How Does the Call of Duty: Vanguard Prestige System Work?

Call of Duty: Vanguard has taken a different approach to Prestige, for better or for worse. How does this new Prestige System work in Vanguard?
Vanguard prestige system
What is Call of Duty: Vanguard's new prestige system? | © Activision

Call of Duty: Vanguard has taken a new approach to Prestige. Here are all the details surrounding Vanguard's ranking and Prestige System, as well as the return of Seasonal Prestige. The amazing thing about Vanguard's new Prestige System is that it does achieve a few of the things we wanted out of it.

This article was originally a collection of predictions, as well as a little analysis, regarding how we believed the new Call of Duty: Vanguard Prestige System would work. Now we know, and we've detailed it upfront. But we'll pop that analysis down the bottom of this article, so you can see how our predictions shaped up.

Call of Duty: Vanguard's Ranking System

When you begin playing Vanguard, you start at level 1 of the "Enlisted Ranks" and as you earn XP, you eventually reach Enlisted Rank Level 55. This is the soft cap. At this point, you've unlocked all the weapons, perks, and equipment in the game, and you're done with Enlisted Ranks. Officially speaking, at this point you've reached "Commander" rank, and the Prestige ranks begin.

Once you reach level 55, every level you unlock beyond that goes towards your "seasonal level", and for every 50 seasonal levels, you gain a Prestige rank. Your seasonal level resets each season, but you never lose access to weapons etc. once you've completed the enlisted ranks. Each season you can go from level 1 to 1000 (but this takes a silly amount of time). By getting to at least level 100 each season, you earn 3 Battle Pass tier skips at the following levels:

  • Seasonal Level 1: 1 x Battle Pass Tier Skip
  • Seasonal Level 50: 1 x Battle Pass Tier Skip
  • Seasonal Level 100: 1 x Battle Pass Tier Skip

So there is something to be earned by getting Prestige ranks each season, but not a lot. We think the system isn't perfect, though, and here's why.

How Should Sledgehammer Change Vanguard's Prestige System?

Ultimately, we believe that Sledgehammer should change the way that they handle rank resets, and improve Prestige Rewards. Below, you will find a more detailed description of what we expect from Vanguard's Prestige System, but we do want to note one thing first: Vanguard might choose to completely revert to the old Prestige System, as it is developed by Sledgehammer and not Treyarch. Nothing has been announced, so it's totally possible, and if that happens, then many of our suggestions will likely not be implemented or, indeed, necessary.

Rank Resets in Vanguard's Prestige System

Rank Resets are key to making Vanguard's Prestige System rewarding. The reason for this is actually quite simple: the return of Prestige tokens instead of keys. What we could see in Vanguard is the return of seasonal Rank Resets, wherein players must grind their way up through the ranks once more to pick up the guns that they love to use.

This would incentivize players to continually return season-in and out. The fact is that under the current system, players don't really return as frequently, simply based on the fact that they have everything they need and want. New weapons don't have such an impact, and when a meta weapon rears its ugly head, the problem is worsened ten-fold.

Improving Vanguard's Prestige Rewards & Shop

Vanguard's new Prestige System needs to feature a real reward for reaching maximum Prestige rank, as well as better Prestige shop rewards. In Black Ops Cold War, a player who reached Prestige rank 200 in all six seasons received a ribbon. A ribbon. This doesn't seem like a good reward for so much hard work, does it? In fact, it's really not enough of a reward to keep people in the game. After all, people want to play something that feels rewarding, or the whole game is kind of a waste of time.

Vanguard's version of Prestige Keys should also be unlocked more frequently, to keep that progression moving. With that, however, comes the need for better rewards for these keys. Let's all be real: Black Ops Cold War was a bit of a disappointment in this department, and thus its successor should have better max seasonal Prestige rank rewards, as well as better rewards at shorter intervals, and a solid reward for reaching max rank in all of its subsequent seasons.