Hey everyone, name's Ascendant Nomad. I'm a content creator and a sherpa over at /r/CrucibleSherpa and today I'm going to try and tackle a really contentious topic; gun skill. Namely how to improve if you're struggling with landing your shots.
I would like to preface this by saying this post is meant to be framed in the context of the beginning of basics. There will be a few of you for whom this post will be largely useless. Conversely, there may be some of you who have been looking for something like this. My series of posts is designed to break it down simply and effectively.
So without further ado, let's dive into my 8 tips to improve your gun skill. This is aimed towards people who struggle in any way to consistently land their shots. I admit, I do not expect this to be a catch-all, but I hope it comes close.
Video link for the people who like videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvvDfs7DrMo&feature=youtu.be
If you're a text-based kinda person I've got you covered below.
8 Tips To Improve Your Gun Skill
Oh gun skill. The definitive characteristic of a top player is proficiency with weapons, and yet there's no objective way of measuring someone's "skill" with guns. I mean sure, you can use precision kill statistics and kill stats but like all statistics viewed out of context, they never tell the full story.
It's also quite a tricky topic because even the people with crazy stats in this game will tell you they have certain pet peeves with aspects of their gun skill, so there doesn't seem to be an established ceiling as far as gun skill goes. It's never quite good enough for them, even if they are their own worst critic. Truth be told, there's no real way to know if you're good enough for Trials or any high-level gameplay apart from finding out for yourself in how you do against skilled players. And even then, there's other factors involved, such as positioning, engagement timing and map awareness. So how do you even begin to understand what you're doing wrong and where to begin to fix it?
Well, we have to break it down into it's purest essence. When it comes to the act of killing, you have to land some bullets fired from your weapon onto a moving target. That's really not as easy as it sounds. But with practice, it can be. The following tips are various exercises that you can try in order to improve your proficiency with weapons in a variety of combat situations.
Tip 1: Play 6-man game modes
Recommending 6s for improvement may go against the grain of posts of yesteryear right here on this subreddit, but I believe there's value in playing 6v6 when it comes to improving gun skill.
The only way to improve your gun skill in PvP is to get kills in PvP. So naturally, you want to shoot a lot of enemies to get a hang of it. And what better than the game modes with the most amount of potential targets in any given time?
Control, Clash, Rift and Supremacy are all different animals to each other, but what they all have in common is that there's 12 people in a lobby, with 6 potential targets for you to practice on. So get out there are begin to hone your skills.
Tip 2: Play Rumble
Now this is a very big step up if you've been accustomed to 6s up until now. Rumble can be brutal and unforgiving even at the best of times. But nothing, literally nothing will make you improve as significantly as playing Rumble consistently.
See in Rumble, you don't have any teammates. You have nobody around to give you an idea where the main conflict is. You don't have anyone watching your back. It's you, alone with your radar and 5 other people looking to kill you. You have to be constantly on your guard and you need to have quick reactions. But more importantly, you have to land your shots the first time. Not the second or the third. The first time. Because you will die, and even if you survive your mishap you can bet a pretty penny there will be someone along very shortly to finish the job your opponent started. Being serious about being good in Rumble will make you react faster, get your shots away faster and speed up your movement, both towards and away from encounters
Rumble will test your map awareness, game awareness, positioning, movement, reaction speeds and your gun skill. It may seem like a cliche at this point to be yet another voice in the crowd recommending Rumble, but it works. It really, really works.
Tip 3: Start with aiming for the body instead of the head
If you're not confident in easily aiming for the head, you may want to consider the other 90% of the guardian – the body. A good way to think about improvement is to make sure that, no matter what the situation, you can at least get a body shot down. Always being able to hit the body means your ability to acquire and hit targets will not be in doubt anymore. With this confidence, you can start with body shots and then creep your aim upwards towards the head. Eventually, you will find that you just naturally aim for the head regardless of your weapon and situation. Think of it like fine-tuning your brain to always seek the head after a while.
Even the best players miss their headshots every once in a while, but you can bet your arse they will get a body shot in any situation at any time. Some damage done is better than no damage done.
Tip 4: Practice head-level with a friend in Private Matches
Get a friend and go into various maps which you're struggling with. Understanding where the general head level is will help you seek out guardians easier, as a majority of your encounters will happen on the ground rather than the air. It's also a great way to tune yourself to deal with maps with tricky elevation, like Bannerfall or Memento.
Practice in a wide variety of spots around the maps, and take a general note of where the head level is with respect to things on the map, such as archways, markings on the wall or even the background. Establish some references for yourself if you still find that to be tricky.
Examples can be found HERE.
Tip 5: Play with the flow of the game and stay near your teammates.
Staying near your teammates does two things: 1) it increases your likelihood of getting involved in a firefight and 2) it increases the chance of success in a firefight. The idea is to get kills, and there aren't many better hacks than simply playing with the flow of the game and engaging enemies with teammates nearby. Two or more guns is better than one in a firefight and will take the pressure off you to land every shot. Landing your shots is still the #1 priority, but having a teammate fire with you against an enemy reduces the risk factor of engagement. Even if you don't get the kill, you should be aiming to get an assist instead. Getting your shots away and landing them is really important for your continued development of gun skill.
Tip 6: Stick to one loadout
An absolute must for your continued improvement has to be to stay with the same guns. I know, I know. Bear with me here.
A Crucible match is an ever-changing environment with very few constants. And this dynamicism, this ever-changing landscape can be extremely intimidating and depressing for players looking to find consistency. Create a constant for yourself by restricting what guns you use. You will not only develop your skill with the weapons, but you'll also find yourself worrying less about what you can and can't pull off with the weapons that you do have. You'll also develop an important instinct – whether to push for the kill or back off.
Tip 7: Use a gun that's familiar to you
Building off the last point, use something you know. Right now it's not as important what type of weapon you're using as much as how comfortable you are using it. The goal right now is just to hit someone, so if you find yourself being able to do that with a lesser known gun, so be it. The idea is to develop your fundamentals, and fighting the gun is not something you want to do early on.
If you are familiar with a Khvostov, Palindrome or even a Grim Citizen, use it. Your gun choice today will not affect your ability to get kills tomorrow if you do not know the grammar of multiplayer combat, such as positioning, map awareness and timing your engagements, just to name a few.
And take note – whenever a streamer or Youtuber (or even a CPB regular) recommends a gun, they practiced for hours just to get used to the weapon and get some regular kills, and more often then not, they changed the way they play to suit the weapon. This is true of literally every gun in the game. If you expect to play the same way with every gun, you will not get consistent results.
With that being said, if you have found this post useful thus far, I highly recommend you use a gun that suits you and how you CURRENTLY play over something that you'd have to adapt to.
Tip 8: Use a stable gun, or one specc'd for maximum stability.
Make your life easier by using a stable gun. Makes sense, right? There's a lot of fantastic guns out there to use, but they've either got weird recoil patterns or they're just not that stable. Fiddle with the perks that you currently have to adjust for stability, so that your gun doesn't kick and scream every time you fire it. That being said, some classes of weapons are better than others.
If you have a high-ROF Auto, you're most likely going to be spraying bullets everywhere. Same goes for a high impact scout, which will buck like a mule every time you pull the trigger. Unless you're confident in your own ability to land shots, use a gun that's not tricky to use.
And that about does it. With anything skill-based, it takes a LOT of hard work to get to the place that you want to be. I personally believe that NOBODY is born a good player, and nobody is born with "talent". "Talent" is hard work. "Talent" is consistency. "Talent" is having the motivation to keep going when the going gets tough and actively thinking about how to better yourself even after you've achieved your goals.
With gun skill, there's no magic trick. This is a process that takes weeks, even months. Your favourite streamers are good because they play a LOT of Destiny. And you have to as well. Just remember to shower and interact with IRL humans every once in a while, k?
Hopefully some of these tips will help you get the ball rolling on your never-ending quest to git gud. Thank you so much for reading/watching this mad rant essay thing. I'll be back with more!