Since revealing Call of Duty: Vanguard last month, Activision has largely focused on the title's campaign, showing off a moody 10-minute chunk of gameplay during Gamescom Opening Night Live. Sure, the PlayStation alpha gave us a small taste of Vanguard multiplayer, but fans have been eager to know what the full game will offer. Well, Activision and developer Sledgehammer Games have fully pulled the curtain back on Vanguard’s multiplayer, showcasing a new bombastic style, more inspired by Inglourious Basterds than actual history (we even see somebody take a bat to the skull in the trailer, just in case there was any doubt about what the influence was).
In terms of gameplay, the Vanguard multiplayer reveal offers an extensive look at the game’s new destructible environments, different “Combat Pacing” options (Tactical, Assault, or Blitz), the Hardpoint-inspired Patrol mode, blind fire mechanics, and a whole lot more. Check out the Call of Duty: Vanguard multiplayer trailer, below.
And here’s the full multiplayer reveal if you have around half an hour to spare…
Here’s a rundown of some of the new modes, mechanics, and other features Call of Duty: Vanguard will offer:
New and Returning Modes
Outside of Champion Hill — a fast and frenetic tournament for Solo, Duos, and Trios — Vanguard will introduce another new game mode: Patrol. Based on Hardpoint, this objective-based mode features a scoring zone in near-constant motion; if Operators want to rack up points for their team, they should keep up and move around the map within this Patrol point.
These modes are in addition to the classic offerings one would expect in Call of Duty. Modes like Team Deathmatch, Kill Confirmed, Domination, and Search & Destroy are just some of the ones returning with Vanguard. These are also the exact modes you can play alongside Patrol during the Beta period (Search & Destroy to be available later in the Beta).
Although these returning modes will be familiar, a new Combat Pacing system offers a new dynamic in the name of player choice. When queuing up for Multiplayer, the following Combat Pacing options are available to you:
- Tactical: These are the lobbies that franchise veterans know well. This is the experience that you’re used to with classic Call of Duty combat timing. Tactical Comat Pacing is always 6v6.
- Assault: This option provides balanced Combat Pacing that gives you enough room to breathe and a lot of targets to kill. Assault is a middle ground between Tactical and Blitz. In Beta Weekend 1, player counts will vary between 20 and 28 players.
- Blitz: High-action lobbies see the intensity cranked up to frenetic levels. Prepare for plenty of combat when choosing to join a Blitz. In Beta Weekend 1, player counts will vary between 28 and 48 players.
Clans and Group Rewards
The Clan system will feature elements from the Modern Warfare (2019) Regiments system, which will be carried forward and renamed “Groups.” Clans will feature bespoke progression, emblems, and even Battle Pass–related rewards unlocked for your entire group, giving you and your squadmates something to aim for outside of victories during play sessions. And remember: Vanguard will be cross-generational and cross-platform — no soldier will be left behind, especially with Clans on the horizon.
Create-a-Class and Gunsmith
When choosing a loadout for Multiplayer, players will be gearing up at the Gunsmith within Create-a-Class. An evolution of a system first introduced in Modern Warfare (2019), the Gunsmith will now feature up to 10 attachment slots on certain weapons, allowing for thousands of additional possibilities to help with nearly every combat scenario and playstyle.
Reactive Environments, Mounting and Sliding, Blindfiring
Once you have a weapon, it’s time to tear through the map to defeat your enemies. Tactical destruction was a driving force for Sledgehammer’s innovations to this game’s engine, so expect to blast through specific weak walls, break down doors and windows, or destroy tiles, scenery, structures, and other objects to flush out those pesky campers.
When you find cover behind sturdy objects, you now have two options for firing back aside from normal hip or aim-down-sights fire: the first is mounting, which returns from previous games, though Operators can additionally “slide” their mounted weapon along the vertical or horizontal surface to move around. The other is blindfire — at the sacrifice of some accuracy, this maneuver allows for better cover in situations where you’re about to experience suppressing fire.
Perks and Proficiencies
Speaking of Perks, both Operator Perks and Weapon Perks — now known as Proficiencies — make a return, with some of these augmentations affecting movement and firing techniques. For example, the Lightweight Perk allows for increased speed, including with Tactical Sprinting, while the Weapon Perk Gung-Ho, which is active when using a weapon with it “attached,” allows for an Operator to fire this weapon while sprinting.
Activision is also promising to fully push the PC version of CoD: Vanguard, with Beenox once again taking the helm and offering unique features like unlocked framerate, ultrawide support, and more.
With Call of Duty: Vanguard, lead PC developer Beenox is putting together features and improvements they have built over the years, such as uncapped frame rates, a whole host of customizable settings and keybinds, and ultrawide and multimonitor support. For that continued monitor support, Beenox is adding something called “focused mode,” which is ideal in borderless mode when the brightness needs to be reduced on other monitors for multitasking.
Other new features include options to reduce motion sickness, improved text readability, ease-of-use settings, and work to reduce input latency to help you improve reaction time in terms of milliseconds. There will also be a brand-new, multifaceted anti-cheat system for PC when it comes to Warzone.
Finally, Activision is promising an all-new battle royale experience – Call of Duty: Warzone Pacific. This is a totally new tropical map, not merely another reskin of Verdansk, and will launch sometime this year after the release of Vanguard. You get a first look at the new Pacific map, below.
Can’t wait to get your hands on all of this? Well, the CoD: Vanguard beta kicks off this week for PlayStation owners and the week after for everybody else. Here are the dates:
PlayStation Early Access
- September 10 – 13
- Xbox, PlayStation, and Battle.net – September 16 – 17
- All platforms – September 18 – 20
- Three brand-new Vanguard maps: Hotel Royal, Red Star, and Gavutu.
- Three traditional game modes to try — Team Deathmatch, Domination, and Kill Confirmed — and a new one called Patrol, available during Weekend 1.
- A return to Champion Hill, now with a new weapon set.
California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has filed suit against Activision Blizzard, alleging widespread gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment at the Call of Duty publisher. You can get more detail on that unfolding story here.
Call of Duty: Vanguard storms onto PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, and PS5 on November 5.