Best Ranked Play loadouts for Modern Warfare 3

Luca Di Marzo
CDL Launch Pack Operators MW3Activision

Modern Warfare 3 Ranked Play continues to provide a competitive CoD experience in Season 2. Here are the best MW3 Ranked Play loadouts to get you firing and flying up the Skill Divisions with ease.

Players in MW3 Season 2 continue to battle it out in the competitive Ranked Play mode, as fans of the CDL get the chance to play like the pros.

Given the level of competition as you work your way through each Skill Division, using the best loadouts in Modern Warfare 3 is key to winning. The Ranked Play meta has been established by the CDL’s top players. With Ranked Play following the bans and restrictions of the league, you’ll want to know which weapons to use.

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Here are the best MW3 Ranked Play loadouts to secure all of the rewards up for grabs in Season 2.

Best Modern Warfare 3 Ranked Play Primary weapons

The MW3 Ranked Play meta has stabilized after the Season 2 update. While pro players briefly tested both the BP50 and RAM-9, the new weapons are restricted in Ranked Play.

Certain weapons will be restricted in Modern Warfare 3 Ranked Play while you take to playing 4v4 matches of Hardpoint, Search and Destroy, and Control. On February 13, a MW3 update added all Snipers to the list of restricted weapons in Ranked Play, making the previously accessible KATT-AMR unusable.

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To make things easier, here are the best Primary weapons for Modern Warfare 3 Ranked Play.

MCW class MW3 Ranked Play

MCW in Modern Warfare 3Activision
The MCW is MW3 Ranked Play’s top Assault Rifle choice.
  • Muzzle: L4R Flash Hider
  • Barrel: 16.5″ MCW Cyclone Long Barrel
  • Optic: Slate Reflector or Mk. 3 Reflector
  • Underbarrel: XTEN Phantom-5 Handstop or DR-6 Handstop
  • Rear Grip: RB Claw-PSL Grip


  • Barrel: 16.5″ MCW Cyclone Long Barrel
  • Optic: Slate Reflector or Mk. 3 Reflector
  • Rear Grip: RB Claw-PSL Grip
  • Underbarrel: DR-6 Handstop
  • Stock: RB Precision Heavy

Despite nerfs in the Season 2 update, the MCW is still Modern Warfare 3’s best Assault Rifle for Ranked Play. We’ve provided two recommended MCW loadouts for players to try, so feel free to test them out and decide which one is best for you.

There are a few variations you can pick from when it comes to the attachments. For starters, the Mk.3 Reflector or Slate Reflector comes down to personal preference. Then, the DR-6 Handstop offers more mobility, while the XTEN Phantom-5 Handstop offers more recoil control.

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In addition, players can also pick between the use of a Muzzle like the L4R Flash Hider or T51R Billeted Brake or for a build that foregoes a Muzzle in favor of the RB Precision Heavy Stock.

Rival-9 class MW3 Ranked Play

Rival 9 loadout MW3Activision
The Rival-9 shreds in close quarters.
  • Muzzle: Purifier Muzzle Brake S
  • Barrel: Rival-C Clearshot Barrel
  • Underbarrel: DR-6 Handstop
  • Stock: MTZ Marauder Stock
  • Rear Grip: Rival Vice Assault Grip

Compared to the MCW, the best Rival-9 loadout for MW3 Ranked Play offers less variety when it comes to the ideal choice of attachments.

While the Rival-9 is all about speed and dominating close-range fights, attachments like the Rival Vice Assault Grip, Purifier Muzzle Brake S, and Rival-C Clearshot Barrel will help keep the weapon’s recoil under control and boost its range.

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However, we don’t want the SMG to become too sluggish, so the DR-6 Handstop and MTZ Marauder Stock will bring a vital boost to speed and mobility.

Striker-9 class MW3 Ranked Play

The Striker-9 in MW3.Activision
The Striker-9 offers excellent damage range for an SMG.
  • Muzzle: L4R Flash Hider
  • Barrel: Striker Recon Long Barrel
  • Underbarrel: DR-6 Handstop
  • Stock: RB Crotalus Assault Stock
  • Rear Grip: Sakin ZX Grip

The Striker-9 received a significant buff on February 13, making it a viable weapon in MW3 Ranked Play, for players looking to utilize a Rival-9 alternative.

The RB Crotalus Assault Stock is a unique attachment as it sacrifices sprint to fire speed to boost both recoil control and ADS speed. With this, the SMG can maintain its quick ADS speed and become easy to control at the same time.

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The Striker Recon Long Barrel, Sakin ZX Grip, and L4R Flash Hider combine to further increase recoil control, making the Striker-9 an excellent medium-range weapon. However, we don’t want to lose too much mobility and speed, so the DR-6 Handstop will help balance things out in this area.

Best Modern Warfare 3 Ranked Play Secondary weapons

Modern Warfare 3 players have two viable options when it comes to the best Secondary weapons to use in Ranked Play matches, so let’s check them out below.

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Renetti MW3 Ranked Play class

Renetti MW3Activision
  • Muzzle: ZEHMN35 Compensated Flash Hider
  • Barrel: MLX Short Competition Barrel
  • Optic: Slate Reflector (optional)
  • Rear Grip: EXF Eclipsor Grip

The Renetti is the optimal choice for MW3 Ranked Play matches, as the Secondary weapon can be devastating in close quarters.

CDL pros have banned the use of certain mobility-boosting attachments when it comes to the Renetti, and some of those restrictions have appeared in MW3 Ranked Play. At the moment, the MLX Short Competition Barrel, EXF Eclipsor Grip, and ZEHMN35 Compensated Flash Hider are the best choices for this Renetti loadout.

MW3 Ranked Play Gutter Knife or Karambit

While the Gutter Knife or Karambit can be an excellent option in MW3 Ranked Play, these weapons have fallen under CDL players’ Gentleman’s Agreement, meaning players have enforced their own ban on the weapon.

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Nonetheless, the devs have decided to keep them in the game after nerfing their damage in Ranked Play. Melee weapons will require two hits to kill enemies in MW3 Ranked Play. You can still use the Gutter Knife or Karambit to reach key Search and Destroy power positions faster when a round starts.

Best MW3 Ranked Play Lethals & Tacticals

MW3 Ranked Play players have two options for Lethals and Tacticals, respectively, when it comes to creating the best loadouts.

Both the Frag Grenade and Semtex are viable options in Ranked Play. The Frag Grenade will appeal to players who know the best nade spots on each competitive map. Meanwhile, the benefit of the Semtex is that it can stick to enemy players, guaranteeing a kill.

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Next, we have the Stun Grenade and Smoke Grenade. The Stun Grenade will slow down players as a key piece of utility, while the Smoke Grenade is key for blocking crosses on Search and Destroy maps like Terminal, Invasion, and Karachi. Keep in mind that the Smoke Greande is banned in Control and Hardpoint.

Best MW3 Ranked Play Perks

MW3 VestActivision
Picking the ideal combination of Perks is vital to Ranked Play success.

Unlike the best weapons in the game, the best Perks to use in MW3 Ranked Play offer players more wiggle room to experiment. At the moment CDL players are using a combination of the following:

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  • Infantry Vest
  • Assault Gloves or Marksman Gloves
  • Lightweight Boots or Covert Sneakers
  • EOD Padding

Feel free to decide what works best for your playstyle after getting through a few matches in MW3 Ranked Play. You’ll want to opt for Covert Sneakers over Lightweight Boots in Search and Destroy matches, as silent movement is vital in the mode.

Best MW3 Ranked Play Field Upgrades

When it comes to the best Field Upgrades in MW3 Ranked Play, you’ll want to choose between the Trophy System and Dead Silence.

The Trophy System is sure to be a popular pick, but striking a balance and including some Dead Silence picks within your team composition is always a great idea.

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For more Modern Warfare 3, check out some of our other guides:

Best Sniper Rifles in Modern Warfare 3 | How to get MGB Tactical Nuke Killstreak in Modern Warfare 3 | Can you slide cancel in Modern Warfare 3? | Best controller settings for Modern Warfare 3 | How to fix packet burst in Modern Warfare 3 | Best FOV settings for Modern Warfare 3

About The Author

Luca is a Senior Writer at CharlieIntel. An accomplished, writer with interests in sports and gaming alike, Luca is focused on Call of Duty and FIFA as a content creator. After earning his BA in English Literature at Concordia University, he began writing for Gamelevate, OddsShark, and H4X. Luca joined CharlieIntel in 2021. You can reach Luca at [email protected], or via his Twitter @TheLucaDiMarzo.