How to level up XP fast in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Call of Duty
Call of Duty (Image credit: Activision)

One of this year's top blockbuster releases, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, is here, and there's enough multiplayer action to last you the holidays and beyond. And while Infinity Ward's latest endeavor packs a ton of weapons, gadgets, and perks, many are level-gated, only unlocked when reaching the higher levels.

There are no prestige ranks this year around; a seasonal "officer rank" will be your goal. However, your initial multiplayer "enlisted" level, the one that ties up your basic weapons, perk and equipment unlocks, won't reset over time, so you'll need to max it out to compete with other players. Here are a few choices, although you'll probably need a mix of these methods to hit the top tiers fast.

The best way to hit max rank in Modern Warfare

Call of Duty Modern Warfare Multiplayer Weapons

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (Image credit: Activision)

This isn't a tip, but more some preamble to get you in a max-level mindset. Call it a pre-tip, if you will. Hitting the level cap in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare isn't a case of grinding out results and playing, bleary-eyed until three in the morning. That's an option, but it all hinges on getting the most experience points in the way that works for you. So, approach this with your personal mindset, whether it's least tedious or the most time effective.

Complete the single-player campaign

Progressing anywhere in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will boost your multiplayer rank, essentially acting as your "profile" rank. Except that it only unlocks items in the game's multiplayer mode, so why not call it what it is?

One of the best ways to get ahead is to bash through the game's campaign. That takes around six hours, so it's not an easy win, but the game's single-player adventure is phenomenal. That will level up your weapons, raise your multiplayer rank, and unlock several different multiplayer "Operators" — that's characters for those unknowing of the latest military jargon. You'll earn throughout the whole single-player experience, and it's probably one of the most efficient ways to push through levels, while also less tedious.

During the first couple of weeks, the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare multiplayer is likely to be less than perfect, so if you make your first move the campaign, you're getting a headstart before you jump in, and a collection of cool toys to use.

Pick your battles

Call of Duty Modern Warfare Multiplayer Gunfight

Call of Duty Modern Warfare (Image credit: Activision)

Your primary goal is to get experience points, remember? In multiplayer, you're going to see these pop up every time you get a kill, assist or score an objective.

But not every kill was created equal when it comes to experience points, and frags in the no-respawns round-based "Cyber Attack" mode will give you a whopping 500 exp for a kill, balanced by fewer opportunities. If you're good at the mode and can guarantee two kills per round, you'll be making 1000 experience points every couple of minutes. That's equal to 20 kills if you were playing Domination.

However, it's important to know your limitations. There's no reason to play the game mode if you're not getting the kills; that five or ten times multiplier on zero is still zero.

Trigger happy, no regrets

See an enemy claymore? Shoot it. Enemy drone? Fire your rifle at it. Trophy system? It's pew-pew time. You get points for everything you destroy, so enemy killstreaks and equipment are all fair game. This will have the side effect of quietly increasing the points you're earning every second. It also gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling of helping your team, which is nice, I guess.

Better yet, if some of your bullets manage to hit the enemy team and then someone else kills them before they've fully healed, you'll get a few points for an assist.

Play the objectives to your benefit

A kill in Call of Duty's Domination mode will net you 100 experience points, but capture one of the flags located in the map, turning it to your team's color, and you'll net yourself 200 experience points. What's not to love?

Better yet, particularly in Domination, aiming for the flags can set you up on a nice loop for kills. Hit your flow on this loop and you'll pick up a few kills as you're moving, and start picking up those points. In this scenario, you'll want to leave one flag uncaptured, so the enemy has a predictable spawn location.

If you're yet to pick up the latest Call of Duty entry, Modern Warfare is now available from $60 via Amazon.

Jake Tucker

Jake Tucker has been writing about video games and technology for a decade, which he loves. He is better at this than writing about himself, which he does not. He's on Twitter on _Jaketucker.