I know of the extra class slots and the various cosmetic stuff like face paints or crosshairs that are unlocked only when you prestige x times. I am not really into that.

But I was wondering, if I would miss anything by not prestiging at all.

If yes, how many times should I prestige for the maximum benefit?


There is a prestige playlist, which you have to have prestige'd at least once to enter. This isn't exactly a game play benefit, but you will theoretically be playing with better players. Here are the current options on that playlist:

  • Prestige TDM is unlocked right away.
  • Prestige Hardcore is unlocked after going prestige 10 times.
  • Prestige Pure is unlocked after going prestige 15 times.

As Aardvark said unlocking the all the custom classes can be particularly helpful if you want to run similar weapon sets but with different equipment. For example, starting a round with marathon+lightweight and you favorite weapon. Then after the initial points have been captured swapping to scavenger, warlord, and your favorite weapon.

And although this isn't exactly a game play benefit you can pay $50,000 after going prestige to unlock the prestige leader board. However, this is lost once you prestige again.

Lastly, there is the (laughable) intimidation factor (What do you mean no one cares?)

  • "Prestiging" seems to be very much an ego trip. Unless you gain fractional improvements in mobility/ADS/resilience being gun fodder for 50-ish levels at a time is not much fun. I really like keeping my "pro" perks that I have battled for. Battling for them again doesn't sound like fun to me.
    – angryITguy
    Mar 20 '11 at 6:44

The only value of prestige in black-ops is the extra class slots. All other benefits are strictly cosmetic. For some players, having 10 classes means they have a situational class to respond to most situations.

However, for most players it means throwing away the guns they are good with, the perks they have gotten pro on, and getting destroyed for every level it takes to level back up. Overall, players who do not go prestige tend to have higher k/d's as they have the best equipment available every game.

If you do see value in the extra classes, 9th prestige is the highest you need to go to unlock all classes, every thing after that is cosmetic

Hope this helps!


I believe there are certain game modes that are only open to players of a certain prestige level.

  • how so? never seen anything like that.
    – DrFish
    Dec 1 '10 at 20:44
  • There are, at prestige one, you can access Prestige playlists. Needless to say, only players who have prestiged can play there.
    – Carlo
    Dec 1 '10 at 22:56
  • I am currently at prestige one and can't see anything related to prestige in the server browser. Are you sure this is Black Ops you are talking about?
    – DrFish
    Dec 2 '10 at 1:29
  • It looks like Rapida has done a much better job of explaining the Prestige playlists, which is what I was referring to. Dec 3 '10 at 2:17

'Relevant' is such a subjective word... To me it's really relevant to have more than 5 class slots, why? Because the more slots I have, the more classes I have to adapt to a certain team gameplay. Some rush, some camp, some move in groups; so I want to be prepared for anything, and adapt accordingly. Other than that, it's already been mentioned: Emblems, golden weapon camo, prestige lists and what-not. But actual GAMEPLAY benefits, there aren't. Prestige in this game doesn't help (other than the classes as I stated before). In MW2 I stayed in prestige 5 if I remember correctly, and those prestige 10 players (mostly hacked of course) never scared me, because they don't have any advantage on me, and prestiging DOES NOT represent your skills as a player.

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