Black Ops Cold War introduces new progression system: Seasonal Prestige


Satiating the curiosities of the Call of Duty fanbase, Treyarch have revealed that Black Ops Cold War will bring a brand-new progression system to the franchise: Seasonal Prestige. This structure is expected to couple the Prestige Mode with a seasonal model.

Many have wondered how Black Ops Cold War would approach leveling, knowing full well that Black Ops 4 had a prestige mode to grind out while Modern Warfare’s system centered around seasonal and Battle Pass level caps instead.

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This new information should be exciting for CoD fans, as it seems to be an effort toward coupling what’s best from seasonal progression with the ability to lock in and work toward prestige as well.

As explained in Treyarch’s blog, the new Seasonal Prestige model utilizes a combination of Military Ranks with Season Levels to give players rewards, set milestones, and keep them invested at all times.

call of duty prestigeTreyarch
Prestige rewards are coming back.

A new Prestige system

In response to a fanbase that is rabid for opportunities to grind, Treyarch have tried to come up with a system that rewards time spent playing the game with unique icons and levels, all the way up until the infamous Prestige Master title.

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While the ability to prestige levels isn’t new to CoD, what is new is this game’s treatment of Create-a-Class. Losing all of your hard-earned weapon and equipment unlocks was annoying in the past, but would be especially now that the advent of Warzone has put such an onus on maxing out unlocks for proper loadouts. So, now, to encourage people to Prestige instead of worrying about losing their unlocks, you’ll no longer lose anything when you Prestige.

Further, since players enjoy long-term progression, each season offers “more Prestige milestones, new seasonal challenges to unlock, and more rewards to earn.” 

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prestige season black ops cold warTreyarch
A look at one season of Prestige.

How Seasonal Prestige works

Black Ops Cold War debuts on November 13 and, from Day 1, the game will progress with the standard progression of Military Ranks up to level 55. Leveling up this traditional way will let players unlock all of the standard content (weapons, attachments, equipment, etc.), but the Prestige path begins with Season Level 1.

Once Military Rank 55 is hit, players walk into the season leveling system which marks the first Prestige level. All content remains unlocked, but the season levels progress differently and offer different rewards.

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  • Season Level 1: Prestige 1
  • Season Level 50: Prestige 2 and Weapon Blueprint
  • Season Level 100: Prestige 3

In December, the first Black Ops Cold War season begins, and along with it, season levels will reset but progress will continue from the highest Prestige achieved in the season (or preseason in this case) before. In every new season, players can earn four more Prestiges and a weapon blueprint.

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  • Season Level 50: New Prestige and Weapon Blueprint
  • Season Level 100: New Prestige
  • Season Level 150: New Prestige
  • Season Level 200: New Prestige

In total, you’ll be able to hit over 25 tiers of Prestige over cumulative seasons and the Prestige progress won’t ever be nullified once the Season Levels reset.

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Black Ops Cold War Zombies gameplayActivision
Boots will hit the ground as players look to grind out rewards in BOCW.

Prestige Master and beyond

Once you hit level 200, you get the coveted Prestige Master title. That gives you a new level color and, in an interesting first, the chance to personalize your Prestige Icon with “Legacy Prestige Icons” from earlier CoD titles. But hitting Prestige Master isn’t the end, as players will earn milestone rewards every 50 levels until they hit level 1,000 on a season.

In total, this new system gives players a chance to continue leveling at all times, within seasons and outside of them, with some rewards coming from earlier CoD games.

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New Season Challenges

Every season, Season Challenges will bring additional opportunities for rewards. Going up to level 200, players can earn 40 Calling Cards per season (20 in Multiplayer, 20 in Zombies), with unlocks and new challenges every 10 levels. Then, once every Calling Card has been unlocked, players will earn an animated Season Master Calling Card.

Black Ops Cold War PrankTreyarch
Black Ops Cold War’s multiplayer will be just one of the ways in which players can level up.

Prestige Keys

As aforementioned, you can unlock Legacy Prestige Icons in this new system. And the way to do so is by earning Prestige Keys, which are milestone rewards unlocked every 50 season levels. Once a key has been earned, players can hit the Prestige Shop, where they can buy and equip Legacy Prestige Icons from their favorite earlier titles (but only equipped if you’ve reached Prestige Master in that season).

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Since every season has 1,000 levels, players can receive up to 20 Prestige Keys per season. But some of those milestone rewards might also include Battle Pass Tier Skips, which will lend themselves directly to BOCW multiplayer and Warzone.

Prestige Worldwide: Warzone integration

Like the Battle Pass, which can be leveled across Warzone and Black Ops Cold War, players will be able to progress their Prestige levels when playing Warzone starting in Season 1.

Unlike the Battle Pass, it doesn’t appear that they’ll be able to level up Prestige by playing Modern Warfare. Still, this level of integration is as historic and new to the franchise as the in-depth Seasonal Prestige model looks to be.

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