Make your first few hours with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare multiplayer more engaging and less frustrating with our handy tips.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is bringing new mechanics of its own this year, and re-imagining classic mainstays. Most of the big-ticket items are easy to discern, but the core changes to gameplay are worth pointing out.
With so much to learn and discover, Modern Warfare could be one of the deepest Call of Duty entries ever, though it can sometimes be daunting to keep track of what actually matters and what’s just marketing fluff.
Fortunately, we’re here to help. In the tips below, we’re going to highlight some of the biggest tweaks to gameplay you need to pay attention to, and how classic features have evolved. This is strictly multiplayer-focused, so don’t worry about spoilers.
Don’t always super sprint
Super sprint is an entirely new mechanic in Modern Warfare. By default, super sprint is activated by double clicking in the left stick. As the name suggests, this makes your character run incredibly fast, though not without some drawbacks.
The biggest and most obvious is the sprint out time. Compared to walking or regular sprint, your weapon will take the longest to be ready to fire when you come out of a super sprint. If you round a corner in super sprint, you're not going to have enough time to react to oncoming fire. Super sprint is also limited by a stamina meter, meaning you won't be able to use it 100 percent of the time.
Super sprint is best used to rush an objective, such as in the early moments of a round. It's also great for escaping a bad situation, or chasing down an enemy. If you're taking a busy route and know you're going to run into enemy players, use regular sprint instead.
You can change your loadout mid-game
This is one of Modern Warfare’s biggest new features. Now, anytime you want, you’re able to edit your loadout mid-match. This goes for everything in your loadout, including weapon customisation as well as secondaries, perks and your field upgrade.
You’re no longer stuck with the loadouts you brought in. This is excellent when playing Ground War, as you’ll often need a rocket launcher of some sort to take care of a pesky tank or an aggressive streak. If you don't usually run rocket launchers on your loadouts, all it takes is a few seconds to swap one in.
This also essentially allows you to set up classes for your different slots rather than loadouts. Consider building the different loadouts around perks and field upgrades rather than weapons for a quasi-Battlefield experience.
Gunsmith can really screw up your weapon build if you're not careful
Modern Warfare throws a lot of weapon attachments at you. Each gun has around 50-70 levels that will dole out different scopes, stocks, barrels under-attachments and more as you progress. If you get caught up in creating the best-looking gun, you may end up hampering the weapon's performance.
The vast majority of attachments in Modern Warfare each have pros and cons, clearly listed when you select them. Consider this carefully before committing. For example, picking a few of the ones that slow ADS time will stack and can make aiming down sights a chore.
Sprint out times – the time it takes your character to bring up the gun after sprinting - is also a major element affected by your choice of attachments. Pistol and stippled grips, for instance, help with this, but at the cost of accuracy.
All of this is under your control, so long as you're prepared to not always go for form over function.
Get comfortable with using doors to your advantage
Doors, despite how absurd this may sound, are a big deal in Modern Warfare. Much like in battle royale games, doors can be opened and closed, and the game will remember their state.
In Modern Warfare, you can aim down your sight and carefully open the door for a slow peek, creating enough space for a grenade/flashbang to get thrown in. Though it can be hard to stop and observe in the heat of the moment, it pays to be at least aware of how doors can be used.
When a door is opened, whether by force or slowly, players on the other side will hear it. This is a great way to gather intel on an angle you may not be watching, such as a back entry into an objective room in Headquarters.
Closed doors can also signal a camper on the other side, so approach carefully and try to sneak in rather than run through. This is a tactic Blackout and PUBG players will know very well, but it’s great to see in traditional Call of Duty multiplayer.
On some maps, such as Piccadilly, stores will have anti-theft gates that beep anytime a player passes through them. Again, this is great when it's down to the wire in Headquarters, but do keep in mind they can also be used to bait campers.
How the new minimap works now
It can be hard to keep track of the number of changes Infinity Ward has made to the minimap this year. First, there was no minimap at all, a decision that only survived two days of the beta. Then, we got a compromise to please both camps.
In the final game, the minimap is always on in core game modes. The biggest change, however, is that players firing unsuppressed weapons will not show up on it by default. Calling in a personal radar or a traditional UAV will trigger the periodic scans that show those red dots.
Without these killstreaks, the map will only show your teammates. Of course, if you just use a personal radar - since it’s easier to earn - the minimap scans will only be visible to you. Only the standard UAV (and Advanced UAV) will show the scans for everyone on your team.
This should make it worthwhile to run with unsuppressed weapons, seeing as you're not 100 percent guaranteed to show up on the minimap for everyone on the enemy team.
Killstreaks are back and may ruin objective play
If you missed the news, Infinity Ward decided to go against the grain this year by bringing back killstreaks. By default, the only way to earn streaks is to get the required kills with your weapon.
Although you will be able to adjust this behaviour with the help of perks, such as the one that turns them into scorestreaks instead, everyone will start out on the default gunstreak system.
If you’ve been playing Call of Duty for a while, you may already be familiar with why killstreaks were abolished to begin with. The gist is that objective modes such as Domination and Headquarters suffer as a result of this, since putting your life on the life to secure a capture doesn’t lead you to your next streak.
Simply watching sightlines and racking up kills is a tactic many will likely rely on, leaving only a few to make a push for the objective. We’re not here to tell you how good/bad this is, but just know that it’s a thing now.
Spec Ops is a good way to grind out weapon levels
Modern Warfare’s various Spec Ops modes, whether it be Missions, Operations or the PS4-exclusive Survival are all great ways to rank up your different weapons in a relatively risk-free environment.
Infinity Ward talked a lot about consistency in the experience, and having universal weapon/character levels is part of that. If you feel that certain guns need a few attachments to get the most out of, jump into Spec Ops and rank ‘em up before going back to multiplayer.
Beyond that, co-op modes are generally a great opportunity to get familiar with the characteristics of the game’s different tools, such as learning weapon recoil, so don’t pass up the chance to get better alongside others.
In Ground War, vehicles make for excellent anti-streak weapons
Ground War is the biggest mode currently in Modern Warfare. With support for up to 64 players, the mode offers a completely different experience for players accustomed to the classic 6v6 action.
One of Ground War’s major attractions are vehicles, available for any player to drive around and control. Vehicle weapons aren’t restricted by ammo (though you'll need to reload), so you can definitely use them to lock down certain sections of the map, if you have the support of your teammates.
But something many players may not realise is that their turrets are strong enough to knock even the toughest killstreaks out of the sky. Though it can be challenging to line up the shot - thanks to the awkward third-person camera angle - when you finally do it, you can ground any and all air streaks.
This is much safer than pulling out a rocket launcher, so don't be afraid of jumping in one just to take down a killstreak and move on.
Experiment with the new aim assist options
Modern Warfare offers a few new and different ways of aim assist when using a controller. Head into the game’s options, and you should see new settings for aim assist under controls.
The in-game tooltip does a fairly good job of explaining what each of them do, but it’s best to try ‘em out for yourself. As a mouse and keyboard player, I found some of them very helpful in getting me to accurately land my shots when using a controller, but more veteran controller players may find them too restrictive.
This is all subjective, of course, but it’s worth giving them a look if you’ve been struggling recently, or just to see if they can improve your gameplay.
Cross-play is a great new feature
Modern Warfare supports cross-play between all three platforms from day one. This not only means you’re bound to run into players on other consoles, it also means you can party up with your friends on any of the other systems so all of you can jump into the same game.
Matchmaking will only group you with others using the same input method, so keyboard and mouse players on consoles will be playing with PC players by default, and controller players on any platform should only come across other controller players in their lobbies.
This only breaks when someone in your party is using a mouse and keyboard. At which point the game may decide to drop you into a mixed lobby.
A great side effect of this is that PC players can plug in a controller before attempting matchmaking in order to play against controller players on consoles. You won’t be able to change back to mouse and keyboard mid-match, however, and this goes for all platforms.
The Call of Duty player base on PC has traditionally been smaller compared to consoles, so cross-play is a good way to extend the life of the game on PC. PC lobbies won’t be as barren as they are now when anyone can plug in a controller and jump in with console players.