A staple of the series's successful formula since 2008's World at War, the Zombies mode is back in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

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The minigame isn't so mini this time around, either.

Known as Operation Deadbolt, the CoD MW3 Zombies mode features the largest map the mode has ever had - and an epic story to boot.

There's plenty to learn about the latest iteration of Zombies, and you're in the right place to do exactly that.

Keep on reading to find out everything there is to know about the CoD MW3 Zombies mode, including whether it's open-world or not. Skip to the end of the page to watch a trailer!

Does CoD MW3 have Zombies?

A zombie in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 screaming with glowing yellow eyes
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Activision

Yes, there is a CoD MW3 Zombies mode. This was confirmed back in August 2023 by Activision. And we've been playing it since the release of the game.

It's known as Modern Warfare Zombies, with Treyarch having worked with Sledgehammer Games and Moon Studios to make the project that we're enjoying today come to life.

Is MW3 Zombies open-world?

CoD MW3 Zombies showing soldiers shooting at a giant monster
CoD MW3 Zombies.

Yes, the Zombies mode in Modern Warfare 3 is open-world. It is the largest map in a CoD Zombies mode to date, filled with many areas to explore and, of course, a ton of zombies to kill.

Play through the Dark Aether Narrative with other groups of players on the massive open-world map to, as Activision puts it, unlock "the secrets of Urzikstan and the Dark Aether dimension".

What's more, new stories and secrets for the Zombies mode will be released as part of MW3's Season 1 battle pass roadmap.

How has Zombies changed in CoD MW3?

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 Zombies - with one giant mutant zombie screaming
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Zombies. Activision

Described as a "brand new evolution of the zombies experience", Modern Warfare 3 has introduced an open world zombies with the largest map to feature in the mode yet. It's made up of "tense moments" where squads of three make their way through three zones as they look to hold back the oncoming hordes.

A 45-minute countdown will commence, with players needing to get out in the last 15 minutes.

Players enter the match in a low-threat zone, where zombies are more idle and easy to kill. Moving up, the medium threat is described as a "big step" from the low-tier zone, with lots of new zombie types introduced to the battle. Finally, the high-threat zone features the biggest and most brutal zombie types that will push players to the limit.

The experience has been designed around three-player squads, with up to eight teams available on one map - with squads able to meet up and work together.

A solo option is available, too - where, again, you can either team up with others or go it alone.

Additionally, Modern Warfare 3 lets players take things out of the map and then return with them the next time they enter Zombies. Whether or not that will include the classic Ray Gun is yet to be seen.

CoD MW3 Zombies guide: Our gameplay tips

It's quite a challenge, especially the mission in which you have to take out an enemy convoy. You can read our guide for that section here. If you're struggling, though, here are a few more hints:

Try not to die - this seems so obvious it's silly, but if you die in this version of Zombies you'll lose everything! So do your best to survive in this one. Sometimes it's better to run away than to risk it all.

Don't forget the story - it's easy to act like a kid playing GTA in games like this, and just explore the map (or go on a rampage). But you'll get some excellent rewards from the story missions, and they're great fun.

Do the contracts - there's a chance you might go the other way and just storm through the story. But you'll find completing contracts is the easiest way to earn points and rewards.

How many Zombies maps are in CoD MW3?

Monkey toy in Modern Warfare 2
Monkey toy in Modern Warfare 2. Activision

Operation Deadbolt will only feature one map at launch in Modern Warfare 3. It will be inspired by the Warzone map Urzikstan, and will feature up to 24 players made up of eight different three-person squads.

This will be the largest Zombie map to ever feature in a Call of Duty.

Is there a trailer for CoD MW3 Zombies?

A new trailer was shown for the CoD MW3 Zombies mode just ahead of launch, with Treyarch developers talking about the new additions and differences to the fan favourite mode. Watch the gameplay overview below:

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is out now on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and PC. Head to Amazon to pick up a copy in time for the weekend.

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