We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

How to get the Overkill perk in Modern Warfare 3

Overkill is undoubtedly one of the most popular Call of Duty multiplayer perks, so here’s how you unlock it in the new MW3 perk gear system.

The Modern Warfare 3 Overkill icon over an image of Ghost wearing a military vest.

How do you unlock the MW3 Overkill perk? Overkill is the popular Call of Duty perk that allows you to carry two primary weapons, forgoing a secondary gun entirely. This is particularly useful on large maps, giving you the ability to pick the perfect weapons to suit any combat scenario.

Modern Warfare 3 reintroduces the perks mechanic in the form of equipment imbued with perk effects. Scavenger comes in the form of a pair of gloves, Fast Hands is a magazine holster, and Ghost comes as a full Ghillie suit. One of the first things we asked ourselves when dropping into the reinvented MW3 maps and familiar MW3 game modes was how to get Overkill in Modern Warfare 3, so here’s what we found out if you’re asking yourself the same thing.

The MW3 Gunner vest in the loadout screen of Modern Warfare 3.

How do you unlock Overkill in MW3?

There are two ways to get the Overkill perk in Modern Warfare 3. The first is by unlocking the Gunner vest at player level 20, and the second is with the Overkill vest, unlocked at player level 50.

Gunner vest

With the Gunner vest, you carry two primary weapons, deploy with max ammo, and your reload speed becomes faster. Perk effects don’t stack, so any conflicting gear should be swapped out. If you have the Mag Holster equipped which also offers improved reload speed, you automatically gain the effects of the Mission Control Comlink instead, reducing the cost of your killstreaks.

The Gunner vest also allows you to carry one tactical, one lethal, one field upgrade, one pair of gloves, and one piece of gear. If you want to run the Overkill perk and a pair of boots, you must unlock the Overkill vest.

The MW3 Overkill perk vest in the gear loadout screen of Modern Warfare 3.

Overkill vest

The Overkill vest offers more variety than the Gunner vest as you can run two primary weapons, two secondary weapons, or one of each, making it perfect to swap about quickly for different modes. Unlike the Gunner vest, the Overkill vest offers the additional bonuses of Fast Hands: increased weapon swap speed and the ability to reload while sprinting. As such, swap out Quick-Grip or Commando gloves, or automatically receive the effects of Marksman Gloves: reduce flinch and sway while aiming down sights (ADS).

The Overkill vest also allows you to carry one tactical, one lethal, one pair of gloves, one pair of boots, and one piece of gear. It’s important to note that you can’t carry field equipment with the Overkill vest.

As you can only have one vest equipped at a time, and each interacts with your other Modern Warfare 3 equipment and perks differently, the new system is slightly more complicated than in previous games. In short, the best way to get Overkill is to equip the Gunner vest as soon as you hit level 20, then decide whether you prefer field upgrades or boots in your loadouts once you reach level 50.

Default Overkill loadouts

Before you unlock the Gunner or Overkill vests, you can utilize the Overkill ability with two default loadouts. Of course, you’re stuck with the guns in these loadouts, but if you want two primary weapons, it’s your only option before you hit level 20.

The full default Commando loadout featuring Overkill in Modern Warfare 3.

Commando default loadout

The Commando default loadout contains the following weapons and gear:

  • Overkill Vest: Carry two primary weapons, increase weapon swap speed and reload while sprinting
  • Scavenger Gloves: Reload ammo and throwing knives from dead players
  • Running Sneakers: Increased Tac Sprint duration and reduces refresh time
  • EOD Padding: Reduced damage from non-killstreak explosions and fire
  • Primary Weapon: Bas-B with five attachments
  • Secondary Weapon: Riveter with five attachments
  • Tactical: Stun grenade
  • Lethal: Frag grenade

The full default Counter Invasion loadout featuring Overkill in Modern Warfare 3.

Counter-Invasion default loadout

The Counter Invasion default loadout contains the following gear and weapons:

  • Gunner Vest: Carry two primary weapons, max ammo, and improved reload speed
  • Marksman Gloves: Reduce sway and flinch while ADS
  • Mission Control Comlink: Reduce killstreak requirement
  • Primary Weapon: Katt-AMR with five attachments
  • Secondary Weapon: MCW with five attachments
  • Tactical: Scatter mine
  • Lethal: Proximity mine
  • Field Upgrade: Tactical insertion

So, the Modern Warfare 3 Overkill perk isn’t quite as simple as in previous games, but now you know all the ways you can carry two primary weapons. Personally, it’s the only way we play, and we’ve been getting a lot of use out of the Counter-Invasion default loadout, but if that’s not for you, we’ve got the best MW3 loadouts together in one handy guide. If you want to build your own loadouts, we’ve also got guides on the best MW3 MCW loadout and Bas-B loadout for you to check out as part of your Overkill setup.