Shooting games don’t typically carry a steep learning curve. The point, click, kill – it’s a simple concept. Of course, being good at shooting games requires focus, twitch reflexes, and the ability to outsmart your human opponents (if playing online).
First-person online shooters like Shellshockers.io, for example, have a notably “run and gun” style of gameplay. The run and gun style of shooters differs from tactical shooters in that, you are quite literally running around the map and shooting anything that moves. Whereas in a tactical shooter like Rainbow Six, teamwork and strategy are of importance. Some of our tips may apply to one type of shooter, but not the other.
Having said that, we’ll give some tips for beginner and veteran gamers alike, that can increase your survival chances in shooting games. If you incorporate these tips into your arsenal, you may just find yourself at the top of the leaderboards! Bonus – we’re also going to include how to counter some of the tips we’re giving.
Although our article contains only a few tips, however, each one of us has strong sides and weaknesses, so it’s always better to create your own personalized learning system that can apply to anything from math to video games.
Learn how to circle strafe
A staple in any gamer’s arsenal is the ability to strafe-circle. Strafing is basically moving from side to side, typically the A and S keys in first-person shooters. When you strafe around another player in a circular motion, while keeping them in your crosshairs, you can dodge a lot of their bullets while pumping yours into them.
This technique works best on stationary targets. If two players circle strafe each other, it becomes a dance of death.
The counter: If someone is circle strafing you, you have two options to “counter” them. You can either engage in a “dance of death” as mentioned earlier or lead the target. Try to shoot a few steps ahead of their circling path, instead of directly at them, so they end up strafing into your bullets.
Bunnyhop like a madman
If you’ve ever seen a player jumping around a map like they’re on a pogo-stick, there’s a method to this madness. You have an increased chance of scoring a headshot when aiming vertically down at an opponent. Thus, the constant jumping while shooting downwards is giving them better odds of putting one between your eyes. This technique is really effective in arcade-style shooters, like Krunker.io (check out the game here).
The counter: If someone is bunnyhopping all over the map, try to aim where they’re going to land. You typically cannot control directional movement while in the air, which means they’ll fall into your path of bullets if you aim in the direction of their landing zone.
Get good with pistols
One thing veteran gamers understand is the value of pistols (or handguns, if we’re splitting hairs). Most gamers pick the “coolest” weapons. You see a lot more shotguns and gold-skinned assault rifles than handguns in the hands of most players. Yet handguns are extremely dangerous in the hands of a veteran player.
Handguns are often the most accurate weapons in a shooting game. Their bullet trajectory is often much straighter than other guns, as a trade-off of their fire rate. With assault rifles, you need to constantly realign your sights to counter the simulated recoil. 75% of your bullets probably hit the wall behind the other player due to recoil (if you’re a bullet spammer. Veteran players know the advantage of single-fire mode for assault rifles). With handguns, you just point and shoot – and often hit exactly where you were aiming. Which, hopefully, is the other player’s head.
The counter: There is no counter to an expert pistolman. The best you can do is challenge them to a knife duel in the middle of the map, and pray for the best.
Stick to the map edges
A common noob mistake in shooting games is running around the middle of the map. This makes you a target from all angles. If a map is a big square, and you’re in the middle of the square, every direction is a threat. A smart gamer will stick to the edges of the map. Always have a wall to your back. Always have a path to cover.
You don’t have to be a camper (staying in one place the entire game). Campers often get knifed in the back. You need to know how to get around the map, that don’t involve going straight down the middle. So an additional tip to this tip – know your maps.
Be a team player
It can be difficult in public games, but there’s an enormous benefit to communicating with teammates in shooting games. Headsets aren’t just for trash-talking. If you can effectively coordinate with your team, or even just one other player on your team, your odds of survival increase.
As an anecdotal example, I loved flying jets in the Battlefield series. I considered myself an ace pilot. I imagined myself as Tom Cruise in Top Gun, and played “Highway to the Danger Zone” on repeat. My friend preferred playing ground infantry. He would let me know over the headset if I was being tailed by an enemy pilot, or pinpoint enemies on the map for my jet missiles. The point being, teamwork and cooperation makes online shooters a lot more fun and rewarding.
The counter: Playing really loud music over your headset to disrupt enemy communication in public games with public communication. It’s only effective until they mute you (usually immediately), so there really isn’t a counter.