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Reclaiming Your FPS Skills

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With Titanfall just around the corner as well as a number of other first person shooters, I thought it would be a good idea to write an article to get back into the swing of things. I’ve mainly been playing racing games and Flappy Bird lately so if like me, you needed a little jump start, then this article might just be for you.

So you’re in a FPS slump, you’ve been getting killed repeatedly without so much as returning one shot. It’s ok, it happens to the best of us (insert “1 in 3 men suffer from” joke here). We all have our good days and our bad days, but never fear, I have compiled a number of ways to get you out of the rut and back to winning in no time! But first, let me ask you a few questions to make sure that you’ve come to the right place.

Is your K significantly lower than your D? Have you been tomahawked 8 times from the other side of a map before you even took two steps? Have you been repeatedly picked off from an unknown location after spending 11 minutes clinging to every wall and bush? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions then you have indeed come to the right place.

We’ve all been there, we’ve all had those days where our hand-eye-controller coordination is completely off balance. You get agitated, then frustrated and then finally it’s a full blown rage quit. Usually the rage quit comes at the hands of an annoying 13 year old boy who sounds like a 9 year old girl. The boy lobs a lofty grenade over a building a luckily gets the kill, rather than staying quiet and enjoying the fluke, he brags about how he owns you and simultaneously recalls having intercourse with your mother. You have two choices at this stage.

Option A: account for your mother’s whereabouts for the last few evenings and assure the child that he is in fact mistaken. This is often a futile attempt as the kid will certify that is was indeed your mother whom he had intercourse with and you will end up in a back and forth, dog chasing it’s own tail kind of situation. This is not only embarrassing for the both of you but it also takes away from precious noob slaying time.

Option B: calmly remove yourself from the game and read this article, then return with all the knowledge that you have gained and send that kid crying to his mother and who knows, she may be hot and the joke will be on the kid after you doink her for real. Remember that nothing says “I owned you” more than making breakfast in that kid’s kitchen.

I’m guessing you chose B because you’re still reading this. Good choice. Let’s get stuck into it then shall we?

Tip number 1: Counter Strike

Counter Strike is the first FPS game I ever played. It is something of a staple food in the diet of a seasoned gamer in my opinion. It has very basic game play that is also somehow so deep and gripping that I am constantly going back to play it over and over again. If you’re wanting to reclaim your FPS skills, spend some time on one of the many versions of CS and you will be well and truly on your way. Teamwork, skill, strategy and quick thinking are paramount here and all of the things you learn from playing Counter Strike can be transferred to just about any other FPS game.

Tip number 2: Left 4 Dead (or any other rampant zombie game)

I couldn’t count the number of times I have lost my cool in the midst of a firefight. Learning to stay calm when you’ve only got 4 bullets and 5 bad guys is key in any shooter. With games like Halo where you have a regenerating shield, power ups and near limitless ammo the game quickly becomes a “lob grenade, jump around holding the trigger, hit here, hit there and then throw another grenade until I die and respawn” competition. Don’t get me wrong, Halo is one of my favorite games of all time but as much fun as the frantic death matches are, they sometimes lack tactics. So when you go from jumping around with bad guys in bright coloured armour and recharging your shield to a game like Battlefield 4 where 3 bullets is enough to put you down, you get frustrated. Enter Left 4 Dead, like Counter Strike it is best played with real life team mates and opponents but there’s more than just unloading unlimited ammo into the mindless horde here. Ammo is limited for your main weapon, so while you can just hold the trigger down and hope for the best, I can guarantee you won’t last long. Taking your time and choosing the right moment to shoot is what will make the difference between winning and losing. Team work while maintaining your composure is key to survival. You need to plan your defense, who will be covering that door? What happens when a Tank knocks down that wall? When do we throw the pipe bomb? All these things need to be covered and taking these elements and altering them slightly to suit other games will definitely benefit you and your team. Spend some time with this game, learn to work with your team and last for more than a few minutes and you’re halfway to being an FPS champ.

Tip number 3: Battlefield

Some FPS games have vehicles, few have as many as Battlefield. Vehicles can play a huge part in any game but especially with FPS games they have the power to shift the whole game in a matter of minutes. Learning how to control vehicles properly is invaluable in the virtual war zones. Being able to swoop in and grab a team mate who’s just picked up the flag and needs an evac then dodging enemy fire all the way back to your base is something every gamer would feel good about being able to pull off. It can be a hard learning curve though, especially with some of the more complex vehicles like the helicopter which I still have trouble with when the pressure is on. If you can invest some time into playing and mastering Battlefield not only for the vehicles but also getting used to the sheer size of some of the maps and learning how to move across them without getting scoped from some unknown location then you are almost an FPS master. Team work is also a major theme here with all the different support classes and gadgets so don’t lone wolf it when you’re in a team based game. If solitude is more your thing then this game is also a great place to practice flying solo with a few different modes that will help you learn to cover your own back.

And last but not least, Tip number 4: Call Of Duty (the firing range modes)

A lot of the more recent COD games come with a firing range mini game/level which is another great way to practice and get your accuracy and overall skill right up. These mini levels are timed and will give you a performance rating at the end. You have a number of different weapons to choose from so there’s plenty to learn from here. You run through the course as quickly as you can while differentiating between civilian granny’s and terrorists. From melee to grenades, you really get to use all your resources here to better your times. I often go back to these levels when I’m in a slump and they often help me get out of it. Use precision and strategy, learn the courses and you will only get better and better as you go. When you’ve posted a decent time, try jumping online and see if your skills have improved.

Well there you have it folks, some of my game tips to help you break your death streak. Let me know if they work for you or if you have some yourself that I could try.

I will also have a review of the Titanfall beta up soon for you all to enjoy.

As always, thanks for reading!

– L

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