Call of Duty Season 4: Mercenaries of Fortune is now live, introducing traditional round-based Zombies gameplay to Vanguard with the addition of the “enhanced” Shi No Numa map. This is a map originally introduced in Call of Duty: World at War way back in 2008, and whether you’re an OG Zombies fan or just new to Vanguard, there are some features and changes you’ll want to know about before jumping into your first match on Shi No Numa.
The round-based Zombies survival experience is mostly traditional for this version of Shi No Numa, but the map does include Vanguard-style perks, as well as many of the game’s additional features. Below we break down all the changes you can expect to find in Vanguard’s Shi No Numa.
Shi No Numa’s Vanguard perks and features
Get all the perks
Starting with the important bits, let’s talk about the Zombies perk system. Vanguard perks don’t look or perform like the traditional perk vending machines that are typically found in Treyarch’s Zombies mode. To fit Vanguard’s occult themes, this version of Zombies uses gothic-looking fountains that you can interact with to obtain one of the mode’s new perks.
It’s important to grab each perk as soon as you locate it, because you don’t have to pay for the base perks in Vanguard Zombies. There’s also no limit to how many perks you can have in Vanguard, so feel free to grab them all. Here is our complete perk fountain guide for Shi No Numa, including a breakdown of how each perk works and their locations on the map.
Altar of Covenants
For Shi No Numa, the Altar of Covenants is located along the pathway that leads from the Main Hut to the Comm Room building. It’s a large skeletal altar with horns.
Vanguard’s Altar of Covenants feature allows you to earn powerful buffs to equip as you progress in higher rounds. Covenants work a bit differently for Shi No Numa than they do on Vanguard’s objective-style maps. You’ll earn a Sacrificial Heart item for every three rounds completed on Shi No Numa, whereas you get a heart for every objective round completed on the objective-based maps.
These Sacrificial Hearts can be taken to the Altar of Covenants, where they can be exchanged for one of three randomized buffs. The selection of buffs will change at the Altar of Covenants every three rounds, so you can always swap out or wait for better buffs.
Death Blow is a great Covenant to choose. Headshots are important, especially in higher rounds, and Death Blow is a Covenant that will reward you for those critical kills by returning bullets to your clip. Resurrectionist is also a great Covenant choice when squading up in co-op, as this buff allows you to revive allies faster.
Tome of Rituals
Shi No Numa’s Tome of Rituals is found on the pathway leading from the Main Hut to the Fishing Hut. You’ll see it as soon as you pass underneath the Flogger. This looks like a large pedestal with a set of hands holding a glowing book.
The Tome of Rituals also costs the Sacrificial Hearts item, and this feature allows you to upgrade your loadout’s equipped artifact with additional abilities, which works similar to the ability upgrade tiers in Black Ops Cold War. The only difference is that these aren’t permanent skill tier unlocks like Black Ops Cold War’s version. These upgrades must be made for each match. For more details on the Tome of Rituals and how each upgrade affects each artifact, check out our full explanation of the feature.
New Dig Site POI
If you are familiar with the original Shi No Numa, you’ll likely notice a brand-new area to explore. Treyarch included the new Dig Site location, which the developer describes as an open space that makes a great place to take on a large zombie horde. Found directly north of the Main Hut, the Dig Site can only be accessed from the Comm Room and Storage Hut pathways. This can’t be reached directly from your starting point at the Main Hut.
Wall Buys return, plus Pack-a-Punch changes
Vanguard’s objective maps don’t have Zombies’ classic Wall Buy feature, which lets you buy a weapon off various walls found around the maps. However, the feature does return with Shi No Numa, but it works a bit differently this time. Unlike the simplified Wall Buys from the original map, weapons now have a chance to evolve over time. Starting at round six on Shi No Numa, Wall Buys will have a chance to increase in Pack-A-Punch level every round all the way up to level three at higher rounds. This change is similar to Black Ops Cold War’s “dynamic Wall Buy” upgrades that had the potential to upgrade the weapon rarity.
In addition to the evolving Wall Buys, the Pack-a-Punch machine is also available to upgrade your weapons. Shi No Numa’s Pack-a-Punch machine is found at the new Dig Site location. Treyarch announced a change to Vanguard’s overpriced Pack-a-Punch upgrades for Shi No Numa. The cost for a level one Pack-A-Punch upgrade has been decreased from 7,500 to 5,000 Essence points, which reduces the price to Zombies’ original cost for the first weapon upgrade.
The Wunderwaffe returns, but wait to use the Mystery Box
Originally featured on Shi No Numa, the Wunderwaffe DG-2 Wonder Weapon is returning with the enhanced map. There is an in-game quest that lets you build the weapon, or it can be obtained through the Mystery Box. However, don’t waste your points early trying to get the Wunderwaffe DG-2 from the box. Treyarch revealed in the Season 4 patch notes that this Wonder Weapon would not show up in the Mystery Box until you reach round 10.
Shi No Numa continues Treyarch’s Dark Aether narrative, so if you’re wanting to experience the full story for Vanguard Zombies, we have a narrative prologue guide for Der Anfang, and a main storyline Easter egg guide for Terra Maledicta. If you are looking for perk locations for Vanguard Zombies’ objective-based maps, we have perk guides for both Der Anfang and Terra Maledicta.
GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.
The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.