Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III Campaign: How to Play

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III Campaign: How to Play
  1. A direct sequel: Modern Warfare III picks up immediately after the events of Modern Warfare II. Join Captain Price and Task Force 141 as they face off against the ultimate threat, ultranationalist Vladimir Makarov.
  2. Open Combat Missions: New Open Combat Missions redefine the traditional Campaign level. Deploy to wide-open locations and gear up with Supply Boxes, Armor Plates, Vests, and more. Take a stealthy approach or grab a vehicle and drive head-on into danger.
  3. Mission completion rewards: Earn over a dozen in-game rewards for completing the Campaign, including new Calling Cards, Operators, Double XP Tokens, and a special Multiplayer Weapon Blueprint unlocked at game launch for Campaign completion.

From COD HQ, head to the Modern Warfare III section and select the Campaign tile. Even though the game has already launched, we don’t want to spoil anything about it. Follow the prompts when starting the Campaign to choose your difficulty setting and then get right to it. The game will tell you everything you need to know to get started. Prepare for a wild ride.

Choose Your Difficulty Level

The Modern Warfare III Campaign features four difficulty levels. The higher the difficulty level, the greater the challenge. Note that you can change the game’s difficulty level at any time.

Recruit: For players who are new to Call of Duty.

Regular: Your abilities in combat will be tested.

Hardened: Your skills will be strained.

Veteran: You will not survive.

Campaign Mission Rewards

The Campaign consists of 14 different missions. All but one of these missions reward players with the following items upon completion:

  • Operation 627: “Breather” Calling Card
  • Precious Cargo: 30 mins Double Player XP Token & 30 mins Double Weapon XP Token
  • Reactor: “Corso” Operator
  • Payload: “Ghillie Guy” Calling Card
  • Deep Cover: 30 mins XP Token and 30 mins Weapon XP Token
  • Passenger: N/A
  • Crash Site: “Pathfinder” Operator
  • Flashpoint: “Toxic Drip” Calling Card
  • Oligarch: 1 hour Double Player XP Token and 1 hour Double Weapon XP Token
  • Highrise: “Doc” Operator
  • Frozen Tundra: “Skull Rhapsody” Calling Card
  • Gora Dam: 1 hour Double Player XP Token and 1 hour Double Weapon XP Token
  • Danger Close: “Jabber” Operator
  • Trojan Horse: Campaign Completion Emblem and Weapon Blueprint

Open Combat Missions

Modern Warfare III introduces Open Combat Missions (OCMs), which occur throughout the Campaign alongside more traditional single-player missions. OCMs redefine player agency, offering an unparalleled degree of freedom and greatly expanding the playable area.

  1. Fixed objective, endless possibilities: You’re there to complete the mission, but how you do it is up to you. Slip through like a shadow or go in loud and start blasting. Scavenge extra gear throughout the AO to suit your preferred playstyle.
  2. Seek out essential gear: While seeking out new weapons, Armor Plates, and other items, keep your eyes peeled for Ziplines and Ascenders. Often near objective locations, these items skyrocket your movement potential across the map.
  3. But they were just here: Caught off guard and outnumbered? Retreat into the environment, using your Ascender and Parachute to quickly get out of view. If the enemy loses sight of you for long enough, they will eventually stop their direct pursuit, and resort to searching the vicinity for you.

Your Operator

Open Combat Missions require the best of the best. In each mission, you will deploy as a designated member of Task Force 141: Farah, Ghost, Gaz, Soap, or Price.

In your first playthrough of an OCM, your Operator is assigned a starting Loadout according to the mission’s narrative, including the Spotter Scope to better scan the environment for enemy threats, tagging enemies, locating equipment, and discovering information about points of interest. One of your first tasks is to seek out better gear, of which there is an abundance, found throughout the area of operations.

Gear Up

Expect to find all sorts of useful items in OCMs, including new weapons, Equipment, Field Upgrades, and even Armaments (that Multiplayer Operators know as “Killstreaks”) that will boost your offensive and defensive capabilities. Of particular importance, however, are the Parachute, Ascender, and Armor Plate Carrier upgrades.

Parachute: The Parachute is a game changer, allowing you to safely jump from great heights and soar over long distances. Follow the button prompt when jumping from a high point to activate the Parachute. When you’re close to landing, your Operator will automatically cut the rope and return to a standing position, or you can cut the cord manually to force a landing.

Ascender: Going up! The Ascender helps you reach the highest points on the map. With this item, you can zip up ropes that lead to places in key positions throughout the environment, or ziplines to move across long horizontal distances. Use your elevated or newly-acquired position to escape a problematic situation, snipe from a distance, or, if you’ve got the Parachute, reposition far from your current location.

Plate Carrier Upgrade Vest: Initially, your Operator can only equip one Armor Plate at a time, a reasonable-enough defense in minor battles but lacking when the action gets hectic. Find a Plate Carrier Upgrade Vest to increase the number of Armor Plates you can equip at a time. When you first find the Vest, your carrying capacity will increase to two Armor Plates, and then three after finding another one. Now you’re ready for anything.

Getting Around: Your Tac Map and Minimap

Tac Map

The Tac Map is of essential importance, providing an overview of the objective and its location. A legend indicates the position of important items, and a tracker shows your most important gear and the weapons and items you’ve discovered in the level.

When first deploying into an OCM, the majority of the Tac Map will be covered in a fog of war. As you explore the environment, the fog will be lifted, revealing greater environmental detail.


Use the minimap to pinpoint items in your immediate surroundings without needing to pull up your Tac Map. Discovered weapons, Supply Boxes, Field Upgrades, and other Armaments will be displayed here along with the objective location and other points of interest.

Enemy Alert Levels: The minimap is also your cue to the enemy’s current alert level. When you’ve been seen, the borders will turn yellow, indicating that they are aware of something in the vicinity without knowing your exact location. If found — or if you initiate the attack — the borders will turn red to show that they know where you are. At this time, an enemy may even throw the alarm to call in reinforcements.

The enemies themselves also follow this color-coded system. Red dots on the minimap indicate enemies rushing to engage in combat, while yellow dots represent enemies on the lookout.

With fast movement and clever repositioning, it’s possible to get out of the alert state. Red will revert to yellow when they’ve lost you but are still on guard for your whereabouts, and then will return to a less aggressive state  if you continue to remain out of sight. At this point, you can resume your stealth operations, or just get into a better position before going guns blazing again.

Play It Again

OCMs reward exploration and repeated playthroughs with weapons and items found throughout the level. When you replay an OCM, you get to customize your starting Loadout based on the weapons and items you’ve found in previous playthroughs.

Start the mission with your Parachute and Ascender already in hand, plus any extra Armor Plate carrying capacity earned through Vests. Use your enhanced starting gear to push into higher difficulty levels and/or try out new tactics.

Top 5 Tips for Open Combat Missions

1. There’s always another way. Grab a vehicle and race past the sentries straight to the objective; dive into the water and reposition out of sight; use your Parachute to soar over enemy encampments. OCMs offer endless possibilities in how you approach the task at hand. If something’s not working, revisit your tactics and take a new approach.

2. The right gear for the job. While at first, you’ll need to make do with the gear you’re provided, with enough exploration and scavenging, you’ll soon a wider variety of equipment that can best suit your style of play. If you’re going stealth, Throwing Knives and a Recon Drone are better choices than Frag Grenades and unsuppressed weapons and vice versa.

3. Know your enemy. Even if you’re not going the stealth route, it pays to stay out of sight and scout nearby enemy positions. Look for red vehicles on the minimap indicating enemy patrols, and scan the horizon for snipers and other threats you might miss when rushing straight in. Regardless of your approach, that intel will help you make better decisions in the heat of the moment.

4. Build up your arsenal. OCMs encourage replayability through the accumulation of weapons and items found in the level. Use your arsenal to build out the perfect Loadout on subsequent playthroughs and get right to the task at hand without first needing to scavenge for the proper supplies.

5. Ramp up the challenge. Use your expanded arsenal on subsequent playthroughs to push into higher difficulty levels. Tackling an OCM on Veteran is much more manageable when deploying with your preferred Loadout.

Stay frosty.

© 2023 Activision Publishing, Inc. ACTIVISION, CALL OF DUTY, and MODERN WARFARE are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc. All other trademarks and trade names are the property of their respective owners.

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