- Estimated achievement difficulty: 6/10* [Achievement Difficulty Rating]
- Offline: 31 
- Online: 13 
- Approximate amount of time to 1000: 40-50 hours** [Estimated Time to 100%]
- Minimum number of playthroughs needed: 1 of the campaign; at least 4 games of Zombies; many of Multiplayer or Zombies for leveling up
- Missable achievements: None [mission select for Campaign]
- Does difficulty affect achievements: Yes - must play on Veteran for The Tip Of The Spear (100G) only
- Unobtainable/glitched achievements: None
*Campaign on Veteran: 5/10
Campaign misc achievements: 6/10
Zombies achievements: 4/10
Multiplayer achievements: 4/10
**Campaign: 10-15 hours
Zombies: 10-12 hours
Multiplayer: 10-30 hours (hugely skill dependent)
Welcome to Call of Duty: Vanguard, the series' annual installment in 2021. This game is pretty par for the course - a campaign with lots of action and setpieces, a Zombies experience with endless hordes of the undead, and a multiplayer mode rich with challenges, unlockables, and progression. The achievements are also relatively standard: you'll need to complete the campaign on Veteran difficulty, knock out a bunch of miscellaneous and mission-specific campaign achievements, a handful of Zombies-specific achievements, and then longer-term Multiplayer achievements that can actually be done in either Multiplayer or Zombies modes. Other than some frustrating campaign achievements, this is a pretty simple and painless completion. Let's get started.
While the campaign and Zombies each have achievements specific to them (and therefore you can do them in any order you'd like, rather than following the next steps in a specific order), be aware that the achievements that specify Multiplayer (Leet Skills (100G), Top Of The Mountain (35G), and Bling Pro 2.0 (30G)) can be progressed either in Multiplayer or Zombies mode. As a result, you should theoretically do Zombies mode before Multiplayer, because all achievements that you must do in Zombies mode will unavoiably progress you quite a bit for all three Multiplayer achievements. However, if you plan to stick with the Multiplayer for a while, no need to do one before the other.
Campaign - Veteran Playthrough and Miscellaneous Achievements:
In my opinion, this Call of Duty campaign on Veteran is one of the easiest I've ever played. I therefore highly recommend you start on Veteran from the getgo. There is no grenade spam whatsoever (having grenades thrown at you at all isn't that common), and enemies give you plenty of time to peek out of cover and shoot them.
Next up are a bunch of miscellaneous campaign achievements that span the entire campaign. In particular are three I would like to point out:
- Munition Magpie (15G) for scavenging ammo from enemies within three seconds of killing them. Make it a point to run to corpses if you see the ammo icon at them, to gradually work on this, because it's much easier to progress and unlock as you go rather than try to grind it out.
- Gotta Try Them All! (15G) for killing enemies with 15 different weapons. I feel like this is virtually unavoidable with all the different settings and weapons in the campaign, but it's still a good idea to vary the weapons you pick up as you need more ammo to make a conscious effort towards this achievement.
- Not Your Fairy Godmother (30G) for throwing back 15 grenades that would've damaged allies. This is another tough one to specifically grind for at a checkpoint unless you happen to get a lucky checkpoint and enemy throwing grenades. You should therefore take advantage of each opportunity you get for this achievement, because even on Veteran enemies don't throw grenades at you that often.
Lastly are the mission-specific achievements. Every mission has two, plus each of the four playable characters has one. Here is a mission-by-mission breakdown for ease of reference. Since you'll probably be playing on Veteran, I have made note of which achievements I do NOT recommend attempting on Veteran, as they are incredibly frustrating. The rest are very easy to unlock even on Veteran.
Mission 1: Phoenix
F (35G) (first and easiest opportunity)
Ticket Please (15G) (do NOT attempt on Veteran)
Beware Of Trains (15G)
Mission 2: Operation Tonga
Shot Caller (15G) (first opportunity)
Only You Can Prevent Friendly Casualties (15G)
Actions Speak Louder Than Words (15G)
Mission 3: Stalingrad
Pop Goes The Nightingale (15G) (first opportunity)
Legend In The Making (15G)
Rain Of Fire (15G)
Mission 4: The Battle of Midway
Slow But Deadly (15G)
Duck And Dive (15G) (do NOT attempt on Veteran)
Mission 5: Numa Numa Trail
Heightened Senses (15G) (first opportunity)
Mission 6: Lady Nightingale
Pop Goes The Nightingale (15G) (second opportunity)
Bird Of Prey (15G)
Behind You (15G) (do NOT attempt on Veteran)
Mission 7: Rats of Tobruk
Pocket Full Of Fun (15G) (first and main opportunity)
Pied Piper (15G)
That's Definitely Not A Knife (15G)
Mission 8: El Alamein
Pocket Full Of Fun (15G) (second opportunity)
Leaving An Impression (15G)
She'll Be Right Mate (15G) (tough to do on Veteran)
Mission 9: The Fourth Reich
Last chance for Shot Caller (15G), Heightened Senses (15G), and Pocket Full Of Fun (15G)
Order In Chaos (15G)
Allies Together, Strong (15G)
For any other campaign-related achievements you may be missing, refer to the guide to see where to unlock each.
NOTE: because Zombies progress carries over to Multiplayer, and because there are two longer term achievements for leveling up a gun and operator to max level, I highly recommend you take a look at Top Of The Mountain (35G) and Bling Pro 2.0 (30G) before starting Zombies. At the least, you should decide on a gun you want to use throughout Zombies and find its associated operator, and unlock that operator ASAP.
Zombies works differently in this game compared to previous titles. You start off in a hub world, and this hub world has a finite number of zombies to kill - once they're all dead, you're safe to roam around at your leisure. Instead of doors blocking off sections of the hub world like in previous entries, there are big portals instead. To open more of the hub world, interact with a portal to go inside, complete its objective, and the portal will be cleared out of the way. There are four different types of portal objectives:
- Blitz - survive until time runs out, being swarmed by zombies the whole time
- Purge - capture 9 points (red relic rings) before time runs out, while fighting off zombies. If time runs out before you capture all points, a huge amount of zombies will be released at once, and you'll have to kill them all to complete the objective
- Harvest - zombies spawn endlessly, and randomly drop red relics. Pick up 5 relics and deposit them all in the Sin Eater marked on your HUD. Do this in three separate Sin Eaters to complete the objective
- Transmit - follow a yellow orb for a set distance. Must stay within its radius to not die, and must be close to it for it to keep moving
As you open up more areas of the hub world, you'll have access to Demonic Fountains, which there are five of, and they are placed in the same locations every time. These are the perks from previous Zombies entries, except in this game you can drink them for free, but pay to upgrade them further. For Thirst Quencher (15G), you need to drink from all five Demonic Fountains in a single game. This will require you to, at most, complete five portal objectives to have access to all five Demonic Fountains, but refer to the achievement solution for a potential way around that. Technically this is the only achievement that requires any real progress - you need to progress to, at most, Wave 6 for this achievement, but all other achievements require much less progress.
As for the four miscellaneous achievements in Zombies, one per artifact, all of these can be grinded out in Wave 1, because artifacts are items that are equipped in your loadout, meaning you start each game with one of your choosing. Refer to Hot Tempered (15G) for an easy way to grind out each of those four achievements on Wave 1, if you'd like.
Last in this mode are Death Dealer (30G) for 2500 kills with a PaP (Pack-a-Punch) level 3 weapon and then Grim Reaper (35G) for 10000 cumulative zombie kills. These are both long and grindy achievements, but still don't require really any skill or general progress in the mode. Obviously you should do the former first, but refer to each for easy (albeit slow and boring) methods of grinding out each one. That'll wrap up Zombies-specific achievements.
The last achievements on this list are for leveling up your overall rank to level 55 (Leet Skills (100G)), a gun of your choosing to level 70 (Bling Pro 2.0 (30G)), and an operator of your choosing to level 20 (Top Of The Mountain (35G)). As mentioned above in the Zombies section, if you haven't already done it, identify a favorite/preferred gun you want to level up all the way to max, then go through the operators and find the one whose favorite weapon is the gun you chose. Unlock that operator, either in Multiplayer or Zombies, and then use that operator with their gun so you get bonus operator and bonus gun XP in every match. Just be aware that unlocking an operator doesn't automatically give you access to their favorite gun; you still have to potentially unlock that gun by ranking up. So it's most efficient to pick one of the starting guns. If you do this, and do the Zombies achievements first, you should definitely be around halfway done with all three achievements listed above (I was level 40 overall, level 38 gun rank, and level 10 operator rank). It's completely up to you as to which mode (Multiplayer or Zombies) you want to play to finish leveling up yourself, your operator, and your gun to max rank. You can even switch between both modes as much as you want. I recommend, either way, that you focus on challenges, since they give the most XP. It'll potentially take a decent amount of hours, and that number is dependent on how good you are, but regardless of skill level you'll eventually level up everything enough to complete these last achievements.
Call of Duty: Vanguard was a surprisingly decent game. Despite the campaign being short and pretty easy, the characters and especially the graphics and voice acting were all incredible. The Zombies mode, in my opinion, was actually way more fun in this game versus previous entries. The Multiplayer is more of the same, but at least if you don't like it you don't actually need to play it for any achievements, since they can all be unlocked in Zombies mode. If you managed those frustrating campaign achievements and stuck out the Zombies/Multiplayer grind, congrats on the completion!