MW3 Survival Mode Tips

by JasonTried.com

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Here are 10+ Tips you need to survive longer in MW3


The new Survival Mode in MW3 is a lot of fun. It is even more fun when you know what to do to get to the higher levels. The following tips are for Solo play, but are just as useful when you play with a buddy. Without much practice I was able to get to level 21 on Resistance (Solo Play) and level 30 (Co-op Play).

  • Tip #1 - Know the round bonuses

  • There are two cash bonuses for each round that are randomly chosen. You can see which bonuses are active in the bottom left corner of your screen. Use them to score some extra cash to spend between rounds. Some are easier than others and unfinished progress resets on every round. Sometimes it is better to wait out enemies to complete the bonuses (Ex. for the Killstreak bonus, where taking damage resets the progress) while other times it is better to jump in the fray (Ex. for Rampage, where the progress decreases with time). By heeding this, I was able to buy a Delta Riot Shield Squad and a Grenade Launcher Sentry after Wave 3 on Dome - Solo Mode. As each wave comes to an end, be sure to check how your bonuses are doing and you may be able to score some extra cash.

    Headshot - go for headshots
    Rampage - bar goes down as time between kills increases
    Killstreak (kills) - bar goes down as you take damage
    Quad Kill - take out four enemies at the same time (with either a Grenade, Predator missile, etc.)
    Flash Kill - for stunning enemies with flash bangs and killing them while stunned
    Knife Streak - for knifing enemies (not necessarily as a killing blow either)


  • Tip #2 - Don't forget the round finish bonus

  • These are smaller bonuses and not worth concentrating on during the later waves. They can provide a nice bonus in the earlier waves.

    Waves - bonus increases with each wave #
    Time - the faster the round, the higher the bonus
    Headshots - # of headshots (higher = better)
    Kills - # of kills (higher = better)
    Accuracy - (higher = better)
    Damage Taken - (lower = better)


  • Tip #3 - Know the enemy spawn and drop points

  • Enemies always follow the same paths with respect to your position. Try leading people around in a loop to buy time. For Juggernauts, try doing a loop with Claymores, staying just out of harm’s way. Spawn points are not always used, depending on where you are on the map (so as to avoid enemies “appearing” in front of you).

  • Tip #4 - Pick up dropped ammo

  • Leaving one last enemy alive can give you time to collect ammo on the ground AND have time to buy items. Ammo on the ground is free, and so are the weapons that people drop. When playing with a buddy, it is impossible to share dropped ammo because there isn’t enough for each player for each round. One person can pick up ammo but the other will have to pay for ammo.

  • Tip #5 - Leave the Juggernaut drop helicopters alone

  • Don’t attack the helicopters that drop the Juggernauts, as they are invincible. A Predator missile does not take them out, which turns into a very expensive ($2500) mistake.

  • Tip #6 - Watch your sentry gun placement

  • In Solo mode, you can buy 2 sentry guns. In Co-op mode each partner can only have one. Don’t leave them at unattended spawn points, because they will be taken out very easily as new waves of enemies appear. Put them in corners with a little overlap to increase coverage and protect them from behind. Helicopters also kill them easily, so bring them indoors when needed. They are able to shoot down helicopters, so I leave it to your discretion.

  • Tip #7 - Use your Delta squad wisely

  • You can only call in another fresh squad when the current one is completely eliminate. So if you have extra money, "refresh" your squad by killing off the last 2 or less remaining AI members in order to start each wave with a full Delta squad. Also, as a wave is coming to an end, get a head start on your 30 second break by letting your Delta Squad take care of the last few enemies. Time is worth more than money in this mode.

  • Tip #8 - Think Scrooge. Think cheap.

  • Try to be as cheap as possible. Don’t use a Predator missile ($2500) to take out a Juggernaut when you can use 7 Claymores ($2000) or 7 C4 sachets ($2000) or Flash Bangs ($1000) or well-place shots ($750 refill) instead.

  • Tip #9 - Use Self-revive and body armor

  • Take notice when you no longer have any body armor, and when you’ve used your self-revive. The two symbols are in the middle at the bottom of your screen. Self-revive is expensive ($4000) but well worth the investment between rounds.

  • Tip #10 - Be prepared in advance

  • Know who, what, and from where the enemies are going to come. The Juggernaut drop spot(s) and spawn points depend on your position at the beginning of the round. The Waves are always the same, so you can prepare in advance for helicopters, Juggernauts and for planning when to pick up a newly dropped weapon. Knowing when to spend your money is key, because you can only hold one item at a time (Delta team, Sentry Gun, Predator Missile, Airstrike). Be sure to buy and deploy all the items that you want to before you buy an item, such as a Predator missile that you are going to keep in reserve for difficult situations. To help you decide, know what you're going to be up against for the next wave.

    Resistance - Wave Breakdown
  • Wave 1 - Enemies with Model 1887 Shotguns
  • Wave 2 - Enemies with Model 1887 Shotguns
  • Wave 3 - Enemies with Model 1887 Shotguns and Dogs
  • Wave 4 - Enemies with MP5s
  • Wave 5 - Enemies with MP5s
  • Wave 6 - Two Helicopters
  • Wave 7 - MP5 Enemies, C4 Enemies with USAS 12s
  • Wave 8 - MP5 Enemies, C4 Enemies with USAS 12s
  • Wave 9 - MP5 Enemies, C4 Enemies with USAS 12s, Dogs
  • Wave 10 - One Juggernaut
  • Etc....
  • ...For the more complete Wave breakdown and breakdowns for other maps, visit the Wave Breakdowns page. Be sure to sign-up for more tips by email on the right as well.

    Tips for playing with a partner


  • ! Be generous !

  • Helping your partner is helping yourself. If one person goes down, you must revive him or her. If you don't, the game will be over. This is very different from the Zombies mode, where you could continue even after a downed partner "expired" and he or she would just come back at the next wave. Spec Ops Survival is different in that it will end immediately.

    There is also an achievement you can get if you have more than $50,000 dollars of unspent money in the bank. This is possible through sharing all money to one partner and back, if you’re playing with a friend you can trust.

  • Have one person call out the waves ahead of time

  • Have one of you set to share what the next wave will be a little bit before the current wave ends so both of you can plan your purchases together, and not make any unnecessary errors.

  • Juggernauts can only shoot in one direction at a time

  • Use this to your advantage when you are attacking/getting attacked by a Juggernaut. Instead of having both of you taking fire, spread out and shoot him from two different directions. This is especially useful when you encounter the Riot Shield Juggernauts.

    Some more Intermediate Tips


  • Have extra cash? Buy an LMG

  • LMGs are where it's at. The have huge mags, which means a lot less reloads in sticky situations. This is super important if you are trying to take out a helicopter that is spinning up its machine gun, or if you're trying to take down a flashed Juggernaut without pausing to reload. You can buy them for $7000 and upgrade them with a better sight for extra.

  • Try to level up as quickly as possible

  • If you can't wait to level up, take a break and play some of the Spec Ops Missions. They actually help you to level up for Survival mode. Try playing split-screen on the levels where you control the AC-130 (Toxic Paradise) and the Security Cameras (Firewall). Both of these roles give you a lot of quick and easy kills, giving you a lot of experience in a short period of time.

  • Find good players to play with

  • If you're looking to play with skilled people online, be sure to join the "Survival_Xbox" or "Survival_PS3" groups (respectively) on Call of Duty Elite. Be sure to log into COD Elite before clicking the links.

    If you have any questions or more tips to add, leave a comment. Be sure to sign-up with your email address on the right to receive future tips and videos by email.




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