Modern Warfare 3 Zombies Season 1 patch notes: New Act, Dark Aether Rifts, new Wonder Weapon

Jacob Hale
New Act in Modern Warfare 3 Zombies

Zombies has proven to be a huge hit in Modern Warfare 3, bringing back the classic Call of Duty mode with an all new twist that has been described a crossover between Zombies and DMZ. Season 1 is set to bring some huge changes to the game, so here all the Zombies changes in the full patch notes.

Zombies has seen somewhat of a revival this year. While players were initially frustrated that it wouldn’t be a round-based game mode like it was during the glory years, it quickly became incredibly popular for leveling up weapons and completing challenges, before players realized it’s great fun in its own right.

For that reason, many players have been excited to see what comes in Season 1, and we’ve got the full patch notes here.

Modern Warfare Zombies Season 1 patch notes

MWIII Zombies
A new chapter in the Zombies storyline comes with MWIII Season 1.


Story Act and Mission

  • Act IV and a new Story Mission are immediately available for all players at the start of Season 1.
  • A massive gateway has appeared in the Exclusion Zone. Investigate the area and engage in new end-game content.

Dark Aether Rifts

  • Dark Aether Rifts bring rewards to those who brave their challenges.
    • These otherworldly labyrinths are located inside the Dark Aether, where players and their squad have a limited time to complete a series of increasingly chaotic objectives to earn exceptional rewards. Find Sigils to enter the Dark Aether Rifts and face a new level of challenge!
  • Dark Aether Rifts are unlocked by solving a hidden quest, which activates after completing the new Season 1 Story Mission.

Wonder Weapon: V-R11

  • The V-R11 has been added to Modern Warfare Zombies.
    • Shoot zombies and transform them into humans, or blast humans to mutate them into friendly zombies.
    • Players receive a buff when shot.
    • The V-R11 has been added to the Mystery Box in Modern Warfare Zombies.
    • V-R11 Weapon Cases are now available via loot.

Acquisitions and Schematics

  • Dog Bone
    • Consume the Dog Bone to summon the strongest friendly Hell Hound companion. The pet Hellhound will follow you and attack nearby threats until its health runs out.
  • Golden Armor Plate
    • Consuming the new Golden Armor Plate replaces the Armor Carrier with Plates that automatically repair over time, in addition to providing the user additional damage resistances.
  • Aether Blade
    • The Aether Blade is a special Throwing Knife with infinite ammo and a boomerang-like combat style. After striking an enemy, the Aether Blade locates the next nearest enemy to hit before returning to its Operator.

Prestige Challenges

  • Season 1 allows you to level up past Rank 55 into Prestige Ranks that persist across seasons. 
  • Beginning in Season 1, reaching Rank 56 will unlock Prestige 1. Achieving this unlocks rewards and a set of challenges in Modern Warfare Zombies — complete those challenges to unlock multiple exclusive Calling Cards.
  • For more details on Prestige Challenges, visit the Challenges and Seasonal Progression section of the Season 1 Announcement Blog.

Season 1 Battle Pass Weapons

  • The XRK Stalker, RAM-7, and Stormender are available in Modern Warfare Zombies loadouts once unlocked via the Season 1 Battle Pass.

Global Changes

  • Season 1 updates are not limited to just Zombies! Please reference the Global Section above for weapon balancing changes and more.



  • Various visual map fixes.


Wonder Weapons

  • The Scorcher
    • The Scorcher’s launch ability will automatically fire when a player reaches their maximum charge under low ammo conditions.


  • DG-58
    • Addressed an issue that prevented camos from applying in the customization tab in loadout menus.

Weapon Cases

  • All Weapon Cases
    • Closed a duplication exploit.


Hostile Takeover

  • Addressed an issue that prevented some safes from progressing this Mission.
  • Adjusted the description of this Mission in the Mission Select menu to state that Greene wants Players to hit “Terminus” instead of “Deadbolt.”

Merc Cleanup

  • Mercenaries killed from long distances inside Merc Camps will now progress this mission.


  • This Mission now requires players to shock five separate Special zombies instead of shocking the same Special zombie multiple times.

Storm the Castle

  • The required mission item will always drop when the Warlord is killed.



  • Defend Ground Station
    • Addressed an issue that prevented the timer for the Defend Ground Station contract from appearing if players previously completed the same contract in a single session.
    • Mercenaries will now continue to fight Players after completing the Defend Ground Station contract.
  • Eliminate Bounty Target
    • HVTs lured far away from their original spawn location in an attempt to exploit their behavior will now return faster to their spawn and heal more.
  • Outlast
    • Enemies no longer spawn if players are not progressing the contract.
  • Raid Weapon Stash
    • Enemies no longer spawn if players are not progressing the contract.
  • Spore Control
    • Adjusted Spores to prevent them from spawning on a player, resulting in an instant death.


  • General
    • Addressed an issue where players could store more Acquisitions in the stash than intended.
  • Aether Tools
    • Addressed an issue that prevented Aether Tools from applying if a player was driving a vehicle.
  • Ammo Mods
    • Addressed an issue that prevented Ammo Mods from applying if a player was driving a vehicle.
  • Perk-A-Colas
    • Tombstone Soda
      • Addressed an issue where Tombstones could spawn under the map.
      • Addressed an issue where Tombstones could spawn in the center of the map instead of where a player previously died. 
      • Addressed an issue where sometimes players would not obtain their essence when interacting with a Tombstone.
      • Closed various duplication exploits associated with Tombstone Soda.
  • Ammo Mods
    • Brain Rot
      • Players will now receive essence when a Brain Rotted Zombie kills other Zombies or dies.


  • Various fixes for locations on the map where players could not loot items.


  • Launch
    • More formidable enemies have been added to the Exfil experience in all zones.
    • Addressed a rare issue that prevented the Hilltop Exfil helicopter from landing.
  • In-Season
    • All exfils will increase the number of enemies spawned, with the Final Exfil receiving a significant boost to enemy count and enemy types.


  • Ammo Caches will now always fully refill applicable player ammo reserves.
  • Addressed an issue that allowed players to die instantly if they ran and slid into a Dog House.
  • Players will no longer be able to hide inside a Dog House.
  • Closed an out-of-bounds location that allowed players to stay alive outside the playable space.
  • Addressed an issue where Player selected Operator skins would change upon entering a vehicle.



  • Disciples
    • General
      • Addressed multiple issues that allowed Disciples to behave erratically, such as becoming stuck high in the air or on objects.
    • The Stormcaller
      • Addressed an issue that allowed The Stormcaller to die instantly from the Blood Burner’s Aether Pulse.
  • Hell Hounds
    • Hell Hound flame particles will disappear if a Hell Hound does not spawn.
  • Zombies
    • General
      • Adjusted spawns to prevent Zombies from spawning on top of fences.
      • Adjusted pathing to address exploits or incorrect pathing.
    • Light Armored Zombies
      • Addressed an issue that allowed Light Armored Zombies to receive more headshot damage than intended.


Lethal Equipment

  • Experimental Gas Grenade
    • Damage against Aether Worms has been reduced.

Tactical Equipment

  • Decoy Grenades
    • Reduced the number of Decoy Grenades that can be stacked or equipped  from 3 to 2.
    • Reduced Decoy Grenade duration from 8 seconds to 6.



  • Addressed an issue where players could destroy an Exfil helicopter by calling in a Juggernaut suit crate on top of it.

Sentry Turret

  • Players can no longer kill themselves or others when placing down a Sentry Turret.



  • Borealis (MWIII) and Bioluminescent (MWII) Update.
    • Increased the animation rate of the Borealis and Bioluminescent Completionist Camos


  • Player health and stamina are now represented by dynamic bars on the HUD.
  • Addressed an issue that prevented pings on looted items in caches from disappearing automatically.
  • Addressed an issue where players who attempted to equip a Mission Reward in the Gear tab would sometimes equip the wrong item.
  • Addressed an issue where objective titles would occasionally not display while loading into a match.
  • Addressed an issue where objective text would occasionally display outside its panel while loading into a match.
  • Addressed an issue where players would be returned to the lobby screen when selecting “Activate Armory Unlock” on a locked Tactical or Lethal equipment item.



  • The First Step
    • Players can now unlock “The First Step” for reaching level 55 in Modern Warfare Zombies. Previously, players would need to enter the Multiplayer menu to obtain the achievement.


  • Completionist Camos
    • Golden Enigma (MWIII) & Golden Ivory (MWII) Update
      • We’ve released a fix that allows Players to complete the Golden Enigma and Golden Ivory Completionist Camos with Blueprint weapons and Custom Mods.


Battle Chatter

  • “Friendly Fire” Operator chatter will play less frequently.


  • Adjustments have been made to better ensure players keep their loadout and rucksack inventory if they do not successfully deploy into a match.
  • Added various crash and stability fixes.