Operators from Modern Warfare 3 look to retread some familiar stomping grounds in Favela.
Image via Activision

Modern Warfare 3 Ranked Play: Release Date & Expected Ruleset

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 will be getting Ranked Play earlier than anyone anticipated, but is it the familiar grounds you know and love?

Modern Warfare is coming at us full steam ahead, and another entry in the franchise means another era of Ranked Play. The current system has largely been the same ever since it was implemented in Call of Duty: Vanguard, and players have grown fond of having it around after years of botched attempts.

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The mode is more of a priority now than it ever has been before. That means we get substantial updates about it every offseason. It will be a while before we can all jump in and grind our way and hit the road to Iridescent, but at least we know it’s coming down the highways quite early this year.

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

When is the Release Date for CoD Modern Warfare 3 Ranked Play

Modern Warfare 2's multiplayers is more expansive than ever.
Image via Activision.

At the time of writing, it’s unclear when Ranked Play will release for CoD Modern Warfare 3. Call of Duty Next is always the place to look for early info on any annual release, and the developers delivered again this year. They confirmed Ranked Play will be hitting Modern Warfare mid-Season 1, meaning we can start claiming sweet bragging rights over our friends much earlier than we did in Modern Warfare 2.

There may still be some adjustments up their sleeves, but we should expect to see a very familiar format when it does arrive. That means a limited map pool, three gameplay modes, a long list of banned items, and a whole bunch of ranks to climb if you want to hit the top of the ladder.

Why Won’t Ranked Play be in Modern Warfare 3 at Launch?

Image via Activision

The reason Ranked Play won’t be in CoD Modern Warfare 3 at launch is largely due to the annual nature of Call of Duty. Ranked Play is intended to emulate the professional scene, so that means strict adherence to the Call of Duty League’s unique rules and restrictions. Even in the best of circumstances, it takes weeks for the CDL officials to nail those rules in place.

There is a formula they follow – every year, you’ll see Hardpoint and Search & Destroy in the list of approved modes, but the third game type has rotated over the years. Control has been the standard since Black Ops 4, with only Modern Warfare (2019) deviating from the path, but other experiences such as Uplink and Blitz have previously filled that void.

During these early tests, they also figure out which maps are viable to play all year. It’s typically narrowed down to five options for Hardpoint and S&D maps and fluctuates for the third mode. This all takes time to become official though, and Ranked Play couldn’t function without it.


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Alec Mullins
Alec Mullins is a freelance writer for Gamepur who specializes in FPS games. They spend their time writing novels, listening to The Mountain Goats, and watching the Call of Duty League. Alec's previous work can be seen at TheGamer and Dexerto, and he can be contacted via Twitter (@LifeAsAlec).