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Tips for being better at Call of Duty (FPS Shooters)

Updated on November 15, 2012
FPS | Source

First-person shooters have become the most popular genre of game. The games have become increasingly complex but keep a basic framework. The following tips and advice will help you become a better player in practically any FPS game there is but this article is specifically geared towards Call of Duty. Some of them might seem obvious but I know some people don't think about certain aspects of the game or haven't considered these aspects' impact on their game. While I am not nearly the best player out there, I understand what it takes to win games and get good scores although I might not always display the skill necessary to do so. I would appreciate it if you could please provide feedback or constructive criticism after you read my article. Thanks and I hope this helps. :)


Look sensitivity in first-person shooters, or any shooter for that matter, has the largest impact on how well you play. The sensitivity you choose should allow you to turn and look as fast as possible while still be able to be accurate. As for which is more important, speed or accuracy, I think it depends strongly on the situation. If you are a rusher and are always in close quarter gun fights, you probably should favor speed so you can spin quickly if caught off guard. However, if you are a sniper or stay at long distances from your enemy, you should probably favor accuracy over speed. If you find either of these criteria are excessive or deficient, adjusting your sensitivity AND playing several games to get used to the new sensitivity can get you to a good balance of speed and accuracy and improve your overall game. Also, other controls settings can have a positive impact as well, like tactical button layout for dropshotting. Its all about preference.

Stay Active

It is important to keep active and constantly survey your surrounds and possible enemy positions. This idea includes all types of gameplay styles from non-stop rushers to "campers." You should be always be looking around and verifying that there's not an enemy where you least expect one, whether in Aim-down-sight view or hip fire view. When I play I try to look briefly in every corner of a room and ADS when running around corners even if I don't know if someone is there or not. This allows me to be as prepared as possible when the location of an enemy player is unknown. An example of a poor player is one that sits with a sniper at the end of a hall or long sightline and waits for someone to walk in his/her crosshairs. While his/her kdr might be good, that player is getting less points than someone actively looking for enemies.

Gather Intel

In an FPS like Call of Duty, there is practically a constant stream of information that the game provides you including: objective status, radar, scorestreak events, game information, player information, etc. Utilizing all of these pieces of information can play a critical role in how successful you play. There have been countless times that one of my teammates has been killed or lost a flag because they ignored the games notifications that a flag was being taken by the opposing team (flashing flag icon and moderator voice). Keeping tabs on what's going on around instead of narrowly looking for enemy players can help you find those players you're looking for and play the objective at the same time.


While it isn't particularly crucial to success, acting unpredictably can certainly have a positive impact on a game, especially one not going so well. If you are having trouble completing or even getting to an objective, taking a different route or doing something unexpected can allow you to get to the objective. Flanking an enemy by running around him/her can be a good way to catch the player off guard and disorient him/her. The act itself might not do allow you to play the objective but it will cause the opposing players to sometimes change position and open up routes that may have been closely guarded sightlines before. Running the same route to the objective over and over and over again will yield little results if the opposing team is set up correctly. Something as simple as a grenade throw where you didn't use one previously can distrupt the enemy players and allow you to capitalize and maybe get a couple kills or actually get to the objective. At the very least, you will have broken their formation and opened up routes to take on the current life or once you respawn.

Be Prepared

This kinda goes without saying but entering into a game being better prepared than your opponent can make all the difference. This could mean you have a better suited class for the map or mode. It could mean you have a game plan for the overall match. It could be as simple as having a better initial route to take when the match starts. All of these can put you ahead from the get go and keep you there, pending the other team makes adjustments.

Knowing sightlines and choke points can give you a huge advantage. Sightlines are places you can look for a good distance in places where players common run. In other words, knowing the places where you can look and usually see enemies is a good place to remember. Similarly, choke points are areas where opposing players are usually located. They are places where congestion of players occur or where players spend most of their time on the maps. Commonly, this is an area in a popular building or near an objective or sightline. Overall, knowledge of the maps could prove a deciding factor in the match.

Utilize Teammates

If you've ever played Call of Duty by yourself and then with a team of people you know, you probably understand how much a difference it makes to play as truly part of a team as opposed to "by yourself" with a few randoms. You can still use your teammates even if you don't know them or are actively coordinating with them during the match. If you keep an eye on where your teammates are and where they're looking/moving, you can play in conjunction to how they are playing. You can follow behind your best player and protect him/her or you can place yourself in an optimal position in relation to where your teammates are so they are effectively guarding you or helping you complete an objective.

When you play with a party or people you know, teammates can cover your back or keep you guarded through other sightlines while you watch another direction or complete an objective. You and your team can form formations that can trap an opposing team or steer them in whatever directions you want. Having a well organized, complete gameplan with your team can make you extremely difficult to beat, especially agaisnt teams of non-party players. Acting as a team can help win games and complete objects as a push towards a bomb or flag is a group effort and won't be stiffled by a single member dying by a camper in a corner. If you have the option to play with a group, do it! It will only improve your game. At the very least, try to complement your teammates' playing styles instead of doing your own thing.

Research Is Fun! :)

Lastly, you can learn a lot by watching others. Find a player that is a professional or at least extremely good at the game (plenty on youtube) and watch how they play. Some players can get by just on skill because of superior reaction time and hand/eye coordination but most good players know how to play the game efficiently and consciously reduce their risk of losing or getting killed and increase the chances of having an advantage over an opponent. I feel most people that watch these pros play focus on how they shoot and kill people where I think it is more important what the good players do when they are not shooting. What routes do they take? What classes do they use and when? What scorestreaks do they use and when? How and when do they complete an objective? How are they utilizing their teammates? What different tactics do they use to surprise or sneak up on their opponents? Overall, how are they gaining an advantage over the other players without killing them? Like learning how to become better in other activities, watching professionals or known to be good players can improve your game if you pay attention to the right things.

What is your favorite first-person shooter (series)?

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