Call of Duty: Vanguard is there, which is exciting, but what is not exciting is being level 1 a damn. Rough! If you want to escape this purgatory asap (and you do) the only way is to earn XP asap.
Thankfully, this year Vanguard has a few handy features that make XP grind easier. Here are our top tips to level up quickly, level up Operators, and maximize your weapon XP.
How to level up quickly in Call of Duty: Vanguard
Stick to the lightning pace
You know, like any previous Call of Duty, the best way to upgrade weapons or complete challenges is to play chaotic Shipment / Nuketown matches 24/7? So basically the lightning battle pace setting is all the time. By filtering your Quick Match for “Blitz” only, you will maximize the number of players in each selected game mode (usually 12v12).
On smaller maps, like Dome’s World at War remaster, this means there’s virtually no downtime between firefights. Getting shot at all the time can be a bit frustrating (spawn kills are common right now), but constant action is the fastest way to grind weapon XP or complete certain challenges. And if you want to get it up to 11, Free-for-All is probably your best bet.
Complete the easiest challenges first
In Vanguard, career challenges are bundled into groups of individual challenges. Every single challenge is worth a few thousand XP, but completing a bundle brings you a whopping 10,000 XP.
For this reason, it is advisable to pick one package at a time to get that 10,000 bonus faster. The packages seem to be categorized by general difficulty, so I recommend starting with Boot Camp and Countermeasures. Boot Camp’s challenges are super-general tasks that most of the time you can accidentally complete (like “win 25 games”) with just a few that require a little extra effort. Probably the hardest one is “Get 35 Mounted Kills” unless you are one of the few CoD players who use this feature frequently.
Counter Measures isn’t bad either, but it takes more work than Boot Camp. These challenges focus on destroying enemy equipment, such as field upgrades and killstreaks. The only thing that could slow you down is “Destroy an enemy mine or C4”. Unlucky if these pieces of equipment don’t prove popular, and I haven’t seen them in use often before.
Unlock Double XP in the Battle Pass
At the start, Call of Duty: Vanguard is offering a “Preseason” Battle Pass in the run-up to its first real content season in early December. Most of the Battle Pass unlocks are exclusive to Warzone and Cold War, but there are several free tiers that unlock small bonuses in Vanguard (even if you don’t buy the Premium Pass). Some of these are double XP tokens:
- 1 hour double XP token (level 1)
- 30 Minutes of Double XP Tokens (Level 11)
- 1 hour double operator XP token (level 21)
- 1 hour of double XP tokens (level 39)
- 30 Minute Double XP Token (Level 48)
- 45 Minute Double XP Token (Level 94)
Again, you don’t have to buy Premium Battle Pass access ($ 9.99) to get these tokens, but it’s faster when you do. You can also play Warzone or Cold War to work towards these levels if you prefer.
Buy Doritos and Mountain Dew (I know, I know)
As stupid as it is, the best way to constantly double your XP earnings (if you’re in the US) is to put “Dual 2XP” tokens (which gives you both double account and weapon XP) in Buy form from Mountain Dew, Doritos, and Game Fuel. All three of these high-fructose nibbles come with a double XP code for some time, but some quantities are worth more than others. Here is the full breakdown:
- A 20 ounce. Mountain Dew Code unlocks Dual 2XP for 15 minutes
- One 12 oz pack of 18 Mountain Dew Code unlocks Dual 2XP for 60 minutes
- One 12 oz 24-pk Mountain Dew Code unlocks Dual 2XP for 120 minutes
- A 16 oz Game fuel Code unlocks Dual 2XP for 15 minutes
- A 2.75 ounce. Doritos Nacho Cheese, Cool Ranch, Xxtra Flamin ‘Hot Fire Zone, Spicy Sweet Chili, Spicy Nacho, unlocks 15 minutes of Dual 2XP
- A 9.25 ounce. Doritos Nacho Cheese, Cool Ranch, Xxtra Flamin ‘Hot Fire Zone, Spicy Sweet Chili, Spicy Nacho, Code unlocks 60 minutes of Dual 2XP
Depending on how much Double XP is worth to you, these deals might not be bad. If I really enjoyed Mountain Dew, I’d probably redeem 2 hours of Dual XP for a pack of 24. Hell, I was even tempted to buy my first bag of Doritos in ten years this morning, but my corner shop was already wiped out (Call of Duty’s cultural reach remains impressive).
How to quickly sharpen weapon XP in Call of Duty: Vanguard
Use your operator’s favorite weapon
In Vanguard, operators are more than just skins. Each character not only has their own challenges, but also a “favorite weapon” for which they receive a bonus.
For example, if you play Solange and use the NZ-41 Assault Rifle, you will earn bonus Gun XP for every kill you get. A free bonus just for choosing the right skin – not bad at all. Since there are only 12 Operators so far, not every weapon is someone’s favorite. The current 12 favor assault rifles, SMGs, and LMGs, with only a sniper rifle, sniper rifle, and shotgun aficionado being their favorites. Future operators are likely to have favorites too, so these other guns will have their day.
Play on PlayStation (sorry)
Call of Duty’s love affair with PlayStation continues this year with Vanguard. Those who play on PS4 or PS5 will get a free Gun XP bonus of 25% as long as they are with friends and have monthly Double XP events lasting 24 hours.
PC gamers don’t get such bonuses, but we just have to settle for playing on the best platform for games out there.
How to Earn Operator XP Quickly in Call of Duty: Vanguard
Unlock operators and pose their challenges
Unlike in Cold War and Modern Warfare, Vanguard does not automatically unlock operators if you jump directly into multiplayer mode. Operators have to be activated through certain milestones.
I accidentally unlocked my first Operator, Solange, after getting a few multi-kills in my first few matches. Once you have an Operator, you can start working on their Operator Challenges. These are worth a lot of Operator XP (around 1,500 each, as far as I can tell), and they aren’t overly difficult. My first two as Solange are easy to get 100 kills and win 5 matches while playing as them. Just peasy when you have the time.
Unlocking Operators is a bit of a chore as it doesn’t earn you account XP, but it’s well worth it for the challenges they unlock, the cool skins you earn from leveling up Operators, and another major new feature of Vanguard: Favorite weapons.
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