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How does Pack-a-Punch work in Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies?

Ever since the first zombies mode launched in Call of Duty: World at War, the series has been evolving and advancing this survival experience in each game. What started as a simple survival mode has turned into a cryptic puzzle of esoteric hints, hidden clues, and difficult-to-execute feats. The newest iteration of this undead survival mode makes a return in Call of Duty: Vanguard as Der Anfang and has many changes to the formula. One thing that does return is the ever-important Pack-a-Punch machine.

The Pack-a-Punch has been around since the inception of zombies in Call of Duty. It is always meant to improve any weapon you feed into it. However, exactly how it does that, or what’s required to upgrade your weapon, varies from game to game. With Call of Duty: Vanguard shaking things up even more, knowing how this all-important mechanic works will help you and your friends survive far longer against the corpses trying to rend your flesh. To make sure that doesn’t happen, here’s how the new Pack-a-Punch works in Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies.

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What is the Pack-a-Punch?

If you’re new to the whole Zombies experience with Call of Duty: Vanguard, you may not realize what the Pack-a-Punch is or why it’s so vital for your survival. In short, this is the only way to make your weapons stronger. Since the zombies will not only become more numerous but also deal more damage and get more health as the waves go on, eventually any weapon’s base damage just won’t be enough to keep you from getting overwhelmed.

While each gun is slightly different, upgrading them with the Pack-a-Punch will almost always increase their damage, give them a larger magazine, and perhaps offer some other passive effects or attachments.

How does the Pack-a-Punch work in Call of Duty: Vanguard?

Buying the level 3 upgrade from a pack-a-punch.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

In Call of Duty: Vanguard, the most important change to the Pack-a-Punch is its availability. While in most versions of Call of Duty Zombies you needed to gather and spend points to find the Pack-a-Punch machine, as well as figure out how to power it up, in Call of Duty: Vanguard, you won’t need to go through any of that trouble. The machine is functional and available right from the start. However, you will still need the required currency to use it. You can find it in the Fountain Square area, which is where you and your team first spawn when starting up Der Anfang mode.

Upgrading your weapons is color-coded to indicate how strong that weapon is. Every gun starts out as white, then can be punched up to blue, purple, and orange as the final upgrade tier. Each upgrade at the Pack-a-Punch will increase the damage of your gun substantially but cost increasing amounts of Essence, the currency in Zombies mode. Here’s how the costs break down for each upgrade:

  • Blue tier upgrades cost 7,500 Essence
  • Purple tier upgrades cost 15,000 Essence
  • Orange tier upgrades cost 30,000 Essence

Along with perks, saving up your Essence for Pack-a-Punch upgrades will probably be the most important factor in you surviving the tougher rounds in Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies. We recommend saving up and not spreading your upgrades across multiple weapons until one is fully upgraded first to make sure you don’t fall behind as the undead scourge grows stronger and stronger.

Jesse Lennox
Jesse Lennox loves writing, games, and complaining about not having time to write and play games. He knows the names of more…
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