What's the best SMG to use in MW3 Ranked Play?
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Ranked Play is officially coming to Call of Duty MW3 and before you start ranking up in the mode, you need to set your loadouts and classes. If you’re an aggressive style player and you’re not totally familiar with the competitive scene, you’re likely wondering what’s the best SMG for Ranked Play in MW3.

SMGs are the best weapons for aggressive players in Ranked, as they can kill and move the quickest at closer ranges. While MW3 does favor assault rifles on some maps, there are definitely situations where you want an SMG in your hands. For example, if you’re someone who likes to play the objective, you likely want an SMG over an AR.

There is one definitive best SMG for MW3 Ranked Play, and you can see exactly what it is in the guide below.

Best SMG for Ranked Play in MW3

Anyone who has watched a single match of the Call of Duty League or seen a professional player stream will know the favorite SMG for competitive is the Rival-9.

The best Rival-9 loadout for Ranked Play in MW3
The Rival-9 is the unquestioned top SMG for Ranked. Screenshot via Upcomer

The Rival-9 is what you would call an “unrivaled” weapon in the SMG class. There’s not really another gun that can match its killing potential at close range while also possessing strong accuracy at mid-long range. With the right loadout for Ranked Play, the Rival-9 decimates enemies up close and remains competitive against an AR or sniper at farther distances.

Related: Best competitive loadout for Hardpoint and Control in MW3

Of course, you still need to play with the right playstyle when using the Rival-9. Challenging an MCW or sniper at long range isn’t going to yield the best results. Instead, you want to ensure you’re playing the objective, moving quickly around the map, and getting into tightly contested gunfights with enemies. This is the best way you can help your team win while using an SMG in Ranked (assuming you’re still managing to get kills).

If you want to see how to play a map/mode as an SMG player, I suggest watching the Call of Duty League and specifically paying attention to players such as HyDra, Pred, Shotzzy, aBeZy, Simp, and Envoy. Other than that, practice makes perfect when using an SMG in a competitive environment, so keep queuing Ranked and try to improve.

If you feel like switching things up and going with an AR, check out my recent guide on the best AR to use for Ranked Play in MW3.

Joey Carr is a full-time writer for multiple esports and gaming websites. He has 7+ years of experience covering esports and traditional sporting events, including DreamHack Atlanta, Call of Duty Championships 2017, and Super Bowl 53.