Black Ops perks can be tricky to use effectively, so here is our rundown of all you need to know.
As is always the case when playing online with Black Ops, it is all down to your personal play-style. We’ve provided a run down of each perk, what use they have and which perks to compliment it with. If our suggestions don’t fit your style, adapt as necessary.
|Standard: Move 1.07x faster Pro: + No falling damage|
Match with: Sleight Of Hand/Marathon
Equipping this will increase your speed dramatically. So much so, if you become used to it you will find yourself struggling to keep up with the sluggish weight of your character without it. This is best used when you want to be quick, getting into the battle before your enemy have time to react as well as crossing open spaces without getting caught.
Lightweight Pro: Cancels fall damage
|Standard: Resupply from dead bodies. Does not resupply launchers or equipment Pro: + Doubles your starting ammo with extra magazines, replenishes tactical grenades|
Match with: Steady Aim/Second Chance
Scavenger is for those who want to last longer in a single life, allowing you to reclaim bullets from the corpses of your enemy. This will require you to keep moving during the match though, since how else will your garner additional ammo if you don’t push forward.
Scavenger Pro: Begin a life with additional mags as well as replacing tactical grenades from your enemies.
|Standard: Undetectable by Spy Plane and Blackbird Pro: + Undetectable by aircraft, Dogs, Infra-Red and Sentries. The enemy won’t see your name or a red crosshair when targeting you|
Match with: Scout/Ninja
Ghost is the most adaptable of all the perks, since it has a use regardless of what you pair it with. By making you undetectable by UAV, it is most suited to snipers who prefer to remain unseen. Similarly, though, this can be used with almost any combination if you’re simply sick of your enemies knowing your every movement.
Ghost Pro: Makes you undetectable by aircraft, IR scopes and Sentry Guns.
|Flak Jacket||Tier 1|
|Standard: Extra explosives resistance (0.35x)Pro: + Extra fire resistance and reset fuse when you toss back grenades|
Match with: Warlord/Hacker
By reducing the damage you receive from explosives, it can make surviving those pesky claymores a hell of a lot easier. This is best suited for those who like to be in the thick of action, where grenades can be a constant problem. It’s used very little online, however, since many choose other options over this best.
Flak Jacket Pro: Fire damage has no effect on you and you can throw grenades back safely without danger of exploding.
|Standard: Killstreaks 1 kill early Pro: + Get a second chance on the result of care packages|
Match with: Hardened/Marathon
This is a popular one since it allows players to earn their killstreaks one kill fewer than required. With this equipped, then, it only takes two kills to activate UAV, where it quickly becomes easier to detect your enemies. Sounds promising, doesn’t it? Its use is most affected by how quickly you want to earn your rewards.
Hardline Pro: Lets you change the contents of a Care Package.
|Standard: Extra bullet penetration (2x) Pro: + Bullets do extra damage to Aircraft (1.35x) and Turrets. Reduced flinch when shot at|
Match with: Scavenger/Hacker
This perk allows you to fire through thin walls and objects much easier, letting you finish someone off despite the fact that they are hidden inside a building or behind cover. This is chosen by many players online, since it helps kill an injured enemy after they’ve run away. Bear this in mind whether you chose Hardened or not.
Hardened Pro: Increased damage against aircraft and turrets, with fewer flinches when shot.
|Standard: Hold breath longer (2x) Pro: + Switch between weapons faster (0.5x)|
Match with: Ghost/Ninja
This is really only necessary if you constantly opt for sniper rifles, a considerably less-often used weapon in Black Ops. It allows you to hold your breath longer when scoping, so useful when lining up that perfect shot. Otherwise, there is little other use for this perk.
Scout Pro: Switch weapons faster
|Steady Aim||Tier 2|
|Standard: Extra accuracy when shooting from the hip (0.65x) Pro: + Quicker aiming after sprinting (0.5x) and quicker recovery from knife lunge|
Match with: Lightweight/Ninja
For sub-machine gun or shotgun users, this will be your perk of choice, increasing a player’s accuracy when firing from the hip (i.e. not aiming down the sights). It is particularly useful on close quarters maps and when rushing your enemies, who might not expect a spray of bullets to the face.
Steady Aim Pro: Aim faster after sprinting and recover sooner after a knife attack.
Sleight Of Hand
|Sleight of Hand||Tier 2|
|Standard: Faster reload (0.5x) Pro: + Faster aiming down sights with non-scoped weapons (0.5x)|
Match with: Lightweight/Marathon
Much like Lightweight, if you use this for too long you won’t ever switch it out. It massively increases the speed at which you reload, so perfect for countering the long reload times of the LMGs. Using it on anything else will give you a blistering fast reload time, so you’re never likely to be caught out mid-reload.
Sleight Of Hand Pro: Aim down the sights of a gun faster, excluding sniper rifles.
|Standard: 2 attachments on primary weapon Pro: + Start with one extra lethal and tactical grenade (except smoke)|
Match with: Scavenger/Marathon
Sometimes you’ll want a rifle to fulfil two roles, or might miss your red dot sight when equipping a silencer – this is where Warlord kicks in, allowing you to attach two attachments (not all are compatible with each other) to a single rifle. This means you can attach objects that would provide the same benefit as a perk, freeing you up to choose something else. This is for the lone commander type of player.
Warlord Pro: Start with an additional lethal and tactical grenade (except for Willy Pete)
|Tactical Mask||Tier 3|
|Standard: Reduce the effect of Flash and Concussion grenades Pro: + Reduces the effects of Gas and Concussion grenades. Reveals the location of a flashed or stunned enemy|
Match with: Anything
This perk protects you against the Nova Gas grenade, a rarely used poison gas that slows movement and blurs vision. You begin with this perk but, if we’re honest, we’d change this one as soon as you can. For the amount that Nova Gas is used – and it’s easily avoided anyway – you’d be better suited equipping a different perk.
Tactical Mask Pro: Flash and concussion grenades are less effective and stunned enemies appear on your minimap.
|Standard: Longer sprint(2x) Pro: + Unlimited sprint|
Match with: Lightweight/Sleight Of Hand
Marathon drastically increases the lengths you can run for before getting tired, without increasing the time to return to maximum stamina. This is perfect for those who like to race ahead at the start of a match and surprise the enemy, so works perfectly with Lightweight.
Marathon Pro: Sprint for an unlimited amount of time.
|Standard: Move silently Pro: + Louder enemy footsteps (2x), makes you completely silent|
Match with: Ghost/Warlord
As you might expect, this perk is for those who like stealth and cunning to defeat their enemies. A good COD player will be able to hear the pitter-patter of a rushing enemy, so equip this to cancel out the sound of your sprint. Perfect for running in for knife kills undetected, especially when equipped with Ghost too.
Ninja Pro: Make no sound whatsoever while enemies are easier to hear.
|Second Chance||Tier 3|
|Standard: Pull out pistol before dying (30 sec) Pro: + Survive longer and any team mate can revive you (1.15 sec)|
Match with: Scavenger/Hardened
This perk is a personal preference for some, since they like to dole out revenge to their killers. After being downed, your character will automatically equip a pistol, which you should use to blast away at your assailant before they finish you off. It annoys when an enemy uses it, but the vengeance is so sweeter if you manage to kill someone during your last stand.
Second Chance Pro: Last longer when downed, with the ability to be revived by team-mates.
|Standard: Detect enemy equipment and explosives Pro: + Booby trap enemy Care Packages and turn enemy killstreaks and equipment friendly|
Match with: Hardline/Sleight Of Hand
With Hacker you will have the perfect counter to any hostile equipment, explosives and turrets, pinpointing them in-game. For this reason, Hacker is a great perk to include in any set-up, since it helps avoid claymores and other dangers. Equipping Hardline will give you the advantage of your killstreaks, while negating your opponents.
Hacker Pro: Destroy enemy equipment and turrets, booby trap Care Packages and remain undetected by Motion Sensors.
3 kill streaks:
Unlocked at Start
Spy Plane reveals enemies as a red dot on the mini-map, but can be shot down by enemy players, or a SAM Turret. The Spy Plane is one of three killstreaks to be unlocked from the start, the other two being the Care Package and Attack Helicopter.
The RC-XD is essentially a remote-controlled car rigged with an explosive charge, unlocked after a 3-Killstreak. When deployed, the player remains stationary and the HUD disappears while piloting the RC-XD, much like how the player remains stationary while guiding a Predator Missile, AC-130, or Chopper Gunner in Modern Warfare 2. The explosive charge carries a unlimited time limit, when you press the right trigger the car begins to bleep repetitively and becomes more rapid until the RC-XD eventually self-destructs. It goes initially faster then a player with or without Lightweight. So the players best bet would be to shoot it. The RC-XD can be purchased by the player for 1200. About the timer, Vahn said: “What I said was that you could limit (the timer) in Private Match. We did dork around with an RC-XD car race Wager Match type but it was a lot of work for only modest amount of fun and was only playing even remotely decent on a small percentage of maps. The biggest challenge was that once you fell into the bottom positions recovery from it become really difficult. Solutions meant implementing too many “racing game” mechanics and features. That is best left to games like Blur, not Call of Duty. in Private Match, Make up your own rules. Play with friends that will honor the rules and have at it. We put that in specifically because you said you wanted it.”
4 kill streaks:
The effect is the same as the Counter-UAV from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. It, like the Spy Plane, can be shot down.
The SAM Turret (Surface-to-Air Missile) is a 4-killstreak reward item featured in Call of Duty: Black Ops. It can shoot down all enemy airborne killstreaks, with the exception of the Blackbird and Airstrike-class killstreaks such as (Napalm Strike, Mortar Team, and Rolling Thunder). Like the Sentry Gun, this killstreak must be called in by airdrop before placing it.
5 kill streaks:
The effect is the same as the Care Package from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
The Napalm strike is shown in the multiplayer reveal trailer leaving a column of fire and a massive explosion. Five kills are needed for this killstreak. The Napalm Strike is also directional, similar to the Precision Airstrike from Modern Warfare 2.
Not only will the initial drop take out anyone unlucky enough to get caught in the blast, but the napalm will also continue to burn, incinerating anyone getting too close unless the player has the perk Flak Jacket.
6 kill streaks:
The effect is the same as the Sentry Gun from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
The Mortar Team is a 6-killstreak reward available in Call of Duty: Black Ops. It strikes three different areas on the map, each selected before the strike is called in. Approximately two mortar rounds are fired at each target and the explosion is about 7 meters in diameter.
7 kill streaks:
The effect is the same as the Attack Helicopter from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
The Valkyrie Rockets (previously known as Archangel) is a 7-killstreak reward in Call of Duty: Black Ops, similar to the Predator Missile from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, albeit requiring 2 more kills. The “Valkyrie Rocket” is a shoulder-launched rocket that the player fires from a launcher and then guides toward their desired target, but is much more difficult to steer than an RC-XD, since the RC-XD can go forwards and backwards and even stop. The Valkyrie cannot brake or reverse, but it can be boosted to go faster and if it hits a wall or object, the rocket will explode, possibly resulting in no kills. Upon getting a 7 killstreak, the player is given care package marker which will contain a launcher and two rockets. The rocket can be controlled for 15 seconds (the bar on the side shows fuel level).
8 kill streaks:
The SR-71 Blackbird is an advanced, long range, strategic reconnaissance aircraft that appears in Call of Duty: Black Ops’ campaign and multiplayer as a killstreak. It is unconfirmed if it lasts the whole round, or for a limited amount of time.
Rolling Thunder is a killstreak reward featured in Call of Duty: Black Ops. It bombs an entire line of the map with a single line of bombs, giving no warning of the bombers presence to the enemy team; similar to the Stealth Bomber from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
9 kill streaks:
The effect is the same as the Chopper Gunner from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
11 kill streaks:
The effect is the same as the Attack Dogs from Call of Duty: World at War.
Gunship is a killstreak featured in Call of Duty: Black Ops. It is awarded upon achieving an 11 killstreak. The player will have full control of the gunship including movement, miniguns and missiles, however like in Payback, the player cannot control altitude. The gunship is a Mil Mi-24 Hind A.