The Stakeout is unlocked for purchase at level 8.

The Stakeout is capable of hitting at short-medium range, marginally having the furthest range of all shotguns in Black Ops. It has medium-high damage, able to kill in one shot throughout its range, depending on how many pellets connect. Its pump action is fairly fast, but still limits the fire rate compared to other shotguns, making quick follow up shots difficult.

The Stakeout has the tightest spread of all shotguns when aiming down the sights, therefore aiming accurately will ensure more pellets will reach the intended target at range. This tight spread gives the Stakeout the longest range in both overall and one shot kill range, slightly edging out the Olympia.

Steady Aim tightens the hipfire spread, helping to ensure a one-shot kill over relatively long range without aiming down the sights.

Similar to the other shotguns, Sleight of Hand is beneficial due to the Stakeout's long reload time. Sleight of Hand Pro's halving of ADS time is also particularly useful considering how much ADS improves the effective range of the weapon. Also of note is that when reloading with Sleight of Hand, the last two rounds (3 and 4) reload at the same time, thus not only doubling the reload speed, but tripling it.

Also, Hardened can be used to good effect with the Stakeout, giving it some penetration ability, particularly through thin wood and sheet metal type cover. Additionally, the Pro version's flinch reduction is useful should a player take advantage of the Stakeout's tighter ADS spread.

Buying the Grip attachment is recommended, as it increases the rate of fire slightly and reduces recoil without any downsides.