Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is currently one of the most-played video games in the world. And just like in the previous game version, here, you also come across a skill-based matchmaking system (SBMM) that interrupts you from enjoying effortless matches. Luckily, you can avoid SBMM in CoD MW3 with the help of a VPN.
By using a reputable VPN, you can switch your IP address to another region where the game is less popular or it’s nighttime, and meet fewer players with high KD ratios. Moreover, a VPN can help you lower your ping, dodge DDoS attacks, and stop the ISP from interfering with your connection.
Since you’re here, you may know that not all VPNs with a tag saying “gaming VPN” can offer the desired CoD experience. We have tested 35 VPN providers overall to select the best Modern Warfare 3 VPNs, ensuring they had extensive server fleets, retained fast speeds, had high-end protection features, and were affordable. Continue reading and get ready to bypass SBMM for easier lobbies.
Top 5 best MW3 VPNs to get easy lobbies
- ExpressVPN – The best VPN for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 overall
- NordVPN – The fastest CoD Modern Werfare 3 VPN
- Surfshark – The cheapest VPN to bypass SBMM on CoD MW3
- CyberGhost – Modern Warfare 3 VPN with dedicated gaming servers
- Atlas VPN – Beginner-friendly VPN for getting easier lobbies
How to get into bot lobbies on MW3 by avoiding SBMM
- Select a VPN with a wide global server reach. We recommend ExpressVPN, now 49% off.
- Download and install the VPN app.
- Enable the IP leak protection.
- Connect to a server in a country with a different timezone.
- Launch Cod: Modern Warfare 3 and play in easier lobbies.
Best VPNs for Modern Warfare 3 reviewed
Robust VPNs have been popular among CoD players for years now, helping them to evade SBMM and overall improve their gaming experience. Modern Warfare 3 is no exception; therefore, we have rushed to compile a list of the best 5 CoD MW3 VPNs.
To select only the top picks, we have looked into their security suites, performance, ease of use, compatibility, and price. These are our main insights:
1. ExpressVPN – Our top VPN pick for CoD Modern Warfare 3 in 2023
- Has servers in over 100 locations worldwide
- Effectively improves ping
- Has an applet for routers
- Has RAM-only servers for complete privacy
- Offers 37 days of risk-free trial
- Doesn’t have dedicated servers for gaming
ExpressVPN is the best VPN to bypass SBMM in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, as the provider comes with 3000+ servers in 105 countries, retains over 85% of the baseline connection speed on average, and contains next-gen security features.
|Location||British Virgin Islands|
|Number of servers||3000+ servers in 105 countries|
This gaming VPN is one of the best tools to improve your ping and stop the ISP from interfering with your connection, as it uses AES-256 and XChaCha20 ciphers to scramble your online traffic. Moreover, you get to use a proprietary Lightway tunneling protocol, which is known for combining speed with safety.
Another thing we appreciated about this VPN was its router applet, which makes protecting your non-VPN devices, like Xbox or PlayStation, way easier. ExpressVPN also provides you with a list of security features to avert hackers, including a kill switch or IP leak protection.
A single subscription allows you to protect up to 8 devices at once. The prices start from $6.67/month, and you can try ExpressVPN using a 7-day free (available via Google Play or Apple App stores) trial together with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Find out more about the features in our ExpressVPN review.
2. NordVPN – Speedy VPN to bypass SBMM on Modern Warfare 3
- Ensures lightning-fast connection speed
- Has the Meshnet feature for network sharing
- Uses proprietary NordLynx tunneling protocol
- Works with routers
- Has a 30-day money-back guarantee
- Only up to 6 simultaneous connections
NordVPN is a fast VPN to play Modern Warfare 3 without skill-based matchmaking that uses its proprietary NordLynx tunneling protocol for a speedy but secure network connection. Combining a top-notch tunneling protocol with 5810+ servers in 60 countries allows you to retain over 90% of the original connection speed.
|Number of servers||5810+ servers in 60 countries|
Aside from excellent speed, NordVPN is also one of the safest VPNs on the market. With it, your online activity is hidden using unbreakable AES-256 encryption. The VPN also uses RAM-only servers that ensure your data doesn’t stay in the system any longer than till the reboot.
Similarly to ExpressVPN, NordVPN works with routers; yet, it doesn’t have a dedicated applet, so the setting up process may be more complicated. On the bright side, you receive a free Meshnet feature, that allows you and your friends to play CoD MW3 on the same network.
NordVPN allows you to have up to 6 simultaneous connections unless you connect your router to a VPN. The subscription prices start from $2.99/month, and you can get a 7-day free trial via an Android device. The 30-day money-back guarantee comes with all subscription plans too.
Dig in deeper into our detailed NordVPN review.
3. Surfshark – Most affordable VPN to access easier lobbies on MW3
- Allows unlimited simultaneous connections
- Runs an extensive server fleet
- The applications are user-friendly
- Ensures fast and lag-free connection speed
- 7-day free trial is available via selected devices
- Apps for Apple devices lack certain features
- The 1-month subscription is pricy
Surfshark offers the best price-to-quality ratio for Call of Duty MW3 players, as it allows unlimited simultaneous connections, has some rarely seen features, and maintains good performance. Additionally, you can choose from 3200+ servers in 100 countries, so finding a server location in a completely different timezone than yours is easy.
|Number of servers||3200+ servers in 100 countries|
Surfshark doesn’t look any worse when put next to ExpressVPN and NordVPN. It makes your online traffic virtually unreadable using market-leading AES-256 encryption, and your activity doesn’t get logged, thanks to RAM-only servers and a strict no-logs policy. Plus, you can use the WireGuard tunneling protocol, which is the core of proprietary protocols like Lightway or NordLynx.
For an excellent CoD Modern Warfare 3 experience, this VPN provides all the essential features you need. With split tunneling, you can customize the VPN traffic and the kill switch protects your real IP even if the VPN connection drops. Additionally, the IP rotator changes your IP address every other minute, preventing your ISP from throttling your connection speed.
Surfshark works with routers and has apps for major operating systems. The subscription pricing starts from $1.99/month, and you’re protected with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Plus, iOS and Android users can claim a 7-day free trial.
Read our in-depth Surfshark review and find out more.
4. CyberGhost – CoD MW3 VPN with the most servers
- Has dedicated servers for gaming
- Runs an impressive server fleet
- The apps are beginner-friendly
- Provides you with a 45-day money-back guarantee
- Free trial lasts for only 24 hours
- Doesn’t run on RAM-only servers
CyberGhost is a Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 VPN that has an unmatchable selection of servers in terms of the number and functionalities. With it, you receive 9200+ servers in 91 countries, so finding a server in a country where it’s at least midnight is guaranteed.
|Number of servers||9200+ servers in 91 countries|
What’s also impressive is that CyberGhost provides you with specialized servers for gaming, streaming, and torrenting. This way, you can choose servers to play CoD with the lowest latency. If you want more security, you can use the NoSpy servers that are fully managed by the provider itself and located in Romania.
Speaking of security, CyberGhost has implemented all crucial features to its apps. You’re protected with market-leading AES-256 encryption and a functional kill switch that disables your network if a VPN connection drops. There’s a WireGuard tunneling protocol for fast speeds. Yet, unlike ExpressVPN, this VPN doesn’t have RAM-only servers but follows a strict no-logs policy.
CyberGhost is an affordable VPN, with the prices starting from $2.11/month. One subscription allows you to secure up to 7 devices at once. You can also test the VPN first, using a one-day free trial or a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Learn more about the VPN in our detailed CyberGhost review.
5. Atlas VPN – Call of Duty MW3 VPN for beginners
- Affordable subscription prices
- Allows unlimited simultaneous connections
- Applications are very intuitive
- Has a forever-free plan
- Located in the US (5-Eyes country)
- Doesn’t work with routers
Atlas VPN is a beginner-friendly VPN to bypass skill-based matchmaking on Modern Warfare 3 that also allows you to protect unlimited devices at a time and doesn’t cost a fortune. With it, you receive 1000+ servers in 42 countries, which is enough to find a suitable server for an easier lobby.
|Location||Delaware, United States|
|Number of servers||1000+ servers in 42 countries|
Unlike ExpressVPN or NordVPN, Atlas VPN doesn’t have RAM-only servers and keeps your data in perfectly encrypted drives. Additionally, the provider has independently audited its no-logs policy, and it uses an AES-256 encryption cipher known for unbreakable protection.
One of the standout Atlas VPN features is SafeSwap, which regularly rotates your IP address to help you stay untraceable. You can also customize your VPN traffic with split tunneling, and keep your IP hidden at all times with the kill switch feature. Yet, this VPN doesn’t have the Smart DNS feature nor it works with routers, making it impossible to use Atlas VPN with gaming consoles.
This provider is one of the best free VPNs on the market; however, its premium plans are also cheap, costing from $1.64/month. Android users can test the premium app using a 7-day free trial, and a 30-day money-back guarantee applies to all devices and plans.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 VPNs compared
Short in time? Check the table below and find all the top Modern Warfare 3 VPNs compared in one place:
|Turns off SBMM:||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Server count:||3000+ servers in 105 countries||5810+ servers in 60 countries||3200+ servers in 100 countries||9200+ servers in 91 countries||1000+ servers in 42 countries|
|Encryption:||AES-256 or XChaCha20||AES-256||AES-256||AES-256||AES-256|
|Works with routers:||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Starting price:||from $6.67/month||from $2.99/month||from $1.99/month||from $2.11/month||from $1.64/month|
How we tested and selected these VPNs
To have an enjoyable video gaming experience, numerous Call of Duty players choose to use a VPN. However, for a VPN to benefit you in all expected ways, for instance, to bypass SBMM, it needs to have certain features and ensure excellent performance.
|Security:||AES-256 encryption, kill switch, IP/DNS leak protection, WireGuard tunnel|
|Privacy:||Audited no-logs policy, RAM-only servers|
|Extra features:||Split tunneling, specialized servers|
|Server count:||> 1000 servers in 40 countries|
These are the criteria we followed to pick the best VPNs that can help you bypass SBMM in CoD Modern Warfare 3 for easier lobbies and more:
- Security and privacy. When playing online video games, there are a handful of threats, including DDoS attacks. Hence, we picked VPNs that use advanced encryption, and provide a functional kill switch and IP leak protection. No less important is online privacy, so we thoroughly looked into each provider's no-logs policies.
- Performance. To select a suitable VPN for Modern Warfare 3, we ran each VPN through speed tests. We made sure that they retained at least 80% of the baseline connection speed and were capable of enhancing ping, minimizing latency, and preventing lag.
- Global server coverage. To help you avoid skill-based matchmaking on MW3, we selected VPNs with the largest server fleets and the widest global coverage. This way, you will find a server in a country where it’s early morning effortlessly.
- Additional features. The gaming experience improves with the number of extra VPN features you get. Therefore, we picked VPN providers that allowed you to customize the VPN traffic with split tunneling, had dedicated servers for gaming, could mask the VPN connection, and more.
- Compatibility. Call of Duty is available on both computers and gaming consoles. We selected VPNs with apps for all popular operating systems, and that work with routers. Gaming consoles can’t have VPN apps installed directly, so a router VPN is your only answer if you want to turn off SBMM on Modern Warfare 3.
- Price and free trial. When selecting Modern Warfare 3 VPN, we ensured it offered a fair price-to-quality ratio. Another thing we looked for was the opportunity to test the service before committing, using either a free trial or a money-back guarantee.
Why use a VPN for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3?
You may be wondering why you need a VPN to play Call of Duty MW3, as the game runs without this extra perfectly on its own. However, a CoD VPN provides you with these additional benefits and can make your Modern Warfare 3 experience noticeably better:
- Bypass skill-based matchmaking. Call of Duty matchmaking prioritizes quick game entry over same-skill lobbies (SBMM). Therefore, you end up playing in lobbies filled with unequally skilled players, making the match more complicated. With a VPN, you can switch your IP to a region where it’s nighttime, so fewer players are queuing for the game, and you get to play in easier lobbies.
- Stop the ISP from throttling the connection. You may have noticed that once you start playing an online video game, your connection speed becomes inconsistent. This happens because your ISP detects heavy activities and throttles the connection. Well, a VPN can hide your online activities, so the ISP won’t be able to see what you’re doing online and interfere with your network speed.
- Avoid cyber attacks. Not all Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 players are equally skilled and some may have issues to deal with that. Consequently, there’s a risk of becoming a victim of a DDoS attack or a phishing scam. With the help of a VPN, you can mask your IP and remain immune to hackers.
- Improve ping. When using the fastest VPN, you can lower your ping effortlessly. Although these tools aren’t designed for that, they can help you by rerouting your data between a device and a server more directly.
How to turn off SBMM in Modern Warfare 3 with a VPN
At first glance, skill-based matchmaking sounds like a good idea. Yet, knowing that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 would rather put you in the game faster than with equally skilled players makes the case quite awful. Luckily, you can easily bypass SBMM on MW3 with the help of a VPN. Here’s how:
- Choose a VPN with a good selection of servers. ExpressVPN worked great for us.
- Download and install the VPN app on your device.
- Sing up for the service.
- Connect to a preferred server in a country where it’s midnight or early morning.
- Launch Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and get into an easier lobby.
How to set up a MW3 VPN on a router
If you want to play CoD Modern Warfare 3 on your Xbox or a PlayStation with a VPN, then you will need to set up a VPN on a router. The process is easy if you responsibly follow the instructions.
To set up a MW3 VPN on a router, complete the steps below:
- Select a VPN that works with routers. We recommend ExpressVPN.
- Download the ExpressVPN (or your selected VPN) firmware to your computer.
- Write down the activation code given by the VPN.
- Connect your router to your internet connection.
- Install the VPN firmware to a router.
- Connect your video game console to a router running a VPN.
- Start playing Modern Warfare 3 and enjoy easier lobbies!
VPNs have been among Call of Duty players for years now, continuously improving their gaming experience by improving ping, preventing ISP throttling, or even helping to bypass SBMM. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is no exception – here, a VPN is also crucial if you want easier lobbies or to stay secure from hackers.
After testing 35 VPN providers, we found that ExpressVPN is the best CoD Modern Warfare 3 VPN for bypassing SBMM and getting into better lobbies. With it, you can use servers from over 100 different locations and enjoy lightning-fast speeds, thanks to a proprietary Lightway tunnel. See it yourself, using a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Frequently asked questions
To turn off SBMM in Modern Warfare 3, you’d need to use a VPN with extensive global coverage. VPNs like ExpressVPN provide you with 3000+ servers in 105 countries, allowing you to find a server in a country where it’s around 3 am, the lobbies aren’t overcrowded and the players have similar KD ratios.
Many VPN locations are suitable for Modern Warfare 3. However, it’s important that you choose a server in Europe, as the game is less popular there. Also, make sure that it’s between 3:00 AM and noon when you’re connecting to a server, as this is when the lobbies are the least crowded.
Yes, you can use a free VPN for Modern Warfare 3. Nevertheless, we don’t recommend doing so, as VPNs with no cost offer tiny server fleets and usually come with data caps. Moreover, they provide inconsistent connection speeds and lack important security features. Alternatively, you can use a premium VPN like ExpressVPN for free, using a 37-day risk-free trial.