The concrete debris cracked mercilessly beneath your rugged combat boots as you ran, taking in a deep breath – or at least you tried. You coughed as your lungs, appalled, tried to expel the unhealthy pollutants. The air was clogged full of ash and dust, if you hadn’t known better, it would seem that someone had pounded a truck-full of chalk and exploded it into this room. Or perhaps some nearby forest had been ignited by lightning, or someone forgot to turn the oven off; fire.
Oh boy, its fire alright. Gunfire.
Even with visibility that low, it wasn’t hard to forget that you’re in a battle as the desperate cries of your comrades rang through the broken city, resonating with the unearthly bellow of artillery and the sounds of pelting lead.
You felt a bullet whiz pass you, the air cracked as the unseen projectile barely missed you – a few inches to your left ear. Instincts kicking in, you lunged forward, seeking temporary cover with a half collapsed sandbag wall. Now in prone, you took aim; surveying your surroundings through the rifle scope for your mysterious assailant. As the lead storms mildly subsided around you, you realize the enemy must have caught a glimpse of your movement, or at least have a rough idea of your location and is moving carefully towards you.
The first one to spot and fire will live to see another day.
In the corner of your optical sight, a silhouette came into view.
And suddenly, you died.
And to make things worst, your current KDR is 8/19.
“Ugh, pathetic.”, you sigh.
Well, your days of spray and pray are over.
Perhaps you didn’t exactly spray, but like the short narrative above, you’re just below average at reticle assassination. I’ve spent far too many words on concocting a mildly interesting prologue, lets get down to business!
Step 1: Getting geared up.
First, get a decent mouse.
A lot of fps players swear by gaming mice, boosting ultra-high DPI and multiple strange and exotic settings that claims to take your game to the next level.
As far as precision and DPI goes, most decent peripheral manufacturers carry laser optical mice in the low $20s. If your budget allows, a “gaming” mice is always a plus for that minute boost in precision and maybe comfort. Otherwise, there is no shame sticking to your stock Microsoft or Dell mouse. Logitech, Razer and Steelseries all make very fine ambidextrous mice that comes with at least a year’s warranty and have been fairly easy to set up.
Next, your mouse needs to be accurate. Go to your mouse settings and uncheck “Enchance Pointer Preceision.” It actually LOWERS precision, because the faster you move your mouse, the father the cursor goes. This is bad because you don’t know how far you’ll turn in a given mouse-move when you turn at different speeds.
Finally, you might want to get a mouse pad.
Not essential, but always a plus. A good mouse pad should be comfortable to track, and to move around on. For mouse pads, it really depends on your liking – those quick, reflex motions can sometimes be very painful on a glass table, and so I got myself a SteelSeries QCK.
Go down to your local PC store; there are often mousepads on display or there would be a small opening in the cover(as intended, if absent, please do not make your own!) that allows you to get a feel of the material. A fairly decent mouse pad costs about $10-$20, but a cheap $5 mouse pad is really, really okay.
Step 2: Take aim
Now that you’re all geared up and all too ready to get into a game and score a positive KDR… wait!
All your gear will bring you nowhere without proper skills. There’s actually thousands and thousands of strategy and training guides out there that’ll teach you how to play better – and it all boils down to a single common denominator: playing more.
Some of them work well, while others does little to improve a player’s ability. But what we need to work on today is “aiming”. At the end of the day, you ought to make an accurate aim faster than your opponent, and pulling the trigger as soon as the cross-hair aligns with his head.
Clicking and bookmarking the above link will help you graciously in training. These browser-based reflex training exercises may seem simple, but they definitely do help in improving your reflexes in games. Work out a regime; do them 10 or 20 times a day, before or after lunch.
Also, you can get away with doing them at work. Why be productive when you can train up your 1337 skillz?
Step 3: Tactics
Taking proper cover, providing support fire, etc. Simple tactics can be transferable throughout all FPSes, but many FPSes have unique features that promote or prompt tactics that can only be employed specific to the game in question. You really need to get yourself out there to watch, review and reflect on the game itself. “What have you done wrong?” “Would it have been wiser to plant the Sentry Gun somewhere else?”
Practice makes perfect, but only if you play smart.
So hey, get busy fraggin’ or get busy dyin’!