Does player visibility in Call of Duty MWIII suck?

17 October 2023


Published: 17th October 1:14PM

Since the open beta, which originally launched first on PS5 for those who pre-ordered the game on October 5th, players have noted that player visibility in MWIII sucks. In the early build of the game in which content creators and big players were invited to play the game, they noted that there was a vastly different system for player visibility than what we have now.

MWIII Early build player visibility

In the early build of MWIII which content creators were invited to play, they noted that enemy players had a faint outline around their bodies to increase enemy visibility, and many players commended this stance on player visibility. Reddit Thread by Coone90 shares a screenshot of an X discussion which debates the player outlines in the MWIII beta.

It’s consensus that Call of Duty MWIII, along with the majority of FPS games should be about speed, reactions and accuracy, as opposed to also factoring the skill of identifying enemy players – and the system in the early build of MWIII seemed to have done a good job that.

Why was the player outlined removed in the MWIII Beta?

While the developers haven’t confirmed the reason, it’s safe to assume that the outline was removed because they felt it was a little too overpowering. In the process of removing the outlines in the beta, they’ve neglected to provide a suitable alternative solution, instead opting to display the classic circle and nametag above the head of the player, both enemy and friendly:

Call of duty MWIII Visiblity sucks, here's why

As you can see in the screenshot, it’s incredibly hard to make out that the player is an enemy, and in the reworked maps in MWIII, the visibility is often clouded by smoke, or the dark & murky design of the maps – which look fantastic, by the way. The ultimate result is that players, myself included have found themselves shooting at friendlies, and not shooting at enemies in instances where visibility isn’t all that clear.

Health bars are returning in MWIII, but not in the beta

Sledgehammer Games have confirmed that health bars are set to return in MWIII, but they were not present in the beta. Health bars were last seen in Call of Duty: Cold War, and were a hit with players, the added transparency helped players understand the damage delt.

SHG health bar trello card.

The health bars were disabled in the beta because in an earlier build they weren’t working correctly so the developers had opted to remove them in the open beta.

The Call of Duty Trello board shares more information on bugs, which can be found here.

Will health bars improve player visibility in MWIII?

We anticipate player health bars to operate very much the same as they did in Cold War, which means the health bar will only display once you ADS and engage in a gunfight at close-long ranges, which means you first must identify & ADS to display the health bar. This means that you must first identify the enemy before the health bar kicks in.

COD Player health bar

Health bars were a welcomed change in CW, so we are excited to see them return once more in MWIII.

How to improve MWIII player visibility

As a player, there’s a few things you can do to try and improve your visibility:

  • Look at contrast settings
  • Change to a colour blind setting to change the colour of circles and name tags

The fault falls with the developers to fix, and thankfully there’s plenty of easy solutions that will please the majority of players:

  • Increase the size of nametags
  • Increase the size of the circular indicator above their head
  • Reintroduce the faint outline around the player
  • Introduce a more obvious health bar to help players identify enemies.



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