Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Warzone Season 3—Patch notes, maps, battle pass, and more

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Warzone Season 3.
(Image credit: Activision)

Call of Duty: Warzone is celebrating the return of Rebirth Island for Resurgence modes with the launch of Season 3. That’s not the only thing shaking up the meta, though. Season 3, which just launched, marks the halfway point of the year of post-launch support for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

There are only 3 seasons left before Call of Duty 2024’s launch, so the teams behind Warzone and Call of Duty are beginning to prep for the future at this point. Modern Warfare 3’s story, which has been tied to Warzone and Zombies, needs to find some sort of closure and lay the foundations for where Call of Duty 2024’s story will pick up in those game modes.

With that said, here’s what COD players diving into multiplayer, Zombies, or Warzone can expect to find during Season 3 and how those changes may affect the game.

Call of Duty Season 3 — Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer

It’s hard to believe that when the seasonal content drops for Call of Duty began, we were excited just to see 1 or 2 new maps added to the rotation. This new season will have a total of six (!) new maps, two of which were a collaborative effort between Sledgehammer Games and Beenox.  

New map: 6 Star

Overview of the map "6 Star" for Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer. (Image credit: Activision)

Welcome to the Hadiqa 6-Star Resort in Dubai. Sledgehammer Games has developed a fondness for placing battle zones atop skyscrapers, having refreshed Highrise for the launch of Modern Warfare 3 and adding back fan-favorite Das Haus but on a skyscraper. The setting has become a running theme for some reason. Like Das Haus, the brand-new 6 Star map will also be on top of a skyscraper, but at least it’s got some stunning views. Just don’t get caught marveling at the horizon when an enemy comes running by. 

6 Star is a medium-sized map with a lot of alternative pathing potential, however as a fan of small maps and constant combat, I did find it a little too lacking in engagement opportunities. It works well for modes like Hardpoint and provides plenty of flanking routes for Domination, but modes like Kill Confirmed and Team Deathmatch drone on. It shouldn’t take a minute and a half to encounter a combatant when moving around the map in a match that only lasts 7–10 minutes.

6 Star is available at launch in core 6v6 multiplayer playlists.

New map: Emergency 

Overview of the map "Emergency" for Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer. (Image credit: Activision)

New season, new small map. Sledgehammer Games has really been leaning into the small map lovers with Modern Warfare 3’s seasonal content. Emergency will join the ranks of chaotic play spaces like Das Haus, Shipmas, and Stash House. This small map takes place in an Arizonan medical facility. It’s not on a skyscraper, though. This one’s on a mountain range, and the hallmarks of war are everywhere. Black smoke billows up from the valley, providing a daunting backdrop for those who are engaging in frantic close-quarters action in the State Disease Control Agency facility. 

Despite its smaller size, Emergency offers players who are working on weapon camo challenges some opportunities for long shots with a little careful planning. It provides plenty of quick combat engagement scenarios for those who always want to be in the thick of it.

Emergency is available at launch in core 6v6 multiplayer playlists.

New Map: Growhouse

Overview of the map "Growhouse" for Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer. (Image credit: Activision)

Remastered maps have been all the rage in Modern Warfare 3. Sledgehammer Games revived the popular Das Haus small map from Call of Duty: Vanguard, and the team has seemingly gone back to that well to bring us Growhouse. This small map is a remaster of Vanguard’s Sphere, though it has undergone significant changes compared to its predecessor. Growhouse is smaller than Meat, which debuted during the launch of Season 1 and quickly became popular among players for its chaotic, close-quarters combat. 

The remastered map is a narrow zone, providing an opportunity for long sight lines, and takes on a more rural, drug den in the foothills vibe. The central POI is a barn that has been damaged by missile fire, and there are plenty of ladders and points of entry to keep everybody on their toes.

Growhouse is available at launch in core 6v6 multiplayer playlists.

New map: Tanked

Overview of the map "Tanked" for Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer. (Image credit: Activision)

While Sledgehammer Games is certainly attuned to giving us small map fans the chaos we crave, there is still room for multiplayer fans who like maps with a little more space to spread out. The Vondel Zoo, originally part of the battle royale map, Vondel, has been repurposed as a medium-sized 6v6 map by Beenox. Tanked focuses on the main Aquarium, though it has been reworked to be more suitable for Multiplayer with longer sight lines and a secondary interior of the reptile house. There’s not a lot of verticality in Tanked, so you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled when navigating the tiki bar, petting zoo, concession stalls, or the Smiling Noodles restaurant. 

Tanked is available at launch in core 6v6 multiplayer playlists.

New mode: Capture the Flag

Capture the Flag mode for MW3. (Image credit: Activision)

After all these years, Capture the Flag is finally coming to multiplayer. Two teams will battle it out to capture the opponent’s flag and return it to home base, while also defending their flag from enemy attack.

New mode: One in the Chamber

One in the Chamber mode for MW3. (Image credit: Activision)

We love a good party game. Originally popularized in Call of Duty: Black Ops wager matches, One in the Chamber has become an oft-requested playlist. This free-for-all mode begins with each player armed with only a single bullet in the chamber of their pistol. Taking out fellow combatants requires a single shot, and landing a one-hit-kill nets your bullet back to you. Miss, and you’re going to have to get in close for a melee kill to secure a new bullet. Be careful, or you’ll find yourself in spectator mode if you lose all three of your lives.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 | was $70 now $67 on Amazon

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 | was $70 now $67 on Amazon

You need a copy of Modern Warfare 3 if you want to dive into the new multiplayer maps with your friends (or foes, I don't judge) during Season 3. 

Price check: $70 at Best Buy

Call of Duty Season 3: Warzone changes

The map that started Resurgence has come back home. Rebirth Island was released for Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile in March, but the start of Season 3 marked Rebirth Day as the small map returned to the battle royale scene on console and PC. 

Returning map: Rebirth Island

Veteran resurgence players will find that Rebirth Island is fairly similar to its Warzone 1 predecessor, with recognizable points of interest. Unlike Fortune’s Keep, there haven’t been any shocking changes to the map’s topography or structures, apart from some cosmetic wear and tear. There is one new building on the island, however, a small power plant dubbed Building No. 6. Developed by Beenox, Rebirth Island will become the home of resurgence gameplay for Treyarch’s Warzone Ranked playlist for the duration of Season 3. 

Rebirth Island players will recognize the following POIs:

  • Overview
  • Bioweapons
  • Industry
  • Hilltop
  • Helipad
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Smokestack
  • Factory
  • Building No. 7
  • Dock
  • Sewage Treatment
  • Power Room
  • Lookout
  • Wharf and Freighter
  • Control Center
  • Prison
  • Prison Yard
  • Water Tower
  • Harbor
  • Warehouse
  • Old Office
  • Comms
  • Power Station
  • Headquarters
  • Lighthouse
  • Command Center
  • Garrison
  • Factory
  • Factory office
  • Dockside and Freighter
  • Apartments
  • Building No. 9
  • Basecamp
  • Switchbacks
  • Stronghold

Rebirth Island is available from launch and will feature 44 player count lobbies for Resurgence game modes.

New mode: Warzone Bootcamp 

Warzone bootcamp will introduce botplay for the first time. (Image credit: Activision)

Diving into Warzone as a first-timer can be stressful. Sometimes you don’t want to play against the sweatiest of movement kings and just need to try out a new class or learn your way around a map with minimal risk. Warzone Bootcamp will serve as the training grounds in those scenarios. Players will be put in a lobby with up to 20 human players and 24 bots for 44 player count matches on Urzikstan. Bootcamp will allow you to test your mettle before diving into Battle Royale, but it does have limitations. Players will not be able to unlock calling card challenges, weapon challenges, or complete daily/weekly challenges in Bootcamp. The Champion’s Quest and o 

New contract: Spy drones 

Destroy spy drones as a new contract challenge in Warzone. (Image credit: Activision)

You and your squad can now pick up the Spy drones contract and band together to take out drones that are gathering data at a specific location. Neutralize the swarm quickly enough, and you can earn some extra rewards for armor plates, redeploys, and maybe even an advanced UAV. The loot isn’t free and clear, however. Enemy operators can steal the rewards should they reach the zone and take out the drones before you and yours.

New contract: Resurgence Champion’s Quest 

Champion's Quest for Rebirth Island. (Image credit: Activision)

For those not in the know, the Champion’s Quest in Call of Duty: Warzone is a multipart contract that requires teams to earn multiple victories just to get an attempt at it. Should you successfully pull off the requirements, however, your team can detonate a nuke and end the match with a decided victory. Setting off a nuke nets you additional rewards, including an animated calling card, charm, sticker, weapon camo, and operator skin. 

New equipment: Squad Rage 

Squad Rage effect area. (Image credit: Activision)

New field upgrade, incoming! Squad Rage is an enhanced version of the Battle Rage tactical equipment. Huff the field upgrade from the gas mask, and you and your team members who are close range will be safe from the collapsing gas circle, immune to enemy tacticals. Your affected squad mates will also be emboldened by tactical sprint and increased health boosted by improved health regeneration.  

New feature: Biometric Scanner

Biometric Scanners on Rebirth Island. (Image credit: Activision)

Rebirth Island has been fitted with 10 Biometric Scanners for players to activate and utilize. These terminals, when active, can be approached by a player once per match for a statistic check. The scanner will then spit out a key card for the player that includes the Operator’s name, clan tag, and access level along with an XP reward. The key card takes up one slot in the operator's backpack and can be assigned one of six different rarities. 

  • Bronze (common)
  • Silver (relatively common)
  • Gold (uncommon)
  • Platinum (rare)
  • Polyatomic (very rare)
  • Orion (incredibly rare)

The rarity of your specific key card can be influenced by a multitude of unknown factors, but keeping your squad close by and rerunning the scanning process every few days can potentially change your status. Using your key card (or somebody else’s) at a buy station opens a special menu with unique items that you can purchase in exchange for the card. Potential rewards include: 

  • Bronze: Random ammunition, Cash ($), Armor Plates, Lethals, and Tacticals.
  • Silver: Random ammunition, Cash ($$), Armor Plates, Lethals, Tacticals, Perk Package.
  • Gold: Random ammunition, Cash ($$$), Armor Plates, Lethals, Tacticals, Perk Package, Plate Carrier, Field Upgrade.
  • Platinum: Random ammunition, Cash ($$$$), Armor Plates, Lethals, Tacticals, Perk Package, Plate Carrier, Field Upgrade, Killstreak.
  • Polyatomic: [[REDACTED]] free equipment selects at the Buy Station, [[REDACTED]] Weapon.
  • Orion: [[REDACTED]] free equipment selects at the Buy Station, [[REDACTED]] Weapons, additional [[REDACTED]].

It’s certainly worth it to revisit biometric scanners in subsequent runs for potential unlocks and rewards.

New feature: Smart displays 

(Image credit: Activision)

The Konni Group was quite destructive when it came to Fortune’s Keep, even destroying large sections of the map. They were decidedly less so in Rebirth Island, however. Instead, the group has invested in large propaganda displays throughout the island, showing weather updates for the new dynamic weather system coming later in the season. These displays can also show information on players who have hit certain kill requirements during the match, have acquired biometric key cards, or show ‘heat zones’ of high combat activity. Use this info accordingly to change up strategies as needed. 

New feature: Squad Assemble/Squad Play Bonus

Players who stay close to their squad mates can earn bonus rewards during infil in Resurgence or Battle Royale. When one player from a squad lands, they create an unseen radius around them. If the remaining squad members land within that radius, as well, in-match rewards will be doled out including XP, cash, and supply UAV to find out where those legendary crates are hidden. These rewards can not be earned in Ranked Play, however.

Call of Duty Season 3: Weapons, battle pass content, and equipment

Season 3 battle pass. (Image credit: Activision)

A new season brings with it a new battle pass and new weapons for that camo grind.  

New weapon: FJX Horus

FJX Horus SMG for Season 3. (Image credit: Activision)

This ultra-compact SMG is aiming to overtake the WSP Swarm for close-quarters takedowns. It's a versatile machine pistol with a ridiculously high fire rate that leads the pack in mobility and handling. With the right adjustments, it knocks out the competition in recoil control, too. Can’t imagine that being broken. 

The FJX Horus is available as of the launch of Season 3, but you will need to unlock it using battle pass tokens in Sector 8.

New weapon: MORS 

Military Operated Rail Sniper for Season 3. (Image credit: Activision)

The Military Operated Rail Sniper is a monster, taking out combatants with a single high-damage shot even at long range. This sniper is peak accuracy and damage, but you have to make its single-shot count. Thankfully, it has a reasonable reload rate to mitigate its downfalls. 

The MORS sniper rifle is available in Warzone and Modern Warfare 3 at launch, but Warzone Mobile players will not have access to it until a later date. It can be unlocked in battle pass sector 4.

New weapon: Gladiator 

Gladiator punch knife for Season 3. (Image credit: Activision)

This one’s for the melee fans. This punchy, stabby little guy has a history of being used by gamblers and politicians, but it can still find its place on the battlefield. The Gladiator dethrones the Karambit as a super mobile, easy-to-handle melee weapon with ridiculous damage output. If you can get close enough to use it.

The Gladiator punch knife is available in the game now and can be unlocked in battle pass sector 15.

New perks and equipment

New perks for Season 3. (Image credit: Activision)

The right perks can make or break a loadout, and new ones are always a welcome change up to game play tactics. Season 3 will feature three new perk vests, new boots, and new gear. New field upgrades will also be added with Season 3 Reloaded.

Gunslinger Vest (Launch)
Secondary Weapon specialist.
Weapon Slots: No Primary Slot, Secondary Weapon Slot (2)
Equipment Slots (4): Tactical (2), Lethal, Field Upgrade
Gear Slots (4): Gloves, Boots, Gear (2)
The following benefits apply to Secondary Weapons only:

Refreshes stamina on kill.
Improved reload speed.
Reload while sprinting.
Increases weapon swap speed by a minimum of 40% (swap speed bonus differs between weapons).
Spawn with maximum Reserve Ammo.

Duplicate effects do not stack. If equipped with Quick-Grip Gloves or Commando Gloves, gain the effects of Marksman Gloves. If equipped with Mag Holster, gain the effects of Mission Comlink.

Modular Assault Rig Vest (Launch)
Lethal and Tactical scavenger.
Equipment Slots (5): Tactical (2), Lethal (2), Field Upgrade
Gear Slots (3): Gloves, Boots, Gear
Start with maximum Reserve Ammo. Resupply Lethals and Tacticals from dead players.

Compression Carrier Vest (Launch)
Assisted healing and gas protection.
Equipment Slots (1): Lethal
Gear Slots (3): Gloves, Boots, Gear
Immediately regenerate health after a kill or objective capture. Reduced effects from gas grenades.

Reinforced Boots (Launch)
Immune to movement reduction effects.
New Perk (Gear): High-Gain Antenna (Launch)
The minimap is zoomed out for you and nearby allies.
Enemies remain on radar longer for you and nearby allies if a nearby ally has the CCT Comms Vest Perk.
See nearby ally radar pings from Intel Jacker and compass indicators from nearby ally Signal Jammers.

New weapon attachments: 8 aftermarket parts

Aftermarket parts for Season 3. (Image credit: Activision)

A whole slew of aftermarket parts are heading to Modern Warfare 3, Warzone, and Warzone Mobile over the launch period of Season 3. Seven of the eight new attachments will be unlocked via weekly challenges. However, one unlock's requirements are still currently redacted.

JAK Cutthroat (Weekly Challenge Unlock)
Compatibility: MCW (MWIII), MTZ (MWIII), M4 (MWII) (Assault Rifle), and AMR9 (MWIII) (Submachine Gun) Platforms
This 3D-printed stock provides an unrivaled combination of speed and stability while aiming down sights.

JAK Revenger Kit (Weekly Challenge Unlock)
Compatibility: BP50 (MWIII) (Assault Rifle)
This conversion kit turns the BP50 into a CQC legend. A 9mm caliber conversion with shortened receiver and high-capacity magazine.

JAK Jawbreaker (Weekly Challenge Unlock)
Compatibility: KV Broadside (MWII) (Shotgun)
Converts this Shotgun into a hard-hitting, automatic Battle Rifle.

JAK Shadow Titan Kit (Weekly Challenge Unlock)
Compatibility: Bruen Mk9 (MWIII) (Light Machine Gun)
Converts the Bruen Mk9 into a compact and integrally suppressed light support weapon chambered in 300 blackout.

JAK Patriot (Weekly Challenge Unlock)
Compatibility: M16 (MWII) (Assault Rifle)
Converts the M16 into a fully automatic rifle with a heavy ported barrel built to provide superior recoil control and firing aim stability.

Wardens (Weekly Challenge Unlock)
Compatibility: Lockwood Mk2 (MWII) (Marksman Rifle)
Relive the glory days, stir up the hornet’s nest, and take down your enemies, leaving no loose ends with these museum-worthy akimbo lever-action Shotguns.

JAK Atlas Kit (Weekly Challenge Unlock)
Compatibility: AMR9 (MWIII) (Submachine Gun)
Converts the AMR9 into an extremely lethal and accurate 5-round burst carbine chambered in 556.

Photonic Charge Barrel ([[REDACTED]] Unlock)
Compatibility: MORS (MWIII) (Sniper Rifle)
This hyper-advanced barrel is more than simply a barrel. Holding the trigger charges the rifle and releasing fires a single, high-power energy projectile.

Aftermarket parts between weapons will not be immediately available in Warzone Mobile, but will be unlockable throughout the season using Arsenal Coins in the Arsenal Store instead of completing challenges. Once unlocked, they will be compatible across MW3, Warzone, and Warzone Mobile.

New operator bundles: Stasis, Makarov, Snoop Dogg and more

We all want to look good on the battlefield, and the battle pass and new operator bundles are here for Season 3 to make that happen.  Players who pick up the Blackcell pass for Season 3 will gain instant access to the brand-new Stasis skin. Stasis is digitized and animated in shimmering gold glyph streams, plated tattoos, and golden glitch-wear masks. The suit fabric is black with vibrant teal accents. Stasis is arguably one of the nicer Blackcell Operator skins we’ve seen in a while, but it may not fare as well on the battlefield with more popular skins that are better at providing camouflage in the heat of battle. 

For those who don’t want to shell out the extra cash for Blackcell, there are plenty of other operator skins in the battle pass and individual store bundles, as well.  Purchasing the battle pass gives instant access to Vladimir Makarov’s Dominus skin instantly, while his Fenrir skin can be unlocked by completing tier 100. Snoop Dogg’s II skin is also an instant battle pass reward, marking the first time the rapper’s likeness has been part of the battle pass and not part of a special bundle.

Fighting Irish lass Orla Murphy (call name Banshee) joins team KorTac, and can be unlocked in Sector 13 along with the former farmhand Bashiir Shirwa (call name Hush) from Mogadishu who can be unlocked at Tier 100.

In the store, Cheech & Chong’s tracer park brings the smoke, featuring operators voiced by Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong. Another Godzilla x Kong crossover adds more operator bundles, as well, with new Godzilla, Skar King, and Shimo bundles featuring operator skins, blueprints, charms, and more. Throughout the season, players can also look forward to the Stony Sloth, CODasaurus Ultra, Big Brain Ultra, and Horseman v1.rus ultra skins.

2400 Call of Duty Points | was $20 now $19 on Amazon

2400 Call of Duty Points | was $20 now $19 on Amazon

If you want to make the most of the battle pass or grab one of those sweet new operator bundles, you'll need some COD points.
Price check: $20 (Best Buy) | $19 (GMG)

Call of Duty Season 3: Midseason content preview

New multiplayer maps: Checkpoint and Grime

Both Checkpoint and Grime are labeled for release mid-season when we get Season 3 Reloaded, sometime in early May. Checkpoint will feature the Stronghold checkpoint from Rebirth Island repurposed as a 6v6 core map produced by Beenox. Grime is a brand-new offering to 6v6 featuring graffitied walls, piles of trash, and rundown London canals on a mid-sized tile. 

Checkpoint and Grime will both be available for core 6v6 multiplayer playlists, with the Season 3 Reloaded update coming later in the season.

New multiplayer mode: Minefield

Minefield game mode. (Image credit: Activision)

Have you ever played “The floor is lava” but instead of lava, the floor was a minefield? Well, this playlist is your chance. Sledgehammer Games will turn Minefield on for a variety of modes, including Kill Confirmed, Domination, and Hardpoint. Once switched on, Minefield playlists will follow the same rules as its pure format, but with a twist — all players will drop a proximity mine at their corpse once eliminated. Mines can not be picked up, and it is deadly to enemy team members (but not friendlies, thankfully). The more eliminations your team racks up, the more dangerous the battlefield becomes. 

New multiplayer mode: Escort

Escort game mode. (Image credit: Activision)

Gamers love escort missions. Right? Season 3 Reloaded will feature the return of a limited-time mode from Warzone previously known as Payload. Two teams, with unlimited respawns, will battle it out across a variety of maps while protecting an MAW. One team must help the MAW reach its destination, while the other attempts to defend and disable the vehicle by any (and all) means. This mode will feature two rounds, with the teams swapping objectives after the first round. The team that disables the MAW the quickest declares victory. 

Returning multiplayer mode: Vortex

Vortex playlist for Season 3. (Image credit: Activision)

The Vortex playlist will return with the midseason refresh, bringing with the preternatural variants of popular maps. Airborne, Satan’s Quarry, Skidgrow, Sporeyard, and Tetanus will all return for a limited Mosh Pit playlist along with a new arcade mode featuring gameplay modifiers. 

Modern Warzone Zombies Season 3

If you were hoping for new zombies content at launch in Season 3, I have some bad news. If you’re okay with waiting for Zombies content, I have better news. Modern Warfare Zombies will have a continuation of the Dark Aether Storyline tasking players with saving Dr. Jansen before she is consumed by the darkness, along with a third rift and an all-new warlord battle. Sadly, Zombies players will need to hold out until Season 3 Reloaded to get that fresh content. 

New Warzone modes

(Image credit: Activision)

Players can look forward to modified Rebirth Resurgence modes coming to Warzone during Season 3 Reloaded. These include Rebirth Resurgence Loaded, Rebirth Lockdown, and a new event dubbed Rebirth Infil Strikes.

New feature: Variable time and weather (Rebirth Island only)

Variable time of day on Rebirth Island with weather effects. (Image credit: Activision)

Rebirth Island underwent a multitude of changes during its time as a resurgence map for Warzone 1, featuring various times of day and weather scenarios. Rather than just choosing one set time or weather event to settle on for Rebirth Island’s return, the powers that be have finally brought variable time and weather to Warzone. 

While sunny with clear skies is the standard time and weather you can expect, there will be occasional changes when the sun begins to set or broody clouds blot out the sun. There can also be instances of intense sea fog creeping over the island. The weather may change mid-match or stay stagnant for the entire play-through, and new items will be added to help with the changing conditions. 

Cole Martin

Cole is the resident Call of Duty know-it-all and indie game enthusiast for Windows Central. She's a lifelong artist with two decades of experience in digital painting, and she will happily talk your ear off about budget pen displays.