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How Does Call Of Duty: Vanguard's Prestige System Work?

Prestige Ranks return in "Call of Duty: Vanguard" with a system that should be familiar to veteran players. Some have already started grinding toward Prestiges since "Call of Duty: Vanguard" launched last week, but some are still wondering how the Prestige System even works. Luckily, the "Call of Duty" blog dropped some important information on how the new system.

"Call of Duty: Vanguard" implements a Prestige System nearly identical to the one in "Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War." Early games forced players to reset their progression from the beginning and unlock everything from scratch to gain prestige. Then, "Black Ops Cold War" revised the system to keep unlockables but still offer a prestige rank to honor seasonal achievements.

Just to be clear: Yes, Prestiges differ from Seasonal Levels. Prestiges refer to badges that players earn upon reaching a specific Prestige Rank. Seasonal Levels, sometimes called prestige levels, refer to the levels that extend beyond Enlisted Ranks. Enlisted Ranks, also known as the player's base levels, unlock weapons, equipment, and other loadout options until Level 55. Then, it's separate seasonal levels from there. 

Those who exceed level 55 automatically unlock their first Prestige and Season Level 1. Players need to max out their Enlisted Rank at Level 55 before even worrying about Prestige. If you haven't reached Level 55, then XP contributes to Enlisted Ranks instead. 

Prestige typically arrives with ranked mode. However, players are in "Preseason" because Ranked Mode hasn't officially started. Here's how Preseason works and how players can expect the prestige system to shift once official Battle Pass seasons return in December.

How Preseason works in Call of Duty: Vanguard

Preseason offers three Prestiges: Prestige 1 at Season Level 1, Prestige 2 at Season Level 50, and Prestige 3 at Season Level 100. That's all "Vanguard" offers right now, but players can technically continue leveling until Season Level 1000. These additional levels exist for players who want to catch up on past seasonal awards that they missed. Past awards should automatically unlock every 50 seasonal levels after players earn the last of the current season's awards.

Season Levels temporarily add onto the player's overall level before it resets to Level 55 at the end of the season. Reaching a new Prestige milestone upgrades the icon next to the player's name in multiplayer and awards them a free Battle Pass Tier Skip. Additionally, reaching Season Level 50 unlocks an exclusive seasonal Weapon Blueprint. Players keep all the items they unlock through Prestige leveling, even after seasonal resets. 

Season Levels from the Preseason will reset after Season One unlocks in December. Players can continue from the highest Prestige they achieved during Preseason, and later seasons will offer four additional Prestiges and awards across the first 200 Season Levels. 

Thankfully, "Call of Duty: Vanguard" has other progression systems that are fairly straightforward because they don't depend on seasonal contingencies. Here's what you can expect from these other leveling systems.

Call of Duty: Vanguard keeps its progression systems mostly the same

Weapon progression and camo challenges work the same as in the latest "Call of Duty" iterations. Players gain Weapon XP through kills, assists, and capture points. Every couple of levels unlock attachments for the used weapon. Similarly, camo challenges require a specific number of headshots, mounted kills, and other kinds of kills to complete each one. Players can unlock two sets of camos: one for multiplayer and "Warzone," and another for Zombies mode. 

Operators also have a separate XP system that unlocks character skins, additional weapon XP for specific weapons, and bonus XP for using the operator's favorite weapon. Clans, which are basically like "guilds," replace Regiments and have their own leveling system. Playing with clanmates increases clan XP and bonus points for any kind of XP (weapon, operator, etc) earned during matches. So there's no shortage of ways to level up, whether unlocking your base loadouts or Prestiges.

"Essentially, every time you play Multiplayer, Zombies, or Warzone Pacific, you'll unlock something new or at least progress toward it," reads Activision's blog post. "And that doesn't even include the rewards available during the seasonal Battle Pass system, another way to earn content at the start of Season One."

"Call of Duty: Vanguard" released on November 5 for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. Hopefully, Prestiges can help stave off the hunger for competition until ranked play goes live.