Vanguard: The Road To Launch

Hello. Yeah, you! Put down the ice cream sandwich and wash your hands before you touch that keyboard. We’ve got plenty of hot intel to unpack today with a little over a week until the official launch of Call of Duty: Vanguard on Nov. 5th.

We sincerely appreciate you going on this journey with us — from Vanguard’s Reveal to the Alpha and Beta, and now launch. A special thank you to all our Alpha and Beta players that helped us put Vanguard to the test this summer. Player feedback from the public testing phase played an essential part in getting Vanguard launch-ready and we can’t thank you enough. The road ahead looks amazing and all of the comments, videos, and general hype have made us so excited for the launch of this game and also for the future Vanguard content to come.

For more information about Vanguard’s content offerings, check out the Call of Duty super blog that breaks down the launch content Vanguard has to offer, including maps, modes, operators, weapons, and much more.

Now, let’s dive into all that’s changed since Beta.  


Our goal coming out of the Vanguard Beta was to give players a faster and smoother gameplay experience at launch. To achieve that, we’ve reduced weapon swap/pickup animation speeds and are bringing in new movement perks. We’ve also added the “Ninja” perk which allows you to have silent footsteps at all times.

Big changes have been made to our audio mix across the board, such as increasing footstep sounds, reducing the announcer frequency, and much more.  We’ve improved the performance of Vanguard across all platforms and fixed glitches resulting in pixelation, lighting issues, and graphical corruption that some players experienced in Beta. We’ve also squashed some pesky bugs that caused spawn issues in Patrol mode.


  • Distortion effects were removed from muzzle flash and we reduced smoke emitted when firing a weapon
  • Completed a pass on muzzle flash placement/coverage when aiming down sights
  • VFX Environment ambient placement for better sightlines
  • Removed the droplets of water that get all up in your face when it rains
  • Various bugs have been fixed including a bug where certain optics would stop enemy and friendly HUD icons from displaying while ADS
  • We’ve fixed cases of nametags appearing through Destruction
  • Lens flare reduced across all maps (we nerfed the sun)
  • We will continue to refine VFX, Lighting, and UI into launch and monitor player feedback surrounding the various topics of visibility.


  • Audio received a complete mixing and content overhaul to address community feedback from the Public Beta, including more audible footsteps, player and non-player weapons, and map environment content
  • Footsteps are silent when players ADS, Crouch Walk, or have a Perk / Field Upgrade equipped which silences movement 
  • Fixed a bug that caused shots after the first shot to be too quiet
  • Operator quips occur less frequently
  • Asked Butcher to chill out. VO lines are less frequent


  • A bug resulting in unpredictable spawns in Patrol has been fixed as well general tuning of spawn logic globally
  • We will continue to refine spawn logic over time to improve spawns in matches with higher player counts


  • Grenades and incendiaries no longer slow movement speed of players
  • A cap has been placed on max suppression effects
  • Changes have been made to animation times including weapon swap speeds and throwing of equipment (ie: Gammon bombs can be thrown more quickly)
  • Sprint out times have been sped up and re-balanced
  • Dev Tip: Dauntless, a perk that players didn’t have access to in Beta, makes players immune to movement reducing effects


  • Shotgun lethality has been improved
  • Effective Range of most Shotguns, SMGs, and Pistols have been reduced (SMGs and Pistols were overperforming at range and Shotguns were adjusted down due to increased lethality overall)
  • Hipfire spread has been adjusted on most guns (mainly to add more consistency across weapon categories)
  • Tradeoffs on barrels, magazines, and stocks have been reduced
  • Ammo types were rebalanced to include more tradeoffs
  • Squashed bugs affecting Weapon Progression and Detailed Stats
  • Dev Tip: Vanguard’s version of the smoke grenade works differently than previous games. You’re fully hidden from distant enemies, but can be seen at closer ranges allowing you to close the distance between you and the enemy and hunt them down with close-quarter combat builds.
  • Dev Tip: Try setting your mount options to use ADS rather than ADS+Melee. It’s not for everyone but it’s a powerful way to become more accurate in an instant while staying out of harm’s way. It can be combined with blind fire for some great results.

Killstreaks and Field Upgrades

  • Friendly Spy Planes and Counter Spy Planes will no longer appear overhead
  • Spy Planes and Counter Spy Planes move slower and are easier to hit
  • Counter Spy Planes have a shorter duration
  • Health has been reduced on Spy Planes, Counter Spy Planes, and most placed Field Upgrades
  • Death Machine and War Machine have swapped costs
  • Glide bomb is easier to control
  • A max timer has been added to the Radar Jammer and Field Mic Field Upgrades
  • Bugs resulting in graphical corruption of the Attack Dogs have been fixed – no more Dognados 🙁


  • Low Profile has been removed and replaced with Ninja
  • Dead silence has gained the ghost effect in addition to silent movement while active. This offers more flexibility in perk loadouts.


Pre-Launch FAQ

Q: Will spawns/weapons/visibility continue to be tuned after launch as needed?

Absolutely. At launch, we will be paying attention specifically to our weapon balance.  We have 38 weapons at launch, all with different sets of attachments and modifiers.  We want to create a fun balance between our weapons with their own strengths and weaknesses.  We’ll be listening, tuning, and tweaking from the second we go live. We will also continue to tweak spawn logic for better spawns and monitor the broader conversation around visibility.

Q: Are more free maps coming after launch?

Headlining Preseason free content is Shipment, the classic Multiplayer experience re-fitted for Vanguard, currently scheduled for a November 17 arrival. Newcomers and veterans alike can ready up for a fresh take on the map that’s entertained Call of Duty fans for over a decade, providing all Vanguard players a chaotic playground for destruction.

Q: How will Vanguard integrate with Warzone at launch and in Season One?

Building on what we did with Cold War and Warzone, Vanguard will continue Universal Progression so that no matter what mode or game you’re playing, you’re able to level up weapons, gear, Battle Pass, and more simultaneously. Story-wise, we’re weaving the narrative throughout the live season content so that the story will transcend the Single Player Campaign in Vanguard to include Warzone. to go deeper with the narrative and create one connected live game experience.

Q: How will Vanguard and Zombies be integrated?

Vanguard’s Battle Pass system will utilize unified progression between Multiplayer, Call of Duty®: Warzone™, and Zombies. Your player level is shared between the modes, too, so you’re always progressing in tandem for a fully unified experience. To learn more about how the Dark Aether saga will continue in Vanguard, read here.

Q: When can I pre-load the game if I’ve pre-ordered digitally?

All players who preordered the game digitally can preload the title so that it’s ready to go right at launch. Preloading is available for all platforms. On PlayStation®4 and 5 preloading begins on October 28 at 9 PM PT in North and South America. All other countries will begin preloading on October 29 at midnight local time. More information on preloading via other platforms can be found here.

Q: What bonus comes with pre-ordering?

Whether you pre-order a Standard, Cross-Gen, or Ultimate Digital Edition, you receive the following:

  • Night Raid Mastercraft Weapon Blueprint – for immediate use in Call of Duty®: Black Ops Cold War and Warzone™
  • Operator Arthur Kingsley – for immediate use in Call of Duty®: Black Ops Cold War and Warzone™
  • Ghost of War Ultra Skin – for immediate use in Call of Duty®: Black Ops Cold War and Warzone™. Limited time offer valid from October 22nd to November 2nd
  • The opportunity to pre-load the game before launch

Read more about pre-order rewards for Cross-Gen and Ultimate Editions, here.

Q: How will enforcement against potential cheating be handled?

The RICOCHET Anti-Cheat initiative is a multi-faceted approach to combat cheating, featuring new server-side tools which monitor analytics to identify cheating, enhanced investigation processes to stamp out cheaters, updates to strengthen account security, and more. RICOCHET Anti-Cheat’s backend anti-cheat security features will launch alongside Call of Duty®: Vanguard, and with the Pacific update coming to Call of Duty: Warzone. Learn more about Ricochet, here.

Q: Is FOV Slider coming to console?

Yes, FOV Slider is coming to Vanguard on PlayStation and Xbox consoles.

Q: How frequently will Playlists be updated?

While we can’t promise exact cadence, we can say that we plan to update playlists at a higher frequency than previous titles, with a focused consideration to community feedback.

Q: How can I make a report/get support?

To report a bug, issue, or leave feedback about Call of Duty®: Vanguard, click here to participate in our survey. For account-related issues, please go to


Get up to speed!

For a full recap of everything coming to Call of Duty: Vanguard at launch, check out the resources below from the Call of Duty Blog team so you’re ready to jump in on Day One.

Call of Duty®: Vanguard Editions and Pre-Order Benefits Detailed

Call of Duty®: Vanguard Zombies — The Next Chapter in the Dark Aether Saga

Welcome to Call of Duty ®: Vanguard Zombies – Q&A with the Treyarch Team

Call of Duty®: Vanguard Campaign Character Bios

Call of Duty®: Vanguard Campaign Detailed BTS

Inside the Call of Duty®: Vanguard Comic with the Writers

Vanguard Intel: Behind the Scenes with Multiplayer and Champion Hill in Call of Duty®: Vanguard

How to play Champion Hill – A Guide to Call of Duty®: Vanguard

Announcing Ricochet™ Anti-Cheat: A New Initiative for Call of Duty


See you online!

Have constructive feedback? Please let us know your thoughts by tagging @SHGames on Twitter, @sledgehammergames everywhere else, going to r/CODVanguard on Reddit or using #Vanguard on hashtag-friendly platforms. You can also report a bug or leave feedback about Call of Duty®: Vanguard in this survey.

While we’re here – don’t forget to tag @CallofDuty with #CODTopPlays to share your best gameplay clips on Twitter and Instagram.

See you all on November 5th!

Sledgehammer Games Team

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