Contracts is a multiplayer feature implemented in Call of Duty: Black Ops. Contracts are designed to assist the player in leveling up as they offer potential rewards of CoD Points and Experience Points (on some) for completing certain challenges within a provided time limit.
Contracts are available for purchase from the multiplayer menu with CoD Points. Different contracts have different goals, such as achieving a certain number of killstreak rewards, or earning a certain amount of kills with a specific weapon. Contracts will reward players upon completion with CoD Points, Experience points, or a combination of the two. The higher in difficulty the contract has the bigger output of CoD points or Experience points the player will receive upon completion.
Once players accept any contract, they have a certain amount of time to fulfill it. This is generally either forty minutes or one hour, depending on the difficulty and type of the contract. The timer only counts down when the player is an active part of the game. Time spent dead waiting to respawn in games with delayed spawns, such as Search and Destroy or Capture the Flag does not run down this time limit. Also, contracts only applicable to one mode will not expire while playing a different mode. For example, players will not lose time on a Team Deathmatch Contract if they are playing a game of Domination. Contracts are not carried across playlists, either, so a Team Deathmatch contract will not expire if the player plays a Team Deathmatch game on the Barebones or Hardcore playlists.
There are three different categories of Contracts:
Mercenary contracts involve achieving kills and killstreaks in general or kills with a specific gun.
Operations contracts involve match related objectives (such as "Win two games of Capture the Flag").
Players can have no more than three Contracts, one from each category, active at any time. Selecting a new Contract removes an existing Contract of the respective category; should the contract be incomplete, the player's COD points are not refunded. The available set of Contracts changes each day, and completed or expired contracts reset hourly. This means that a player can complete the same contract multiple times within a day before that set of contracts change. Purchased Contracts can still be completed after this daily update as long as the time spent alive in-game has not run out. It is important to note that there are no contracts for classified weapons. However the player can still use them to complete contracts that involves their weapon type.
Also, the player can't buy a weapon-specific contract if the weapon is not unlocked, but he can if the weapon is unlocked but not bought.
Contracts for getting kills with or without a specific weapon/attachment/perk and killstreaks.
Contracts for specific game modes and playlists.
Contracts for headshots, secondary weapons, Grenades, and special objectives.
- The contracts available to be purchased are changed every 24 hours.
- If the player is rewarded with XP, the amount will be the same as the number of CoD points awarded.
- The contract "Smells like...Victory" is a reference to the movie Apocalypse Now.
- "Tears Taste So Sweet" could be a reference to South Park: Imaginationland, where Cartman says this.
- If the player buys a contract, but then replaces it with another, the first one bought will be counted as expired.
- The Wii contains only around 30 contracts in all at one time - this is likely due to unnecessary RAM it would use.
- The contract "My Little Friend" is a reference to the movie Scarface, where Al Pacino's character says "Say hello to my little friend!" while holding an M203.
- The contract "Machine Gun Lamia" is a reference to Mark Lamia, an employee at Treyarch.
- When changing prestige level, all active contracts will be deactivated. However, they are not counted as Expired.
- Contracts are not affected by Double XP Weekend.