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An operator fighting his weapon mid-battle in MW3.
Image via Activision

All new multiplayer modes in Modern Warfare 3

New CoD always means new ways to play.

The upcoming yearly Call of Duty release, Modern Warfare 3, is bringing back a treasure trove of features that players have wanted back for years—as well as some new multiplayer modes.

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Of all the multiplayer game modes in MW3, there’s only a couple modes that will be new when compared to the currently active MW2. One of these is a completely new mode to the franchise, while one is a returning favorite that’s not been seen in CoD for over half a decade. But both share the same focal point: chaos.

New multiplayer modes coming to Modern Warfare 3


An operator kneeling on an enemy brandishing a knife in MW3.
Knife to meet you. Image via Activision

Cutthroat is the new game mode making its official Call of Duty debut with the launch of MW3. This new mode adds 3v3v3 multiplayer gameplay to the game’s core multiplayer maps, but in a high-stakes/high-reward environment.

Each of the three teams must eliminate the other two teams or capture the flag in overtime to win the match. But the catch is that each operator on a team only has a single life per round. While details are still sparse, the wording from the recent CoD blog suggests that this will be a multi-round game similar to a mode like Control or S&D.


An operator parachuting next to a tank in MW3.
Get to the frontlines any way you can. Image via Activision.

This “new” mode coming to MW3 that’s actually a returning favorite is the nearly forgotten but still beloved all-out War mode. War, which is different from the large-scale Ground War mode, debuted in Call of Duty: WWII in 2017, and is back for MW3.

War is a large-scale, multi-stage battle that more resembles a large real-life conflict, and is a mode more typically associated with a series such as Battlefield. Players will compete in “linear engagements” with more narrative-driven combat encounters, while both the attacking and defending sides will be tasked with completing certain objectives, like securing capture points, escorting vehicles, or even launching an ICBM.

In WWII, these long games would allow both teams to compete as attackers and defenders.


MW3 operators fight a horde of Zombies in the new map, Urzikstan.
They seem friendly. Image via Activision

While it’s still technically multiplayer despite being PvE instead of PvP, Zombies is also making a triumphant return.

Zombies in MW3 will pit players against both enemy combatants and the undead for the first time ever, with an extraction objective and an open-world environment this time around. Many of the same original features like perks and increasing difficulty will be there too.

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Image of Scott Robertson
Scott Robertson
VALORANT lead staff writer, also covering CS:GO, FPS games, other titles, and the wider esports industry. Watching and writing esports since 2014. Previously wrote for Dexerto, Upcomer, Splyce, and somehow MySpace. Jack of all games, master of none.