CoD: Vanguard's zombies was trash, and the campaign was only decent, but it's a Call of Duty game. You're buying it for the multiplayer. And we can speak fairly highly of the multiplayer. They've kept in a few of the divisive elements from MW2019 like doors and tac sprinting, and the map design is only mediocre, but a lot of the fundamentals are there. This isn't a review though, if you were looking for that, then you want this article. No, in this article, we're going to through all of the multiplayer modes available to play in Call of Duty: Vanguard, including those that might be coming in the future.
What Game Modes Does Call of Duty: Vanguard Have?
There are eight cores modes available to play, and all of these are also available to be played in Hardcore (no HUD, less health, and friendly fire enabled). There are also featured modes available to play each week that offer a wacky twist on one of these eight core modes. Here's an overview on each of the core modes.
Vanguard: Arms Race
Arms Race was introduced with the Season 2 mid-season update and is a large-scale multiplayer mode with vehicles. Here, two teams compete against each other and have to capture or destroy fortresses on a snowy mountain map. Weapons and equipment can be purchased by collecting money and even jeeps and tanks can be bought. You can find a more detailed explanation of the mode in our Arms Race article.
Vanguard: Team Deathmatch
You all know how Team Deathmatch works, so we aren't going to explain it in great detail here. Basically, kill the other team.
Domination is a Call of Duty classic, and again, you probably all already know how this works. There are three objectives on the map: A (by one team's spawn), B (in the middle of the map), and C (by the other team's spawn). Capture and hold these positions. Your team gets points over time for each objective they hold.
You can hold crazy power positions in Vanguard's respawn modes, try the current AR meta, the Automaton.
Vanguard: Kill Confirmed
Kill Confirmed is basically Team Deathmatch, with the exception that players drop dog tags on their body when they die, and you only score points for collecting the dog tags, not actually making the kills. You can also collect your own team's tags when they go down to prevent the enemy scoring. The key to Kill Confirmed is sticking together.
Vanguard: Search and Destroy
Search and Destroy is another classic. This is basically Call of Duty's competitive mode. The game is played in rounds, and each round you only have one life; you don't respawn. Each round, you will either be playing on attack or defense. When you're on attack, one member of your team has to collect the bomb in the spawn and plant it at one of two bomb sites, A or B. The defending team has to stop them from doing this, but if the attackers do plant a bomb then defenders have to defuse the bomb before it explodes, or they lose the round.
A key to winning S&D on most of these maps is to have someone holding angles with a sniper. Try the current meta: the Kar98K.
This is Vanguard's new mode, and it probably plays the best of all the modes on the current maps. There is one objective that needs to be held to score points, but as both teams are fighting over the objective, it's constantly moving around the map. Basically, King of the Hill but if the hill got up and walked around the map.
Kill everyone. No teams. Just kill the other players as many times as you can.
In Hardpoint two teams fight for control of a certain area, the downstairs of a building for instance, and whichever team are in the area score points. This area moves to a new location every 60 seconds.
You need aggression to push the point, take an MP40, the current sub meta.
In Control, both teams have 25 lives a round. You play best of three rounds to win. The attackers of each round have to capture two control points while the defenders stop them. Each time you capture a point, you've captured it for good and no longer need to defend it.
Unfortunately, it feels like Control was added to the game after the fact, and none of the maps feel designed with Control in mind, so it doesn't work great.
Ranked Modes in CoD: Vanguard
Call of Duty's Ranked mode is not in the game yet, but it's on its way. In Ranked, you play 4 vs. 4 matches of Search and Destroy, Hardpoint, and Control, but using the CDL rule set. At the moment, this means no LMGs, no Shotguns, No Melee weapons, and quite a lot more.
Ranked mode is due to arrive in Call of Duty: Vanguard Season 2.
Vanguards' New Gunfight: Champion Hill
Gunfight is gone, the two vs. two tourney style mode, but it's been replaced with Champion Hill. Champion Hill is basically CoD's take on the CS:GO / Valorant format. You play rounds and earn money that can be spent between rounds on better and better weapons. But you only have 18 lives, so once you lose them all in a given round, you're out of the game for good. This continues until one team wins. Champion Hill can be played solos, duos, or trios.
Featured Modes in CoD: Vanguard
These are also featured each week. These are usually just the core modes with a twist. So an example might be Domination, but only on maps that are set in the Pacific. Or Champion Hill, but only with rockets.
You can check out the CoD: Vanguard featured modes each week via our live playlist article.
What is Combat Pacing in CoD: Vanguard?
Combat Pacing is a new feature that lets you search for core game modes with either Tactical, Assault, or Blitz pacing. Tactical is played with the fewest players, Assault is played with a normal amount of players, and Blitz is played with loads of players. Basically, you can choose how chaotic your games are.
And it really does give the multiplayer element of the game something that we hope to see in new Call of Duty's going forward. Having your own choice between more or less chaotic play is one of the game's best points of innovation, which is more than can be said for anything in the Zombies…
How Do You Select Game Modes in Vanguard?
From the main multiplayer menu, press Square / X while hovering over “Quickplay” and you get the option to simply select or deselect the core modes you want to play. From this menu, you can also choose to play Hardcore or not, and you can choose which Combat Pacing you would like.
Is CoD: Vanguard Getting New Modes?
Almost certainly, and not just because Call of Duty's historically do get new modes. As we saw in the opening weekend of the Call of Duty League, none of the current competitive maps (Bocage, Tuscan, Berlin, Gavutu, and Desert Siege) work for Control. So it might well be replaced as the third competitive mode, this is where we'll see SHG try and make their own comp mode. And as we mentioned earlier, we already know that War is coming.
That was your complete guide to the game modes in Call of Duty: Vanguard. How many do you think they'll replace in Modern Warfare 2?