Call of Duty: Vanguard: Everything you need to know

Call of Duty vanguardActivision

Call of Duty: Vanguard has officially been revealed, so find out everything you need to know about the upcoming CoD 2021 title.

The ever-popular Call of Duty series has remained a staple pick for those looking to show off their quick reflexes and eagle-eyed aim. Whether you enjoy futuristic firefights or prefer the boots-on-the-ground approach, Call of Duty has delivered numerous experiences over the years.

From the brutal battlefields of WWII to present-day conflicts, the series has continually visited and revisited numerous theatres of war with each new entry. 

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With Call of Duty: Vanguard now officially confirmed, let’s run through everything we know about the 2021 title.


Call of Duty: Vanguard release date

Call of Duty: Vanguard release dateSledgehammer Games
CoD fans won’t have to wait long before they can get their hands on Vanguard.

Call of Duty: Vanguard will officially release on November 5, 2021 for PlayStation, Xbox, and PC. This means CoD fans won’t have to wait long before they can dive back into the brutal battlefields of WW2. The news follows directly from Warzone’s Battle of Verdansk event, which saw an armored train enter map.

Call of Duty: Vanguard developer

Call of Duty WWII screenshotActivision / Sledgehammer Games
Sledgehammer’s last release was Call of Duty WWII.

Who is exactly in charge of developing the next installment? Well, it’s now been confirmed that Sledgehammer Games will helm the development process of the next title, confirming many rumors previously heard within the community.

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The last four CoD games were developed by the following studios: 

  • Black Ops 4: Treyarch (2018)
  • Modern Warfare: Infinity Ward (2019)
  • Warzone: Infinity Ward / Raven Software (2020)

The developers behind CoD WWII have been missing from action since 2017, and it’s going to be awesome to see what they’ve got in store for us.

Call of Duty: Vanguard campaign

Vanguard’s campaign will focus on a variety of regions and conflicts.

Unlike previous CoD WW2 titles that focused on the Western Front, Vanguard will be taking a look at the lesser-known conflicts that players aren’t typically used to seeing. While the campaign will still feature iconic battles, Sledgehammer also wants to take a more intimate approach when building character backstories. 

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It’s hoped that this fresh perspective will help bring each character to life and outline their motives for fighting. Dave Swanson, the current Campaign Director within Sledgehammer Games has noted battles will be fought in the following regions:

  • Europe
  • North America
  • Soviet Union
  • Hawaii
  • Coral Sea Islands

One of the missions, Operation Tonga, which is set the night before D-Day, was shown to Dexerto. During this mission, players parachute from a burning plane into the ocean and will have to sneakily navigate through a dense forest. 

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Enemy takedowns are both gory and brutal, further highlighting the ferocity of the game’s battles. Unlike Cold War’s campaign, it appears Sledgehammer isn’t keen to pull any punches when it comes to delivering a visceral experience. 

Call of Duty: Vanguard characters

WadeSledgehammer Games
Wade is a US pilot who is a member of the Scouting Squadron Six.

As Vanguard’s campaign will take place across multiple fronts, Sledgehammer has showcased some of the game’s characters. The story will follow four protagonists throughout Vanguard, so you’ll get to see the war from different perspectives. 

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  • Arthur Kingsley
    • Lead character of the Special Forces Squad
    • British Paratrooper
    • 9th Parachute Battalion
    • Based on Sidney Cornell
  • Polina Petrova
    • 138th Rifle Division
    • Based on Lyudmila Pavlichenko
    • Expert Sniper
    • Helps people fend of Germans
  • Wade Jackson
    • Scouting Squadron Six (US Fighter Flight)
    • Based on Vernon Mike Micheel
    • Takes off the US Enterprise Aircraft Carrier – hero of the midway battle
    • Later becomes a pilot after crashing into a section of islands and gets rescued from the 93rd Infantry
  • Lucas Riggs
    • 20th Battalion (Australia)
    • North Africa front
    • Based on Charles Upham
  • Heinrich Freisinger – Main Antagonist
    • Director of Gestapo

Call of Duty: Vanguard multiplayer beta

CoD Vanguard BetaCall of Duty/Activision
CoD Vanguard had a closed beta as well as an open beta.

Prior to Vanguard’s official launch on November 5, similar to previous Call of Duty titles, a multiplayer beta was available for players. The first portion of the Beta took place exclusively on PlayStation consoles over the span of two weekends.

Weekend 1 ( September 10 at 10AM PST – September 13 at 10AM PST)

The first beta weekend was only available to those who preordered Call of Duty: Vanguard on PS4 or PS5. 

During the first weekend, players were able to play classic multiplayer modes such as Team Deathmatch, Domination and Kill Confirmed. In addition to this, new modes such as Champion Hill and Patrol were also made available.

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Weekend 2 ( September 16 at 10AM PST – September 20 at 10AM PST)

Unlike the first beta weekend, the second weekend was open to all players.

Call of Duty: Vanguard multiplayer maps

Just like every Call of Duty before it, Vanguard’s multiplayer maps will be incredibly important to the general gameplay and how gunfights play out. While previous titles have often launched with a small roster of battlefields, Sledgehammer is stepping things up. 

CoD Vanguard is set to launch with a whopping 16 multiplayer maps on day one. Below is a first look at every map releasing on November 5 with Vanguard.

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Battle of Berlin

CoD Vanguard Battle of Berlin mapActivision
First-look at CoD Vanguard’s Battle of Berlin map.

Battle of Berlin is a large, nighttime map set among a street under siege. Buildings are torn apart, destroyed vehicles are scattered throughout, providing multiple forms of cover and a number of subtle flanking routes.


CoD Vanguard Bocage map gameplayActivision
First-look at CoD Vanguard’s Bocage map.

Bocage is a medium-sized map set across an unlucky farmer’s property in war-torn France. This means players are battling through stables, crossing fields, all while weaving between a number of tanks still left on the estate.


CoD Vanguard Castle map gameplayActivision
First-look at CoD Vanguard’s Castle map.

Castle is Vanguard’s first throwback map as this locale serves as a reimagining of the popular World at War stage. It’s a similarly large map with plenty of indoor and outdoor fighting in the Japanese setting.

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Das Haus

CoD Vanguard Das Haus map gameplayActivision
First-look at CoD Vanguard’s Das Haus map.

Das Haus is one of the smaller maps in Vanguard, with a focus on fast-paced, indoor combat. Expect a gunfight every few seconds after respawning inside this German training facility.


CoD Vanguard Decoy map gameplayActivision
First-look at CoD Vanguard’s Decoy map.

Decoy is a medium-sized map that features a number of distinct buildings for players to navigate through. It’s designed as a fake town for training purposes, meaning most of the cheaper materials used can be shot through.


CoD Vanguard Demyansk map gameplayActivision
First-look at CoD Vanguard’s Demyansk map.

Demyansk is another small map in CoD Vanguard. This snow-covered region drops players into a village on the Lovat River, with plenty of small footpaths and flanking routes scattered within.

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Desert Siege

CoD Vanguard Desert Siege map gameplayActivision
First-look at CoD Vanguard’s Desert Siege map.

Desert Siege is one of Vanguard’s biggest maps as players load into a war-torn North African desert. Expect plenty of natural cover in the form of sand dunes, along with a good amount of indoor combat through the many smaller buildings in close proximity to one another.


CoD Vanguard Dome map gameplayActivision
First-look at CoD Vanguard’s Dome map.

Dome is another Vanguard throwback to the fan-favorite World at War title. This small map is a reimagining of the classic Treyarch battleground set in a bombed-out version of the Reichstag Building in Berlin.

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Eagle’s Nest

CoD Vanguard Eagle's Nest mapActivision
First-look at CoD Vanguard’s Eagle’s Nest map.

Eagle’s Nest is one of the smallest maps in Vanguard at launch. While it boasts a three-lane design, external lanes are merely small flank routes for the main, indoor battle.

You can sprint across to the opposing spawn in barely a few seconds so expect chaos every time you load into Eagle’s Nest.


CoD Vanguard Gavutu map gameplayActivision
First-look at CoD Vanguard’s Gavutu map.

Gavutu is a medium-sized map set among the Pacific Theater of war. The main feature of this map is a dilapidated ship in the center, one that players can interact with to block off certain sightlines and gain not just the high ground but mid-map control.

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Hotel Royal

CoD Vanguard Hotel Royale map gameplayActivision
First-look at CoD Vanguard’s Hotel Royal map.

Hotel Royal drops players on a rooftop in Paris as ongoing battle tears the city apart. It’s another medium-sized map with a standard three-lane design. Though Hotel Royal comes with a unique emphasis on elevation.

The map features a number of breakable elements, allowing teams to destroy glass panels and drop in on unsuspecting targets, for instance.

Numa Numa

CoD Vanguard Numa Numa map gameplayActivision
First-look at CoD Vanguard’s Numa Numa map.

Numa Numa is a smaller Vanguard map based on the Battle of Piva Forks in 1943. The central point of this location features a huge machine-gun nest, so expect to be fighting for control most of your time here.

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CoD Vanguard Oasis map gameplayActivision
First-look at CoD Vanguard’s Oasis map.

Oasis is a medium-sized map in CoD Vanguard as players fight through ruins surrounding a lake near Egypt. Expect to see teams posting up near a number of choke points scattered throughout.

Red Star

CoD Vanguard Red Star map gameplayActivision
First-look at CoD Vanguard’s Red Star map.

Red Star is a large, snowy map in Vanguard set among the war-torn Stalingrad. Various buildings are placed throughout providing a mix of indoor and outdoor gunfights. 

Always keep an eye to the skies as players can easily shoot across the map from some high ground spots.

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Sub Pens

CoD Vanguard Sub Pens gameplayActivision
First-look at CoD Vanguard’s Sub Pens map.

Sub Pens is a smaller Vanguard map that focuses around an empty submarine. Not only will players be pushing for the high ground advantage, but expect plenty of flanks from below as well.


CoD Vanguard Tuscan map gameplayActivision
First-look at CoD Vanguard’s Tuscan map.

Tuscan is a medium-sized map set across the rooftops of various Roman buildings. While there is a good amount of cover, be cautious of the many possible sight lines when trying to cross this map.

Champions Hill

CoD Vanguard Champions Hill map gameplayActivision
CoD Vanguard’s Champion Hill mode comes with its own exclusive map.

Champions Hill also comes with its own unique layouts in Vanguard. The new mode features a central hub with various Buy Stations scattered throughout. Though all separate arenas stem from this midpoint.

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Each stage is its own small map designed for tight-knit gunfights. 

Call of Duty: Vanguard engine

Vanguard EngineSledgehammer Games
Vanguard’s choice of engine will certainly appeal to many CoD fans.

Sledgehammer will be using the same engine that was used in Modern Warfare, but they’ll be expanding upon it with the release of Vanguard. 

Aaron Halon, the Studio Head of Sledgehammer Games spoke on the core technology and how they’re improving environmental detail and textures. This means Vanguard will likely be the most graphically impressive Call of Duty game to date. 

Sledgehammer also unveiled how there’s going to be a new damage layer system, which will accumulate damage players do to a certain structure. There also appears to be a sliding mechanic similar to Modern Warfare’s, and players will also be able to charge through doors.

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Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies

Treyarch will be taking the lead for the development of the Zombies mode within Vanguard, with the story now pivoting to “Der Anfang.”

Rather than a round-based map or even an Outbreak-esque mode, Der Anfang is something completely new. Players have to clear objectives to reveal more of the map, unlock new upgrades, and discover new secrets. 

Be sure to brush up on exactly how the new CoD Zombies experience works in Vanguard.

Call of Duty: Vanguard multiplayer

Vanguard multiplayer Sledgehammer Games
Vanguard’s multiplayer is going to streamline how we queue up for games.

Sledgehammer is shaking up the way players interact with the multiplayer portion of the game. In fact, there are going to be three modes players will be able to queue into. These are detailed below:  

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  • Blitz
    • Endless amount of players on one map. This mode is meant for pure chaos and mayhem without restriction. 
  • Tactical 
    • The direct opposite of Blitz. Every bullet matters and the number of gunfights you run into will be drastically lower.
  • Standard 
    • Your normal way to play Call of Duty, mixing both Blitz and Tactical playstyles together. 

Call of Duty: Vanguard Gunsmith

Black Ops Cold War gunsmithActivision
The Gunsmith will return in Call of Duty: Vanguard.

The ever-popular Gunsmith feature will be returning in Call of Duty: Vanguard. It’s here where players will be able to pick different attachments and ammo types for their favorite weapons

While we don’t know have any in-depth details on how certain attachments function, it’s safe to assume they will impact damage, accuracy, and material penetration.

Call of Duty: Vanguard pre-load details

No different from previous years, players are able to pre-load CoD Vanguard ahead of its November 5 launch.

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This means you can have the full game downloaded and ready to play the minute it unlocks. Check below for the full rundown on pre-load times across PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.

  • PS4 & PS5 pre-load: October 28 at 9AM PT (US only). October 29 at midnight local time (worldwide)
  • Xbox One & Xbox Series X |S pre-load: October 28 at 9AM PT (worldwide)
  • PC pre-load: November 2 at 10AM PT (worldwide)

Call of Duty: Vanguard file sizes

If you’re purchasing a digital copy of CoD Vanguard, you’ll need to free up some space on your hard drive. Regardless of which platform you’re on, at least 56GB is the absolute minimum requirement.

Below is the full breakdown of Vanguard’s file size across every platform.

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  • PlayStation 5: 64.13 GB Download | 89.84 GB Required Space
  • PlayStation 4: 54.65 GB Download | 93.12 GB Required Space
  • Xbox Series X |S: 61 GB Download | 61 GB Required Space
  • Xbox One: 56.6 GB Download | 56.6 GB Required Space
  • PC: Exact file sizes to be announced in the coming days.

Call of Duty: Vanguard post-launch content

CoD WWII gameplayActivision / Sledgehammer Games
It looks like there will be plenty of post-launch content for fans to enjoy.

During Activision’s Q2 Financial Earnings call, the developers revealed that a “significant” post-launch roadmap is already locked in for CoD Vanguard. Activision president & chief operating officer Daniel Alegre assured fans that Vanguard is set to deliver “an incredible amount of content” after the game’s launch.

“We believe this release will be incredibly well-received,” Alegre said during the August 3 earnings call.

“In addition to launching a great, seamless experience for both current and next-gen console players, we are focused on continuing to integrate Warzone and engaging our direct relationship with our player base through even deeper content integration between the premium and free experiences and substantial innovation coming within Warzone itself.”

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Call of Duty: Vanguard Warzone map

Warzone Verdansk '84 gameplayActivision
Warzone fans could be waiting a while for a WWII-themed map.

While Warzone players are currently getting to grips with the smaller changes of Verdansk ’84, many fans had hoped that Activision would have released a new map entirely.

Despite Sledgehammer Games taking us back to the WWII era with the release of Call of Duty Vanguard, the new tie-in Warzone map isn’t expected to be released until 2022. 

According to leaks from CoD insider Tom Henderson, “we are 100% not getting a World War 2 Warzone map in 2021.” The leaker also noted that the released date would be “around April 2022,” and that it would be on a similar scale to Rebirth Island, with 40-60 players. 

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Call of Duty: Vanguard Warzone map locations

A brand new set of leaks for Call of Duty 2021: Vanguard claim to reveal several locations for the upcoming Warzone map. According to recent reports from VGC, the new map will be larger than Verdansk and “set in the Pacific theatre of World War II.”

The recent data mine from Nanikos and Glitchy also uncovered location names that back this report up further. All the leaked Warzone map POIs can be seen below: 

  • Arsenal
  • Airstrip
  • Airfield
  • Beach Head
  • Caldera
  • Capital
  • Docks
  • Farms
  • Lagoon
  • Mines
  • Villages
  • Radio Station
  • Subpen

Call of Duty: Vanguard Warzone anti-cheat

ricochet anti-cheat call of dutyActivision
RICOCHET is the name of CoD’s new anti-cheat system.

A new anti-cheat system known as RICOCHET is set to arrive in both Warzone and Vanguard later this year.

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This is obviously huge news for all Warzone fans, particularly those that have stopped playing due to the poor state of the game’s lobbies. Hopefully, this new anti-cheat system will stop the hackers for good. 

Call of Duty: Vanguard weapons 

The official reveal for the multiplayer beta gave us a first look at all the new weapons coming to Vanguard, and later on in Warzone.

All Vanguard Assault Rifles (ARs)

  • STG44
  • BAR
  • ITRA Burst
  • NZ-41
  • Volk
CoD Vanguard STG44Activision
The STG44 in CoD Vanguard.

All Vanguard Submachine Guns (SMGs)

  • MP40
  • Sten
  • M1928
CoD Vanguard MP-40Activision
The MP-40 in CoD Vanguard.

All Vanguard Shotguns

  • Auto-Loading shotgun
  • Revolving Shotgun
CoD Vanguard Auto-Loading ShotgunActivision
The Auto-Loading Shotgun in CoD Vanguard.

All Vanguard Light Machine Guns (LMGs)

  • DP27
  • MG42
  • Bren
CoD Vanguard BrenActivision
The Bren in CoD Vanguard.

All Vanguard Marksman Rifles

  • M1 Garand

All Vanguard Snipers

  • 3-Line Rifle
  • Kar98k
CoD Vanguard Kar98KActivision
The Kar98K is returning in CoD Vanguard.
  • Pistols
    • Machine Pistol
    • 1911
    • RMC-30
  • Snipers
    • Kar98K
    • 3 Line Rifle
    • Mosin-Nagant
  • Melee
    • Combat Knife

There you have it, everything we know about Call of Duty: Vanguard. Whether the rumors and leaks surrounding are true remains to be seen, but make sure you check our CoD guides:

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