MW3 Zombies Vault
Screenshot by Prima Games

How to Open Locked Vault and Chessboard Solution in MW3 Zombies

A lot of work to open a door.

While the Zombies mode in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has a more open world than previous entries, there are still convoluted secrets to be found. There is a locked vault at section H7 on the map that gives only a chessboard next to it as a clue.

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How to Find Locked Vault in MW3 Zombies

The locked vault is located in the southeast section of the map in the H7 square. The vault is underneath Shahin Manor, and players will have to descend down a rope in a room to the left of the main entrance. The doors to the vault are locked, and a chessboard suspiciously sitting next to it.

The chessboard is key to unlock the vault, which contains a few large Aether caches and Gold Bars that are worth 3,500 Essence each. However, one of the caches will transform into a Mimic, so be ready to fight.

How to Solve Chessboard Puzzle in MW3 Zombies

There are four pieces on the chessboard, and each represents the location of the transmission device on the Zombies map that needs to be activated to open the vault door. Anyone in the game can activate these four devices, and here are the locations for all four:

Bishop Piece

The Bishop piece transmission can be found in the tunnel north of Legacy’s Fortress. The boss will be by himself and will drop the device when defeated.

Knight Piece

The Knight transmission can be found on a few mercenaries in an armored vehicle traveling the railroad that circles most of the map. Grab a car and follow the railroad until seeing a lone red car on the map. Defeat the Knight to get the device.

Pawn Piece

The Pawn transmission has no boss to defeat, and is in a shack in the northeastern corner of the map. The device will be inside, but will spawn a Disciple and a horde of enemies.

Rook Piece

The Rook transmission is in the Ghalia Seaside Hotel on the west side of the map. The boss will be on the fourth floor surrounded by mines and a sentry gun.

For more Modern Warfare 3 Zombies secrets, check out how to get the Tactical Negotiator Blueprint.


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Freelancer with bylines at various gaming outlets for a decade. Covers new releases, shooters, and the odd RPG. Started with Super Mario Bros. and Jack Nicklaus' Greatest 18 Holes of Major Championship Golf, and not planning to stop anytime soon.