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Call of Duty: Vanguard

Call of Duty: Vanguard Alpha Review – A promising start

The Call of Duty: Vanguard Alpha was open to all PlayStation players and delivered a lot of promise ahead of its November 2021 release.

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call of duty vanguard review champion hill

The public got their first real taste of Call of Duty: Vanguard with Champion Hill in the free Alpha test. It was available to all PlayStation 4 and 5 users, and there was a lot to like about Sledgehammer Games’ newest project.

After months of rumors and leaks, Call of Duty: Vanguard was finally announced on August 19, 2021. It signaled the next chapter in the storied franchise and instead of a foray into more modern-day war or Vietnam, the game is instead going back to its World War II roots.

Sledgehammer continues to polish the next entry into the legendary CoD franchise, and the devs announced an Alpha test phase would take place exclusively for PlayStation gamers.

We were able to get hands-on with this exciting first chunk of playable Vanguard, and we’ll dissect what we loved about the game so far.

The Champion that Vanguard needs

operators in call of duty vanguard

The Vanguard Alpha sadly had no customization options for clan tags, calling cards, etc, and only had one mode, but, thankfully, it was the brand new Champion Hill mode. A combination of Counter-Strike, Apex Legends’ Arenas, and Warzone, Champion Hill is a deep game mode.

Check out our full guide explaining what Champion Hill is, and how it works here.

We played several hours of it, and it was more than able to sustain our interest. Wins are most definitely possible, and dubs give you a great feeling of euphoria.

From the first match to the last, Champion Hill is several small games of Call of Duty with lots of strategy and teamwork required.

Old dog, new tricks

layout of champion hill map in vanguard

Breakable cover is nothing new in first-person shooter games but with competitors such as Battlefield 2042 emphasizing destruction, Call of Duty has decided to step up.

Each of the maps contained a multitude of vulnerable doors, walls, and surfaces. Meaning you can’t always just hide behind something and expect it to protect you now.

Although it wasn’t too thrilling on one map where we spawned and were immediately shot from the other side of the map through a wall. We also had multiple instances of killing a player, and them spawning right near us and killing us very quickly. So spawn points definitely need to be looked at and addressed before the beta phase.

map in vanguard champion hill

Another slight issue with the 2v2 format is that there was quite a lot of camping, even in smaller maps. There were multiple instances of the enemy team lying prone at the back of the map, especially when they had a much inferior life count.

Whilst you are technically penalized for non-aggressive play by not winning matches and obtaining cash as a result, it still feels like there needs to be a way to force players to compete and not hide.

Nevertheless, destructible cover is welcome, wall-mounting adds an extra dimension and can be effective if used right and the jury is still out on the new blind-fire mechanic.

Variety is the spice of life

vanguard operator firing an lmg

Despite some camping and more run-ins with SBMM, there’s so much to consider during the course of a full game of Champion Hill.

Do you focus all your money on upgrading your BAR or STG-44? Do you try to collect Perks? Do you focus on buying extra lives? Or do you try and save up an obscene amount of money to earn a game-ending V2 Rocket?

Even the maps themselves have an extra life in each one, leading to unreal dilemmas of whether you should gamble to get it or not.

players firing guns in cod vanguard

Maps do possess a decent bit of personality, despite being quite similar in some respects. One is Airstrip, a literal giant airstrip with bunkers and watchtowers, and another is Market, and it’s filled with stalls and cover.

Beautiful battles

cinematic skyline in cod vanguard

Our experience was on a 4K HDR TV on a PS5, so we can’t say how the PS4 version fares. However, PlayStation’s newest beast is capable of making Vanguard a dream to look at.

Call of Duty continues to excel in its ability to have hyper-realistic lighting and does so by returning to the Modern Warfare engine once more. The way dust particles fly up and stream across your screen is breathtaking.

Explosions look spectacular and the way in which they affect the environment feels spot-on. The audio feels pretty good, but we have found that footsteps can be inconsistent, with no sound coming through until the last second.


In Conclusion

Polina Petrova in cod vanguard

The Call of Duty: Vanguard Alpha bodes well for the game’s beta testing and eventual release. Champion Hill looks like another winner, and it has more maps to come in the future as well to flesh the experience out.

Given that this is very much an Alpha, there was always going to be an issue or two. Spawn points and audio mix irregularities are two things that can be cleaned up, and Sledgehammer has already confirmed some fixes.

The rest of the Alpha and Champion Hill as a whole is a lot of fun, and we look forward to seeing what Sledgehammer Games has in store for the Vanguard beta!

Verdict: 8 / 10

Image Credit: Activision / Sledgehammer Games

Call of Duty: Vanguard

Best STG44 loadout for CoD: Vanguard Season 1

The STG44 has remained Call of Duty: Vanguard’s most popular gun, and our loadout reveals the best attachments and Perks.

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cod vanguard stg44

The STG44 quickly established itself as the go-to weapon in Call of Duty: Vanguard, and we’ve got the best attachments, Perks, Equipment, and more to help slay enemies with ease in Season 1.

Call of Duty has returned to its World War Two roots: brutal, bloody, dirty conflict. With every Vanguard gun having 10 attachment types each, making sure you have the right loadout is a vital key to success.

While Vanguard’s Assault Rifles are still dominating multiplayer, none are as popular as the STG44, the most well-rounded weapon in its class.

To make the most of this powerful gun, we’ve got the best Vanguard STG44 attachments, Perks, equipment, and even some alternatives if you don’t like it.

Best Vanguard STG44 Gunsmith loadout attachments

best vanguard stg44 attachments
  • Muzzle: F8 Stabilizer
  • Barrel: VDD 760MM 05B
  • Optic: Slate Reflector
  • Stock: VDD 27 Precision
  • Underbarrel: M1941 Hand Stop
  • Magazine: .30 Russian Short 30 Round Mags
  • Ammo Type: Lengthened
  • Rear Grip: Fabric Grip
  • Proficiency: Vital
  • Kit: Fully Loaded

The F8 Stabilizer is the perfect way to kick things off as it reduces recoil and gives a much-needed damage range boost. Whereas the VDD 760MM 05B barrel sacrifices some ADS for a big recoil and range boost too.

We’re keeping the optic nice and simple as the Slate Reflector offers a clean, unobtrusive view. And the VDD 27 Precision aids recoil and recovers some of the ADS speed we’ve lost with other attachments.

vanguard operator holding stg44

The M1941 Handstop is the perfect underbarrel attachment as we get a significant horizontal and vertical recoil increase at little cost. However, the .30 Russian Short 30 Round Mags will immediately overrule this recoil boost, in exchange for a whopping damage boost, range, and more penetration.

The STG44 should have Lengthened ammo to make its bullet velocity higher, and with so many attachments to help with recoil and accuracy, you can afford to use the Fabric Grip to increase the weapon’s speed.

Our final two attachments are Vital to allow the STG to deal extra damage, and Fully Loaded should keep you from running out of ammo while playing the WW2 shooter.

Best Perks and Equipment to run with Vanguard STG44

vanguard forward intel perk
  • Perk 1: Ghost
  • Perk 2: Forward Intel
  • Perk 3: Lightweight
  • Secondary: 1911
  • Lethal: MK2 Frag Grenade
  • Tactical: Stim
  • Field Upgrade: Armor

You should definitely have Ghost as Perk 1 in Vanguard. It’s in the same vein as Cold War as it’s only active while you move, but is still a powerful choice when Spy Planes are above in the skies.

Next, we’ve opted for the Forward Intel Perk. This allows you to see exactly where the enemies are spawning, making controlling the map easy.

Our Perk 3 choice belongs to Lightweight. This STG build is fairly heavy, and Lightweight will counteract it by increasing your movement speed.

As for the rest of your class, the 1911 will be useful if you end up in close-quarters combat, while Armor will give you extra protection while holding lanes.

How to unlock the STG44 in Vanguard

call of duty vanguard stg44 ar

The good news is that the STG44 is available as soon as create-a-class unlocks at level 4, meaning you won’t have to grind to get your hands on it.

Best alternatives to Vanguard STG44

Some alternatives to the STG44 are the incredibly accurate Automaton or the Bren which is still dominating Warzone.


With your STG44 ready to take on any enemies, make sure your settings are giving you the best chance possible in-game, with our best Vanguard FOV and controller settings guides.

Image Credit: Activision

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Call of Duty: Vanguard

When is CoD: Vanguard Season 2? Season 1 end date, Zombies updates, more

Here’s everything we know about Vanguard’s Season 2 update, including the release date, content, and major Zombies updates.

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Vanguard Operators on Radar map

Call of Duty: Vanguard’s next major content drop will arrive with Season 2, so so here’s everything about it including the start date, Zombies updates, and expected content.

Vanguard has carried on Call of Duty’s live service approach to content, bringing new maps, weapons, and Operators with seasonal updates. Season 1 has received its mid-season update, so players are looking forward to what’s arriving in Season 2.

Here’s everything we know about Vanguard Season 2, including its start date, expected content, and what Treyarch has in store for Zombies.

Vanguard Season 1 end date

Vanguard and Warzone Pacific Season 1

Vanguard Season 1’s mid-season update is live, with the season set to end on February 1, 2022.

This is when the Season 1 Battle Pass is set to end, so make sure you get through all the tiers ahead of February 1.

Vanguard Season 2 release date & time

Call of Duty Vanguard paradise map

Vanguard Season 2 is expected to begin immediately after Season 1 concludes on February 1.

Significant Call of Duty updates usually arrive at 9 PM PT / 12 AM ET / 5 AM GMT, but Sledgehammer Games should provide an exact time nearer the date.

What’s included in Vanguard Season 2?

Vanguard players fighting on Radar map

Sledgehammer Games haven’t announced everything they have in store for Season 2 yet, but we can take an educated guess based on previous seasons’ content.

  • New weapons
  • New Operators
  • New & remastered maps
  • New & returning game modes
  • Themed-event with challenges & rewards
  • Balance tweaks & bug fixes
  • Zombies updates

This is all just speculation, but previous seasons have included this content in one form or another, so we expect Vanguard Season 2 to be no different.

But stay tuned to Charlie INTEL, as Sledgehammer will release their roadmap in the coming weeks.

Vanguard Season 2 Zombies content

Vanguard player fighting Zombie

Vanguard’s Zombies mode has been slammed by the community for its lack of classic features, but developers Treyarch provided an update ahead of the mid-Season 1 update.

They revealed that they’ll finally bring the Main Quest Easter Egg in Season 2, add “multiple Wonder Weapons,” and bring players to “the Dark Aether itself in a completely original location crafted for Vanguard Zombies.”

Here’s everything Treyarch teased for Vanguard Zombies Season 2:

  • New hub map
  • Dark Aether-themed map
  • Multiple Wonder Weapons
  • New Dark Aether entity
  • New enemy type
  • New Objective gameplay

Also, Treyarch announced that the highly sought-after Pause Feature would arrive “soon,” perhaps in the Season 2 update.


Also, if you prefer battle royale to classic multiplayer, you can check out everything we know about Warzone’s Season 2 update.

Image Credit: Activision

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Call of Duty: Vanguard

Best CoD: Vanguard MP-40 loadout for Season 1

The MP-40 has already proven to be a standout loadout choice in CoD: Vanguard, so here are the best attachments and perks to run with it.

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Arthur Kingsley using MP40 in CoD Vanguard

Vanguard took the Call of Duty franchise back to its WW2 roots, and the classic MP-40 SMG has already set itself apart as one of the game’s top weapons. Here’s everything you need to dominate opponents, including attachments, perks, and more.

Call of Duty: Vanguard Season 1 brings brand new content to the game, including the Cooper Carbine and a fresh Battle Pass.

Despite the new content and weapons, the MP-40 remains one of, if not the strongest SMG in the game. With the right attachments, you can take down enemies at both short and long-range. Luckily, we’ve got everything you need to create the best MP-40 class, with attachments, perks, and alternatives if you don’t like it.

Best Vanguard MP-40 Gunsmith loadout attachments

MP40 in Call of Duty Vanguard's gunsmith
  • Muzzle: Recoil Booster
  • Barrel: Krausnick 317MM 04B
  • Optic: Krausnick ISO1M or Slate Reflector (preference)
  • Stock: Krausnick 33M Folding
  • Underbarrel: Carver Foregrip
  • Magazine: 9MM 24 Round Fast Mags
  • Ammo Type: Lengthened
  • Rear Grip: Stippled Grip
  • Proficiency: Brace
  • Kit: Quick

The Gunsmith returned to Call of Duty: Vanguard, this time allowing you to add a whopping ten attachments to your weapon. These include Ammo Types, Proficiencies, and Kits – which essentially act as Weapon Perks.

First, you should add the Recoil Booster and Krausnick 317MM 04B barrel. Together, these will be a major help in recoil control, weapon handling, and also accuracy, while a massive boost to fire rate will make the MP40 as deadly as possible.

For Optics, it’s entirely down to your own personal preference. Some players prefer the classic MP40 iron sights, but others would rather the precision of an optic. The Krausnick ISO1M is a solid choice as it increases ADS speed.

MP40 in Call of Duty Vanguard's campaign

Then, we’re going for the Carver Foregrip underbarrel as it will help players control the weapon seeing as it boasts considerable kick when firing.

For Ammunition, the 9MM 24 Round Fast Mags are a solid choice. Despite reducing magazine capacity the increase to reload speed is much needed as you’ll encounter waves of enemies. For Ammo Type, Lengthened increases bullet velocity, making far-off targets easier to hit and reducing its time to kill.

In order to make the MP-40 fire as accurately as possible, we’ll opt for the Stippled Grip which increases recoil recovery and initial accuracy, making targets of all distances easy to hit.

The Brace Proficiency provides improved initial accuracy which will make your first few shots all the more impactful. Finally, the Quick Kit increases your sprint speed, which is perfect for an SMG loadout.

Best Vanguard MP-40 Perks & Equipment

Perks in Call of Duty Vanguard
  • Perk 1: Ghost
  • Perk 2: Radar
  • Perk 3: Tactician
  • Secondary: 1911
  • Lethal: MK2 Frag Grenade
  • Tactical: Stim
  • Field Upgrade: Armor

Ghost returns in Vanguard but does not follow the Cold War model. It’s only active while you move, but it remains a powerful choice when Spy Planes are overhead.

Next, we’ve opted for the Radar Perk. Vanguard includes Modern Warfare’s minimap which doesn’t show enemy gunfire on the minimap. However, Radar gives you the classic minimap, revealing enemies when they fire an unsuppressed weapon.

And finally, Tactician is a great choice for Perk 3. Anyone who played Modern Warfare or Warzone will be familiar with this as it acts the same as Restock, continuously resupplying your Lethal and Tactical equipment.

In terms of equipment, we suggest the Stim as your Tactical, as it will allow you to replenish your health and Tactical Sprint in an instant while you fly around the map. Field Upgrade is a little more tricky, but we think Armor is a good shout, as it will let you absorb a few more bullets when charging at enemies.

How to unlock the MP-40 in Vanguard

Player using MP40 in Call of Duty Vanguard

The good news is that it doesn’t take long to get your hands on the MP-40, as it unlocks straight away, ready to start customizing when you unlock Custom Loadouts at Level 4.

Players can gain XP towards unlocking the SMG by completing matches and earning kills. We suggest using any Double XP tokens you have early on so you can add weapons to your inventory quickly.

You can also use the MP-40 straight away in Warzone Pacific, meaning you won’t need to level up before making a custom class with it.

Best alternatives to Vanguard MP-40

If you’re looking to stick within the SMG class, we suggest trying the Welgun or PPSH-41. These are both viable, but still aren’t quite as good as the MP-40, so keep that in mind.

If you’re looking for something with a little more range, grab the STG-44, which is proving to be the most versatile weapon in Vanguard.


Now that you have the best MP-40 class in the game, make sure to maximize your game and give yourself an advantage over your enemies with the best FOV and controller settings.

Image Credit: Activision / Sledgehammer Games

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