Types of XP
After completing a Warzone match, take note of the Match Summary that details what you unlocked during your session. It also contains what XP – or in-game experience – you earned.
XP is split into two types: Weapon XP and regular XP:
Weapon XP: This is how you level up your Primary and Secondary Weapons while using them. Weapon XP stays on your weapons between the game they were originally from (Black Ops Cold War or Modern Warfare®) and Warzone, allowing you to level them up between games.
Regular XP (simply “XP”): This is how you level up your account to unlock new weapons for your Loadouts or Loadout Drops and other items that can be used within Warzone, Black Ops Cold War, and Modern Warfare.
During a Warzone match after completing a certain action, such as killing an enemy, completing a Contract, or banking Cash in Plunder mode, you may see a pop-up for a specific number of XP gained.
Earning XP: In-Game Actions
In-game Actions: This is the most obvious way of earning XP; the in-game actions that reward XP. These on-screen prompts at the time you complete an action even show you how much XP you earned from the task. This isn’t the only method of gaining XP, however. Here are some other ways:
Match Bonus – After finishing a Warzone match regardless of placement, your squad earns some XP as a match bonus. The better your placement, the more XP in your match bonus. This bonus is then applied after the match concludes as part of your After Action Report.
Earning XP: Challenges
Challenges – This is your main source of serious gains for XP. Challenges are mainly found next to the Barracks section of your Warzone menu, where it shows how much XP you’re able to earn upon completing tasks along with any other rewards that can come with it. Learn more about this menu here.
Challenges can include:
Daily Challenges – Daily Challenges are limited-time objectives that reward a solid amount of XP and/or other rewards. They award 2,500 XP upon completion, you are given three Daily Challenges per day, and up to 25 Daily Challenges can be kept in Reserves to be completed at your leisure.
Example Daily Challenges include getting 20 kills with Light Machine Guns and getting a kill before the first circle collapses.
Season Challenges – Every season, you have the opportunity to unlock 20 Season Challenges through the Prestige System. You unlock the first at Prestige Level 1 and unlock the additional 19 every 10 levels from Level 10 onwards. These challenges can be completed in either Warzone or Black Ops Cold War Multiplayer.
Example Season Challenges include getting 500 kills with Light Machine Guns, with XP rewarded at every 100 kills as a milestone, or to earn an elimination by hacking an enemy’s Proximity Mine.
Career Challenges – The lengthiest and hardest to complete compared to the two above challenge sets, Career Challenges are meant to be completed over your Warzone career. At minimum, they reward 5,000 XP for completion on top of a badass animated Calling Card.
Example Career Challenges include winning 300 Battle Royale matches, or completing your fifth Contract in a single match with all team members still alive.
Operator Missions – Another set of objectives that award XP, in addition to rewards like Operator Skins and Calling Cards, is Operator Missions, found within the Operator section of the Warzone menu. These are usually unlocked every 10 Tiers for specific Operators as part of a Battle Pass, and their objectives may span across Warzone and other modes, such as Multiplayer or Zombies, in full Call of Duty games.
Game Elements Related to XP
Weapon Camo Challenges
Each weapon that can be equipped in a Loadout comes with a set of Weapon Camo Challenges, which unlock as you gain levels with that weapon.
Head to the Gunsmith Menu, tab over to the Customize section, and select Camouflage to see what camos you can equip – including those you get in the Store – and what you can unlock. There are a set of basic styles of camo, each with numerous color variants, and each style requires a different challenge to be completed, with more color variants unlocked when challenge totals increase to a specific amount.
Example Weapon Camo Challenges could include getting a certain number of kills while mounted with a weapon or shooting down a number of vehicles with a launcher.
Basic Camo: There are two sets of Basic Camos, which are assigned to weapons based on the game they are from. Black Ops Cold War weapons have Spray, Stripes, Classic, Geometric, Flora, and Psychedelic camos that can be unlocked through its Multiplayar in addition to Warzone, while Modern Warfare weapons have Spray Paint, Woodland, Digital, Dragon, Splinter, Topo, Tiger, Stripes, Reptile, and Skulls camos. They are unlocked via a wide variety of challenges, each specific to the weapon type.
Gold Camo: Collecting every unlockable camo for a weapon grants you a Gold camo for it.
Platinum / Diamond Camo: Collecting every unlockable camo for every base weapon (not including new weapons released during Seasons) for a specific weapon type from a specific game – e.g. Shotguns in Black Ops Cold War – unlocks Diamond Camo (Black Ops Cold War weapons) or Platinum Camo (Modern Warfare weapons) for all weapons of that type. Worth showing off!
Dark Matter (DM) Ultra / Damascus Camo: Completing every single weapon challenge with all base weapons from Black Ops Cold War unlocked Dark Matter Ultra camo (DM Ultra) for all those weapons, while completing all weapon challenges for all base Modern Warfare weapons unlocks the Damascus camo for all those weapons. This sign of completionist status is a camo well worth showing off!
Like camo challenges, the various Reticles – what appears within an Optic or in the Default Sniper Scope – also have their own set of challenges. This allows you to add even more flair to a weapon, or give you range-finding options that may be more comfortable to you.
Reticle challenges have similar objectives to camo challenges – e.g. getting a number of kills while mounted or killing three enemies without dying a number of times – but can be done across a variety of weapons as long as the relevant Optic or Scope is utilized.
In other words, no matter what weapon you use, a reticle challenge will count towards that reticle type so long as you are using it on that weapon. Try collecting them all as you journey towards unlocking the other camos!
Battle Pass Tiers and Seasons: XP also plays a role in Battle Pass Tier progression. While the system is also related to the amount of time you play, completing actions that would earn XP – i.e. kills and contracts – will factor into a faster Tier earning rate.
Given that Seasons last for only a few weeks, meaning that there is limited time to earn all Battle Pass Tiers, every bit of XP counts towards progression.
All the XP you earn goes towards increasing your Rank, which defines your experience level within Warzone, Black Ops Cold War, and Modern Warfare.
Yes, your overall progression and rank are transferrable between all three games. If you decide to upgrade – or try Warzone as a Black Ops Cold War and/or Modern Warfare owner already – your progression is kept (and always combined) between these games.
The amount of XP needed to increase your rank is a fixed number that can be seen either on the Rank Progression screen or in a After Action Report after you finish a match.
Here’s a quick step-by-step look at how rank progression looks between games:
1. The Military Ranks. Upon starting Warzone, Modern Warfare, or Black Ops Cold War for the first time as a new player, you will being your progression journey as Level 1, also known as Private First Class 1, within the Military Ranks. This is the first progression path where you will unlock loadout items across Warzone, Black Ops Cold War, and Modern Warfare.
2. Level Up Through Military Ranks. Earning XP in any game will count towards levelling up, with each level of the Military Ranks corresponding with new unlocks. For example: at Level 4 (Lance Corporal I), you will unlock Create-a-Class and Custom Loadouts.
3. The Drive to 55. You will unlock all the base loadout items for Black Ops Cold War, Modern Warfare, and Warzone up through Military Rank 55 also known as Commander.
4. After Rank 55, Welcome to Prestige. As soon as you complete Military Rank 55, you earn your first Prestige, which puts you on an all-new levelling track at Season Level 1. To signify this, the icon beside your name changes from a military insignia to the first Prestige Icon. You are now considered at Prestige 1!
5. A Reward Every 50 Levels. Every 50 levels, you reach a new Prestige (e.g. if you are Prestige 1 and get to Level 50 in one season, you are at Prestige 2) granting you a new Prestige Icon beside your name. Prestige is permanent and carries across Seasons. Each Season brings four new Prestige designations to unlock.
6. Prestige Swag. Every time you achieve a new Prestige Level, you get a new Sticker and Emblem to show off on your weapon and profile respectively. The first time you hit a Prestige in a season, you also get a new Weapon Blueprint. More on that next week.
7. Prestige Master – The Ultimate Title. If you reach every Prestige available to you in a season, you become a Prestige Master, which changes the color of your Prestige Level. You can also continue levelling up to Level 1,000 as you keep playing the game.
8. We Say NO to FOMO. Joined the Warzone party late? No worries; you can still reach the highest available Prestige Level and become a Prestige Master in any season. However, it may take you a while – for example: if you joined in at Season Three and only have one Prestige, you will have to hit Level 700 within that season to earn Prestige Master. Alternatively, you can gain a couple of Prestiges this season and get a head start at Prestige Master for the next season.
9. Prestige (is) Key. Every 50 levels, no matter if you have another Prestige to unlock or not, you receive a Prestige Key. If you own Black Ops Cold War, you can load that game up and access the Prestige Shop, where you can unlock Legacy Calling Cards to equip across Black Ops Cold War and Warzone allows you to unlock a Legacy Calling to use over your current one. These Calling Cards are from previous Black Ops, Modern Warfare, and other Call of Duty games that veterans of the series should remember fondly.
10. Do it all again! At the end of each season (or this pre-season), you go back to Season Level 1, but your Prestige does not reset. For example: let’s say we are at the end of Season Two, and hit every Prestige available at that point (Prestige 11). At the start of Season Three, your goal is to get through Prestige 12-15 to earn the title of Prestige Master once more.
Expert XP Accumulation: Combining Actions
Naturally, gaining XP quickly boils down to playing Warzone, staying in Warzone matches long enough to qualify for the match bonus, and completing as many Challenges and Missions as possible.
Grouping together specific Challenges – e.g. going for a Daily Challenge involving revives while also completing a Seasonal Challenge – can be the most efficient way to maximize XP earning potential, as you may be able to knock out multiple objectives while performing roughly the same task.
Example: Stacking Challenges
Molotov Madness: Let’s say you are a master of the Molotov Cocktail, and there is a Daily Challenge that involves getting three kills with it for (hypothetically) 2,500 XP. Lucky for you, there is also a Seasonal Challenge that awards another 2,500 XP for earning 15 Molotov eliminations.
That’s already a lot of XP… But then there is an Operator who wants you to get five Molotov eliminations to unlock one of their cool skins, and give you another 2,500 XP.
Plus, another Daily Challenge wants you to kill three downed enemies (for another 2,500 XP, and the way a Molotov spreads fire on the ground basically spells trouble for those who can’t move quickly.
Let’s recap: Because challenges are “stackable”, as long as they are active (and tagged manually if required) at the same time, you can complete them all at once. In total, that theoretical grouping of objectives would reward you over 10,000 XP, not including the normal XP you’d earn from getting Molotov Cocktail kills!
While stacking objectives is a great way to get XP, one of the biggest XP boosts that some players miss out on is the Match Bonus. If you forfeit a Warzone match by quitting the game when any of your squad members are alive, you will lose out on your Match Bonus XP. Fortunately, the game will warn you that you’ll lose this bonus if you try to back out in a situation where you would forfeit it.
In summary, the Warzone Operators who level up the fastest, finish their matches, combine challenges and mission objectives together while playing, and even dip their toes into Multiplayer and Special Ops to get every single opportunity at earning XP.
Useful Links: Other Guide Chapters: