Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 Elite Service: Worth it or Not?

The Call of Duty franchise has been a very successful first-person-shooter video game since the original game was released on October 29th, 2003. It was not until Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare, however, when the online multiplayer experience became very advanced and the franchise's popularity rose even higher. You could unlock new weapons as you leveled up, get killstreaks, and the game featured perks that offered players different abilities based on how they play. Call of Duty also has always had top-notch graphics and ran very smoothy for the most part.

The online service has always been free for Call of Duty, though. You will still be able to play Modern Warfare 3 for free online, however, you will not be able to use all the features. This include things such as leveling up your clan through competitions and tournaments, having access to new DLC map content, expert strategies & advise, chances to win prizes both real and virtual, and more. You will also have more video storage space with Call of Duty Elite paid service. This all sounds good, but will this really appeal to all gamers? Surely a hardcore gamer/Call of Duty fan will be more inclined to use this service. But what about casual gamers or perhaps gamers who are in between the two?

Call of Duty Elite Price

Call of Duty Elite will cost $49.99 for a 1-year subscription service. That is almost the entire cost of buying Modern Warfare 3 itself! And if your an Xbox player, that means you are also paying for Xbox live yearly/monthly subscriptions.

Will Call of Duty Elite mainly appeal to hardcore gamers and long time fans of Call of Duty?

This service seems like it is appealing mostly to hardcore fans of Call of Duty. But even then, will fans be disappointed if they do not have access to certain features, unless they pay $49.99 for Call of Duty Elite? Also, what if a player buys Call of Duty Elite and realizes they do not like the paid service overall? This could potentially damage the Call of Duty consumer market in the future.

Is Call of Duty making the right decision by creating a paid service? It has been successful for nearly a decade now, but this is quite a big change. While the multiplayer will still be free, certain features can not be accessed unless Call of Duty Elite is purchased. Infinity Ward is treading uncharted territory. Will they satisfy both long time fans and casual gamers?

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 Elite may be very successful

The fact that players can still play Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 online for free is still great for casual gamers or players who are undecided (like myself). If we look back on the history of the Call of Duty franchise, many of the games, especially Black Ops, have sold millions of copies! It can not be disputed that Call of Duty has been very successful, at least in regards to selling the games. Perhaps Call of Duty Elite will be a great service because of the DLC and career analysis of how you played previous Call of Duty's. But again, will this appeal to everyone, or will it only appeal to a small number of consumers?

Infinity Ward and the other affiliated companies are not just selling video game copies to a small niche of hardcore Call of Duty players.They are also making a significant portion of money through casual gamers who buy Call of Duty to play socially with their friends as well. If casual players do not like the free service, and they find the Elite version to be too expensive, will they still feel obligated to buy future Call of Duty games?

Of course, some players only purchase Call of Duty to play the Single-Player Campaign primarily. All of Call of Duty's single player campaigns, however, were very short. While they had a lot of action cinematic moments, every single player campaign was extremely short. If Call of Duty Elite or the free service to play MW3 does not appeal to these type of gamers (casual or those who play socially online), infinity ward and other affiliated developers may lose these small niche of casual gamers, which could potentially damage the reputation of the Call of Duty franchise. What infinity ward does now could either help or harm them in the future.

Note from Author

I have been playing Call of Duty since the first one, but never considered myself a hardcore fan, but a simple fan. I have never made it to 10th prestige in any of the previous Call of Duty games, however, I do feel that Call of Duty is one of the best first-person-shooters on the market. Sure, Battlefield is often said to be more "realistic", but Call of Duty has always ran smoothy, had great graphics, and delivered many blockbuster action oriented battles in each Single Player Campaign. That is enough for me. As long as the controls feel comfortable in Modern Warfare 3 and the overall atmosphere of the game (mainly the action and visual/audio experience) in both single player and multiplayer remains to be great, I will continue to buy future Call of Duty games.

Call of Duty Elite makes me cringe, however. If the developers ever do choose to make the online multiplayer "not free", my future decisions to buy Call of Duty games may be impacted. Mainly because I play "other video games" too, not just Call of Duty! I am sure there are others who feel the same as I do. My current disposition of Call of Duty Elite is neutral, but it remains to be seen whether mine will change to either a positive or negative. If I find that this paid service is worth the price and time, then I am all for it. Otherwise, I am sticking with Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3's free service.

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JonHar profile image

JonHar 5 years ago from Riverside, CA

The only reason Call of Duty Elite will be worth it to a person is if they plan on buying all of the map packs. With COD Elite, you get all of the map packs for $50 which individually will be somewhere around $60. i will be buying COD Elite because I want to take part in the tournaments and download the map packs.

Great Article!!!

Mikey 5 years ago

Well I just got home from pre ordering mw3 and the guy at gamestop is telling me that without call of duty elite, all the guns and perks unlocked in multiplayer go away when the system is turned off, if this is true I will go return the game right now

JonHar profile image

JonHar 5 years ago from Riverside, CA

That is not true lol All Call of Duty Elite allows you to do is download all of the map packs without paying for each one individually and compete in online tournaments. If you just buy the game, then you will still have access to all of the unlocks and weapons. It is the same as any other Call of Duty game. If I were you, I would report this to the store manager because that is wrong for him to do that to you.

COD fanboy 5 years ago


BF3 is much better. 5 years ago

Lul, silly CoD fanboys, Battlefield 3 will be much better, destruction of buildings, realtime gravity, better graphics, longer story mode, multiplayer vehices such as jets, helis, tanks, IFVS, and AA, more weapons, more variety, bigger maps, AND MUCH MUCH more.

JonHar profile image

JonHar 5 years ago from Riverside, CA

@ BF3 is much better

While I am a COD player, I am not a fanboy but I feel as if BF3 was a let down. The graphics are the same as MW3 and the story mode is disappointing. The vehicles are fairly useless unless it is a tank because the jets are only good for air to air combat.

David 470 profile image

David 470 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, United States Author

I always preferred Call of Duty because the shooting aspect felt better than battlefield to me, and quite frankly, I can never tell where I am getting shot from on Battlefield.

I think Call of Duty always had superior game sound compared to other first person shooters.

But battlefield is more tactical and often requires more team work than call of duty.

There both good franchises, I guess it just depends on which style you prefer.

ZeroKitsunei 5 years ago

I play pc, and both mw3 and bf3 shat on pc gamers. Bf3 with its stupid interface. Mw3 with elite not being ready for time release. BTW let's do some simple math. Dlc $15 bucks a pop (like it has been before) for a year 12x15=$180 so $49.99 worth it for me.

JonHar profile image

JonHar 5 years ago from Riverside, CA

@ ZeroKitsunei There are only going to be 3 or 4 map packs. The stuff we are going to get each month is going to be things like Camos for weapons and stuff like that.

gamefan 5 years ago

@ bf3 is much better

why do you say cod is bad when it isn't even released and you dont need 2 buy it both bf3 en mw3 are good games but in there own way if you say that one is better then the other you have never played a game like you should do

NubPWNER 5 years ago

You guys sicken me. Call of Duty is a joke of a franchise milked into retardation that little 10 year olds love. If you play it because you like the "epic" singleplayer and "balanced" multiplayer thats a joke. COD has to be the worst piece of over hyped garbage on the market today with recycling every single thing from all the previous games, has HORRIBLE sounds, and is marketed for a younger audience that buy the game because its rated M. All it consists of is nonsensical swearing and over the top violence that is pointless and gets the story absolutely no where at all. I have no problem with such things, my problem is COD over uses it and advertises it so all the little kids get it because they can hear people scream and swear at one another without getting pwned.

I will admit that the first Modern Warfare was amazing and I still play it occasionally, and the second one had some appeal that lasted about a month. MW3 is just a rehash of MW2. I was looking forward to Battlefield 3, but like most of the games released this year it wasn't tested enough and played like crap. Besides, the thought of my money supporting a cretin like Kotick is more than I can handle...

JonHar profile image

JonHar 5 years ago from Riverside, CA

Unless you have played MW3 then don't bash it. I did play it at COD XP and actually found it to be enjoyable. Sure there are kids that play COD but you can mute them. People want to play a game that is balanced and enjoyable. There is no such thing as the perfect game so there are going to flaws but overall this game will provide hours of fun gameplay.

David 470 profile image

David 470 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, United States Author

Lol, if anyone thinks the Call of Duty or battlefield franchise is bad, YOU HAVE NOT PLAYED DARKEST OF DAYS!

Darkest of Days has bad sound, graphics, and the gameplay mechanics are flawed.

Apparently, people despise success and not failure?

Brock 5 years ago

Battlefield is great. Graphics mess up at times but that's only because the maps are huge. Sniping isn't just put the guy in the cross hairs and shoot like cod. You actually have to elevate shots. I like the realism of battlefield. They just need a hardcore mode.

Daniella Lopez profile image

Daniella Lopez 5 years ago from Arkansas

Great hub! You've provided a very thorough review that is easy to comprehend by gamers and non-gamers alike. Voted up!

drspaniel profile image

drspaniel 5 years ago from Somewhere, where the sun shines once a year...

I would only even get the elite service if I wanted the maps, I don't particularly think that you should only be able to get the maps as an "elite" player, as it should be available for purchase from all users. Then again, Call of Duty fans of all ranges will be willing to purchase this, as it is such a great game!

Mo_Gunz-513 5 years ago

Really?...really...RRrreeallly BF3?... MW3? I have both and anyone can see that MW3 is by far a much smoother gameplay experience. MW3 makes BF3 looks like the fat kid chasing after the track star runner who just took his lunch. Their are things I love about both games whcih I wish were combined all in one as well as Black Ops. People complianing that one game is better than the other when it all nothing but opinion based off what each individual likes is clearly a waist of time starting an argument over,... but MW3's graphics are far better than BF3's in all features but BF3 has great campaign graphics but they lach in multiplayer. Now I can get deeper into detail but all I have to say is once I beat BF3 campaign im selling it and after I beat MW3's campaign im keeping it.

GETSOME702 5 years ago

In BF3 they do have a hardcore mode, you just have to search (HARDCORE) in the servers and you will find the hardcore server lol, I hope this helps you out (Brock) and I play both MW3 and BF3 they both are great games just different aspects and huge size differences lol, BF3 is more realistic when it comes to sniping but it is awesome when you can adjust for the drop of a bullet and get a headshot from 776m away unlike MW3 if its in your crosshairs its a hit lol like I id both are good games just have different aspects for different gamers!

iswagga 5 years ago

nice game

Hercufles 5 years ago

Even if bf3 is better then mw 3 i still bought mw 3 ea had done things bad with bad company 2 i really wanted to play that game but keeping getting disconnected from the game with my p

ps 3 is bad and i understand bf 3 has the same netcoding so now i wont be a sucker to make the same mistake.

william 5 years ago

i cant get in elite

william 5 years ago

everything is 50 dollars rip off

Sid 5 years ago

Can you tell me if I should wait for the elite till the DLC packs are out? since the subscription is for 1 year. I do not want to lose the subscription time earlier due to waiting?


srovaj3 5 years ago

I hate all the noobs in the game that only get 1 kill and die 30 times...its really not all that fun even when i am the one doing all the killing....i will buy elite for the maps and if it means that there is better competition...otherwise...I am tired of wasting my time.

tyfighter15 5 years ago

Well BF3 is in my opinion no comparison to MW3. sure bf3 has the cool buildings blowing up and helis and jets but so does mw3. killstreaks are helis and jets lol. and there more effective in mw3 anyway. Also mw3 has funner objective game modes. i have both bf3 and mw3 i havent played bf3 since mw3 came out. I must say that mw2 is better than mw3 with the maps for sure. I know that treyarc messed up that aspect. seems to me that mw3 has no cool graphic glitches or any sweet grassy areas to hide in. i love S&D and i was the guy that found these glitches and hid in areas where people would never look. always going 10-2 and what not. But yeah MW3 way better. i do hate how it takes no skill to fire any gun besides the pm9. and its still easy to fire at long range. O well i guess treyarc said even people that can't control recoil need to have a keen advantage

Neckername 5 years ago

I have been playing Call of Duty since its original launch on PC. The campaign captivated me from the start, and the multiplayer was the best ever. Then United Offensive came out and made it even better with large maps and vehicles. I have been playing every call of duty since, the last one I played was Modern Warfare 2, which was the best of the modern series in my opinion. But none compare to the classic. Now, with all of this BS and how MW3 is the same basically, and now that they want people to pay, it is complete BS. Activision has been a money hog from the start, they even screwed over the design team causing most of them to leave Infinity Ward, the real creators, not the crappy Treyarch.

Drown 5 years ago

Mw3 great game play for hours daily

homersimpon99 5 years ago

hi what happens if i buy elite before making an account now i donot get to create a clan can i have help

Rich 5 years ago

I don't understand how the Battlefield games suddenly got the reputation of being realistic. Battlefield is pretty much the definition of the "arcade" military shooter.

Micheal 5 years ago

Love the article....WOW... but it was definitely worth it when I found out about this leake COD guide. Has any one else's learning curve lessoned from the leak . I know it truly help me guide my boys.

mark 5 years ago

Esto es una mierda yo compre el elite y no e podido jugarlo asta el pinche dia de hoy porque el pinche mierdero cervidor siempre esta acupado que puto robo de mierda

ryan59155 5 years ago

Sn!P on the WINNER

Ghostwolfe 5 years ago

Hey David like the article a lot, though I would like to say for myself elite paid is well worth the $49.99 for the year just for the 20 pieces of DLC content you get for free. Though for most players if they are not going to utilize the competitions section or elite tv it is only good for the savings on the DLC content, mainly why I purchased it. Great article.

Alan 4 years ago

I have a family plan on XBOX for myself and my 2 boys. So I just downloaded the first DLC maps this morning and I'm the only one that can play them. They told me that I'd have to get a premium membership for each of my kids if they want to play the maps!!! I've never had to pay separately for each gamertag before. This will be the last COD game I purchase.

Qtip 4 years ago

I wanna play the new maps! I got the harden and cant play maps cause i dont pay for elite

Qtip 4 years ago

I wanna play the new maps! I got the harden and cant play maps cause i dont pay for elite

dsl toad bolaz 4 years ago

if u want to join a cool? elite clan for xbox msg (o BlazinTiger) or (DSL TOAD BOLAZ)

Ghostwolfe 4 years ago

@Alan yeah that is the one thing that I found out that I don't like. Myself and my wife each have an account on elite one free and one paid and since she is not paid she can't play the maps on my console. Even with the family plan unless we go and play private matches. @QTip if you purchased the hardened addition of cod: mw3 than you should have gotten elite included with it for a year since the hardened was 99.00.

alfari 4 years ago

@Alan all accountts need xbl gold membership to play online, but u'll only need to pay for the dlcs once. I've 2 accounts with xbl gold and can play the new maps in both of them.

JC1968 4 years ago

So, back to the original question. Is COD MW3 Elite worth the $49.99? I have MW3 and all the previous COD releases. I enjoy playing the game myself and w/ my son. I paid for Elite, but so far am not seeing the value, aside from maybe the ability to create a class and bring those weapons into battle. it's also disappointing that the Founders code is only availble to those that purchased MW3 Hardended Edition. Anyone purchase Elite and feel they are getting their money's worth?

popik123 4 years ago

I do not understand why cant i enjoy the new maps (such as piazza and skyline and such...)with my pc version of COD MW3?! why do you release it only for PS3 and XBOX? i have a PS3 acctually but i bought the pc version because i like playing it on the computer. So why cant i enjoy the new maps? Very frustrating i have to say. Surely will effect my future plans for buying the next COD game. :(

ShakaZulu 4 years ago

If you are a casual gamer, and don't give a shit about all the extra crap. Then Elite is a huge waste of time. I only play hardcore game modes. And, guess what? The maps are only available in CORE game modes, unless I play mosh pit. What a crock of shit. If I'm going to basically pay for another video game, it should do what I want. In my opinion, if you only play core, or just get a hard on thinking about this stupid game, then fork over the dough. Other than that save your money and fill up your gas tank.

dllk 4 years ago

will the maps be only for elite members

John 4 years ago

Please stop with " bf3 is better than mw3" or "mw3 is better than bf3" talk about ELITE. Keep this childish nerd war to yourself and friends on your elementary school playground.

carrianne 4 years ago

is elite worth it or not ?

Name: 4 years ago

Is getting Elite worth getting? And if you do not have it can you still get the maps when they come out later?

jbbeg4mercy 4 years ago

Ive played black ops & mw2 on my cousins xbox. i recently bought a ps3 & got mw3. ive played mw3 for a while then i bought bf3. in my oppion mw3 is better i dont like how it is hard to level up on bf3 but i still like the game infact the only thing i really like about bf3 is the jets. & really i should of got ace combat.. but yea i agree in the post that somebody posted the maps on mw2 ore way better then the ones on mw3 but the new maps will decide that for me. i want to play highrise sooo bad. really debateing on selling bf3. but since i take good care of my games. somebody smudge my disk i get pi$$ed off lmao bf3 mw3 or any other game i bought brand new

Sadi 4 years ago


Eric 4 years ago

Don't buy the Elite Service it's not worth it. What will you do if you buy MW3 and elite and you don't like the game and sell it. As far as I know when people have called to cancel they would be waiting on the phone to cancel their elite for an hour or so. Those Elite subscribers I can tell already are not happy with any of it.

Vtec 4 years ago

@ bf 3 is much better. Bf is the worst FPS ever made. Dnt try n justify it. Why come to a cod site n tryn promote a game that's not even out when part 2 was by far the worst FPS Ive ever played? Battlefailed3?

druidnj 4 years ago

SKYRIM BEATS ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jamie ashbrook 4 years ago

if i buy elite do i get map pack for free and do i have to pay any extra when i buy elite

Rawgo 4 years ago

^Jamie, all the dlc is included in the price of the elite package. Therefore, you get all the maps, spec ops, survival missions.

kaiwooglin 4 years ago

I bought elite when I bought the game only so it was cheaper overall then buying the new maps get released. So now I got the new maps and still haven't played a single match on them. Am I missing something here?

bob 4 years ago

Everyone does realize it a video game right???? BF is nothing vrs MW3. MW3 is smother and more fun. I play alot but will not do the elite crap as I feel everyone should get it since they paid the $50.00 for the game. Just another PR scam. NOW... GO PLAY

fuck you 4 years ago

you guys are cheap ass knobs, if you like the game and wanna play the map pack then buy the map pack or save some cash by buying elite, if your going to be faggets and bitch n moan then dont buy it, c.o.d doesnt need you they have millions of players

Dansgspike 4 years ago

funny thing is on Mw3 & Bf3 is that sniping is ACTUALLY more real in Mw3 all because in real life u use a range finder or a spotter to get you the distance then you toggle it in with the wind & elevation turrets on the scope making a shot about 700+ m head shot with cross hairs on his head so technically the sniping in mw3 is essentially auto adjusting the turrets in a way so ya benifit of being a army sniper

sachin 4 years ago

i like this game

Ian Hill 4 years ago

Did we con

Ian Hill 4 years ago

Hi All,

Did we conclude whether going Elite is a better deal than buying the separately?

I like'd being able to spend a little for a few maps once a quarter.

What if they release new maps just after my subscription has expired? Will subscriptions for Elite carry to new CODs?


Ghostwolfe 4 years ago

@Ian Hill Maps will only be released for the 9 months and if you get the subscription late you will still get all the earlier maps for free. If you sit and think about it all the maps bundled will cost 1200 points or more depending on how many are released in the collection. Personally I think it is well worth it and saves me about $20.00 on the maps.

lucid30 4 years ago

I purchased the Elite service and it has been aweful. The greedy developers have overeached. Those who do buy the argument (like myself) that you would spend the same $$ for the seperate map packs are finding out the hard way that theres a catch. The problem is that so few people (realative to total gamer population) are falling for this money grab that the pool of potential players of the new maps is so small you can never get a game, or its not the gametype you want to play or the connection sucks. I'm not just a crank...this service sucks dont buy it. I hope activision et al smarten up or they might just kill the golden goose.

filip 4 years ago

i have both bf3 n mw3 and i honestly like bf3 more cuz of the graphics its more realistic but mainly it is becuz u can get jets fly around the map or get a dune buggy and drive through hills. where in mw3 its small maps n u mainly kill. i also hate the overpowered guns like the pp90m1 or mp7 or fmg or acr just wish they took them out or made them weaker

vasco22 4 years ago

I have a situation here. I upgraded to Elite Premium, but when I click on downloadable content, to download maps,no box appears..and so I cant play the Elite playlists...what should I do?thanks

raab 4 years ago

mw3 elite is the biggest con EVER. They only created it to stop map sharing on ps3 hell I can't even share them with my SON. ABSOLUTE JOKE

J0HN McCLAN3 4 years ago

yo what up i bought the elite service because in the long run i knew i would end up buying all the maps anyway because i like to play new maps after a while because the ones that come with the game tend to get most would agree is it depends on how much you plan on playing the game is where it comes down to should i buy it or not...but alsolook at it like this once you buy one map pack and then decide to buy the elite then you have just payed more then everyone is setup so that they can gurantee the sells of the maps before they release them and in some why is cheaper the gamer that bought it is all about money before the fan remeber that yes they will give you some of what you ask for but then still keep in the mind we wont to make on the bf3 vs mw3 that just stupid they 2 different fps and you can compare them in that since like must of these trolls bf3 bf3 bf3 this and tha..t they probably just suck at cod period and then of course move on to a different game and say its on the other hand i like both games and own both games as well enjoy both games because i can play both anf understand the difference between them...

Wotz 4 years ago

NOTE: NEW MAPS DLC CANNOT BE PLAYED WITH NON ELITE MEMBERSHIP PLAYERS. I PURCHASED THE NEW MAP PACK (I dont have the elite membership) and I was unable to play the new maps with my mate (who has purchased the elite membership).

WHAT THE HELL IS THAT ALL ABOUT? NO WHERE in the purchase does it state you need full elite membership to play the maps online. what a con. Well done mircosoft you've robbed me again.

BF3 Is The Best 4 years ago

It's $50 a Year, Not a one time payment. So if you get two maps this year you'll be paying more.. Not Less. I've played MW3 and my first question while playing was "Is this A Joke?!".

BF3 = Top Line New Graphics

MW3 = Still looks and feels like a CHEAP Cartoon.

BF3 = The Vehicles Rock despite what that other loser said planes only good for air.. Cuz U Suck!

MW3 = Nothing!

MW3 = Same Knifing Garbage

BF3 - Made Knifing a hell of alot harder and you can defend if you know the guy is there!

Don't get me wrong, Mw3 could be fun, but not at $50 a year price tag..




4th letter 4 years ago

I believe the franchise is hoping to cash in on gamers addiction to the game. Eventually they will try to charge for online pay. It's inevitable, but they will lose a lot of customers if they do.

Porterpotty 4 years ago

Trying to get into Elite SUCKS and is not worth all the hype. I tried to buy the extra maps and got stuck paying way more than I wanted to pay. Wish I could get my money back for some of them!

Grommet 4 years ago

MW3 is the first Call of Duty game that I've bought. I love being an Elite member. I get at least one new map each month.. sometimes two. This is the case for 9 months. Not sure what everyone is complaining about.

Vanessa 4 years ago

I have gotten addicted to MW3 but I get so pissed at the airstrikes and how fast the people get them!! Does Elite help them with that?? And I also see people jumping crazy and sliding.. Wth??

SEAL 4 years ago

LMAO at u poor noobs

warchild75 profile image

warchild75 4 years ago from Worthing, west sussex, england

It is worth it if you are xbox 360 as you get all the new map packs before Playstation owners. Secondly Microsoft have signed a new deal for the new Black ops game so it will be the same again next year!.

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