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Call of Duty: Vanguard

Best Assault Rifles in Vanguard Season 3: Ranked list

Call of Duty: Vanguard has a great selection of top Assault Rifles, so here are the best ARs, with each gun ranked in a list too.

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Player holding an assault rifle in Vanguard

Assaults Rifles are always a powerful tool in Call of Duty, so we’ve ranked every AR in Vanguard Season 3 to help you find the best weapon in the class.

Vanguard is yet another Call of Duty game jam-packed full of guns competing with each other to come out on top. Vanguard’s Season 3 update introduced two new weapons to the game, and players continue to search for the best Assault Rifle to use.

The game already has a ton of popular weapons and loadouts, so we have gone through each of Vanguard’s Assault Rifles and decided to rank them from worst to best.

Every Vanguard Assault Rifle ranked

vanguard season 3 mayhem map

This is our complete list of every Assault Rifle in Call of Duty: Vanguard, taking into account all of their vital statistics, how they feel in-game, and their final forms in terms of attachments too.

Here is every Vanguard Assault Rifle ranked:

  1. NZ-41
  2. ITRA Burst
  3. KG M40
  4. AS44
  5. Nikita AVT
  6. Volk
  7. BAR
  8. STG44
  9. Cooper Carbine
  10. Automaton

Best ARs in CoD: Vanguard

For a more detailed look into every Call of Duty: Vanguard Assault Rifle, we’ve gone through each gun and explained the logic behind their positions.

These ARs can all be used in different ways and depending on your preferences, you could find that one works better than another.

10. NZ-41

cod vanguard nz-41 assault rifle

In many Call of Duty games, you’ll get weapons that don’t necessarily perform badly, it’s just that there are few redeeming qualities about them that make them desirable.

The NZ-41 carries that vibe, despite its decent accuracy and firepower, it’s hurt by some erratic recoil. This AR doesn’t hold up to other weapons on this ranked Assault Rifle list that are simply better.

Check out our best NZ-41 Vanguard loadout to try it out for yourself.


9. ITRA Burst

itra burst ar in cod vanguard

As is usually the case with burst weapons, the ITRA Burst is a very high risk and high reward weapon with accurate players able to benefit greatly from it. Its main fault sticks out like a sore thumb, and it’s that you’ll only get five bursts to take down an opponent or two.

Thankfully, attachments can improve this drastically, making the ITRA Burst a must-try weapon to see if it’s for you. But for a while, the 4-round burst makes the ITRA Burst a very volatile weapon to use.

If you fancy giving this burst weapon a spin, check out our best ITRA Burst Vanguard loadout.


8. KG M40

KG M40 AR Vanguard

The KG M40 was added to Vanguard’s list of Assault Rifles in Season 2 as a free Battle Pass weapon, and players can still unlock the KG M40 by completing an in-game unlock challenge. Unfortunately, the KG M40 has failed to reach the heights of the Cooper Carbine as a post-launch Assault Rifle.

Simply put, the KG M40 lacks firepower as an average damage output prevents it from killing as fast as some other ARs. Nonetheless, it claims the 8th spot mainly due to its accuracy. With the proper attachments, the KG M40 is one of the most accurate weapons in Vanguard.

Check out our best KG M40 Vanguard loadout to get the right attachments.


7. AS44

as44 in cod vanguard

The AS44 is a decent Assault Rifle and as with most weapons, it tends to get much better and improves with proper attachments. But after you’ve fired a few shots and experienced its wild recoil pattern, you’ll begin to see why it’s just not as heavily favored as other guns.

Despite how difficult it could be to properly aim the weapon, there’s no denying its strength. The AS44 is still worth testing out as it boasts the lowest TTK in Vanguard.

Make sure you’re running the right class with our best AS44 Vanguard loadout.


6. Nikita AVT

Nikita AVT assault rifle in Vanguard Season 3

The Nikita AVT was added to Vanguard’s arsenal of weapons alongside the Season 3 update. The AR is a free Season 3 Battle Pass weapon so most players will get their hands on it with ease.

Unfortunately, it isn’t the most powerful weapon around. The one thing it does have going for it is its incredible accuracy. Although the Nikita will feel like a pellet gun at times, it is supremely easy to use which allows it to claim the 6th spot.

If you want to try out the Season 3 weapon, take a look at our suggested loadout for the new Nikita AVT.


5. Volk

volk assault rifle in cod vanguard

The reality is that the Volk is really good, and its undisputed feature is its fire rate. It has the essence of an SMG within it but is still very much a powerful Assault Rifle in Vanguard.

The recoil may deter players, but as usual, if the Volk has the right attachments on it, it immediately becomes a force to be reckoned with, just don’t try to hit distant targets as its subpar range holds it back from being a top AR. Despite receiving nerfs in Season 3, the Volk retains the fifth spot on this list.

Get the most out of this weapon with our best Volk Vanguard loadout.

4. BAR

cod vanguard bar assault rifle

Of all the ARs, the BAR seems to have the most noticeable impact in mid-to-long-range fights, which is supposed to be offset by its 20-round mag. As we know, the BAR can hold 30 rounds quite easily, and this helps to keep the BAR firing its strong rounds for longer.

Don’t expect to win every close-range skirmish though, but have confidence that the BAR can get the job done. You’ll also notice a very slow fire rate that may take some getting used to.

You can use this dominant weapon with the best BAR loadout for Vanguard.


3. STG44

stg44 assault rifle in cod vanguard

A common pick amongst AR users in Vanguard, the STG44’s recoil pattern is extremely easy to learn and only gets better once you start slapping some goodies on it.

It will perform well at any engagement distance and has enough firepower to not require you to be the world’s leading marksmen to kill with it. It’s unlocked from the get-go and you’ll find a few STG44’s in each match because it’s just that good.

Check out our best STG loadout to use one of Vanguard’s most reliable weapons.


2. Cooper Carbine

Cooper Carbine Vanguard Season 1

The Cooper Carbine Assault Rifle was added to Vanguard with the Season 1 update and was available through the Battle Pass. The Cooper Carbine is perhaps the most versatile AR on this list. Players can equip attachments for long-range or close-range combat.

Regardless of how you prefer to use this Assault Rifle, its excellent fire rate will suit aggressive players nicely. Once you unlock the Recoil Booster attachment, the Cooper Carbine turns into a deadly killing machine.

Check out our best Cooper Carbine Vanguard loadout.


1. Automaton

Automaton Vanguard AR

A weapon that most players quickly became acquainted with is the Automaton. Although the STG44 generated the most buzz shortly after launch, it didn’t take long for the Automaton to take over, and it remains the best Assault Rifle in Season 3.

In its most primitive form, the Automaton only requires a gentle tug of the analog stick or mouse to keep it hammering the bullseye over and over. Its fire rate is phenomenal, and once you slap on the Anastasia Sniper barrel and Tight Grip proficiency, then your accuracy with this weapon is bound to skyrocket.

Make sure you’re using the game’s most powerful AR correctly with our best Automaton Vanguard loadout


And those are the best AR loadouts for Season 3. Metas change and another AR may arrive in Vanguard Season 4, so we’ll keep this list updated throughout the year.

You can also check out how all of these ARs compare to the rest of Vanguard’s weapons.

Image Credit: Activision / Sledgehammer Games

Call of Duty: Vanguard

Best H4 Blixen loadout for Vanguard Season 3 Reloaded

The H4 Blixen SMG arrived with Vanguard Season 3 Reloaded, so here are the attachments and Perks you need to build the best loadout.

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Vanguard H4 Blixen SMG

Vanguard Season 3’s mid-season update is here, bringing the Sphere map and the brand-new H4 Blixen SMG. This new weapon is shaping up to be a powerful choice, so here are attachments and perks to create the best H4 Blixen loadout in Vanguard.

Although Vanguard players have been disappointed with the Season 3 Reloaded update’s lack of content compared to Warzone, it’s brought the new Sphere map, several quality of life changes, and the new H4 Blixen SMG.

This versatile SMG is powerful and accurate when fighting at close-medium range, so here’s how to create the best H4 Blixen loadout, including the attachments, Perks, and Equipment you need to maximize its potential.

Best Vanguard H4 Blixen loadout attachments

best vanguard h4 blixen loadout attachments
  • Muzzle: Recoil Booster
  • Barrel: Bergstrom 17″ F3
  • Optic: Slate Reflector
  • Stock: Karlsson Padded Coz
  • Underbarrel: M1941 Hand Stop
  • Magazine: 9mm 72 Round Mags
  • Ammo Type: Lengthened
  • Rear Grip: Fabric Grip
  • Proficiency: Fleet
  • Kit: Quick

We’re kicking off the best Vanguard H4 Blixen loadout with the Recoil Booster to increase the SMGs fire rate and the Bergstrom 17″ F3 barrel to increase its accuracy and keep it under control.

You can choose whatever optic you prefer, but the Slate Reflector is a solid choice for the H4 Blixen. Next, the Karlsson Padded Coz stock and m1941 Hand Stop will make the Blixen even more accurate, allowing it to be much more versatile.

Combining the 9mm 72 Round Mags and Lengthened ammo will give you enough bullets to take down several enemies, and Lengthened’s faster bullet velocity will lower its time to kill.

These attachments weigh down the H4 Blixen, so using the Fabric Grip, Fleet Proficiency, and Quick Kit will make you extremely mobile.

Best Vanguard H4 Blixen Perks & Equipment

Forward Intel Perk in CoD Vanguard
  • Perk 1: Fortified
  • Perk 2: Forward Intel
  • Perk 3: Lightweight
  • Lethal Equipment: Mk2 Frag Grenade
  • Tactical Equipment: No69 Stun Grenade

The H4 Blixen is a speedy SMG so you’ll need the best Perks and Equipment to complement it. The Fortified Perk will reduce explosive and fire damage, allowing you to charge at the enemies and tank grenades.

Forward Intel will tell you exactly where the enemies are spawning so you can easily control the map, and Lightweight will allow you to get around the map much faster.

A perfectly cooked Frag Grenade is a powerful tool, and the Stun Grenade will slow enemies down allowing you to easily get the kill.

How to unlock H4 Blixen in Vanguard

H4 Blixen SMG in CoD Vanguard

Vanguard’s new H4 Blixen SMG can be unlocked by getting 3 Slide Kills in a single match 15 times.

This shouldn’t be too difficult to unlock, just hop into a small map with a hip-fire build and you’ll get the slide kills in no time at all.

Best alternatives to H4 Blixen in Vanguard

There are plenty of other powerful SMGs you can use in Call of Duty: Vanguard, with the MP40 and Tommy Gun being two of the best.


Modern Warfare 2 arrives later this year, so you can check out its release date, along with everything we know about its beta.

Image Credit: Activision

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II

Modern Warfare 2 leak reveals editions & early PlayStation beta

Vanguard in-game files from the Season 3 Reloaded update have leaked Modern Warfare 2 edition options and open beta info.

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Modern Warfare 2 Operator art

Data miners have discovered in-game files added to Vanguard with the Season 3 Reloaded update that provides information concerning Modern Warfare 2 editions and the open beta.

On May 24 the Season 3 Reloaded update for Vanguard went live, and while new content like the H4 Blixen and Sphere map is exciting, there was yet another surprise hidden in the update.

It turns out data miners have leaked in-game Vanguard files that provide information concerning Modern Warfare 2 editions. These files have shed light on what each edition could bring to the table, as well as which platform will get early access to the MW2 Open beta later this year.

Price in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2

While this information has not been confirmed by Activision, the following info concerning Modern Warfare 2 pre-order content was found in Vanguard’s in-game files:

Standard Edition content

  • Modern Warfare 2
  • Early access to open beta
  • Other items to be announced

Cross-Gen Bundle content

  • Cross-Gen version of Modern Warfare 2
  • Early access to open beta – first on PS4 & PS5
  • Other items to be announced

Vault Edition content

  • Early access to open beta
  • Battle Pass (1 Season) + 50 Tier Skips
  • Red Team Operator Pack – Ghost, Soap, Price, Farah Operators
  • FJX Cinder Weapon Vault
  • 10 hours 2XP, + 10 hours 2WXP
  • Ghost Legacy Pack – 12 Operator Skins & 10 Weapon Blueprints

It seems all three pre-order editions grant players early access to the open beta, and we’ll keep you posted once we know when pre-orders commence and when the beta will occur. The cross-gen bundle also confirms that MW2 will release on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC.

Another key piece of information revealed by this leak is that PS4 and PS5 players will receive access to the open beta first. We already know that PlayStation exclusivity will not last forever, once the Microsoft deal to acquire Activision officially goes through, but at the moment it is good news for PlayStation players.

You’ll have to discern which edition is right for you, but there’s no denying that the Vault Edition comes with a ton of interesting Operator and weapon cosmetics. In addition, the 50 Battle Pass Tier Skips and double weapon XP will be valuable as you attempt to level up early on.


For more Modern Warfare 2 content, check out how CoD fans revealed weapons they want to see in Modern Warfare 2.

Image Credit: Activision

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Call of Duty: Vanguard

Vanguard Season 3 Reloaded patch notes: H4 Blixen SMG, Sphere map, bug fixes, more

The Vanguard Season 3 Reloaded update has arrived, so here’s everything you need to know including the new SMG, map, and release date.

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vanguard players in season 3 reloaded sphere map

Call of Duty: Vanguard Season 3 Reloaded brings a brand-new SMG to both multiplayer and Warzone, as well as the new Sphere map. Here’s everything we know about Vanguard’s mid-season update, including the full patch notes.

Vanguard Season 3 has arrived at its halfway point, with the majority of players having had time to unlock the new Nikita AVT Assault Rifle and M1916 Marksman Rifle, and earn a few of the new Ranked Play rewards.

Season 4 is next-up, but before that update, Season 3 Reloaded has brought some new content. This update brings a new SMG and a new multiplayer map, so here’s everything we know including the full patch notes.

warzone and vanguard season 3 roadmap

When is Vanguard Season 3 Reloaded?

Vanguard’s Season 3 Reloaded update arrived on May 24 with the new content appearing in-game on May 25 at 9 AM PT / 12 PM ET / 5 PM BST.

The Warzone Season 3 Reloaded update will also be going live at the same time as the content in Vanguard.

H4 Blixen SMG Vanguard

H4 Blixen SMG arrives in Vanguard Season 3 Reloaded

The H4 Blixen SMG will be the final of four Warzone and Vanguard Season 3 weapons to arrive following the midseason update. If you’re interested in testing the weapon, check out our guide on how to unlock H4 Blixen SMG in Vanguard.

The devs revealed that the weapon is a slow-firing SMG that performs incredibly well at medium-range. While fast SMGs tend to be preferred in Vanguard, the H4 Blixen could turn out to be a top Warzone weapon.

vanguard season 3 operator in sphere map

Vanguard Season 3 Reloaded brings Sphere map

Vanguard’s Season 3 update brought the chaotic Mayhem map, styled after a Godzilla-themed movie set, and the Season 3 Reloaded update is set to bring the Sphere map.

Sphere will take the action to an underground weapons lab hidden beneath a coal mine. It seems players will have to juggle between two floors of the map. On the top floor, players can find the remnants of a coal-mining village. Meanwhile, the secrets of the weapons lab are hidden underground on the bottom floor.

Kim Tae Young Operator Vanguard

New Vanguard Operator Kim Tae Young

The third and final member of Task Force Harpy will be coming to Vanguard alongside the midseason update.

The new H4 Blixen SMG is her preferred weapon, which means you’ll want to enter the battle as Kim Tae Young if you want level up the weapon as fast as possible.

Vanguard Season 3 Reloaded patch notes

Multiplayer

Maps

  • NEW with S3 Reloaded: Sphere
    • Hidden below the surface of an inconspicuous mining facility is a weapons lab that offers intense, close-quarters engagements around every turn. Jump into the Sphere 24/7 Playlist at the start of Season Three Reloaded!
  • Berlin
    • Addressed an exploit that allowed players to reach unintended locations near the Office.
  • Castle
    • Care Packages will no longer fall through the stairs near the Palace Outer Walls.
  • Sub Pens
    • Addressed exploits that allowed players to reach unintended locations near the Dry Docks and Loading Dock.

Modes

  • Arms Race
    • Riding a Motorcycle as it explodes will no longer cause the player’s view to rotate.

Operators

  • NEW with S3 Reloaded: Kim Tae Young (Harpy)
    • Trained by her mother as a fighter, Tae Young donned a mask to conceal her identity while helping families cross the North Korean border to safety. She soon earned a reputation amongst the Korean people as a local folk hero and keeper of justice. Even the briefest glimpse of her Dokkaebi mask instills hope in her people and fear in her enemies.
    • Unlocked via Operator Bundle, available for purchase in Season Three Reloaded.

Weapons

  • NEW with S3 Reloaded: H4 Blixen (Submachine Gun)
    • Favored by Special Operations Forces, this hard-hitting SMG offers mobility and accuracy in medium-range engagements.
    • Unlock Challenge: Get 3 Slide Kills in a single match 15 times.
  • STG44 (Assault Rifle)
    • Challenges for the Deadeye Camo Category are now properly tracked.
  • Nikita AVT (Assault Rifle)
    • Zac MS Stock Attachment will no longer obstruct the view of certain Optics.
  • Cooper Carbine (Assault Rifle)
    • Addressed an issue that prevented the M1941 Hand Stop Underbarrel, 14” Gracey Rapid Barrel, and Recoil Booster Muzzle Attachments from unlocking at their designated Weapon Levels.
  • M1 Garand (Marksman Rifle)
    • Mindgames Camo Category now references the correct Magazine Attachment requirement.

Equipment

  • No 69 Stun Grenade (Tactical)
    • Decreased Explosive Damage from 25 to 5.
  • S-Mine 44 (Tactical)
    • Decreased Explosive Damage in Hardcore game modes from 50 to 10.
      • This change was made to prevent lethality toward uninjured players; Explosive Damage in Core game modes remains unchanged.

Perks

  • Overkill (Tactics)
    • Moved from Supply (Slot 3) to Tactics (Slot 1).
  • Piercing Vision (Intel)
    • Increased amount of suppression required to highlight targets.
    • Decreased visibility of highlighted targets.
  • Survival Training (Supply)
    • Moved from Tactics (Slot 1) to Supply (Slot 3).
  • Ninja (Supply)
    • Moved from Tactics (Slot 1) to Supply (Slot 3).

Field Upgrades

  • Trophy System
    • Melee attacks will now properly deal damage to a Trophy System.
    • Ammo Box Field Upgrade can now be destroyed by a Trophy System.
    • Trophy Systems will no longer remain active when thrown out-of-bounds.

Killstreaks

  • Counter Spy Plane (4 Kills)
    • Announcer will now play the correct voice line when an enemy Counter-Spy Plane is activated.

Challenges

  • Seasonal Challenges
    • Progression toward the Season Two Mastery challenge is now properly tracked.

User Interface & Experience

  • Players who have reached Prestige 5 or higher will now see the correct Prestige emblem displayed throughout the menus.
  • Addressed an issue that forced the player back to the Multiplayer menu when using contextual (right-click) menus on PC.

Bundles & Cosmetics

  • Addressed an issue that prevented AS-44 Mechanized Reactive Blueprint from changing colors when inspected.
vanguard season 3 reloaded operator

Zombies

Enemies

  • Zaballa the Deceiver
    • Shortened Zaballa’s mask swap animation to reduce invulnerability time.
    • Players can now deal some damage to Zaballa’s body but should continue to focus on masks.
    • Zaballa’s electrical attacks are more lethal but should now spawn within line of sight to or in the proximity of Zaballa.
    • Zaballa increases the number of electrical attacks by one for every destroyed mask.

Weapons

  • H4 Blixen (Submachine Gun)
    • Description: Favored by Special Operations Forces, this hard-hitting SMG offers mobility and accuracy in medium-range engagements.
    • The new H4 Blixen SMG weapon will be available via in-game challenge in Zombies or via a unique Blueprint version in the Store at the start of Season Three Reloaded.
    • Zombies Unlock Challenge: In Zombies, use SMGs to Eliminate 50 Zaballas.
  • Skal Crusher
    • Resolved an issue that prevented picking up blueprint throwable weapons.

Challenges

  • Reticles
    • Reticles earned in Zombies have been adjusted so that a central dot is always present to assist with aiming.

And that’s everything we know about Vanguard Season 3 Reloaded so far! Keep an eye out for the in-game content on May 25, you can also check out everything we know about Warzone’s Season 3 Reloaded update.

Image Credit: Activision

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