Sunday, December 13, 2009

Idiot's Guide to First Person Shooters

Playing a First Person Shooter (FPS) video game can be intimidating. When I first started gaming, I played almost exclusively RPGs and Strategy. But now that I'm all grown up, I have strapped on my big girl guns and taken on the world of Call of Duty. I've played with a lot a people from numerous countries and here are some of the tips and tricks that I picked up over the years. Had I known them in the beginning, I would probably be a much better player now. They are simple but obvious. Hopefully they help your game as much as they help mine.

1) Know your maps. Does it ever seem like people are just jumping out of nowhere and shooting you down ? It's because they know their surroundings. Take five minutes in a private lobby to run around the maps. Find stairwells, alleys, windows, sniping locations, and just the general feel of the map. You will know where to go take the defense or where they might be coming to prevent their offense. Even if you have something as simple as a random spawn point, it will be that much easier to find where you are at and get moving again.

2) If you can't find a safe spot, make your own. Getting spawn killed ? Drop a smoke grenade as soon as you respawn. You may die throwing it down, but at least the teammates behind you will have some cover to get out and find the player keeping you pinned down. Need to reload or deploy a time-consuming weapon ? Find a nice, covering bush or tall grass and go prone. Crouching in an obvious corner might be, well, obvious. They know you are hiding to control that AC-130 gunship, they are going to come and find you.

3) Reload, Reload, Reload. I cannot stress this one enough. So many times I have been spectating someone going in for an easy kill, but they forget to reload first. They go to shoot them in the back but only have three bullets left in the clip which isn't enough to kill the enemy. Problem is, while they reload, the enemy now knows where they are and are going to turn around and get the kill. Reload as often as you safely can. Safely. If you are in the middle of gunfire and your clip empties, do a quick drop to prone to finish loading your gun, pop back up and keep on gunnin'.

4) To aim or not to aim. Taking the time to pull up your gun and shoot down the sights will definitely increase your accuracy. Some maps are big and will allow you tons of time to get a shot off. But some maps have much tighter spaces and this is where your Close Quarters Combat (CQC) or "run 'n' gun" come in handy. Shooting without aiming can have its pros and cons. Shooting from the hip is much faster. You are far more likely to shoot first if you don't take the time to look down your sights. However, your accuracy is going to plummet. It's the spray and pray method. But overtime you can become more accurate with hip fire and greatly improve your game.

5) Know your weapons. If the map you are playing on is the size of three football fields, dont bring a shotgun. And it probably wont help to bring a sniper rifle into a tiny warehouse. If its a big map, carry a weapon that will succeed with some distance. If you can carry two guns, make one a ranged weapon and the second a pistol or something for up close. If it is a very small map, maybe an automatic weapon that has a high damage rating or even break out a shotty. And no matter what, dont forget to knife ! Sure it may be funny to shoot someone in the back of the skull, but once you take the shot you have given away your position to other players. Knives also come in handy when you are out of bullets or your running around in circles with them.

So those were just a few tips. They can be applied to almost an FPS game. I may do a section later with even more ridiculously obvious tips. But for now, this should be enough to get any player started on their road to FPS glory.


Linz said...

Excellent post, Debbie. Reloading is huge. I can't tell you how often I'm on the reload on Halo - basically every single time I get a shot off I try to reload. If I'm not dead.
I'd also agree hugely on the know your maps point, although I have to admit, sheepishly, that I am a complete map r-tard and can never memorize them. I still haven't memorized Ghost Town and that DLC was available, oh, at the dawn of time?

Anonymous said...

I'm in a love-hate relationship with virtual memory because of how prices are always falling. I absolutely hate buying Micro SD Cards for my R4 / R4i at (seemingly) a crazy bargain price only to see it become a whole lot more cheaper a few months later.

(Posted from Ting2 for R4i Nintendo DS.)