How to use the Locked Diary in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 zombies

The Locked Diary item is one of the biggest mysteries in the new Modern Warfare 3 update to zombies mode. The new season adds extra wonder weapons, schematics, and there’s also a new warlord and stronghold coming when the reloaded update arrives. Most importantly, though, there’s a new special mode called Dark Aether Rifts and a story mission that leads you to unlocking them.

These function a little like Koschei Complex in DMZ, with a separate timer once you enter via the main MWZ mode. The map will also be pretty familiar to DMZ fans, since it’s the Al Bagra Fortress island from Al Mazrah. Everything you have to do in terms of getting the Locked Diary and actually using it is very challenging, so it’s inadvisable to attempt this if you’ve just started zombies. 

It’d probably be wiser to avail yourself of our MWZ tips and complete some missions to unlock craftable schematics first. Whatever you choose, here’s how to get and use the Locked Diary in Modern Warfare 3’s zombies mode.

How to get the Locked Diary

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You’ll need to break four seals by killing zombies close to them (Image credit: Activision)

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Defeating Gorm’gant will get you the Locked Diary (Image credit: Activision)

You’ll get the Locked Diary after you defeat the Gorm’gant boss in the new Act IV zombies mission, Bad Signal, that sees you venture into the Dark Aether Rift for the first time. The only condition for getting it is that you need to have the mission equipped and finish it. You’ll need to break the four seals marked on your HUD by activating them and then killing zombies in their vicinity to slowly fill the objective bar. 

Once done, you’ll be directed to the beach, where the giant Gorm’gant worm boss will spawn. Defeat this guy, and the Reward Rift that appears will give you the Locked Diary before you exit.

How to use the Locked Diary

So, what exactly do you do with it? This is one of the biggest mysteries of the new zombies update, but MrDalekJD cracked it on stream: You need to collect three other special items including a Dog Collar, Surveillance Camera, and Pill Bottle, and then offer them all at specific altars on the little island with the tornado just near to where you entered the Dark Aether Rift for the Bad Signal mission.

Here’s how to get each of them:

Dog Collar: Deposit a Molotov and a Chunk of Meat in a Doghouse and then kill the Hellhound it spawns to get the epic rarity Dog Collar. Teleport through an Aether Tear with it in your inventory, parachute over to the red light that appears, and then complete the tier three high-value target contract that spawns to get the gold rarity Dog Collar.Surveillance Camera: Equip a weapon with a Dead Wire Ammo Mod and kill a Harvester Orb with it to get the epic rarity Surveillance Camera. Teleport through an Aether Tear with it in your inventory, parachute over to the yellow light that appears, and then complete the tier two high-value target contract that this spawns. There will be three versions of the special zombie, but once you beat the contract, you’ll get the gold rarity Surveillance Camera from the Reward Rift.Pill Bottle: Equip a weapon with a Brain Rot Ammo Mod and shoot—but don’t destroy—a yellow cyst in an Aether Nest. Interact with the cyst to open it and then complete the Aether Nest as usual, before reopening the same cyst you shot to get an epic rarity Pill Bottle. Teleport through an Aether Tear with it in your inventory, parachute over to the green light that appears, and then complete the tier one high-value target contract it spawns to get the gold rarity Pill Bottle.

Don’t worry about getting all of these during a single match, since you can gather the items one by one and extract to safely stow them in your stash. Once you’ve got all the items, you need to place them on the altars with the correct Ammo Mod symbols:

Locked Diary—Snowflake (Cryo)Dog Collar—Fire (Napalm)Surveillance Camera—Lightning bolt (Dead Wire)Pill Bottle—Skull and crossbones (Brain Rot)

As detailed in the above video, placing all four will open a portal that spawns a Megabomb and a load of tier three zombies. Once you kill them, you’ll get a Dark Aether Sigil that you can use to unlock the portal into the rift. Inside you’ll find three contracts to complete which will unlock Dark Aether Rifts permanently and the ability to earn more Dark Aether Rift Sigils from tier three contracts. It’s worth noting that all of this is very challenging content, so make sure you’re set up well in terms of Pack-A-Punched weapons, sodas, and gear, plus that you’ve got a full squad with you. 

Since you can teleport to the Dark Aether Rift at any time in a match and start a new countdown—similar to Koschei Complex in DMZ—there’s no harm in taking the time in a match to prepare before you head inside. Similarly, completing the other story missions will earn you more schematics so you’ll have less prep work to do with each attempt.

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