If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

How does Prestige progression work in Call of Duty Cold War?

Everything you need to know about the new Prestige system.

Call of Duty Cold War features a huge range of rewards and cosmetics on offer, but one aspect getting keen COD veterans excited is the return of the Prestige system. It works slightly differently compared to previous iterations of the game though, so here’s what you need to know about Call of Duty Cold War’s Prestige system.

Call of Duty Cold War’s initial progression

When you first boot up Call of Duty Cold War, you’ll be sitting at level one with not a lot to show, just like in previous COD titles. From there, you need to rank up incrementally to level 55 in order to unlock weapons, perks, and Scorestreaks. Once you’re at level 55, each individual weapon has its own upgrade path for the Create-a-Class system, and you’ll be able to get the perfect loadout by grinding those specific guns.

What happens when you get to level 55 though? Well, there’s a new Prestige system and we’ll be getting unified progression between all the Call of Duty games available right now, so don’t worry if you’re waiting to buy Cold War.

How Cold War’s Prestige system works

So, what’s the deal with Prestiging in Call of Duty Cold War? It’s slightly different to previous iterations where you’d lose all your unlocks and start progressing again. This time around, you don’t lose your weapon unlocks or any other level-up progress. Instead, there’s Prestige milestones for each individual season. Each season will give you unique milestones, challenges, and rewards, so the grind never truly stops.

Basically, you progress ranks one through 55 as normal. Play the game, unlock your guns, all that jazz. Once you’re here, you’ll begin your Seasonal Leveling path at Season Level 1. This is Prestige 1, and you’ll keep all the content you previously earned and earn a special sticker and emblem, as well as a Prestige Key, which we’ll get to later.

At Season Level 50, you’ll get to Prestige 2, and at 100 you’ll reach Prestige 3. These are the Prestige ranks available before the first season’s launch on December 10th 2020. After this, the Prestige system will unify between games. Resetting your level and continuing from the highest Prestige rank you achieved the season before.

Each season, four extra Prestiges will be added, and a Weapon Blueprint will always be offered at Season Level 50. Basically, you can earn a new Prestige every 50 levels, to a total of three pre-season and four every season after that. You can always earn progress to the next Prestige, and can catch up to the latest available one if you couldn’t quite reach it the season before.

Season Challenges

From Season One, which begins on December 10th 2020, we’ll be able to unlock up to 40 Calling Cards per season - 20 for Cold War Zombies and 20 for Multiplayer. These are gained through completing Season Challenges, which unlock every 10 levels up to the Prestige Master level of 200. If you complete all the Season Challenges, you’ll earn the Season Master Calling Card too.

Prestige Master ranks

For those of us who live for the grind, there’s the Prestige Master ranks. Get to level 200 in any given season and you’ll be adorned ‘Prestige Master’. This’ll change the colour of your Prestige Level and allow you to customise your icon with Prestige emblems from old COD games. You unlock these by using Prestige Keys.

One Prestige Key is unlocked every 50 Prestige levels, so with up to 1000 levels available for the super-keen grinders, that’s the chance to earn 20 keys per season. Prestige Keys can be used in the Prestige Shop to purchase these Legacy Prestige Icons, and you can equip them if you’ve achieved the rank of Prestige Master in that season. The word ‘Prestige’ has lost all meaning for me, I do apologise.

Reaching Prestige Master will also earn you a title, and you can earn this six times across all the game’s future seasons. Basically, Prestige Master is here to ensure Black Ops lovers never run out of things to do and unlock. I expect unique camos for special gun challenges too, so all in all we’ll get a whole lot of stuff to sink our teeth into. Milestone rewards will be given every 50 levels, so there’ll always be a reason to keep it going. Remember, progress is now linked between Warzone, Modern Warfare, and Cold War, so don’t worry about which one you feel like playing!

Global leveling

At the start of Season One, beginning on December 10th, Seasonal Prestige will roll out to all current COD games. This means both Modern Warfare and Warzone will be getting the Cold War system described above, and every player will begin the progression path without losing anything they’ve already unlocked. Basically, from Season One, everything will be joining together, including the Battle Pass, Prestige, and leveling.

That’s all you need to know about progression and Prestige! For help on whether you should get the game, check out our Call of Duty Cold War PC specs guide. We also have a page with more info on Cold War cross play and cross gen if you fancy it.

Rock Paper Shotgun is the home of PC gaming

Sign in and join us on our journey to discover strange and compelling PC games.

In this article
Follow a topic and we'll email you when we write an article about it.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC

Related topics
About the Author
James Law avatar

James Law

Former Guides Writer

James was part of Rock Paper Shotgun's guides team from 2020-2021, bringing his expert knowledge about FPS games, Hearthstone, Path Of Exile and more from his time at Metabomb. He's also a dab hand at Hitman 3, and making his own jam - things which may or may not be related to one another.