Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
8 Tips For First-Person Shooters From A Pro Gamer
Whenever you start playing a new first-person shooter, there’s a steep learning curve. Those first few days of gameplay are full of embarrassing killcam footage, accidental friendly fire, and catastrophic misclicks.
In an effort to help this author suck just a little less, Task & Purpose sought professional help.
We turned to Ed Salsberg, who has been gaming professionally and casually since 1978 and heavily into first-person shooters since 1998. Salsberg is the editor-in-chief of Front Towards Gamer, a veteran-geared entertainment and gaming publication that is a subsidiary of Operation Supply Drop, which sends deployed troops care packages with game consoles.
Salsberg agreed to give us a tactical walkthrough that will work for most mainstream first-person shooters in both regular and hardcore modes. In Hardcore mode, a player’s survivability drops significantly due to added weapon damage and no minimap, so playing smart is critical.
First and foremost, you need to know the map.
“Map knowledge is critical and probably the most important factor of them all because that’s going to give you the location of where all your power ups are, your health packs for regen, your ammo for resupply,” explains Salsberg, adding that if you’re playing a game from the Call of Duty or Battlefield franchises, knowing the map will let you identify the enemy spawn point and keep an eye on your teammates.
Next, find a gun or a role that you’re comfortable with.
“You need to find a gun that you like, that you can use, and stick with that gun until you master it,” says Salsberg. “The first thing you want to do is find a weapon you can use reliably.”
Spend about two weeks playing a loadout, class, or using one type of weapon, with the first week devoted to getting used to the play style, and the second week spent refining your technique.
When you come up to a blind spot like a corner, turn your volume way up.
“The first thing you want to do is to get the sound going on,” says Salsberg, who recommends pausing when you near a corner, door, window, or other blindspot and listen closely to see if you hear someone approaching or moving because they heard you.
From there, you should immediately aim down the sights and pie that corner.
“Go all in, so you basically have that surprise and that initially shock of ‘Hey, I have a target in front of me, and they have to identify me,’” says Salsberg.
It is a game afterall, so there’s no need to be overly cautious. Go all in.
To frag or not to frag?
“Best time to throw a grenade is when you know your team is behind you,” says Salsberg.
That’s rule number one. Next, you want to make sure you only toss a grenade when you know you’re going to get a kill — ideally more than one, like when two or more enemy players are in a room with few doorways or windows for escape. Then, you cook the grenade, toss it in, and hope no idiot on your team comes charging in before it goes off.
When it comes to scouting a map, you want to move cautiously.
“Do it gingerly,” says Salsberg.
The last thing you want to do is give up a good position to go scouting and immediately get capped because you were impatient. If you don’t have communication with your team, see if you can get eyes on your people and where they’re spawning, so you can start to zero in on the enemy position, then move forward from there.
If you do have a headset, stop being a creeper and just ask where the bad guys are.
Target whoever is facing you first.
“In terms of what targets I’d pick first, it doesn’t always have to be the person that’s closest,” says Salsberg, who explains that he’ll usually go for whoever is facing him and then move on to the closest target once the first threat is down. If you’re hidden from view and have the initiative, you should try line up your targets so after dropping one, you can immediately move on to the next with little readjustment, says Salsberg.
Or you can just sneak around looking for the noob who’s spinning in a circle shooting at the sky.
It’s not all about headshots.
“In terms of accuracy, I would go for center mass,” says Salsberg. “Start at the sternum and work your way up.”
A lot of people looking for quick kills will go for headshots, and while scoring one is deeply satisfying, about 80% of those shots miss, says Salsberg. It’s probably better to just unload at the chest and let your recoil carry your shots upward.
29 years after Desert Storm, an Air Force general says we’ve forgotten the lessons that made it so successful
When Air Force Gen. Chuck Horner (ret.) took to the podium at the dedication of the National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial site in Washington D.C. last February, he told the audience that people often ask him why a memorial is necessary for a conflict that only lasted about 40 days.
Horner, who commanded the U.S. air campaign of that war, said the first reason is to commemorate those who died in the Gulf War. Then he pointed behind him, towards the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where the names of over 58,000 Americans who died in Vietnam are etched in granite.
"These two monuments are inexorably linked together," Horner said. "Because we had in Desert Storm a president and a secretary of defense who did the smartest thing in the world: they gave the military a mission which could be accomplished by military force."
The Desert Storm Memorial "is a place every military person that's going to war should visit, and they learn to stand up when they have to, to avoid the stupidness that led to that disaster" in Vietnam, he added.
Now, 29 years after the operation that kicked Saddam Hussein's Iraqi army out of Kuwait began, the U.S. is stuck in multiple wars that Horner says resemble the one he and his fellow commanders tried to avoid while designing Desert Storm.
Horner shared his perspective on what went right in the Gulf War, and what's gone wrong since then, in an interview last week with Task & Purpose.
The Navy SEAL accused of strangling Army Special Forces Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar was promoted to chief petty officer two months after Melgar's death, according to a new report from The Daily Beast.
March Air Reserve Base in California will host nearly 200 U.S. citizens who were flown out of Wuhan, China due to the rapidly-spreading coronavirus, a Defense Department spokeswoman announced on Wednesday.
"March Air Reserve Base and the Department of Defense (DoD) stand ready to provide housing support to Health and Human Services (HHS) as they work to handle the arrival of nearly 200 people, including Department of State employees, dependents and U.S. citizens evacuated from Wuhan, China," said Pentagon press secretary Alyssa Farah in a statement on Wednesday.
Wuhan is the epicenter of the coronavirus, which is a mild to severe respiratory illness that's associated with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The virus has so far killed 132 people and infected nearly 6,000 others in China, according to news reports.
More problems with Air Force's new tanker could put the squeeze on the Pentagon's refueling capabilities, TRANSCOM chief says
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Protracted delays on Boeing's new KC-46 tanker could leave the Pentagon with a shortage of refueling capacity, the head of U.S. Transportation Command warned on Tuesday.
US troops are still ready to 'fight tonight' against North Korea despite canceled exercises, general says
U.S. troops are still ready to "fight tonight" against North Korea despite the indefinite suspension of major military training exercises on the Korean peninsula, Pentagon officials said Tuesday.