Whether you like it or not, multiplayer is one of the gaming industry’s biggest money makers, and nowadays even plays a key role in whether or not triple A games will get the green light. More and more singleplayer games have had multiplayer experiences either tacked on (see Bioshock 2), or they’ve been expertly woven in to enhance the whole package, à la Assassin’s Creed.
Now, I for one, spend a huge proportion of my time battling it out for online supremacy in whichever virtual arena has caught my fancy. I’ve spent a ludicrous amount of time playing various multiplayer games such as Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Battlefield 3, World of Warcraft, and Uncharted 3 amongst many others. While I wouldn’t consider myself an expert in any of these games, I do often find myself at the top of the leaderboards on most of them. As you can expect, the majority of the games I mentioned focus on shooting mechanics, but I still try and apply these rules to any game I’m a newbie to. Some of them may seem obvious but hopefully they’ll provide you with a quick and easy way to up your game.
Awareness is possibly one of the most important things in multiplayer. Your ability to see what is going on around you is utterly crucial in team-based games. Increasing your awareness is actually relatively simple. See that grenade explosion from round the corner which just killed your teammate? Well that means that someone else was on the other end of that grenade and they’re just about to walk around said corner, and right into your sights. Your teammates deaths are, unfortunately, one of the best ways to keep yourself alive. Thankfully, most modern FPS’ have death markers appear when your teammates die. Pay close attention to these. If they died in a tight space then you now have a pretty good idea which way the enemy is going to be approaching from. And thanks to mini maps you now have a rough idea of how many enemies are gunning for you.
Tip 2 – Knowledge
This one just comes with a lot of practice and time spent with your chosen game. Knowing and fully understanding the abilities at your disposal is key to stomping the other team. This tip is particularly useful in MMO’s, MOBA’s and other games such as Assassin’s Creed in which you have specific abilities to use at certain points. Once you get to grips with your moves, it’s time to get clever. Combinations of abilities in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhoods’ multiplayer allow you to get really creative. There are several moves which compliment each other perfectly. For example, you can walk into a crowd of NPC’s, use Morph to turn them into mirrors of yourself, and when the guy hunting you turns up, simply use Decoy to send an NPC running with your enemy hot on the decoy’s heels. Exploring and experimenting with what you’ve been given keeps your enemies second-guessing and keeps you one step ahead.
If you’re like me then these online market places, office buildings and urban streets become second homes so you might as well make yourself comfy. In FPS games, and others too, your understanding of the environment is vital. You need to know where you can see other players from, if they can see you from there, which corridors lead where, etc. If you’re able to pick up on where an enemy is heading then you can either jump them on the way, or follow a shortcut you’ve already scouted out. Understanding how the maps are built up and how parts of them link together can give you a huge advantage, and allow you to sensibly predict where your enemy is going to be. Also, remember you’re playing against other live players and humans can often be creatures of habit. Certain spots on maps offer advantages such as a good defence or a perfect sniping point, and as such large quantities of people are repeatedly drawn to them match after match. Once you understand where these spots are, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with their weak spots, such as windows and vents. Even more importantly, you’ve got to know where the enemy will be in relation to your entrance through the weak spot; when you’ve got that down you can swoop in, and start quickly racking up the points.
For the more hardened veterans these may seem obvious, but I feel these tips help to give a general set of advice which can apply to any newcomers to most genres. Hopefully these simple tips will help you improve and help you die less and get kills more often.