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Call of Duty: Vanguard multiplayer guide — 10 tips and tricks to get started

As with most Call of Duty games, the latest entry, Vanguard, has a robust multiplayer suite for you to enjoy, featuring various modes, a laundry list of customization options, and more. While the series has amassed its fair share of players over the years who know how multiplayer works, newcomers might need some help starting off on the right foot. Beyond that, Vanguard has many changes from the previous Call of Duty games, so even veteran players have a lot to learn this time around.

Thankfully, we’ve got a hefty list of Vanguard multiplayer tips and tricks compiled below, covering movement, positioning, loadouts, settings, and a lot more. These are 10 essential tips you should be aware of when playing Call of Duty: Vanguard multiplayer.

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Adjust your FOV (and other settings)

FOV slider in Call of Duty: Vanguard.

Field of View (FOV) sliders have appeared in Call of Duty games on PC for a while, but Vanguard marks the first time the feature has been available on console. We highly suggest moving the slider up to around 100 from the default of 80. In essence, when you slide the bar up, this makes it so that your field of view is zoomed out more, giving you a larger view of your surroundings. This is a major factor, as console players have always been at a disadvantage when facing off against those on PC. We like to use a FOV setting of around 105, but use what works best for you. The higher the FOV, the more zoomed-out things will be, so there is such a thing as “too high” in this case.

Aside from that, be sure to tinker with the rest of the settings, as many default options are not ideal. We go into greater depth in our Vanguard controller settings guide.

Don’t forget to mount when shooting from afar

This is a simple tip that many newcomers neglect. Mount your weapon on most flat surfaces for substantially less recoil. In the clip above, you can see just how effective this strategy is, as we were able to successfully eliminate multiple players while sticking to the targets with ease. To do so, aim down sights while up against a waist-high surface, doorway, or on the side of a flat object, and you’ll see the “mount” prompt appear. Press the button to interact, and you’ll mount your weapon, so long as you continue to aim down sights. Do this every time during long-range engagements. When battling at around 15 meters or so, it’s less necessary, but beyond that, you should mount every time.

You don’t always need to use all attachment slots

Weapon Gunsmith featuring attachments in Call of Duty: Vanguard.

New with Vanguard is the ability to equip up to 10 weapon attachments. This is a major change, as in Black Ops Cold War, the most you could equip was eight with the use of the Gunfighter Wildcard. However, depending on your playstyle, it might not make sense to use all 10. Many attachments have cons that sometimes outweigh the benefits. So while it might be tempting to utilize all 10, you may be hindering yourself if you do.

For instance, if all of your attachments aid you in being as accurate as possible, but you have an open slot with options that go against accuracy, it might not be a good idea to equip anything else. This isn’t always the case, but be sure you carefully evaluate the last few attachments, as they might cause more harm than good.

Pay attention to the combat pacing

Combat Pacing menu in Call of Duty: Vanguard.

Another new feature in Vanguard is the Combat Pacing system, which is a game-changer. From the main screen, to the right of the Quickplay option is Filter, and if you click on this, you can select between three options: Tactical, Assault, and Blitz.

Tactical gives you a bit more of a slower-paced match, with fewer enemies to take on during a match. This is by no means boring, but it instead allows you to play more tactically. Blitz, on the other hand, is the exact opposite, with chaotic pacing featuring large amounts of players. Choose this option if you want an intense, fast-paced battle wherein you’re bound to encounter enemies every few seconds. Assault is a middle ground, featuring balanced pacing.

Make sure you change it up from time to time depending on your playstyle!

Movement and positioning are key

While accuracy and gun skill are important in any shooter, movement and positioning are just as crucial, and it’s something new players tend to overlook. There’s a lot of nuance that goes into effective positioning, and it’s largely situational, but the main idea is to avoid rushing your foes head-on. One thing that can help is to pay attention to your teammates and where they are when they’re eliminated.

If you see a teammate on your mini-map run down a hall and then get eliminated, you should deduce that an opponent is coming down that same hallway toward you. Look out for the skull icons on your screen that indicate a teammate’s death. Likewise, if all of your team is on one side of the map, it stands to reason that most of your competition will be on the opposite side, simply due to how the spawning system works.

The main takeaway is to use cues around you to determine where to go (or where not to go). Simply running ahead haphazardly is a great way to get yourself eliminated unless you’re a pro player. Come up to your enemies from behind or from the side instead of head-on.

Experiment with any attachments in private matches

Loadouts in Call of Duty: Vanguard.

One neat thing about Call of Duty: Vanguard is the number of attachments you have to experiment with. Many weapons have up to 70 different attachments to unlock, which can take a while. Since this can be such a grind, it’s a good idea to head into a private match where all of the attachments are unlocked by default. That way, you can test each of them out to see if they’re worth grinding for. You’d be surprised which attachments work well, while others might not work as expected. Either way, you have full reign to try out every attachment in the game in private matches.

Each Operator gives XP boosts toward specific weapons

Halima Operator in Call of Duty: Vanguard.

Operators have undergone a major change in Call of Duty: Vanguard. They now have their own progression systems, with cosmetics and other features to unlock. One thing that most players might have missed is the fact that each Operator has a “favorite weapon.” When using an Operator with their favorite weapon, you’ll gain additional XP and weapon XP for that particular firearm. It isn’t a ton, but if you plan on using a certain weapon anyway, you might as well swap over to the appropriate Operator so it takes less time to reach max level. Note that only some weapons benefit from this trick, so take a look at the list of Operators to see which ones apply.

Make sure your perks and Field Upgrades adhere to your playstyle

Loadouts in Call of Duty: Vanguard.

Perks have been in Call of Duty for what seems like forever, and many of them have remained unchanged across recent entries. This time around, many perks have returned, but with slight variations, such as which slot they fall into. There are certain weapon attachments and Field Upgrades that mirror attachments, so it’s a good idea to avoid being redundant. For instance, there’s the Ninja perk that allows you to move silently. However, the Unmarked weapon proficiency does the same, as does the Dead Silence Field Upgrade. So, it’s a good idea to avoid running all of these at once, as it’s not as efficient.

Likewise, you should pick perks that actually line up with your playstyle, which might change from map to map or even depending on the game mode. It’s easy to run the same perks over and over, but we advise experimenting and paying closer attention to which ones you select. For instance,  if you’re someone who likes to hang back and snipe from afar, using the Engineer perk (which allows you to see enemy equipment through walls) isn’t the best choice. Instead, go with Radar or High Alert. If you find that a certain match isn’t playing out how you’d expect, don’t forget to swap your perks on the fly.

Set up a clan for bonus XP

Clans in Call of Duty: Vanguard.

This is a simple tip, but it’s one that you shouldn’t ignore. Join a clan to earn passive bonus XP! This gives you a 10% XP bonus when playing with members of your clan, so it’s a no-brainer to follow this step. To do so, head to the Social section of the menu where you can either form a clan, join one, or alter an existing group. If you plan on playing with friends anyway, make sure you don’t skip this tip!

Don’t play Vanguard MP like Warzone

Call of Duty: Warzone has certainly captivated a large audience, so it’s easy to see how many players might be used to the way that game feels and plays. The thing is — Vanguard is a much faster-paced experience, with a shorter time to kill (TTK) and quicker matches. In Warzone, it’s common to play passively, as you often only get one chance to come back after you’re eliminated. It’s far riskier to be aggressive in Warzone since staying alive is the main goal.

In Vanguard, you can definitely afford to run around a bit more, especially on large maps. In fact, we encourage doing that, as you’ll need to move around to learn the layout of the new stages. Aside from that, we recommend building your weapons differently in Vanguard than in Warzone. For one thing, since the TTK is shorter in Vanguard, you can afford to have a smaller magazine size on your weapons, as you’ll need fewer bullets to secure an elimination. A smaller mag often means you’ll be able to move around quicker on your feet, which is something to consider when building your weapons.

The main idea here is that you shouldn’t play Vanguard like Warzone because they are mechanically different from one another, despite feeling similar.

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