CS:GO’s Operation Vanguard: Campaigns and Missions Explained

The latest Counter-Strike: Global Offensive operation went live earlier tonight, and it’s way, way different than previous installments. For starters, there are now 44 preset missions organized into various campaigns, all of which reward you with various drops for completing them.

What is the operation and how much does it cost?

“Operation Vanguard” ships with six community maps, a new operation case, 44 campaign missions with preset objectives, and an upgradeable coin. It costs $5.99.

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When does it end?

February 10.

What are campaigns?

Purchasing the Vanguard pass gives you access to two of the four campaigns. Each campaign contains a series of branching mission paths. Completing each mission unlocks the next one on that particular path.

The $5.99 pass includes the “Vanguard” and “Weapon Specialist” campaigns. If you want the other two campaigns, Maghreb and Eurasia Theater, you will need to purchase them separately for $2.99 each. They both include 21 additional missions each.

What are missions?

You can complete missions to unlock drops and upgrade your Operation Vanguard Challenge Coin.

Completing any mission will give you either a Vanguard Case or a weapon drop. You can mouseover each mission to see what the reward will be.

Missions are organized into sequences. Completing a sequence will give you Challenge Stars, which allow you to upgrade your coin. These sequences don’t appear to have much of a theme, and if you want to level up your coin, you will be playing a lot of different game modes over the course of this operation.

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How do I start a mission?

Once you’ve purchased the Vanguard pass, open up the journal from your inventory and flip to the campaign page that you want to do missions for. Click on the mission you would like to track (remember that you can’t choose a mission unless you’ve completed the ones ahead of it in the sequence), and it will send you into a queue for that game mode.

Keep in mind that you may not get the specific map you need for a particular mission.

Why can’t I start a new mission?

There is a weekly cap on how many missions you can do. You’re allowed to complete two missions a week with the base pass. Purchasing one of the extra campaigns will allow you to complete an additional mission per week, and purchasing both will give you two bonus missions per week (for a total of four).

How many missions do I need to complete to level up my Vanguard coin?

It’s a little bit complicated. This operation will last for about 13 weeks. That means if you only buy the base pass, you will be able to complete a total of 26 missions. It takes 8 missions to reach the end of a sequence on your first time through a campaign, and less with each subsequent one (as you will already have some of the paths unlocked). Completing a sequence will reward you with anywhere from 1-3 stars. and it takes 3 stars to upgrade your coin to silver.

All-in-all, this means that if you plan out your progression in advance, you should have no problem at all getting to gold with 26 missions.

Are there still regular item drops?

Yes, you will still receive normal drops. If you have an Operation Vanguard pass, you will be eligible to receive Vanguard cases in these drops.

How many new weapon skins are there?

There are 14 new skins unlockable through Vanguard cases.

What are the new maps?

The maps included in this operation are:

  • Backalley (Hostage)
  • Bazaar (Bomb)
  • Facade (Bomb)
  • Marquis (Bomb)
  • Season (Bomb)
  • Workout (Hostage)

What’s this about Arms Race?

With Vanguard, the Arms Race mode has gotten an overhaul. In addition to three new maps (ones previously exclusive to Demolition mode), the in-game progression has been significantly changed. Instead of changing weapons with each kill, you’ll now need multiple kills with most weapons. The highest scoring player on each team will also be marked as the “team leader,” and will be visible through walls to the enemy team.

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