Running a Combat Knife build in multiplayer looks extremely fun. You might have encountered a few players using this kind of setup, but you have no clue how they are running it in Call of Duty Vanguard. Each version of CoD has its version of a melee class setup, but in Vanguard, they are still very similar.

It might look fun, but it takes a lot of skill to make this build effective. Otherwise, you are just feeding the enemy team, and you will lose the match for your team.

In this guide, you will learn the best melee knife setup in CoD: Vanguard and how you can tweak this loadout in different maps and situations.

Melee Knife Build Overview

The melee knife build is a fun and exciting way to play multiplayer. While it is not recommended against good players and big maps, there are ways you can still use the build effectively.

This guide will cover this build extensively as you switch out your loadout for specific maps, change your playstyle, and adjust to particular scenarios during the match.

You will learn which equipment, perks, and primary weapon to use and why they are helpful.

Best Melee Knife Loadout

You will be using the Combat Knife as your secondary. We will go through the other things one by one and see how they can benefit the build.

Primary weapon

Since the build revolves around using the melee knife, using your primary weapon is optional. You can pull it out whenever you want if the situation calls for it.

The Combat Shield may look like the obvious pairing for the melee knife, but it is situational. It does protect you while running, but you will be an easy target for anyone anyway. Once the enemy spots you and you have no nearby cover, you are already dead.

It is best to choose a weapon that can be used for CQB (close-quarter battle) and mid-range fights. Get the best STG44 loadout or M1928 loadout to complement your knife build.

If you are looking to level up other weapons like a quickscoping sniper build, you can use the best Kar98K loadout or another sniper that you prefer.

You will be using your primary weapon situationally, and it will be discussed later on when we get to the maps.


For perk 1, there are a few options. Ghost, Ninja, and Cold Blooded are all good, but in different situations. Ghost allows you to become undetectable by Spy Planes, enemy intel, and Field Mics. When running around the map with your knife, these are all effective in masking your presence.

Ninja reduces the noise you make when running around. I prefer using the Ghost perk over the Ninja perk because of how loud the fights are. Most casual players do not use headsets anyway, and they would need the best audio settings to hear your footsteps when you run around.

For your second park, Forward Intel is the best perk for tracking your kills. Enemies will show up on the minimap if they are near you. You will be able to adjust your running patterns to get behind the enemy team.

For the last perk, Lightweight is the best option. In fact, it is a mandatory perk for the melee knife class setup. Lightweight increases your overall movement speed.

You will be able to catch opponents on their back quicker. This ability is crucial because once they hear you coming from behind, they will turn around and kill you. Reducing the time it takes to reach the opponent will be your safest shot at getting kills with this build.

Typically, you would outrun your opponents without the Lightweight perk because you run faster with the Combat Knife out. You need to bridge that gap more quickly, and enemies who also use the Lightweight perk and run SMGs will be harder to chase.



Stun Grenades are also mandatory. Closing out corners or exiting hallways into an open space will be your biggest challenge. Enemies who hold angles on entrances and exits will be a direct counter to your build.

Throwing Stun Grenades at angles you know players will hold can save your life multiple times in a game. If it does not hit anyone, you will be able to tell since it shows up on your crosshair if it hits anyone.


Throwing Knife is the best option, but it requires a lot of mechanical skills to use. If you are not used to using this equipment, you can choose a different one.

The Throwing Knife gives you one opportunity to deal with an enemy from far away. The farther the distance, the higher your aim needs to be. Throwing the knife will have a “bullet drop” or, in this case, a “knife drop.”

It will be an instant kill if ever you hit the enemy. For other lethal equipment, Molotovs and Frag Grenades will be useful as well.


You can use Molotovs to prevent enemies from entering a location. Utilize this correctly when you are being chased and chasing someone at the same time. Prevent the enemy from pursuing you while you have your eyes set on a target.

Frag Grenades does the same thing, but more on preventing someone from holding an angle. The best example would be the two long hallways in Das Haus. When you start entering those small rooms, there will be enemies at the end covering the whole hallway.

Throwing the Frag Grenade will force them to enter or reposition. You will be able to enter the tight rooms, and this is where your build will shine. Make them play to your advantage and show them how quick your reflexes are.

Melee Knife Strategy

The best strategy is to always keep running while having cover wherever you go. Take sharp turns as much as possible and use your perks to your advantage.

Taking close-quarter battles is the only way you can make this build effective. Stay inside houses and tight areas where you can maneuver a lot. Some examples are some of the houses in Oasis, control room in the Sub Pen, or running around the middle in Das Haus.

Each strategy depends on the map you are playing. Let the players come to you inside a tight space. If you know where they are coming from, go flank them from a different angle and use the Forward Intel to create a path for a backstab.

Most of the situations you encounter will be like the image above. You will end up seeing an enemy entering your area while sprinting. It will take them a while before they can shoot from sprinting.

If they decide to ADS instead of using hip-fire, they are good as dead. If they choose to use hip-fire, they need to hit your head first, or you will get to them first with the knife. It takes excellent reflexes to make this build effective.

If they use a weapon with their attachments built to reduce sprint to fire time, the window to stab them will be much smaller.

Best Maps to Use the Melee Class Setup

The best maps to use the knife melee setup will be areas with a lot of CQB. Places where there are a lot of corners to clear, houses to enter, and multiple floor levels will help this build shine.

Das Haus

Das Haus works well with the melee class build. There are small rooms everywhere, and the Das Haus map is one of the smallest maps in multiplayer.

There are only two long hallways to watch out for, and once you enter the door, you can slip to the side to avoid getting shot.

Keep your distance from players who are holding these hallways. Throw grenades at them so that you can enter the hallway and hug the walls.

Always keep running and keep an eye out for the enemy players on the minimap. If your team starts to push forward, the enemies might spawn on the other side, which will cause chaos from all directions.

Most of the players use shotguns and SMGs here. The map is purely close-quarter battles. Explosives will be highly effective in this map. With the amount of space the players can work with, you will hear explosions almost every second of the match.

The strategy is to keep roaming around the middle and hug the walls while entering all the small rooms. Wait for overly aggressive enemies and stab them when they start fighting your teammates. Avoid using finishing moves. The backup will be fast.

Sub Pens

Sub Pens only has one good area for the melee build. Just camp the control room and do not show yourself in one of the hallways. Stay at the sides of the entrances. If you choose to roam the middle near the sub, there will be levels where you can maneuver and avoid mid-range fights.


Oasis has a big open area which is terrible for you. However, there are a lot of houses in the middle of the map where you can roam around.

Camping is not usually recommended because they might throw equipment to clear these houses. Keep running around the middle and hug corners until you find a target. The Forward Intel perk will be your best friend here.


Another great map to use the melee class build aside from Das Haus. There are multiple houses in the middle, and the map is not that big compared to maps like Oasis.

There are covers such as cars, walls, and boxes you can maneuver by inside the houses. However, these houses have breakable walls where enemies can see you if they decide to break them.

In my experience, no one purposefully breaks these walls anyway.

Final Thoughts

The best melee knife setup only has a few variations. However, it is one of the most exciting experiences in CoD Vanguard. The satisfaction you get from getting multiple killstreaks before dying is so fulfilling.

It does get old after a while, but you should always switch it up. You can also use your primary as the perks used for the build pair well with other run and gun loadouts in Call of Duty Vanguard.