Everything you need to know about Modern Warfare III's Ranked Play

by Danny Craig  ·  Updated 
Everything you need to know about Modern Warfare III's Ranked Play

Call of Duty Modern Warfare III players have finally gotten their hands on the long-awaited Ranked Play mode after a short delay. If you’re a part of the hype or just trying to figure out what it's all about, we’ve got the details right here.

What is MW3 Ranked Play?

Ranked Play is a brand new multiplayer mode in MW3 where players battle others of a similar skill level with the goal of reaching the top of the global leaderboard.

Players will begin their journey right at the bottom of the food chain as a level 1 in the “Bronze” tier. As you win games, you will be given “skill rating” or “SR” based on your performance. Once you surpass a certain threshold, your rank will increase.

How to unlock MW3 Ranked Play

To access Ranked Play, you must be level 55, which can be achieved by participating in public matches. This restriction has been put in place in an attempt to prevent cheaters from using new accounts to wreak havoc.

What are the main differences from public matches?

The first major difference between Ranked and public matches is the shift from 6v6 to 4v4. This change makes every player more important to the team’s overall performance, with individual plays having a much bigger impact on the outcome of a match.

Another change from public matches is the introduction of restrictions on weapons, equipment, perks, and killstreaks. These bans have been put in place with the assistance of pro players to keep things as competitive as possible by removing unbalanced items entirely.

Notably, all Modern Warfare II weapons and attachments have been banned outright in order to force players to use MW3’s arsenal.

Other noteworthy bans include all battle rifles, shotguns, light machine guns, marksman rifles and launchers, most killstreaks, and the majority of grenades. If you want to check out all of the restrictions, you can do so on the CDL website, where they are frequently updated with every major change.

What ranks are there?

MW3’s Ranked mode features a total of eight skill divisions:

  • Bronze

  • Silver

  • Gold

  • Platinum

  • Diamond

  • Crimson

  • Iridescent

  • Top 250

Between Bronze and Iridescent, each division features three ranks.

Once a player finds themselves in the Top 250 in the world, they need to continue winning to gain enough SR to overtake the person in front of them on the leaderboard. If you’re overtaken in the 250th spot, you’ll drop back down to Iridescent 3.

Who can I play with?

Players can team up between Bronze and Platinum with no restrictions. When players reach Diamond and Crimson, they can only team with players within two skill divisions. Iridescent and T250 players can only team within one skill division.

What modes are available?

When entering matchmaking for Ranked, you may notice that there’s no option to select specific game modes as you would in Quick Play. The mode will automatically match you into one of three game modes: Hardpoint, Search & Destroy, or Control. All three modes are available in slightly different variations in public matches, but there are a number of rule changes for a more competitive 4v4 game. Full details regarding game mode settings can be found on the CDL settings page, along with a list of map and mode combinations.

How do I change my class?

Ranked play does not use your public match classes, so remember to create some new ones in the ranked lobby before searching for a game. All unrestricted guns, attachments, perks, and equipment are immediately unlocked for all players, regardless of skill level.

What are the best classes and guns to use?

Unsurprisingly, some guns are far better than others in MW3, and if you’ve played recently, you may have seen some of them in use in public matches already.

The MCW (ACR) assault rifle is the top pick overall, with almost no recoil and solid stats. For those who love a faster playstyle, the Rival-9 is without a doubt the best submachine gun. Don’t forget, you can change classes at any time between deaths and rounds, with many high-level pros switching between ARs and SMGs for certain objectives during a map to capitalize on the benefits of both.

The best classes can be found in detail over at Breaking Point, with multiple variants of both Rival-9 and MCW setups from the top pros.

Hopefully, our handy little guide to MW3’s Ranked Play has helped you out. Best of luck out there!

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