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Call of Duty Vanguard zombies best builds explained

Give 'em hell, kid.

Opting for the best builds in Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies is key for survival.

While it's not a bad strategy to just pick and choose any of the covenants available and mix them, it's definitely worth looking for possible synergies to maximize the effects.

Based on our experience, these are the best builds for Vanguard Zombies, looking into covenants, preferred weapons and which perks are best suitable with each build.

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If you're interested in regular multiplayer as well, we have a complete list of Call of Duty: Vanguard maps and an explainer on how to unlock Call of Duty: Vanguard operators.

Call of Duty Vanguard Beta: PS5 vs Xbox Series X/S Multiplayer + 120Hz Mode Tested!

Vanguard Zombies - Sharpshooter build

If you're always opting for DPS-like builds in other games, this may be a good choice for you.

  • Covenants: Death Blow (any rarity), Ammo Gremlin (any rarity), Bloodlust (any rarity, Legendary preffered)
  • Perks: Demonic Frenzy, Diabolical Damage
  • Preferable weapon: Shotguns, marksman rifles

This build is perfect for those who're always aiming at the head. Every time you deal a critical kill while using Death Blow, you'll obtain a bullet to your clip. If you stumble upon the Legendary variant of the covenant, you'll obtain two bullets per clip.

For this, Ammo Gremlin mixes well so your stowed weapons are always ready for action. If everything else fails, Bloodlust will heal you by performing melee attacks, as well as boosting their damage.

Considering that you'll be quite exposed at close quarters with weapons like shotguns or marksman rifles, Bloodlust makes for a great plan B. The weapon preference comes down to the fact that it's easier to land headshots using these weapons over others. Snipers are an option too, for which we would recommend swapping Ammo Grenlin or Bloodlust for Unholy Ground. But staying stationary in Zombies is rarely an option, thus why we didn't mention it.

Lastly, perks such as Demonic Frenzy and Diabolical Damage are a must in terms of priorities, so you can reload faster and deal more critical damage. Headshots aren't everything, so it's definitely worth maximizing damage whenever possible.

Vanguard Zombies - Guardian Angel build

If you're always opting for Medic-like builds in other games, this one gets fairly close to a healer in Vanguard.

  • Covenants: Resurrectionist (any rarity), Cryofreeze (any rarity), Bloodlust (any rarity)
  • Perks: Fiendish Fortitude, Aethereal Haste, Venomous Vigor
  • Preferable weapon: SMGs, shotguns

It's not possible to pursue a medic-type build in Vanguard Zombies, but this one gets quite close. We'll be using Resurrectionist as a foundation, which speeds up the time it takes to revive a fellow player. This, by default, is rather low - so it's key for at least someone in your squad to tackle this.

Of course, enemies will try and take you down anyways. Cryofreeze is great to slow them down - you can combine this with Cull the Weak to increase your damage, but for this build, it's best to just slow them down and let other squadmate use Cull the Weak instead.

It's important for you to stay alive as much as possible, so we're mentioning Bloodlust again as a possibility, since it will heal you with melee attacks - great to take down enemies that don't get frozen by Cryofreeze while recovering health at the same time.

Speaking of staying alive, Fiendish Fortitude is a must to increase your base HP (purchase some armour from the crafting table, too). Then, prioritising Aethereal Haste to get to fallen teammates faster and Venomous Vigor to increase your own regeneration speed are great options.

Lastly, we'll be looking at light, snappy weapons for this one. If you pair up an SMG or shotgun with a melee weapon for Bloodlust, even better. This may be a more suitable build for mid to late game when things start to get hairy.

If you're interested in multiplayer, we have lists of the Operators and multiplayer maps, as well as the best Vanguard weapons, including the best STG44 loadout, best MP40 loadout and best Automaton loadout, best BAR loadout, best Combat Shotgun loadout, best Type 100 loadout, and best Kar98k loadouts. In other modes, we can explain the best zombies builds and best covenants.

Vanguard Zombies - Necromancer build

If you prefer to mix things up and try out some of the most noteworthy covenants, this build offers plenty to experiment with.

  • Covenants: Brain Rot (Epic or Legendary), Dead Accurate (any rarity), Splatterfest (any rarity)
  • Perks: Demonic Frenzy, Diabolical Damage
  • Preferable weapon: Assault rifles, SMGs, LMGs

Take this as the most experimental build of the bunch. Brain Rot grants you the chance to turn an enemy to your side - this makes them friendly for a rather short period of time in which they will basically one-hit regular enemies and deal significant damage to bigger ones.

The downside is that it's a fairly low chance, and none of the higher upgrades increase this. That being said, the Epic rarity allows for this to happen with any zombie, which includes special ones. The Legendary rarity, on the other hand, also adds that enemies killed by an explosion will turn nearby zombies as well. This is huge, and so Splatterfest is a must.

Dead Accurate, which increases damage if you land successive shots on the same enemy, helps to close that waiting gap. For this, rapid fire weapons such as assault rifles, SMGs or LMGs are best, as we will want to be attacking and taking down as many zombies as possible until we turn one of them. If we opt for a shotgun, for example, the process turns much slower.

Lastly, perks such as Demonic Frenzy and Diabolical Damage are definitely worth prioritising to increase critical damage and your reload speed, respectively. Again, this necromancer build is more of a fun build than an overpowered one, but it can be quite interesting to experiment with in mid to late game.

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Call of Duty: Vanguard

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Diego Nicolás Argüello avatar

Diego Nicolás Argüello


Diego is a freelance writer from Argentina who has learned English thanks to video games. He missed most of the classics, but can gush about Doom, Persona, The Darkness and pinballs for hours. Probably on Twitter right now.