Call of Duty Vanguard release date and everything we know

Here’s what you can expect from this WWII shooter

The four soldiers from Task Force Vanguard in Call of Duty Vanguard

Want to know when Call of Duty Vanguard’s release date is? Call of Duty Vanguard arrives later this year. Just like Call of Duty: WWII, Vanguard is set during the second World War. Whereas WWII focused on European battles, Vanguard takes a closer look at battles on the Pacific Front, North Africa, and other locations.

While the integration process between Black Ops Cold War and Warzone took months to accomplish, it looks like Vanguard’s integration won’t be anywhere near as long, and will roll out when the new Warzone map launches later this year, alongside new weapons, vehicles, and a new anti-cheat system. Vanguard also features a new Vanguard Zombies game mode, which follows on from the Dark Aether story.

With only a week to go before the WW2 game launches, there’s a lot to talk about with all the new multiplayer game modes, the new weapons and gear, and the campaign. Here’s everything we know about Call of Duty Vanguard so far, including the open beta dates, what the story entails, and more.

Activision Blizzard is facing a lawsuit filed in July by the state of California (since expanded for QA and customer service contractors) alleging years of discrimination and harassment. Since then, CEO Bobby Kotick has called the company’s initial response “tone deaf”, employees have staged a walkout, Blizzard president J Allen Brack has left, and the ABK Workers Alliance has demanded change at the company. The lawsuit is ongoing; follow the latest developments here. In September, an agency of the US federal government opened an investigation into Activision Blizzard’s response to sexual misconduct and discrimination complaints from its employees, as part of which Kotick has reportedly been subpoenaed. The company is also facing a separate unfair labour practice suit alleging “worker intimidation and union busting” filed by a workers’ union, also in September. In another, separate development, Activision Blizzard reached an agreement with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission “to settle claims and to further strengthen policies and programs to prevent harassment and discrimination”. In a subsequent letter to employees, the company has announced an end to forced arbitration, a $250 million initiative to improve diversity, and a major pay cut for Kotick.

Call of Duty Vanguard release date

The Call of Duty Vanguard release date is 9pm PDT on November 4, 2021, which is November 5 at 12am EDT / 5am BST. Refer to our release time news post to find out exactly when Vanguard unlocks in your region.

Call of Duty Vanguard story

The full-length teaser for Vanguard shows four playable soldiers in the game’s campaign mode. Each cutscene shows a different location, along with a badge that says ‘Task Force Vanguard’.

In the first part of the teaser, we see the aftermath of a battle on the Western Front. A name tag for Sergeant Kingsley, one of the playable characters in Vanguard, has been left behind in the fallout. In the Eastern Front, we get a glimpse of a sniper’s hideout containing an engraved rifle with the name ‘Petrova’ on the body. It’s likely the owner is related to Nina Petrova whose model can be spotted after a Warzone win.

Next, we’re transported to North Africa, and shown a destroyed tank in the background, alongside several artillery shells on the ground. Finally, the Pacific Theatre shows us a plane crash at sea, and all four of the soldiers are fighting together at the end of the teaser.

Here are the playable Call of Duty Vanguard heroes in Task Force One:

  • Private Lucas Riggs, 20th Battalion, Australian 9th Infantry Division, British Eighth Army
  • Sergeant Arthur Kingsley of the 9th Parachute Battalion, British Army
  • Lieutenant Wade Jackson, Scouting Squadron Six, United States Navy
  • Lieutenant Polina Petrova of the 138th Rifle Division, Red Army

Call of Duty Vanguard Warzone integration

Big changes are coming to Warzone with the release of Vanguard later this year. Not only is a new map coming to the battle royale game, the developers confirmed in a recent Call of Duty blog post that personal loadouts and profiles will carry over to Warzone.

Mysterious Portals: Find out where Warzone’s red doors lead to

We don’t know how this affects Vanguard’s loadouts as the balancing in multiplayer works differently to Warzone’s multiplayer. There are perks in Vanguard that aren’t in the same slot in Warzone, and there are a number of perks that don’t exist in either game. This also doesn’t take into account Vanguard’s gunsmith system which allows players to use up to ten different attachments on a single weapon.

Call of Duty Vanguard cross progression and crossplay

Just like Black Ops Cold War and Modern Warfare, any progress made in Vanguard carries over to your unified Call of Duty account – this includes your overall level, battle pass purchases, and store bundles. Vanguard also supports cross-platform play, allowing PC players to fight alongside their console friends on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S and X.

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CALL OF DUTY VANGUARD new mechanics

The Stalingrad ten minute gameplay clip revealed a number of new mechanics coming to the FPS game. The mounting system returns from Modern Warfare, except this time players have the option to blind fire when crouching behind cover.

The mounting system has been adjusted, giving players the ability to strafe while mounted onto cover. Previously, players were anchored to their mounting point which made this mechanic feel underwhelming. Having the option to slowly move while mounting behind cover could drastically change the way this mechanic is used. Players can also mount around corners and blind fire when huddled up against a flat wall.

Blind firing looks like it’s going to be extremely powerful depending on the object you’re hiding behind. There are several instances in the gameplay clip where the player blind fires at an enemy, but they can see the approaching enemy behind cover. This may only be the case for the single-player campaign, but it looks like blind firing actually aims down the sights before firing, creating a tighter spread of bullets. This is likely to be changed in the multiplayer modes as this mechanic seems far too powerful in its current state.

Nina Petrova's face in Call of Duty Vanguard teaser

Call of Duty Vanguard anti-cheat

Arguably the biggest problem plaguing Warzone right now is the persistent presence of cheaters, which has turned some players away from the game. Activision confirmed the new anti-cheat system in a blog post and the Vanguard reveal, with more information dropping in the lead up to Vanguard’s release.

CALL OF DUTY VANGUARD reactive environments

Destructible environments are coming to Vanguard, giving players a new way to approach combat. If you’re taking cover behind a wall, you need to consider whether your cover can be blasted to pieces with a well-placed grenade. Likewise, if you mount in front of a window, you have the option to shoot through it using the blind fire mechanic.

Every map in the game features destructible cover which slowly degrades over the course of a match. The number of players fighting on a map directly impacts the amount of damage the environment can handle. For example, maps should look largely the same after a small-scale battle involving six players on each team. If you double that player count to 12v12, expect the maps to be completely destroyed when the dust finally settles.

A soldier aiming down the sights of an assault rifle in front of the Hotel Royal in Call of Duty Vanguard

Call of Duty Vanguard multiplayer

Call of Duty Vanguard launches with seven core multiplayer game modes, alongside at least two additional modes in the coming months. According to the official blog post, the Vanguard multiplayer game modes at launch are:

  • Free for all
  • Team Deathmatch
  • Kill Confirmed
  • Domination
  • Search & Destroy
  • Hardpoint
  • Patrol

While the rest are returning game modes, Patrol is a new variant of Hardpoint. Instead of having multiple scoring zones appear on the map, Patrol just has one scoring zone that’s constantly on the move on a predetermined path.

These will be playable across 16 of the 20 total Call of Duty Vanguard maps. Each one takes place in a different part of the world. These maps are:

  • Battle of Berlin – a large urban map with lots of destroyed buildings and stalled tanks you can use for cover
  • Bocage – a medium-sized rural map set in a farmer’s estate
    Castle – a large map set in a Japanese-style castle. It’s a reimagining of the Castle map from Call of Duty: World at War
  • Das Haus – a small interior map set in a remote wooded facility in Germany, built as a replica of the White House
  • Decoy – a medium-sized map set in a mock town made of flimsy plywood
  • Demyansk – a small map set in a village overlooked by a church, separated from a lumberyard to the east by a river
  • Desert Siege – a large map set in North Africa with sand-covered buildings and dunes for cover
  • Dome – a small asymmetrical map modelled on the Reichstag Building in Berlin. This map is similar to the Call of Duty: World at War Castle map
  • Eagle’s Nest – a small map with three lanes that players saw in the Vanguard beta set near an Axis meeting house
  • Gavutu – a large map with three lanes that also appeared in the Vanguard beta, set during a crucial land battle in the Pacific Theater
  • Hotel Royal – a small three-lane map from the Vanguard beta, set in a hotel during an uprising in Paris by local resistance fighters
  • Numa Numa – a small map based on the Battle of Pica Forks, it has a large machine gun nest at its central point
  • Oasis – a medium-sized map set during an ambush of an Axis convoy near an oasis, with some ruins for cover
  • Red Star – a large map from the Vanguard beta, set in Stalingrad during the winter, with a central courtyard as a focal point
  • Sub Pens – a small map set in a U-boat base off the coast of France, with a submarine at its centre
  • Tuscan – a medium-sized map in the hills of Tuscany that Axis forces have set on fire

Aside from the competitive multiplayer modes, Vanguard also has a brand new mode called Champion Hill. Players can hop in solo, or with up to two teammates, to compete in a multi-arena survival tournament until one team is left standing. Teams can earn cash by eliminating enemies, winning rounds, and by picking up drops that appear on the map. The cash can then be spent on new equipment, perks, and Killstreaks, as well as upgrading your weapons.

Speaking of weapons, there’s over three dozen Call of Duty Vanguard guns available at launch, and with the revamped Gunsmith, you can now outfit each gun with up to ten different attachments and weapon perks.

A heroic-looking US soldier patriotically runs in Call of Duty: Vanguard.

Call of Duty Vanguard operators

Vanguard features 12 new operators to choose from for use in multiplayer and Zombies modes at launch. The operators will also be in the Call of Duty Warzone Pacific Season One update. Each operator comes with customisation options for their attire, new quips, poses, and finishing moves. These Vanguard operators are members of one of four groups, each one with three members:

Hellhounds

  • Wade Jackson – this Italian American is the leader of the Hellhounds
  • Daniel Yatsu – a Japanese American infantryman
  • Halima Zambardi – an Italian Somalian resistance fighter

Sentinel

  • Arthur Kingsley – the British Cameroonian is the leader of Sentinel
  • Constanze Trude Muller – a German Axis defector
  • Padmavati Balan – a member of the Indian national infantry

Barbarians

  • Lucas Riggs – this Australian is the leader of the Barbarians
  • Roland Zeimet – a Luxembourger Axis defector
  • Béatrice Mercier – a French resistance fighter

Shadow

  • Polina Petrova – the Russian is the leader of Shadow
  • Shigenori Ota – a Japanese Navy defector
  • Solange Hardewijk – a Dutch Aruban SOE agent

Vanguard multiplayer progression systems and Battle Pass

You can get upgrades for these operators via the newly updated progression system. The new system has 55 ranks and its rewards include: every gun, weapon experience which you can use to unlock attachments and cosmetic camouflage rewards, and unique rewards for playing with friends such as emblems. Seasonal Prestige systems will return as well.

A battle pass will also be available across both Vanguard and Warzone from December 2. The Call of Duty Vanguard and Warzone Season 1 is battle pass includes:

  • New multiplayer maps
  • Additional operators
  • New Zombies mode content
  • New weapons
  • Challenges and objectives
  • Unlockable weapon blueprints

That’s all there is to know about Call of Duty Vanguard so far. Vanguard is going to drastically change the way Warzone is played – enjoy ‘80s Verdansk while you still can. Make sure you read our Warzone loadout drop guide to equip yourself with the best weapons and perks.

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