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How to level up fast in Modern Warfare 3

Unlock weapons and attachments with ease

Soldiers fighting over dog tags in Kill Confirmed in Modern Warfare 3 Image: Activision

Knowing how to level up fast in Modern Warfare 3 is essential if you want to get your hands on all of the new guns as quickly as possible.

We have a list of the best guns that will certainly pique your interest, but when the weapon at the top of the list (the MCW is our top pick at launch) isn’t unlocked until level 44, and then you have to level up the weapon itself, knowing the fastest methods will come in handy.

There’s no quick trick to climb multiple levels in one go in multiplayer, but we do have multiple methods here that you can employ to maximize your XP gains. One thing to bear in mind however, is that prestige isn’t possible ahead of the Season 1 launch, so there is no harm taking your time leveling up if need be.

Use double XP tokens

Using a double XP token in Modern Warfare 3 Image: Activision via Polygon

We’ll get the obvious one out of the way nice and early: use double XP tokens. These come in three different forms; double rank XP, double weapon XP, and double battle pass XP. Of course, these all speak for themselves as to what they actually do, but how do you get more of them?

They come in four time frames - 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or one hour - and the main way of acquiring them is via the battle pass. Loads of sectors on the map have double XP tokens as rewards, and while some of them are in the free tiers of the battle pass, you do need to fork out some real money for the paid version if you want to get as many as possible.

You can also net some double XP tokens in Modern Warfare 3 by completing the campaign, which is only around four hours long, give or take, so you can smash it out in one evening.

Play objective modes

The Search and Destroy mode on the Modern Warfare 3 menu Image: Activision via Polygon

When it comes to specific modes for the most rank XP, you’ll want to play Search and Destroy. Because kills are so few and far between, you earn way more XP per kill than the respawn modes in the game, along with more XP for winning matches. The gains are even better if you’re playing the objective and planting or defusing the bomb too.

However, if you’re after weapon XP, perhaps to level up the AMR9 which has its best attachments in its final levels, play a respawn objective mode such as Domination or Hardpoint. You’ll be able to pick up far more kills in these modes, and if you play the objective too, you can earn a fair amount of rank XP. Kill Confirmed also offers a lot for collecting tags, while Ground War is another excellent shout thanks to the number of objectives available to you.

Rack up scorestreaks

The Overwatch Helo killstreak in Modern Warfare 3 Image: Activision via Polygon

Scorestreaks don’t directly affect your ability to earn XP, but because they allow you to earn killstreaks by playing the objective, it incentivizes you to jump on those flags and stand in those hardpoints more often. Over time, this adds up, and you can very slightly improve it even further by running the ACS Field Upgrade, because when it’s on an objective, it will passively earn you some XP.

Of course, getting those streaks is a good source of XP in and of itself, as you’ll get XP when your helicopter or Sentry Gun kills enemies, and you’ll even earn XP whenever a teammate gets a kill while your UAV is active.

Ultimately, the better you are at Modern Warfare 3, the faster you’ll be able to level up, but the most important thing is to play the objective — because the game rewards players who contribute to the team’s victory.

Complete challenges

Challenges screen in Modern Warfare 3 Image: Activision via Polygon

Focus on your challenges. Every day, you’ll have three new daily challenges to complete, each netting you 2,500 XP, plus a bonus challenge once you’ve completed those three. There are also a bunch of weekly challenges, ranging from 2,500 to 10,000 XP each, and if you play Zombies, there are unique challenges there too. Completing daily challenges also contributes towards your armory unlocks, so it kills two birds with one stone, so-to speak.

Farm the undead in Zombies

A player drinks a can of Jugger-Nog and faces down a horde of Zombies in MW3 Zombies Image: Activision

Finally, one of the fastest ways to specifically level up weapons is to not play multiplayer at all. Instead, head over to Zombies, and insure the weapon you want to level up. Pack-a-punch it as quickly as possible — the fastest method to earn $5000 to pay for this is to complete a couple of contracts (which is also a good way to get schematics) — then head over to an exfil location in the first zone of the map, where the zombies are weakest.

Call in the helicopter and a huge swarm of zombies will spawn. Kill all of these enemies then do not extract. Instead, every time you call the helicopter in, another horde of zombies will hunt you down, and you can slay all of them for super quick weapon XP gains. If you equip a double weapon XP token, you can level a weapon to max in around an hour, give or take.

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