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How to switch to third-person in Modern Warfare 3 Zombies

You don’t have to play MW3 Zombies in first-person

The player approaches an undead town in Modern Warfare 3’s Zombies mode Image: Sledgehammer Games/Activision via Polygon
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

Third-person offers an extremely valuable perspective in Modern Warfare 3’s Zombies mode, but it’s not the default. Instead, when you first get dropped into the Zombie apocalypse, you’ll find yourself stuck in Call of Duty’s classic first-person perspective. But if you’re someone who likes to watch their own back — which is almost mandatory in solo play — we’ve discovered a solution.

In this Modern Warfare 3 Zombies guide, we’ll teach you how to swap between first-person and third-person perspectives whenever you’d like.

How to switch to third-person in MW3 Zombies

When you load into your Zombies match and take control of your character, you’ll be able to swap to third person. There doesn’t appear to be any way to swap to third-person before the match starts, but the game will remember your chosen perspective for subsequent games.

  • On Windows PC, hit the escape key and select the “switch to third-person” button at the top of the menu. If you’re using a controller on PC, hit pause and select the same option.
  • On PlayStation and Xbox consoles, all you need to do to swap to third-person is hold down on the D-Pad.

To swap back to first-person, just repeat the process while you’re already in third-person.

Why play MW3 Zombies in third-person?

A third-person shot of Price taking on a Zombie apocalypse in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Image: Sledgehammer Games/Activision via Polygon

Zombies are primarily melee enemies in Modern Warfare 3’s Zombies mode, and they like to rush up and hit you in the back. Third-person helps mitigate this a bit, allowing you to instantly determine where a zombie is attacking you from. You also instantly know what is attacking you, whereas in first-person you can spin around and be surprised by an unwanted Hellhound.

The downside of third-person is that you may struggle to aim a bit more when you’re not shooting through a scope, making Zombie headshots slightly more difficult to hit with your standard rifle.

For more Modern Warfare 3 guides, see how to switch to Tactical Stance, and check our guides on the best Striker loadout, best MCW loadout, and best AMR9 loadout.

If you’re jumping into the campaign, find all of the items and weapons in “Precious Cargo” and “Reactor,” see how to earn the Back in the Field trophy and the A Shot Blocked achievement, or check out our walkthrough for “Deep Cover.”

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