The key to surviving the endless onslaught of the undead in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3’s addictive Zombies mode is understanding your enemies inside and out.
This comprehensive guide will break down everything you need to know about each zombie type, along with tips and strategies for counteracting their strengths and exploiting their weaknesses.
|Zombie Type||Strengths||How to Kill Them|
|Standard Zombie||Weak and easily killed by most weapons|
Overwhelming in large numbers
|Headshot damage to save ammo|
|Armored Zombie||Function the same as standard zombies but have armor|
Require more shots to kill
|Headshot damage |
Vulnerable to shatter blast ammo mod which strips armor
Come in packs, making engagements dangerous if unprepared
|Vulnerable to frost damage|
|Mimic||Transform from Aether Chests, element of surprise is their greatest strength|
Grab and hold teammates when attempting to loot the chest
|Vulnerable to toxic damage|
|Crawler||Smaller than average zombies, crawl on the ground|
Annoying to kill and can surprise you
|Vulnerable to frost damage|
Resilient, and has extra armor that increases its survivability
|Vulnerable to fire damage and explosions|
The Mangler’s helmet and cannon arm can be destroyed
|Disciple||Empowers normal zombies in the area|
Attacks with a beam, which at the same time heals itself
|Vulnerable to electrical damage|
The Disciple’s mask can be broken, which will stun it
|Stormcaller||Boss with the Aether Storm in Act 3, Tier 4 Mission ‘Çlosing Time’. An overpowered Disciple and classed as a Warlord. |
Empowers normal zombies in the area.
Has life drain
|Vulnerable to Energy Mine|
|Mega Abomination||Found in the middle of zone 3|
Attacks using a pounce and an electric stream from its mouth
|Vulnerable to electric damage|
The Standard Zombie
While slow and weak individually, Standard Zombies can swiftly overwhelm players through sheer numbers. They have low health and deal minimal damage, but their relentless aggression makes them dangerous, especially in groups.
- Sheer numbers
- Aggressive swarming
- Low health
- Low damage
- Aim for headshots to conserve ammo
- Don’t let yourself get surrounded
- Use wide spread weapons like shotguns against hordes
The Armored Zombie
Similar to Standard Zombies but wrapped in protective metal armor, Armored Zombies are tougher to take down. Their armor makes them resistant to damage, requiring more shots to kill.
- Heavy armor increases durability
- Resistant to weapon damage
- No additional strength or abilities
- Vulnerable to headshots
- Aim exclusively for unarmored head
- Use high-powered ammo types to pierce armor
Hellhounds are highly mobile undead dogs that often attack in vicious packs. They are fast and erratic in their movements, making them hard to hit. Hellhounds explode upon death, damaging nearby players.
- High speed and erratic movement
- Attack in packs
- Explode on death
- Low health
- Susceptible to traps
- Set up barriers and lead them through traps
- Use shotguns and SMGs to rapidly take out packs
- Keep distance to avoid explosion damage
Elite zombies known as Mimics disguise themselves as unassuming Aether Chests, waiting to ambush players drawn in by the promise of loot. They explode out of chest form when interacted with and viciously attack.
- Disguised as loot chests
- Powerful explosion upon revealing true form
- High health and damage
- No ranged attack
- Still vulnerable to headshots
- Carefully inspect chests before opening
- Open from a distance
- Unload on revealed Mimic’s head
Smaller than standard zombies, Crawlers creep along the ground on all fours before suicidally exploding when they get near their target. Their explosive nature makes them very dangerous.
- Low profile harder to spot
- Powerful self-destruct explosion
- Slow movement speed
- Low health
- Listen for their distinctive growls
- Pick them off before they get into range
- Avoid bottlenecks where they can swarm
Our all time favorite Zombie bosses, Manglers are elite zombies equipped with powerful energy cannons strapped to their arms. They can blast players from range and are difficult to trap or corner.
- Ranged energy cannon attack
- High health
- Agile and hard to trap
- Large size makes them easier targets
- Relatively slow movement
- Use cover to avoid energy blasts
- Flank and surround to prevent escape
- Toss grenades around corners to damage
Disciples are elite zombies that possess the ability to command and strengthen hordes of standard zombies. While Disciples lack strong direct attacks, they are difficult to kill and can overwhelm through their minions.
- Can buff and command other zombies
- Tough to kill due to high health
- No direct attacks
- Slow moving
- Make Disciples priority target
- Use AoE and crowd control to handle buffed zombies
- Hit and run tactics to whittle down health
Unique Zombie Bosses
These elite bosses can be found in Zone 3 or in the Aether Cloud, and will need to be defeated to complete the MWZ Act missions.
This Warlord Disciple boss can be found lurking in the Aether Storm, and will need to be killed once you get to Act 3, Tier 4 mission called Closing Time.
- Massive health pool – requires high damage weapons
- Summons additional zombies – can overwhelm players
- Siphons health – can heal itself during the fight
- Head is critical weak point
- Vulnerable to heavy firepower
- Susceptible to well-timed headshots
- Focus fire on the head
- Equip Pack-a-Punched weapons for high damage
- Maintain distance and use power ups like Instakill strategically
- Time Nuke and Energy Mine drops when boss is in blast radius
- Stay on the move to avoid getting trapped
- Use open areas to maximize maneuverability
- Score critical and headshots quickly to minimize health loss
For more information, visit our quick guide for beating Stormcaller.
The Mega Abomination
This massive elite zombie has an enormous health pool and the ability to endlessly summon reinforcements. They are incredibly durable and hitting their weak point opens them up to critical damage.
- Nearly unkillable health
- Can summon unlimited zombie reinforcements
- Large slow target
- Weak point when opened
- Hit weak point when exposed for maximum damage
- Use ring of fire field upgrade to boost damage
- Save powerful killstreaks to finish them off
Mastering each zombie’s strengths and flaws is key to dominating MW3’s undead hordes. Use this knowledge to react accordingly and employ the right countermeasures. For more tips check out our ultimate guide to Modern Warfare 3 Zombies mode.