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How to take part in the Call of Duty Vanguard beta that runs this weekend

Call of Duty Vanguard multiplayer
(Image credit: Activision)

The Call of Duty Vanguard beta begins properly this weekend as players across every platform will be able to sample the latest slice of this World War 2 shooter.

The official blog for the Call of Duty series now offers an extensive rundown of the beta test, including when and where you'll be able to play in the test. Here's everything you need to know.

Call of Duty: Vanguard beta dates

Call of Duty: Vanguard beta dates

This weekend's crossplay beta extends the preview to PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X players who have pre-ordered the game in any form September 16, as well as all PS5 and PS4 players, regardless of whether or not they've pre-ordered the game. 

The Open Beta weekend begins on Thursday, September 16 at 10:00 PT/ 13:00 ET/ 18:00 BST, and will run for 24 hours for PC and Xbox players who have pre-ordered, as well as all PlayStation players, before all players on all platformers can take part from September 18 to September 20, with the same starting times. 

Call of Duty: Vanguard Beta modes and maps

Call of Duty: Vanguard beta modes and maps

Call of Duty Vanguard Eagle's Nest map

(Image credit: Activision)

Players will have access to the new Champion Hill and Patrol game modes, as well as classics including Team Deathmatch, Domination, and Kill Confirmed, with everything but Champion Hill unfolding across the Hotel Royal, Red Star, and Gavutu maps (Champion Hill gets its own map).

Activision is also teasing a map called Eagle's Nest that will come into play in this weekend's beta, which we saw during our Call of Duty Vanguard multiplayer hands-on. Eagle's Nest is the English translation for Kelsteinhaus, which was a building high up in the mountains in Germany that was used by the Nazi party. 

Call of Duty: Vanguard beta progression and rewards

Call of Duty: Vanguard beta progression and rewards

If you're an active player, you'll be able to ascend all the way up to Player Rank 30 and Weapon Rank 30 in the Call of Duty: Vanguard beta. Two pieces of good news go with that: first, the beta will offer cross-progression with Call of Duty: Warzone and Black Ops Cold War, meaning you'll unlock Season 5 battle pass rewards in both of those games for trying out Vanguard early.

The second piece of good news is that reaching rank 20 in the Vanguard alpha will get you an exclusive weapon blueprint: the "Rat-a-Tat" assault rifle modified for long-range, headshot-landing power. it will be unlocked immediately in Vanguard on launch then drop into your Warzone stash "at a later date."

The Call of Duty Vanguard release date is November 5, and the full game will be available across PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. With the new shooter due to arrive just a few weeks after the end of the beta, this could be a chance to get in some all-important practice ahead of launch weekend.

Call of Duty: Vanguard's new Patrol mode is like an even faster Hardpoint.