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Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3: Which Edition to Buy?



2023’s new Call of Duty game is up for pre-order and if you’re planning to buy Modern Warfare 3 for your console or PC you’ll want to pick the right version for your interest level and budget.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 is heading to, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, and Windows (via Battle.Net and Steam) on November 10th.

Retailers are currently taking pre-orders for Sledgehammer’s latest entry in the long-running series and there are several editions to choose from.

There’s a standard edition that will appeal to those who want the game for the cheapest price and there’s a Vault edition that might pique your interest if you’re a hardcore Call of Duty fan.

If you decide to pre-order a copy of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, you’ll want to pick the edition that suits your, or the person you’re buying the game for’s, needs.

Each has its pros and cons and in this guide we’ll walk you through each edition and we’ll also tell you about the key differences between a physical and digital copy of the game.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 Standard Edition

The Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 standard edition is the most basic version of the game and it’s also the cheapest. It’ll cost you $69.99 without a deal. This is the price for all platforms including Xbox One and PS4.

If you pre-order the Standard edition, you’ll unlock the Soap Operator Pack which includes the “Masked Soap” Skin, the “Unmasked Soap” Skin, and the “Shadow Siege” Weapon Blueprint.

The Soap Operator Pack can be used in Modern Warfare II and Call of Duty: Warzone and it will carry forward to Modern Warfare 3.

There aren’t a ton of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 deals out there right now, but we may see some offers popup in the weeks ahead, particularly for the PC version of the game,

Who should buy the standard Call of Duty Warfare 3 Standard edition?

  • Newcomers to Call of Duty
  • Those who are more concerned with price rather than extras

You can pre-order it right now at various retailers like Amazon.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 Vault Edition

There’s also the Modern Warfare 3 Vault edition for those who want more from their purchase. Of course the extras come at an added cost.

For $99.99 you get a copy of the game, the Soap Operator Pack, the Nemesis Operator Pack, 2 Weapon Vaults, BlackCell (1 Season) + 30 Additional Tier Skips, and if you’re buying on a PlayStation you also get +5 Battle Pass Tier Skips. Here’s a breakdown of these extras:

Nemesis Operator Pack

  • Four Multiplayer Operators: Captain Price, Ghost, Warden, and Makarov. You can use these operators during the Modern Warfare beta

2 Weapon Vaults

  • Two FATE Weapon Vaults. Each FATE Weapon Vault is a variant of a Modern Warfare III weapon that keeps its cosmetic properties on all associated attachments native to its base platform

BlackCell (1 Season):

  • Access to a MW3 Season Battle Pass, along with 20 Tier Skips from BlackCell (25 on PlayStation) and the unlocking of up to 1,400 COD Points
  • An additional 30 Tier Skips for purchasing the Vault Edition. The BlackCell Sector within the Battle Pass Map with a variety of exclusive content, along with immediate unlocking of adjacent Battle Pass Sectors
  • BlackCell-only Battle Pass content: expect BlackCell Alt Operator Skins, Weapon Blueprints, and more

So who should buy the Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 Vault edition?

  • People who know they’re going to invest a ton of time in Modern Warfare 3
  • People who love customizing their characters and weapons
  • People who want a head start in progression

You can pre-order the Modern Warfare 3 right now at places like Microsoft and Sony.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3: Digital vs. Physical

Like most games, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 comes in physical and digital formats. Unfortunately, there isn’t a disc version for Windows PC. Let’s start with the basic differences between digital and physical.

If you’re sick of discs cluttering up your house, you should go with a digital version. You’ll also want to go digital if discs sometimes go missing or often get damaged in your home.

If you play a lot of different games and don’t want to pull the disc out every time you want to play, go with a digital copy. Downloading a digital copy means you’ll have easy access to the game every time you start up your console or PC.

If you want to play the game ASAP in November, purchase a digital copy. You can pre-load the game ahead of its release date which lets you to start playing the second it goes live on your platform of choice.

There are also a few reasons to go with a physical copy of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3.

If you buy a physical copy you’ll be able to sell it to GameStop or a reseller like Craigslist or eBay if you get tired of it down the road.

You’ll also be able to lend your copy out to friends or family members when you decide to move onto another game.

With that out of the way, here are a few other key differences between the digital version of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 and a physical copy:

  • If you pre-order or purchase a physical copy of Modern Warfare 3, you cannot upgrade to a Vault Edition.
  • For a limited time at select retailers, there will be specially marked versions of Modern Warfare 3 that include the Call of Duty Endowment Direct Action Pack, which comes with an animated emblem, sticker and calling card.
  • Digital pre-orders won’t need a code for the early access portion of the Beta. Physical copies will come with a “Beta Code.”
  • Only digital pre-orders come with early access to the Modern Warfare 3 campaign.

Keep these differences in mind as you decide which version of Modern Warfare 3 to buy.

5 Reasons to Pre-Order Modern Warfare 3 & 4 Reasons to Wait

Pre-Order If You Want Early Access to the Beta

Pre-Order If You Want Early Access to the Beta

If you want early access to the Modern Warfare 3 beta, you'll need to pre-order a copy of the game. You can pre-order any edition, physical or digital, to get in early.

Early access to the beta will give you an early look at Modern Warfare 3's Multiplayer mode including maps, modes, weapons, and other features. The developer says there will be surprises as well.

Of course, there will also be a free open beta that won't require a pre-order. It will be hosted over two consecutive playable weekends.

So if you want to get a head start in Modern Warfare 3's multiplayer, a pre-order is certainly a route to consider.

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