Greetings one and all, Sir Erwin Rommel here. At the request of my superiors, I've been contracted out to write a book on how to NOT suck at first-person shooter games. Now, some of you may be beyond help, but don't worry- at least you'll never have sex. Oh wait.
Seeing as how this is only Level one of my Three-Level Series, it will only feature some of my most basic tactics. Level Two will include the highest that most people can do, and Level Three- you have to send in a resume to me to get this one- will feature my own top tactics, something I've never yet released.
NOTE: My superiors wanted me to use Halo for PC as the example game, but since they have no taste I'm ignoring them and using a freaking MOD, Half-Life 2: Capture the Flag. Damn right, bitches- you don't boss the Rommel.
edit Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Mobility and Keys
Chapter 2: Gettin' the Moves
Chapter 3: Weapons and You
Chapter 4: Strategies
Chapter 5: Tactics
Chapter 6: Powerful Playing
edit Chapter 1: Mobility and Keys
We are going to ignore console-based games, since they often don't allow for the same level of key customization as PC games do.
edit The WASD
Fear the power, bitch! These are the keys that will let you actually move in-game, allowing you to go find your enemies instead of standing around like an idiot. W is forward, S is backwards, A and D are left and right strafe accordingly (more on strafe later). Use the mouse to rotate your field of view, to keep walking forward and yet turn.
- W Key: Forward
- S Key: Backward
- A Key: Strafe Left
- D Key: Strafe Right
- Q Key: Audio (this is your mike; this is how you shout in your non-dropped-balls voice at the guy you just killed by more luck than skill)
- E Key: Use (opening doors is key)
- R Key: Reload (if no mouse button is available)
- T Key: AllTalk (to send a message to everyone, use this key to open the type menu. Type your idiotic message, then hit Return/Enter to send it. If you press this by accident, just hit Return/Enter; it won't send anything, and you can move again.)
- Y Key: TeamTalk (If you don't want the other team listening in on your strategies, use this key.)
- I Key: Spray (Use this key to spray your logo/tag wherever possible.)
- Shift Key: Sprint/Sneak
- Alt Key: Sprint/Sneak
- Ctrl Key: Crouch
- Esc Key: Open ze Menu
edit The Mouse
This is where your right hand should be (unless you're one of those left-handed wierdos), and this is where it should fucking STAY. You will die quickly if you don't have a fast trigger finger, and having no hand on the trigger does not make it fast. If at all possible, get one of those mouses with more than three buttons- it helps to have all your weapon needs close at hand.
- Left Mouse Button (clicky-clicky): Fire (boolets)
- Right Mouse Button: Secondary Fire (like SMG grenades)
- Center Mouse Button: Whatever (I prefer putting zoom to this button)
- Mouse 4 or Mouse 5 (the plus-minus buttons on the left side of the mouse): Reload (optional, depends on if mouse has these)
edit Chapter 2: Gettin' the Moves
edit The Strafe
Remember I mentioned those A and D keys earlier? This is how you use them. Strafing allows you to move from side to side without changing the direction you're looking. So, let's say we have a box.
OOO O O OOO
Like so. And let's say you are the X. The I represents the direction you're looking.
OOO O O OOO I X
Now watch carefully. The arrow represents the direction you're moving.
OOO O O OOO I X-->
So now you know how to strafe. And that's good- it's much harder to hit a strafing enemy, which you now count as. But other people know this too, and chances are that they currently have a much more badass ability than you. So we have to introduce tactics. The most basic of these is the Jack-in-the-Box.
OOO 8 O O OOO X
The eight is an enemy, shooting at you. You want to kill him, while sustaining the least damage possible. So strafe out from behind your cover and fire a few rounds at him.
OOO 8 O O | OOO --->X
Nice shot! But he's gonna be pissed once he recovers from that, so strafe back behind your cover immediately.
OOO 8 O O OOO X<---
I'm not wasting too much time here, so I'll just teach you the most expert basic tactic to cap this off- the Circle-Strafe. I can't draw you a pretty picture with this one, so pay attention. Look at an enemy. Straight at him. Start strafing, but be sure to keep looking straight at the enemy. You'll find, if you keep at it, that you're moving in a circle around him! Be sure to fire at him, too. Ta-da, circle-strafe! This looks easy on paper but in-game it can be harder than it looks. Practice makes perfect.
edit Weapons and You
Now for the fun part. Though no two games (except some sequels) have the exact same weaponry lineup, there's usually a few old standbys that can be found in every game.
edit Melee Weapon
This is your last resort, most of the time. The Melee weapon requires you to be close enough to your enemy to breathe down their neck, and usually it doesn't do much damage for it. There are exceptions, like Counter-Strike's secondary knife or the Hidden's Pigstick, but usually melee is not something you want to be caught with. Some games let you melee with any weapon by smashing out with the rifle butt or what have you, but other games don't have this luxury. Know which do and which don't- this is vital.
edit The Pistol
You may find yourself using this a lot. This is your second-to-last resort. It has lots of ammo, true, and it is often highly accurate, but it usually does very little damage (read: almost none) and as such is not a commonly usable weapon. There are, as always, exceptions, but commonly the pistol is not a brawler weapon.
edit Second Pistol
That was your basic pistol. More often than not, there's a second form of pistol floating around out there somewhere, and it usually falls into one of these categories:
- Sec-Shock: These pistols use an alternate ammo than the basic one, and do a little more damage. But the accuracy is slightly lower, and ammo is scarcer, as are the pistols themselves.
- Magnum: Beware; death. The magnum is an insanely powerful pistol that can commonly kill in one shot to the head or two to the body, and it is PINPOINT accurate. But ammo for this weapon is extremely scarce, so use sparingly.
WALL OF BOOLETS! The SMG is your basic spray 'n' pray weapon, able to throw up a fuckton of bullets in no time flat. However, each individual bullet is not that powerful, and the SMG is so inaccurate that you may well wind up nailing the guy you're trying to protect. Well, not that inaccurate, but the chances of a bullet hitting the crosshair are low.
edit Assault Rifle
A nice general term, the Assault Rifle is your standard weapon. It fires at a slower rate than the SMG, but it is more accurate, and the bullets do more damage. Often comes with a secondary fire of grenade or something more powerful.
BOOMSTICK BABY! Get in close, and nothing can withstand the shotgun's RIGHTEOUS FURY! However, at longer ranges, the pellets spread out and thus less damage is done. So get in close and you'll lay waste with this thing.
edit Sniper Rifle
Ahhh, the noob cannon. Sniper Rifles are famous. They can zoom, often close enough that you can read what the dude is reading, and one shot is often enough for a kill, especially with a headshot. However, the rifle is ungodly loud, unwieldy, and has huge reload and between-shot times. Some games also have the rifle's bullet leave a distinct, easy-to-spot trail, so that one end leads to the bullet, and the other leads to the sniper.
Batter-up! Chuck one of these babys into a vent or around a corner to surprise that pesky camper with a three-inch sphere of steel and high explosive! Has a blast-radius effect, too, so even if you don't directly hit the guy (often impossible), he'll still eat a decent amount of shrapnel if he's anywhere nearby.
edit Rocket Launcher
FwooooooooooshKABOOM! You guessed it, this thing fires rockets and it takes no prisoners. The destructive power cannot be overstated- the explosion is deadly, and it has that nice range-effect. Ammo is often VERY scarce, though. The launcher can be used to rocket-jump. (See Tactics)
edit BIG FUCKING GUN
Doom, Quake, and UT all had one of these by name, but BFG is just a general term for the gun the size of a fridge that will blast you to bits. Always ammo-suckers, these babies have amazing recoil and reload-time values, and their projectiles are most often not instantanious-hitting. But they more than make up for it with the fact that these babies kill in one shot, two maximum. You don't want to be on the receiving end of these things.
You ever watch that guy who's always at the top rank blow the brains out of two enemies, jump off a roof, grab the ladder across the alley, turn, blow away a few more guys, jump to the ground, and knife that dude over the door? Yeah? You ever wish you could do that? You probably won't manage the level that I or some of the others out there have- some of these kids are insane. But use these tactics, and you'll definitely suck less.
edit The Bunny Hop
I'm going to admit something right out, here: I've never fully mastered this technique. I'm better than most, yes, but fully mastered? No. It's about the only thing, too. But people have perfected and refined this technique, so there's no goddamn reason you should be unable (except that you suck, but we'll ignore that for now).
Basically, it involves timing your jumps JUST right, so that you don't stop jumping and suffer the slow-down of landing that you normally would. This also greatly increases your speed, since jumps move faster over the same distance as footslogging. That is normally offset by the slowdown after landing, but with the bunny hop, you get none of that.
Of note: some servers forbid this action, and there is actually software out there to ban or kick people who do this. Hop wisely.
edit Rocket Jump
This has been around ever since rocket launchers have existed in-game. Basically, you fire a rocket at the ground underneath you- while jumping- and ride the boosting shockwave. This gets you much higher and farther than the normal jump would, but as you may have guessed, since you're using high explosives to do this, you're not gonna come out unscathed.
edit Warthog Launch
The term comes from Halo, but it applies to any game with realistic physics. Basically, you get in a nice, sturdy vehicle- it has to be solidly built or you'll die real fast. Then, your friends stack up about fuck all grenades under the thing, then take out the rocket launcher and set the whole mass off. While there is more than a SLIGHT chance that you could buy it using this tactic, if the launch gets pulled off correctly, you'll orbital strike some poor bastard with your car. And even if they manage to avoid turning into bastard pancake, you've still got your car (albeit somewhat worse for wear), and you're behind all the enemy's set defenses. Getting ideas?
Don't let anyone ever tell you that FPS's are all blind shooting. In fact, there's more strategy than shooting in these things. Do I lure the bastard back past this corner to ambush him or charge out with guns blazing? Do I take this guy out fast with a powerful weapon, or save that weapon's ammo for a more dangerous foe, and take some damage while taking out this guy with a weaker weapon? Considering all these is crucial in FPS's, and they often have to be done split-second. Here's some basic tactics for you.
Ah, yes. We'll go with the classics first. The camper idea is simple- you find a spot, then you sit there and blast away at everyone who comes by. This is usually done with a sniper rifle at range, but a shotgun blast or a magnum shot at close-range to someone coming around a door or corner works just as well. Note that the latter is not commonly considered camping by the majority of gamers, but it can still fall under the category if whored too much.
- As long as you get a good spot (no way am I telling you criteria for that- do your own damn homework), you are damn near invincible- you can't get ambushed, and what threats may appear, they appear within your line of fire.
- This tactic is insanely easy to rack up a MASSIVE kill score with, especially if you set up in a high-traffic area.
- Using this tactic makes you a (pronounced Fonzie) TOOL, instantly and forever. You will be MARKED, and labelled as an outcast, forever to be shunned from the rest of humanity.
- The other people you're playing with, and even the NPC's, aren't stupid. After only a short while of getting repeatedly killed, they will start looking around for your spot. Don't be surprised when a grenade comes hurtling up from below.
This is the ideal use of the sniper rifle. A fast moving tactic, Assassins go about armed with little more than a sniper and a pistol. Similar to the Camper, you find a spot and take someone out. But then you move on, finding another spot to take a new shot from. This tactic is commonly confused with camping, an easy mistake to make, but since you're not staying still and whoring the same spot, it's a better tactic.
- It's NOT camping.
- In the same form as a camper, when you get a good spot, you become nearly invincible while you take your shot.
- Also like camping, you can rack up a huge score with this tactic once you get used to it.
- Like camping, your enemies will eventually wise up and start watching your good spots- it may take longer than if you were camping, but eventually they'll catch up to you.
- Since you're moving around, you're more likely to run into the enemy at close range. And since the typical armament for the sniper classes are pretty light- rifle and a sidearm, mostly- you're probably going to get wasted a few times in point-blank encounters.
This is your mainstay of any multiplayer force. Typically armed with assault rifles, SMGs, and shotguns, these are the people who run into the enemy base and exchange fire.
- This strategy can also rack up a heavy kill score in itself, since you're right there in the heart of the fray.
- If you do get ambushed, you aren't going to be taken apart easily- you have the weapons to remove the enemy from play.
- In modes like Capture the Whatever or Guard/Take the Hostages, you have the highest chance of getting the objective points. Why, you ask? Well tell me this- how is that camper going to get the flag from perched up in his little box?
- This one isn't usually even concious, but by rushing a lot, you gain a much more intimate knowledge of the map- you're moving over most of it, right? You'll find that if you play the same map repeatedly, and watch those who have already been playing here, you'll get better and better at playing that map as you find all the vantage points, shortcuts, ambush corners, and cover.
- Since you're rushing right into the shit with guns blazing, you're probably gonna get capped a lot more often than if you hang back and pick 'em off one at a time. Anticipate this.
- You're going to run into a lot more resistance, including ambushes and such. Be ready for this- maybe pick up some grenadier skills on the side.
Big gun, go boom. Though the weight of their gear makes them slow and somewhat unmanueverable, the Heavies are the ones packing the REAL firepower. I'm talking a gun the size of your torso, and it's gonna send you into the mesosphere if you get on the wrong end of it.
- LOTS of firepower. You don't typically mess with a heavy alone, unless you have balls the size of Canada or a suicidal complex. You're probably not going to be on the front lines with this class- just hang back and let Nature- and high explosive- do her thing.
- Walking tank. Heavies usually have massive amounts of armor and health, making them hugely difficult to kill. If your huge gun runs out of ammo, feel free to whip out your secondary and charge into the fray- you're not invincible, but you're close.
- Slooooooow. As mentioned, all the gear Heavies carry makes them slower than other options, meaning an easier target than a fast-running Assassin or Rusher.
- Heavies are also larger than their teammates, and while this doesn't seem to hinder moving through small spaces, it makes them a much larger target to take bullets. Become used to getting stung by crossfire.
- Since most of their weapons involve rapid lead delivery, high explosives, or disentigration, Heavies have a very high chance of taking out a teammate or two along with the enemy.
First-Person Play: An Autobiography of Erwin Rommel
Sir Erwin Rommel
The Motherrussia Corporation
January 17, 2021