FPS Chronicles: Part 1

Check out December 77’s guide to improving your FPS gameplay!

First Person Shooters

Let’s start with the basics. What IS a First Person Shooter?

Google says that a “First person shooter is a video game type centered around gun and other weapon-based combat in a first-person perspective; that is, the player experiences the action through the eyes of the protagonist.”

Dictionary.com states that a First Person Shooter is “a type of video game in which the player assumes the field of vision of the protagonist, so that the game camera includes the character’s weapon, but the rest of the character model is not seen. Abbreviation: FPS”

(Don’t worry. This WILL get more interesting.)

Taking these explanations into account, we can agree that in a First Person Shooter game you ARE your character. Movement and look speed are directly influenced by your input. Your character’s point of view is “your” point of view. You are directly responsible for all your character’s interactions as if they were your own. And to top it all off, your vision is extremely limited compared to a 3rd person game.

For some gamers, these concepts could be foreign and perhaps a little awkward. For others, this is exactly how a video game should be. If you’re in that second group – I’m talking to you.

The purpose of this articles is to make the reader more aware of general FPS concepts and techniques with the goal of improving skill during gameplay. I think most of us can agree that if we are successful in a game, we enjoy the game. Since success in an FPS game is directly related to winning, it would follow that increasing our chance at winning – i.e. our skill – will also increase our potential enjoyment of the game itself.

General Concepts

Sensitivity

We all ask that timeless question: “Hey man, what sensitivity you play on?” The answer is almost always something like “Yo, I totally play on level 10 man.” And then we quietly navigate to settings and raise our sensitivity from a 3 to a 8 in the hopes of getting slightly closer to that level of “coolness”. Just stop. Choosing to play on a higher sensitivity level does NOT mean you are automatically more skilled at an FPS game.  When you think about it logically, doesn’t being able to make more precise adjustments with the reticle seem like a good thing? And wouldn’t it be easier to do if your scope wasn’t jerking around every time you twitched? It really all comes down to personal preference.

Reddit, Halowaypoint, Bungie and Gamefaqs are FULL of players defending the claim that lower sensitivity is actually better. Find a number than works for you and keep in mind that you don’t have to play on high sensitivity to be good at a game. When most pros allegedly use 3-5, it’s hard not to consider that the best option.

Brightness

It’s a pretty simple concept. If your brightness level is too low, you may not be able to see enough detail to allow for accurate shots. Or more bluntly: if you can’t see crap, turn the lights on! Don’t follow the whole “dim your brightness until you can barely see the image” instructions. Find a setting that allows you to see MOST of the details in your environment. Lack of contrast in your surroundings will reduce your situational awareness greatly.

Movement

We generally lump FPS players into one of three categories as far as movement goes. You’re either a “camper” or a “roamer” or a hybrid of the two. When you vary your movement tendencies it makes it harder for the enemy to predict your interactions. Do the same thing too much and it establishes a pattern.

I’m definitely not one to judge camping. I would argue that it can be a rather effective play style however cowardly the stereotype may be. If hide and bait tactics aren’t your thing, consider an alternative. As a roamer myself, I can vouch for the effectiveness that constant motion brings. Consistent relocation can add opportunities for engagement that static play simply cannot provide.

To be continued…

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Keep an eye out for Part 2 of our FPS Chronicles. We’ll be talking more about general FPS concepts.

Stay sweaty y’all.

 

Article by KSI December 77

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