Call of Duty: Vanguard‘s alpha test kicks off today, August 17, on PlayStation consoles. To get you primed and ready for the 48-hour test, we’re rounding up the key details like how to download and what to expect as you try out the new Champion Hill mode.
How To Download Call Of Duty: Vanguard Alpha
The Vanguard Champion Hill alpha is available only on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4, per the ongoing timed-exclusivity deal between Sony and Activision. Pre-loading has been available for some time already, but if you haven’t done that yet, you can find the Champion Hill alpha client in the PlayStation Store on PS5 and PS4 and get started that way. The test begins today, August 27, at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET, and runs for a period of 48 hours, ending at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET on August 29.
Anyone who already has Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Warzone, or Black Ops Cold War will find the Vanguard Champion Hill alpha in the main menu of those games once it’s downloaded. You can then navigate to the Alpha blade on the far left to get started.
What To Expect
The Champion Hill alpha lets you try out … wait for it … the new Champion Hill mode. Developer Sledgehammer Games said internal playtests of the 3v3 mode have gone over swimmingly, and the studio is now geared up to let fans try it out. The developer reminded fans that what’s available in the early test is only a “small slice” of what will be available in the forthcoming beta in September and then the full launch in November. Still, this is the first time the public gets to go hands-on with Vanguard and test out its core multiplayer features.
Champion Hill is a round-robin deathmatch tournament where you compete against other squads. Everyone starts with the same loadout, and then you collect cash by killing enemies or acquiring it on the map. Cash can be spent on upgrading weapons and buying more equipment, perks, and killstreaks.
The test includes four maps: Courtyard, Trainyard, Market, and Airstrip. There are Duos and Trios playlists available, letting you play on teams of two or three. As announced previously, Champion Hill includes a pre-set variety of weapons, and each has 10 upgrades available. There are two weapon sets available in the alpha, and they include ARs, LMGs, shotguns, and pistols. In terms of equipment, players can expect multiple types of grenades, a throwing knife, and a proximity-triggered explosive mine.
Multiple types of perks and streaks are available for players to better equip themselves on the battlefield, while there are four main Operators that will be randomly assigned when matches begin. These include Lucas Riggs, Polina Petrova, Wade Jackson, and Arthur Kingsley.
You can see a full rundown of the content available in the Vanguard Champion Hill Alpha below, as written by Sledgehammer.
CHAMPION HILL MAPS
- Champion Hill (Duos and Trios)
- Weapons are persistent through matches. There are ten upgrades per weapon and each weapon upgrade adds one attachment.
- Weapon sets will rotate. Both Weapon Set 1 and Set 2 include: ARs, LMGs, Shotguns, and Pistols.
- MK2 Frag Grenade: Cookable Fragmentation Grenade.
- No. 69 Stun Grenade: Slows victim’s movement and aiming.
- Throwing Knife: Retrievable knife that is lethal when thrown at the body or head.
- Gammon Bomb: Impact Grenade.
- MK V Gas Grenade: Explodes on impact with the ground, releasing a lingering cloud of gear gas that causes slowed movement, blurred vision, and coughing.
- S-Mine 44: Proximity-triggered explosive.
PERKS (PERSISTENT THROUGH MATCHES AND YOU CAN BUY UP TO SIX PERKS):
- Ghost: Undetectable while moving by Spy Planes, enemy intel, and Field Mics.
- Survival Training: Maximized resistance to stun effects. Immune to gas.
- High Alert: Your vision pulses when enemies outside of your view see you.
- Tracker: Enemies leave behind a footprint trail. See markers at enemy death locations and hide the death markers of enemies you kill.
- Demolition: Extra lethal on spawn. Thrown lethals display an indicator showing the path of the lethal.
- Double Time: Double the duration of Tactical Sprint. Increase crouch movement speed by 30%.
STREAKS (ACTIVATED AUTOMATICALLY IN THE NEXT MATCH AFTER PURCHASE):
- Spy Plane: Calls in a spy plane which reveals all enemy positions on the minimap to allies. Can’t be shot down. (This automatically activates in the next match.)
- Flamenaut: Receive a flamethrower with unlimited fuel and a protective suit. Both lost on death. (This automatically activates in the next match.)
- Deathmachine: Equips a machine gun with explosive rounds and a fixed number of bullets. Persists through death until ammo is depleted. (This automatically activates in the next match.)
- V2 Rocket: Activates instantly, and drops a V2 Rocket, killing all players and ending the match.
- Extra Life: Gain 1 additional life for your team.
- Armor Plate: A single piece of Armor.
- Full Armor: Full set of armor plates.
Note: Operators will be randomly assigned.
- Lucas Riggs
- Polina Petrova
- Wade Jackson
- Arthur Kingsley
Everyone who takes part in the Vanguard Champion Hill alpha will get a calling card and an emblem to use in Vanguard when it releases. This content will also be available in Warzone.
While the Vanguard Champion Hill alpha is exclusive to PS5 and PS4, there will be an open beta coming to all platforms in September. PlayStation members who preorder Vanguard get in first, from September 10-13, while preorder members on all platforms can play September 16-17. Then from September 18-20, everyone can play, regardless of preorder status. This will all happen after Vanguard’s multiplayer is formally unveiled on September 7.
Vanguard launches on November 5. Just recently at Gamescom, Activision released an extended campaign demo for the game featuring Laura Bailey’s character, Polina.
Activision Blizzard is currently facing a sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit filed by the state of California. It was recently claimed that Activision Blizzard’s HR department is shredding documents pertaining to the case.
GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.