Vanguard Zombies January 11 update: Round-based mode, Artifact upgrades, full patch notes

Vangaurd Zombies Patch Notes January 11 updateActivision

Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies January 11 patch notes have been released and we’ve got all the major details. From the addition of a round-based mode in a new area of Shi No Numa to some major artifact upgrades, this is how the new update breaks down. 

Ahead of the franchise’s iconic 115 Day, Treyarch have provided all the details on what’s to come in the January 11 update.

As promised in the Season 1 patch notes, Der Anfang is receiving a brand new area that holds the key to the game’s newest round-based mode.

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In addition to that, Artifacts are getting some new upgrades to help later levels a little easier to survive.

Vanguard Zombies adds round-based Survival mode & Artifacts upgrades

Vanguard Zombies Season 1 patch notes New objective, covenants, area, moreActivision
Treyarch has made good on their promise to add a round-based mode into the more freeflowing Vanguard Zombies mode

Players have been asking for a round-based mode in Vanguard since the game’s release and Treyarch have come through with the solution. In the new area known as Von List’s office, players will be able to travel into The Void and take on zombies in a more traditional Zombies experience.

There is a small catch in that any undead-slayer that wants to try it out will have to dive into Shi No Numa and unlock the office in order to find the necessary portal to start the game.

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After completing three rounds in The Void, you unlock the option to flee, but otherwise, the enemies will keep flooding in wave after wave. There are special rewards to be earned while fighting in this area, like a bonus ability that prevents Perks from falling below Level II until the end of the game.

The Tome of Rituals is a new upgrade stationTreyarch/Call of Duty
The Tome of Rituals brings the new option of upgrading your Artifact in a few ways.

While getting into the later stages of a round-based mode makes the game much more difficult, some of that pain should be offset by the new Artifact upgrades at the Tome of Rituals. This station will allow players to exchange Sacrificial Hearts for bonuses to their selected power.

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While Artifacts on their own work similarly to Cold War’s Field Upgrades, these additional buffs make them stronger than before.

There are four tiers of upgrades for each Artifact, all of which give a unique bonus that stacks onto the previous tier.

Zombie slayers in Vanguard's StalingradActivision
Der Anfang is getting quite the upgrade in this patch and the secret to the future is now hidden within.

In addition to these upgrades, the devs also teased the arrival of the long-requested pause feature and revealed that there are some hints towards the game’s future hidden in The Void.

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These are just the biggest upgrades to the game though, for the full list of what’s changing, check out the Patch Notes listed below.

CoD Vanguard Zombies January 11: Full patch notes


Step through to travel to the Void in “Shi No Numa,” where you’ll advance through rounds by defeating increasingly difficult endless waves of the undead, just like in traditional Zombies from previous games. Clear the current wave of zombies, and the round goes up. Upgrade your weapon at the Pack-a-Punch machine, grind those camos, and survive as long as you can. You know the drill.

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Once you’ve completed 3 rounds in the Void, you’ll be faced with two choices: Flee or Survive. If you choose to stay and fight, you’ll earn 5,000 bonus Essence for every 3 rounds you survive in the Void. If you make it through 12 rounds or more, you’ll earn a unique reward that prevents your Perks from dropping below Tier II whenever you go down for the rest of the match! Survive long enough, and you might even discover new details about where the story’s heading next.


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  • Tier I – Freezes normal and Special enemies for 3 seconds once they have been in the Frost Blast zone for 0.5 second.
  • Tier II – Increases the Frost Blast radius by 100%.
  • Tier III – Increases the number of charges from 1 to 3.
  • Tier IV – Frozen normal enemies are insta-killed when damaged.

Energy Mine

  • Tier I – Stuns normal and Special enemies hit by Energy Mine for 3 seconds.
  • Tier II – Explodes 3 times in a row with a 0.75 second delay between explosions.
  • Tier III – Increases the number of charges from 1 to 3.
  • Tier IV – Increases the explosion radius by 66%.

Aether Shroud

  • Tier I – Automatically reload weapons when activated.
  • Tier II – Deal 500% bonus melee damage while active.
  • Tier III – Gain 50% move speed while active. Duration extended from 5 seconds to 8 seconds.
  • Tier IV – Increases the number of charges from 1 to 2.

Ring of Fire

  • Tier I – Normal enemies inside the ring take damage equal to 2% of their max HP every second.
  • Tier II – Players within the ring use ammo from stock.
  • Tier III – Staying within the ring for up to 10 seconds increases the duration from 15 seconds to 20 seconds.
  • Tier IV – Staying within the ring for up to 10 seconds increases your damage bonus from +50% to +75%.

Your Dark Aether powers will become indispensable at high rounds with these upgrades, with each Artifact playing a far more important role for your squad’s survival than before. Try experimenting with each new set of upgrades, and you may just discover your new go-to ability.


Each time you upgrade your weapon of choice at the Pack-a-Punch, it will be wrapped in a unique camo to visually set it apart from the weapon’s base version. Your camo will change in appearance with each new Pack-a-Punch upgrade up to Tier III, and pre-Packed loot weapons will also display these new camos once you pick them up from the Mystery Box or defeated Sturmkreigers.

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Killstreak weapons are joining the Support menu at the Crafting Table! When you need some extra firepower against the undead or you find yourself cornered in the Void, bring out the big guns and cause some carnage.


We’re bringing some protective gear to your loadouts and the Mystery Box this week, along with two more weapons unlockable through in-game challenges. Get ready to add the Combat Shield, Katana, and brand-new Welgun SMG to your collection with this week’s update!

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You’ll also be able to unlock the Katana melee weapon and the new Welgun SMG for your loadouts via two new Zombies weapon unlock challenges in this update:

  • Katana: In Zombies, get 5 rapid kills with a Melee weapon during 50 different Portal Objectives.
  • Welgun SMG: In Zombies, get 5 rapid Critical Kills with an SMG during 50 different Portal Objectives.


Let’s be honest… moving Zombies to an infrastructure hosted entirely on dedicated servers for the first time in a new engine hasn’t been a seamless experience.

In the past, traditional Zombies lobbies ran on player-hosted servers, which were often prone to a myriad of issues, depending on the player’s connection and several other factors. While the gameplay experience should now be smoother across the board for matches of all sizes on dedicated servers in Vanguard, the process of pausing said servers for Solo and single-player Private matches isn’t as simple as flipping a switch.

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Like all of you, we wanted Dedicated Server Pause for solo players to be included sooner, and the amount of work required to get it right has frankly taken longer than we would’ve liked. Thanks for your patience while we wrap up its implementation in an upcoming update.


If you’ve been paying attention to the narrative intel and conversations between our Dark Aether entities in Season One, you might have an idea of where we’re headed in Season Two. In addition to a new hub map located elsewhere on the globe, we’ll be taking players to multiple arenas, including the Dark Aether itself in a completely original location crafted for Vanguard Zombies.

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There’s plenty more in the works for Season Two, including multiple Wonder Weapons, more survival gameplay, a new story quest, the introduction of a new Dark Aether entity, a new enemy type, new Objective gameplay, and more. We’re also already working on future Zombies content, and we’re not even done updating our roster of Operators in Black Ops Cold War…