Best Modern Warfare 3 Loadouts: Attachments, Perks, & Playstyles

It’s hard to nail down Modern Warfare 3’s best weapons in the early days, but these are our picks for the most clutch loadouts.

The battleground of Favela returns in Modern Warfare 3.

Image via Activision.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3’s beta is here and I’ve been deep in the trenches figuring out exactly which weapons are worth using in the early days. The Beta selections are limited, and building Loadouts around all the restrictions is tricky, but I’ve narrowed it down to three amazing options

This won’t be as detailed as you’re accustomed to thanks to all the features that aren’t available in this version of MW3, but I’m confident you’ll find something to love if you give these a shot. I’ll also be updating my choices as new things are discovered, so check back in regularly to see what’s on the cutting edge. Here are the best weapons and loadouts in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Related: CoD Modern Warfare 3: Every Killstreak in Open Beta Ranked From Best to Worst

Best Modern Warfare 3 Assault Rifle Loadout & Playstyle

The MCW is Modern Warfare 3's best Assault Rifle by far.
Screenshot by Gamepur.

So far, the MCW is outperforming every other Assault Rifle. It’s essentially a revamped version of the Modern Warfare 3 (2011) ACR and I think it’s hands down the best weapon in the beta. Using the default class version of the gun will give you a taste of how good it can be.

When you’ve unlocked the gun for yourself, level it up and slap on the 16.5″ MCW Cyclone Barrel and the RB Talon-X3 Rear Grip. It’s a strange combo, but it eliminates pretty much all of the gun’s recoil. Unfortunately, you’ll have to get the Striker to Level 12 to unlock the Slate Reflector, which is the easiest no-fuss Optic in the beta.

Pair this up with the XRK Edge BW-4 Handstop for improved accuracy, while the Tempus A90 Strike Stock enhances your strafe speed.

MCW LoadoutAttachments
Barrel 16.5″ MCW Cyclone
UnderbarrelXRK Edge BW-4 Handsto
Rear GripRB Talon-X3 Grip
StockTempus A90 Strike Stock
OpticSlate Reflector

I also recommend going with the Infantry Vest until you hit level 20, at which point, it’s best to go for the Gunner option. That increased reload speed makes life so much easier, and you can shore up the rest of your worries with your perk slots. Even those are reworked this year though, so read our guide if you’re not sure exactly how they work.

If you’re up to speed there, here’s what I use on my Infantry setup:

  • Vest: Infantry Vest
  • Gloves: Quick-Grip Gloves
  • Boots (Infantry Only): Stalker Boots
  • Gear: Bone Conduction Headset

Note that Gunner takes away your Boots, which is why I’ve marked them with an extra tag.

Quick-Grip replicates the effect of the old Fast Hands perk, allowing you to switch weapons faster. If that doesn’t sound appealing to you: 1. Use the WSP Stinger, I promise it’s good. 2. Refer back to number one.

Stalker Boots unlock the feel of older Call of Duty titles in a major way. ARs have felt stuck in the mud for years now, but with these boots, you’ll be able to out-strafe people instead of having your feet glued to the floor while they Slide Cancel circles around you.

Finally, the Bone Conduction Headset. It’s a wild thing for the devs to include, but we’re taking advantage of its existence. You’ll be able to hear footsteps like never before without the hassle of tampering with things like Loudness Equalization on PC. It’s like having a constant UAV and I can’t recommend it enough.

Best Modern Warfare 3 SMG Loadout & Playstyle

The Striker is Modern Warfare 3's best submachine gun so far.
Screenshot by Gamepur.

The SMG category is a tighter contest, but when the pros say the Striker (UMP-45) is the way to go, I’m inclined to believe them. It’s not as fast as the Rival-9, but it’s far more reliable at a distance, which makes sense for the beta’s map pool. There are lots of long-range gunfights so far, and you won’t win many of them with the other subs.

Striker (UMP-45) LoadoutAttachments
Optic Slate Reflector
Ammunition.45 Auto High Grain
BarrelLachmann Marksman Barrel
StockLachmann Recon Series Stock

Picking the .45 Auto High Grain and Lachmann Marksman Barrel means we’re maximizing lethality down range, and the Recon Series Stock keeps the build from feeling sluggish. I’d expect the Slate Reflector to be the most popular dot-style sight this year, but use what you prefer.

  • Vest: Infantry
  • Gloves: Quick-Grip
  • Boots: Tactical Pads
  • Gear: Bone Conduction Headset

As you might expect, it’s Infantry Vest all the way here. You want to keep the pedal down, and having more Tactical Sprint is the most efficient way. Lightweight Boots also help with that. It’s not an exact science, though. If you’re a mechanics-focused player, Tactical Pads will be the way to go. Try out what feels right and leave behind anything that feels clunky to you.

Personally, the ACS has been the only Field Upgrade worth using so far, and I really like it on this setup. You’ll have more freedom to run around while your robot buddy captures points for you.

Roll with a Flash Grenade and toss on a Semtex while you’re at it. That’ll cover all of your bases with these limited map options. This build makes you very mobile. Move quickly and take map control first if you want this thing to really shine.

Best Modern Warfare 3 Sniper Loadout & Playstyle

The KV Inhibitor is a decent Sniper, but there are other options I'd recommend.
Screenshot by Gamepur.

Week 2 of the beta has been an eye-opener in terms of sniping. I’m still using the KV Inhibitor, but sadly, the Longbow is probably a better option. You can unlock the Longbow at Level 28 as of this weekend, but that’s going to take a considerable amount of time. For those who won’t make it that far, the KV Inhibitor still gets the job done though, especially with the right attachments.

KV Inhibitor Attachments
UnderbarrelFTAC SP-10 Angled Grip
StockIvanov Wood Stock
Rear GripBroadside Factory Grip
BarrelKastovia GXR-12
LaserSL Razorhawk Laser Light

Longbow Sniper Loadout

If you’ve already got the Longbow and are just looking for its optimal build, here’s the build I’ve been using. This thing is a beauty and I can’t recommend it enough.

MuzzleHMRES Mod Suppressor
UnderbarrelXRK Edge BW-4 Handstop
Magazine10 Round Mag
BoltSA-M Quickbolt
StockKV Factory Stock

This is far more of a quickscope-style build than the KV Inhibitor, so if that’s you’re preferred way to play then you’ll have a field day here. Playing around a Sniper Rifle isn’t that much different than using an Assault Rifle these days, so my loadout reflects that. It’s a direct copy of the AR setup above and feels totally competent here.

  • Vest: Gunner Vest
  • Gloves: Quick-Grip Gloves
  • Boots (Infantry Only): Stalker Boots
  • Gear: Bone Conduction Headset

I’ve defaulted to the Flash Grenade and Semtex combo on this one too, but a Smoke Grenade might be nice if you need to make a daring escape from a sticky situation.