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Call of Duty Vanguard Alpha hits PS5 this week — here’s how to play

Call of Duty Vanguard - multiplayer
(Image credit: Activision)

Call of Duty Vanguard is set to launch this November, but eager players won’t have to wait till then to get hands-on as an exclusive Alpha is taking place on PS5 and PS4 this weekend, as confirmed by the PlayStation Blog.  

Running from Friday, August 27 until Sunday, August 29, the Call of Duty Vanguard Alpha will give participants access to the new Champions Hill mode. This mode is described as a “multi-arena survival tournament where tactics and strategy combine with quick-action, close-quarter gunplay.” 

The mode can be played in either Duo (2v2) or Trio (3v3), and will see your squad compete against seven others in a round-robin tournament to claim victory. It should be a fairly intense mode that appears to be rather reminiscent of Gunfight from 2019’s Call of Duty Modern Warfare. 

Participating in the Call of Duty Vanguard Alpha won’t just let you experience the game ahead of release. You’ll also get an exclusive Calling Card and Emblem in the Vanguard upon its full release as well as having access to these customization items in Call of Duty Warzone later this year. 

While Call of Duty Vanguard will be releasing on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One and PC, the Alpha is exclusively available on PS5 and PS4. Fear not if you don’t play on PlayStation, a beta will be held before November that is expected to be available across platforms. 

How to play the Call of Duty Vanguard Alpha 

Call of Duty Vanguard Alpha in the PlayStation Store

(Image credit: Sony)

Taking part in the Call of Duty Vanguard Alpha is extremely easy. For starters, there are no additional requirements to get involved. You don’t have to pre-order the game, or even have a PlayStation Plus membership, it’s open to all players on PS5 and PS4. 

The Alpha is scheduled to begin from August 27 at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET) and will run until the same time on August 29. However, you can already pre-load the client so that when the Alpha starts you can immediately jump straight into the action. 

If you already own Call of Duty Modern Warfare, Call of Duty Warzone or Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War, then you can access the Alpha from the main menu of these titles. Just select the Vanguard Alpha blade, which is located to the far left of the main menu screen. Clicking this option will take you directly to the PlayStation Store to begin downloading the Aphla client.

If you don’t own any of those previous Call of Duty games or don’t have them currently installed on your system, the Alpha can be accessed from the PlayStation Store. Just search for Call of Duty Vanguard Alpha on either the PS4 and PS5 and it should appear instantly. 

Alternatively, you can begin the download process from a PC or mobile device, using either this link for the PS5 version or this link for the PS4 version. Once you’ve redeemed the Alpha on your PSN account it will be accessible from the Game Library section of your console.  

Rory is a staff writer at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics including tech news, deals, gaming, streaming and more. When he’s not writing hot takes on the latest gaming hardware and streaming shows, he can be found watching a borderline unhealthy amount of movies and being thoroughly disappointed by his terrible football team.