MW3 Zombies Dark Aether Easter Egg Guide

Come with us to the bad place.

by J.R. Waugh
MW3 Zombies Dark Aether Rift Easter Egg
Image: Activision

Things go dark as you dive deeper into the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Zombies mode. If Threat Zone 3 wasn’t stressful enough, how do interdimensional rifts sound? Here’s our guide to completing the Dark Aether Easter Egg in MW3 Zombies!

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How to Complete the Dark Aether Easter Egg in MW3 Zombies

To complete this easter egg in MW3 Zombies, you must first gather 4 ritual items for the pedestals that appear near the Aether Rift you enter for the Bad Signal mission. These items are the following:

For all items except the Locked Diary, you’ll first get an Epic Rare version of them, but we’ll guide you through the process of getting their Ultra Rare version needed for this easter egg. I highly recommend bringing a team you know and trust, because completing this solo is close to unthinkable.

Locked Diary

This one is arguably already the toughest, but also the most straightforward of the Dark Aether easter egg items in MW3 Zombies. Bring a team that has Quick Revive and Speed Cola, and it won’t hurt to have some Tesla Storm and Healing Aura for crowd control and group healing. It’s the Bad Signal mission, which is free even for players who haven’t beaten Act 3 yet, and it’ll be marked as a special Exfil icon near Threat Zone 3!

Image: Attack of the Fanboy

Pull out all the stops for this one, as it’s got some intense horde battles that culminate in a lethal boss fight with Gorm’gant. Beating Gorm’gant will create a Reward Rift with the Ultra Rare Locked Diary. Leave the Aether Rift through the nearby exit doorway, and Exfil with this item.

Pill Bottle

Dialing it back a bit, for this one you’ll need Brain Rot, my favorite ammo mod in the game. If you don’t already have the schematics for this, we have a way you can easily get them.

Image: Attack of the Fanboy
  • Go into an Aether Nest with your Brain Rot ammo mod equipped
  • Shoot a cyst at close range just enough until it turns green for a prompt to appear
  • Hold ‘Square’ or ‘X’ to ‘Open Toxic Cyst’
  • Clear the Aether Nest fully, returning to the cyst you infected to grab the Pill Bottle
  • Find an Aether Tear on the map (the icon has an arrow pointing up on the tac-map)
  • Go inside while holding the Pill Bottle, then parachute to a green tear
  • You’ll see a green indicator that floats toward a Big Bounty Contract
    • These contracts appear as a purple icon on your minimap

Complete this contract and you’ll get the Ultra Rare Pill Bottle, so Exfil safely!

Surveillance Camera

For this one, bring Dead Wire ammo, and go looking for a Harvester Orb like you did for the Reaper mission.

Image: Attack of the Fanboy
  • Shoot the Orb with Dead Wire ammo and it’ll glow yellow
  • Destroy the Orb once you’ve confirmed it’s yellow, and collect the Epic Rare Surveillance Camera it drops
  • Go to an Aether Tear (icon has an arrow pointing up on the tac-map)
  • Go inside while holding the Surveillance Camera, then parachute to a yellow tear
  • You’ll see a yellow indicator that floats toward a Big Bounty Contract

Related: MW3 Zombies Shocked Guide: How to Get the Dead Wire Ammo Mod

Complete this contract and you’ll get the Ultra Rare Surveillance Camera, so like with the Pill Bottle, Exfil carefully!

Dog Collar

For the Dog Collar, bring a Molotov Cocktail in your stash, so that you can deposit it and farm a Chunk of Flesh off zombies. You can get these easily either through hordes in Raid Weapon Stash or Escort contracts, or by killing them with explosives/headshots/Pack-a-Punch weapons, the latter of which I recommend.

Image: Attack of the Fanboy
  • Go to a Doghouse and place your Chunk of Flesh and Molotov inside
  • Defeat the hellhound that spawns
  • Gather the Epic Rare Dog Collar
  • Go to an Aether Tear (icon has an arrow pointing up on the tac-map)
  • Go inside while holding the Dog Collar, then parachute to the red tear
  • You’ll see a red indicator that floats toward a Big Bounty Contract

Complete this Big Bounty and you’ll get the Ultra Rare Dog Collar, so Exfil safely!

Entering the Rift for the Dark Aether MW3 Zombies Easter Egg

Image: Activision

This is the hard part. Pack-a-Punch your weapons and bring your best upgrades here, and even consider a Juggernaut killstreak from the Zone 3 Buy Station. Go to the area just nearby where you enter for the Bad Signal mission. It’ll be a small island near Threat Zone 3, and it’ll look like a tornado is swirling around the area. Go to the pedestals inside and place the following:

  • Fire: Dog Collar
  • Ice: Locked Diary
  • Lightning: Camera
  • Crossbones: Pill Bottle

This unlocks a Dark Aether Rift nearby. A Mega Abomination and zombies will spawn. Tear through them and a Reward Rift will appear containing a Sigil. Completing this completes the easter egg, allowing future Tier 3 contracts to drop Sigils, allowing you to spend them to open the Rift in the future.

You can then approach the large doorway and hold ‘X’ or ‘Square’ to open the Aether Rift, prompting a vote for the team to enter. You’ll be able to do this now and in the future so long as you have Sigils to use at the doorway, enabling contracts inside, so bring a good team! This is your path to incredible schematics, so don’t sleep on this!

- This article was updated on December 12th, 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.