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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Prestige | How to Unlock Prestige Keys and Season Levelling explained

One of the hallmarks of Call of Duty multiplayer is the prestige system. Historically, players would earn XP until they reach Military Rank 55, at which point they’d be able to reset their progress and run the gauntlet all over again, with special rewards available for those brave enough to start from the beginning.

The prestige system has returned in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, but it’s quite a bit different than what you may be used to, thanks to the existence of both Call of Duty: Warzone and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

Given the size of the collective player base, Activision saw fit to create a cross-progression system between the three games which will go live in December as part of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Season One.

This has made understanding the Prestige System in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War quite confusing. Fear not though, dear reader, as we’re going to run through everything you need to know.

How the Prestige System works in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

When you start playing Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and begin earning experience points in Multiplayer or Zombies, you will advance as normal through the Military Ranks up to Level 55. Along the way, you’ll unlock new equipment, perks, weapons and more before you reach the top level.

But unlike the older games where you could choose to prestige, Black Ops Cold War won’t give you the option. As soon as you complete Level 55, you’ll achieve Prestige 1 and be shifted onto the Preseason Levelling system.

The reason it’s called the Preseason Levelling system is that Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Season One is not out yet — it’s coming in December.

At which point, levelling across Black Ops Cold War, Warzone and Modern Warfare will be unified with a system update, ushering in the Season Levelling system, where you can rank up and progress by playing any of the three games in a given season.

You won’t lose any of your previous unlocks once the season starts, either. It’s merely a formality to help enable cross-progression. Once Season One ends in 2021, your Season Level will reset, but you will be able to keep your unlockables and your earned Prestige Levels regardless.

It may feel like a natural worry for veteran COD players, but do not fret about losing anything when you prestige in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. The system is different now!

We have a full page on how to rank up your level quickly, here.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Preseason Levelling Explained

Prior to December’s Season One update, the Preseason Levelling system in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War offers three prestige levels. There’s Prestige 1 at Preseason Level 1, Prestige 2 at Preseason Level 50, and Prestige 3 at Preseason Level 100.

Each Prestige unlocks a special gun sticker, a commemorative emblem and a Prestige Key. When Season One rolls around in December, the Prestige Shop will also open, which allows players to purchase Legacy Prestige Icons with the Prestige Keys they’ve earned so far.

At Preseason Level 50, you’ll also unlock a special Hauer 77 shotgun blueprint, Nightfall, as an extra reward.

What this means is that you’ll be able to prestige up to three times prior to the December Season One update. At which point, your Season Level will be reset, but you won’t lose any of your Prestige Level rewards, or your unlockables.

There’ll also be more Prestige levels to unlock once Season One starts, with four Prestige levels present in each season at Season Level 50, 100, 150 and 200. Once you reach Season Level 200 in any given season, you’ll also attain the rank of Prestige Master.

Once you reach Prestige Master, you’ll be able to equip the Legacy Prestige Icons you can purchase from the Prestige Shop. If you do manage to go beyond Prestige Master, you’ll also be able to grind to reach Season Level 1000 in each season, with rewards offered every 50 levels.

With that, you have everything you need to know about the Preseason and Season One Prestige System in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, and how it interfaces with the unified cross-progression update coming in December.

For more on Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, here's how to level up your weapon XP fast!

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