Useful Hints and Tips For Playing a First Person Shooter

Discussion in 'First Person Shooter' started by Diablocoj, Feb 14, 2010.

Useful Hints and Tips For Playing a First Person Shooter

Discussion in 'First Person Shooter' started by Diablocoj, Feb 14, 2010.

  1. Diablocoj

    Diablocoj AoA Emeritus

    This is a compilation of suggestions, hints, and tips to help players who are new to the whole "Shoot 'em up - Bang Bang" gaming experience. Also keep in mind that this thread can also be useful for more experienced players who would like to define and sharpen their gameplay tactics as well.
    Learning to play a First Person Shooter, especially in an online atmosphere, can be a frustrating, annoying, and disgruntling way of spending ones free time at times. Some players have an edge due to the time they have been playing the game. Thus, they have gained knowledge of the surrounding environment, good spots to hide or assault the other team, or perhaps early game advantage tactics. When starting, dying repeatedly is common – trust me. Not usually a fun and relaxing way to spend your time when starting a brand new FPS game, but in time you will learn to become a more advanced player because of your deaths. Believe me when I say that after playing one specific game for more than 2-3 months you will not only change from being the hunted to the hunter, but you can become a true contender for online gameplay. By reading these tips, and applying them during games, you WILL gain knowledge about your own role in an FPS.

    I will start off by giving basic tactics for an FPS player:

    Sight is important, obviously. Without it you wouldn’t be interested nor successful in this type of game. Sight is a necessary tactic in order to eliminate the opposite team, but sometimes sight can be overlooked. Some points that you may want to consider when you begin to play is:
    1. How close is the screen? Close enough to see small amounts of movement across the map? After all, especially if you are a marksman or recon player, players must be able to detect and SEE the smallest amounts of movement over long distances. Summary = don’t expect yourself to play seriously when your screen is on the opposite side of your room and you wonder why your not seeing anyone

    2. Where are your eyes looking? It seems like a blatantly obvious question, but it is also a crucial idea to think about in order to be successful. Yes, you are looking for movement in order to shoot it, but are you scanning the environment or mostly looking in front of your character? Your eyes should be darting on every inch of the screen giving you better chances to seek out of the ordinary images and layouts (aka: players or situations).

    Summary = don’t be staring in front of your character’s crosshair as though you just came from some Bro party and are too drunk to scan the entire road for danger…looking straight ahead until your brain goes off into Rabbit Hole world (Matrix examples ftw). Sweep the screen with your eyes!


    Movement/ Position has everything to do with your success or failure in a First Person Shooter. It is necessary to get from one place to another in a game, but it can be your downfall depending on how you use it. If hiding, you need to be discrete and unseen, yes? Using your surroundings as camouflage, trying to move as little or slow as possible, or making quick bursts of movement as your go form one place to another. Besides the obvious crouching and proning in-game there are other aspects of movement that can sometimes be underestimated. When hiding in corners inside of buildings it is important to not be directly inside of a corner or up against a wall. Many games have the problem of revealing your character’s model through walls sometimes. It is not supposed to happen, but it does from time to time. This is an unfortunate because if the enemy sees this he will know where you are located and act accordingly. So, never lean directly against a wall or corner for the chance of being seen outside the wall. Also be aware that your gun protruds outward and that if you are close to a window, chances are if the enemy looks up he will see your gun hanging out the window. ;-) Another hiding tip is to keep your head down when you find cover. Sometimes your head can be seen over objects even when crouched behind them. To combat this problem, it is a simple as looking down instead of in front of your so your head will not be seen.
    Another thing to consider when moving is enemy confrontation. At any point in time while moving throughout the map you could quite possibly be face to face with an enemy. It is crucial that you be as ready as possibly. First off, always have your crosshairs pointed toward an area you might encounter an enemy. This gives you seconds, if not milliseconds, of advantage time on your enemy. Always be prepared for the worst. Likewise, be sure to keep looking up at as you move from one place to another – never looking down at the floor as many players do. Again, if you keep the stock of your gun parallel to the ground there will be less time wasted when you aim to shoot the enemy.


    There are different types of players, and it is important to realize what kind of a player you are. In my opinion, there are 5 main types of tactics that players put themselves into: Rushing/ Pushing, Defending/ Safeguarding, Recon/ Marksmen, Supporting/ Assisting, and Commanding.

    Rushing/ Pushing – players who place themselves into this category are most often found running to where the enemies are, at all times no matter what the circumstances are, in order to keep constant pressure on the enemy team from either gaining too many kills, objective points, or from successfully capturing a certain area of the map.

    Defending/ Safeguarding – this is sometimes called camping, but in my opinion it is more tactical and realistic then running around like a chicken with your head cut off. These players are an important asset to any team because in most cases there is a certain objective or place that the team wants to either protect or keep theirs (AKA: a specific building, or bomb, or area on map). Generally, these players station themselves in one place and stay near or around that area for the entire match or until enemies push them out.

    Recon/ Marksmen – players, who choose to stay undetected or remain almost invisible the entire round, place themselves into this category. Recon players always move slowly and tend to not run anywhere; they keep as low a profile as possible. In some cases recon players will choose to take the long route in order to flank the enemies, sometimes taking the longest amount of time to get there. Nevertheless, they are always a threat on the field because they always displace and move to another spot after taking down a target or securing an objective.

    Supporting/ Assisting – support is always needed on the battlefield and these specialized players choose to defend and protect as they move from one point to another. In many cases, it costs them their lives, but all in all they enabled flag carriers, bomb planters, etc, to complete their mission.

    Commanding – this area of combat is possibly the hardest of them all and requires experience in all aspects of the game you are playing. Commanders have a good sense of the map layout, possible spawn points of the enemy, and a general idea of where their allies are headed (what direction they were moving last). Commanding also requires these players to take initiative on the battlefield.

    Tips To Remember:
    • Patience - 75% of players will come to you at some point or another
    • Point your crosshair where you intend to meet confrontation or an assault
    • When moving/ sprinting, keep crosshairs parallel to the ground – 90 degree angle
    • Sweep the screen with your eyes for movement
    • To hear, or not to hear…that’s an easy answer – get some nice quality headphones.
    • Know the general direction your allies are moving towards


    I encourage all officers to edit this post by adding tips, suggestions, images, and anything else they think would enhance this material
    AndyCapp likes this.
  2. glow

    glow AoA Emeritus

    Great guide Coj. I didn't know about the walls/corner deal since quake doesn't have that problem I had never thought about it.
  3. DMiZ

    DMiZ Veteran Member

    Kudos on the guide you got goin there Coj, it's got some useful info in it!

    I just thought I share some of my thoughts. I'm an FPS player at heart and I like to think I've learned a lot over the years.

    I agree with you saying to keep your crosshairs parallel to the ground. I know some people who aren't that great at FPSers and all too often I see them walking around looking up in the air :D

    However, in some 'realistic' type games, I find it useful to aim just a bit downwards because of the recoil on guns. Bringing it down just a tad enables your gun to naturally move up when fired for some guaranteed body shots. Sometimes walking straight ahead when you fire your gun, there's a tendancy for the gun to end up shooting over their heads. This could obviously be corrected by firing in short bursts or by keeping your sights down.

    I had to laugh at the corners thing, that's a very useful thing to look for when people don't know that they're sticking out :D I especially see it a lot when people go prone and are spinning around on the ground with their legs sticking thru the wall. If you're going prone indoors, try to lay parallel and a little bit away from the wall ;)

    Learning the maps is a HUGE advantage for ANY player, good or bad. Knowing where you're walking, where the enemy could come from or where they could've just ran to definately gives you the upper hand in all situations. People can't get discouraged when they're new and get torn up, it just takes time and repetition to learn them! Look to see where the enemy is, take some mental notes and figure out how they got there!

    One last thing I'd like to say is don't be afraid to fire your gun. You'll be given a lot of opportunities to shoot someone and don't be afraid to take them whether you think you'll hit them or not. If they're flying or jumping thru the air, don't wait for them to get to the ground, try to hit them and see what happens. Sure, you might not hit them, but eventually you might be doing it in your sleep. I've turned a lot of "omg did i really just kill him" moments into moments that are just second nature to me simply because I'll always go for the shot.

    Although, there's a time and place for everything, if you're trying to be sneaky, or with a team and you're trying to keep your position under wraps, don't do that kind of stuff ;)

    I hope I could be of some help to you guys!
  4. Reider

    Reider Veteran Member

    I would like to add emphasis to sound. Sound is a big part in FPS games like mwf and mwf2, even left4dead. This can mean the difference between winning or loosing. The quieter you are the better. This will enable you to hear where the enemy is and to react or camp accordingly. Tonight we had a kill off of C4 and the person that got their balls blown off was not in the line of site of the attacker. This was due to hearing.

    Another thing I think that was overlooked was wait until you have a clear shot or you're 90% sure that you can hit them. Too often i've been killed by thinking "hey i might have a shot," only to be shot when i'm reloading or when they suddenly surprise me from the flank after i've failed to hit them. This can be a big advantage to keeping your position unknown to the enemy.

    Check your corners, ceilings, roofs, trenches, and rafters. I've been killed to many times not checking these. If they're camping, then there's not much of a chance you can take them out, but it's a better chance than if you didn't check them.

    Use your nades. when you think you know where the enemy is camping at, nade, flash, or whatever you have it. The only draw back is when you don't hit them and then they know you're coming.

    When you're behind an enemy, and you're silent, don't be afraid to knife them. This will ensure your position to the rest of the team, unless they have good communication. On most public servers, the don't so this works towards your advantage.

    Never stay in one place. Shoot then move. If they figured out where you where when you shot them, and they most likely did, then they have a good chance of nading or shooting you first. This is key when you're in a medium sized area. You don't have to completely move out of the area, just move to a different perspective. When they nade or shoot that area, you're not there, and can take them by surprise as they enter the area you are in. This surprises them and increases your chances of survival.

    Surprise is key.

    my last rule. Double-tap.
  5. glow

    glow AoA Emeritus

    Map familiarity is definately huge, one of the biggest. Sounds are inrecredibly important as well. Of course double tap ;)
  6. Ammoxcrew

    Ammoxcrew Veteran Member

    Just a little useful tidbit. A very small percentage of the population is left handed. Recent studies show that most people entering a building or any kind of entrance will look or turn in the direction corresponding to their handedness (yes, that is a real word) after entering. This also translates into FPS games. So if you are hiding in a corner near a doorway waiting for somebody to enter, your best chance at not being detected is to hide on the left side of the door as most people are right handed and will be checking to their right first.
    AndyCapp likes this.
  7. zenix

    zenix Veteran Member

    swearing at the computer screen is a way to vent early also avoids mouse smashing and keyboard slamming lol
  8. Qura

    Qura Veteran Member

    I think this is the best place to put this, though be warned, this will not help you with anything but Bad Company 2. Great video for it though, lots of good stuff.

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2013
    AndyCapp likes this.
  9. DMiZ

    DMiZ Veteran Member

    Haha that's a great video! "Teammate arming a bomb? Pop out of his ass and help him"
  10. Spexs

    Spexs Member

  11. Diablocoj

    Diablocoj AoA Emeritus

    Great video Qura, funny and true. Bad Co 2 is a team-based game - not solo.

    Just to let everyone know who will be posting tips and hints here, i will eventually take all your information and implement it into my original post, and at the bottom give credit to everyone who suggested ideas and guidelines. Keep it up!
  12. ShadowGar

    ShadowGar Veteran Member

    Any military or active LEO's should know this term... SCAN SCAN SCAN SCAN SCAN!

    Its embedded in your brain during firearms training that every time you fire your weapon, you SCAN with your eyes not the weapon. After firing the round, don't drop your weapon, keep it level and scan with your eyes.

    Now in a game you will have to master your aim twitch. Being able to scan with your eyes and "twitch" your wrist in a moments notice on the target is key to aiming. Practice some night by running around a dead map and just instantly aiming at objects. "Twitch" to the object and stop. See if you are actually aiming at it or slightly off.

    And when I say aiming at it, that doesn't mean your cross hairs and smack on the target. Just as in real life you need to account for gravity. Fire a round and see if you hit it. Do this on a dead server so you have time to focus on your technique. I understand people want points and rather play on full servers. But why make yourself look stupid. Your not learning a damn thing but realizing you suck.

    Learn what Killzones are,learn what the deadly funnel is, learn what your gun does..

    And lastly, If you are having problems, learn to ask for help. I have ran countless FPS squads and divisions in FPS's. Members here have also played countless FPS games. If you ask for help, anyone here would be more then happy to jump in a server and go one on one for training purposes. I myself would be more then happy and run you through a mini FPS bootcamp and focus on strengthening your weak spots.

    Practice, Practice and don't screw your k/d being a nub.
  13. TwisT

    TwisT Veteran Member

    Nice tips, and great guide. I only bought the MW2 just after christmas but i think the biggest thing for me was the killcams. dont take them as an insult, learn from them. Never run around a corner. Oh and about the tip of the left and right handed players, i find if most of the players are right handed its better to hide on the right side of the entrance as you enter. simply because players find it easier when they come into a room to turn there hand/mouse inwards towards there keyboard (IMO). But theres 1/3 lefties to right handed people. ( I'm a Lefty!)

    Static Shooting is the best. i find if i hold the crosshairs at gut/chest height from a medium range for the map, reduces the amount moventment needed up and down, leaving you to concentrate on your left and right movement more. I never go for headshots the gun does that for me with the recoil, single/burst shots are key for accuracy with any weapon.

    One thing i learnt very quickly when i started playing MW2 especially was about controlling the engangement depending on the objective type, dont pidgeon hole yourself as one type of player. Some of the best games ive had i have changed class 2-3 times depending on the teams situation.
    Anyways back to controlling the engagement, when faced with an enemy you want to make yourself as small and hard to shoot at as possible whether your using speed or cover or merely drop shotting, the harder it will be to get shot.

    When playing an objective based game like domination, if the team arent dumb they will only take 2 flags and leave the 3rd to spawn trap (Rape and pillage time!). Now, if the flags are in a straight line e.g. Favela, Skidrow, SubBase, Highrise and derail, B ist THE MOST important flag, without it makes winning domination an uphill struggle. If you are lucky enough to be on a team with this knowledge you can then decide which style you would like to play. In this situation of owning B + another flag, there really only to styles of play to fit into: 1. Bumrush/attacking this is basically rushing the 3rd untaken flag without capping it and killing enemies as they spawn (highly dangerous)
    or 2. Passive/defensive play is often the most misunderstood styles of play (it doesnt bloody mean camping!). Basically when playing this style try to roam inbetween your flag at the back and the B flag in the midle. Catching any flankers trying to cap your flags.

    theres plenty more tips and tricks, but nothing you cant learn from just playing the game, practice practice practice. AND remember the 7 P's Perfect Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. taking a deep breathe and flexing his sore wrists, :shareit:

    remember where tips and tricks are concerned, sharing is caring!

    oh and check out my youtube channel.
  14. Reider

    Reider Veteran Member

    Ehrm... not true.
    Left-handedness is relatively uncommon; seven to ten percent of the adult population is left-handed.

    Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, and Benjamin Franklin were left handed.
    "The anomaly is left-handed people make up the extremely gifted and the extremely compromised,The rest of us make up the middle ground."

    All I have to say is rock on lefties.
    Did i mention i'm a lefty too.
  15. John

    John Officer

    trying to make the leftys "look smart" are we raider? :D
  16. TwisT

    TwisT Veteran Member

    oooh i stand corrected, but feel even more special! :lol:
  17. DrBong420

    DrBong420 Veteran Member

    A good mouse, and mouse pad GO A LONG WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D Make sure you get a mouse pad made for a laser mouse not an old school ball mouse! :roll:
  18. Moji

    Moji Veteran Member

    ^^^^^^I use a g7 on a cybersnipa pad. I can tap my mouse with my finger and it will slide a few inches and the mouses natural weight is the perfect resistance under my fingertips thought Im not the biggest fan of wireless mouses.

    Another tip that can go a long way if utilized is disabling cursor acceleration under the mouse settings in your control panel and in game as well if you can access it, downloading 3rd party mouse drivers to optimize your mouse's dpi (dots per inch, which isnt really necessary) and looking up what commands steam games use to neutralize the effects of in game mouse acceleration and stuff(this is done via launch options, not a console command type thing). I dont really have a lot of time to go in depth right now but as soon as I get a chance tomorrow morning I will expand on this.
  19. mynameismonkey

    mynameismonkey AoA Admin Emeritus

    I may repeat a few, but here's a few that may have been missed.

    I see so many people turning to fire or turning corners without strafing. Instead of pivoting on your vertical axis while moving forward, it's better to turn a little slower with the mouse to face the target and sidestep around the obstacle or target. Circle strafing to fire isn't as much use as it once was, but it is the *only* way to go around a corner. When firing, your goal is to establish a minimal arc of movement. Slice that pie, pivot on the focal point.

    Back in Quake/CS, I would practice the map by walking backward on a private server. I would train thusly until I could circumnavigate the map without hitting anything. This gives you a great geospatial reference for your environment, trains you to know where obstacles and cover are while backing out of a firefight. Maps are only getting bigger, and this isn't realistic for all amps, but it's still useful for large buildings, capturable bases and the like. Know your environment.

    Once in a while, play with the sound off while training. Sound is intensely important, but many players rely on it more than they do actual scanning. Play with no sound and watch yourself to see what you're not looking at.

    This house entering tip, I'm going to take issue with. Unless it was a study on clearing a room with sights up, I highly doubt a right-handed shooter is going to sweep right (assuming he's alone). A right-handed shooter is most likely to take a right-footed step to cross the line of safety and will be dominant to their left. This all assumes the room has a door in the middle of the room betraying equal space either side of the room once through the door. Although no actual impediment to turning right off your right foot exists in FPSes, players are more likely to mimic their real world actions. Still, I'd like to read the study mentioned if there's a link. If it's you going through the doorway, learn how to clear a room. Doorways exist outside too, any opening which presents a fatal tunnel should be cleared by moving through it diagonally, clear the space in front of you and sweep to clear the rest.

    More likely the player knows the room either by a visual from outside (more open room to the left, window to the right), or because they play the same game as you and know the room. Don't be where most people would be. Crouching behind the door on the stairs is pointless if 90 per cent of your opposition believe you will be there. I can't tell you how many times I've been called a wall hacker or similar because I was chasing some dude and popped a burst behind an obvious crate without even looking too hard.

    I will strongly concur with keeping your crosshairs at roughly chest height of the game. Me personally I tend to want to lower my weapon and scan after a successful attack, in-game I have to remind myself to keep the barrel up.

    Stress affects your pulse, your vision and your hearing. The more you play, the more comfortable you will be in stressful firefights. Even though the entire perspective is in fact on a flat screen in front of your face, your brain perceives distance.Sight picture means focussing on the front sight and allowing the rear sight and the target to align. In-game these three objects are actually all at the same distance from your eye, making it even more difficult to train focus. In a twitch fire situation your lens will flatten, your adrenalin will increase, you are more likely to over twitch past your target and not be able to focus on close objects like, say, your sights. Train yourself to steady your breathing and not be jumpy. Some players get off on the thrill of the game and enjoy the adrenalin and the jumpiness. They die a lot.

    Pay attention to your grip on the mouse, it's likely to change in a firefight. You need to train your hand to relax. Some shooters tend to jerk the trigger; in FPS this is equivalent to smacking the mouse button as hard as you can. Train yourself to comfortably fire your weapon without disturbing your sight picture. Again, do this on an empty server and go have some target practice. Just like in real life, if you train the techniques in non-stressful situations, when a firefight comes along you can worry about maintaining your composure and allow your training to do the bulk of the shooting for you.

    Don't get angry at the target. This leads you to empty your clip into a long-dead target. He probably has friends. Save your bullets.

    Following these rules allowed to have a dominant ten years in FPS, highly satisfying. Of course, playing a minimum six hours a day helped too ;o)


    Aim for the chest. Centre mass ftw.

    Three round burst.


    But most important?

    AndyCapp likes this.
  20. Riot

    Riot Veteran Member

    Enter every room at the high ready, and handly little piece of information about the "handedness" lol

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