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Modern Warfare 3 Beta: Start Times, Pre Load, Download Size, Content and Everything You Need to Know

4 min

It’s that time again, folks: Call of Duty beta time! This is the year of Modern Warfare 3, and we’ll be getting our hands on the upcoming shooter very soon. There are some interesting changes to the game’s mechanics this year, and the MW3 beta is the perfect opportunity to try them out before release.

The classic minimap returns, map tuning is back, movement is faster and more tuned to Modern Warfare 2019 – just to name a few. And then there are the maps. At launch, Modern Warfare 3’s map lineup consists entirely of remakes of maps from the original Modern Warfare 2 (2009), which we’ll see for ourselves in the beta.

In this article we will give you all the information about the beta. When you can play, what content you can expect, how big the download is, when you can download the pre-release and much more. This article will be updated as more details become available.

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Modern Warfare 3 Beta – Everything you need to know

If you’re a long-time Call of Duty fan, the structure and setup of the Modern Warfare 3 beta will look very familiar. Whether you’ve been taken over by Microsoft or not, the PlayStation still has first dibs on the beta – but perhaps that arrangement will no longer apply next year.

Let’s start with the confirmed dates and times when players on each platform will have access to the beta.

Modern Warfare 3 beta launch time – schedule for the first weekend (PlayStation 4 & 5)

This first weekend is PlayStation-exclusive, with the first part accessible through pre-order and the second part free for everyone.

  • Early access: Friday, October 6 to Saturday, October 7.
  • Open Beta: Sunday, October 8 through Tuesday, October 10.

The servers will go online at 10am PT / 1am ET / 6am BST / 7am CEST. The servers will shut down at the same times.

Modern Warfare 3 Beta launch time – schedule for the second weekend (PC, Xbox, PlayStation cross-play)

Early access for PC and Xbox starts on the second weekend and is also split into two sessions. PlayStation players can access both sessions with no pre-order required.

  • Early access: Thursday, October 12 to Friday, October 13.
  • Open Beta: Saturday, October 14 through Monday, October 16.

As with the first weekend, the servers will go live at 10am PT / 1am ET / 6pm BST / 7pm CEST. This is also the time when the beta will go offline permanently.

And here is the schedule for the Modern Warfare 3 beta.

How to access the Modern Warfare 3 Beta

As explained earlier, the Modern Warfare 3 beta will take place over two different weekends, each split into two separate sessions. The first session of each weekend will only be available to players who have pre-ordered the full game on their respective platform before it is later unlocked for everyone else.

The only guaranteed way to play the Modern Warfare 3 beta as soon as possible is to pre-order the game. If you’d rather wait, you can participate in the free portion of each beta weekend a few days later. PlayStation players will get two free sessions, so you should keep that in mind.

In addition, you can expect content creators, media outlets, and even Call of Duty’s official social channels to be handing out codes and hosting giveaways throughout the beta, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for them.

Modern Warfare 3 PlayStation Plus, Xbox Live Gold (Game Pass Core)

Neither an active PlayStation Plus nor Xbox Live Gold (Game Pass Core) membership is required to participate in the beta. The only exception is Germany, where players will need a PlayStation Plus membership to play on PS4 and PS5.

How to redeem your Modern Warfare 3 beta code

Regardless of how you came into possession of a beta code, the way to redeem it is the same for everyone. If you pre-ordered a physical version from a retailer, you will receive an access code via email. This is the same code you can win in sweepstakes, etc. Be on the lookout for a 13-digit early access beta code.

However, those who have pre-ordered the game digitally – for example, on the PlayStation Store, Xbox Store, Steam, or – don’t have to do anything to play. The beta can simply be downloaded as soon as the pre-load goes live.

If you have a beta code, you will need to visit the beta key redemption website (note that the site has not yet been updated with MW3 beta information). Log in and enter the code you received. In the next step you will be asked on which platform you want to play the beta, and you will only get one – so choose carefully.

After that, you will receive an email from Activision with your actual beta code, which you will redeem on the platform of your choice. Normally this email arrives within a few minutes, but there can be delays.

You do not need a code if you want to join during the open beta.

Modern Warfare 3 Beta Preview

We assume that the Modern Warfare 3 beta will be available for download at least 24 hours before its release on the respective platforms. However, you can only download the beta in advance if you have access to the next session.

So players who want to get in during the free period will not be able to download the beta along with those who pre-ordered the game.

In the Modern Warfare 3 beta we can try out the multiplayer mode for the first time.

Modern Warfare 3 Beta Download Size

Activision hasn’t confirmed the download size for the Modern Warfare 3 beta yet, but considering how similar it is to last year’s Modern Warfare 2, we have a few guesses. It’s likely to be between 25 and 35 GB on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, and slightly smaller on PC and last-gen consoles.

Modern Warfare 3 beta content

Again, we’re still waiting for clarification on this. However, you should expect a selection of 6v6 maps that alternate the main modes like Team Deathmatch, Domination and so on. Call of Duty betas usually start with a subset of maps and modes that will be added to over the course of the beta weekends.

Considering that Ground War and Invasion are both returning, it is logical to assume that they will also be part of the Modern Warfare 3 beta.

Modern Warfare 3 Beta player progress

Your player progress – i.e. weapon XP, character XP, and unlocks – will not carry over to the full version of the game, which will be released in November. However, this progress will carry over from one weekend to the next.

Modern Warfare 3 supports cross-play and cross-progression for multiplayer. So you can start the first weekend on PS5 and join the next weekend on Xbox or PC – provided you have access to the beta on those platforms.

Continuation content – content you unlocked in Modern Warfare 2/Warzone – will not be available during the Modern Warfare 3 beta.