Best controller settings for Modern Warfare 3

Max Candelarezi
MW3 Operator in the Gunsmith

A ton of new content made its way to MW3 with the Season 4 Reloaded update, but to enjoy the new weapons and dominate your matches, you’ll need to configure your controller settings.

Here are the best controller settings for aim assist, inputs, sensitivity, and more.

Controller settings

Inputs

  • Button Layout Preset: Tactical
  • L1 Button Ping: Off
  • Flip L1/R1 with L2/R2: If you want faster button press time or play with claw grip, you could turn this on
  • Stick Layout Preset: Default
  • Controller Vibration: Off
  • Trigger Effect: Off

Modern Warfare 3 introduced a new Deadzone Input Test, that lets you accurately test your sticks’ deadzone in real-time and precisely configure them.

Reducing your Deadzone settings to their minimum values enhances both your reaction time and fine-aim control, resulting in quicker responses and greater accuracy.

Modern Warfare 3 Deadzone Input Test
The Deadzone Input Test grants you deep sticks and button behavior customization.

Aiming

  • Horizontal Stick Sensitivity: 6
  • Vertical Stick Sensitivity: 6
  • ADS Sensitivity Multiplier: 0.90
  • Sensitivity Multiplier:
    • Ground Vehicles: 1.00
    • Tablet: 1.00
  • Verticle Aim Axis:
    • On Foot: Standard
    • Ground Vehicles: Standard
  • Tac-Stance Sensitivity Multiplier: 0.90
  • Aim Response Curve Type: Dynamic
  • ADS Sensitivity Multiplier (Focus): 0.90
  • ADS Sensitivity Transition Timing: Instant
  • Custom Sensitivity Per Zoom: Off

For optimal gameplay, we recommend starting with a sensitivity setting of 6, though this is a matter of personal preference. As you gain experience, consider gradually increasing your sensitivity to a level that feels comfortable.

Higher sensitivity settings enable faster turning, giving you a massive advantage in reacting to enemies approaching from various angles.

MW3 aiming settings controller
The perfect aiming setting will allow you to kill enemies easily.

Aim Assist

  • Target Aim Assist: On
  • Aim Assist Type: Black Ops

Motion Sensor Aiming

  • Motion Sensor Behavior: Off

Gameplay

Movement Behaviors

  • Automatic Sprint: Off
  • Sprint/Tactical Sprint Behavior: Toggle
  • Auto Move Forward: Off
  • Tactical Sprint Behavior: Double Tap
  • Grounded Mantle: On
  • Automatic Airborne Mantle: Partial
  • Automatic Ground Mantle/Hang: Off
  • Slide/Dive Behavior: Slide Only
  • Plunging Underwater: Free
  • Parachute Auto-Deploy: Off
  • Sprinting Door Bash: On
  • Ledge Climb Behavior: Mantle Only
  • Slide Cancel Sprint: On

Combat Behaviors

  • Aim Down Sight Behavior: Hold
  • Change Zoom Activation: Off
  • Equipment Behavior: Hold
  • Weapon Mount Activation: ADS + Melee
  • Weapon Mount Exit Delay: Medium
  • Tactical Stance Activation: ADS + Melee
  • Tactical Stance Behavior: On Toggle
  • Interact/Reload Behavior: Tap to Reload
  • Armor Plate Behavior: Apply All
  • ADS Stick Swap: Off
  • Backpack Control: Directional Buttons
  • Depleted Ammo Weapon Switch: On
  • Quick C4 Detonation: Grouped
  • Manual Fire Behavior: Press

Vehicle Behaviors

  • Vehicle Camera Recenter: Short Delay
  • Camera Initial Position: Free Look
  • Lean-Out Activation: Melee

Overlays Behavior

  • Ping Wheel Delay: Moderate
  • Double Tap Danger Ping Delay: Moderate
  • Killstreak Wheel Behavior: Hold

Aim Assist type

MW3 controller settings Aim Assist type
The Black Ops and Default Aim Assist will feel comfortable if you are a new or experienced player.

If you want to ensure your aim assist is perfectly tuned, then you can take it a step further by ensuring you’re using the best Aim Assist type. Here’s what each type means:

  • Default: Traditional aim slowdown near target used in Modern Warfare games.
  • Precision: Strong aim slowdown that only kicks in when aiming closer to the target. Recommended for accurate players.
  • Focusing: Strong aim slowdown that also kicks in when narrowly missing the target. Recommended if you’re new to analog aiming.
  • Black Ops: Traditional aim slowdown near target used in Black Ops games.

The Focusing type is ideal if you’re new to shooter games, but once you gain confidence, it’s advisable to transition away from it as you may feel aim assist to be overly powerful.

While I didn’t notice a significant distinction between Black Ops and Default aim assist types, I think Black Ops grants you a familiar feel when playing. But feel free to experiment with both to determine which suits your preferences.

Aim Response Curve

MW3 controller settings Aim Response Curve
The Dynamic Aim Response Curve will trigger a quick movement to target opponents.

Modern Warfare 3 features three types of Aim Response Curve types that change how your aim rate responds to your thumbstick movements, so here’s a breakdown of the three types you’ll find in the game:

  • Standard: Simple power curve map from aim stick to aim rate
  • Linear: Aim stick maps directly to aim rate
  • Dynamic: Reverse S-curve mapping for fine aim rate control

When it comes to the Aim Response Curve, you might favor the Standard option for its natural feel. However, if you’re skilled and comfortable with the controller, we suggest using the Dynamic option for finer control. You should avoid the Linear option altogether for the best experience.

FOV settings

The best FOV setting is achieved by adjusting your Field of View within the range of 100 to 115. This strikes a balance, allowing you to have a broad view of your surroundings to avoid surprise attacks while ensuring that enemy players remain reasonably visible and easy to track, without appearing too small.

Although it might not be immediately apparent, your FOV setting can have a significant impact on both your controller and mouse and keyboard performance.

How to find and test controller settings

There won’t be a list of settings that work perfectly for everyone, so the most effective approach to finding the best controller settings is by testing different configurations until you find the one that suits your preferences and play style.

To do this, we recommend you head to the Rust map in a Private Match. Set the bots to Recruit level difficulty and you’ll be free to experiment with different settings and sensitivities to find what works for you.

If you’re looking to take things one step further, you’ll want to make sure to use the best audio settings and PC settings or check out how to play at 120 FPS on PS5.