Best controller settings in Modern Warfare 3: Aim assist, sensitivity, & more

Ryan Lemay
Operators firing weapons in MW3Activision

Proper controller settings are crucial for adapting to Modern Warfare 3’s new configurations by Sledgehammer. Here are the optimal settings for peak performance.

After playing for the first time during COD Next, CDL pro-Shotzzy boldly claimed that aim assist got nerfed in Modern Warfare 3. Aim assist has been at the forefront of Call of Duty debates for years, as PC players argue it’s too strong. Debates always get heated, as mouse and keyboard players don’t have the same luxury of having aim assist at their disposal.

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Only time will tell if aim assist is less powerful for controller users in MW3. And if that claim holds true, it’s even more important for players to take advantage of all the best controller settings to get a leg up on the competition.

Modern Warfare 3 gameplayActivision

Best Modern Warfare 3 controller settings

Modern Warfare introduces a new feature that allows players to test if their controller has stick drift. The Deadzone Input Test shows a diagram of both the left and right sticks as well as both triggers. All four can be tweaked depending on what is needed for the controller.

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Decreasing the Deadzones as low as possible results in the best possible precision aim. However, you may need to increase the Left and Right Stick Min if you experience stick drift. If stick drift is still a problem around 15 on either stick, it may be time to get a new controller.

As for Horizontal and Vertical Stick Sensitivity, 6 is typically the perfect middle ground. This is all subjective, so players are more than welcome to increase or lower that number based on how comfortable they feel in-game.

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  • Bumper Ping: Off
  • Button Layout Preset: Tactical
  • Flip L1/R1 with L2/R2: If you want faster button press time or play with a claw grip, you could turn this on
  • Stick Layout Preset: Default
  • Controller Vibration: Off
  • Trigger Effect (PS5): Off


  • Horizontal Stick Sensitivity: 6
  • Vertical Stick Sensitivity: 6
  • ADS Sensitivity Multiplier: 0.90
  • Sensitivity Multiplier:
    • Ground Vehicles: 1.00
    • Tablet: 1.00
  • Verticle Aim Axis:
    • On Foot: Standard
    • Ground Vehicles: Standard
  • Tac-Stance Sensitivity Multiplier: 0.90
  • Aim Response Curve Type: Dynamic
  • ADS Sensitivity Multiplier (Focus): 0.90
  • ADS Sensitivity Transition Timing: Instant
  • Custom Sensitivity Per Zoom: Off

Aim Assist

  • Target Aim Assist: On
  • Aim Assist Type: Black Ops

Motion Sensor Aiming

  • Motion Sensor Behavior: Off

Movement Behaviors

  • Automatic Sprint: Automatic Tactical Sprint
  • Auto Move Forward: Off
  • Tactical Sprint Behavior: Double Tap
  • Grounded Mantle: On
  • Automatic Airborne Mantle: Partial
  • Automatic Ground Mantle: Off
  • Invert Slide/Dive Behavior: Standard
  • Plunging Underwater: Trigger
  • Sprinting Door Bash: On
  • Ledge Climb Behavior: Hold

Combat Behaviors

  • Aim Down Sight Behavior: Hold
  • Change Zoom Shared Input: Off
  • Equipment Behavior: Hold
  • Weapon Mount Activation: ADS + Melee
  • Tactical ADS Activation: ADS + Down Button
  • Tactical ADS Behavior: Always
  • Interact/Reload Behavior: Prioritize Reload
  • ADS Stick Swap: Off
  • Weapon Mount Exit Delay: Medium
  • Depleted Ammo Weapon Switch: On
  • Quick C4 Detonation: Grouped

Vehicle Behaviors

  • Vehicle Camera Recenter: Short Delay
  • Camera Initial Position: Free Look
  • Lean-Out Activation: Melee

Overlays Behavior

  • Ping Wheel Delay: Moderate
  • Killstreak Wheel Behavior: Hold

Best Modern Warfare 3 Aim Assist type

While playing on a controller, it is essential always to ensure Target Aim Assist is On. Besides just making sure that Aim Assist is on, players must consider the different Aim Assist Types.

  • Default: Traditional aim slowdown near target used in Modern Warfare games.
  • Precision: Strong aim slowdown that only kicks in when aiming closer to the target. Recommended for accurate players.
  • Focusing: Strong aim slowdown that also kicks in when narrowly missing the target. Recommended for players new to analog aiming.
  • Black Ops: Traditional aim slowdown near target used in Black Ops games

We recommend using the Black Ops Aim Assist Type. Fans of Treyarch and the Black Ops series guns will feel right at home using this setting, and new players will learn quickly why it was so popular.

Two Modern Warfare 3 Juggernauts get locked into a tense and incredibly goofy duelActivision

Best Modern Warfare 3 Aim Response Curve

Modern Warfare 3 offers three types of Aim Response Curves, each coming with its own distinct feeling for your thumbstick movements. Here are how the three types work.

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  • Standard: Simple power curve map from aim stick to aim rate
  • Linear: Aim stick maps directly to aim rate
  • Dynamic: Reverse S-curve mapping for fine aim rate control

Most MW3 players will lean towards the Standard Aim Response Curve, but we recommend giving Dynamic a go and learning how to use it. The setting allows for much finer control than the other options but requires a bit of a learning curve, no pun intended.

How to find the best Modern Warfare 3 controller aim assist settings

At the end of the day, controller settings come down to personal preference, so if one or more of our settings don’t quite seem to work for you, then it’s easy enough to find your own specialized adjustments.

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Load up a Private Match with bots and tinker around with the settings until everything feels exactly as it should.

That’s everything you need to know about controller settings. For more, check out the rest of our Modern Warfare 3 coverage.

Best Modern Warfare 3 AR class loadouts | How to slide cancel in Modern Warfare 3 | Best controller settings in Modern Warfare 3 | All maps & modes | How to play Modern Warfare 3 at 120 FPS on PS5 | Modern Warfare 3 TTK | How long is the Modern Warfare 3 campaign? | Campaign mission list | How to fix packet burst | How to play MW3 Zombies in third person

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About The Author

Ryan is a former games writer for Dexerto. Ryan graduated from Ithaca College in 2021 with a sports media degree and a journalism minor. He gained experience as a writer for the Morning Times newspaper before joining Dexerto as a games writer. He mainly writes about first-person shooters, including Call of Duty and Battlefield, but he is also a big FIFA fan.