; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 5/2/2012
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Almost more important than the weapons you carry are the perks that you build your very playstyle on. What perks are you going to run when Black Ops comes out? Which loadout is your favorite? Check out this guide to see all the perks and their Pro versions!
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Call of Duty Black Ops: Perks
One of the biggest ways to customize your character in any Call of Duty game has always been the perks setup, a feature unique to the multiplayer modes. Perks are the foundation for whatever build you're going for, and form the basis of your playstyle. You won't run a juggernaut class if you don't intend to get shot, and you won't run a silenced class if you don't intend to hide.
Some changes have been made to the perks in Call of Duty Black Ops compared to their Modern Warfare 2 counterparts. Some perks are not returning; no more Danger Close, no more Stopping Power, and no more One Man Army. Some are changed; Cold Blooded is now called Ghost, and Ninja's pro and non-pro versions are switched.
Additionally, in order to unlock the Pro version of a perk, not only do you have to pay a fee in Call of Duty Black Ops' multiplayer currency, but you also have to complete special challenges. Those challenges will be covered in a later article, so check back often once the game is released for full details! For this article, I'll cover what perks are in what tier, and what they do.
All perk data now confirmed to be accurate!
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Tier 1 (Blue) Perks
The Tier 1 perks are focused around support. They do things to make you live longer, and be more effective longer. They'll allow you to hide more effectively, move more effectively, and in general survive longer. Which one do you choose? Well that's up to you.
Lightweight - Virtually unchanged from it's MW2 version, Lightweight allows you to move faster, both while in a regular walk and the sprint. You can move around the map much faster, and continually flank the enemy, dash to hiding places, and get to cover faster than anyone else. Lightweight Pro gives you the former Commando Pro ability to take no damage from falling high distances. Very useful for extra mobility around the maps.
Scavenger - Again, much like it's MW2 counterpart, Scavenger allows you to resupply off of the fallen. Both the bodies of your enemies and allies will grant you additional ammo, allowing you to stay in the fight longer, getting back the bullets you use to kill each enemy. Ammo conservation is a thing of the past! You also get back your Lethal grenades. Scavenger Pro is also just like it's MW2 version, granting you an extra magazine, so you'll pretty much never run out of ammo. Spray anything you even think might be an enemy; you don't have to worry about bullets.On top of that, you can replenish your Tactical grenades too!
Ghost - Called Cold-Blooded in other versions of Call of Duty, Ghost is the familiar "undetectable by UAV" perk. In Black Ops, Ghost means you don't show up on the enemy radar when they have a Spy Plane up. This is invaluable; most players will focus on the radar and, if they don't see a red dot nearby, assume they're safe. Take advantage of this to always be behind them, shooting them when they least suspect it. Note: Ghost does not protect you from air support, motion sensors, or the like. Ghost Pro is just like the MW2 Cold-Blooded Pro: When the enemy crosshair hovers over you, your name won't appear in red letters. This is a subtle but effective method for stealth, as most people don't even realize they use the red names to target. Beyond that, though, it's most important effects are what MW2's Cold Blooded gave; air support doesn't target you, you don't show up on IR Scopes, and sentry guns don't see you.
Hardline - Returning from MW2, Hardline does the exact same thing; killstreaks cost one less kill to earn. Your 3-kill spy plane only tak 2 kills to earn, your Care Package is 4 kills just like it was in MW2, and the attack dogs can be called in only ten kills after you spawn. Hardline Pro is a unique feature of Black Ops: If you throw down a care package and don't like the results; you don't need a Spy Plane, or the ammo box is unnecessary so early, you can double-tap the button to get a different random killstreak. You essentially get a second chance at your care package. You can change any box; Sam Turret, Sentry Gun, or Care Package. Not just yours, either! You can even change teammates or enemy crates!
Flak Jacket - A perk in Black Ops was once a piece of equipment in MW2. The Flak Jacket decreases the damage you take from explosives. Grenades, Tubes, and Rockets are no longer instant kills with this perk. Simple and effective for surviving explosions when you're trying to take an objective. Flak Jacket Pro has a couple of bonuses. You have extra resistance to fire, which is important in Black Ops, allowing you to better survive Napalm strikes and flamethrowers. You also can throw back a grenade with much more safety; when you pick it up, the fuse resets.
Where the Tier 1 perks are all about survival and defense, the Tier 2 perks are focused much more around offense. Extra accuracy, faster reloading, and more bullet penetration are all bonuses these categories can give you.
Hardened - Echoing the FMJ attachments from MW2, this time you don't have to jump through hoops to unlock them. The Hardened perk gives all of your weapons a deeper bullet penetration than normal, allowing you to kill players through walls much more effectively. Hardened Proallows you to inflict extra bullet damage to air support, letting you shoot things down without rockets, and destroy turrets easier. On top of that, you flinch less when you're shot, letting you keep your aim steady.
Scout - Once the secondary effect of Steady Aim Pro, Scout in Black Ops allows you to hold your breath longer to get a better bead with your sniper rifles. Scout Pro allows you to switch weapons faster, dropping your sniper rifle and whipping out your sidearm to kill enemies.
Steady Aim - Exactly like it always has been, Steady Aim gives your bullets a tighter focus when firing without aiming, allowing you to win those around-the-corner showdowns with a higher frequency. Invaluable for SMGs. Steady Aim Pro allows you to aim faster after sprinting, letting you win those firefights even easier. It also lets you recover faster from knife lunging.
Sleight of Hand - As it was in MW2, so it is in Black Ops. Sleight of Hand lets you reload twice as fast, meaning you will hardly ever die while reloading. Sleight of Hand Pro allows you to aim down the sights faster, but unlike MW2, doesn't work for sniper rifles. Sorry quickscopers, but your playstyle sucked anyways.
Warlord - Known as Bling in MW2, Warlord allows your primary weapon to have two attachments instead of just one. Simple, but an effective way to make yourself deadlier. Don't light the sights of a gun, but want a silencer? Run Warlord! Warlord Pro is the ability to carry one extra Lethal and Tactical grenade. Two frags, Semtex, Smokes, or Nova Gas now at your disposal!
Almost ready for Black Ops? Get your last few days of Modern Warfare 2 in before everyone jumps ship for the better game! Make sure you have all the titles and emblems you want with this guide!
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Tier 3 (Green) Perks
Green or Yellow, the Tier 3 perks are focused around support, movement, and revenge. Like Lightweight but want those footsteps to not signal your presence a mile away? Love revenge kills with your pistol before you die? These perks are for you!
Marathon - Virtually unchanged in Call of Duty, Marathon allows you to sprint for a longer distance without running out of breath. Marathon Pro is just a better version, allowing you to sprint an unlimited amount of time.
Ninja - The go-to perk for silent classes, Ninja silences your footsteps so you can't be heard while walking or running. Invaluable for sneaking up on campers. Ninja Pro was once Sitrep Pro; you make no noise at all, and can hear enemies much louder than before.
Second Chance - Second Chance is the Last Stand of Black Ops. When you take enough damage to kill you, you instead drop onto your back and pull out your pistol, and are given a short time to fire at the person who killed you, to attempt to kill them right back. Second Chance Pro allows you to stay alive longer when downed, and gives your allies the ability to help you stand back up.
Hacker - New to Black Ops, the hacker perk is made for sabotage. It's primary version allows you to detect enemy equipment and explosives, like camera spikes and claymores. The pro version is where the fun comes in. Hacker Pro allows you to booby trap enemy care packages rather than steal them, or to turn enemy killstreaks and equipment friendly. Rewire claymores and reprogram sentry guns to fight for your side! Not only that, but you're invisible to motion sensors!
Tactical Mask - does little for you; all it does is protect you from Nova Gas. Fortunately, it's unlocked when you start the game. Tactical Mask Pro reduces the effects of Flash and Concussion grenades, and will reveal on your map the position of flashed or stunned enemies; no more stunning someone and then getting killed because you weren't sure quite where they were.
Are the perks in Black Ops everything you hoped they would be? Are there perks missing you wish they included? Which setups are you going to run? Tell me in the comments below, and maybe you'll get your build into a Best Classes article! Meanwhile, read all about the Black Ops killstreaks.