What just happened? Call of Duty games have long taken up enormous chunks of players' storage space, and CoD: Modern Warfare 3 is no different. Those who preordered the game ahead of its November 10 launch date have found that the total install takes up over 200GB. Now, Activision has explained why.

In a post on the official Call of Duty X account, Activision confirmed that file sizes for Modern Warfare 3 are larger than last year. It explains that the game's enormous size is due to the increased amount of content available on Day 1, including open world Zombies, support for items that are carried forward from Modern Warfare 2, as well as the map files for the current Call of Duty: Warzone.

IGN notes that MW3's early access campaign has a total install size of 234.9GB on PlayStation 5. While that includes Modern Warfare 2, now Call of Duty HQ, as well as Modern Warfare 3's campaign, it does not include other unreleased elements of the game, including Multiplayer and Zombies.

Activision notes that users can go to the Manage Files section of the COD HQ launcher menu if they want to uninstall specific content they don't play. The company adds that as part of its ongoing optimization efforts, the final installation size will be smaller than the combined previous Call of Duty games.

On the PC, Modern Warfare 3 requires an SSD with 149 GB of available space at launch, or 78 GB if COD HQ and Warzone are already installed on a machine.

The storage demands might be high, but the PC system requirements for MW3 are quite light compared to many of the big titles we've seen this year. The game recommends a Core i5-6700K / Ryzen 5 1600X alongside a Radeon RX 6600 XT / GTX 1080 Ti /RTX 3060.

The RTX 3060 is now the most popular graphics card among Steam survey participants, so most people should be able to enjoy the game as intended. Even playing in 4K isn't too bad, comparatively, requiring a Core i7-8700K / Ryzen 7 2700X with a Radeon RX 6800 XT / RTX 3080 / RTX 4070

Recommended game storage over the last 15 years

The recommended amount of storage for games has jumped from an average of 11 GB in 2012 to 80 GB in 2023, marking an increase of just under 6.3 GB per year. You can read more about why this is the case in our feature: Bigger Than Godzilla: Why Are Games Using So Many Gigabytes?