1) Never give up
I started playing Counterstrike 1.3 and the truth is I hated it at first. The first online multiplayer game I got into was Quake3 with its fast-paced game play, unlimited respawns and fun weapons. So, when my friends got me to try out Counterstrike I really didn’t like it very much. The game play was slow, gun fire had to be controlled and if you died you had to wait up to 5 minutes before you could play another round. All that waiting really bothered me and took away from me gaining experience.
After 6 months or so I was just about ready to uninstall the game! I had seen enough: I would get killed almost instantly and then had to wait forever to play another round where I would get killed instantly again and so on and so forth. It wasn’t until I somehow found a server that was running smaller custom maps that I finally started enjoying Counterstrike more. Custom maps such as FY_Snow and FY_Iceworld is where things finally started getting interesting. Sometimes the rounds would last just a few seconds. This is how I was able to get a lot of experience in a hurry. After a few months of playing with skilled players I started drastically improving. They set the bar pretty high!
Around that time is when the first Call of Duty came out and I fell in love with that game. It was essentially Counterstrike in a World War 2 setting. All the experience I had gained playing Counterstrike translated perfectly. Let’s just say that I usually had a decent score, to say the least.
The point is that you shouldn’t give up, especially when things get tough. If you can overcome these obstacles (constantly dying) and come out on top you will reap the benefits of your efforts. The payoff is worth it!
2) Understand the game
To get good at Call of Duty you need to understand the game well. If you don’t understand the game and what you are able to do within the game you will be severely limited. Conversely, if you have a deep understanding of the game you will know what the possibilities are and therefore you will be able to take advantage of that knowledge. If other players have a better understanding of the game, they are going to have a significant advantage over you. Don’t let that happen!
In ‘the Matrix’ Neo is told that “some rules can be bent, others can be broken.” The same concept applies to Call of Duty. For example, if you use escalation and get multi-kills your gun will automagically reload so that you can continue your rampage. If you don’t know what escalation is and does you will be limited. Plus, if someone else is using it you might even be bewildered as to how they are able to keep shooting without reloading. This is just a quick example to show you that having a strong understanding of the game will help you take advantage of features that can truly enhance your game experience and improve your effectiveness as a player.
So read the manual. Look online for forums. Ask questions. Try new stuff. Know how the game works!
3) Find your niche
Once you start getting the hang of the game, it is time to figure out what works best for you. What suits your style of playing best? Some people like to camp with an LMG and others like to rush with a shotgun or an SMG. Some people focus on earning kill streaks while others prefer to just get a bunch of regular kills using weapons. What you need to do is figure out what your preferred style of play is. This is going to be unique for each and everyone. Nobody is exactly the same and therefore nobody plays exactly the same.
The best way to find your niche is to try different stuff. Try sniping with different sniper rifles. Once you are comfortable sniping, you could try making it less comfortable by running around with a sniper. This might sound strange, but by challenging yourself you will be forced to find new ways of surviving. This is how you gain super valuable experience, which translates to other areas of the game.
By playing a lot and always trying new things (to find your niche) you will start to see certain patterns emerge. You will start figuring out what works for you and what doesn’t. You will figure out what type of guns you like a lot and what types of guns that you don’t like at all. I believe that a lot of this has to do with how effective you are with them. If you have a positive response (lots of kills) you are more likely to keep using that particular gun. Conversely, if you are using a gun and it just isn’t working for you at all, you are more likely to dump that gun and move on to something more effective.
Keep in mind that there is more to Call of Duty than just weapons. Besides finding a gun you really like, you will also need to experiment with different attachments, classes and basic trainings. They can radically change your gameplay and, ultimately, your results. For example, some guns absolutely require a grip, while other guns might really benefit from adding rapid fire. By simply adding the suppressor attachment to your SMG you instantly become a more stealthy player. If you want to go all the way in terms of going the stealth route, you might even add the mountaineer class. Now you won’t show up on radar and you also become invisible to score streaks. Another option would be to go airborne while using your suppressed SMG so that you can sprint faster and reload while you sprint so that you can really bring the fight to the enemy while still having an element of stealth and surprise.
In other words, the possibilities are endless. You simply need to find what works best for you. Again, the best way to gauge this is by how effective these additional options are for you, personally. Is a certain class or loadout helping you get a lot of kills or are you struggling to get a single kill now that you are using a certain add-on? Is the suppressor helping you get more kills or is it making your weapons do less damage to the point that you can’t get kills anymore? Find your own, unique way of playing!
4) Get super technical
Once you find a loadout you like and that seems to work well for you, it is time for you to get super technical with it. By using a solid, effective loadout extensively, you will start getting better with it over time. You will get used to how it works. You will start noticing what the pros and cons are of your particular loadout or play style. If you use a shotgun all the time you will notice that it doesn’t have much range and that at a distance you are going to be at a serious disadvantage compared to someone who uses a rifle. If you use the combat shotgun (pump) a lot, you will realize that it can’t shoot as fast as a rifle or SMG. If you run around with a double barrel shotgun you will quickly realize that having only 2 rounds before needing to reload is a serious liability when facing more than two enemies in an area. The point is that the more you play, the better you will understand the tools you are using.
The next step in becoming super technical is to challenge yourself. I mean REALLY challenge yourself. Make it hard on yourself. Once you start getting deadly with your gun of choice, try to make it harder for yourself. If you start getting a lot of easy kills just standing somewhere, try do the same thing while jumping. At first it will be much more difficult but after a while of practicing things like that, you will gain experience and it will become easier. As time goes by, your muscle memory will take over and things that were once hard will become second nature.
In Call of Duty WW2, I refused to dive for about a year because it made things more complicated and I didn’t have the muscle memory, yet; it felt clunky and unnecessary. Fast forward a few years later and now I have incorporated diving into my gameplay 100%. It adds an extra step when it isn’t absolutely needed, but in certain situations where it is needed or beneficial it can be the difference between winning and losing.
There are plenty of other critical factors that should be included on your journey to becoming super technical such as proper mouse sensitivity, having good aim and being consistent. Knowing how to effectively clear rooms (CQB) and keeping your head on a swivel so that you can be ready for the next threat are also important aspects of the game.
The point is that you need to play a lot to master some of the more subtle aspects of the game that might not be as obvious as just having great aim! Once you do, you will have a huge advantage over your competition because they are simply not as technical as you are.
5) Use tactics wisely
Finally, you need to understand tactics and how to use them. Again, these tactics are going to be different depending on the player. That is why it is so important to follow the other steps first so that you can find you own personal niche. Depending on what your niche is, your tactics are going to vary greatly.
For example, if you are using a shotgun you might want to use tactics/strategies that benefit you as a shotgun user. If you are a sniper, those shotgun tactics will probably not work as well. That’s why you need to figure out the types of tactics that work for you by trying different loadouts and their corresponding tactics. For example, if running around with a sniper rifle doesn’t work out so well, try camping with a sniper rifle and see if that works for you. Find strategies that make you more effective.
In the end, it is critical that you understand the difference between being a good technical player and being a smart tactical player. The simple fact is that tactics rank higher than the other 4 steps in the article, in many ways. They can make or break things. On the flipside, extremely technical players can get away with using poor tactics sometimes because they can still make it out of bad situations alive thanks to having good aim, using the right weapons or having good instincts. Sometimes pure luck can save the day, regardless of what tactic you were intending to use.
Understand the difference between becoming an excellent technical player and becoming tactical in how you play. The advantage of using good tactics is that even technically non-advanced players can get good results from using smart tactics. Conversely, if you are a highly technical player but you use terrible tactics, you will likely get poor results. Of course, if you are a super technical, experienced player AND you use smart tactics you will be EXTRA lethal!
In a perfect world you should shoot for being well-rounded. What I mean is that as you get more technical, your tactics should also start naturally improving because you will see what works and doesn’t work for you as an individual. Put it all together and you will become a formidable Call of Duty player – I guarantee it!