Vacant is a small map that is set in an abandoned office building in Pripyat, Ukraine. The main building contains various pieces of office equipment, cubicles, and random debris lying around. Attached to the main building is a warehouse, which connects to the main office area. Outside one can find multiple destroyed vehicles, abandoned shipping containers, and a large oil tank. The map caters to multiple play styles. Most of the map plays host to intense close-quarter battles, due to most of the map's area composing of indoor areas. The outdoor areas usually serve as flanking positions but contain more long-range combat. Also at each corner of the map, there are overviews of the city.
In Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, if the player goes outside where the shipping containers are, there are apartment buildings surrounding the area. In Modern Warfare 2, these buildings are replaced by the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, the power plant has been moved behind the main office portion of the building towards the southeast and is visible from the parking lot. Also featured in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered version is the Palace of Culture Energetik, Pripyat Square and the Polissya Hotel, visible from the office.
If the player goes far enough out of the map in Spectator mode, they will be able to see the background picture is of Pripyat, Ukraine, suggesting that it is in the Chernobyl environment. Also in Spectator, the player can see the building they left before entering the hotel at the end of "All Ghillied Up".
Gunshots can be heard as part of the ambient sounds.
On the sides of some of the green shipping containers, one can see a stylized logo of Captain Price's face smoking a pipe. Below the face, it says, "OSCAR MIKE'S SHIPPING COMPANY", followed by, "WE ARE ALWAYS ON THE MOVE", a reference to the military term "Oscar-Mike".
The gate separating the back office (Spetsnaz spawn) and hallway is removed when playing Demolition.
In the small makeshift garage on the outside of the map, there is the same calendar of the girl as the one in Carnival.
Just like in the barbershop on Favela, when shot at or knifed, the mirrors in the bathroom will cause damage to the player if they are close enough.
Pictures of Overgrown can be seen hanging around the walls of the office, specifically the farm and the ravine building with the external staircase. The stairwell at the USMC building of Crash can also be seen in some of the pictures.
On Port of Verdansk, a Ground War map, Vacant is also featured as the location holding the C flag. It has a slightly different appearance to the standard version and allows players to climb ladders to traverse the roof of the building.
The entire city of Verdansk is visible outside of the map.