I know there's probably not a "best" path to buying perks, but there is probably one that is more optimal than my current naive way ("Oh! this looks neat!")

I'm familiar with COD (MW2), but not sure what a good strategy is to build up (i.e. save all your points and buy expensive things, what things?) Any suggestions?

To be specific, I'm looking for both

  1. the fastest way to earn points
  2. the best way to spend those points to get a tough 'good' character (realizing that good is subjective)
  • 2
    So, are you looking for the best things to purchase with COD points, or the best way to earn COD points so that you can purchase things, or both? Commented Nov 12, 2010 at 21:32
  • both. I'll clarify the question. Commented Nov 12, 2010 at 22:45

7 Answers 7


Well, before I jump directly into answering this, lets investigate the ways you can gain the most money, which in turn allows you to buy the most stuff.


Its partially depends on your ability to fulfill contracts. If you can successfully complete high reward contracts you will gain more money and more experience at a greater rate then players who cannot. Try and make sure you always have an 'active' contract so your kills are constantly working towards something.

Gun Challenges

Its also worth noting that more kills trumps completing challenges almost every time. What I mean by this is don't spend your time on a gun you suck with for experience. The opportunity cost of the kills you didn't get by using a crappy gun greatly outweighs the experience you gain from the challenges. By using a better gun you'll get more kill streaks which in turn gives you more experience and more kill streaks, and kill streaks also give experience!

Kill Streaks

Pick low kill streak rewards (as these provide you with extra experience every time you call them in) and try and get these often (hardline?). Keep in mind that getting dogs, while awesome (11 kill streak) provides THE SAME AMOUNT of experience as calling in a spy plane. By using low achievable kill streaks you will gain more experience by using the kill streak, gain more experience by challenges for the kill streak, and gain more experience by the kills you get when your kill streaks are up! Most of this game is about snowballing your momentum.


One of the most often over looked ways of gaining experience. Not utilizing your equipment is bottom line a wasted opportunity. Don't think of throwing that flash bang grenade as -wasted- think of it as utilized. Every time you die with out throwing your flashbang you have wasted the opportunity to potentially save your life, potentially get a kill, and work on your equipment challenges. Wasted equipment is sad equipment. Utilized equipment is just one more lair of the snowball (see above)

Keeping these things in mind will help you level up faster, but its worth reiterating the most important part of this description. If you are using crappy perks and crappy guns to get challenges YOU WILL LOSE EXPERIENCE. The smarter you play (low kill streaks, great perks, great gun) the more kills you'll get which will lead to more kill streaks which will lead to more challenges which will lead to more experience!


Now this seemed like a long detour to the point, but here it is. If you play better you can afford to buy more points. There is nothing wrong with "This looks neat" when you have a ton of cash laying around from following my above examples.

As far as an 'optimum route' this really depends on how you play. Ever had a friend argue with you for hours about how 'their xyz' is always the best but it just doesn't work for you? You and I will be significantly better with different guns and different perks, but you wont find whats 'optimized' for you until you try it. Buy as much as you can and try it out on a 'test' class while you get a feel for which guns and perk choices fit your play style best. Want a pink rabbit emblem on your Famas that is strictly asthetic? Go for it. Want to try a new gun? Go for it. Just make sure you always dedicate a class to something you know you can kick ass with. That will give you a fall back while you investigate which perks and guns are good for you!

Hope this helps

Starting Classes that work for me

While purely subjective, here are some classes that might help you get started

My favorite assult rifle class (5 k/d ratio) large maps

  • Galil (best assult rifle I have unlocked so far could also be Famas)
  • Red dot + Silencer (keeps me off the radar)
  • Frag + Concussive grenade + claymore
  • Hardline or Ghost (depends on amount of spy planes)
  • Warlord (for the 2 attachments)
  • Ninja (if you wear a good pair of headphones it will change your life)

My favorite SMG class (4.2 k/d) Small maps (NukeTown etc)

  • Ak 74u w/ grip or silencer
  • Semtex or frag, concussive, and Motion Sensor
  • lightweight or hardline or ghost (depending on map size + spy plane)
  • hardened (Bullet penetration, may have botched the name)
  • Ninja (as always)

Edit: Found this for another question, thought it would be applicable here as well:

Call of Duty Black Ops Weapon chart with damage, range, rate of fire, recoil, ammo, reload time, and body multipliers to help you choose the right weapon for you =)

  • Could you suggest one buildout that works well for you? Commented Nov 12, 2010 at 22:48
  • 1
    I put my classes here, but decided that they have more structure in my answer, added them in
    – Aardvark
    Commented Nov 12, 2010 at 23:10

Another good source of credits/XP is the headquarters game type. You receive +50 score every few seconds. This is a good list for ways to level in Black Ops (though, Aardvark did an admirable job of covering most of them).


Another suggestion would be to equip ghost as your tier 1 perk, sleight of hand as your tier 2 perk and a Strela-3 launcher (similar to the Stinger in Modern Warfare 2) to take out enemy air support.

You gain a lot of XP from shooting down helicopters. Plus one of the ghost perk pro challenges is to take out 30 enemy air support without a killstreak launcher (SAM turret/Grim Reaper)


Groundwar gives you xp fast because the score needed to be reached is much higher and w/ domination you are given much much more points than usual


No one should use ghost. Ever. It makes the game's experience worse for all involved. Same deal with second chance. As far as my builds go, they're sometimes a bit out there because I'm at 15th prestige (not lv 50) and am just figuring out other ways to mess around with the game.

A nice VERY early build that can wreck an enemy team is MP5K rapidfire with scavenger (preferably pro), steady aim (same deal), and marathon (pro if you can, but only if you never want to prestige again). Don't even worry about aiming down sights, and engage aggressively. At the B bomb site on jungle, this can easily get quads while guarding the planted bomb, and actually does OK at range. By the time you can buy the killstreaks, this build can be perfectly effective. Aim for Killstreaks 7 and under. Don't kid yourself, this won't get you gunships, but it can give you a 5 K/D.

The fastest prestige-ing build I've found is really simple. Hardline (pro is irrelevant, never got it), sleight of hand (this NEEDS to be pro), and tactical mask (seriously, get pro on this and you'll understand why). Use the famas with dual mags for the extra ammo, and choice of secondary. My recommendation is to make 3 copies of this build. One with an AA launcher, one with a pistol, and one with a ballistic knife for fun. 3/4/5 killstreaks (spy plane, counter spy plane, napalm) will be easy to get every life/every other life, and just use this build until you have 1500 kills on the famas and dual mags in one prestige. The kills will happen between level 39 and 44 depending on how good you are. Prestiges should take under 16 hours regardless. I have 9.5 days at 15th prestige doing this (on at least 9 of my prestiges).

If you can't seem to make anything else work, there is one last option. This makes the game a bit worse for the other players, but it isn't very bad. Tactical insertion is my recommendation on EVERY build, but this one cannot operate without. Leightweight, warlord, marathon (pro or not makes no difference in the long run), M16 with silencer and red dot sight. Semtex or frag, tactical grenade, are all the same. They won't see much use because you shouln't ever be that close. Secondary is choice, same thing as the grenades as far as use. Never directly engage unless in a superior firing position. Pick off one man from as far away as you can aim and relocate. I hesitate to recommend ANY player to use a silencer. Don't use this build unless you are seriously unable to do well otherwise. This thing is game breaking if used right in good hands.

If you need extra tips on how to use weapons, go to XboxAhoy's channel on youtube (http://www.youtube.com/user/XboxAhoy) and look at his weapon videos. They really don't apply to any of these classes, but they very accurately describe naked weapons.


Guys best game modes are Headquarters, Search, and Ground War.

Headquarters gets you a lot of kills in 15 mins, and also if you play the objective a lot. Search and Destroy is pretty self explanatory, 500 points per kill and plant.

Finally, Ground war get you a ton of kills if you spawn trap or play defensive somewhere around the middle of the map.

Tips for search is to play defensive, but don't camp. You could also rush. Watch xjawz's videos on Youtube to see what I mean.

Tips for Headquarters are to take laps around the map, and then when you are able to cap it, start playing slightly defensive.

A Tip for Ground War is DO NOT RUSH! There is to much people and destruction. You could spawn trap or just find a good spot where you will easily pick people off with and assault rifle. I'm thirteenth prestige level 47.


Make sure you have claymores. Set Valkyrie rockets as a killstreak. Get them in a match and switch back and forth from claymore to Valkyrie rocket and you will get challenges and EXP easily. I'm a 15th level 50 and I did this a little.

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