Modern Warfare 2 Prestige Leveling Guide – How to level up fast in Call of Duty MW2


To prestige, or not to prestige.. that is the question. 

Whether ’tis nobler in the game to suffer

The nades and bullets of outrageous timmies,

Or to take arms against a sea of javelin glitches

And, by opposing, end them. To die, to sleep


This thread is a collection of helpful information and tips that are meant to help you improve your Knowledge and Skill in Modern Warfare 2.

Helpful MW2 Websites:
DenKirson Blog – Weapon, Perk, Damage Info & MORE!
Title & Emblem (CALLSIGNS) & How To Unlock Them (Wiki)
List of Ranks & EXP needed / Guns Unlocked when Reached (Wiki)
SPREADSHEET For ALL MW2 Challenges and EXP earned for them

Leveling Guide:


The major difference between leveling in COD4 & leveling in Modern Warfare 2 is the amount of challenges that MW2 offers compared to COD4. And because you can work on a lot of the challenges at the same time, you can utilize the new leveling system to get through a prestige faster than you would think.

The total amount of experience needed to prestige in MW2 is 2,516,000

The best utilization of the current leveling system I can see is to try and get the highest experience yielding challenges that take the least amount of game time to achieve and doing them in an order that allows you to work on multiple challenges at once.


Looking at this Challenge EXP Chart you can see that most guns have the same challenges and the same experience earned to reach those challenges. The 2 most important primary weapon challenges in my opinion are the “Marksman VI” challenge (get 500 Kills with the weapon) and the “Mastery” challenge (Unlock All Attachments for that weapon)

If you complete the “Marksman VI” challenge, the “Mastery” challenge , and the “Expert IV” challenge (75 Headshots) on any Assault Rifle you will have earned 51,500 experience on that gun alone. In fact pretty much any primary weapon will earn you close to 50,000 Experience once you complete those 2 challenges.

Here is a closer look at every Attachment that needs to be unlocked for to reach “Mastery” on an Assault Rifle.

  • Grenade Launcher – Complete Marksman I (10 kills with weapon)
  • Red Dot Sight – Marksman II (25 kills)
  • Silencer – Marksman III (75 kills)
  • ACOG Scope – Marksman IV (150 kills)
  • FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) – Marksman V (300 kills)
    • **TIP FOR FMJ KILLS** There are a lot of maps where there are great spots you can shoot through objects at very high traffic areas and rack up your FMJ kills while camping. I recommend looking for anything that’s wood or easy to shoot through ahead of you and you can still see people running above it and shoot through the wood for the kill. You unlock FMJ at 300 kills so you have around 200 kills before Marksman VI to get your 40 FMJ kills to unlock extended mags.
  • Shotgun Attachment – 20 kills with attached Grenade Launcher
  • Holographic Site – 60 kills using (aiming through) the Red Dot Sight
  • Heartbeat Sensor – 15 kills with Silencer attached
  • Thermal Scope – 20 kills aiming through the ACOG scope.
  • Extended Mags – 40 bullet penetration kills with FMJ option selected

As you can see they all can be completed by the time you hit “Marksman VI” and have 500 Kills for that weapon.

As soon as you reach 500 Kills/Mastery on any weapon I recommend moving onto another primary weapon. The reasoning behind this is that it takes a lot more game time to complete the rest of that weapon’s challenges than it would to complete the 500Kills/Mastery Challenges on a new Primary Weapon and the rest of the weapon’s challenges earn you the same amount of experience.

Along with the 500 Kill/Mastery Challenge rule, I recommend you complete the Perks & Task Challenges at the same time according to what you have unlocked. Each Perk has 6 Levels of challenges to be completed and can earn you a total of 29,000 experience by the time it is maxed.

Using these principles, I have tried to create a mock leveling guide, giving you an idea of how I level.

Levels 1-5: Just kill stuff until you unlock challenges. My favorite default class is First Recon though. It has a UMP45, tac knife Magnum, marathon, lightweight, and ninja. This class is great as a runner and all purpose class to start your leveling off.

Levels 5-29: I base my early level classes off of my perk 3 slot. My favorite perk in the entire game is Ninja Pro. But because Ninja is not available until level 29 I use classes that benefit from Commando or Steady Aim (the 2 perk 3’s unlocked by default.)

So my starting class is:

  • Primary: UMP45
  • Secondary: USP45
  • Perk 1: Marathon
  • Perk 2: Lightweight (or Stopping Power, but SP kills are really easy to get at any time so I save them for later)
  • Perk 3: Steady Aim

Steady Aim Pro VI requires 500 hip fire kills which is not that hard to do with an SMG. And even though Marksman VI is 500 kills you won’t get them at the same time since a lot of your kills are going to be aiming down the sights. For this reason you will probably get Mastery on a gun before Steady Aim Pro VI, at which time I recommend you use a different SMG or Weapon to finish off Steady Aim Pro.

Hopefully by this time I have 75 kills with my USP, at which point I switch to my tac knife commando class:

  • Primary Weapon: Another SMG or Assault Rifle
  • Secondary Weapon: USP Tactical Knife
  • Perk 1: Marathon
  • Perk 2: Lightweight
  • Perk 3: Commando

This is a very fun class. It is only 100 knife kills to reach Commando VI and you would be surprised how easy this is to do with a Marathon/Lightweight/TacKnifeclass.

Levels 29-50:

The second I unlock Ninja I move into my Assault Rifles or Main Leveling Portion. You can really use any guns that you would like at this point.

  • Primary: M4A1, SCAR, FAL, M16. Any AR Really
  • Secondary: M9 or Raffica or Shotgun. Whatever you want
  • Perk 1: Sleight of Hand, Bling, Scavenger
  • Perk 2: Stopping Power, Hardline
  • Perk 3: Ninja

Sleight of Hand is maxed at 750 Kills. Bling is maxed at 900 Kills. Stopping Power at 1000. Ninja is maxed at 250 Close Range Kills. Scavenger you need to pick up500 backpacks off the ground. These are all Cookie Cutter perks and can be maxed out with pretty much any weapon that you want. I rotate through all my favorite Assault Rifles while completing these perks. The only perk I listed which is questionable is Hardline. I believe hardline is a great perk if you equip a 3,5, and 7 killstreak. If you equip those then you only need a 6 killstreak to count 3 hardline bonuses. My favorite 3,5,7 combo is UAV, Pred, Harrier. This guarantees a near constant UAV, frequent Pred, and occasional Harrier.

Also, a wonderful class that I want to mention in the mid levels is a Danger Close class. I recommend using Danger Close like this:

  • Primary: Assault Rifle w/ Noob Tube
  • Secondary: Thumper
  • Perk 1: Scavenger
  • Perk 2: Danger Close
  • Perk 3: Ninja

This class is incredible. You basically have 4 deadly renewable noob tubes and a renewable semtex. I will go through and get all 20 of my noob tube kills on every AR that I have unlocked. Danger Close Requires 500 Explosive Kills to max. This is really easier than you think. Especially when you use scavenger.

Levels 51-70:

At this point I like to start maxing some of the late perks and weapons. As soon as I get my M21 I use this class:

  • Primary: M21
  • Secondary: One Man Army
  • Perk 1: One Man Army
  • Perk 2: Stopping Power Pro
  • Perk 3: Ninja Pro
  • Equipment: Claymore

I love this class because OMA gives you a 6 second full resupply. And OMA Pro only takes 3 Seconds to Fully Change Classes. This means you are basically a sniper with unlimited ammo and 2 claymores protecting your back at all times. Another awesome thing that people don’t know about One Man Army. You can OMA to another class: Sleight of Hand, Stopping Power, Ninja or something. And all the kills you get with that new class go towards your OMA kills. That means if you wanted to start each life out with switching to another class you could max OMA without ever actually getting a kill with OMA currently active.

Final tip you might use with OMA Pro. If you use OMA Pro with an LMG you would have a 3 second reload. This is faster than any standard reload on an LMG aside from the Aug. For a spamming LMG class OMA Pro is amazing!


A new addition to MW2 is the newly found Prestige Challenges found on each weapon and in the general barracks. The great thing about these challenges is that you can actually “double up” on your gun experience earning. What I mean by this is the first prestige challenge for each primary weapon is 500 kills.

That means if you follow the same 500 Kill/Mastery rule for your 1st prestige you would not only get the 10k exp for Marksman VI but you would also get the 10k exp for your first Prestige Challenge.

If you combine this with “switching up” the weapons you use each prestige you could maximize your experience earning potential and double up each Marksman VI Challenge. The “prestige” weapon kills give you 10,000 exp per challenge at 500, 1000, and 2500 kills which means you would get an extra 10,000 exp for your 1st, 2nd, and 5th prestige using that particular gun.

Final Thoughts:

The last thing I will address is individual play styles and gametypes. If you look at Match Bonus multipliers, CTF is basically penalized, Demolition gets double, and the rest of the game types are pretty much identical.

What’s that mean to you? Play what you like since most of the gametypes are identical, but the most earning potential happens on Demolition. And the great thing about Demolition is you can also get plant, defuse, and earn bomb challenges at the same time.

Finally, all of this leveling guide is based on my own personal play style. If you hate a certain perk, weapon, or gametype… don’t play it. It’s not worth missing out on the fun you could be having, as well as it will probably be detrimental to your leveling anyways if you are hating what you are doing.

That about wraps it up. Thanks for reading.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Nicholas

    Any MW2 vids for leveling?

    1. oTradeMark

      no vids unfortunately just the short guide.

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