While the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (opens in new tab) multiplayer mode has a very familiar ranking system for anyone that’s played a previous Call of Duty game, Blackout - the new battle royale mode - is much different. Just playing games doesn’t help you to rank up; instead, you need to earn Black Ops 4 Blackout Merits which increase your Echelon rank. This is how you earn rewards including new characters - separate from those in the Black Ops 4 Blackout character missions (opens in new tab) - and calling cards. Here are all of the different Black Ops 4 Blackout Merit sources and how to earn Merits in Blackout.
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Black Ops 4 Blackout Merit sources - how to earn Merits
To increase your Echelon rank, you need to earn Black Ops 4 Blackout Merits. These essentially replace the concept of experience points, but they’re much harder to earn. Simply finishing a Blackout game won’t necessarily reward you with any Merits, because you actually have to perform to earn them.
For every kill you get in Blackout, you will receive 10 Merits. Reaching a top placement (finishing in the top 15 in solos, top 10 in duos, top 5 in quads) will reward you with 50 Merits, then you’ll receive another 100 Merits if you win the game. Simply put, the more games you win, the more Merits you’ll earn.
You can also earn Merits through completing Black Ops 4 Blackout challenges (opens in new tab). Each challenge has three tiers, and they all award upwards of 25 Merits. Some of the challenges, like placing top five in Quads 10 times, will grant you an impressive 100 Merits. Start playing, practice until you can kill multiple people per game, and you’ll swiftly climb those Echelon ranks.
Black Ops 4 Blackout Echelon ranks and unlocks
Despite there being 80 Echelon ranks available until you hit prestige, you only unlock rewards at a select few ranks. Here are the Echelon ranks you want to be aiming for to unlock new characters and calling cards.
- Echelon Rank 20 - Ranger character and calling card [5,450 Merits]
- Echelon Rank 40 - Frogman character and calling card [15,450 Merits]
- Echelon Rank 60 - Airborne character and calling card [27,450 Merits]
- Echelon Rank 80 - Seal character and calling card [41,450 Merits]
- Echelon Rank 80 Prestige - Battle Hardened character and calling card [44,200 Merits]
Make sure you’re following our Black Ops 4 Blackout tips (opens in new tab) guide to help you earn Merits faster.