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Armory unlocks and challenges in Modern Warfare 3 explained

Learn how to unlock new weapons, attachments, and perks

Image: Activision

Modern Warfare 3 armory unlocks is a system which essentially allows you to pick and choose the order in which you unlock specific weapons, attachments, killstreaks, equipment, and more.

However, it gives a confusing first impression. It isn’t clear how it works initially, and seems to be a little inconsistent with when the unlocks happen.

Here’s an explainer on how armory unlocks work in Modern Warfare 3, how it relates to challenges, and the best armory unlocks to get first.

How to get armory unlocks in Modern Warfare 3

Image: Activision via Polygon

First, you need not worry about armory unlocks until you reach level 25, as they’re unavailable until then. When you do hit level 25, you’ll be given a brief rundown, but even then, it’s still somewhat confusing.

How do armory unlocks work in Modern Warfare 3?

Essentially, some specific weapons, attachments, killstreaks, and equipment are unlocked via armory unlocks rather than the usual leveling up process, and it works as follows:

  1. You can complete armory unlocks simply by completing daily challenges, and each armory unlock has a set number of daily challenges you must complete to unlock the item in question.
  2. You can pick and choose which armory unlock you work on next by navigating to the armory unlock challenges and picking three to go into your queue.
  3. As you complete one, the next will automatically be selected. If you don’t queue any, the game will seemingly assign them at random. (One thing to also note is that Zombies mode also has its own daily challenges, so you can also contribute to armory unlocks by slaying some undead.)

So when it comes to unlocking individual items through the armory unlock system, pick which armory unlocks you want to work on, then start completing your daily challenges.

Image: Activision via Polygon

How to get bonus armory challenges in Modern Warfare 3

Once you complete three daily challenges, you may think you’re unable to complete any more until the next day, but that’s incorrect.

Upon completing three daily challenges, you’ll unlock the bonus daily challenge, which is essentially infinite. All you need to do for this is win a match. This will earn you one point towards an armory unlock, but since it doesn’t expire, you can earn as many armory unlock points as you like in one day, provided you can win enough matches.

The easiest way to win matches is very much the same way you level up fast — make sure you’re playing the objective, and are contributing to your team’s victory.

So much like we explain in our guide on how to level up fast, make sure you’re playing the objective and contributing to your team’s victory.

Best armory unlocks in Modern Warfare 3

Image: Activision via Polygon

With 58 armory unlocks available in total — not including weapon attachments, which are found via the gunsmith for your selected weapon — you may be wondering which items to focus on first.

Here are some of our recommendations:

  • Aftermarket Parts: This is a broad category, but Aftermarket Parts can only be unlocked via armory unlocks or weekly challenges, and since you can dictate the pace of the former, it’s highly recommended.
  • Marksman Gloves: These are arguably the best gloves in the game, especially for those of you using a mid-long range build such as our best MCW loadout or best BAS-B loadout, since they help you stay accurate.
  • Covert Sneakers: If you’re sick and tired of people knowing where you are because of your footsteps, these are what you need, as they muffle the sound.
  • Trophy System: For anyone playing the objective in respawn-based modes such as Domination and Hardpoint, having a Trophy System to destroy any incoming throwables or equipment is a huge help.
  • VTOL Jet: The VTOL Jet is essentially the old Harrier killstreak from MW2 2009 and is one of the best killstreaks in the game, so comes highly recommended.
  • Semtex: A sticky version of a Frag Grenade, the Semtex is a series classic and often preferred to its five-second-timer sibling.
  • Rival-9: It didn’t quite make our list of the best guns in MW3, but the Rival-9 is a highly capable SMG that you’ll want to have in your arsenal if you’re sprinting around.

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