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There are six submachine guns in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, but there are really only a few that could be considered in or around the meta of multiplayer. The Rival-9 is unquestionably at the top of the SMG category, though, boasting a fantastic and fast-killing loadout in MW3.

A replica of the Skorpion from previous COD titles, the Rival-9 is undoubtedly the top SMG in multiplayer during the preseason. While this might change with future balancing updates, there is no other SMG that can challenge the Rival-9 up close or at range. It’s why the professional players in the Call of Duty League have declared it the meta SMG early on.

However, if you want to get the most out of the Rival-9 in MW3, you need to use its strongest set of attachments and loadout.

Best Rival-9 loadout in MW3

  • Muzzle: Purifier Muzzle Brake S
  • Barrel: Rival-C Clearshot Barrel
  • Stock: MTZ Marauder Stock
  • Rear Grip: Rival Vice Assault Grip
  • Underbarrel: DR-6 Handstop
Image via Activision

This is currently the loadout many of the top SMG players in the Call of Duty League are running on their Rival-9. The loadout is almost entirely focused on recoil control, as the Rival-9 already has superior mobility, even with all of these attachments equipped. The only mobility attachment is the DR-6 Handstop, which doesn’t lower your recoil by much. The Rival-C Clearshot Barrel also offers some extra damage range for any farther enemies.

If you head into the Firing Range in MW3 with this loadout, you’ll find your gun barely moves when shooting, even at long range, and your ADS/sprint-to-fire speed is still extremely fast. If you find you need some extra damage range, though, you can swap out the Rival Vice Assault Grip for the High Grain Rounds ammunition. This lowers recoil control, but greatly improves your killing potential.

Related: The best MCW loadout in MW3

Best Class Setup for the Rival-9 in MW3

Next, we’ll move onto the rest of your class for the Rival-9. This includes the perks, equipment, and Field Upgrade that you want to equip. All of the items selected are primarily focused on being aggressive on the map, which is what you want to do when using the Rival-9 in MW3.


  • Gloves: Asssault Gloves
  • Boots: Tactical Pads
  • Gear: Tac Mask/EOD Padding/Ghost T/V Camo


  • Lethal: Frag Grenade
  • Tactical: Stim

Field Upgrade

  • Dead Silence

If you want, you can use Covert Sneakers to have Dead Silence equipped permanently, and you can swap out the Field Upgrade for something like the Trophy System or Munitions Box. But this class setup as a whole is perfect for any game mode in MW3. However, if you’re looking to use the Rival-9 in competitive Search and Destroy, I recommend checking out my full class setup for that, as it differs slightly to accommodate for some restrictions.