In CoD Vanguard Zombies, you are allowed to choose your loadout from a variety of options. However, these weapons are the same ones you can use in multiplayer, and they all share the same progression levels.

There is a weapon mystery box available in CoD Zombies, but this will be primarily used for your secondary weapon.

In this guide, you will learn the absolute best weapon build in CoD Vanguard Zombies, and you can reach round 20+ consistently, even on solo.

Weapon Build Overview

The build will be revolving around a single weapon with a combination of some mandatory covenants and perks. With the following build, you will shred through any zombie type and deal with hordes efficiently.

Combat Shotgun

The weapon you will be using will be the Combat Shotgun (pump-action). The Combat Shotgun has by far the most damage per second you can have on any gun. However, your playstyle will be adjusted once you get past round 18. More on this later.

As for the attachments, the only important thing here is the tighter bullet spread (M97 Full Choke). It will allow you to kill Sturmkriegers like they are just regular zombies.

Avoid decreasing Aim Down Sight Speeds, and you will be good to go.

Now, the weapon you are using on your loadout will start as a common rarity. You will have to invest in the Pack-A-Punch upgrade to turn your loadout into a legendary rarity weapon which will cost a total of 52,500 Essence.

There will be three upgrades costing 7,500, 15,000, and 30,000 Essence, respectively. You will be able to purchase this as early as rounds 3, 6, and 9. This depends on how well you are playing with your team. On solo, you can max out at round 8 with a few cheap perk upgrades.


For Covenant upgrades, there are a few mandatory ones, especially in the early rounds. Look for the Altar of Covenants in the middle of the area before entering any portals. It should be next to the Exfil portal.

Look for the “Death Blow” Covenant and purchase it immediately when it shows up. The Covenants that show up will be completely random. It refreshes on each round, so you will need to consistently check for new Covenant upgrades every time you return from a portal.

The Death Blow Covenant upgrade allows you to sustain your magazine as it gives you a chance to return bullets into your current clip with critical kills.

Once you get the legendary version of the Death Blow Covenant, critical kills will return two bullets to your clip at a 100% chance.

The rare version only gives you a chance to return one bullet to your clip with critical kills. It is a significant difference, but the rare version is also mandatory in the early rounds.

The Death Blow Covenant changes your playstyle as you will need to focus on getting critical kills as often as possible. With the legendary upgrade, you will never need to reload ever again.

You will have two extra Covenant slots, which should be reserved for Cull the Weak and Cryofreeze. These two upgrades should be taken together as they only work well together.

Cull the Weak exponentially increases your critical damage on slowed or stunned enemies. Cryofreeze gives you a chance to slow enemies when shooting them. With an equipped shotgun, every pellet counts as a hit which should instantly slow enemies either way.

In rounds 1 to 15, you can easily get through the rounds with just the Pack-A-Punch upgrade on your Combat Shotgun. With the Cull the Weak and Cryofreeze, you will still be able to one-shot Sturmkriegers in round 20. That is an insane amount of damage that no other gun can do.


The order of perks you will need to focus on will be the following.

  1. Diabolical Damage – Critical Damage
  2. Aethereal Haste – Movement Speed
  3. Demonic Frenzy – Reload Speed
  4. Fiendish Fortitude – Increase Health
  5. Venomous Vigor – Health Regeneration Speed

Reload speed is usually high on the priority list, but you do not have to invest in it with the Death Blow Covenant. As long as you are hitting your critical kills, you should have unlimited magazines and ammo.

The playstyle involves a lot of running. You will either get up close to get a clearer headshot or kite when you are about to get surrounded from different directions.

Critical damage is still the priority because you want to kill zombies in one shot to the head. If your damage is not significant enough to one-shot a zombie, that extra pellet that hits the body will not return ammo to your magazine.



The artifact is highly optional. All of them are good if you can utilize them as a team. If you are running solo, use the Aether Shroud or the Frost Blast.

The Aether Shroud should give you a free exit to regenerate your health when you are being swarmed. Frost Blast will help you kite zombies and free up more space in the area.

How to Play the Build

You can use hip-fire throughout the game for the early rounds until you reach round 15, when enemies get more brutal. You will run around until you get close to a zombie and unload on them.

You should always peek at your minimap to know where the zombies are coming from. If you are being chased from behind while fighting zombies in front of you, move forward while shooting until you clear what is in front of you.

For rounds 20 and above, you should start to use your ADS (aim down sights) for every enemy before shooting. Make sure it hits the head. Regular zombies will no longer die from hip-fire since you will need a headshot on regular zombies now.

They will move faster and spawn a lot more frequently. The challenge starts here. It will be up to your mechanical skills at this point.

Always keep a Decoy Grenade or a Monkey Bomb with you at all times. It will bail you out when you start getting surrounded by the enemies from literally all directions.

You can use this build on solo. It will be the fastest way to level up in CoD Vanguard Zombies, and the progress will also help your multiplayer levels. You can play CoD Zombies to level up until you get the weapon you want to play in multiplayer since it is faster here.

Final Thoughts

The build is pretty straightforward. Your goal is to have unlimited ammo while pumping the most damage. Since most shotguns and bolt-action rifles benefit from the Death Blow Covenant, you can explore more builds.

However, the Combat Shotgun is the most powerful gun when it comes to one-shotting enemies. The damage is absurd when you look at the images. It might get boring when you spam, so feel free to explore other builds of your own with all the knowledge you learned here.