Call of Duty: Black Ops has a dizzying number of multiplayer modes and options to explore. Whether this is your first tour of duty or your seventh, our quick start guide will have you power leveling in no time. Since we had access to the game for a limited time, we’re going to focus on how to invest your early COD Point earnings to maximize your return. We’ll also tell you how to unlock Black Ops’ secret co-op Zombie modes. Now put down that noob tube and pay attention!
Above: Who’s ready to get their nuts shot off?
Call of Duty vets are accustomed to earning XP and leveling up to unlock goodies. Black Ops introduces COD Points, or “CP,” an in-game currency that adds a new dimension to the leveling system. CP are used to purchase weapons, attachments, killstreaks, personalization options and just about everything else in multiplayer. It breaks down like this: leveling up with XP unlocks stuff, but you must purchase it with CP in order to actually use it. Example: the Uzi submachine gun is “unlocked” at level 23, but you must buy it for 2,000 CP to equip it in a custom loadout. Once a weapon has been purchased, attachments are available for additional CP.
As with XP, you receive CP at the end of every multiplayer match. The payout is calculated at 10% of your XP earnings. You also get hefty CP bonuses when you level up. Finally, you can earn CP through Contracts and Wager Matches. The XP/CP system is a little more complex than what you’re used to, but it truly improves the customization experience. Read on for details!
Above: The tiny, frantic Nuketown map is a great place to rack up kills
Custom classes are unlocked at Level 4. You won’t have much to spend your CP on until you get here, so just try out the default classes and focus on learning the maps. Once Custom Classes are available, you can start buying weapons, equipment and perks for your personalized loadouts. Early on, your CP will be in short supply so focus on really pimping one or two of your strongest classes. Here are some tips on how to spend your CP in each category.
One of the big benefits of Custom Classes is the ability to choose your own perks. Everyone will have their own preferences for perks that suit their weapon loadout and style of play. But if you’re keen to pick up XP and CP fast, go for the Hardline perk (slot one) for 2,000 CP. Hardline gets you killstreaks faster, which is especially baller when you have the RC-XD a mere two kills away (see Killstreaks – Level 10).
Above: Your character’s appearance changes based on what you have equipped for Perk 1
The Claymore is a hefty 5,000 CP, but well worth the investment. They’re a great defense against RC-XD spam and are a lifesaver in team objective games. Don’t overlook the strategic possibilities of Tactical Insertion too, which is a cheaper option at 2,500 CP.
Above: Useful implements of death
The new Nova Gas grenade is like concussion plus smoke, and it does area damage to boot. Nova Gas is bargain at 1,500 CP, and a must-have for your arsenal of destruction.
Above: Nova Gas is the all-in-wonder of tactical grenadoes
The reusable Tomahawk costs 2,000 CP and delivers a one-hit kill. If you’re always cursing about being out of grenades, grab one of these and start chopping.
Above: A gift that keeps on giving
A Note on Weapons and Attachments
As you level up, better weapons become available for purchase with your CP. As soon as you buy a weapon, all its attachments are available to purchase provided you have enough CP. In Secondary Weapons, the Ballistic Knife is unlocked at Level 15. Its silent one-hit kills are vastly more gratifying than any pistol, so buy and equip it ASAP.
Above: You can buy the extended mag, red dot sight, and flamethrower attachments for the price of one noob tube – budget accordingly