Modern Warfare 3 Multiplayer Perk Guide

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In Modern Warfare 3, the multiplayer isn’t just about weapon choice — it’s all about the perks. You can equip up to three perks, one in each tier, and combine them to make yourself into the perfect fighting force. As you level, you’ll unlock new perks, and by using those perks, you’ll unlock special Pro effects that give those perks an added bonus when chosen. It’s all a complicated business, so let us help you figure it out with some information on perks, listed and collected in one place.

If you’re more into the singleplayer side of things, check out Game Front’s text and video walkthrough for Modern Warfare 3′s campaign. For more special information and content, stop by the cheats page.

Perk Guide

Perk 1

Recon: Unlocked at Level 4

  • Standard Effect: Any enemies that take explosive damage will be highlighted on the minimap for 12 seconds. Including flashbangs.
  • Pro Effect: Any enemy hit with bullets will be highlighted. Combine this with an LGM and Impact Proficiency, and you can hit targets through walls and see where they’re hiding.
  • Pro Perk Challenge: Paint enemies with Recon. That means you’ll need to mark enemies with explosive blasts; Frag, Concussion, Flashbangs, or any Launchers will work.

Sleight of Hand: Unlocked at Level 4

  • Standard Effect: Doubles your reload speed. Great for SMGs or any weapon that fires quickly, where you’ll be reloading often.
  • Pro Effect: Doubles the speed you switch weapons. Dump the pistol, you can switch quickly between any two weapons. Bring an Assault Rifle and a Shotgun, and don’t worry about that slow switch speed anymore.
  • Pro Perk Challenge: Kill enemies with Sleight of Hand set. Simple, just kill your enemies with Sleight of Hand active as your chosen perk.

Blind Eye: Unlocked at Level 11

  • Standard Effect: You can’t be spotted by air support or sentries, and you’re invisible to any enemy controllable pointstreaks. You’re invisible to all air support, thermal scopes, drones, sentry guns, and remote-controlled sentries. Just remember to stay away from players without this perk, or you’ll eat an explosion with them.
  • Pro Effect: Great against vehicles, this perk doubles your launcher lock-on time and gives your weapons a 60% damage bonus against air support and deployable Pointstreaks.
  • Pro Perk Challenge: Use the Bline Eye set to destroy Pointstreak rewards — air support, sentries, and drones all count towards this challenge.

Extreme Conditioning: Unlocked at Level 22

  • Standard Effect: Doubles your sprint distance, letting you sprint longer. Great for nullifying the slow-down brought on by weapons like a LGM or a Sniper Rifle.
  • Pro Effect: Doubles your mantling speed. That means climbing. Useful especially when lugging around heavy weapons like a LMG.
  • Pro Perk Challenge: Just do lots and lots of sprinting with the Extreme Conditioning set chosen.

Scavenger: Unlocked at Level 38

  • Standard Effect: Defeated enemies will drop ammo backpacks for bullet and throwing knife resupply. If you like your attachments and don’t want to give up your specific weapon in a match, bring this perk with you and you’ll never run out of ammo… as long as you’re good at killing your opponents.
  • Pro Effect: Get two extra magazines when you spawn. Not especially useful, but handy for players that like to shoot a lot — which is everyone, right?
  • Pro Perk Challenge: Resupply using Scavenger. Just keep killing and resupplying with the dropped ammo backpacks.

Perk 2

Quickdraw: Unlocked at Level 4

  • Standard Effect: Halves ADS time, meaning you can look down your sights faster. You’ll have a slight edge in mid-range combat, especially combined with SMGs and holographic sights. If you plan on being an aggressive player armed with a Sniper Rifle, this perk is vital for quickly scoping your targets.
  • Pro Effect: Doubles the speed of equipment usage. Throw grenades twice as quickly, set up sentries, deploy any equipment faster. If you’re feeling vulnerable, use the Pro Perk.
  • Pro Perk Challenge: Get kills within a few seconds of entering ADS. Whenever you kill an opponent a few seconds after looking down your sights, you’ll fulfill this challenge. Just avoid lingering while scoped, and play aggressively.

Blast Shield: Unlocked at Level 4

  • Standard Effect: Explosive damage reduced by 45%. Basically, you’re more likely to survive a grenade blast. You can survive just about any explosive weapon this way — mines, claymores, and Air Support won’t touch you. Bring this perk when you’re playing a heavy objective-based game mode.
  • Pro Effect: Instead of explosive damage, you’re protected from flashbangs. The pro effect provides for 50% reduction to your blind or stun duration. Perfect for camping in interiors or small spaces. An enemy will try to flashbang you, then run in for the kill — but the trick will be on them.
  • Pro Perk Challenge: Don’t die from explosions while Blast Shield is chosen — you’ll need to take explosive damage, but survive.

Hardline: Unlocked at Level 15

  • Standard Effect: 1 point reduction to all Pointstreak rewards. This might seem pretty lame, but this perk is more useful for purchasing low-cost Poinstreaks. You’ll be able to easily access UAV support, or any other support package that can give your team an edge.
  • Pro Effect: After a set of two assists, you’ll gain a Pointstreak point. Death Streaks need one fewer death. Not exactly a Pro choice, but it can help players that lose kills to their team.
  • Pro Perk Challenge: Just earn Pointstreaks while Hardline is your chosen perk. You’ll be doing plenty of that anyway.

Assassin: Unlocked at Level 27

  • Standard Effect: You won’t be detected by UAVs, AUAVs, Portable RADAR, Thermal Sights, or Heartbeat Sensors. Perfect for stealthy players.
  • Pro Effect: With this perk, you won’t show up red on crosshairs when targeted, neither will your name. You’re also immune to EMP and CUAV effects. Even more perfect for stealthy players, this perk is great for chaotic game types like deathmatch or team deathmatch, where teams will be mixed together, and most opponents will need to confirm you’re an enemy. Without the red crosshair or name, you’ll have an extra split-second to take them down.
  • Pro Perk Challenge: Kill while an enemy UAV is online. Just that simple.

Overkill: Unlocked at Level 47

  • Standard Effect: Allows you to equip two primary weapons. This perk gives you a lot more leeway with your weapon combinations. Combining the Assault Rifle and Shotgun can give you an edge, or combining the Sniper Rifle with an Assault Rifle or Shotgun. It’s best to bring two weapons to cover different ranges of combat, such as short-range to mid-range, or long-range to short-range.
  • Pro Effect: Allows you to give your second primary weapon one attachment. A nice bonus for players that like their hand-picked custom weapons.
  • Pro Perk Challenge: Choose a second primary weapon and kill with it. Just that simple. Pretend your first primary weapon doesn’t exist for awhile.

Perk 3

Marksman: Unlocked at Level 4

  • Standard Effect: When highlighting an enemy, their red enemy name and red crosshair appears at longer range. It’s a subtle effect, but invaluable to long-range players. Using an AR or Sniper Rifle, it helps to spot enemies without having to worry if they’re a teammate or not.
  • Pro Effect: Lets you hold your breath for twice the normal duration. This is only really helpful for Snipers still learning the ropes, a Sniper with enough experience won’t need the extra time.
  • Pro Perk Challenge: While holding your breath, get some kills. Holding your breath should help you be more accurate, so this challenge is only natural.

Stalker: Unlocked at Level 4

  • Standard Effect: Move at full-speed while in ADS, or aiming down the sights. Perfect for aggressive players at mid or close-range. It’ll give you the edge in speed while tareting opponents, letting you weave away from their fire while you return fire accurately.
  • Pro Effect: Gives you a two second delay for Claymores, Bouncing Betties, and IMSs once activated. Useful for players that stumble around and walk into traps, but it won’t guarantee your safety, just give you two extra seconds to escape.
  • Pro Perk Challenge: Kill while ADS, or while looking down the sights, with Stalker as your set perk.

Sitrep: Unlocked at Level 19

  • Standard Effect: Allows you to detect any enemy Equipment or deployable Pointstreaks. Great for objective-based game mode, while this perk is active, any enemy equipment will have a red glow that’s visible anywhere on the map. Including grenades and mines, meaning you won’t need to worry about stumbling into C4. This is a powerful perk, and can help you spot opponents, as any new equipment is deployed by a player or will attract other players to it.
  • Pro Effect: Enemy footsteps become much louder. Put on those headphones, and you won’t have to worry about other players sneaking up on you. Only really useful with a good sound set-up.
  • Pro Perk Challenge: Defeat and destroy any enemy devices with Sitrep as your picked perk.

Steady Aim: Unlocked at Level 30

  • Standard Effect: Your hip-fire spread is reduced by 35%. Forget ADS and just spray bullets with your chosen SMG or Shotgun. Or, if you really want to use weapons akimbo, take this perk to steady their very poor accuracy.
  • Pro Effect: Allows you to recover from melee attacks 40% faster. Meaning, after a knife lunge, you’ll put away the knife and get out your weapon again with increased speed.
  • Pro Perk Challenge: With Steady Aim set, kill while shooting from the hip. Just shoot wildly, perfect for close-combat with SMGs, Shotguns, or Machine Pistols. Just remember to bring extra ammo.

Dead Silence: Unlocked at Level 55

  • Standard Effect: Your movement is now silent, and halves the duration of active Recon from 12 seconds to 6 seconds if you’re pegged with an explosive. Very effective combined with silenced weapons and a mobile players that doesn’t want to be detected on RADAR.
  • Pro Effect: Take no falling damage, at all. Drop from tall locations to ambush unsuspecting players below you with your knife.
  • Pro Perk Challenge: Get close-range kills. With your knife. You’ll have to either be very stealthy or very aggressive.

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2 Comments on Modern Warfare 3 Multiplayer Perk Guide


On January 23, 2012 at 10:52 am

if you destroy your own trophy system it will count for sitrep


On March 9, 2012 at 4:17 pm

You don’t need to use your knife to get a close range kill for Dead Silence Pro. Any weapon will do – but you do need to be close!