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Call of Duty: Vanguard: Everything we know

Call of Duty: Vanguard soldier aiming a rifle
(Image credit: Activision)

Want to find out when the Call of Duty: Vanguard release date is? The newest installment in the long-running FPS series has finally launched, and despite the fact that Call of Duty: WWII came out as recently as 2017, we're heading back again. This time, we're be stepping into the shoes of soldiers from around the globe looking to thwart the Axis' advance. 

We're also getting a whole host of content alongside Vanguard's campaign, including a new Stalingrad-based zombies mode and map called Der Anfang, as well as a new Warzone map called Caldera that will be arriving in December.

Early impressions of Vanguard claim it has a lacklustre campaign, but they do point to good multiplayer and generally praise the game's PvP. So, if you're looking for more details about Call of Duty: Vanguard's campaign or multiplayer, Zombies mode, PC requirements, or just dreading how big that download might be, all of the details are listed below. 

When is the Call of Duty Vanguard release date?

The Call of Duty: Vanguard release date is November 5, 2021. Initially revealed in August 2021, a steady stream of information has been coming out ever since. With Multiplayer, Zombies, and Warzone all making their return for this year's WWII-based COD instalment. Check our Call of Duty: Vanguard release time list to find out when it unlocks in your region.

Call of Duty: Vanguard trailer

The official PC Call of Duty: Vanguard trailer highlights some the technical improvements that the game brings to the series.

Everything we know about Call of Duty Vanguard's multiplayer

Call of Duty: Vanguard works on the Modern Warfare/Warzone game engine, so it'll feel like reuniting with an old friend if you've experience with those. With 20 maps available to play, there's plenty of stuff to get stuck into at launch, and 16 of them are traditional Multiplayer maps.

The other four are unique maps for the brand new Champion Hill game mode, which combines the limited lives of Search and Destroy with the frantic action of Team Deathmatch. There's also Patrol, which plays like Hardpoint, but the capture point moves through the map and forces encounters with the enemy team, along with the potential for some sly tactics. 

According to the Call of Duty blog, there are going even more options for customising your Multiplayer experience. There are three types of lobbies you're able to queue up for in the 'Combat Pacing' system, allowing you to choose between smaller and larger lobbies depending on how you feel like playing.

The Gunsmith loadout system is back, but with the option of up to ten attachments slots for some weapons. Hopefully, that'll be good for the meta and lead to some fun and unique gun builds. Sledgehammer has also added a destruction system in Vanguard, allowing players to tactically break bits of scenery and create their own hidey-holes around the map, while sliding your mounted weapon along edges.

What about Call of Duty: Vanguard/Warzone integration?

Warzone was one of the first places in which Call of Duty: Vanguard was teased. In August, there was a chance for winning teams to be sniped during the ending cutscene by Vanguard protagonist, Polina Petrova. Then, the Battle of Verdansk mission took place, forcing whole lobbies to take down a giant bullet-sponge train. It was a hilarious mess.

We're sure to receive new Warzone stuff once Call of Duty: Vanguard comes out, including a new full sized Warzone map for the first time since Warzone launched in early 2020. The new map, which is called Caldera, is set to arrive in December.

Raven Software is working closely with Sledgehammer to make the integration as smooth as possible, and I expect to see plenty of guns enter the fray with Vanguard's release. Keep your eye out for our updated lists on the best Warzone loadouts—the meta is going to shift significantly.

What can we expect from Call of Duty: Vanguard's Zombies mode?

Zombies are back in Call of Duty: Vanguard, led by the studio responsible for it all: Treyarch. Following the recent Zombies announcement, we know more about the mode and name of the map you'll be playing on: Der Anfang. It's a classic Zombies map with brutal gameplay and undoubtedly a hilariously esoteric Easter egg storyline to uncover.

Story-wise, we know that Nazi Oberführer Wolfram Von List was able to plunder alien artefacts with the power to bond humans with Dark Aether entities. It's all very arcane, but what's happened is that Von List has managed to gain the power to raise the dead. This just keeps happening.

Der Anfang is based in Stalingrad, the site of one of the bloodiest battles in history with an estimated 2 million casualties. The mass graves of Stalingrad seem like a decent option for a fascist looking to raise an army of zombies, I guess. He has access to all the undead baddies you're used to, as well as new additions like the Sturmkrieger, who has a machine gun (seems unfair) and the Boom Schreiers, who'll blow up in your face.

The gameplay of Vanguard Zombies is slightly different than what we're used to. Der Anfang will now offer us the opportunity to get right into the action, transporting you through portals right into the thick of it. You'll be travelling to other Zombies maps like Shi No Numa and Multiplayer map, Hotel Royal, completing objectives, and gaining upgrades in your base at Stalingrad. There'll even be new loot items known as the Altar of Covenants. This offers a random upgrade every time you return from an objective, from familiar favourites like Brain Rot to Ammo Gremlin, who reloads holstered weapons over time.

What are the Vanguard campaign story and setting like?

The Call of Duty: Vanguard campaign is set in World War II and features battles from all four fronts. That's Western, Eastern, the Pacific, and North Africa. 

Throughout the campaign, you'll be tasked with taking multiple different characters with unique points of view through the action of tide-turning battles in the war. The characters are special forces agents who are loosely, but not one hundred per cent, based on real soldiers who fought during WWII. Four characters are available:

  • Sgt. Arthur Kingsley, British paratrooper and leader of Task Force One
  • Lt. Polina Petrova, sniper for the Red Army
  • Lt. 1st Class Wade Jackson of the US Navy
  • Pvt. Lucas Riggs of the Australian Army

These allied soldiers have put together Task Force One, a special unit that must face down SS and Gestapo leader, Heinrich Freisinger, who's attempting to keep Nazi rule intact during the twilight of the war.

What is the Call of Duty: Vanguard download size?

Though we know that Call of Duty: Vanguard is half the size of Warzone, it'll still be a fairly hefty download. At launch, the game will require 61 GB of storage PC, with 36 GB just for multiplayer and zombies. The high rez assets cache is an additional 32 GB, or 64 GB if you want to run the game in Ultra 4K. This can be turned off in the settings menu, though.

What are the Call of Duty: Vanguard PC requirements?

Here's what you'll need if you want to run Vanguard on PC:

Minimum requirements

  • Operating system: Windows 10 64-bit (latest update)
  • CPU: Intel Core i3-4340 or AMD FX-6300
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Storage: 36 GB storage at launch (Multiplayer and Zombies only)
  • Hi-Rez assets cache: Up to 32 GB
  • Video card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 or AMD Radeon RX 470
  • Video Memory: 2 GB

Recommended requirements

  • Operating system: Windows 10 64-bit (latest update) or Windows 11 64-bit (latest update)
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K or AMD Ryzen 5 1600X
  • RAM: 12 GB
  • Storage: 61 GB at launch
  • Hi-Rez assets cache: Up to 32 GB
  • Video card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 580
  • Video Memory: 4 GB

Ultra 4k requirements

  • Operating system: Windows 10 64-bit (latest update) or Windows 11 64-bit (latest update)
  • CPU: Intel Core i9-9900K or AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Storage: 61 GB at launch
  • Hi-Rez assets cache: Up to 64 GB
  • Video card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 or AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT
  • Video Memory: 10 GB

Will the Zombies Easter egg storyline make any sense at all?

Absolutely not.