Call of Duty: Vanguard cross-play beta start times, end date, and preorder details

Checking out the beta isn’t as straightforward as you’d think.


Activision has started rolling out the Call of Duty: Vanguard beta to select players ahead of the game’s official release. During the weekend of September 10, PlayStation users had exclusive access to the beta, but now all players can give it a try.

This beta has cross-play enabled, meaning players on all platforms can squad up, or against one another. That said, getting into the beta isn’t as straightforward as you’d expect. Here’s everything you need to know about the Call of Duty: Vanguard cross-play beta.

Vanguard pre-order beta start time

Starting on September 16, 2021 at 1 p.m. Eastern, any player who has pre-ordered Call of Duty: Vanguard will gain access to the beta. This lasts until September 18.

Depending on your method of pre-ordering — whether you get a physical copy from a retailer or a digital edition from your platform’s store — there are a couple of ways to gain access to the beta on September 16.

Those who have pre-ordered a physical copy from a retailer will either get a Vanguard beta code emailed to them, or printed on the receipt at checkout. Users who have pre-ordered digitally will automatically be registered into the beta on that same platform.

Either way, pre-ordering on any platform will give you access to the beta starting on September 16. Keep in mind, those who get in on September 16 will be able to play with those on other platforms. (Xbox users must have a Gold membership to participate in the beta.)

Vanguard cross-play open beta start time

Then, starting on September 18 at 1 p.m. Eastern, all players will gain access to the Vanguard beta, regardless of whether or not they have pre-ordered the game. This period lasts until September 20, so you’ll have a couple days to check it out. If you plan on jumping in at this time, it’s a good idea to download the beta client early so you can get in as soon as you’re able.

Though, one thing to note is that users who have started playing the beta on September 9 will have more weapons, attachments, and perks than those who jump in on September 18, so it pays to jump in early.

Vanguard cross-play beta end time

The Vanguard beta ends for everyone on September 20 at 1 p.m. Eastern. So if you’ve pre-ordered to get in early or waited until the open beta, everyone gets to play until September 20. Activision is rewarding players who reach level 20 within the beta with the exclusive “Rat-a-Tat” Weapon Blueprint to use starting on November 5.

What are the Vanguard modes you can play?

There’s no shortage of things to do in the Vanguard beta.


The Vanguard beta features several maps and modes that give you a good idea of the overall package. In it, you’ll get to play Team Deathmatch, Domination, Kill Confirmed, as well as the new Champion Hill mode.

Champion Hill is a new take on a tournament-style competition, wherein teams are eliminated after losing all lives. The last team standing wins. To help you outlast the competition, you’ll need to collect cash to spend during the Buy Rounds, giving you access to new weapons, perks, killstreaks, and equipment.

In addition, the beta will feature the new Patrol mode, which is similar to Hardpoint, though the objective moves in a linear format along the map. Since the capture point moves in a straightforward fashion, you’ll have ample opportunities to use the map to your advantage.

Call of Duty: Vanguard launches for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC on November 5.

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