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Apr 10 2010
By: phantom_T Fender Bender 3154 posts
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Tips on becoming a better First Person Shooter.

120 replies 9598 views Edited Apr 10, 2010

I am not the best killer on the planet. I never will be. I am comfortable with this.

What I do have however are quite a few strategies and plans that I have found to work very well in various First Person Shooters, I have played a hell alot of them in my time and many different sub-genres of the FPS, From Killzone and MAG to Resistance, COD and Timesplitters. All the way back to at least Goldeneye. Whilst playing through MAG recently I've beginning to question why at times newbies and more veteraned shooters fold like a deck of cards under certain situations I or others may put them in, So in the effort of maybe teaching the enemy I thought I would list a few pointers and tips to help out anybody who feels like they may be struggling in performing shooting-wise and want to brush up on there skills.

 

I will keep all of these tips in context of MAG in a shooting and non-objective based description, but these can/will/may also apply to other shooters.

 

Aiming Down A Sight.

 

This sounds easy enough, just press L1 and you're ready to go right? Wrong.

Aiming provides a stable platform for medium to long range shooting and makes it alot easier to get a bead on the opponent, it raises your ability to hit a target dramatically and yet there is many different times and places of how and when to aim. Usually I find it best to NOT move the aiming recticule any higher or lower than when you first enter the game as it is placed in the perfect position to start, which leads us on..

 

 Quick Draw.

The ability to snap onto a target as quickly as possible raises the chances of you putting him down significantly. The second you draw the sight to your eyeline you should have the sight within at LEAST a foot each side of your target from the beginning, at the very least. If you have problems with this practice at any given opportunity, regularily try and quick draw onto a designated spot such as a poster on a wall or maybe even a friendly squad member, always try and aim for at least a foot each side and practice this until you get it within that range, instantly on the target is obviously preferable. This is all about your judgement of range and practice of this in your speed and reflex will soon drill it into your brain and you will be judging measurements instantly.

 

 When To Fire.

This is crucial. If you do not make your first shot count the attack can go disasterously, I have had many an opponent fire off a spot prematurely and put the shot completely wide of me and alerting me to his presence, this is obviously a very bad card to hand to your target. Take your time with the aim and make sure you have the aiming recticule bang on your target before you pull the trigger and to be comfortable with the shot you are going to take. When you have finally mastered the ability to Quick Draw onto a target and target perfectly you can start to fire alot faster, this alone will raise your kill count considerably.

 

 Moving Parallel/Diagonal Targets.

Tracking the target with the sight is usually where people go completely wrong on this and miss the shot entirely.

The trick is to usually aim around the space in which the running targets elbow/knees are pulling forward as they run, aiming here will usually give you the best damage output per shot and is a larger and easier target to track than the head. Judge your tracking speed roughly in equation to the distance they are from you, The further away the target is the more gently you can move the right analog stick into their destined path, and the closer they are the faster you will have to be. Once again this takes time so practice constantly at any given opportunity (Maybe controversial but practicing by hitting the area directly behind a moving friendly squad-mate works just as well)

 

 Incoming Target From A Raised Location.

 If you are on a raised platform and have a target coming towards you there is two different options.

 

 Long Range.

I find aiming for the torso works the best, this way you can keep your trigger down for longer periods of time and you can take advantage of the fact that they will run directly into the line of fire, this way your bullets will stitch upwards across the torso/chest and maybe into the head just at the moment they are registering that they are being hit. Do this correctly and you will have them on the floor before they can take any form of action. Shoot five shot bursts are very effective here as it maximises your accuracy.

Go full auto until the recticule kicks too high,move slowly back down to track the target and finish with controlled bursts if needed.

 

 Medium Range.

 This will work basically in the same method as your long range firing but due to the closer proximity to you he will present a larger target for you. Start from the chest and keep the trigger finger down,  Medium range is usually the area that a large portion of players realise they have a enemy infront of them so quick drawing your weapon is CRUCIAL, the faster you can get the bead on their upper-chest the faster you can start shooting and the less time he has to respond and escape/kill you. At further medium ranges it may pay off to aim for the torso and adjust your line of fire into the chest as he moves forward.

Long bursts of fire usually work better here.

 

 

Close Quarter Shooting.

 

This is where I see an astounding amount of players go wrong and meet an early respawn screen, there is many ways of combating an opponent up close (within fifteen Metres) but always remember this will be the area you are most at risk, He/She will know you are there and you will be in a race against the clock for the kill against their kill.

 

 Hip Fire.

Close quarter shoot-outs revolve around three main principles

Movement.

Speed.

Accuracy.

 

Shooting from the hip is by FAR the fastest way of taking down a close opponent, by aiming you have to focus on getting the aiming dot exactly on the body and start firing, this wastes precious seconds and prolongs the time it takes before you have a firing line which the enemy will use to start firing before you, therefore putting you at an instant disadvantage.

DO NOT NOOB SPRAY. I personally class Noob Spraying as going for an opponent by moving the right anolog stick (controlling the gun) into position and keeping up with the target, by doing this you are giving yourself the harder task of keeping a bead on the opponent while remaining relatively stationary, do not do it.

 

 Strafing.

Strafing is the word used to describe movement from left to right while keeping a lock on a target, I find it far more benificial to do than noob spraying for two reasons.

1) You have to move the right anolog stick very little, cutting down on your needed hand-eye coordination.

2) A moving target is harder to hit and puts added pressure and difficulty on your opponent.

 

This can take some time to perfect for some people, but is essential for personal safety. It can also be used to a lesser degree when aiming down the sight from closeish/medium range. Move to the left or right all the time slightly adjusting the right analog stick to keep your aim on the target and to compensate for your movement. This will make life harder for your target, shooting a clay pidgeon is harder than shooting a stationary bottle.

Always remember to compensate for distance by adjusting the amount of bullets you are putting out per second, the further the target the more focused you want your hits so the less you want to fire, the closer they are feel free to go for full auto.

 

 

 "The Circle Of Death."

This is basically strafing in a full 360 degree arce of fire around the opponent if needed, the closer you are to him/her the faster you are moving and therefore the harder you are to hit, this tactic is far more sucessful when you are close and lessens the further out you are. Follow the basic rules of strafing and remember that if you can see his back or side he is no longer able to hit you and you can fire freely - He is dead.

 

 

Multiple Opponents.

 

The big one. The one everybody loves to win. The one that always feels the best when you walk away from three bodies. Here's some tips on doing it.

 

 Long Range.

The safest to do, apply long range methods of shooting as described earlier and pick off targets one by one. A forward moving group is always the easiest to hit compared to a parallel or diagonal moving  group. Raised positions will raise your chances of hitting multiple targets at long range drastically, it gives you more line of sight and therefore more time to kill.

 

Forward Moving Group.

Full auto and there is no other way for it. Start from the first target at the front and work your way through the centre mass, cause as much damage to the group as humanely possible. If you go full auto and get maybe two/three kills it will usually scatter the group into cover so remember who ran where to watch for incoming fire, they were running towards you so they have the highest chance of seeing where the fire came from, therefore putting you in danger. If therr is still wounded on the floor and you feel relatively safe enough to keep going feel free to watch the bodies and pick off any medics heading to revive with controlled chest burst, kill duck reload and repeat. If you are taking fire and you feel it is too heavy to continue relocate to a different spot.

 

Diagonal Moving Group.

Moderately safe and moderately harder due to them not heading in your direction but also not lining up like ten-pins. With this kind of movement it is usually best to just go from the front and rake your fire backwards into the group, you will be usually able to see overlapping targets and this makes the best targets due to maximum shot impact, as with the forward group your priority is to cause as much shock damage as humanly possible. Always be prepared to spot anybody who you know saw the shots and watch where they went, most people will be gunning for you afterwards.

 

Parallel Moving Group.

Alot harder to hit due to them facing completely sideways and being a thinner target, but also alot safer due to them not heading in any way to your location and have minimal eyeline to you. Start from the highest concerntration of bodies and keep fire on them until they drop, raking the opponent is usually useless as you do not get enough shots into them before the group is behind cover, nor is it easy to kill with a stationary sight due to the movement speed and the inability to drop targets. Pick your targets and stick on them, then go for the next if you have time.

 

Medium Range.

 

Snap On/Snap Off.

Usually the hardest method but definitely the most satisfying when achieved, choose your target and go for the high chest or head for the quick kill and then drop aim do NOT try and move the aim to the next target if he has gained ground on you as it can lose you vital seconds, if you are good at this the first target will hit the floor just around the time the second realises what has happened. Side-step quickly and strafe-aim the remaining target until he/she is dead. This is obviously alot harder with multiple targets but certain factors such as speed,ambush and the right positioning can give you the chance to maybe take four targets at a time. 

 

Multiple Target Line.

Start as the same in Snap On/Snap off but strafe from the beginning, move into a position where you have constant aim on your first target but the second and maybe third are coming into your line of sight, when the first target is dead you now have the second directly in your line of sight and will not have to stop firing maximising the value of the time you have.

 

Close Range.

 

Circle Of Death.

Always a good option as it will minimise the amount of shots hitting you and spread your bullets, you also have the chance of forcing multiple targets to change there line of fire and maybe inflict damage upon team-mates, let them help do the job for you. If you are lucky you may drop the injured opponents at the same time as your main target. Regardless of the number of people you should always pick a main target to work around and focus your fire on as you move. This basically works in the same way as getting multiple targets into your firing line but hip-spraying.

 

Shock Troop.

Get close to the enemy (maybe running into a group after heading up a flight of stairs) and try and get a trajectory line of the main group as soon as possible (someone at the back works well). Go full auto and press deep into their ranks working your way to the target and at the same time getting focus fire on multiple enemies. Hard to pull off successfully and you may die a good 50% of the time but the damage and kills usually inflicted is worth it. Works best with a weapon with high ammo clips and  low hip accuracy.

 

Herding.

Basically the same method as Shock Trooping but is only possible in certain situations. Press onto the enemy group and try to densely pack them into a tight area (corners,buildings,alleyways etc) with very little room to manuveur, and move into a position where you are the wall closing in covering escape routes. Usually when a person is getting hit hard their first reaction is self preservation and wanting to get out of the way, take advantage of this time brought with little incoming fire and go full hip-fire auto as you move closer. No prisoners.

 

Using Your Enviroment.

 

Your enviroment is essential to staying alive,use it well and you will be hard to kill. Open ground is -never- a good option.

 

Foilage.

Trees, bushes, long grass. They all serve as camoflage from the enemy and are best put to use by setting ambushes on expecting passers-by. They obviously do not provide cover from incoming fire so it is usually best to move after a successful attack.

 

Solid Cover.

The best cover available to you, use it wisely by regularily popping in and out of cover, passing through places such as houses to minimise the time you are out in the open and to break the line of sight of long range attackers. Windows serve as a great place to minimise yourself as a target, usually it's best to shoot and move to the next window, rinse and repeat until you are ready to move on.

Even the smallest of cover will suffice at certain times. A horizontal oil drum may be small and a bad place to take cover from a pressing attacker but to a long range attacker it is problematic, they have a smaller target due to distance and need higher accuracy to hit you. Always remember to not stay to long in small cover, break off and sprint to a new location the second fire has stopped or has slowed down to a acceptable level. Keep an eye on things as you move, if you are fired on instantly know what you have available to you.

 

High Ground.

By firing down on the enemy you have a much greater chance of inflicting headshots and finishing the job as soon as possible, high ground will also minimise yourself as a target and buy you valuable time because your opponent has to adjust to a harder to hit firing line whereas you do not.

 

Staying Alive.

So here you are getting shot at, right? The other side of the coin to killing. Not being killed.

 

Evasion

If you're outnumbered and need to bail on a fight don't be afraid to do it, remember -

He who fights and runs away, lives to come back another way and kick your ass when you least expect it.

Obviously movement is key here and the faster you are the better, evading opponents is all about bursts of speed in anything but a straight line, move through soft cover such as bushes and past solid objects such as cottages and firing cover. One thing to note is that long alleys are never a good way to go, if you are followed in and you're not out by the time they see you they have a firing corridor with you at the other end. They aren't going to miss.

Evasion is all about losing the people who follow you, break there eyeline to you and they have to guess where you are, they have to follow you in close and this is where they're in danger. Short alleyways,sharp corners, flights of stairs and  high foilage are all your best friends when you're outnumbered. Use them.


Spacial Awareness

Keep your eyes open, if see movement make sure what it is, judge where it's heading and have an idea what it's doing, if you can stay a second ahead of a would-be attacker you will survive. Most First Person Shooters nowadays have a HUD you can read on your screen, use it and make sure you know where you're getting fired on so you DON'T HEAD THERE. This also applies to being in cover, if you're pinned down behind cover look where you're getting hit from and make sure you're currently safe, when you know where an attack is coming from you now know what options you have.

 Spacial Awareness is key to surviving any encounter, you cannot dodge a bullet that you don't know is coming your way, If you see secondary movement when you're in a fight react to it before it has the chance to react to you, keep all targets in wide view so you know exactly what each opponent is doing so you can decide wether fight or flight is the best option.

 

Battlefield Information

Kinda the same as Spacial Awareness but on a bigger scale, remember to treat every action as information, the screen is a book and the action is text, read it, understand it, use it.

Notice muzzle flashes, movements of enemies and where your team-mates are. A team-mate shooting is a distraction, A muzzle flash in the distance is to be avoided, Enemy routes are to be remembered and planned accordingly to, if you're fighting across a street and see movement dart down past your far right you need to remember you could get flanked from your right side side, deal with the current problem but make sure another isn't going to suprise you.

Assume that threats aren't dealt with until proven anotherwise, if some guys are sneaking around don't assume your team-mates will handle them, stay on your toes and keep your eyes open, take in the situation and react before it forces you to.

 



Know The Enemy.

 

Predict what your target is going to do at any given time, think for a second what you would do if you was caught in their position.

If fire is coming down on you, you are going to sprint and find the biggest set of cover available to you right? He will to and you now have the ability to be one step ahead of him.

Around him is -

A) Two trees and a bush

B) Two overturned barrels

C) A wall.

 

Personally if all were the same distance I would go for the wall as I'm guessing you would too, now you are able to get ready to adjust your firing line into the position he will head to and not miss a shot, minimising the chance he will reach the cover by maximising the chance you will kill him.

 

Psychology.

As I mentioned earlier if you hit somebody hard enough they will dither and panic, this buys you protection from their shots as they are trying to think what to do and it also buys you time to finish the job. Jump people. If somebody is running round a corner and has his back to you I can guarantee he will instinctively keep running as fast as he can to the place he was trying to get to first. This is all the time you need to kill him before he clicks on that he isn't going to get there in time and needs to find different cover.

 

Confuse them.

If you just hit somebody from a high point and they duck into cover MOVE ON THEM. By the time they have decided to put their head back up you can be in a position closer to them and regain the element of suprise to have your second attempt. And third. And fourth. Remember all the time you are closing in on them is one less chance they have, press your advantage.

 

Rabbit in the Headlights.

Jump somebody and hit them hard or hit them hard from long range and most players will do the same thing. Panic.I will state this for the millionth time.

THE TIME YOUR ENEMY IS DITHERING IS AN ADDED SECOND OF SAFETY YOU HAVE TO KILL HIM.

Hit him hard and fast and you will instantly have an overpowering advantage the majority of players do not cope well against.

 

Be Unpredictable.

There will be times when a target runs around a house or wall or you're the one doing the running and you KNOW they are near but cannot catch/escape them. Here's the trick.

Go the opposite route.

The second the player thinks you're going for a second lap of the house he will get in a comfortable state of mind that the only thing he currently has to do is chase you. Turn around, go full auto and get those headlights straight in his face.

 

 

DON'T PANIC

 Being tagged by an unexpected bullet usually doesn't mean someone is right behind you. Even if your first instinct is to turn around and fire wildly, a much better tactic is to dive for the nearest piece of cover, and hit the dirt. (You were running towards it anyway, right?) Once you've secured your self, you can then discover the enemy's position. Finally, decide if you want to fight them on their terms by heading back in their direction, since your weapon is better at that range, or if you need to change the fight up to something more suitable to your load out. The third choice is to avoid the fight entirely, especially if they're sniping at range.

 

Use Your Map.

 

I just cannot state how highly on the importance list that little red dot that represents enemies are. Train yourself to have one eye on the map AT ALL TIMES. Those dots show current positions, current numbers and current directions of movement. Plan around what they are doing and you will always be one step ahead of them. I bring this up because many a time I have flanked an enemy, shot him so I know I'm on his radar and yet he doesn't turn to face me.  He ducks thinking it's coming from the front.

 

 

Muscle Memory.

 

The one thing that links together how fluid you can switch from doing one thing to doing another, for example moving to kill to moving to evade bullets is your muscle memory in action. It's vital for everything above to become second nature to you and shortens the time it takes to decide to perform a certain action. Muscle memory is very important in Shooters because it takes time away from the thought process and adds it to your action time.

 

Repetition.

The easiest (probably the only) way to build up your muscle memory is repetition. Practice. Whatever you want to call it.

Muscle Memory doesn't just come just because you want it to, it takes time and practice, repeat the same tactics and methods you use Over and over and over again until it becomes second nature to you and you instinctively know what to do.

Drill the same techniques you use into your head until you no longer need to even think about them, the key to muscle memory is not thinking at all so when you feel you have something mastered, remember - Don't think, do.

The more you do something the better you get at it and the faster you can do it, the faster and better you can do something the less time you need to think to do it, and it becomes an "Autopilot Reaction". Once something becomes an autopilot reaction it becomes literally second nature, your brain doesn't have to dedicate any amount of time to think about doing something and you can just do it. This saves a huge amount of time. See why they say practice makes perfect?

 

Time is money.

Here's a quick scenario to solve -

 

Player A

Reaction to Enemy - 0.8 second

Quickdraw time - 0.3 second

From first shot to kill - 1.2 second

 

Player B

Reaction to Enemy - 0.7 second

Quickdraw time - 0.2 second

From first shot to kill - 1 second

 

Statistically if Player A runs into Player B, who will win the fight? Correct. Player B.

Why will player B win the fight? because he is faster and more precise in his actions achieved by working on repetition and muscle memory. See why it's important?

Everytime you run into an opponent imagine starting a stopwatch, from the moment you see them to the moment you kill them the stopwatch is running, and the moment your opponent sees you their own stopwatch starts. if you take even half a second overall off your time just by practicing certain things and getting better at them you will have a better chance of winning the fight. It's a race. Finish with the best time and you win.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And that's about all the advice I have. If anyone feels the need to add,criticise or contradict feel free. I hope this helps.


 
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Monster Hunter
Registered: 02/24/2010
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Re: Tips on becoming a better First Person Shooter.

Feb 22, 2010
Good stuff!


http://ourgamesourbond.com/

www.thehangarbay.com
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Wastelander
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Re: Tips on becoming a better First Person Shooter.

Feb 23, 2010

phantom_T wrote:

Rabbit in the Headlights.

Jump somebody and hit them hard or hit them hard from long range and most players will do the same thing. Panic.I will state this for the millionth time.

THE TIME YOUR ENEMY IS DITHERING IS AN ADDED SECOND OF SAFETY YOU HAVE TO KILL HIM.

Hit him hard and fast and you will instantly have an overpowering advantage the majority of players do not cope well against.


You forgot the other half - staying alive.

 

For example, the above tactic is useless against someone who employs:

 

DON'T PANIC

 Being tagged by an unexpected bullet usually doesn't mean someone is right behind you. Even if your first instinct is to turn around and fire wildly, a much better tactic is to dive for the nearest piece of cover, and hit the dirt. (You were running towards it anyway, right?) Once you've secured your self, you can then discover the enemy's position. Finally, decide if you want to fight them on their terms by heading back in their direction, since your weapon is better at that range, or if you need to change the fight up to something more suitable to your load out. The third choice is to avoid the fight entirely, especially if they're sniping at range.

 

 

I'd also say that Combat Awareness should probably be mentioned at the top of the list. :smileyhappy: MAG has the most interesting and varied battlefield to date.

Message Edited by thegreedyturtle on 02-23-2010 01:47 PM
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Fender Bender
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Re: Tips on becoming a better First Person Shooter.

Feb 23, 2010
Added to list, adding other information as it comes to me/is suggested.
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Gaming Beast
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Re: Tips on becoming a better First Person Shooter.

Feb 24, 2010
good info, I read the whole thing. Kudos to you.
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Fender Bender
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Re: Tips on becoming a better First Person Shooter.

Feb 24, 2010

 "The Circle Of Death."

This is basically strafing in a full 360 degree arce of fire around the opponent if needed, the closer you are to him/her the faster you are moving and therefore the harder you are to hit, this tactic is far more sucessful when you are close and lessens the further out you are. Follow the basic rules of strafing and remember that if you can see his back or side he is no longer able to hit you and you can fire freely - He is dead.

 

I learned this in my old N64 GoldenEye days...  We call this "The Dreidel"   Highly effective for CQB.

Message Edited by YoYo-Pete on 02-24-2010 08:05 AM
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First Son
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Re: Tips on becoming a better First Person Shooter.

Feb 24, 2010
Excellent post - well worth reading!
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Monster Hunter
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Re: Tips on becoming a better First Person Shooter.

Feb 24, 2010
This is very good. 
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Splicer
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Re: Tips on becoming a better First Person Shooter.

Feb 27, 2010
Great tips. thank you!
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Fender Bender
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Re: Tips on becoming a better First Person Shooter.

Mar 25, 2010

Bumped for ego so I can tell everyone "I wrote the damn book on shooting" and to help noobs. Mainly ego.

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