This latest take on the popular online mode continues the Dark Aether storyline started in 2020’s Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, but with a few new added twists to make those survival runs a little more interesting.
But, before you jump into Call of Duty: Vanguard’s Zombies mode, there are a few things you should know. So we’ve put together a list of tips and tricks to help keep Der Anfang at bay.
Complete objectives to collect Sacrificial Hearts
When you first spawn into Fountain Square - the starting area for Der Anfang - you’ll notice some portals. Each one leads to a mission with a specific objective. Harvest is a little like Kill Confirmed, requiring you to collect runestones from fallen zombies; Transmit is all about following a floating head (think the new Patrol mode in multiplayer), and Blitz is your classic Zombies survival mode. Successfully completing the above objectives will drop Sacrificial Hearts, a new type of currency that enables you to buy new buffs known as Covenants.
Find the right synergies between Covenants
You can only hold three Sacrificial Hearts at once, so be sure to spend them at Covenant altars to maximize your chances of success. There are 11 of these buffs at launch, ranging from the ability to revive teammates faster to weapons that automatically restock their ammo when not used. The key here is to find the right synergy between these Covenants, so start experimenting to see which ones complement each other. For instance, Cryofreeze (chance to slow to stun enemies) works very well with Cull of the Weak (chance to deal more base damage to slowed or stunned enemies).
Dark Aether abilities can mean the difference between success and failure
Much like multiplayer, Zombies is all about having the right loadout and situation ahead. The core of your loadout is based on a weapon and an Artifact that provides a special ability. There are currently four Artifacts to choose from: Ring of Fire (15-second damage boost for anyone in its radius); Energy Mine (powerful proximity mine that deals high damage); Frost Blast (slows all enemies) and Aether Shroud (become undetectable for five seconds). Energy Mine and Frost Blast are incredibly useful when fighting through chokepoints, so be sure to stick together as a team and make the most of these powerful abilities.
Make the most of those Perk Fountains
It wouldn’t be Zombies without Perks, and Vanguard is no exception. Der Anfang currently includes four different types, each bestowing a buff that will no doubt be very helpful in the battle against the undead. These include Diabolical Damage (increase critical damage), Venomous Vigor (increase health regen speed), Aethereal Haste (faster movement speed) and Fiendish Fortitude (base health increase). The first sip is free, but you’ll need lots of essences to upgrade up through the next three tiers. For newer players, head through the southwest-facing portal to find the objective that grants access to Fiendish Fortitude.
Utilize Salvage to increase your armor and points for your weapons
Call of Duty: Vanguard’s Zombies mode has plenty of loot and resources to collect, including points scored from killing the undead and picking up Salvage. Much like Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, you’ll use points at Pack-A-Punch machines (which are now powered up by default) to increase the rarity and damage output of your weapons (you start with a white-tier weapon and you increase its stats all the way up to orange). Newer players should head to the Crafting Table and use their Salvage to increase their base armor stats, too.
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