CoD Vanguard devs confirm Ninja perk & weapon distortion changes ahead of release

Alec Mullins
CoD Vanguard gameplaySledgehammer Games

Sledgehammer Games has announced a few changes to Call of Duty Vanguard ahead of its November release date. The biggest highlights include the removal of weapon distortion when firing and the addition of the iconic Ninja perk.

On October 28, Call of Duty released a huge swath of updates addressing Vanguard, its Warzone integration, and what the developers have been up to since the public beta went live back in September.

Among the many changes to the gameplay, the biggest standouts are the improvement to vision-impairing effects and the commitment to mobility options, as both areas received a major overhaul from the earlier version of the game.

While these changes may seem small on the surface, they’ll have a profound impact on gameplay across the board.

Vanguard devs replace Low Profile perk with Ninja

The Ninja perk as it appeared in Cold WarTreyarch
In Black Ops Cold War Ninja lowered the volume of players’ footsteps and made them resistant to field mics. In Vanguard, the perk will make footsteps silent.

Low Profile was one of the new Vanguard-original perks that blocked players from Piercing Vision – an effect that highlights players that have been damaged, making them trackable even if they retreat behind cover.

That perk has since been removed and replaced with returning fan-favorite Ninja, which allows players to move around the map with silent footsteps, ensuring that enemies can’t pick up your trail via audio cues.

“Our goal coming out of the Vanguard Beta was to give players a faster and smoother gameplay experience at launch. To achieve that, we’ve reduced weapon swap/pickup animation speeds and are bringing in new movement perks. We’ve also added the “Ninja” perk which allows you to have silent footsteps at all times.”

Weapon firing in CoD VanguardSledgehammer Games
The smoke and distortion effects in Vanguard are being heavily adjusted.

In the second half of the beta feedback, Sledgehammer noted that there has also been an adjustment to visibility when firing your weapons in Vanguard.

Originally, shooting any automatic weapon would cause a small amount of screen distortion at the end of your barrel. Guns would also release a hood amount of smoke while in use, but both of those features have been removed, along with a handful of other adjustments.

Here’s the full list of changes:

  • Distortion effects were removed from muzzle flash and we reduced smoke emitted when firing a weapon
  • Completed a pass on muzzle flash placement/coverage when aiming down sights
  • VFX Environment ambient placement for better sightlines
  • Removed the droplets of water that get all up in your face when it rains
  • Various bugs have been fixed including a bug where certain optics would stop enemy and friendly HUD icons from displaying while ADS
  • We’ve fixed cases of nametags appearing through Destruction
  • Lens flare reduced across all maps (we nerfed the sun)
  • We will continue to refine VFX, Lighting, and UI into launch and monitor player feedback surrounding the various topics of visibility.

All of these adjustments will be live in-game when Vanguard releases on November 5.