I'm quite a fan of Black Ops zombies especially Black Ops 2, and I have currently Rank 4, skull with knife, and I was wondering why I haven't got to rank 5 yet.

Rank Badges

I used to get taken down a lot in the early games but now with more experience I tend to only go down maybe once/twice per game with 1k kills.

The way I see it, my options are:

  • Somehow reset all my stats and start over (by deleting save, etc.)
  • Create a new account (not something I want to do)
  • Keep grinding (it is even possible at this stage? tips?)

A lot of people suggest to calculate kill/death(down?) ratio, although others say this is not the major player in the rank "algorithm".

My question is how much of a grind I would have to do with the below stats, and if there is any better way to get to shotgun rank in BO2 zombies? I never reached a very high round (40+) so I kinda think it could be related to that.

  • Kills: 263988
  • Downs: 2529
  • Deaths: 1426

Stats summary screen


  • From my understanding based on what I found, the rank is almost like an average. In which case, Once you get so far (as you have), it becomes very difficult if not impossible to level up further.
    – Timmy Jim
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 12:52
  • that's my fear. I'm somehow hopeful that there is a "trigger" I am missing such as a specific high round. I think that's how I moved to knife, after a great game with some randoms in town. it can't be from insufficient kills like many pointed out and KD ratio, although a good pointer, doesn't seem to be a 100% direct relationship Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 13:10

2 Answers 2


Jimmy Zielinski (former Treyarch Director BO1 & BO2 Zombies) made the following tweet back in 17 Oct 2013:

"The Ra k is ive", it ris and lls bas on ho ll y pl erall. I is ba on w ma dow ver y fin nd. Low nd dow cou aga y mo th dow in lat nds..."

This slightly hidden message actually means:

The Rank is alive, it rises and falls based on how well you play overall. It is based on how many downs versus your final round. Low round downs counts against you more than downs in later rounds.

Further reading:

Ranking System Confirmed!

Jimmy Z Explains Rank


It is based off rounds to downs. To get the shotgun you are required to have a round to down ratio of 20:1. The knife is earned at 13:1.

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