There are over 20 killstreaks available in MW3, but not all of them are worthy of making it onto your set.
Killstreaks are what separates Call of Duty from other first-person shooters. They allow you to get rewarded for going on long elimination sprees, which in turn earn you more kills you in your match. Modern Warfare 3 has continued this trend and added some new killstreaks that we haven’t seen in quite some time.
In total, there are 23 killstreaks available to use in MW3 multiplayer. Most of them are returning streaks from past year’s MW2, but there are also some streaks returning from titles released years ago. However, not all of these streaks are worth using, as some are far more powerful or useful than others.
Below, you can find our list of the top seven killstreaks you should prioritize in MW3 multiplayer. The killstreaks are in no particular order, but some are harder to earn than others.
1. UAV (4 Kills/500 Score)
The UAV is first up on our list, and if you have played any form of Call of Duty in the past, you know exactly why it’s here. It’s the first killstreak you unlock in MW3 and while it’s as simple as can be, the UAV serves an important purpose. The streak sweeps the mini-map for enemy locations, displaying them as a red dot on the map.
Enemies wearing the Ghost T/V Camo perk won’t show up, but all others will. This streak allows you and your team to gain knowledge of the enemy team, which can lead you to go on an even bigger killing streak.
2. Counter UAV (5 Kills/625 Score)
The Counter UAV is important for all of the same reasons as the UAV in MW3. As you might expect, instead of showing where enemies are on the mini-map, the Counter UAV blurs out enemy mini-maps, making it so they can’t see where you or your team are.
There are perks that counter the Counter UAV, but this streak is extremely useful if you’re an aggressive player. The lack of awareness enemy teams have when a Counter UAV is active allows you to flank around enemies and get the drop on them.
3. Overwatch Helo (8 Kills/1,000 Score)
This is one of the streaks you unlock early on in MW3, which is why you might see the Overwatch Helo patrolling the skies in most multiplayer matches you play. While the Helo is relatively easy to shoot down, it can deliver quite a punch on the right map.
If you’re playing on a map such as Wasteland, Derail, Rust, or any other open map, the Overwatch Helo can rein down hellfire for over a minute. It follows you around as well, meaning you have some protection from the skies while trying to find enemies. At eight kills/1,000 score, the Overwatch Helo is a streak you can easily earn regardless of the game mode you’re playing.
4. Cruise Missile (6 Kills/750 Score)
The Cruise Missile is one of the most iconic streaks in Call of Duty history. It allows you to call in a missile from the sky to drop down onto an enemy in the open. The Cruise Missile is simple, yet effective, and it’s not difficult to earn at all.
The only factor you need to consider with the Cruise Missile is it can be easily countered by the Trophy System Field Upgrade. If an enemy has one of those next to them, you won’t be able to touch them with the missile.
5. Gunship (12 Kills/1,500 Score)
Normally, I might have gone with the Chopper Gunner as the best high-tier streak. However, with how open some of the MW3 maps are, it feels like the Gunship does a better job of killing enemies who are trying to run to cover.
The Gunship gives you access to a laser tracking missile along with two other types of cannons. This allows you to alternate between all three forms of fire without needing to stop shooting. While you might not like using the Gunship on a map like Skidrow, it excels on most of the multiplayer maps.
6. Juggernaut Recon (8 Kills/1,000 Score)
While the standard Juggernaut streak is far better than the Juggernaut Recon, it’s extremely difficult to actually earn the higher form of the suit. As a result, we have gone with the Juggernaut Recon, which outfits you with a Riot Shield and the Haymaker shotgun to use against enemies.
You don’t have a machine gun like with the regular Juggernaut, but the Haymaker can deliver serious damage up close and you can play some objectives to help your team win a match while using the Riot Shield. Be careful, though, as while you’re using the Juggernaut suit, you appear permanently on the enemy’s mini-map.
7. VTOL Jet (10 Kills/1,250 Score)
Finally, we’re wrapping things up with a classic. The VTOL Jet, otherwise known as the Harrier, is an iconic streak that bombs an area to start and then hovers over that same area, killing any enemies from above. The VTOL Jet can also be moved on your command, giving you full coverage of the map based on where the enemies are located.
You have to go through the Armory Unlock Challenges system to unlock the VTOL Jet, but it’s worth it.
And that does it for our list of the seven best killstreaks to use in MW3. There are other useful streaks in multiplayer, but these deliver some powerful elements that can swing a match in your team’s favor. Don't forget to also check our guide on best perks in MW3.