Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 release date, campaign, and multiplayer

We have everything you need to know about the MW3 release date, including trailers, multiplayer news, and details of the returning zombies mode.

MW3 release date: Captain Price from Modern Warfare 3, looking off into the distance, a threatening red backdrop behind him.

When was the Modern Warfare 3 release date? There were rumors last year that Activision might be taking a break from its annual cycle of Call of Duty games, giving Sledgehammer Games more time to craft a sequel. Well, whether it was a good thing or not, it turned out that those rumors were false, and the team developed MW3 in just months.

Modern Warfare 2 was originally intended to last two years, with Sledgehammer Games set to work on a ‘premium release’ expansion to continue the FPS game’s single-player campaign. This plan pivoted to a full-blown release with Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3. Here’s all the details around the MW3 release date, the campaign, new Modern Warfare Zombies, and multiplayer.

When was the MW3 release date?

The Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 release date was Friday, November 10, 2023, across PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and S, and Xbox One. Players who preordered the game were able to play the campaign from November 2, 2023.

The game, following on from MW1 & 2’s re-imagining of the series sees our squad turn their focus to the deadly, and ruthless, Makarov. Anyone who played the original games will know Makarov from the infamous ‘No Russian’ mission.

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Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer beta

Modern Warfare 3 had two multiplayer betas. The first was a PS5 exclusive starting on Friday, October 6, 2023, with the PC beta coming a week later on Friday, October 13, 2023.

These betas were met with mixed reviews, with a lot of people claiming that Call of Duty was back on form following Modern Warfare 2, thanks to improved movement, including the return of the slide cancel, and a slower time to kill (TTK). A number of MW3 beta rewards were made available to players of both betas – so if you see a red crash test dummy running around on your team, that’s where it came from.

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Modern Warfare 3 trailers

The MW3 Makarov reveal trailer revealed Makarov as the villain while revealing the FPS game’s release date. If you can’t remember Makarov from the original trilogy, he was the guy who said, “Remember, no Russian” in MW2’s infamous mission.

The trailer mixes live-action footage with game footage to reveal Makarov being walked to his prison cell as Captain Price (Barry Sloane) narrates. The action-filled gameplay clips show off some of what we can expect from the new campaign, including more underwater levels and a clip of operatives scaling the prison as Price confirms our next target is Makarov, now voiced and played by Julian Kostov.

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A later gameplay trailer expanded on the scenes shown in the Makarov trailer, accompanied by a chilling cover version of Blue Oyster Cult’s Don’t Fear the Reaper – though whether that’s Makarov or us that he’s coming for is presumably up to you. Familiar faces from the previous games are then revealed to be back, including Farah, Soap, Gaz, and Ghost, before a strong hint that the famous No Russian mission would return in some form as the words “No Russian” come through as a text to someone’s phone.

Modern Warfare 3 campaign

The Modern Warfare 3 campaign is one of, if not the, shortest of all time, running – for most people – to about 4 hours. New Open Combat missions left some players disappointed, having been lifted straight from DMZ mode.

Many even said that the rushed campaign could be the worst CoD campaign to date, including us. Read our Modern Warfare 3 review to see exactly what we thought of the story in more detail, as well as how we found multiplayer and new MWZ. Whether you enjoy the campaign or not, you might be after that 100% completion, so we’ve got a guide to all the Modern Warfare 3 missions and MW3 achievements to help you get there. There are also all the MW3 campaign rewards you can get for sticking it out, too.

Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer modes

Aside from the aforementioned campaign, there are several multiplayer offerings. We’ll touch on zombies in a bit as that has some extra juicy information, but there is also the return of classic multiplayer modes, as well as some new offerings.

  • Team Deathmatch – be the team to get the most kills.
  • Free-For-All  everyone is your enemy.
  • Search and Destroy – detonate or defuse a bomb.
  • Domination – take/defend to points on the map.
  • Kill Confirmed – claim tags for everyone you kill, and deny enemy kills.
  • Hardpoint – hold three zones for the most time.
  • Control – take turns attacking and defending the objective.
  • Cutthroat – a brand new mode for Modern Warfare 3.
  • Ground War – a 20v20 match where players fight to capture waypoints to earn enough score to win.
  • Invasion – a mix of player and AI-controlled soldiers fight in a 20v20 match to reach a target score, with player kills worth more points than AI kills.
  • War Mode – a team of attackers must overwhelm a defense team in objective-based, narrative-driven gameplay.

Following the MW3 release date, these modes (except Invasion, Ground War, and War Mode) all took place in remade classic maps from the original Modern Warfare 2. Future seasons then add more MW3 maps and modes to the multiplayer roster, including a mix of new and classic locations.

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Modern Warfare 3 zombies

MW3 brought fan-favorite Zombies mode to the Modern Warfare universe for the first time. That isn’t the only first, as the enclosed wave mode becomes open-world in MW3. MW3 Zombies is arguably the best thing about the series installment, also lifting a lot from DMZ mode – but with added monsters. Contraband items come to the exfil mode, so if you die, you lose everything. Zombies spawn everywhere around you, while human mercenaries pose another threat, and contracts can be completed – so long as you keep both human and undead foes at bay.

Modern Warfare 3 carry forward

Given that Modern Warfare 3 was a direct sequel to MW2, the team decided to link the two more than ever before, allowing you to carry your best MW2 guns into Modern Warfare 3 with the MW3 carry forward mechanic. Guns, operators, camos, and more all appear in your MW3 account, and can be used in multiplayer and zombies modes. They must still be unlocked in MW3 though, but once you’ve done so, they are then leveled up to the same stage as they were in MW2. Presumably, this is to make things a bit fairer for new players.

That’s everything about the Modern Warfare 3 release date, and you can follow the links throughout this guide to get more help on jumping into the game. Naturally, to do anything in MW3, you’re going to need to get your hands on the best MW3 guns and the best Modern Warfare 3 loadouts, so we’ve got those for you as well.

Take a look at some of our other Modern Warfare 3 guides: