New MW3 patch notes grant big SMG buffs at the cost of brutal AR nerfs

Several MW3 nerfs are live now in the latest Call of Duty game, as Sledgehammer Games rolls out buffs for SMGs and other combat tweaks.

mw3 patch notes november 21 2023

Your favorite MW3 weapons could be on the chopping block, as Call of Duty developer Sledgehammer Games reveals the latest MW3 patch notes. With several assault rifles emerging as early contenders to dominate with, this new Modern Warfare 3 update deals with them swiftly, opting to juice up many of the game’s SMGs instead. It might be time to switch up your tactics.

Whether you feel MW3 is one of the best FPS games around, it is easy to feel spoiled for choice when it comes to weapons. In the new MW3 patch notes, Call of Duty players can expect 3 of the game’s assault rifles to feel different, because firepower is significant reduced going forward. Specifically, the Holger 556, DG-58, and FR 5.56 are all seeing reductions to headshot damage, as well as various decreases to neck, torso, and arm damage. For those of you preferring the burst fire rate of the DG-58, sadly you’ll be seeing an “increased burst delay from 100ms to 120ms (+20%).”

The DG-58 isn’t faring well amid all the MW3 guns, as its maximum damage output is dropping down too. Sledgehammer Games confirms it will now operate with “decreased maximum damage from 44 to 40 (-9%).” If you’re wondering exactly how assault rifles are performing post-patch, here are the exact numbers to factor into your future Gunsmith setups in the MW3 meta:

  • Holger 556 (Assault Rifle)
    • Decreased headshot damage multiplier from 1.4x to 1.3x
    • Decreased neck, upper-torso, arm, and hand damage multipliers from 1.1x to 1x
    • Increased sprint to fire time from 210ms to 231ms (+10%)
  • DG-58 (Assault Rifle)
    • Decreased maximum damage from 44 to 40 (-9%)
    • Decreased medium damage from 35 to 33 (-6%)
    • Decreased neck damage multiplier from 1.4x to 1.1x
    • Increased burst delay from 100ms to 120ms (+20%)
  • FR 5.56 (Assault Rifle)
    • Decreased maximum damage from 44 to 43 (-2%)
    • Decreased near-medium damage from 40 to 36 (-10%)
    • Decreased minimum damage from 36 to 33 (-8%)
    • Decreased headshot damage multiplier from 1.5x to 1.4x
    • Decreased leg and foot damage multipliers from 1x to 0.9x
    • Increased aim down sights time from 240ms to 260ms (+8%)
    • Increased sprint to fire time from 210ms to 231ms (+10%)
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If you prefer to run and gun, though, it isn’t all bad for players with a faster style of play. This batch of tweaks is pretty kind for SMGs, as the Striker and AMR9 all receive considerable buffs for area-based damage, while giving the former an “increased maximum damage range from 9m to 19m (+114%).”

Oddly, the Striker’s other variant, the Striker 9, doesn’t gain any increases. Instead, players will experience “decreased maximum damage from 32 to 27 (-16%)” and “decreased aim down sights time from 275ms to 225ms (-18%).”

This update aims to make SMGS feel more viable, according to Sledgehammer Games. “The highlight of this balance pass is a reduction to the lethality of the FR 5.56 and DG-58. Both weapons will now require two headshots to kill an enemy with a single 3-round burst fire. Additionally, these changes aim to improve the consistency and viability of Submachine Guns to the intended target for the class,” the developer explains. Moreover, the Striker and AMR9 are subject to the following changes:

  • Striker (Submachine Gun)
    • Increased maximum damage range from 9m to 19m (+114%)
    • Increased near-medium damage from 33 to 36 (+9%)
    • Increased far-medium damage from 27 to 33 (+22%)
    • Decreased aim down sights time from 240ms to 230ms (-4%)
  • AMR9 (Submachine Gun)
    • Increased lower-torso, lower-arm, and hand damage multipliers from 1x to 1.1x
    • Decreased sprint to fire time from 294ms to 206ms (-30%)

Like you, we’re always crafting and tinkering with the best MW3 loadouts. We’ve found that the Striker remains a superb SMG, ever since it obliterated enemies in the beta. The AMR9 can be just as lethal, but we’d take the Rival 9 over the Striker 9 currently in-game. With a bit more punch than expected for the SMG weapon family, this MW3 Rival 9 loadout is a great alternative to mix up your setup.