How to Play an Online First Person Shooter


Looking to dominate in some of today's popular first person shooters, such as Battlefield 2, Halo or Quake 3? It can help to take a step back and assess your playing style. This guide will check to see if you have the basics down to succeeding in a multiplayer game, as well as some advanced tactics to consider.

Part 1

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Use the keyboard to move forward, move backward, and to move side to side (strafe). Use the mouse to turn—never the keyboard. You can determine the best mouse sensitivity to use by considering these two options: Higher mouse sensitivity will allow you to turn much faster and react more quickly, but requires a bit more effort to make precise shots. Lower mouse sensitivity allows you to make precise shots much more easily, but will leave your reactions vulnerable to players that might attack you from behind.

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If the game has a single player mode, try playing it on 'hard' setting until you are confident with the controls and your abilities. Don't worry too much if you occasionally struggle with computer AI—real players are much different from regular bots, which may or may not benefit your gameplay.

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You want to have the best connection that you can get, so that you have a minimal latency. You should consider a minimum DSL connection to ensure a stable latency.

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By doing this you will have less lag and be able to move through maps more easily, as well as be able to react to your opponents' attacks more quickly. Sadly, they can do the same.

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A player should never disregard sound in a first-person shooter. It can help you not only to distract other players, but also to determine whether other players are nearby. Headphones provide a closed in area, as opposed to speakers, giving you a "heads up" on an opponent's location. Headphones are also good for snipers in that way they can quickly learn if someone is sneaking up behind them. The better headphones are more expensive, so you may want to either save up or get cheaper headphones.

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While many first-person shooters give you a multitude of weapons to choose from, this does not mean that all of them are best to use at any given scenario. For example, if your opponent is up next to your face, you may want to reconsider shooting a rocket at him/her, lest you kill yourself.

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Disregarding "spawn kills" and other random errors, ask yourself what went wrong. Were you moving too slowly, or possibly not moving at all? Were your movements predictable? Just because there is a good player out there that might be giving you a difficult time, doesn't mean that you can't improve your gameplay by learning his or her style.

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The only way to achieve this is over time. However, once you are familiar with them, it will be easy to find enemy spawns, checkpoints, etc.

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A moving target is obviously much more difficult to hit than a stationary one. If someone is shooting at you, there is absolutely no reason why you should try to make yourself easier to hit.

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Know what to do if you get caught off guard or get in a gunfight with multiple foes. In games where players have lots of health, running away into cover is often the best option. In games with low health, it is usually better to attempt to shoot the enemy because you will probably die before getting to cover. Many games have specific "moves" you can do to help dodge enemy fire. These include wall-bouncing in Gears of War, Drop-shooting and head-glitching in Call of Duty, and strafing randomly in Halo. Talk to other players or watch online videos to learn these tactics.

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Avoid strafing to the left and right repeatedly, or running in one direction for too long while a player is attacking you. Any player can give "lead" his or her attacks to quickly defeat you.

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This holds more true for objective games such as Capture the Flag and King of the Hill. Never stand out in the open, and always have some form of cover.

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Many players despise campers, or players who stay in one undisclosed spot and attack passersby, but you should recognize that it is nothing more than another style of play. Thus, you should keep the following tips in mind:   Don't camp in the obvious camping locations. Camping spots that are created specifically for the purpose of camping are the worst. These would include sniper balconies, the top of huge towers, other "secluded" locations that stand out in the open. Every experienced player knows where these locations are, and you're essentially a sitting duck by standing there. As a rough standard, any camping spot that has a weapon spawn [e.g. a sniper rifle] is probably a well-known camping spot. Don't stay in one spot for too long. Even beginners will pick up on your game after two or three kills, and will develop a strategy to sneak up and take you out. Find a spot, make two or three kills, and escape to another spot. Don't camp too often. You might incorporate camping into your gameplay from time to time, but you shouldn't base your entire style on it. You will become too predictable of a player, and your opponents will quickly learn how to defeat you.

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Which can help your teammates if they encounter the enemy player or at least the keep him out of action to recover his life/shield.

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Health, armor and the right weapon are a winning combo. Don't face an enemy until you have the right weapons. You won't do your team any favors by dying over and over because you face your opponents under-equipped.

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It gives your body energy and helps keep you feeling alert. 3 apples can give you as much energy as half a can of Red Bull without the crash! Eating 3 apples gives you as much energy has half a can of Red Bull!

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This means finding teammates to follow and support. Pay attention to what's happening (has your flag been captured?).

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For example, don't try to use a pistol to snipe someone from across the map.

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For example, if you are walking through a corridor and you see a door, don't use your mouse to turn, but the strafe keys. While strafing towards the door, aim at every place where an enemy could hide. That way, it's harder for an enemy to attack you by surprise.

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In some games, some objects are destructible and can lead you to a situation worse than before. However, if it is provided to you, shields that are launched by the user (holo shield in Ratchet & Clank, shield gun in Unreal Tournament 2003/2004 or bubble shield in Halo 3) can be much more effective.

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On any shooter, you need fast reflexes to adapt to a rapid and fast-paced environment. Reaction time decides who wins and who loses. To build your reaction time, practice the more complex moves with a friend.

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Get a better graphics card, CPU, RAM upgrade etc. if your frame rate is unacceptable to you. Better frame rate means that you'll see enemies with more fluent movement and be able to react faster.