Call of Duty: Vanguard beta — Start date and time, how to play, and more

Call Of Duty Vanguard
Call Of Duty Vanguard (Image credit: Activision)

Update, Sept. 20, 8:21 a.m.: The official Call of Duty Twitter account announced over the weekend that the open beta for Call of Duty: Vanguard would be extended until Wednesday, Sept. 22, at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET.

While Call of Duty's publishers face legal battles due to a lawsuit filed against Activision Blizzard alleging workplace harassment and malpractice, the hype machine continues to churn away for Sledgehammer Games' newest premium entry to the annual franchise. A recent multiplayer reveal for Call of Duty: Vanguard gave players plenty of gritty details about what they could look forward to in the World War II-themed shooter, along with an announcement about when we could all get our hands on an open beta to see it for ourselves.

There are a few caveats to the "open beta" concept when it comes to Call of Duty: Vanguard, however. Some of the dates are roped off exclusively for PlayStation players, like with the previous Champion Hill alpha. Other dates are sectioned off for the "early access" perk that came along with preordering the game. If you're looking to take a crack at the Call of Duty: Vanguard beta you'll need to know when, where and how you can get in on the action. Here's everything we know about how and when you can play it for yourself.

Call of Duty: Vanguard open beta — Dates and times

Call Of Duty Vanguard Multiplayer Hotel Battle

Source: Activision Blizzard (Image credit: Source: Activision Blizzard)

Update Sept. 20 (8:25 a.m. ET): Crossplay open beta weekend extended

On Sept. 18 the official Call of Duty Twitter account shared a video clip alongside an announcement that the crossplay open beta weekend would be extended. The new end date for the open beta is Wednesday, Sept. 22, with servers being shut down at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET.

The beta for Call of Duty: Vanguard will span across two weekends, with the first being limited exclusively to players who have preordered the game on PlayStation consoles. Both PS4 and PS5 owners with a preorder access code to the beta will be able to play beginning Friday, Sept. 10, until Monday, Sept. 13.

Early Access (PlayStation preorders only): Sept. 10-13

The second Vanguard beta is specifically geared toward testing out crossplay, but will limit the first few days to players with preorder access on Xbox and PC. PlayStation players will have free, unlimited access to the entire second weekend of the beta.

Early Access (Xbox One and PC preorders only): Sept. 16-17

Open Beta (PlayStation, all players): Sept. 16-22

Open Beta (Xbox and PC, all players): Sept. 18-22

Both beta weekends are expected to begin at 10 a.m. PDT/1 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. CEST/6 p.m. BST on their respective days. As always, there's the potential for last-minute issues or delays.

Call of Duty: Vanguard open beta — What to expect

Call Of Duty Vanguard Multiplayer Preview Beta Snow

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

If you're familiar with Call of Duty already, then the Vanguard beta may feel like slipping into a comfortable pair of shoes as familiar playlists like Team Deathmatch, Domination, and Kill Confirmed are expected to be available for the entire duration. The new Champion Hill mode that previously debuted in the PlayStation exclusive alpha event will also be available for the entire beta, as well.

Champion Hill is not the only new mode that players will get to experience in the beta. Patrol, a new mode based on the objective mode Hardpoint wherein the score zone is near consistently in motion, will be introduced during the early access beta for PlayStation. Search and Destroy is also expected to return as an available playlist, though it will not be added until the second weekend of the event.

Call Of Duty Vanguard Multiplayer Gavutu Docks

Source: Activision Blizzard (Image credit: Source: Activision Blizzard)

Also available will be the new combat pacing system that is original to Call of Duty: Vanguard. Sledgehammer Games has touted Combat Pacing as a system designed to give the player control over their multiplayer experience, allowing you to choose between classic 6v6 multiplayer in the Tactical playlist, or upping the ante by joining in Assault and Blitz where more players spawn in on all of the available maps. This leads to every map having that frantic constant close quarters combat feel that make small maps like Nuketown and Shoot House popular.

Only four of Vanguard's 20-map spread will be available to test out during the beta, including Hotel Royal, Gavatu, and Red Star for early-access players. Eagle's Nest will be added later during the second weekend. Six operators will be available including Daniel Takeyatsu, Roland Zeimet, Lucas Riggs, Polina Petrova, Wade Jackson, and Arthur Kingsley.

Participating in the open beta will unlock Arthur Kingsley as a playable operator for Call of Duty: Mobile players. Players who reach level 20 in the beta will also unlock a weapon blueprint, the Rat-A-Tat, which will be available in Vanguard at launch and Call of Duty: Warzone, one of the best Xbox games, at a later date.

Cole Martin

Cole is the resident Call of Duty know-it-all and indie game enthusiast for Windows Central. She's a lifelong artist with two decades of experience in digital painting, and she will happily talk your ear off about budget pen displays.