I’ve been a gamer for well over 17 years now, so I’d like to think that the difference in my gaming skills between now and my 10 year old self playing Space Invaders is pretty substantial. Whilst the majority of my gaming at the moment is casual, I’ve been through phases of wanting to be good, or at least, wanting to stop being beaten by everyone. Because of this, I’ve always looked for an edge in the games I play, not because I was so good that edges were the only way to improve, but because I couldn’t ever bring myself to concentrate on one game long enough to become an expert. For example, whilst my friends were clocking up the hours on Counter Strike, I was elsewhere playing other games. Yet when I finally got involved, I had a lot of catching up to do. It’s because of this that I’ve always tried to find quick fixes, little tips and tricks or even shortcuts to become better at games without having to spend hours practicing. After 17 years, I got pretty good at it.
So it’s because of this that I’ve thought about running a weekly series of gaming tips to pass on a few of these shortcuts or pieces of advice to you guys. Obviously though, I’m just one gamer, so if you have your own bits of advice that you’d like to pass on then leave a comment and I’ll write it up. This week I’m looking at how you can improve your FPS tactics and movement in one easy step. By taking it offline
Sometimes it can be easy to get too caught up in gaming and simply forget that it’s generally supposed to be a simulation of real life. First person shooters, sports games, adventure games, flying, and driving games are all areas that mimic what we would do in certain situations in the real world, so knowledge and experience in these real situations can transcend into your gaming, very often with a positive effect. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the game and fail to include experiences and tactics from real world situations, so perhaps it’s time to try a few new ideas and see what we can do in the real world to improve online.
With most first person shooters, there are so many tactics and techniques taken from real world combat situations that we can use in our gaming. Simply reading books written on the subject is a great way to improve your gaming, as is watching films and just generally immersing yourself in the most useful / informative situations. It’s amazing how many things you’ll pick up: Never going into a firefight without reloading first, never stop in a doorway, understanding cover and silhouettes (don’t stand on top of a building against the skyline..), understanding the benefits of high ground, staying with your squad, how essential clear communication is. The list is endless, yet they are all pieces of information that are spelt out by simply watching the right programmes or reading the right books.
However, the best way to really learn these lessons is by doing it in real life. No, I don’t suggest you head out to a warzone (I hear respawns don’t work, for starters..), but there is obviously a much easier and safer way to try different thigns and see what works. Paintball (or Airsoft).
Now, I’ve been playing paintball for quite a few years and I’ve always found it’s a great way to improve my online gaming. Whilst you don’t improve your accuracy with the mouse, you see huge benefits in the speed it takes you to understand a tactical situation, to estimate where your opponent will be coming from, in communications, team work, tactical movement and general self awareness in the game (for example, are you visible, can you be flanked, where’s the cover) and quite a few other areas that simply playing an FPS would miss out on. I know it sounds a bit obvious, but it really does help, so next time you have a free weekend, head out and play some paintball. It makes a huge difference.