Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Perks and how to unlock them

Learn how to get perks in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and the perk unlock levels.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’s Perks work on a strange system that sees you gradually gain access to them over the course of a match. It’s not intuitive or explained to new players, so in this guide we’ve broken down how to get Perks in Modern Warfare 2, included a full Perks list, and shown how to unlock perks with each required level.

How to get Perks in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

How to get perks in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
© Activision

Whether you build your own Perk package or use one of the default options, the Perks you get in each game are granted over time. You’ll start the game with two Base Perks

You’ll then unlock a Bonus Perk at around five minutes into the game. Finally, you’ll gain an Ultimate Perk around seven or eight minutes into the game. This means Popular perks like Ghost won’t be available to players until the latter stages of a given match.

How to get Perks in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 isn’t well explained, and the definite timings/score rewards aren’t clear from the game’s menus, so make sure you remember the above before you jump into a game an expect Ghost to hide you from the off.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Perks list

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 perks list - image of the perks packages menu
© Activision

There are 20 Perks in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare at the game’s launch. Here’s what each does in the Base, Bonus, and Ultimate Perk categories.

Base Perks

  • Double Time: Double the duration of Tactical Sprint. Increase crouched movement speed by 30%.
  • Strong Arm: Throw equipment further and see a preview of the trajectory.
  • Bomb Squad: Take reduced damage from non-Killstreak explosives. Reset fuze timers when picking up live grenades.
  • Extra Tactical: Spawn with one additional Tactical.
  • Overkill: Carry two primary weapons.
  • Scavenger: Resupply ammo and throwing knives from dead players.
  • Battle Hardened: Reduce the effects of enemy Flashes, Stuns, EMPs, Gas Grenades, and Shock Sticks. Immune to Snapshot Grenades.
  • Tracker: Enemies leave behind a footprint trails, and enemy death markers are visible. Kill markers are hidden from the enemy team.

Bonus Perks

  • Hardline: Reduce Killstreak cost by one kill. Reduce Scorestreak cost by 125.
  • Fast Hands: Reload, use equipment, and swap weapons faster.
  • Cold-Blooded: Undetectable by AI targeting systems and thermal optics. Does not trigger High Alert warning. Does not highlight in enemy Tactical Cameras, Recon Drones, and Spotter Scopes.
  • Resupply: Spawn with an additional Lethal. Equipment recharges over 25s.
  • Spotter: Spot enemy equipment, Field Upgrades, and Killstreaks through walls. Aiming down sights highlights them for the team. Hack enemy Claymores, Proximity Mines, C4, and Trophy Systems.
  • Focus: Reduce Flinch when aiming down sights and extend Hold Breath duration.

Ultimate Perks

  • Overclock: Store an additional Field Upgrade charge. Increase Field Upgrade charge rate by 40%. On earn: Get a Field Upgrade charge. 
  • High Alert: Vision pulses when spotted by an enemy player outside of view.
  • Survivor: On death, enter Last Stand with the ability to self-revive once per life. Teammates can revive downed players faster.
  • Quick Fix: Killing players immediately triggers health regeneration. Capturing and holding objectively increases health regeneration rate.
  • Birdseye: The minimap is zoomed out. UAV and Radar pings reveal the enemy’s direction. On earn: Activates one local UAV sweep.
  • Ghost: Undetectable by UAVs, Portable Radars, and Heartbeat Sensors.

How to unlock Perks in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

How to unlock Perks in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 - selecting the Ghost Perk
© Activision

You can only equip Perks in your custom Perk Packages once they have been unlocked. All Perks are unlocked purely by leveling up your main account. Higher-level Perks are available right away in the game’s pre-built Perk Packages. Below are all the Perk unlock levels in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

Base Perks

  • Double Time: Unlocked at start
  • Strong Arm: Unlocked at start
  • Bomb Squad: Reach Level 11
  • Extra Tactical: Reach Level 18
  • Overkill: Reach Level 21
  • Scavenger: Reach Level 26
  • Battle Hardened: Reach Level 37
  • Tracker: Reach Level 39

Bonus Perks

  • Hardline: Unlocked at start
  • Fast Hands: Reach Level 8
  • Cold-Blooded: Reach Level 28
  • Resupply: Reach Level 31
  • Spotter: Reach Level 41
  • Focus: Reach Level 50

Ultimate Perks

  • Overclock: Unlocked at start
  • High Alert: Reach Level 14
  • Survivor: Reach Level 34
  • Quick Fix: Reach Level 44
  • Birdseye: Reach Level 47
  • Ghost: Reach Level 52

Those are all Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 perks, but you can also read up on how to unlock all weapons here or all killstreaks in Modern Warfare 2 here to ensure you’re packing the right firepower online too.

Associate Editor

Henry Stenhouse serves an eternal punishment as the Associate Editor of AllGamers. He spent his younger life studying the laws of physics, even going so far as to complete a PhD in the subject before video games stole his soul. Confess your love of Super Smash Bros. via email at, or catch him on Twitter.


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