Game Guide

Modern Warfare 3 Tactical Stance Explained

Gotta get those camos.

MW3 Tactical Stance

Everyone likes to stand out. Part of the joy of the modern gaming era is the explosion of customization options at our fingertips. It’s increasingly easy to express yourself exactly how you want no matter what you’re playing. And if you’re playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 that expression is going to come across in your preferred choice of weapon and, more importantly, that weapon’s style.

Standing in the way of unlocking the cool skins you desire are lots and lots of challenges, some more vexing than others. Challenges tied to the use of MW3’s new tactical stance can be particularly confusing, especially given the total lack of tutorials or any explanation from the game. Fortunately, we’re here to help you bridge the gap. Here’s everything you need to know about the tactical stance in Modern Warfare 3.

The telltale tilt of tactical stance.


What Is the “Tactical Stance” In MW3?

In a bid to improve the pacing and overall fun factor of multiplayer, Sledgehammer Games wanted to focus on increased mobility for players. This led to the development of the tactical stance, aka “Tac Stance,” a kind of mid-range aiming option that is somewhere between hip fire and downscope shooting. When you’re in the tactical stance, your weapon is cocked at a slight angle, which provides a better reaction time and increased precision at close distances. Have you been popping headshots from a second-floor window and suddenly hear boots coming up the steps? Time for tactical stance.

How Do I Use Tactical Stance In MW3?

Tactical stance is enabled by default, and you’ll enter it automatically after sliding. To turn it on manually just aim with the left trigger and press down on the d-pad. You also have a range of options in the controller settings that change how to use tactical stance in Modern Warfare 3. Go to the settings menu, then select “Controller.” Next, go to “Gameplay,” scroll down, and select “Combat Behaviors.” There are two different options here for tactical stance: activation and behavior.

Activation is self-explanatory, it’s how you turn the aiming mode on and off. The default mode is listed above, but there are other options. You can map it to the left trigger + L3 or R3 (clicking the analog stick) instead of down on the d-pad, or you can unpair it from the left trigger entirely with a double-tap of down on the d-pad instead. Experimentation is encouraged until you find the method that suits your playstyle. One thing you don’t want to do is ignore tactical stance entirely. Yes, it’s new, but it’s there for a reason and once you get the hang of it you’re a lot more effective in close-quarters combat.

Tactical Stance behavior isn’t as obvious but refers to when the mode is on and off. Set it to “Once” and it stays active until you stop aiming. “On Toggle” means once you turn it on it stays on, so if you stop aiming (or lose your life) when you look down the sights again you’ll be back in tactical stance. “On Respawn” keeps it enabled until you are slain.

Tight spaces and short sightlines are the perfect recipe for a lil’ tac stance action.


How Do I Get 25 Headshots In Tactical Stance In MW3?

Fortunately, all the tactical stance challenges in MW3 are straightforward: rack up headshots. For example, to unlock the Monarch camo for the SVA-545 you need to get 25 slain opponents with tactical stance. This is one of the easier challenges in the game, and if you’re on that camo grind it shouldn’t take you more than a few matches to make it happen. Just remember this is a close-to-mid-range aiming mode so tearing around in tactical stance the whole time won’t be as effective as knowing when and where to use it. I’ve found it best in objective-based multiplayer modes like Hardpoint where you can post up in an area you know enemies have to run into.

That’s it! Happy hunting out there, and don’t forget to check your six.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is available now on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC.

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