How to be a Good Gamer: Shooter Strategies

Welcome back to another week of gamer training. Last week we talked about some basic strategy terms that come across often in a variety of games. The next few weeks we’ll be narrowing our focus to specific genres and talk about strategies for individual game types.

This week we’ll be talking about one of the most popular genres out there in shooter games and how to step up your game in shooters. Keep in mind, that even after reading this article and gaining all of the knowledge you can, gaming is still a skill that requires practice like anything else, so don’t get too frustrated if you don’t see improvement right away. Every loss is a step closer to a win! And that will lead us to our first big tip on shooter games, learn from your deaths. Nowadays a lot of shooter games feature a killcam upon death. Most people view this as a way of locating campers or verifying whether their death was caused by lag or cheats rather than fairly. The best way to use killcam is though is to look at it as a way of seeing how you could’ve avoided that death. Would it have been better to run? Should you have checked around corners? Did you hesitate too much? Try to make a habit of determining how you could’ve come out on top after every death and what you could’ve done different. Just the act of telling yourself what went wrong will instill better practices in your mind for the future.

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Most shooter games in modern times allow you to hold onto two or more weapons at once, and this is very good for a few reasons. The first immediate thing many people think is a weapon for a different situation (ie. a short range weapon and a long ranged weapon), but another great use that many don’t think of is using your other weapon for ammo management. Firstly I should start with saying that a good habit to get into in any shooter game is that immediately after any fight or whenever you go into a hiding spot or cover, you should always reload. Reload every time you get the chance to before another fight breaks out as getting caught reloading leads to a great amount of deaths in shooters. Secondly, if you’re in the middle of a fight and your gun runs out of ammo, you’ll want to do anything else you can to cause damage without reloading. Throw grenades, swap weapons mid-fight, or melee whatever you have to do to continue dealing damage even if your other weapon is unconventional, it’s your best bet.

Now let’s look back at a few of the other articles for a couple more tips. For instance I’ve stated in a previous article to choose your battles and always consider retreat and hiding as an option. Every second is precious and there are times where you can tell that a fight is not going in your favor, so rather than just give in on the small sliver of hope that you can win anyway, give yourself a little more advantage by retreating and avoiding giving an extra point to the opponent. In some cased you might want to duck out of a battle before it even starts. Let’s look at Halo for an example. One common thing I see a lot in Halo is whenever a player has a rocket launcher, nearly everyone goes after that person in hopes of getting it from them or in hopes to “punish” that player for using an overpowered weapon. And most of the time, those same players get mowed down by the rocket launcher for their attempts. Avoid battles with someone who has an obvious advantage over you. If someone has a rocket launcher, you should really only ever try to take them on if you either have a long ranged weapon and a good distance from them, or if you have the opportunity to take them out with a very quick combo (such as a shotgun/melee combo.) Also, last week’s article mentioned kiting as a strategy often used against CPUs, but it is possible to use against players too. While I’m telling you to avoid uphill battles, other players may not have that mindset. So if you see a player with a short range or melee weapon and you have something more mid ranged, kiting is a common strategy to keep backing up while firing on them and there’s a good chance they may blindly chase you with the hopes of catching up at some point and you may end up getting a kill from another player’s bullheadedness. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for your combos (Such as shotgun/melee as mentioned previously!)

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The last thing to mention should be pretty obvious, but it’s still worth saying. Take the time to learn about the game’s weapons, levels, and systems. Go through the available weapons in the game, decide which ones feel right to use and when they may best be useful. Go through the multiplayer maps and try to keep in mind where weapons can be found, where popular hiding spots are (and not so popular hiding spots), and where the spawn points are. And lastly, keep a close eye on some of the logistic systems in a game. I use Halo as an example a lot, but I’m going to again, as one thing some may notice in modern Halo games is that melee attacks only kill if they’re in the back or the enemy’s shield is down. If your enemy still has a sliver of shield left, your melee is going to be very ineffective. Melee in Halo is only useful if it’s done from behind, done when the enemy has no shield, or when the enemy has a full shield (as it will instantly remove the entire shield.)

That’s all for shooters for now! Next week I’ll be covering another genre of games and their strategies. Until then I hope these tips help! If you have any other good tips for shooter games, leave them in the comments below, and hopefully it’ll help out someone in need!

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