The downloadable content available for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is an assortment of additional multiplayer maps, Special Ops missions, and Face Off Maps that were made available throughout 2012, after the initial launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 in 2011. All downloadable content (DLC) is available first to Call of Duty: Elite premium members. The general public can download the DLC drops through Content Collections for a nominal fee. Xbox 360 received all DLC about one month before PlayStation 3 regardless of Elite membership, this is due to a special contract between Microsoft and Activision.
Initially at the release of Modern Warfare 3 and Call of Duty's Elite service, premium members of the service were promised 20 pieces of DLC over a 9-month period with content releases for each platform every month. This number was later increased to 22 in Call of Duty's official Elite Content Calendar.
On May 9, 2012 it was announced that a new game mode would be introduced to Modern Warfare 3 in the form of smaller maps. Face Off is a game mode strictly for 1v1, 2v2, or 3v3 battles that take place on specially made maps. These maps are small in size to allow for fast gameplay with the smaller team sizes. Two free Face Off maps became available for all Xbox Live Gold subscribers on May 15, 2012, regardless of Call of Duty: Elite membership. There is now a dedicated public playlist for the Face Off game mode.
Content Drops were released monthly exclusively to all Call of Duty: Elite premium and founder members. There were a total of 9 monthly DLC releases until the end of Modern Warfare 3's 2012 content season. September was the last month DLC was released for Xbox 360 and October was the last month for PlayStation 3. Since Call of Duty: Elite was not available for PC gamers, DLC was only released in the form of Content Collections.
Content collections are comparable to the original method of distributing DLC in previous Call of Duty titles. Multiple maps and Spec Ops missions are placed into one collection for anyone to purchase through the Xbox Marketplace, PlayStation Store, or Steam for PC. No Call of Duty: Elite membership is required to download content collections.