Details for Ranked Play in MW3 have finally been revealed, bringing various new ranked modes, a new ranking system, and a slew of fancy rewards.

COD fans have been eagerly anticipating the release of Ranked Play for Modern Warfare 3, as it adds a competitive edge and another layer of depth to the multiplayer experience.

Below, we cover everything there is to know about multiplayer Ranked Play in MW3, including all modes, rules, rewards, and when you can play it!

Ranked Play Release Date

Multiplayer Ranked Play in MW3 is now live! The update went live on January 18 at 10:30 AM PT / 1:30 PM PT, a day after the Season 1 Reloaded update dropped.

It was originally set to release alongside MW3 Season 1 Reloaded on January 17, 2024, but was delayed due to “unforeseen circumstances” and a “recently discovered critical issue”.

These issues have since been fixed:

The previous unforeseen circumstances was surely a reference to Season 1 Reloaded’s highly troubled launch, with many reporting game-breaking bugs and other major issues after the update went live.

What is Ranked Play?

Ranked Play is a new ranked multiplayer mode coming to MW3 in Season 1 Reloaded. It features the official maps, modes, and rulesets used by the Call of Duty League (CDL).

It was recently revealed in an official blog post on the Call of Duty website.

Here’s a rundown of how it all works:

  • Ranked Play becomes available once players reach at least level 55 in MW3
  • Ranked Career
    • You begin at Rank 1
    • You need to win matches and earn stars to rank up
    • Your Rank is permanent and persists across all seasons in MW3
  • Skill Division
    • Separate from your Rank, the Skill Division you are placed in is calculated on your Skill Rating, which is based on your overall performance and how many wins you get
    • There are 8 Tiers in total
    • Scroll below to get a better look at how Skill Divisions work in MW3 Ranked Play
  • Hot Streak
    • You can earn a Hot Streak for winning three matches in a row – it adds a flaming effect to your in-game rank
    • To progress the flames, keep winning games!
    • The flames will expire if you lose a game or after 72 hours
  • There will be restrictions to certain gameplay content to match CDL rules
  • Friendly Fire is enabled in all Ranked Play matches
Fastest Way to Level Up Guns in MW3 Multiplayer

Players who take part in Ranked Play have the opportunity to earn a variety of cosmetic rewards, including exclusive weapon camos and Operator skins.

There are general rewards you get for reaching certain milestones during Ranked Play during Season 1 Reloaded. There are also Skill Division rewards, which are given at the end of the season. More on all rewards below.

Maps & Modes

To mirror the same maps and modes from the CDL, MW3’s multiplayer Ranked Play will include the Search & Destroy, Hardpoint, and Control game types in the following maps:

Search & DestroyHardpointControl
SkidrowSub Base

The CDL versions of the above game modes will also be tweaked and will differ from their Public Match counterparts in a few significant ways:

  • CDL Search & Destroy
    • No respawning; 1.5-minute round timer; Friendly Fire enabled.
  • CDL Hardpoint
    • 5-minute time limit; 250 score limit; 60-second objective rotation; Friendly Fire enabled.
  • CDL Control
    • 30 lives per team; 1.5-minute time limit; 3-round win limit; Friendly Fire enabled.
Terminal multiplayer key art for MW3


As Ranked Play is intended to reflect the Call of Duty League, it will be using the same game settings and rulesets.

Here are all the game settings for all game modes in Ranked Play, acquired from the Call of Duty League website:

CDL Search & Destroy Game Settings

CDL Search & Destroy Game Settings MW3 Ranked Play

CDL Hardpoint Game Settings

CDL Hardpoint Game Settings MW3 Ranked Play

CDL Control Game Settings

CDL Control Game Settings MW3 Ranked Play


To match the CDL competitive rules, Ranked Play will restrict what weapons, equipment, gear, and Killstreaks you can use and equip.

Here are all the weapons you won’t be able to use in MW3’s Ranked Play modes:

Primary Weapons

  • All MW2 primary weapons
  • Assault Rifles
    • Holger 556
  • Battle Rifles
    • BAS-B
    • Sidewinder
    • MTZ-762
  • Shotguns
    • Lockwood 680
    • Haymaker
    • Riveter
  • Marksman Rifles
    • KVD Enforcer
    • MCW 6.8
    • DM 56
    • MTZ Interceptor
  • LMGs
    • Pulemyot 76
    • DG-58 LSW
    • Holger 26

Secondary Weapons

  • All MW2 secondary weapons
  • Launchers
    • RGL-80

For all other restrictions in Ranked Play, including attachments, gear, equipment, and Killstreaks, head over to the “Restricted Items” section on the official CDL website here.

Skill Division

The Skill Division makes a return to MW3’s Ranked Play, which further separates you from other players based on your skill.

There are eight Skill Divisions in total that you can advance through by earning Skill Rating (SR). You can earn SR by winning games and is based on your personal and team performance.

Here are all eight tiers in the Skill Division in MW3:

  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Platinum
  • Diamond
  • Crimson
  • Iridescent
  • Top 250
MW2 Skill Division Tiers Ranked Play

Performing well and winning games will allow you to progress through the Tiers, starting at Bronze I.

You can also drop Tiers by losing games, disconnecting from matches, being inactive, and repeatedly engaging in friendly fire.

In addition, you will be dropped back by three Tiers at the start of each Season, with the highest Skill Division you can start at being Diamond I.

All Rewards – Rank & Skill Division

You can gain a variety of cosmetic rewards for winning matches in Ranked Play and doing well in the Skill Division.

Check them out below:

All Ranked Play Rewards for Season 1

  • Win 5 Ranked Play matches to earn the MW3 Season 1 Competitor Weapon Sticker.
  • Win 10 Ranked Play matches to earn the Pro Issue Gutter Knife Weapon Blueprint.
  • Win 20 Ranked Play matches to earn the Script Writer Weapon Charm.
  • Win 30 Ranked Play matches to earn the Built Different Large Decal.
  • Win 40 Ranked Play matches to earn the MW3 Ranked Play Season 1 Loading Screen.
  • Win 50 Ranked Play matches to earn the MW3 Season 1 Ranked Veteran Weapon Camo.
MW3 Operators aiming their weapons in multiplayer

All Skill Division Rewards for Season 1

Skill Division rewards are rewarded to players at the end of a season. It is based on the best Skill Division Tier they are in at the end of the season.

Here are the rewards for each Skill Division Tier in MW3:

  • Bronze & Silver
    • An accompanying Season 1 Emblem
  • Gold, Platinum, Diamond, or Crimson
    • New Ranked Play–themed Operator Skins and Weapon Charms
    • Skill Division Animated Emblem
  • Iridescent
    • MW3 Season 1 Iridescent Animated Calling Card
    • Skill Division’s Operator Skins, Animated Emblem, and Weapon Charm
  • Top 250
    • For those who finish between 2-250:
      • Top 250 Operator Skins
      • Weapon Charm
      • Unique Animated Emblem
      • Calling Card
    • For the number one ranked player:
      • A unique one-of-a-kind Animated Emblem and Calling Card
MW3 Operators firing their weapons in multiplayer

That’s everything to know about the multiplayer Ranked Play game modes in MW3!

Why not find out how to get CDL skins in MW3 so you can rep your favorite team as you climb through the ranks?

Staff Writer
Passionate gamer and writer, Alpay has been featured on GamingIntel,, and TheGamer. When not writing, he delves into virtual worlds, enjoys high-concept TV shows, and splurges on Steam sales.
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