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The best killstreaks in Modern Warfare 3

Here are the best killstreaks to unleash in Modern Warfare 3

The squad of Ghost, Soap, and Gaz standing next to one another in the Modern Warfare 3 campaign.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Activision

Looking for the best killstreaks in Modern Warfare 3? Killstreaks can give an extremely helpful advantage to players in Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. However, with a maximum of three to choose from and many ranging from low to high kill criteria, you may be wondering which are the best to pick from.

Whilst Modern Warfare 3 has launched with some classic killstreaks that we all know and love, there are a few more new additions to sink your teeth into. So, you’ll want to choose wisely. It’s also worth remembering that players can toggle between killstreaks and scorestreaks to suit the way they play. Let’s take a look at what’s on offer.

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25. SAM Turret

Description: Launch a targeted missile strike against air vehicles.

The four-killstreak SAM Turret is only really useful if there’s enemy aircrafts in the sky as it releases targeted missile strikes on them. If no-one’s using an air vehicle then the SAM Turret becomes null and avoid. Considering it took you four kills to get, there's better options on offer.

24. Guardian-SC

Description: A beam shaped, non-lethal, area denial weapon. Enemies entering the beam have similar effects to a stun grenade, reduced movement speed, blurred vision, and removed UI.

New to the franchise, the Guardian-SC is a handy prop if you’re holding an objective point, but once you plant it down, it stays in one spot. From this spot though, it releases similar effects to a stun grenade on any enemies that pass by its beam. Enemies will suffer reduced movement speed, blurred vision, and removed UI. While it’s non-lethal, the effects still give you a slight upper-hand when you might really need it.

23. Care Package

Description: Call in a random killstreak package to your location.

A longstanding killstreak reward, the Care Package is once again a random resupply of another killstreak to your location. You’ll only need five kills to call it in, but it could provide a killstreak of a much higher threshold. Roll the dice, see what happens. If you're a fan of luck and chance, this one can add a bit of opportunity (or upset) to your game.

22. Swarm

Description: Deploys a large number of mosquito drones to provide blanket coverage over the entire area.

Fans of the franchise will recognise this killstreak from Call of Duty: Black Ops II. At 15 kills, you can release a large amount of mosquito drones at once. This provides blanket coverage to a specific area, enabling you to hunker down whilst enemies take sustained damge. Although this is a new killstreak to come with Season One, it requires a substantial amount of points to activate and is less popular than its companion release the EMP. If used correctly, it can accrue you a nice amount of kills, however.

21. Cluster Mine

Description: Throw a device that launches a cluster of smaller mines within the immediate area.

A Cluster Mine does what it says on the tin. Within it hides a cluster of smaller mines that can detect nearby enemies and explode when they come within range, dealing damage sneakily and effectively. If you fancy your chances at setting up a super mine that will make the six-kills it took to acquire it worth it, then you might find the Cluster Mine worth your time.

20. Emergency Airdrop

Description: Call in three random killstreak care packages to your location.

A Care Package on heat, the Emergency Airdrop can be activated after ten kills in a row, but you’re putting all your hopes and dreams into three random killstreak care packages fulfilling your hopes and dreams. You’re swapping one for three, but is it worth the gamble? It’s random, so we don’t have the answer, but it's a fun option that could well pay off big time.

19. Carpet Bomb

Description: Call in a bomber that releases a large line of explosives along its path.

Not a hugely talked about killstreak with VTOL Jet in the same threshold, but the Carpet Bomb is still an effective way to cause a lot of damage... if your enemies stay where they are. While the VTOL Jet is great at picking enemies off when it spots them, the Carpet Bomb is a distinct path that you can but wait with baited breath to see if it takes anyone out.

18. Bomb Drone

Description: A remote-controlled drone with an attached C4 charge.

Unlocked after four kills, the Bomb Drone can fly around the map (with your navigation) with a C4 attached ready to be detonated. You can either do this manually or the Bomb Drone will automatically go off if it gets shot at, hits water, or runs out of fuel. Arguably not as good as the Mosquito Drone as it requires you to manually navigate, but still a great hitter if you're a dab hand with the remotes.

17. Wheelson-HS

Description: Remote controlled amphibious vehicle with auto sentry capabilities.

Returning to the Modern Warfare games, the Wheelson-HS that possesses auto sentry capabilities to fire out its minigun, as long as you'll arm yourself with the remote to navigate it round the map. This ground drone has impressive firepower if manoeuvred correctly, but you'll need eight kills to secure it.

16. Advanced UAV

Description: An untargetable orbital UAV that reveals the enemy's direction on the minimap in real time.

The Advanced UAV is activated after 12 kills and it reveals not only the enemy's location, but the direction they're facing. It's not loads better than the UAV that you're probably used to using, but it takes eight more kills to obtain.

15. Mortar Strike

Description: Signal several waves of mortars to attack a location.

With seven kills in a row, you can unlock the Mortar Strike, which deploys a barrage of mortars at a specific location to unleash damage on. The location is a trio of random areas rather than something that can be manually controlled. If the randomization is working in your favor, then great. If not, then you might want to think about one of the other damage-dealing killstreaks on our list.

14. Cruise Missile

Description: Control a long-range cruise missile with boost capabilities.

At six kills, the Cruise Missile is an option for controlling a long-range, you guessed it, cruise missile with boost upon arrival. As it throttles towards the map, you can select where you want it to hit before it speeds when near to its designated location for heavy impact on any enemy that dares stand in its way.

13. Precision Airstrike

Description: Call in twin jets for a precision strike along the best available path.

Added to the returning killstreak rewards is the Precision Airstrike, which calls in twin jets to deal damage along the best available path on the map. Best used alongside a UAV to assess enemy locations or used mid fight when you absolutely know where you want it to hit. The Precision Airstike will absolutely give you and your team a combat advantage.

12. Mosquito Drone

Description: Explosive drone that circles the area around where the drone is launched. Dive bombs on enemies it spots and explodes.

Another new one for Call of Duty, the Mosquito Drone can be sent up into the air in your area to search for enemies. As annoying as a mosquito, it'll buzz around looking for a victim and when it finds it, will automatically dive bomb and explode on their chosen target. All this without you having to lift a finger after setting it off.

11. Juggernaut Recon

Description: Juggernaut Recon gear delivered by care package. The suit is equipped with a radar that pings nearby enemies. Contains a riot shield, Haymaker, and smoke grenade.

The Juggernaut Recon is an eight-killstreak reward that drops in via care package, giving the player a selection of damage dealing and damage defying specialist gear. You have to grind to unlock this one, but the gameplay advantage it will grant you will not only make it easier to kill enemies, but it will also work hard to protect your killstreak to advance to higher tier killstreak rewards..

10. Remote Turret

Description: Automated turret that scans for nearby enemies and fires incendiary based rounds.

Unlocking at level 24, the Remote Turret is a 7-killstreak reward that can be placed down to fire automatic incendiary rounds at enemies that come within its radar. You can use it to protect areas, as well as bolster your defense on objectives, or it can be manually taken control of for precision targeting.

9. Counter UAV

Description: A drone that scrambles all enemy minimaps.

A Counter UAV is, you guessed it, great for messing up the enemy team’s UAV by scrambling their minimaps and making it one, hard to detect you and your teammates if they’ve activate a UAV, and two, making it impossible for them to see any of the space around them if they use their minimap to travel around. Four kills for this one, so not much at all for the reward you're given.

8. EMP

Description: Electromagnetic pulse to disrupt enemy Killstreaks and equipment.

The EMP is another new killstreak to drop with Season One and requires 13 kills or 1,625 points to activate. This killstreak essentially releases a pulse that will sabotage enemy killstreaks and equipment, giving you a helpful advantage at opportune moments and making enemies extremely vulnerable for a short amount of time.

7. Overwatch Helo

Description: An escort helo that will watch over your position and ping nearby enemy locations before engaging them.

Not only does the Overwatch Helo become your eye in the sky, guarding you and pinging nearby enemies in the process, but it also unleashes fire on the enemies too. This popular choice of killstreak is often in contention with the VTOL Jet, but falls short due to the pro that is also a con. It's helpful that it follows you round and protects you, but it'll also sometimes give away your position pretty easily too. Helicopter in the sky, player beneath it.

6. Gunship

Description: A heavy assault gunship equipped with a laser tracking missile, along with the standard 40mm and 25mm cannons.

Call in the Gunship. Previously known as the AC-130, the Gunship can be called in following a 12 killstreak to unleash chaos on the map for the enemies below it. We're really getting into the crux of damage-dealing gameplay advantage and the gunship is a great choice for anyone looking to take out ground defenses.

5. Juggernaut

Description: Juggernaut assault gear delivered by care package. The minigun will drop when the Juggernaut dies.

The biggest killstreak on the rankings, the Juggernaut needs 15 kills to activate, but drops the Juggernaut assault gear by care package, consisting of a Riot Shield, minigun, and armored suit. The minigun will also drop when you die, meaning it’s still up for grabs even after the fact giving the Juggernaut, compared to the Juggernaut Recon, more longevity in the field.

4. Chopper Gunner

Description: Control an assault chopper armoed with a turret and air-to-land missiles.

At 12 kills, two more than was needed in MW2, you are given control of an assault chopper armed with a turret and air-to-land missiles. A rival to the Gunship, the Chopper Gunner is a powerful killstreak to use against enemies. Plus, when it is destroyed, it can crash and create an explosion that can kill players around it. What's more annoying than a turret? A flying one.

3. SAE

Description: Call in a trio of jets to release aerial explosives onto specified targets.

At seven kills, you get the SAE, which is like the Precision Airstrike, only a bit better given its placement in our rankings. This is a great killstreak to use when you know where enemies may be hiding as it will fire a barrage of explosives into the area, killing enemies or making them flee. Plus, with only seven kills to obtain, it's a more viable early game option to give you and your team an overall advantage.

2. UAV

Description: UAV recon ship that reveals enemy locations on the minimap.

Needing only four kills to activate, the UAV is one of Call of Duty’s most loved killstreaks for its ability to scan the location and show you and your team where the enemies are (without many kills needed). Utilizing your minimap is key here and if used wisely, you’ll be able to notch up even more kills to unlock those harder to obtain killstreak rewards. You have to back the smaller rewards in a sea of juggernauts, jets, helicopters, and drones.

1. VTOL Jet

Description: Releases a pair of precision bombs before circling back and guarding a location of the player's choice.

For ten kills, you get the VTOL Jet, which has often found top killstreak ranking placement in previous Call of Duty titles. The VTOL Jet is gnarly for its ability to release a pair of precision bombs before returning to guarding a location from the skies. It'll pick enemies off one by one, ripping through walls, and most importantly, it does it without your help. So, you can continue to race around the map notching up even more kills while the VTOL Jet adds to the kill count.

That’s everything on the best killstreaks in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Of course, you’ve got to ensure you get the killstreaks in the first place. That’s best done by setting up the best Modern Warfare 3 loadouts and equipping the best guns in MW3.

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