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Call of Duty: Vanguard

CoD Vanguard Zombies: Dark Aether, Der Anfang characters, Artifacts, 32 upgrades, Perks & loadouts

Call of Duty: Zombies has been a hugely popular mode for the franchise, and here’s everything confirmed for Vanguard’s Zombies.

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Discover everything about Call of Duty: Vanguard’s Zombies including story and character details, and tons of info on its gameplay elements: Artifacts, Altar of Covenants upgrades, an overhauled Perk system, custom Loadouts, and different matches every time.

Many Call of Duty fans have wondered if Vanguard was going to have Zombies, and it was confirmed on October 14 through its reveal trailer: showing off story and characters, its dark tone, and the legendary Shi No Numa map.

After players were finally able to get a taste of Call of Duty: Vanguard‘s Multiplayer during the Open Beta, players have been even more curious when it comes to the game’s other modes.

As we know from the reveal, Call of Duty: Vanguard will have a Campaign mode, which follows various characters across the global WWII fronts. It had the usual jam-packed multiplayer offering and Zombies looks set to be the craziest offering the franchise has ever produced.

Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies: Story & characters

kortifex the deathless in zombies

It seems like the antagonist consumed by the forces of evil is Oberfuhrer Wolfram Von List, and he’s been given an “army of the dead.”

The Zombies reveal trailer didn’t give too much else away other than the Operators we’ve already seen thus far will be appearing and joining in the attempts to thwart Von list.

However, we’ve also seen a sneak peek at the force effectively controlling Von List – Kortifex the Deathless.

Von List walking with demon behind him

In Call of Duty’s blog post announcing Vanguard, they gave fans a short description of what they can expect from the game.

It says that not only is a Campaign and Multiplayer mode confirmed for the game, but a “universe-expanding Zombies crossover” is also mentioned. The blog also confirmed that the mode will intertwine with Black Ops Cold War’s Zombies, which is excellent for those who have enjoyed the Dark Aether story.

This makes a lot of sense, considering players have been finding hints and intel in Black Ops Cold War Zombies that reference the WWII time frame and a demonologist known as Krafft.

Vanguard’s Zombies will act as a precursor to Black Ops Cold War Zombies, with the content being available for the mode as soon as the game is launched on November 5.

Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies Dark Aether entities & Artifacts

player holding a magic skull

Vanguard’s new take on Zombies looks to be doubling down on the mystical and supernatural element more than ever. Magical swords, rifts, ominous totems, and your own powers to conjure all look to be a part of Vanguard’s Zombies gameplay.

The power of Dark Aether magic is growing stronger, and Vanguard embraces this with the introduction of new Dark Aether entities and Artifacts.

You can summon these four entities to make use of their powers to help in the fight against Von List and Kortifex the Deathless.

The four entities are called Saraxis the Shadow, Bellekar the Warlock, Inviktor the Destroyer, and Norticus the Conqueror.

artifact in cod vanguard zombies

Here are their Abilities you will be able to use:

  • Dragon of Saraxis: Spawns an Aethereal explosive, dealing massive damage to enemies who set it off
  • Mask of Bellekar: Cloaks you in Dark Aether, masking your presence from enemies for 5 seconds
  • Sword of Inviktor: Sparks a ring of Aethereal flame to boost damage for anyone within its radius for 15 seconds
  • Horn of Norticus: Summons a frigid vortex, damaging enemies with the initial blast and slowing those that enter

Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies Altar of Covenants upgrades

altar of covenants in cod vanguard zombies

A huge new feature welcomed by Treyarch in Vanguard Zombies is the new ‘Altar of Covenants’ system and its collection of 32 upgrades.

This intricate new gameplay mechanic allows players to incorporate additional abilities and buffs into their gameplay to take down enemies far easier. Players can equip three at any one time and different levels of rarity add depth and dilemmas as you agonize over which ones to use.

Treyarch has announced that there will be 11 Covenants at launch, insinuating that more will be due down the line.

Here are the initial Covenants and upgrades:

  • Bloodlust: Melee attacks do more damage and heal you
  • Resurrectionist: Revive allies faster
  • Brain Rot: Chance to turn enemies to your side
  • Cryofreeze: Chance to slow enemies
  • Death Blow: Critical kills return bullets to the clip
  • Ammo Gremlin: Stowed weapons refill ammo from stock automatically
  • Dead Accurate: Consecutive hits on the same enemy do more damage
  • Splatterfest: Enemies killed by explosions may explode
  • Unholy Ground: Deal more damage while stationary
  • Cull the Weak: Deal more damage to slowed or stunned enemies
  • Mother Lode: Chance to keep Equipment after using it

Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies Perk Fountains

cod vanguard skull scenery

The names and nostalgia of CoD Zombies Perks have been given a facelift with the new, revamped Perk system – Perk Fountains.

Say goodbye to Juggernog and other recognizable Perk names as they have been replaced with a new system that better suits the darker, mystical world of Vanguard’s Zombies.

Five different Perk Fountains will be available from the beginning, and here they are:

  • Fiendish Fortitude – Increases health
  • Diabolical Damage – Increases critical damage
  • Venomous Vigor – Boosts health regeneration speed
  • Demonic Frenzy – Boosts reload speed
  • Aethereal Haste – Boosts movement speed

One of the biggest departures from the tried and tested Perk system is the fact that players will now be able to get the first level of Perks for free.

A new, more elaborate upgrade system is now in place, and Zombies fans will now have to upgrade each Perk as they go.

As well as this, getting downed will lose a player a Tier from each Perk, so it becomes a tough decision to decide how far to upgrade a Perk to not lose as much if downed. This will all add to the strategy and thinking as a player battles through Der Anfang and other Zombies content.

Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies build & loadouts

vanguard zombies perfect build

The addition of Covenant abilities only increases the possibilities when it comes to the ideal Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies build.

Players will now have to consider Covenants, Artifacts, Perks, and weapons to ensure they’re maximizing their killing potential in Vanguard.

Not only that, but to make things a bit easier for players starting out, Treyarch has included some preset loadouts to get the ball rolling. Once players start to unlock more items and attachments, they can begin to create their own custom loadouts – a returning feature from Black Ops Cold War.

Call of Duty: Vanguard wall buys, weapons & Pack-A-Punch

The way in which players acquire weapons for Zombies is also another fresh change for Vanguard as wall buys are now a thing of the past.

To acquire new weapons in-game, players will need to loot chests, try their luck at the ol’ Mystery Box, or kill enemies in the hope they will drop weapons.

One minor change to Pack-A-Punch weapons has been included which now defines the rarity of an upgrade using a new color system.

Here is the new system and the meaning of each color:

  • White: Unpacked
  • Blue: Pack-a-Punch Level 1
  • Purple: Pack-a-Punch Level 2
  • Orange: Pack-a-Punch Level 3

Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies reveal trailer

The official reveal trailer for Vanguard Zombies is now live, and the 2:03 video has shown off a variety of story and gameplay elements that players can look forward to experiencing.

Here’s the trailer in its entirety.

CoD: Vanguard Zombies maps: Shi No Numa

The first information we have regarding Vanguard’s Zombies locations is rather interesting. Firstly, the big takeaway is that one of the most popular Zombies maps ever is returning – Shi No Numa.

It’s clearly shown in the trailer, and Treyarch has even confirmed that the map will be making its first appearance since Black Ops III.

shi no numa map in cod vanguard

It also says that players can take to Stalingrad to fight the undead, but it’s unclear whether or not this is one of the game’s main multiplayer maps being used for Zombies or a whole new area in itself.

As well as Stalingrad and Shi No Numa, Merville and Paris have also been outed as locations that players will fight across in Der Anfang.

We will continue to update this hub with all of the latest information on the maps in Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies.

Who will be developing Vanguard Zombies?

players fighting zombies

Sledgehammer Games have officially stated that Vanguard Zombies will indeed be developed by Treyarch, the developers who initially brought the mode to the Call of Duty experience.

“We’re excited to announce a franchise-first crossover as Call of Duty: Vanguard features an all-new Zombies game mode with development led by Treyarch Studios.”

Many will love this, as although Sledgehammer Games provided a great experience in their take on Zombies back in Call of Duty: WWII, there’s no doubt that Treyarch has created the most memorable experiences for Zombies.

Will CoD: Vanguard feature Outbreak?

hotel royal in cod vanguard zombies

It’s unclear whether Vanguard will have Outbreak Zombies, but evidence from the trailer suggests so.

Hotel Royal can be seen in the reveal trailer, and this could be following the same format as Black Ops Cold War by using maps for Outbreak content.

It might not be a full-on Outbreak game mode, though, as TheMW2Ghost has claimed that the mode will be as if “Outbreak, Onslaught, and Roundbased had a baby.”


For more Call of Duty: Vanguard, check out the reason why hackers have already created cheats for the WWII first-person shooter, and stay tuned for future news and guides.

Image Credits: Activision / Sledgehammer Games / Treyarch