Call of Duty MW3 is finally here, and now the countdown to the Season 1 release date is almost over!

If you’ve been an avid Call of Duty fan over the last few years and have been picking up new titles on launch day, you’ll probably have noticed that Season 1 never kicks off right away.

Here’s when that first season will be kicking off this time around, as well as everything we know is coming in Season 1:

Season 1 Release Date & Time

MW3 Season 1 is set to release on Wednesday, December 6, 2023.

Modern Warfare 3’s first major update will most likely go live at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET / 6 PM GMT. This start time is yet to officially be confirmed by Activision, but it’s the most likely launch window, going by past updates.

Countdown to Season 1

The MW3 Season 1 update should go live in .

MW3 Campaign Ghost

Will There Be a Pre-Load?

Yes, there will most likely be a pre-load for MW3 Season 1. We expect this to go live for PlayStation and Xbox users around 24-48 hours before the update arrives.

Therefore, console pre-loads for Season 1 should arrive between December 4-5, 2023.

However, PC players might not be so lucky. In the past, we’ve seen PC users not getting the chance to pre-load updates whatsoever, leading to users on the platform having a large download to complete on launch day.

We’ll update this article when more information about the MW3 Season 1 pre-load is revealed.

All Season 1 Content


MW3 Season 1 will bring with it the new Urzikstan map, which looks to be heavily inspired by the OG Warzone map, Verdansk.

The map will feature some iconic locations from past COD titles, including Countdown from COD 4: Modern Warfare, and Overwatch from the original MW3.

But don’t forget that you can jump into Urzikstan and check it out right now!

New 6v6 Maps

Last year, MW2 Season 1 brought with it two new Multiplayer maps, Shoothouse and Shipment. This year, Sledgehammer Games looks to up the ante by bringing three new 6v6 maps to MW3 at Season 1’s launch!

Here’s what fans have to look forward to:


Fan-favorite map Shipment will return in its MW2 appearance, and it’s dropping before Season 1’s start date!

Shipment in MW2


A brand-new 6v6 map, Meat, has players explore a compact map centered around the East Bay Meats slaughterhouse.

Meat Map in MW3 Season 1


A mid-sized map set in a coastal town in Greece, this is another never-seen before Multiplayer offering.

Greece Map Season 1 MW3

Rio (Season 1 Reloaded)

In addition, a fourth Season 1 map, ‘Rio,’ is set to arrive alongside Season 1 Reloaded.

This map will see players fighting it out in close-quarters combat, inside an upscale shopping center as well as the surrounding vibrant street life.

Rio Map MW3 Season 1 Reloaded

Gunfight Returns

The popular 2v2 mode Gunfight returns with brand-new content in Season 1. Activision is holding back on revealing everything we can expect, but it promises returning 2v2 maps, and a brand-new one to enjoy.

Training Facility

The newly-revealed Gunfight map is set in a combat training course, with a central shoot house and climbing opportunities to help out-manoeuver your opponents.

Training Facility Gunfight in MW3

Ranked Play

Once again, a Ranked mode did not launch alongside the latest Call of Duty title. Treyarch is developing the latest Ranked Play, which will launch in Season 1 Reloaded.

Don’t expect it as part of the initial wave of Season 1 content but rest assured – Ranked is coming to MW3 later in the season.

New Weapons & Operators

And of course, all Call of Duty seasons bring with them a mixture of new weapons, Operators, and skins for the Battle Pass.

For now, we’re officially in the dark about what’s to come in MW3 Season 1, but we expect a Call of Duty blog to reveal further details imminently.

Andrei Nolan with Makarov in MW3 Campaign

However, leakers are already teasing that the Season 1 Battle Pass Operators will be Andrei Nolan, Maestro, and Ash.

Whether these rumors prove to be true, we’ll have to wait and see!

New MWZ Content

Modern Warfare 3 Zombies will continue its story in Season 1, adding a variety of new features to the undead survival mode.

So far, Activision has revealed that Operators will be able to enter new Dark Aether Rifts, a new end-game experience for those who have completed their seasonal mission. In these rifts, players will encounter a ‘sinister and chaotic challenge’ that they’ll need to complete quickly in order to make their escape.

New V-R11 Wonder Weapon in MW3 Zombies

In addition, a new V-R11 Wonder Weapon will drop in the game, which transforms both zombie and human enemies into loyal allies.

And finally, we’ve learned that a new category of ‘unique acquisition schematics’ will join the fun, but players will have their skills tested on the road to unlocking them.

Managing Editor
Max has a wealth of experience in the industry and is a lover of all things video games, situated in Manchester, United Kingdom.
MW3 Season 1 Progress
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