Call of Duty: Vanguard's Gunsmith Explained

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By Ruben Circelli | More Articles Tech & Games Editor, Manager of Tech Section Longtime tech & games writer. Former Tencent gaming analyst.
September 03, 2021  11:41 AM

Sledgehammer Games’ upcoming Call of Duty: Vanguard is bringing back the Modern Warfare reboot’s Gunsmith system, and recently, leaks have come out that detail a lot about how the system works in Vanguard. In this article, we’ll explain how the Gunsmith works in Vanguard, but make sure to remember that the system is likely to be tweaked before release and will inevitably be adjusted after release, too.

In Modern Warfare 2019, players could select up to five attachments for their weapons. These included the normal attachments you would come to expect, like optics, ammo, barrels, stocks, etcetera, but Weapon Perks like Sleight of Hand (which allowed you to reload faster) or FMJ (which increased your weapon’s bullet penetration) as well.

In Black Ops Cold War, you could select up to eight attachments on your gun if you chose the Gunfighter Wildcard, and otherwise, you selected up to five. Cold War had very similar attachments to those in Modern Warfare, but Cold War did not have Weapon Perks. Though, Cold War did have detailed statistics pages for every weapon allowing you to see the nitty-gritty details about how your gun worked.

Related: Call of Duty: Vanguard's Destruction Explained

Call of Duty: Vanguard will be a blend of the two systems but will be more similar to the Modern Warfare system. Vanguard will be bringing back the Cold War stats pages for guns but will have Weapon Perks and won’t have Wildcards like Modern Warfare

Unlike either game, Vanguard will allow players to select up to ten attachments on a weapon. Plus, weapons in Vanguard can be leveled up a significant amount, seeing max levels in the 70s. With each level, you’ll unlock a new attachment, sometimes two, so there will be more attachments to choose from than ever before in Call of Duty.

While Vanguard comes with a variety of optics attachments to choose from, Vanguard will also allow players to change out their weapon’s iron sights if they would prefer not to use an optic but dislike a certain weapon's default iron sights. This will be a new feature to Call of Duty.

Related: Call of Duty: Vanguard's TTK Explained

Many Call of Duty fans have expressed concern over having 10 attachments per gun, because weapons in Call of Duty are usually accurate and deadly as far as first-person shooter games go. However, it’s important to keep in mind that default weapons without attachments work differently in Vanguard.

As seen in Vanguard’s Champion Hill Alpha, unmodded weapons often have significant recoil, very inaccurate hip-fire, and require a fair amount of patience, skill, and experience for players to be successful with. Unmodded weapons in other Call of Duty games may not be devastating, but they were generally more accurate and easier to use than they are in Vanguard.

As a result, equipping 10 attachments on a gun will likely bring Vanguard weaponry in line with how guns tend to feel in modern Call of Duty games. Though, players will have much more choice over how they want to build each weapon than ever before.

Related: Will Call of Duty: Vanguard Have a FOV Slider?

In the past, if you were putting attachments on, say, an assault rifle, chances are you would simply try to maximize its rate of fire, damage, range, and bullet velocity while clawing back as much mobility as you could. In Vanguard, the system seems to encourage players to find weapons they like and kit them in a way that feels good to them.

While nothing is officially confirmed yet, considering everything we know about the Gunsmith in Vanguard, it’s likely that if you wanted to, for example, run an MP40 submachine gun with less bullet velocity, a slower rate of fire, more damage, and more manageable recoil so that it became more of an assault rifle, you could. And vice-versa for assault rifles you wanted to kit for SMG-like mobility and rates of fire.

This system may have the potential for abuse, but as long as whatever weapon you’re using has tradeoffs, like less mobility in exchange for more manageable recoil or higher damage in exchange for a slower rate of fire, it won’t necessarily matter what technical classification the gun you’re using has had historically.

Related: What Is Call of Duty: Vanguard's Champion Hill Mode?

Though this system is in active development, and what we know now may change or have already changed before the game releases. Plus, like with every Call of Duty, balancing will come after release and doubtlessly certain attachments and guns will be changed.

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