Call of Duty: Pioneer released last Friday on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S, with cross-play enabled for multiplayer. The PC version of Call of Duty: Pioneer is available exclusively on Battle.net. Unlike last year’s Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Vanguard doesn’t take up most of your storage space. Cold War requires approximately 82GB of HDD or SSD space for all game modes. Vanguard gives you the option to install only multiplayer and zombies mode. The files are about 36GB at startup. The campaign added 14GB of assets, bringing the total file download on PC to 50GB.

Call of Duty: Pioneer PC Requirements

Call of Duty: Pioneer gives you four different requirements, ranging from a minimum requirement of a GeForce GTX 960 or Radeon RX 470 with 2GB of VRAM, to a 4K Ultra that requires you to have an RTX 3080 or RX 6800 XT with 10GB of VRAM set up. Even better, you can also run Vanguard on PCs running AMD FX-6300 or Intel i3-4340 – the former launched in 2012 and the latter in 2013.

Call of Duty: Pioneer to Forza Horizon 5, a game to play in November

Call of Duty: Pioneer Minimum PC System Requirements

The minimum specs required to play Call of Duty: Vanguard are-

  • OS: 10 64-bit (latest update)
  • CPU: Intel Core i3-4340 or AMD FX-6300
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Video memory: 2GB
  • Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 or AMD Radeon RX 470
  • DirectX: 12
  • Storage: 36GB at launch (multiplayer and zombies only)

Call of Duty: Pioneer Recommended PC System Requirements

These are the recommended specs to run Vanguard at 60FPS in most situations, with all options set to high.

  • OS: 10 64-bit (latest update) or Windows 11 64-bit (latest update)
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K or AMD Ryzen 5 1600X
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Video memory: 4GB
  • Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 580
  • DirectX: 12
  • Storage: 61GB at launch

Call of Duty: Pioneer Competitive PC System Requirements

These are the competitive specs for running the new Call of Duty game at high FPS for use with high refresh rate monitors.

  • OS: 10 64-bit (latest update) or Windows 11 64-bit (latest update)
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-8700K or AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Video memory: 8GB
  • Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 / Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti or AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT
  • DirectX: 12
  • Storage: 61GB at launch

Call of Duty: Pioneer Ultra 4K PC System Requirements

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The super specs to run the game at high FPS at 4K resolution are as follows –

  • OS: 10 64-bit (latest update) or Windows 11 64-bit (latest update)
  • CPU: Intel Core i9-9900K or AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Video memory: 10GB
  • Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 or AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT
  • DirectX: 12
  • Storage: 61GB at launch

Call of Duty: Vanguard Graphics Settings

Call of Duty: Pioneer gives you a bunch of options that you can tweak to check which graphics settings work best with your rig. If you have a high refresh rate monitor, the game allows you to choose the refresh rate in the display settings. In addition to that, it also provides a frame rate limiter that you can manually set depending on your system. It also allows you to adjust the aspect ratio, whether it’s 16:10, 16:9, 21:9 or 32:9. It also gives you a handle to change the field of view (FOV) setting, which actually increases the height and width of the frame. The default value is set to 80 and can be increased to 120. It’s worth remembering that increasing FOV can affect frame rates and also cause motion sickness in some people.

Vanguard offers five different quality presets for graphics, starting with Low, then working up to Lowest, Medium, High, and finally Ultra. It also provides options to adjust the rendering resolution. It basically represents a defined level of 3D scene rendering around maps and other elements. Decreasing the value can improve performance, and increasing the value parameter can improve quality. The lowest value it can achieve is 66, while the highest is 200. This has a big impact on VRAM, so choose accordingly.

Vanguard has several graphics settings to customize
credit: Activision. Screenshot: Robin John/TechnologyShout

It offers countless options in detail and texture, including texture resolution, texture filter anisotropy, particle quality level, particle resolution, bullet impact and spray, shader quality, tessellation and many other such options. As for lightning, you can adjust screen space shadows, which basically increase or decrease the detail level of the shadows. It also allows you to change the shadow map resolution, which allows you to set the level of detail for shadows. The game also gives you a short explanation of all settings so that everyone can easily dissect the jargon.

Call of Duty: Pioneer also supports FidelityFX Super Resolution 1.0, AMD’s spatial upscaling technology that increases frame rates with minimal impact on image quality. It offers four different presets ranging from Performance, Balanced, Quality and Ultra Quality. This also has a big impact on VRAM. In addition to FidelityFX, it also offers the FidelityFX CAS option, which enhances the clarity of the scene. In order for this to work, Vanguard insists on turning off any sharpening methods that have been enabled in the graphics card settings.

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In addition to this, Vanguard also supports Nvidia Reflex Low Latency. You can turn it off completely or enable it. You also get a third option, On + Boost. Turn on Low Latency mode to optimize system latency, and On + Boost option to increase GPU clock frequency when CPU is constrained. It also increases the power drawn from the GPU.

Vanguard also supports resolution multipliers so you can enjoy 4K gaming even if you don’t have a 4K monitor. This basically renders the game at 3840×2160 resolution, then downscales it to 1920×1080. This will also have a huge impact on your VRAM, and the game recommends that you keep the monitor’s native resolution.

Call of Duty: Vanguard PC performance

For this game, our test gear consisted of a 3.6GHz AMD Ryzen 5 3600 CPU, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super GPU with 6GB VRAM, a Full HD 1080p display with a 144Hz refresh rate, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB NVMe SSD on 10 ( 21H1). We used all the latest drivers for Nvidia cards and Windows. Game tested with FidelityFX Super Resolution 1.0 and FidelityFX CAS turned off.

As mentioned, the game allows you to try out five different graphics presets. With the graphics options set to “minimum,” we managed to see an average of 115 fps, with the maximum frame rate hitting the 190 fps mark. We did see some drop in frame rate during the massive explosion, but it didn’t drop below 135 fps. That’s not surprising, as our testbed all of the minimum requirements published by Activision.

Call of Duty Pioneer Combat Gadget 360 Call of Duty Pioneer

Arthur Kingsley and Polina Petrova in Chaos
Image credit: Activision

Moving up, we tried the “Low” graphics preset, and it managed to hit an average of 96 fps with a maximum frame rate that hit the 118 fps mark. We also noticed the frame rate dropped arbitrarily to 79 fps when approaching an explosion and when a lot of bullets were firing at you at the same time. It managed to between 95-110 fps most of the time. Next, we tried the “Medium” preset. The template manages 60 fps on average, with a maximum frame rate hitting the 108 fps mark. The lowest frame rate measured in this preset is around 58 fps.

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The next graphics setting “High” tested our rig correctly. It averaged 54 fps, maxed out at around 86 fps, and hit a minimum of 43 fps in close combat and gunfights. Last but not least, the “Ultra” graphics preset averaged around 50 fps, dropping constantly to the 41-43 fps mark during combat. The maximum frame rate achieved on this preset is 68 fps.

Call of Duty: Pioneer Multiplayer, Zombies PC Performance

With Call of Duty: Vanguard, you can also experience two additional modes. We played Multiplayer and Zombies at 1080p on “High” settings. We averaged around 64 fps in Zombies Mode, maxing out at the 88 fps mark, and hitting a minimum of around 53 fps when a horde of zombies came running towards you.

Call of Duty Vanguard Multiplayer Hands On: Step Back In Time

Call of Duty Vanguard Zombies gadgets360 Call of Duty: Vanguard

Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies Mode
Image credit: Activision

As for the multiplayer mode, it was an enjoyable experience. Our testbed achieved an average frame rate of around 71 on the High preset, hitting a maximum of 80 fps and a minimum of 57 fps during close-quarters combat and grenade explosions.

Should you buy Call of Duty: Pioneer on PC?

Call of Duty: Pioneer is available on PC in two editions: Standard and Ultimate. The standard version of the game is priced at $59.99 (approximately Rs 4,470), while the Ultimate Edition is priced at $99.99 (approximately Rs 7,408).

The Ultimate Edition gives you a Task Force Pack (3 Operator Skins and 3 Weapon Blueprints with Tracer), Battle Pass Bundle (1 Season Battle Pass + 20 Skip Levels), 5 hours of 2XP. The asking price is a lot, especially for the Ultimate Edition, but the campaign and multiplayer modes are fun to play, and the graphics are really good if you have a PC that can run the game on medium to high settings.

Unlike some other Call of Duty games, namely Warzone and Black Ops Cold War, Vanguard isn’t very demanding in terms of storage space – as I said before, about 50 GB including campaign mode. And, if you’re a multiplayer fan, you won’t be disappointed as it also supports cross-play. If you have friends on an Xbox or PlayStation console, you can enter the lobby and become one of the “Pioneers”. Our review of Call of Duty: Pioneer is coming soon, read on to find out what we feel about the game.


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