lands long-term.

MW3 meta: The DG-58 assault rifle in the weapon inspection screen.

The DG-58 is undoubtedly one of the best guns in the MW3 meta right now. Though its three-round burst firing pattern isn’t for everyone, it’s hard to argue with the absurd TTK. It’s no surprise that it saw a nerf shortly after release, though it’s still holding strong in the meta, even if it’s not number one anymore.

With three shots being fired per burst, and only four shots required to kill an enemy, that means you only need to land a full burst and one extra shot. In other words, you can miss shots and still drop a foe incredibly fast. This lets the DG-58 compete even in close range where you’d think a clunky burst assault rifle would be outmatched by an SMG. Well, think again.

Due to it being an assault rifle, the DG-58 is also more than capable at medium to long range as well, boasting one of the furthest effective range stats of all assault rifles. Paired with attachments to reduce the recoil kick, the DG-58 is a monster at any range, explaining why it’s one of the most used weapons in multiplayer.

MW3 meta: A player aiming down the iron sights of the Striker SMG.

We can’t overlook the Striker and the Striker 9. Despite being SMGs (which you think would have limited range), the Striker and its 9mm cousin are among the strongest weapons at close to mid-range. They are not only beasts up close, but also at surprisingly long range thanks to high damage and negligible recoil.

Before the buffs to the standard Striker, the Striker 9mm was generally the more powerful variant thanks to its increased range over the standard weapon. However, now the starting Striker is the go-to for many players. With the best MW3 Striker loadout, you’ll be able to drop foes quickly and at great ranges due to its low recoil. You’d think the starting SMG would lack power to incentivize leveling up and unlocking weapons, but we’ve loved sticking with the simple but effective Striker, so much so that we Gilded it in just a few hours. It’s also based on the iconic UMP 45 that we used in the original MW2 (2009), so we’ve been hit by a wave of nostalgia similar to when using the MCW.

MW3 meta: The player aiming at a defeated enemy with the Longbow after scoring a triple kill.

The Longbow sniper won’t be for everyone (snipers never are) but you’ll be surprised just how approachable this weapon is, so much so that you might gel with it more than you expect. With an extremely lightweight design, the Longbow trades stopping power for handling and ease of use. In close to mid-range, you’ll still be able to land brutal one-hit upper body shots, but at long range, you will often need a follow-up shot if you miss the head. This puts the Longbow in a strange position, as it’s a sniper that lacks… range. However, with the best MW3 Longbow loadout, it’s easy to play around this.

What you’ll be left with is an incredibly agile sniper that’s primed for one-hit quickscoping at close range. Because of the raw damage of snipers to the upper body and above, you can beat out assault rifles, SMGs, LMGs, and more, so long as you land the all-important shot. Even if you miss your first shot, the Longbow boasts a blazingly fast rechambering speed, often giving you another opportunity. Surprised by just how strong and simple the Longbow is, we picked it up and Gilded it on the same day.

The Holger 26 and the Pulemyot 762 also deserve honorable mentions among the MW3 meta weapons. These LMGs might not look like much on the surface as LMGs are generally slow and clunky (a death sentence in CoD), but these two stand out from the crowd. The Holger 26 boasts similar stats to the Holger 556 assault rifle, one of the meta weapons. As such, it’s not all that surprising that the Holger 26 packs a punch. On the other hand, the Pulemyot can be upgraded with the JAK Annihilator Bullpup Kit to turn it into an oddly agile and heavy-hitting LMG. While it’s a slog to get through 28 levels without the Bullpup Kit since its base stats aren’t too great, it’s a whole new beast afterwards.

MW3 meta: The Breacher Drone in the equipment selection menu.

MW3 meta equipment

Having the best weapons won’t get you far without meta equipment to match, and there are several stellar new additions in MW3. In fact, two new equipment options are at the top of the pile.

The Breacher Drone can certainly be a little finicky to use, requiring a long cast before the drone is actually active, but it’s lethal when used correctly. The Breacher Drone will fly directly forward and trigger when next to an enemy. If you can score a direct hit, your enemy will swiftly crumble to the ground. In fact, even if you don’t get a direct hit, the Breacher Drone will get enemies into the one-shot range for many weapons so you can easily finish them off.

We’ve found success with the Breacher Drone by using it to flush enemies out of cover or to coordinate a deadly attack when taking advantage of the revamped movement system. For example, you can swiftly leap over a high wall and throw the Breacher Drone while falling, letting you finish the enemy off with a drop-shot when you land if they’re not already dead. Overall, it’s perfect for clearing objectives, locking down long sight lines, and flushing out enemies.

MW3 meta: The Battle Rage item in the equipment menu.

Next up is Battle Rage. While this was undoubtedly broken at the start of the beta, Battle Range has since been nerfed leading into the full release. Nevertheless, it should be no surprise that regenerating health quickly and on demand is a valuable effect. Battle Rage can be used to aggressively push enemies out of their fortified positions or even to save you when you’re on the back foot.

We highly recommend pairing it with a close-range loadout like an SMG or shotgun so you can quickly get back into the fight before your enemy expects it.

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The tried and true Flash Grenade is as good as it’s always been. Having the ability to blind and deafen targets caught in the blast gives you the perfect opportunity to push enemies that would otherwise have had the advantage. Again, this works wonders with close-range loadouts like SMGs, shotguns, and even assault rifles.

While many like the slowing effect of the Stun Grenade, we’ve found it’s still quite easy to beat an enemy even when stunned if you know where they’re coming from. On the other hand, the Flash Grenade blinds you so you can’t even see your opponent to beat able to fight back.

Lastly, we can’t not mention the humble Frag Grenade. Sure, it’s nothing fancy – it’s the most basic lethal equipment there is – but it has its benefits over later unlocks. What makes the Frag Grenade so special is its long throwing distance, ability to roll, and large blast radius. Why does that matter? Because it’s the perfect spawn kill weapon. As soon as you spawn, lob a Frag Grenade across the map and there’s a good chance it will land or roll into the enemy spawn, bagging you some easy kills. It’s still great outside of this too as you can use its throwing arc to get this powerful explosive into any nook and cranny.

Though many prefer the Semtex for its ease of use, the added flexibility of the Frag, such as the ability to cook, bounce, and roll, as well as its larger blast radius put it ahead of the competition.

MW3 meta: The Comm Scrambler item in the Field Upgrade menu.

MW3 meta Field Upgrades

Field Upgrades don’t have the biggest and most obvious impact on your overall KD ratio, but having the best equipment in the MW3 meta can certainly give you a leg-up when used correctly. With that said, there are three that stand out while the rest are generally not all that impactful.

The Comm Scrambler is without a doubt the most powerful Field Equipment early on, disabling enemy communications within its radius. This means enemies can’t activate killstreaks and allies inside the radius would not be picked up by enemy UAV and intel systems. Being able to place such a powerful device in the center of the MW3 maps or on the objective is perfect for giving your team an advantage. In fact, you could even have several teammates use Comm Scrambler to cover large areas of the map.

MW3 meta: Dead Silence in the Field Upgrade page.

On the other hand, Dead Silence is perfect for players who prefer a more aggressive approach. This lets you dial up the offense by temporarily making your footsteps silent and applying the Ghost effect. Why is this so strong? Because it gives you an advantage when flanking the enemy. No matter what mode you’re playing, flanking is your key to victory, and Dead Silence is built for it. Pair this with an agile weapon like the MCW or Rival-9 and a suppressor, and the enemies won’t know what hit them, especially as kills refresh the duration to keep the streak going.

There’s also the handy Portable Radar that gives you a UAV-like ping in a small radius around the device. Knowledge is power and although the Portable Radar has a very limited range, it’s invaluable when it comes to defend or pushing a location. Know there’s an enemy somewhere around the corner? Quickly chuck out your Portable Radar and find out exactly where they are. Trying to defend the Hardpoint? Place the Portable Radar towards the entry points and you’ll know which direction the enemy is trying to push you from. We can’t understate how valuable this can be in nearly all situations. As much as we’d love for something like the Tactical Camera to be part of the MW3 meta, taking a note from Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six Siege, it’s way too much effort for a lesser reward than just using the Portable Radar.

MW3 meta: The A.C.S Field Upgrade in the menus.

An honorable mention also goes to the A.C.S, which is ideal for saving time in objective-based MW3 modes like Domination and Hardpoint. While it is less useful in modes like Team Deathmatch, the A.C.S made more objective-focused modes a breeze by letting you automatically capture objectives. Simply place the A.C.S on the ground within range of the objective and watch the points come in.

Most importantly, this lets you leave the objective area or even guard it from a distance. Since objectives are typically out in the open, leaving you vulnerable to ambush from nearly all sides, being able to remotely capture the objective is invaluable in many modes. We used it as bait for enemies looking to contest the objective several times as well, expecting to see a player capturing the point and letting us turn the tables on them instead.

MW3 meta: The Quick-Grip Gloves in the gear menu.

MW3 meta gear

The brand-new gear system in MW3, while no doubt similar to Perks, can have an even larger impact on your playstyle than you might expect before giving it a go. Firstly, they not only provide the standard Perk bonus from previous Call of Duty games but the slots you have access to are dictated by the Vest that you’re wearing – more on this in a moment.

The Quick-Grip Gloves, the first pair of gloves you’ll have access to, are the best option for most playstyles. While we certainly love the Commando Gloves for close-range SMG loadouts or the Marksman Gloves for assault rifles, the Quick-Grip Gloves are generally more versatile. With movement being amped up in MW3, enemies can get the drop on you much, much quicker than in previous games and the last thing you want is to be caught out while reloading. So, the Quick-Grip Gloves, as a stand-in for the Fast Hands Perk, will let you swap weapons much faster. This is even better when paired with a backup weapon like the WSP Swarm that’s absolutely devastating at close range and can quickly turn the tide of a fight.

However, the Assault Gloves, Marksman Gloves, and Commando Gloves shouldn’t be ignored. The Assault Gloves improve accuracy and ADS time while jumping. Now, this might sound incredibly situational, but playing like a rabbit is a very popular and effective playstyle. With the prevalence of SMGs and sprightly assault rifles like the MCW, jumping around every corner with Assault Gloves shouldn’t be overlooked.

Likewise, the Marksman Gloves reduce sway and flinch. While sway is only really an issue for snipers where you’ll often be using magnification scopes, the reduced hit flinch is great for everything else. This will greatly help you win long-range shootouts where you and your opponent are trading hits as you’re less likely to miss due to heavy flinch.

The Commando Gloves simply let you reload while on the move. If you’re not already using the popular Overkill Vest, then the Commando Gloves are great for aggressive playstyles and loadouts.

MW3 meta: The Tactical Pads in the gear page.

Speaking of movement, the Tactical Pads are also a stellar option in many loadouts. These boots not only increase slide distance and allow for full ADS while sliding but also increase stance transition speeds and crouched movement speed. With these boots, you can quickly out-maneuver your foe and turn up the aggression with lethal rapidity. While these are tailor-made for SMGs, we’ve found they also work incredibly well with scrappy assault rifles like the MCW and MTZ-556, and even the Pulemyot-762 LMG with its MW3 Aftermarket Parts.

Covert Sneakers are another popular Boot option in the MW3 meta. Taking the place of the Dead Silence Perk, the Covert Sneaker Boots reduce your footstep sounds making it harder for enemies to detect you. Your footsteps are surprisingly loud in MW3, making it easy for enemies to hear you approach. Well, worry no longer as these stealthy sneakers muffle your steps so you can more easily catch opponents off guard. Paired with a suppressor and other sneaky options, like the Ghost T/V Camo, it’s an absolute blast tearing through the enemy before they even know you’re there.

On a similar note, the Stalker Boots and Lightweight Boots also deserve an honorable mention. The Stalker Boots increase strafe and ADS movement speed, though we feel this item needs a slight buff before it can take the top spot in the MW3 meta. Likewise, the Lightweight option increases movement and swim speed, and reduces noise while swimming. With swimming being very rare in MW3 multiplayer, you won’t often get to take advantage of this effect. However, the increased movement speed is really useful when flanking enemies or racing around with an SMG or shotgun.

MW3 meta: The EOD Padding flak jacket in the Vest menu.

Next up, we recommend EOD Padding, Ghost T/V Camo, and Bone Conduction Gear items which have been ruling the meta thanks to the superb utility they add to nearly all loadouts.

Similar to the Flak Jacket Perk from previous Call of Duty games, the EOD Padding reduces the damage taken from non-killstreak explosives and fire. Given how deadly several equipment options can be, including the Breacher Drone, and how readily available these items are – especially using the Munitions Box for refills – the EOD Padding is invaluable to staying alive. It’s saved us more times than we can count so we seldom switch it out, despite other options offering strong boosts as well.

MW3 meta: The Ghost T/V Camo in the Vest page.

On the other hand, the Ghost T/V Camo is the perfect option for those looking to get the drop on opponents. While it’s effectively a dumbed-down version of the Ghost Perk from previous Call of Duty games, the Ghost T/V Camo will block detection by UAVs, enemy radars, and Heartbeat Sensors while moving. Sure, it won’t help you when standing still but it’s hard to deny how useful it can be when paired with an SMG and flanking your enemy.

There are also a lot more surveillance tools in MW3’s multiplayer besides the UAV killstreak, including the Data Jacker and Portable Radar. In other words, you’ll almost always be benefitting from the Ghost T/V Camo in some way, though we do think it could do with a slight buff to its deactivation time to be more forgiving.

Then there’s the Bone Conduction Headset. This Gear item reduces combat noise to amp up the sound of enemy footsteps and gunshots. While enemy footsteps are already loud by default, making them clearer and easier to pinpoint ensures you won’t get flanked so easily. Likewise, it’s a perfect counter to the powerful Covert Sneakers which are popular in the current MW3 meta. As a result, the Bone Conduction Headset is a great addition to many loadouts, especially if you’re using the CCT Comms Vest to get an extra Gear slot.

As players get more comfortable with the new flow of combat, we expect the Data Jacker and Mag Holster to also enter the mix, as they’re also very good options in the current MW3 meta. Mag Holster is nice and simple – it increases reload speed. This is especially handy if you’re using attachments such as a heavy magazine which reduces reload speed.

Data Jacker, on the other hand, is another form of intelligence gathering. When you kill an enemy they drop a smartphone that, when collected, generates a radar ping around you. While it requires a little extra work, it’s hard to argue with a free, albeit limited mini UAV.

MW3 meta: The Gunner Vest in the Vest page.

MW3 meta Vests

The vest system is a completely new addition to MW3, building upon the strengths of the Perks (now gear) system to offer items that significantly impact your overall playstyle. By dictating which gear slots you have available to you and providing additional bonuses, you’re going to want to pick the best Vests for your class.

Leading the way in the meta right now is the Gunner Vest. While the default Infantry Vest is serviceable for many loadouts since it has no downsides, the Gunner Vest is ideal for close-range, run-and-gun playstyles. Increasing max ammo upon spawn and improving reload speed, the Gunner Vest will not only keep you supplied for longer but also let you take on groups of enemies thanks to rapid reloads.

Whether you’re caught out by several opponents or intentionally pushed into the enemies’ spawn, it’s hard to deny just how valuable an increased reload speed can be. Perhaps most importantly though, it also lets you equip two primary weapons, which most loadouts will benefit from so you’re covered for all engagement ranges. Unfortunately, however, equipping the Gunner Vest does deny access to the Boot gear slot.

MW3 meta: The Overkill Vest in the Vest menu.

The second MW3 meta Vest option is the Overkill Vest, which is very similar to the Gunner Vest. In exchange for disabling access to Field Upgrades, the Overkill Vest increases weapon swap speed and allows you to reload while sprinting. This is great for a variety of loadouts but especially those that get up close and personal and prioritize staying on the move. Like the Gunner Vest, you can also equip two primary (or even secondary) weapons so you’re ready for anything.

MW3 meta: The Demolitions Vest in the vest selection menu.

If you’re making use of the meta equipment options frequently, such as the Breaching Drone, then the Demolitions Vest is another one worth considering. Sure, it’s not quite as competitive and well-rounded, but it can still be very useful in the right hands. This Vest will cause both your lethal and tactical equipment items to automatically resupply every 25 seconds. In other words, you’ll nearly always have your equipment at the ready, which is vital in turning a fight in your favor.

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However, we also recommend you keep a close eye on the CCT Comms Vest. The CCT Comms Vest not only increases the duration enemies are revealed on the radar (as well as zooming out the minimap) but also adds a mini UAV effect, similar to the Data Jacker Gear option. With this, enemies you kill drop data intel packs that can be collected to generate a radar ping. Letting you equip two Gear items, it’s also perfect for playstyles that shine with a combination of Gear, such as the Bone Conduction Headset and either the Mag Holster or Ghost T/V Camo, for an aggressive but sneaky loadout.

MW3 meta: The player reloading the RAM-7 assault rifle in a coastal town, with a crashed plane in flames in the distance.

How MW3 Season 1 will impact the meta

Season 1 adds a suite of new guns, Aftermarket Parts, and even gear, alongside balance changes that will shake up the MW3 meta. Less obvious than that, the new maps added in Season 1 are drastically different from the base-game counterparts, which also impacts the meta.

In terms of which weapons will rule the MW3 meta in Season 1, we expect the same handful of weapons highlighted above to still be incredibly strong. However, the new RAM-7 assault rifle, available in Sector A7 of the Season 1 Battle Pass, will likely be a new meta gun. Based on the iconic TAR-21 from MW2 (2009), the RAM-7 is a lightweight rifle that boasts fast reloads and slick handling, while not sacrificing damage in return. As a result, it’s hard to imagine the RAM-7 not taking a place in the MW3 meta, competing against the likes of the MCW and MTZ-556 to be king of aggressive ARs.

On the other hand, the HRM-9, an in-season Armory unlock, could also be a strong choice. Based on its design and 9mm rounds, the HRM-9 is expected to be a reliable SMG for close to mid-range, much like the Striker. With a high rate of fire and great handling, it could already be time for the Striker to be knocked down a peg by a new SMG that looks to fill the same niche.

To add even more salt to the wound of Striker fans, there are also a handful of new Aftermarket Parts, with the AMR9 having a particularly standout offering. The JAK Ettin Double Barrel Kit for the AMR9 adds a dual barrel firing system, with two barrels that fire simultaneously. This ups the damage at the cost of accuracy. However, if it can beat out the Rival-9 at close range while keeping the mid-range power of the standard AMR9, it could also trump the Striker in nearly all scenarios.

The new Assassin Vest looks to be an incredible new Vest item that we’ve no doubt many players will use. With this, kills won’t display skulls to the enemy and you will be immune to UAV and enemy radar effects, including while stationary. In other words, it’s the perfect stealthy, assassin option and all you’ll have to sacrifice is your Field Upgrade slot. Keep an eye on this when Season 1 drops.

As for the Season 1 maps, these are all generally smaller than what we have so far. Remastered maps like Estate, Wasteland, Derail, and Highrise all have relatively long sightlines, making mid-range weapons the best options to compete in both long and close-range fights. However, with the new maps focusing in on smaller-scale arenas, we could see a shift towards more compact and lightweight weapons. This has a knock-on effect on loadouts in the MW3 meta, as players’ priorities shift.

That covers the current MW3 meta right now, as well as some ideas of where the meta could be heading next. With this knowledge of all the best weapons, equipment, gear, vests, and more in mind, you’re ready to dive into MW3 Ranked Play and, hopefully, you’ll take the top spot in one of the best FPS games out there. Outside of the multiplayer offerings, get up to speed on the innovative MW3 Zombies mode – a first for the Modern Warfare series – and the blockbuster MW3 campaign, even if it’s not quite the series best.