Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Season 1 — New maps, Zombies update, new Warzone map, and more

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Season 1 content
(Image credit: Activision)

It's time to talk about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3's first season of content. I know, I can hear you now. "COLE! MW3 has barely seen the light of day!" We're all still trying to figure out the preseason weapon meta while basking in the nostalgia overload from the 1v1ing our besties on Rust, and we're supposed to be thinking about new maps and zombies content already? Sure are. Here's a look at what we know is coming with Season 1, so far.

Call of Duty: MW3 Season 1 — Release date and time

Neither Activision nor Sledgehammer Games has pinned down a release date for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3's first seasonal content drop, outside of saying "early December".  You've still got just a bit of time to finish the Modern Warfare 3 campaign, hit the level 55 cap, and trudge through those Zombies missions before the first season officially begins.

Season 1 content will be free for all players, though there will be Operator bundles and a sweet new battle pass to spend your hard-earned (or paid for) COD points on. 

Call of Duty: MW3 season 1 — new maps

Sledgehammer Games put all their chips in the nostalgia basket for Modern Warfare 3, with 16 maps at launch that were remakes of every map from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009). While the overall community response to this has been positive, there are still a few folks who want new maps to sink their teeth into. Even before Modern Warfare 3 was released, the development teams behind the first-person shooter were open that seasonal content would include new, never-before-seen maps. Now they're ready to deliver on that promise.


Compact map Meat will be coming to MW3 in December. (Image credit: Activision)

How is that for a new map name. Say hello to Meat, a compact map centered around the East Bay Meats slaughterhouse. Call of Duty fans love their small maps. From Rust to Shipment to Das Haus to Nuketown, small maps dominate. 

They're great for boosting your Kill/Death ratio, they're a lot of fun for demolitionists who want to torment everybody with launchers and noob tubes, they're great for knocking out camo challenges. It's too early to know for sure if Meat will join the ranks of the greatest compact maps, but we can get our loadouts with a noob tube ready in the meantime.

Meat will be available with the launch of Season 1 and on all 6v6 playlists.


Lovely Mediterranean-based map, Greece, will be coming to MW3 in December. (Image credit: Activision)

The Call of Duty team hasn't given up their efforts to get everybody to embrace underwater gunfights. Greece is a mid-sized Mediterranean-inspired map based on an undisclosed coastal town. From the screenshot alone, it has the potential to be one of the prettiest maps CoD has ever offered, though from a design standpoint it appears to resemble Modern Warfare 2's Vondel Waterfront.

Greece will be available at launch for Season 1 on all 6v6 playlists.


Vibrant, CQC-friendly map Rio will be coming to MW3 with Season 1 Reloaded. (Image credit: Activision)

Fans of close-quarters combat can look forward to Rio, a bright and colorful map with elegant streets and an upscale shopping center, reportedly offers tight engagement zones. Like Meat, Rio has the potential to scratch the itch for those of us looking for our next small map to bombard with every explosive available in-game.

Rio will be available on all 6v6 playlists when Season 1 Reloaded launches.

Training Facility

Training Facility will be available when 2v2 Gunfight returns to the playlist rotation with Season 1. (Image credit: Activision)

2v2 Gunfight was a popular game mode for Call of Duty that was surprisingly absent from MW3 at launch. It will be returning to playlist rotation in Season 1, with fan-favorite maps returning alongside an all-new map. Training Facility is a complete training course with a central shoot house and plenty of verticality and climbing opportunities for the operators who like to look down on their unsuspecting foes.

Training Facility will be available in 2v2 Gunfight when Season 1 launches.

Call of Duty: MW3 Season 1 — Zombies update

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 screenshots.

(Image credit: Cole Martin for Windows Central)

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3's Zombies mode was a first for the MW series. Built on the foundations of Infinity Ward's DMZ, Zombies offers an open-world take on the classic mode, where players can complete objectives while active on a version of Urzikstan that has been overrun by the undead and mercenaries alike. Season 1 will bring new challenges and objectives to the MWZ, including a mysterious gateway that has opened up in the Exclusion Zone. 

Inside the Dark Aether Rift lies something sinister, challenging those who dare enter with a time-sensitive challenge that will require you to complete an objective before escaping—hopefully with your lives. Dark Aether Rifts are being introduced as a new end-game experience that players can master after completing seasonal missions. 

For rewards, a whole new set of schematics will be available to unlock, but doing so will certainly test your mettle.

New weapon: V-R11 Wonder Weapon

A classic weapon previously exclusive to Call of Duty: Black Ops is being added to MWZ in Season 1. (Image credit: Activision)

I wouldn't necessarily dub the V-R11 a "new weapon", though its arrival in the MWZ Exclusion Zone will be the first time it is seen outside its original appearance in Call of Duty: Black Ops Call of the Dead DLC. The V-R11 is a lasered wonder weapon that does no damage to the zombie or human it is initially aimed at, instead converting that fearsome foe into a useful ally. MWZ already has the "brain rot" effect, which can be used to modify your weapon's ammunition so that zombies will turn on their undead brethren.

In previous iterations of the V-R11, it could be used to convert a zombie into a human, who would then run for the nearest body of water. Sledgehammer has yet to give any insight into exactly how it will work in MW3, though we do know it will work on mercenaries and zombies alike.

Call of Duty: Warzone Season 1 — Welcome to Urzikstan

Welcome to Urzikstan, the new battle-royale map being added to Warzone in Season 1. (Image credit: Activision)

Welcome to Urzikstan. If you've played Modern Warfare Zombies since Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 launched, you've already had a chance to familiarize yourself a bit with the newest map coming to Call of Duty: Warzone. Urzikstan is an urban landscape with 11 major points of interest. 

Players will recognize locations such as the Popov Power Plant in the north and the Zaravan Suburbs to the south. Horizontal zip lines, a driveable train, and more ways to traverse Urzikstan will all be part of the Season 1 update. Modern Warfare 3's changes to movement will be coming to Warzone, as well, including the return of slide-cancelling and the addition of Tac-Stance.

A new map isn't all we can look forward to in Warzone. A major update will change the Call of Duty HQ, so you will no longer be disconnected from your squad when switching between multiplayer, zombies, and Warzone modes. 

More details about what to expect in Warzone and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3's multiplayer and Zombies modes with Season 1 will be released closer to launch. If you haven't yet decided whether to embrace a new chapter in Call of Duty, take a moment to look over our spoiler-free Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 review

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Cross-gen bundle | $70 at Best Buy

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Cross-gen bundle | $70 at Best Buy

Experience the epic campaign, all new open-world zombies, and classic-style multiplayer on both last and current-gen gaming consoles.

Price check: $70 (Xbox) | $70 (Steam) | $70 ( | $70 (PlayStation)

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.