Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More Reach Multiplayer Tips

1. Respect the "Golden Triangle:" Weapons, Grenades, and Melee
Weapons, Grenades, and Melee
Halo has always been a game of balance. Knowing when it is or isn't appropriate to fire off a round, throw a fist, or toss a grenade is the first and most important lesson you need to learn. Obviously, you shoot an enemy that's far away rather than trying to connect with a melee attack, but you could do more damage with a well-placed grenade instead. Depending on your opponent's vicinity to a wall or explosive, you may want to soften them up with a frag and then finish them off with a well-placed D.M.R. headshot. If you're in a close-quarters firefight and nearing the end of your clip, try to close the distance and connect with a melee attack instead of reloading. Note that there are now Armor Abilities which allow a fourth layer to your strategy, but we'll cover those in more depth below.
2. Learn Your Loadouts
Learn Your Loadouts
A new feature to the series, Loadouts allow you to choose your Armor Ability and main weapon at the start of a match and at each respawn thereafter. Weigh your options based on several factors: The map you're playing on, the kind of strategy other players (both teammates or opponents) are choosing, and perhaps most importantly, the weapons and Armor Abilities you're most comfortable with. Every situation will call for a different set of weapons and skills, so don't just stick with one loadout all the time, unless, of course, you're dominating with it.
3. Know Your Grenades
Know Your Grenades
While Halo 3 mixed things up a bit by introducing spike and flame grenades, Halo: Reach has gone back to tried-and-true combination of frags and stickies, and knowing what situation to use each is vital. The humans' fragmentation grenades behave a bit like a hard rubber ball: bouncing slightly as they hit an object -- whether that be the floor, a wall or another player -- before exploding in a fairly wide radius. Plasma, or "sticky" grenades act sort of like a wet sponge, plopping against walls and falling straight down, coming to a rapid stop when thrown toward the floor, and sticking to other players when making direct contact (the point where that wet sponge analogy falls apart). It's important to judge whether your enemy is a candidate to receive a non-direct hit (for splash damage that can significantly reduce their shields), or if they can be easily stuck with a plasma, ensuring an instant kill.
Of course, you can't hone your skills in grenade throwing if you don't have any at your disposal, so always take a step or two out of your planned path to pick any up that you see lying on the battlefield.
4. Be Sneaky
Be Sneaky
A lot of people you come up against in Halo follow the old "run in guns blazing" approach, which can work quite well if they can keep a fast pace, but more often than not, this simply puts them in their enemies' crosshairs. There are two advantages to being sneaky: One, you'll be able to pick off the nuts hopping around spraying bullets in all directions, and two, they likely won't kill you, because you're, well, hiding. With the inherit time limits of each round, it's tempting to try and hunt down every player as quickly and as often as possible, but if you can find a few good dark corners, move effectively while crouching (which also hides you on radar), and possibly employ active camo, you'll find that patience is rewarding. All of the other players may jump out ahead of you at the beginning, but just remember the old adage, "slow and steady wins the race."
5. Learn the Maps and Weapon Placements
Learn the Maps and Weapon Placements
This tip is kind of a given. If your opponent knows the map better than you, they will have a tactical advantage that outstrips pure skill. Therefore, it is paramount that you get to know the maps. Try creating a private, non-joinable party, and simply run around the levels alone, making mental notes of good hiding and ambush spots as well as weapon placement. While loadouts decrease the amount of people running to grab the shotgun when they can simply choose to spawn with it, there are still "power weapons" scattered about that can quickly turn the tide of battle. When you do jump into some real matches, don't get aggravated when someone scores a kill that seemed to be somehow magical. Instead, try to figure out if they took advantage of the terrain in some way, had a weapon you didn't know about, or simply spawned conveniently. Knowing immediately where you are after each spawn, where to go, and what's around you can mean the difference between first and last.

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