Shotguns are typically not recommended on the vast majority of maps in Call of Duty: Vanguard, since most of them simply aren’t ideal for the engagements you’ll come across. That isn’t to say you should never use a shotgun, but you’ll definitely want to be choosy when deciding which to bring with you. The best in the game is the Combat Shotgun, as it has decent range, high damage, and other assets that put it above the rest. Even though it’s so good, there are definitely some attachments you’ll want to prioritize over others when building the weapon.
Here, we’ll dive into what you’ll need to know about the Combat Shotgun, with recommended builds for most playstyles in Call of Duty: Vanguard.
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The thing about shotguns is that they need to be powerful enough to be useful while not feeling overpowered. This is something that has always been an issue in past Call of Duty games, as shotguns either feel overpowered or the exact opposite, making them hard to recommend in any sense. The Combat Shotgun definitely feels overpowered, especially on maps like Das Haus or Shipment, as you can easily get one-hit eliminations from several meters away. It’ll likely get tweaked as Vanguard evolves.
The other thing about the Combat Shotgun is that its hip-fire accuracy is high, meaning you can pull off a shot effectively without having to aim down sights (ADS). Since shotguns use pellets with a wide spread, you don’t have to be totally accurate to secure an elimination, which is why it’s so useful. This combined with its relatively high ammo count, decent reload speed, and fire rate makes this weapon particularly fantastic.
|M97 Full Choke
|CGC 2M Wire
|SMLE Pistol Grip
|16 Gauge 10 Round Drum
|Pine Tar Grip
The first build we’ll recommend is one you should use on maps like Das Haus, Dome, or Shipment. This is a fast-paced loadout that prioritizes being able to hip fire quickly while preserving your mobility, speed, and some range. Start by using the M97 Full Choke Muzzle for a tighter pellet spread and a boost to your hip-fire accuracy. This will keep more of the pellets from spreading out all over the place, allowing you to secure more one-hit eliminations.
Then, we advise the Sawed-Off Barrel, which boosts the damage by a considerable amount and improves vital damage, movement speed, and ADS walking speed. It does slightly reduce damage range and hip-fire accuracy, but the damage boost you get makes it worth it to run this attachment. For the Optic slot, you can really pick anything that won’t penalize your ADS speeds like the Slate Reflector. You’ll be mostly hip-firing this weapon, so an Optic isn’t as important.
Since this is more of a run-and-gun build, you’ll want to use the CGC 2M Wire Stock for its boost to sprint-to-fire speed and movement speed properties. This will help you start shooting much faster while keeping you nimble on your feet. After that, we recommend the SMLE Pistol Grip Underbarrel, an attachment that gives you even better sprint-to-fire times and hip-fire accuracy. Then, we advise the 16 Gauge 10 Round Drum Magazine, which gives you plenty of ammo to take out multiple foes before needing to reload. If you’re confident, you can swap over to the 7 Round Drums, which will make you faster, but we like having as much ammo as possible.
Next, equip the Packed Powder Ammo Type, which improves your damage range. This will combine well with hip-firing, as you’ll be able to take out opponents from farther away. After that, we recommend the Pine Tar Grip Rear Grip for its hip-fire and recoil improvements. With that attachment, you’ll be a hip-firing machine. Use the Vital Proficiency to increase the hitbox for critical shots, making it more consistent to secure one-hit eliminations. And finally, we highly recommend the Quick Kit, since it increases your sprint speed, which is ideal for a run-and-gun setup.
|Perk slot 1
|Perk slot 2
|Perk slot 3
With this being a fast-paced, run-and-gun class, having Ghost equipped in your first perk slot will help you succeed, as it prevents you from showing up on the minimap during an enemy Spy Plane (UAV). For perk slot 2, we like Forward Intel, which allows you to see indicators for enemies on your minimap, as well as a larger minimap overall. This perk will help you go on a rampage with your Combat Shotgun. Finally, we have an unorthodox suggestion, which is to use Overkill for perk slot 3 and equip a Riot Shield as your secondary weapon to protect your back. This, of course, is sort of a cheesy setup, but it’s in line with the all-powerful Combat Shotgun.
We recommend the Riot Shield with this build so it can protect your back as you run around small maps.
Finishing off the build, we like to use Thermite, which works well on Das Haus if you know where to throw it. Use it to clear out a hall or to simply lure someone in a different direction. For tactical equipment, we love Stims since they immediately begin health regeneration. With a fast-paced build, you’ll likely be getting into numerous engagements, so the quick health regeneration will come in handy.
|M97 Full Choke
|SMLE Pistol Grip
|12 Gauge 5 Round Tube
|Pine Tar Grip
The next build is more so meant to be used alongside a mid-to-long-range weapon and is more practical on larger maps. For this loadout, we’ll be prioritizing damage output, range, and practicality. Start off by using the M97 Full Choke Muzzle, just like before. Remember, this gives you a tighter pellet spread, allowing you to gain more consistent one-hit eliminations. Follow that up with the Sawed-Off Barrel, giving you a tremendous damage boost while improving your vital damage as well. This does widen your pellet spread, but the Full Choke Muzzle should offset some of the downsides.
After that, we recommend selecting the Slate Reflector Optic, which gives you 1.35x magnification with no penalties to ADS. You might be aiming down sights with this build more than the previous, so an optic is slightly more important here. We then advise using the Wire Custom Stock for its additional hip-fire accuracy, ADS speed boost, and movement speed bonus. This will slightly counteract one of the heavier attachments we’ll use later on.
Keep the SMLE Pistol Grip Underbarrel since it boosts your sprint-to-fire speed and hip-fire accuracy, both of which are ideal for quickly pulling off shots as you run around the map. Now, we recommend swapping over to the 12 Gauge 5 Round Tube Magazine, which substantially increases your overall damage, though you’ll need to get in close to reap the benefits of this. Its additional damage is high enough to offset its downsides, so it’s definitely worth trying out. Then, to push the damage output even further, use the Slug Ammo Type, which boosts your damage even more while improving your range and penetration through walls.
The rest of the build is the same as the last. Equip the Pine Tar Grip Rear Grip for its recoil control and hip-fire properties, and the Vital Proficiency, which increases the hitbox for critical shots. This increases your chances of securing a one-hit elimination. Finally, the Quick Kit is hard to pass up, but you can also go with On-Hand, a Kit that allows you to use equipment faster.
|Perk slot 1
|Perk slot 2
|Perk slot 3
For perks, stick with Ghost this time around because you can’t really go wrong with it. You’ll be glad you aren’t showing up during enemy UAVs. Then, swap over to Radar for perk slot 2, which allows you to see enemies on your minimap when they fire unsilenced weapons. While Vanguard is still in its infancy, you’re more likely to come across players not using a suppressor. Then, go with Overkill once again — this is where the build becomes fleshed out.
Instead of using the Riot Shield, you should swap to an assault rifle like the STG44 or something else that works well at range. This will allow the build to be more versatile, as the Combat Shotgun can cover you up close, while the mid-to-long-range assault rifle will be used from afar. Snipers are also effective but much harder to use, so pick a weapon based on your skill level.
Finally, let’s talk equipment. Thermites are usually ideal in Vanguard since they can stick to surfaces and enemies and have a lasting effect. Then, switch over to the S-Mine 44 so you can effectively cover your back as you hold down an area. If it goes off, swap over to your Combat Shotgun to defend.
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