CoD Vanguard update 1.09 patch notes: Kar98k buffs, map changes, more

Isaac McIntyre
Sledgehammer Games

Sledgehammer Games has released the latest Call of Duty Vanguard Season 1 update, 1.09, as the holiday season hits the 2021 title. Here’s everything in the December 15 patch notes, including Kar98k buffs, Camo changes, the new Festive Fervor event, and more.

  • Festive Fervor holiday event begins
  • Kar98k, Type 99 headline weapon balancing
  • Nine Vanguard maps get 1.09 changes

The holiday season is in full swing in CoD Vanguard, with Festive Fervor bringing seal-team elves, folklore monster Krampus, and more to the game.

Before the festive celebrations really get underway, however, Sledgehammer Games are shipping another December balance patch, targeting several outlier weapons like the Kar98k, Type 99, and Gorenko.

The December 15 update is now live on Vanguard servers.

There’s plenty to sink your teeth into, from the aforementioned buffs, to map updates, events, and more. Read on for all the changes in Season 1’s latest patch.

Cod Vanguard Festive Fervor.
Vanguard is cracking out the Christmas sweaters this week.

Kar98k, Type 99 headline gun changes

Four Call of Duty Vanguard guns and one attachment — the bayonet — have been hit with changes in the 1.09 update.

The Kar98k and Type 99 have been handed the biggest buffs, with both now retaining the ability to deliver one-shot kills via chest damage. The Top Break pistol has also been buffed slightly, with its distance damage no longer falling off as aggressively. The Gorenko Anti-Tank sniper rifle rounds out the gun changes, via a buff to its scope.

In the attachments department, the Bayonet will no longer have has much melee range when comboed with the Reach Kit Perk in multiplayer.

CoD Vanguard gameplay
Raven Software
The Gorenko sniper rifle is one nearly a dozen guns tweaked in this week’s 1.09 update.

Below are the full Vanguard patch notes, courtesy of Sledgehammer.

These changes are now live in the Call of Duty title, and will require players to install a small update over the next 24 hours before they can access the game.

CoD Vanguard December 15 patch notes

Holiday Events

From fighting Krampus and hunting down Elf Team Six to getting plenty of holiday gifts and Bundles, Festive Fervor is here to spread plenty of cheer across Call of Duty: Vanguard, Call of Duty: Warzone Pacific, Call of Duty: Mobile, and more. Plus: Call of Duty Endowment’s involvement in the 2021 Jingle Jam.

Festive Fervor

  • Make your list of squadmates and check those corners twice: Festive Fervor is coming to Call of Duty with plenty of holiday surprises for both the naughty and nice.
  • Festive Fervor will take over several Call of Duty experiences, including Call of Duty: Vanguard and Warzone Pacific, with limited-time modes, events, rewards, and features up to the New Year along with plenty of discounts on classic Bundle and new holiday-themed offerings.

Elf Team Six

  • Outside of that limited-time mode, Operators can also earn Killstreaks through seeking and destroying the elite Elf Team Six.
  • Hidden around Vanguard’s Multiplayer maps, Elf Team Six are ready to roast Operators like chestnuts on an open fire if they aren’t found before they disappear.
  • Operators who take down these Elf Team Six members will earn match score and Killstreak progress, a small gift that could help give your enemies something far worse than coal in their stockings.


  • The folk horror figure Krampus is coming to Vanguard, appearing during Multiplayer matches and targeting whoever has the least impressive objective score, such as a pathetic Hardpoint time or a disgracefully low number of Domination captures.

Weapon Balancing

Kar98k & Type 99

  • When using a lower caliber magazine, these weapons will now retain the ability for One-Shot-Kills when landing chest shots 

Top Break 

  • No longer reduces damage, but range reduction increased

Gorenko Anti-Tank Rifle

  • The default scope will no longer heavily obscure player vision when meleeing with the bayonet


  • Melee range has been reduced for Bayonet when Reach Kit Perk is applied


  • Riot Shield now blocks front-facing damage and bullets will not penetrate
  • The Firefight Blueprint has been fixed to remove light coming from the front end of the barrel and parts of the optic
  • Kar98K Hunter incentive skin no longer causes the gun to aim down the iron sights instead of the attached scope
  • Top Break muzzles no longer jump on reload
  • Corrected Loadouts using 7 Round Mags so the total ammo count is divisible by 7
  • Addressed multiple issues with charms in a QOL pass
  • Weapon animations have been polished and some glitches have been resolved


  • Panzerfaust Challenge has been changed from destroying aerial streaks to longshot kills


Double Barrel

  • Corrected wording in the Death Artist Challenge to say “16 Gauge Mag” instead of “12 Gauge Mag” 

Assault Rifle Alpha

  • Camos now show proper progression

M1 Garand

  • Camos now show proper progression


  • Master Ribbons data from Cold War will now be imported and reflected in Vanguard
  • Getting kills in Warzone now counts toward challenges in Vanguard


Mortar Barrage

  • Increased damage dealt by the Mortar Barrage Flare 
  • Mortar Barrage has been tweaked to make deployment less difficult



  • Fixed several out-of-map exploits 
  • Fixed instances of unnatural hitching when jumping against ramped walls


  • Fixed issue which made some doors indestructible
  • Fixed out-of-map spawns and exploits 

Desert Siege

  • Spawn tuning to reduce instances of spawning close to enemies 
  • Fixed a rendering issue that resulted in intense fog for some players
  • Blinking texture issues have been fixed in several locations


  • Bullet penetration issues for certain walls have been fixed
  • MK2 Frag Grenade blast radius no longer affects players who should be protected by walls

Red Star

  • Fixed a bug that resulted in lighting effects following the player like a spotlight around the map


  • Distracting and graphically incorrect shadows no longer appear under light fixtures

Numa Numa

  • Removed invisible geo in Numa Numa that blocked bullets midair


  • Fixed an issue in which an invisible wall remained after it was destroyed


  • Demolition and Tactician Perks now operate as intended
  • Sub Pens, Castle, Oasis, Das Haus
  • Fixed out-of-map exploits



  • Control is now live! 

Champion Hill

  • Players will no longer crash out of Champion Hill Duos, resulting in the closure of the entire game
  • Players can now access Scoreboard and Spectate Mode


  • Using Daniel’s alternative skin will no longer crash the game

Seasonal Challenges

  • Progression for Seasonal Challenges is now visible, active, and tracking 


  • Users will no longer get errors saying they don’t have Crossplay permission when attempting to add other consoles to a party.
  • Flairs now appear with every Prestige level-up, and XP bars should reflect Prestige progression.
  • Duplicate Prestige icons have been fixed.


  • Fixed a progression blocker in the Lady Nightingale level caused by an unresponsive character.