‘Call of Duty: Vanguard’ release date, beta, cheating and everything we know so far

Here’s everything you need to know about ‘Call of Duty: Vanguard’ and when you can play it

It’s official – Call of Duty: Vanguard, the next instalment in the Call of Duty franchise, is coming later this year.

After a series of cryptic teasers, it looks as though we’ll finally get our hands on the upcoming Call of Duty game on November 5, 2021.

Developers Sledgehammer Games describe Call of Duty: Vanguard as historically-inspired – “rooted but not beholden” to the history of World War II. Boasting 60fps on consoles, Call of Duty: Vanguard promises “breath-taking visual fidelity, a photorealistic world, lifelike characters and optimized performance”. Expect weapons, vehicles and equipment which reflect the gritty reality of the time period.


Set during World War II, Call of Duty: Vanguard will thrust players into visceral combat across the entire theatre of war – from Europe to North Africa, the Eastern Front and the Pacific.

Call of Duty: Vanguard promises a rather epic-looking experience from the developers who brought us Call of Duty: WWII.

Here’s everything we know about Call of Duty: Vanguard:

Call of Duty: Vanguard release date, platforms and price

It’s not here just yet – Call of Duty: Vanguard is being released on November 5, 2021.

Available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, the new Call of Duty game is available to pre-order now, with three different versions available.

The standard PS4, Xbox One and PC versions cost £59.99 and include:

  • Call of Duty: Vanguard
  • Mastercraft Blueprint in Black Ops: Cold War and Warzone
  • Operator Arthur Kingsley in Black Ops: Cold War and Warzone
  • Frontline Weapons Pack

The “Cross Gen” version allows access to the PS4 and Xbox One editions as well as PS5 and Xbox Series S/X and costs £69.99. This includes:

  • Everything in the Standard Edition
  • 5 Hours Double Weapon XP

There’s also a Call of Duty: Vanguard Ultimate Edition available for £99.99 which includes a number of added extras. This includes:

  • Everything in the Standard and Cross Gen Editions
  • 5 Hours Double XP
  • Task Force One Pack
  • Vanguard Battle Pass Bundle

Pre-ordering any of these editions will grant you access to the multiplayer open beta.

Call of Duty: Vanguard reveal trailer

During the highly anticipated Call of Duty: Vanguard reveal event, the first official trailer was unveiled. Showing an extended cinematic depicting World War II raging across the globe, we got a glimpse of numerous harrowing moments of heroism.

And while the trailer is essentially an extended cinematic, there were also a few glimpses of gameplay hidden between shots.

Call of Duty: Vanguard gameplay

One of the big selling points of Call of Duty: Vanguard is that it will bring fans to the “tide-turning battles” of World War II. Expect some familiar theatres of war as we return to some of the grittiest battles of the war.

Notably, Vanguard will give players the opportunity to see the war through the eyes of characters based on real soldiers who fought in WWII.

“The game isn’t just about the diverse locations, but about the people,” said game director Josh Bridge. “The motif of ‘ordinary became extraordinary’ was something the team found creativity inspiring”.

He also explained that across both single and multiplayer, players would feel a “blunt, visceral” approach to combat, stating that the gunplay had to feel “incredible”.

Additionally, a new ‘blindfire’ mechanic will be seen in multiplayer, allowing players to fire from behind cover without looking.

Sledgehammer Games also aims to achieve a “unified experience” across Vanguard, Black Ops Cold War and Modern Warfare. This means that Warzone will receive new Call of Duty: Vanguard content as well as an all-new map.

Treyarch will develop Vanguard‘s Zombies mode for continuity with Black Ops Cold War.

Call of Duty: Vanguard campaign

At Gamescom Opening Night Live, we got an extended gameplay demo for the game that showed off a fair whack of the game’s single-player campaign. You can check out that video embedded above.

The video follows the exploits of Polina Petrova, an expert sniper from the 138th Rifle Division, who is based on the real-life World War 2 fighter Lyudmila Pavlichenko. In the dem shown at the event, she takes on a stealth mission through the newly Nazi-occupied Stalingrad. The gameplay seems to suggest there’s going to be more of an emphasis on stealth and tactical gameplay than simply just gunning things down this time around.

Call of Duty: Vanguard cheating

Over the course of the latest Call of Duty games’ beta weekends, reports began to surface that cheating is already a huge issue in Call of Duty: Vanguard. The most obvious account of this was in the cross play beta last weekend, where many players shared that they were experiencing issues with less than charitable players hacking the game right from the start.

This shouldn’t be a problem in the main game, though, and should only be isolated to the beta. Activision and Sledgehammer Games are set on cracking down on the issue of cheating in a more permanent and hardcore way ahead of Vanguard’s launch. Drastic measures – such as banning players who are already banned from Call of Duty: Warzone from Call of Duty: Vanguard – are in place, and a new anti-cheat system will be introduced to help stem the tide of cheating in the future, too.

Vanguard and Warzone will be debuting a new anti-cheat system developed by Raven, too – though at the time of writing we don’t know too much about it. The PC anti-cheat will launch alongside Warzone’s new map, and it will be available across the entire Call of Duty game experience. Expect to hear more about it  “in the coming weeks prior to Vanguard’s launch,” according to Activision.

Last month, the official Call of Duty Twitter account also warned that “banwaves are ongoing” and that it had “just banned 100,000 cheaters” in Call of Duty: Warzone – expect those numbers to increase as the launch cycle for the new game gets underway.

Call of Duty: Vanguard beta and how to play it

If you’re dying to get your hands on Call of Duty: Vanguard before November 5, then you’re in luck – a number of beta tests are expected before launch.

Although not confirmed by Activision just yet, Modern Warzone claims to have the low-down on when the Vanguard beta tests will be taking place:

  • August 27 – 29: Alpha
  • September 10 – 21: PlayStation Beta
  • September 16 – 20: Open Beta for All

We’ll keep you updated when we have official beta dates – but it’s worth noting they accurately predicted the game’s official reveal.

Call of Duty: Vanguard multiplayer will have 20 maps

That’s right – Call of Duty: Vanguard will launch with a whopping 20 multiplayer maps to dive into with your friends. Most importantly, Vanguard will take a more “tactical” approach to multiplayer than its Call of Duty predecessors – said to be more in line with Rainbow Six Siege.

So far, only one of these maps has been named – Eagle’s Nest. But Sledgehammer confirmed that 16 of these 20 multiplayer maps will offer core 6v6 modes, while the other four maps will focus on smaller 2v2 skirmishes.

Vanguard will also include “reactive gameplay environments” which include destructible environmental features. These can be used to open new pathways through the battlefield.

A new feature called “combat pacing” allows players to choose the kind of combat they encounter during multiplayer, with three different options. “Blitz” allows for a more frantic, target-rich environment, while “Tactical” will play at a slower pace, with fewer players and plenty of opportunity to set up ambushes.

There will also be a brand-new game mode called “Champion Hill” to be revealed soon.

Call of Duty: Vanguard is getting a Zombies mode

It’s official – the zombies are back in Call of Duty: Vanguard. The popular Zombies game mode is returning, and while Sledgehammer Games is developing the core Vanguard game, they’re handing Zombie mode back to Treyarch.

This is a huge deal – Treyarch originally created the Zombies game mode for Call of Duty: World at War so they’ve certainly got the pedigree when it comes to zombie-bashing antics.

And in a “franchise first” the upcoming Vanguard Zombies mode will be connected to the story established in Black Ops: Cold War’s Zombies mode.

Much like previous Zombies modes, this will revolve around surviving “the relentless onslaught of the undead” and will likely please fans of this unique survival mode.

Call of Duty: Vanguard will affect Warzone

That’s right – Vanguard will also bring changes to Call of Duty: Warzone.

The biggest of these comes with a brand-new map, which has not yet been revealed. But it looks as though Vanguard may well move Warzone beyond Verdansk. Raven Studios has led development on this new map, which player can expect to appear sometime next year.

However, Sledgehammer Games also confirmed that both Vanguard and Warzone have been built on the same engine – guaranteeing seamless integration when it comes to new weapons and operators.

“Post launch, Vanguard together with Warzone will offer a massive calendar of free post-launch content featuring new maps, modes, playlists, limited time events and season events, as well as community celebrations and more.”

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