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Call of Duty: Vanguard

Call of Duty: Vanguard multiplayer review: A strong, content-rich entry to the franchise

Vanguard is an extremely fun and content-rich CoD game, but there are some issues that need worked out before it achieves it’s full potential.



Call of Duty Vanguard padmavati operator

Call of Duty: Vanguard offers an extremely solid and complete multiplayer experience, but there are still a few kinks to be worked out before it’s remembered as one of the greats. 

After months of leaks and rumors, Call of Duty: Vanguard is finally here. The CoD player base can be hard to please, but Sledgehammer Games’ first title since WW2 appears to have captured what the player base wants – fast gameplay, interesting maps, and plenty of content. 

However, it’s not all plain sailing. Skill-based matchmaking is back, but it’s clear that it does wonders for Activision’s strategy so, like it or not, it’s here to stay. And there are some further kinks that hold Vanguard back from reaching its full potential. 

Shipment in Call of Duty: Vanguard

Fun, classic CoD gameplay

Call of Duty took quite a significant shift in direction with Modern Warfare, where a fast time-to-kill, loud footsteps, and map design promoted slower-paced tactical gameplay. And while Cold War was a funner core experience, its engine felt like a step back in terms of gameplay, and it didn’t feel truly next-gen. Vanguard has captured the best of both games, however.

Running on the same engine as Modern Warfare, it has that next-gen feeling where the movement feels smooth and responsive, and the weapons feel powerful. As soon as you launch into your first multiplayer match, there will be no doubt in your mind that this game was developed in 2021 with next-gen consoles in mind. 

And even with all of these next-gen improvements, it undeniably feels like a CoD game – and a very fun one at that. Even with the issues that I’ll mention below, the map design, sheer amount of content, and overall feel make it the most fun I’ve had in a CoD game in years. 

16 unique maps at launch

Gavatau in Call of Duty Vanguard

Let’s start with Vanguard’s most significant improvement from Modern Warfare and Black Ops Cold War’s launch – 16 classic multiplayer maps! MW was released with ten, and Cold War was released with only eight – so it didn’t take long for them to get repetitive. But Vanguard released with 16, so you can play for hours and have not even played on all of the maps.

And the majority of the maps are great. They’re interesting and unique, and they actually encourage players to move around. Even with doors returning, there aren’t any positions that are super easy to hold. Modern Warfare could be slow-paced and campy at times, but Vanguard players aren’t afraid to run around and constantly take fights. 

The destruction element to the maps might have been intended to be a game-changer, but unfortunately, it comes across as quite gimmicky. The first couple of minutes of the game can be quite slow, as players don’t want to be the first player to noisily burst through a wall into the unknown.

Instead, you’ll find players shooting holes through small pieces of cover to get the drop on whoever’s on the other side. But, once the action really kicks off and all the destructible environments are gone, you’ll forget they were ever there. It’s unlikely to be an addition that anyone will miss if it doesn’t carry into CoD 2022. 

vanguard red star map

Combat Pacing needs work

It’s absolutely worth mentioning the Combat Pacing option. Setting your matchmaking from Tactical (6v6), all the way up to Blitz (maximum players) allows for much more control over how you want the game to play – which is especially useful for grinding camos or weapons. 

But, Combat Pacing doesn’t always work as intended. You’ll often be matched into whatever lobby’s available, even if it’s the complete opposite of what you were after. 

Broken spawns also prevent Blitz from reaching its full potential. In a perfect world, Blitz would be reminiscent of Nuketown, where you spawn and it only takes a second to get into the action.

You’ll often find yourself spawning directly into a firing squad, and it’ll take several deaths to get out of the trap. Gun-skill goes out the window, and it’s who can find the best position to mow down enemies, rather than who can finesse and outplay their opponents.  

A grinder’s delight

Call of Duty Vanguard bootcamp challenges

For the grinders out there, there’s plenty of challenges to work through. Each weapon will take several hours to max out, and there’s plenty of camo challenges to complete as you’re leveling it up. But, these camo challenges range from standard to utterly outrageous. As an example, players are tasked with getting 100 point-blank kills with bolt-action Sniper Rifles, which Sledgehammer will hopefully adjust ASAP.

The new Operator system is nice, as it encourages players to use every character on offer. Each one has their favorite weapon, and you’ll earn bonus XP for that weapon when using the right Operator. And for reaching max level with every single one, you’ll earn an Epic Operator Outfit to show off your dedication to the grind. 

And of course, regular Challenges have returned. Although bugs are preventing them all from tracking, there’s plenty of Calling Cards to earn for your efforts. 

Fast time-to-kill makes fights inconsistent

Vanguard Beatrice Operator

The one area of the game that needs serious work is the time-to-kill (TTK), and the time-to-die in particular. You’ll die incredibly fast, hardly having any time to react to getting shot. This isn’t a game-breaking problem, but it can get extremely frustrating.  

Often, you’ll be turning a corner and die before you’ve even made it all the way around. With the STG44, you’ll find you’re killing players in only a couple of shots, which makes it feel closer to hardcore than the classic CoD experience. 

And the TTK doesn’t feel consistent either, which is where the time-to-die comes into play. Often, it’ll feel as though you’ll die much faster than you can kill. You’ll tag an enemy across the map with several hitmarkers, but then die in milliseconds, as though every bullet has hit at once. Players have been experiencing packet burst issues, so this could be a netcode issue. 

It would only take a slight time-to-kill reduction to vastly improve Vanguard’s multiplayer experience. 

Vanguard multiplayer Verdict

Vanguard Operators running


At its core, Vanguard is a very good Call of Duty game. It hasn’t reinvented the wheel or introduced any new mechanics that completely change how the game is played, but it runs great, the maps have a satisfying flow, the weapons feel unique, and there’s plenty of content to sink your teeth into. 

Luckily, all of the negatives that I’ve brought up are fixable and aren’t core gameplay features. Of course, bugs and glitches are present – but they’ll likely be fixed soon.

While I criticized the lackluster destruction mechanic, it by no means detracts from the overall experience – it just feels a bit pointless. Also, spawns will need to be addressed for Blitz Combat Pacing to achieve its true potential, and while the time-to-kill feels far too quick, it’s not entirely game-breaking. 

But, issues aside, Vanguard will offer a fun and satisfying experience to both new and returning Call of Duty fans.

Reviewed on PC 

Image Credit: Sledgehammer Games / Activision

Call of Duty: Vanguard

When is Vanguard Season 4 Reloaded? Terminator crossover, Vargo-S & more

Vanguard Season 4 Reloaded is set to be the game’s next major update, so here’s everything we know so far including the possible start date



Vanguard Season 4 Reloaded

Vanguard Season 4 has arrived, but we’re never too far away from the next batch of new content. The next major update is Vanguard Season 4 Reloaded, so here’s everything we know about it so far, including the expected release date.

Vanguard Season 4 is in full swing, and players are still getting to grips with all of the new additions. The update came with a host of new weapons and even saw the return of the classic Shi No Numa map in Zombies.

Things never stay the same in CoD for too long, though, and Season 4 Reloaded is set to bring even more new content to the game. These mid-season updates tend to mean more new weapons, game modes, and weapon balancing changes, and Season 4 is expected to be no different.

Here’s everything we know about Vanguard Season 4 Reloaded so far, including when it will get underway.

Expected Vanguard Season 4 Reloaded release date

Vanguard Operator sat on throne

Sledgehammer Games haven’t announced exactly when Season 4 Reloaded will begin, but we expect it to be during the week commencing July 25.

This date falls at the halfway point of Vanguard Season 4, so it seems likely that the mid-season update will drop around then.

We’ll be sure to update this section as soon as there is the official word from the developers.

Vanguard Season 4 reloaded Vargo-S Assault Rifle

Vanguard Vargo-S

While players were treated to both the Marco 5 and UGM-8 at the beginning of Season 4, there are still some announced new weapons that are yet to be added. The Push Dagger should drop in the coming weeks, whereas the Vargo-S Assault Rifle will likely headline Season 4 Reloaded.

New guns can often completely change the meta, so Vanguard players will be eager to get their hands on the prototype Cold War Vargo 52.

We’ll have to wait and see how the Vargo-S feels, but the devs have already said it has a “high-fire rate, steady aim through sustained fire, and a quick reload.”

Vanguard Season 4 Reloaded Terminator crossover

Vanguard Terminator crossover

After initially teasing the crossover before the beginning of the new season, the Season 4 Batlle Pass announcement on the Call of Duty blog confirmed that Terminator cosmetics are coming in the mid-season update.

Both the T-800 and T-1000 Terminators will arrive as Store Bundles for players to purchase, although they will only be available for a limited time.

The T-800 is the iconic machine first played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the classic 1984 movie. Meanwhile, the T-1000 is a shapeshifter made from Mimetic Polyalloy liquid metal, most commonly associated with Robert Patrick in T2.

That was everything we know so far about Vanguard Season 4 Reloaded, we’ll be updating this page with any new announcements so be sure to check back for the latest information.

For more on Vanguard, take a look at all of the rewards in Ranked Play, as well as how to get the Wunderwaff in Zombies.

Image credits: Activision

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Call of Duty League

How to earn CDL 2022 Major 4 viewership rewards for Vanguard & Warzone

Here’s how you earn Vanguard and Warzone Weapon Blueprints and more by watching the Call of Duty League Major 4 qualifiers and Champs.



Call of Duty League Major 4 viewership rewards

Vanguard and Warzone players can unlock unique cosmetics just by watching the Call of Duty League 2022 Season, so here’s how to connect your account and unlock Weapon Camos, Calling Cards, XP, and more.

As is traditional, the Call of Duty League 2022 season provides Call of Duty Warzone and Vanguard players with the opportunity to earn some unique in-game rewards simply by watching the matches.

Following Seattle Surge’s victory over Atlanta FaZe at Major 3, June 24 marks the start of Major 4. Let’s go over how you can earn Major 4 rewards such as a BAR Weapon Blueprint, Calling Cards, Emblems, and XP Tokens for watching CDL 2022 matches.

How to earn CDL Major 4 viewership rewards

Call of Duty League 2022 season

If you want to earn CDL 2022 viewership rewards in Vanguard and Warzone then all you need to do is connect your Activision account to YouTube and watch the CDL Major 4 Qualifiers, bracket, and Champs weekend.

The Call of Duty League can either be watched on YouTube or the CoD Companion app, so here’s how to link your Activision account on PC and mobile:

  1. Open or the YouTube app
  2. Select your profile photo and hit Settings
  3. Click on Connected Apps
  4. Locate Activision and hit Connect
  5. Sign in to your Activision account

Then, simply watch the Call of Duty League 2022 season through either YouTube or the CoD Companion app, and you can earn all of the free rewards on offer.

CDL Major 4 viewership rewards for Vanguard & Warzone

CDL Major 4 Qualifiers & Bracket rewards

Vanguard double xp tokens

Players can earn a ton of Double XP and Double Weapon XP by watching live matches throughout the CDL 2022 season.

There will be sixteen 30 Minute Double XP tokens up for grabs in the Major 3 Qualifiers and Bracket, with a new level reached for every hour of watch time. Players will earn a regular XP and Double Weapon XP alternating for each hour watched.

  • 1 Hour: 30 Minute Double XP Token
  • 2 Hours: 30 Minute Double Weapon XP Token
  • 3 Hours: 30 Minute Double XP Token
  • 4 Hours: 30 Minute Double Weapon XP Token
  • 5 Hours: 30 Minute Double XP Token
  • 6 Hours: 30 Minute Double Weapon XP Token
  • 7 Hours: 30 Minute Double XP Token
  • 8 Hours: 30 Minute Double Weapon XP Token
  • 9 Hours: 30 Minute Double XP Token
  • 10 Hours: 30 Minute Double Weapon XP Token
  • 11 Hours: 30 Minute Double XP Token
  • 12 Hours: 30 Minute Double Weapon XP Token
  • 13 Hours: 30 Minute Double XP Token
  • 14 Hours: 30 Minute Double Weapon XP Token
  • 15 Hours: 30 Minute Double XP Token
  • 16 Hours: 30 Minute Double Weapon XP Token

With four hours of Double XP to be gained, you’ll find leveling up your weapons much easier across Vanguard and Warzone.

CDL Major 4 rewards

CDL Major 4 viewership rewards

Vanguard and Warzone players can also earn rewards such as Calling Cards, Emblems, and an exclusive Cooper Carbine Blueprint for watching at least half an hour of July Major 4 Champs weekend hosted by New York Subliners.

Here are the CDL 2022 Major 4 rewards and their requirements:

  • Thursday, July 14
    • A Cup of Joe Emblem (1 Hour)
    • 1 Hour Double XP Token (1 Hour)
    • 1 Hour Double Weapon XP Token (2 Hours)
  • Friday, July 15
    • Give Me Liberty Emblem (30 Minutes)
    • 1 Hour Double XP Token (1 Hour)
    • Just a Scratch Calling Card (2 Hours)
  • Saturday, July 16
    • Stand Clear Calling Card (30 Minutes)
    • 1 Hour Double XP Token (1 Hour)
    • Tactical Sprint NYC Calling Card (1 Hour 30 Minutes)
    • 1 Hour Double Weapon XP Token (2 Hours)
  • Sunday, July 17
    • CDL Phantom Emblem (30 Minutes)
    • 1 Hour Double XP Token (45 Minutes)
    • Collecting Fare BAR Blueprint (1 Hour)
    • Let’s Go!!! Calling Card (1 Hour 30 Minutes)
    • 1 Hour Double Weapon XP Token (2 Hours)

For more, you can check out the secret Automaton buff, as well as why the BAR is the most underrated AR in Warzone Season 3.

Image Credit: Activision

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Call of Duty: Vanguard

How to complete Vanguard Zombies Shi No Numa Easter Egg: Main Quest guide

Vanguard’s Shi No Numa map brings a brand-new Zombies Main Quest Easter Egg, so here’s a step-by-step guide to completing it.



Butcher fighting in Vanguard Zombies Shi No Numa map

Call of Duty: Vanguard has finally introduced a round-based map with Season 4’s reimagining of Shi No Numa. There’s another complicated Main Quest to complete, so here’s a step-by-step guide to the Easter Egg.

After Black Ops Cold War Zombies’ success, Treyarch returned to develop Vanguard’s Zombies mode and continue the Dark Aether storyline. However, with a lack of classic features and a new non-round-based format, players slammed the mode for its “embarrasing” lack of content.

The devs added many classic features with Season 2’s Terra Maledicta, but players were still desperate to see round-based return. It finally has with Season 4’s Shi No Numa, and brought a brand-new Main Quest Easter Egg with it.

Here’s a full guide to building the new wonder weapon, completing the Main Quest Easter Egg, and beating the boss.


map of vanguard zombies shi no numa

How to complete Vanguard Zombies Shi No Numa Easter Egg

Like any Call of Duty: Zombies Easter Egg, players will need to complete a series of complex objectives to solve the Main Quest such as finding objects around the map and building the Wonder Weapon.

  • Read more:

Thanks to YouTuber MrDalekJD, we’ve got the full breakdown of how to complete the Shi No Numa Easter Egg.

Wunderwaffe in Shi No Numa

Build the Wunderwaffe DG-2 Wonder Weapon

  1. Head through the Flogger Courtyard and open up the Fishing Hut, then pick up the Weapon Barrel on the shelf right of the door.
  2. Go to Comm Room Exterior and find the generator, then insert the Weapon Barrel.
  3. Head inside the Comm Room itself and follow the prompt to ‘Check Radio’ to the right of the door.
  4. Go back to the generator and finish the round, then complete the Defend the Radio Tower objective.
  5. After this is done, collect the Weapon Barrel from the generator. Then, head back to the radio and pick up the Charged Vacuum Tube.
  6. Go through to the other room inside the Comm Room area and collect the Electrical Fuse Part from a table.
  7. Find the Storage Hut and spend 1000 Points to activate the trap. It will malfunction, so wait around and insert the Electrical Fuse. Once it works, funnel zombies through the trap until it’s fully charged.
  8. Play until Round 15 where Zabala will spawn inside the main hut. Lead her to the Tesla Machine in the Excavation Room and try to let her lightning attack hit it until you get the prompt to pick up the Charged Vacuum Tube beside it.
  9. Head back to the Storage Hut and craft the Wunderwaffe DG-2 at the bench behind the trap.
Dig Site area in Vanguard Zombies Shi No Numa map

Collect the Cypher Wheel Parts & start the Ceremony

  1. After you’ve loaded into Shi No Numa, follow the on-screen prompts to open the door in either the Comm Room or Storage and head to the Dig Site.
  2. Find the Cypher Wheel Parts (glowing circle objects):
    • On a table by a bunk bed in Dormitory
    • On the table in front of the Pack-A-Punch at the Dig Site
    • On the table to the left of the Max Ammo Box in Doctor’s Quarters
  3. Head back to the Doctor’s Quarters Exterior and stand in front of the glowing Monolith in front of a tree.
  4. Allow a Boom Schreier to run in front of the Monolith and kill it at the right time to blow away the vines.
  5. Press the interact button to insert the Cypher Wheels into the Monolith.
  6. Head to one of the red stones at the edge of the Doctor’s Quarters Exterior area and Start the Ceremony. If you’re playing co-op, each player will need to interact with a different one at the same time.
  7. Look out for glowing blue Zombies, let them approach the island the Monlolith is on, and kill them with the Wunderwaffe. If you don’t kill enough, simply play until the next round and try again.
Flogger Trap in Vanguard Zombies Shi No Numa map

Collect Zombie Blood & find Mirror Fragments

  1. Activate the Flogger Trap and head into the Flogger Courtyard, letting the trap fling Zombies towards the deactivated Perk Fountain. Once enough Zombies have been killed, you’ll actually have to drink the Zombie Blood.
  2. Using the temporary speed boost from the blood, find the red orb in either the Mess Hall or spawn room. Follow the red orb until it stops, and then pick up the first Mirror Fragment. However, you’ll need to do it again if the blood effects wear off before you pick it up.
  3. Drink the blood again, then find the map inside the War Room. Look for the X over a location, then head there and look for the mirror piece (you might need to shoot it down).

Follow & shoot glowing blue orbs

  1. Ensure you have everything you need for the fight ahead.
  2. Head back to the Dig Site POI and place the Mirror Fragments at the altar in the middle.
  3. Follow the prompt to energize the podium. If playing co-op, each player will need to interact with a different podium.
  4. Keep an eye on the glowing blue orb as it floats into the air and flies towards one of the four huts. Chase after the blue orb and look for it outside the map, shooting it three times as it relocates.
  5. Make your way back to the Dig Site and follow the prompt to Summon Echo.

Defeat Echo in Shi No Numa Zombies

  1. After the boss fight has begun, look for the glowing blue zombies again. Allow them to reach the bottom level of the dig site and kill them with the Wanderwaffe.
  2. Once enough glowing blue zombies have been killed, a large bubble will form over the area. Make sure you’re inside and once Echo enters the bubble with you, deal as much damage to her as possible until she becomes immune.
  3. The second stage will begin which is exactly the same as step #1, except you’ll be using the Wunderwaffe to kill glowing blue Boom Schreiers instead of regular zombies. Once you’ve killed enough, stay inside the bubble and keep wailing on Echo until she becomes immune again.
  4. Allow the glowing blue Sturmkriegers to reach the lower level, and kill them with the Wunderwaffe until the bubble appears again. One last time, batter Echo with everything you’ve got until she’s dead.
  5. You’ll get the end cut scene and some rewards such as a unique Calling Card.

And that’s everything you need to do to complete Vanguard Zombies’ Shi No Numa Easter Egg!

For more, be sure to check out the best loadouts for the UGM-8 LMG and the Marco 5 SMG in Vanguard, as well as how to summon a Zombie on Warzone’s new Fortune’s Keep map.

Image Credit: Activision

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