MW3 Prestige Leveling Guide – How to rank up quickly in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 (Version 2.0)“Our deepest fear is NOT that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”This guide is meant to help you level up faster while playing Modern Warfare 3. I started making leveling guides for call of duty back in MW2 because I needed a way to level up quickly. I have a wife, 2 kids and a full time job so I don’t have as much time as I did in college to play video games. Yet, I still wanted access to all of the bonuses that come with prestiging in Call of Duty so I began researching leveling strategies and techniques to help me level up fast. After dozens of hours of testing and implementing different leveling strategies, I feel I have created the most comprehensive and most beneficial leveling guide available.

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Why should you listen to me?

I have been playing video games all my life. I consider myself a gamer through and through. I have won over $40,000 worth of prizes playing in Call of Duty competitions. By using the techniques in this guide I was able to max out at 8th prestige Level 80 with around 4 days of in game time played. That means on average I was going through an entire prestige every 11 hours. Talk about overdrive. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Dozens of well known call of duty players within the community have praised my guide as being one of the best guides they have ever seen, including Woodysgamertag & WickedShrapnel.

Why should I prestige?

Other than increasing the size of your e-peen, prestiging in MW3 gives you a unique in-game prestige icon or emblem that shows up next to your player name. You also unlock prestige tokens that can be used to purchase in game rewards through the prestige shop.

In the prestige shop, you can spend prestige tokens on the following rewards:

Extra custom class slotsDouble XP (2 hours in game time)Double Weapon XPRegular Package (unlocks an extra callsign title & emblem)Hardened Package (Requires prestige 5: unlocks an extra callsign title & emblem)Veteran Package (Requires prestige 10: unlocks an extra callsign title & emblem)Unlock Gear (choose one weapon, equipment or perk to unlock permanently on every prestige from that point forward)Reset All Stats (resets everything, including your prestige level)

NOTE: If you prestiged in any of the previous call of duty games (xbox 360 and PS3 only) you will automatically receive one bonus token for each COD game you have already prestiged in. You can only receive one token per game, regardless of your prestige level in that game, for a total of 4 potential prestige tokens (COD 4, COD WaW, COD MW2, COD Black Ops)

The prestige emblems or in-game icons that you unlock for each prestige are shown below.


Update: Five Prestige Levels and Icons were added during a recent update. Another five are supposed to be released at a later date. There emblems are shown below (There is so much diversity, I know…)


Before deciding to prestige, ask yourself if it is worth it. Do you enjoy leveling up? Is there a prestige icon that you really want? Do you want extra custom classes or other prestige bonuses? Every time you prestige you will lose all your unlocked guns, perks and equipment so make sure that you want to do it. Some people like to prestige just because they enjoy leveling up and unlocking things. Other people despise leveling up and just want to stay at level 80 forever. I am somewhere in the middle. I enjoy leveling up, and I really like the 8th prestige icon. So I decided to level up to 8th prestige and then I stopped leveling there. That allowed me to unlock all my custom classes and display my favorite prestige icon next to my name.

How much experience is required to prestige?

The maximum amount of experience you can earn per prestige in MW3 is 1,746,200 XP. This is spread out over 80 levels. That is quite a bit different from Modern Warfare 2, which had 70 levels and a maximum experience of 2,516,000. So while MW3 has 10 more levels to go through than MW2, the total amount of experience necessary to prestige is more than 30% less.

Leveling scales up as you level up, which means that the later levels will take much longer to get through than the early levels. Experience wise, half way through a prestige is around level 60.

Here is a breakdown of each level in MW3, and how much experience is required to reach it:

LevelXP Required% CompleteXP to Next Level

How long is this going to take?

Leveling up in Call of Duty even when using the tips in this guide is still a lengthy process. Depending on the skill of you and your team it could take anywhere from 12-24 hours of in game time played to prestige.

If you can complete 80 levels in under 12 hours of game time played you are leveling at a great pace. I maxed out at 8th prestige Level 80 with around 101 hours (4.21 Days) of in game time played. That means I leveled at a pace of about 7.12 levels an hour and on average I went through 1 prestige every 11.2 hours of in game time played. While this is not the fastest I have seen, it is up there.

Leveling basics

As I mentioned earlier, leveling is based upon experience earned while doing in game tasks such as kills, assists, captures, calling in pointstreaks or destroying enemy poinstreaks. So the number one way to level up quicker is to get better at the game. That being said, this guide is not focused on helping you get better at the game. If you would like some tips on getting better at Call of Duty, subscribe to my youtube channel at youtube.com/oTradeMark

Aside from active in game tasks that earn you experience, the 2 other main ways you earn experience is through your match bonus and your challenges.

Match Bonus

Match bonus is experience earned at the end of each game as a bonus for staying until the game ends (rather than quitting out or dashboarding). The multiplier for your match bonus is twice as big if you win than if you lose. So that brings me to my first leveling tip of the guide:

Leveling Tip #1: Win

And what’s the easiest way to win consistently? Play with a competent group of players that communicate and go for the objectives. If you usually play solo, try getting a group together of people you can play with. If you don’t have any friends that you play with already, checkout hupitgaming.com to find some players you can play with.

If you would like to know exactly how the match bonus is calculated read below (thanks to Pozzuh & BlakCrow
reddit)Match Bonus = S x T x ((R + 6) / 12) … Where:

S = Scaler (1 if Win, 0.5 otherwise)T = The length of time the game lasted (in seconds)R = Rank (1-80)

So let’s say my rank is 65. I’m playing FFA which has a max game length of 10min and I won the match after 7 min and 46 seconds (=471 sec)Match Bonus = 1 x 471 x ((65 + 6) / 12) = 2787

And let’s say my rank is 80. I’m playing Kill confirmed which has a max game length of 10min and I lose the match after 10 min. (=600sec)Match Bonus = 0.5 x 600 x ((80 + 6) / 12) = 2150

Leveling Tip #2: Play the game types which cater to you and your teams play style while still being able to enjoy the game.Gametypes

In previous COD games there have been stand out gametypes that offer leveling advantages. In MW3, I feel that the best gametype for leveling depends on your strengths and preferences. Overall, I think the 4 gametypes with the best leveling potential are Search and Destroy, Team Defender, Domination and Kill Confirmed.

Search and Destroy is a 1-life per round, bomb plant based game. The winner is the team that wins the best of 7 rounds, or first to 4 round wins. SnD has always been a strong way to level up for players who can get a lot of kills each game. SnD offers a whopping 500 XP per kill and bomb plant, which turns into a huge 1000 XP per kill when used in conjunction with double XP. For players that can consistently get a lot of kills and plants/defuses in SnD, this is a great way to level up. But if you are impatient like me and find yourself running straight into the nearest enemy claymore at the start of each round,then you are just going to spend most of the game dead, watching your teammates play and earning absolutely zero experience.

Team Defender is a new game type to MW3. It is similar to Halo’s oddball. The game is TDM based, first team to 7500 score wins, but the catch is that there is 1 flag on the map at all times. Whichever team possess’ the flag also earns a bonus score towards the team whenever they earn kills. Most people dislike Team Defender, as the spawns are very tightly bunched, sporadic, and lead to a lot of hectic deaths and score changes. But a solid group of players will learn how to camp one area and rack up kills very quickly on the enemy team. The reason these games are so quick to level up is because it is basically a TDM game where the enemy team is constantly running towards the flag (rather than camping like usual TDM games). Just make sure that you play this game type with a team of competent players, because if you play against another team that is well organized you will figure out that it is very difficult to break a 6 man defense all camping a couple of choke points on the map.

Domination is my next recommendation for game types and by far my most played game type. Domination earns you +50XP for a kill as well as +150XP for a flag capture and +50XP for a flag defend. If you play aggressively in a game like this you can easily rack up a lot of points and kills. Because it is my favorite game type I am partially biased towards it, but statistically it offers a lot of advantages too. If you strictly compare Score Per Minute on gametypes you will see that SnD offers a huge advantage versus other traditional gametypes, as it takes 10 domination kills to equal 1 SnD kill. But what most players don’t take into consideration is that when you are playing SnD, you are going to have a very difficult time earning in game challenges, as most of them are based around kills or other actions that do not happen nearly as much in SnD. Through one prestige I will earn hundreds of thousands of experience points on challenges alone, which I believe trumps the leveling potential of SnD.

NOTE: Challenge XP is not doubled. So if playing on a double XP weekend or while utilizing double XP hours, S&D becomes even more effective for leveling.

Kill confirmed is my final game type recommendation. Kill Confirmed is another TDM based gametype which rewards you for kills and collecting dog tags (confirming or denying a kill). The reason why kill confirmed is a great game type to level up quickly is because it’s faster paced than TDM and at the same type offers more leveling potential. When you kill a player you get +50 XP. When you deny a kill you get +50 XP. When you kill a player and collect their dog tag, you earn +100 XP. When you kill a player AND A TEAMMATE collects that dog tag, YOU STILL EARN +100 XP. Then last but certainly not least, when you die and recover your own dog tag you get +250 XP, the equivalent of 5 objective kills! Kill confirmed is a great way to level up for these reasons. Even if you aren’t the best slayer, you can collect and deny dog tags all game and earn more XP than the highest killing person on your team!

To sum it all up, the best game type for leveling depends on what type of a player you are as well as who you play with and what type of players they are. And remember that you should be playing this game to have fun, so if there are certain gametypes that you dislike, simply don’t play them.

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Aside from being rewarded XP for your match bonus and in game actions, the other major way you level up is through completing in game challenges. MW3 challenges are specific tasks that you need to complete in order to earn a set amount of experience and they are either static (complete once and you are done) or progressive (multiple tiers or levels of the challenge are consecutively completed)

No matter who you are, as you play the game you will complete challenges. But if you want to maximize your leveling efficiency, you want to plan out your challenges in a way that maximizes your experience gain during the time you spend playing. The next few sections are dedicated to all the different challenges in the game,

Leveling Tip #3: Complete your primary and secondary weapon challenges as efficiently as possible. Get 500 kills with a primary before moving on, and earn the mastery challenges for your best secondaries.Primary Weapon Challenges

Let’s take a look at a typical set of challenges related to a primary weapon: