Best Vanguard loadouts to dominate Ranked Play: SMGs, ARs & Snipers

Woman firing weapon in Call of Duty Vanguard Ranked PlaySledgehammer Games

Vanguard Ranked Play can be a grueling affair if you’re not properly prepared, but our guide to the best SMGs, ARs, and Snipers, will have you frying the competition like never before. 

This year’s Ranked Play playlist has been a hit with pros and casual fans alike. From the ability to climb the ranks from Specialist to Master to banning out some of the game’s more overpowered killstreaks, the mode aims to transform an otherwise chaotic experience into something a little more controlled and contained.

Made up of the three Call of Duty League approved game modes (Hardpoint, Search and Destroy, and Control) players are assigned a visible skill ranking. On top of that, they are given a smaller ladder placement that helps identify exactly which of the six skill tiers you fall under as a player.

If you’ve been placed lower than you might have expected, these are the guns that are going to help you begin your climb and take the leaderboards by storm.

Best Vanguard Ranked Play loadouts

Vanguard CDL skin operator planting bomb in Search and Destroy, with Vanguard logo in cornerActvision
If you’re after wins in Vanguard’s ranked ladder then you’ll want to come properly equipped.

As noted above, there are three main categories of weapons to worry about: Assault Rifles, Submachine Guns, and Snipers.

In most COD titles, there are only one or two guns from each of these categories that truly reign at the top of their class, so we’ll be focusing exclusively on those for this guide.

Best AR loadout in Vanguard Ranked Play

Best Automaton class

FaZe Automaton loadout vanguard RankedActivision
Here is the Automaton loadout that Arcitys and Cellium of Atlanta FaZe used in Vanguard Ranked.
  • Muzzle: F8 Stabilizer
  • Barrel: Anastasia Sniper
  • Underbarrel: M1941 Hand Stop
  • Optic: Slate Reflector
  • Stock: Zac Skeletal
  • Ammo Type: Lengthened
  • Rear Grip: GRU Elastic Wrap
  • Proficiency: Tight Grip
  • Kit: On Hand

The Automaton has been the favored long-range option for the entirety of the competitive season so far.

Its impressive rate of fire combined with a lack of recoil makes it the clear standout right now. This is only enhanced by attachments like the F8 Stabilizer and Anastasia Sniper barrel which elevate the gun from good to great.

Best Volk class

spart volk loadout vanguardLA Guerrillas
Spart’s Volk loadout is dominant in competitive play.
  • Muzzle: T1 Flash Hider
  • Barrel: Krausnick 428MM 05v
  • Underbarrel: M1941 Hand Stop
  • Optic: Slate Reflector
  • Stock: Reisdorf 22v Adjustable
  • Ammo Type: FMJ Rounds
  • Rear Grip: Stippled Grip
  • Proficiency: Fleet
  • Kit: On Hand

The Volk is a relative newcomer to the scene. It only gained some prominence after CDL pro Spart won MVP honors at CDL Major 2 despite being a last-minute substitute for eventual champions Los Angeles Guerrillas.

He put on such a spectacular show with the weapon that the gun may ultimately be banned from professional competition going forward.

This is definitely a pick that’s harder to shoot than the Auto, but skilled players will be able to put it to use with unmatched effect.

Best SMG loadout in Vanguard Ranked Play

MP40 class

Scump MP40 CDLTwitch: Scump
Here is Scump’s MP-40 loadout for Vanguard Ranked.
  • Muzzle: No. 3 Rifle Brake
  • Barrel: Krausnick 317MM 04B
  • Underbarrel: SMLE Pistol Grip
  • Stock: Krausnick 33M Folding
  • Ammo Type: Lengthened
  • Rear Grip: Stippled Grip
  • Proficiency: Brace
  • Kit: Quick

There is only one choice for SMG players in the current meta and it’s the MP40. This gun is the undeniable king of the category thanks to a lightning-fast time-to-kill and an easy-to-understand recoil pattern.

While the base version of the gun is easy enough to use, you could also swap the Rifle Brake out for the F8 Stabilizer, which just like the Volk, has also been banned by the pros.

Best Sniper loadout in Vanguard Ranked Play

KAR98k class

CDL Sniper classActivision
Here is the Kar98k that Vanguard CDL pros are using.

The Kar98k is a staple of the Call of Duty franchise. It has appearances in 10 of the mainline games and also shows up in several spinoffs and the ever-popular Call of Duty Mobile.

What makes this incarnation so good is its large one-shot-kill hitbox. When you’re playing against the best talent in the world, you need something that will reliably kill people fast and there’s just no question which sniper does that the best.

That’s all for the most efficient weapons in Vanguard ranked play! Put these four workhorses to the test and begin your climb towards the coveted Top 250.