How to Solve the Chessboard Easter Egg in MW3 Zombies

An interesting scavenger hunt for players to enjoy in MW3 Zombies!

by J.R. Waugh
MW3 Zombies Chessboard Easter Egg Locations
Image: Attack of the Fanboy

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (MW3) has some interesting secrets in its Zombies mode, namely the Chessboard easter egg. This comes in the form of Shahin Manor’s locked vault and a curiously placed chessboard just outside its door.

All Chessboard Easter Egg Locations in Modern Warfare 3 (MW3) Zombies

Aside from the chessboard and the vault beneath Shahin Manor at H7, you’ll need to go to the following locations and activate 4 cell phones in MW3 Zombies:

  • Rook at C5: Hotel south of Seaport District, west of the road where you cross the river
  • Bishop at D1: In the tunnel on the twin roads between Levin Resort and Popov Power
  • Knight at Railroads: In an armored truck driving along railroad tracks; always starts going north out of Low Town
  • Pawn at I1: Northeast corner of the map, tiny building; beware of the zombie swarm
Image: Attack of the Fanboy

Activate each of these and go back to the Vault. You can reach the vault inside the manor by taking an ascender ride down from a doorway inside the house’s main floor. Once you’ve activated all 4 cellphones, stand just far enough away from the Vault door to get the option to hold ‘Square’ or ‘X’ to open it. Do so, and open the caches inside.

Related: How to Get the Blood Burner Motorcycle in MW3 Zombies

Be careful, one of them is a red Mimic called the King. It is by no means hard, and I soloed it using a weapon found inside this room, as it often contains weapons sporting 3-4 attachments and is decently rare. Speaking of rewards, you’ll often find multiple weapons, gold bars, and even other perks, so don’t skip out on this!

Rook at C5 Chessboard Location

Image: Attack of the Fanboy

The Rook is often mistakenly believed to be at B4, but the hotel he’s inside is unmistakable. You’ll have to run up some stairs, being careful of proximity mines. The floor just before you reach the roof is where you want to go. His room will be guarded by a sentry turret, so be careful!

The Rook is an armored sniper, but nothing you can’t handle, especially as he has no backup. Take him out, activate his phone, and consider taking his weapon!

Bishop at D1 Chessboard Location

Image: Attack of the Fanboy

The Bishop is a bit fickle as he’s supposed to spawn with a squad of mercs in the tunnel between Levin Resort and Popov Power. Sometimes if you go through the doors along this area and go outside, then back in, they’ll randomly spawn.

Image: Attack of the Fanboy

On more than one occasion I’ve seen them spawn out of thin air, a smoke grenade appearing out of nowhere and them swarming me. This one’s trickier than the Rook but you can solo this one as well.

Knight at Railroad Chessboard Location

While some believe him to originate at F6, you’ll pretty reliably be able to spot his armored truck coming north out of Low Town if you zoom your map right after deploying. His squad is super easy, but it has a habit of driving just at the border of the orange zone, so play smart.

The Knight is appropriately heavily armored and will fire at you from the back of the truck, so consider taking out the driver to flush them out. Also, don’t mix this up with the 3 armored trucks you’ll find in Mercenary Convoys!

Pawn at I1 Chessboard Location

Image: Attack of the Fanboy

This chessboard location is the easiest of the 4 in MW3 Zombies, well outside the reach of the orange zone. You might have to fight occasional disciples, hellhounds, and weaker zombies, but it’s a cakewalk, with this cellphone being indoors, the blue glow is unmistakable.

Unlocking the Vault at H7: The King Chessboard Location in MW3 Zombies

  • MW3-Zombies-Chessboard-Easter-Egg-Locations-Unlock-the-Vault
  • MW3-Zombies-Chessboard-Easter-Egg-Locations-King

Lastly, once you’ve activated the cell phones, go back to H7. If you didn’t spot enemies in their usual areas, check the chessboard, their corresponding piece will be knocked over if it’s already done. Use your cellphone to unlock the vault, kill the King, and reap the rewards of a fun little easter egg in MWZ!

- This article was updated on November 11th, 2023

About The Author

J.R. is a Staff Writer with AOTF and has been covering gaming and entertainment in the industry since 2022. Along with a B.A. in History from the University of Cincinnati, he has studied at the University of Birmingham, UK, and part of his M.A. at the University of Waterloo. You'll find J.R. particularly at home writing about the hottest manga and anime. He is highly passionate about horror, strategy, and RPGs, and anything about Star Trek or LOTR. When not ranting about fan theories or writing guides, J.R. is streaming his favorite RPGs and other forgotten gems.