Skip to main content

How to rank up fast in Modern Warfare 3: best ways to farm XP

Every year when the new Call of Duty title drops, the playing field is once again reset as everyone needs to start grinding back up the ranks. Fully embracing the RPG elements, Modern Warfare 3 once again allows you to earn XP as you play match after match to rank up your character, with each rank not only bringing you closer to hitting prestige but also unlocking new options for your chosen operator. Your player rank is unique from your weapon levels and can take a lot longer to grind if you don’t know the most efficient methods. If you want to fast-track your career through the ranks, here are the fastest ways to earn XP in Modern Warfare 3.

How to earn XP fast in Modern Warfare 3

There’s basically no way you can play Modern Warfare 3 without earning XP, but some modes and methods can earn you double (or more) what you could if you were just playing without a plan.

Play the objective

Soldiers fighting near a helipad.
Infinity Ward

We all love playing team deathmatch or any other mode where all you need to worry about is being the one to shoot first. However, if you want to earn that sweet XP fast, you need to choose one of the objective modes like Domination, Hardpoint, Ground War, or even Kill Confirmed. Not only do you get XP for killing enemies, but the amount you get on top of that for playing the objective can make up the bulk of your XP gain. This is especially true if you’re not at the top of your game and end up dying more than you kill since you have another method to contribute. Also, objective modes grant you an XP bonus just for finishing the match.

Always work towards daily and weapon challenges

A soldier with a shotgun in Modern Warfare 3.
Infinity Ward

Modern Warfare 3 is always giving you little tasks to complete. Daily challenges can usually be done in a few matches, but give you a nice payout of  2,500 XP each that you might as well aim for while playing anyway. Some could be done by accident, but most ask you to use specific weapons or equipment so you probably will need to modify your loadout for a round or two.

Weapon challenges are tied to each weapon, obviously, and can get you some cool cosmetic items like new skins for them, but also XP. These are generally more difficult than the simple daily challenges, such as getting headshots or kills from a certain distance with specific guns, but also reward you with 10,000 XP so are well worth using a gun you might otherwise ignore.

Pop your double XP tokens

A soldier initiating a lunch with a phone.
Infinity Ward

Of course, activating a double XP token will instantly double how fast you generate XP for a duration of time. Double XP tokens come in different forms, such as pure double XP, double weapon XP, operator XP, or battle pass XP, and can only be obtained in a few ways. There are occasional events where you can earn these tokens in-game, or special double XP weekend events where XP is automatically doubled, as well as being rewarded for certain challenges. If you’re desperate, you can also find special promo products in stores that include codes for double XP tokens that can be activated at various times. While we don’t recommend the latter method, always be aware of when double XP events are happening and try to grind out as much as you can during those times.

Jesse Lennox
Jesse Lennox loves writing, games, and complaining about not having time to write and play games. He knows the names of more…
Best Perk-a-Colas in Modern Warfare 3 zombies, ranked
A lineup of perk sodas from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Ever since perks were introduced to the series, they've been a staple in every game mode in Call of Duty. For Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, you can obviously pick your perks during multiplayer, but not so in Zombies. This mode has always made perks work slightly differently, using different names, but similar mechanics. This time around, the Perk-a-Colas have returned, and these cans of refreshing soda just so happen to give your character a massive improvement. You can grab one from a vending machine on the map in exchange for your points, but they don't come cheap. Since these perks last you the rest of the match (or until used for some of them), you will want to choose your flavor wisely. These are all nine Perk-a-Colas in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 ranked from best to worst.

It is important to note that the location where each perk machine spawns on the new Zombies map is random for every match. There's no way to know where any specific perk will be, but you can see where perk machines spawn on your map as indicated by a downward pointing arrow.

Read more
The best field upgrades for Modern Warfare 3 Zombies
A man holding a mysterious glowing vial.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3's Zombies mode puts a slight twist on the mechanics you are already familiar with. It now plays much more like a souped-up DMZ mode rather than its old round-based format. And Field Upgrades have been modified in terms of both their effects and how you get them just for this game type. There are six different Field Upgrades you can bring into the map and use on a cooldown timer to help improve your chances of survival, but you can only pick one at a time. You will begin the game with only one option, but steadily unlock the rest as you level up. Once you have them all, the question then becomes which is the best Field Upgrade? We've managed to exfiltrate with the answer.

Healing Aura
Regardless of whether or not you're playing with a team or running solo, Healing Aura is no doubt the best Field Upgrade to bring on any Zombie run. When activated, you and any teammates in the area will not only gain immediate healing, but it will also instantly revive any downed teammates. The downside to all this power is that this upgrade has the slowest recharge time and is unlocked at level 19.
Aether Shroud
This is another upgrade that you will be glad to have. Aether Shroud makes you you temporary invisibile to all Zombies. This won't make you invincible, mind you, and PMCs can still take shots, but if you're getting swarmed and have no way to escape, becoming instantly invisible to a bloodthirsty pack of zombies can save your skin more often than you think. This upgrade has a medium recharge rate and is unlocked when you hit level 39.
Frenzied Guard
Just past the halfway mark, Frenzied Guard has a massive upside, but not without some risk. When you pop this Field Upgrade, you instantly repair all your armor, but also draw all the aggression of any enemy nearby for 10 seconds. However, another perk is that anything you kill during this time also repairs your armor, so situationally, it can be great or detrimental. This one recharges slowly, unlocking at level 9.
Frost Blast
Frost Blast does exactly what you expect: it fires a freezing blast that will slow down any enemy you hit with it and deal a bit of damage. It's decent in a pinch, but not a game-changer. You can get it when you hit level 29.
Tesla Storm
An odd ability on paper, Tesla Storm is only good if you have a team working together. Activating it will create a lightning chain between you and your team that will damage and stun enemies that get close to any one of you. It lasts for 10 seconds and can be great in the final moments while holding out for an extraction, but not in other situations. It recharges slowly and is the last upgrade you unlock at level 50.
Energy Mine
This is your default Field Upgrade, so it makes sense that it's the "worst" on the list. Energy Mine isn't exactly bad; you simply lay down a mine that does what a mine does -- explodes. It's just that setting up traps like this in Zombies isn't all that applicable except when kiting a boss around or waiting for the helicopter. It has a medium recharge speed.

Read more
How to fix packet burst in Modern Warfare 3
A soldier shields themself from an underwater explosion.

The last thing anyone wants to see when booting up a game like Modern Warfare 3 to head online with your friends is to be stopped by an error. Online games are susceptible to all types of problems beyond the player's control, leading to plenty of frustration and disappointment in a possibly ruined experience. While there are more substantial issues that can completely prevent you from playing, seeing the packet burst issue is almost worse because, while it does let you play, you will experience a ton of lag that makes the game essentially unplayable. If you've been struck by a packet burst error in Modern Warfare 3, here are some possible solutions so you can get back to fragging.
How to fix packet burst errors

If you spot a symbol of three squares on the left of your screen while playing Modern Warfare 3, it means you're suffering from a packet burst. This is essentially an error where something is messed up in the communication between your system and the game's servers, resulting in terrible performance. While it could be simply an issue on the server side and not related to you at all, which you can check by looking at the Modern Warfare 3 server status here, there are a few things you can do to potentially fix the issue on your end.

Read more