Modern Warfare 3 Zombies mode: Story, gameplay, developers, more

Nathan Warby
MW3 Zombies characters and elements

Modern Warfare 3 is the first game in the MW universe to feature the popular Zombies mode, which has become a fan-favorite over the years. Here’s everything you need to know about MW3 Zombies.

Sledgehammer Games new CoD entry is Modern Warfare 3, and since its release on November 10, players have been all over the new features. From a new multiplayer approach with all 16 MW2 maps from 2009 to the first Modern Warfare Zombies mode, there’s plenty in stock.

MW3 is the first time two Call of Duty games from the same series are released back-to-back, allowing players to continue the events from MW2 and discover a brand-new campaign along with the new Zombies mode to further expand the story.

If you’re looking to know everything Zombies-related, here’s everything you need to know about Modern Warfare 3 Zombies.

Is there Zombies in Modern Warfare 3?

Yes, Modern Warfare 3 features Zombies, marking the first time the popular mode appears in the Modern Warfare series.

Modern Warfare 3 Zombies developers

Modern Warfare 3 Zombies is developed by Treyarch Studios in collaboration with Sledgehammer Games and High Moon Studios.

Treyarch is widely recognized for its remarkable work in Zombies since its first introduction in World at War. Luckily for Zombies fans, they’re back developing the first version of the Zombies for the Modern Warfare universe.

Does Modern Warfare 3 Zombies have round-based gameplay?

No, Modern Warfare 3 Zombies does not feature round-based gameplay. MW3 Zombies features a departure from the classic Zombies gameplay to offer a PvE DMZ-like open-world experience where teams must work together.

Modern Warfare 3 Zombies gameplay

Modern Warfare 3 Zombies allows players to immerse themselves in an “open-world, player-versus-environment” gameplay experience, in order to survive and fight overwhelming waves of zombies in the “largest Call of Duty Zombies map ever.”

Unlike previous iterations of Zombies, MW3’s version offers a more “cooperative experience” that allows players to team up with other squads, rather than being restricted to forming a four-player team. Players also have the “freedom and flexibility to explore the Exclusion Zone throughout Urzikstan.”

MW3 Zombies supports eight teams of three up to 24 players, who have the option to assimilate and tackle objectives together. 

One of the new gameplay features is the inclusion of Zones. MW3 Zombies’ Zones dictate the threat level that players have to deal with. In other words, Zones indicate the active difficulty level, similar to rounds in previous Zombies experiences.

This new Zombies experience includes gameplay features from DMZ and Outbreak. As such, players have a 45-minute countdown that leads to a 15-minute window where players must exfil. A successful exfil leads to story progression as you work your way through the story acts.

While Modern Warfare 3 Zombies is a completely fresh experience and departure from the classic Zombies gameplay that players know and love, the devs did tease that classic Easter egg quests will arrive post-launch.

Modern Warfare 3 Zombies Perks

Every MW3 Zombies Perk
Modern Warfare 3 features fan-favorite Black Ops Zombies Perks.

Following previous iterations, Modern Warfare 3 Zombies includes Perks, better known as Perk-a-Colas, available in machines and as loot scattered around the map. These grant players with special abilities, and enhance attributes that help them survive the living dead.

Here’s a list of every Modern Warfare 3 Zombies Perks:

  • Jugger-Nog
  • PhD Flopper
  • Deadshot Daiquiri
  • Death Perception
  • Elemental Pop
  • Quick Revive
  • Speed Cola
  • Stamin-Up
  • Tombstone Soda

Modern Warfare 3 Zombies Field Upgrades

MW3 Zombies Field Upgrades
The Zombies mode also features powerful Field Upgrades, similar to MW3’s multiplayer.

Modern Warfare 3’s iteration of Zombies also introduces Field Upgrades into the mode, allowing players to further confront both human and non-human enemies within the vast map. Depending on the power of the Field Upgrade, its recharge time and method varies.

Here’s every Field Upgrade available in Modern Warfare 3 Zombies:

  • Energy Mine
  • Frenzied Guard
  • Healing Aura
  • Frost Blast
  • Aether Shroud
  • Tesla Storm

Modern Warfare 3 Zombies Ammo Mods

Every MW3 Zombies Ammo Mod
Modern Warfare 3 Zombies’ Ammo Mods grant weapons special effects.

Following its first addition within Black Ops Cold War’s Zombies mode, Ammo Mods return in Modern Warfare 3 Zombies adding Elemental Ammo types attached to the weapon which upgrades the player’s gun for higher fire rate, damage, and other stats improvements.

Here’s every Modern Warfare 3 Zombies Ammo Mod:

  • Brain Rot
  • Cryo Freeze
  • Dead Wire
  • Napalm Burst
  • Shatter Blast

Modern Warfare 3 Zombies Wonder Weapons

MW3 Wonder Weapons Ray Gun Wunderwaffe
Both Ray Gun and Wunderwaffe appeared on Vanguard which had the last Zombies mode before MW3.

Modern Warfare 3 features the return of the beloved Wonder Weapons in the new Zombies mode. From the Ray Gun to the Wunderwaffe, players can obtain these weapons as schematics or in the Mistery Box.

Modern Warfare 3 Zombies story explained

Modern Warfare 3 introduces the story and lore of the Zombies mode into the series, as a group of multinational Operators joins forces with Modern Warfares 3’s Task Force 141 to combat a “vast undead horde,” triggered by a second formidable enemy menace.

In this iteration of Zombies, players confront a dual menace: the undead and living adversaries. The living threat stems from Terminus Outcomes, a private military corporation contracted by Zakhaev for their brawn, overseen by Jack Fletcher.

MW3 Zakhaev holding Aetherium vial
Modern Warfare 3 unifies the Black Ops Zombies universe into the Modern Warfare series.

MW3 Zombies centers around Aetherium, a substance now concentrated in vials, which led SSO Laswell to assemble a contingency plan called “Operation Deadbolt” devised by the CIA in response to the Cold War outbreak incidents, along with ground commander SSO Selma Greene.

The team, which includes MW’s Soap and Black Ops‘ Ravenov, arrives at the Exclusion Zone several weeks following the events portrayed in the trailer. Players unite with multinational Operators to combat the threat within the Exclusion Zone.

As seen in the story trailer, Viktor Zakhaev, a notorious ultranationalist arms dealer and antagonist of Task Force 141, successfully locates two Aetherium vials containing a potent substance within a highly secure container.

As military police arrive in response to security alerts, a firefight ensues. Zakhaev throws one vial at his attackers before retreating, and this triggers the release of a purple fog, suffocating the police forces and rapidly transforming them into zombies.

In Modern Warfare 3 Zombies, Viktor Zakhaev faces Captain Price’s Task Force 141.

A helicopter then arrives at an outbreak area, and SSO Kate Laswell and Sergeant Johnny “Soap” MacTavish brief an unseen Operator about Operation Deadbolt. Furthermore, Black Ops Sergei Ravenov and SSO Greene have intel suggesting Zakhaev was planning something a few months ago, but the details are unknown.

For more on Modern Warfare 3, Zombies, and Multiplayer be sure to check out our other guides:

How to fix packet burst in Modern Warfare 3 | Best FOV settings for Modern Warfare 3 | When is Ranked Play coming to Modern Warfare 3? | How to get MGB Tactical Nuke Killstreak in Modern Warfare 3 | Best controller settings for Modern Warfare 3 | Best PC settings for Modern Warfare 3

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