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Call of Duty Modern Warfare III Best Controller Settings and Tips for Beginners

by Troy Gloski 14 Nov 2023


Call of Duty Modern Warfare III is finally available, and we are loving it! Playing the campaign also allowed us to lock in our gameplay, graphics, and controller settings before the game downloaded in full and we loaded straight into a multiplayer match. If you didn’t get a chance to play the beta or the campaign, here’s a quick checklist of settings and new features to know about before loading in to your first multiplayer match or round of Zombies! In the coming months, we’ll release separate topics going in to much greater detail on the best loadouts and settings for specific guns, game modes, and more, but this list should help new players get started with some of the generally accepted best settings for controller players to enjoy this game and win more! 



Before you load into the game, you want to make sure your controller is fully upgraded! Long time members of FreekNation know that Call of Duty is our bread and butter. We made a name for ourselves in the community by showing how Performance Thumbsticks increase your K/D by an average of 26%. We now offer more controller attachments and gaming accessories to improve your game at Call of Duty than ever! Since joining forces with SteelSeries, we are now proud to include Gaming Headset Accessories, Key Caps, and Mousepads in our Call of Duty product offerings. But that’s not all that’s new this year. KontrolFreek is proud to share with you all our first ever set of exclusive Call of Duty No-Slip Thumb Grips. We’re now offering more controller attachments and gaming accessories for Call of Duty than ever before, so whether you’re looking forward to playing the campaign, loading into Warzone with your Squad, or competing in some sweaty multiplayer matches, KontrolFreek and SteelSeries have the perfect ways to upgrade your play!  



KontrolFreek No-Slip Thumb Grips provide the added grip and comfort, but without the additional height of Performance Thumbsticks. This makes them perfect for gamers who feel comfortable with the shape of their controller and don’t want to change it too much, but still want to upgrade it for more grip, style, and control. No-Slip Thumb Grips are made from a proprietary rubber material to deliver more grip, comfort and control to every game you play. The extra-soft Thumb Grips stay in place during intense gaming and they’re as durable as they are grippy. Improve your grip, maximize your comfort, and show off your style with the Modern Warfare III Limited Edition No-Slip Thumb Grips. 



Performance Thumbsticks are the best controller attachments to improve your accuracy, movement, comfort, and control in any Call of Duty game. They snap right onto any Xbox or Playstation controller to instantly upgrade the grip and increase the arc distance, enabling easier, faster, and more accurate inputs while using less force, which reduces hand strain during long play sessions. When you’re up late grinding out camos or trying to keep that warzone win streak going, you want the added grip and comfort from Performance Thumbsticks. The mid-rise left stick increases upgrades grip to make slide-canceling and diving easier to do while maintaining your aim. The high-rise right stick increases arc distance, enabling you to make finer adjustments to your aim with less force and while playing on higher sensitivities. If you play Call of Duty and you want to upgrade your controller gameplay to the next level, you need to try some Modern Warfare III Performance Thumbsticks! 



For Call of Duty enthusiasts like us, we can’t wait for this time of year. The excitement around the new game and finding the best weapons, perks, attachments, and killstreaks can’t be beat. KontrolFreek’s Modern Warfare III Collectors Edition Performance Thumbsticks come in a Collector’s Call of Duty Loot Crate Case that you can cherish to always remember the hype of this epic game launch! The Thumbsticks included are mixed height with a red Modern Warfare III inspired design on a black stem. The mid-rise left stick increases grip and movement control and the high-rise right stick increases accuracy and precision while aiming. These are the ultimate controller upgrade and collectible for any fan looking to upgrade their play and show off their style and love of Call of Duty! 


Before you jump into a match, always check out the gameplay and controller settings to make sure they align with your preferences. The good news is, if you’ve played a Call of Duty game in recent years, you’ll have the option to copy your settings over to this game. We’re going to cover all the settings new recruits to Call of Duty, but there are also some new settings that veterans should know about. 

 call of duty mw3 controller settings


Button layout is personal preference, and you should stick to what is comfortable. Tactical will swap the melee and crouch buttons, which is what we play on so we can activate slides and dolphin dives while adjusting our aim with that right stick. You will want to adjust your aim more often when sliding than while meleeing, so we recommend this setting. While KontrolFreeks can greatly extend the lifespan of a controller by enhancing the grip of your thumbsticks with extremely durable and grippy materials, the internal mechanisms of a thumbstick get worn down by pressing those thumbsticks in too often or too aggressively, which can create jitter and drift in some thumbsticks. Therefore, we always recommend mapping your most used inputs to buttons rather than joystick inputs, like L3 and R3. 

If you’ve played any Warzone or DMZ, you know that pinging locations, objectives, and loot is essential to team communication. In previous games, you’ve always had to remove one of your thumbs from an analog to hit the D-Pad to ping something, but with L1 Button Ping set to On, you’ll be able to ping much easier. We use a controller with back paddles that ping easier, but if you don’t have this option, this setting makes for an easy and simple solution to that problem. 

We always turn Controller Vibration off when playing competitive FPS games where it doesn’t offer any clear advantage. This will extend the battery of your controller and prevent your aim from being affected by a rumbling controller. 

While haptic trigger effects can enhance some single player games, similarly to controller vibration, we recommend turning Trigger Effect off for competitive Call of Duty. If you want to upgrade the feel of your controller and make it feel like it has Stippled Grip Tape, try out some KontrolFreek Performance Grips. 

Inputs Deadzone is an important setting to be aware of if you ever need it. If your controller is picking up unintended inputs on your left stick, right stick, or triggers, you may want to adjust these settings to make the threshold greater before your controller picks up those inputs. Modern Warfare III now gives you the option to Test Stick Deadzone in the settings! We recommend setting each Min to the lowest number without unintended inputs, and vice versa, each Max should be the highest number without unintended inputs. This will make your controller as responsive and reliable as possible! 

 mwiii aiming settings


We could talk forever about sensitivity settings, but those are mostly personal preference. If this is the first Call of Duty game you’ve played or you are just returning to the series, then you should know that KontrolFreek Performance Thumbsticks enable you to play on higher sensitivity settings while maintaining control of your movement and precise accuracy. We encourage players to play on the highest sensitivity setting that you can still hit your shots with, because this will allow you to turn on enemies shooting you from outside of your POV quicker than you could on a lower sensitivity. If you are looking for a safe starting point, 6 Horizontal Stick Sensitivity and 6 Vertical Stick Sensitivity are generally considered to be the best sensitivity settings for most Call of Duty pro players in recent years, so that may be worth trying to see if that works for you, and those are the settings that we use as well! 

We use the Dynamic Aim Response Curve, but KontrolFreek Performance Thumbsticks will enable you to maintain precision and control on any response curve, so this ultimately comes down to personal preference. 

ADS Sensitivity Multiplier adjusts your sensitivity when you are Aimed Down the Sights of your gun. You can also adjust the ADS Sensitivity Transition Timing to reduce or increase the amount of time it takes for your sensitivity to change when aiming down sights. Feel free to play around with this setting if you are struggling to hit your shots on higher sensitivities. You can also adjust the sensitivity multiplier for Third Person, Ground Vehicles, Air Vehicles, and Tablets. 

Modern Warfare 3 has also added a new setting for Tactical Stance Sensitivity Multiplier, which we haven’t messed around with too much since we don’t use the Tac Stance. 

You can also modify your Custom Sensitivity Per Zoom, if you are having trouble snapping to targets with higher zoom weapons like sniper rifles or marksman rifles. This is an aspect of the game that can be greatly enhanced by upgrading your controller with some KontrolFreek Precision Rings. With Precision Rings on your thumbsticks, you can play on a higher sensitivity while maintaining precise accuracy in your fine aim adjustments. Also, you can use this combination to drift snipe more effectively. You can flick your aiming thumbstick the direction of your enemy, and the Precision Rings will prevent you from over accelerating your aim allowing the aim assist to kick in and then you just need to pull the trigger at the right time! 

Aim Assist settings should always be on, and we recommend starting on the default settings when playing on controller. This will feel consistent for returning players and will provide an adequate aiming enhancement for new controller players. 

We use the Default Aim Assist setting, but we’ve also used Black Ops, which feels good as well if you want to play around with these to find which setting feels snappiest to you. 

 mwiii gameplay stettings


Automatic Sprint is a setting that we love to turn on and we go as far as setting that to Automatic Tactical Sprint. This means that anytime you press your movement stick forward, you will activate a tac sprint to move as quickly as possible. This offers 2 advantages. Firstly, you will be more agile and harder to track in game, helping you stay alive and outflank your enemies. Secondly, as we mentioned before, clicking L3 every time you want to sprint will decrease the internal integrity of that thumbstick over time, and double clicking to tac sprint will have an even worse effect on your controller. Also, when you are in the middle of a close gun fight and wanting to activate tactical sprint, you are more likely to press that thumbstick in more aggressively, which can cause a lot of problems inside that joystick mechanism. We love your controller. Our products are designed to help you get the most out of your controller and as such, we want it to live a long and happy life while aiding you to countless wins! Try out Automatic Tactical Sprint. While it may feel awkward at first and there are some drawbacks when hip firing weapons like shotguns on the move, getting used to Automatic Tac Sprint will greatly improve your in-game movement and extend the life span of your controller! 

In the Movement Settings we start with Sprint Behavior, and we recommend leaving this on Toggle. 

 Auto Move Forward should be Off unless you really need it, and Tactical Sprint Behavior should be Double Tap. 

We recommend turning off Grounded Mantle as this will prevent you from accidentally mantling a nearby ledge when you are trying to bunny hop mid fight. Automatic Airborne Mantle we set to Partial, as this will mantle a ledge to prevent you from falling to your death but will otherwise leave you in control of when you mantle or not in the air. 

You should absolutely set Slide/Dive Behavior to Tap to Slide, to take advantage of the “slide cancelling” movement mechanic which is back in this game! 

Based on your Plunging Underwater setting, you can either sprint and look down or look down and move forward to plunge underwater. We set this to Free to be able to swim easier. 

Parachute Auto-Deploy should be set to Off to enable you to pull your chute closer to the ground, but you may want to turn this back on if you fall to your death too many times! 

Bashing through a door that you sprint in to is a lot of fun, so don’t turn off Sprinting Door Bash. 

Ledge Climbing Behavor should be set to Mantle Only. 

Leave Slide Cancels Sprint On to take advantage of slide canceling. 

Equipment Behavior you should leave on HOLD so that you can cancel equipment activations easier. 

We prefer to activate Weapon Mounting by using ADS+Melee, and we leave the Weapon Mount Exit Delay set to Medium. 

The option we use for Interact/Reload Behavior isn’t going to be the best for everyone, but this is another setting that you can change based on your play style. We prefer to play on Tap to Reload, because we always want to be able to reload as fast as possible in the middle of a gunfight, even if we are standing next to something that can be interacted with like a door. Some of the other options like Tap to Interact and Prioritize Interact work well in the Campaign and Warzone, where you are interacting with items more often than reloading your weapons. 

Tactical Stance Activation and Behavior we left on the default settings as we haven’t used Tactical Stance much yet. 

Turn off Depleted Ammo Weapon Switch to have more control over when you swap weapons. 

Change Armor Plate Behavior to Apply All, because why wouldn’t you want to be full armor? 

Lastly Quick C4 Detonation is now turned on by default, which will make it easier and quicker to detonate a C4 explosive charge, but you can now choose whether to blow up groups of C4 at once or one at a time. We recommend setting this to grouped, to explode all your C4 at once. 

We’ll be talking a lot more about Modern Warfare III in the coming weeks and after we get our hands on new Warzone, so keep up with KontrolFreek Blogs for the latest guides, rankings, recommendations for Modern Warfare III and all your other favorite games! Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok to stay up to date on the latest gaming content and join our Twitch streams for opportunities to win free limited edition Modern Warfare III KontrolFreek and SteelSeries products! 

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