Sun Tzu’s book The Art of War is a timeless classic. His strategies can easily be applied to anything whether it is militarily related or not. These strategies listed below are meant to aid you in playing Combat Arms and to give you a better understanding of what to look for when playing the game. I would highly recommend that you read this book.
I have used his strategies throughout playing and have been countlessly asked by other players for advice on how to improve in the game. The easiest advice I can give is to use the mentality of your opponent against them. It is easy to run into the fight, possibly get a kill, die, respawn, and repeat. Super easy to do, but will get you little. What is harder but more beneficial is to use that mentality that is prevalent in most other players against them. They know they can respawn, they know they can spray without too much accuracy save pointing in the general direction. This mentality that others have is their greatest weakness.
My advice for outsmarting others is as follows:
1. Use cover and when moving or running, use corners to your advantage. You can easily turn a corner and re-orient yourself for a kill or throw them off your trail.
2. Accuracy is important, even at arm-length distances. Scoping, burst fire, and single fire are vital to gaining kills from any range. I find that I nearly always scope and use single fire, but increasing my accuracy allows me to get more kills than most. Furthermore, if they are spraying they will have poorer accuracy. If you have to dance around and fight the urge to spray too, then your shots are more effective anyway and a kill can be brought about easier on them with practice.
3. Turn your disadvantage to your advantage. There are many examples and instances where you will be at a disadvantage. While there are too many I will give 2 examples.
a) The first is easily terrain. High ground, cover, concealment; these and many others are vital to success, but do not guarantee victory. One can easily take that away or force their opponent to make a mistake. An example of this would be the map Cold Seed and the ramp access to the bridge that Bravo always camps Alpha’s spawn from. While there will be snipers posted, there are always options to route their defense. One can flank them and use fragmentation grenades, suppress from other bridge side as a diversion and flank them, immediately snipe from the turn out of Alpha’s spawn and take them down, etc. It can also be said that the overhang of piping that Bravo shooters must navigate their shots around can be used as a benefit to those on Alpha. It just depends on your strategy and how you choose to use their position to your advantage.
b) The second is gear and weapon choices. While those with the higher ground have much better defense it is easily possible to route them and claim success. Try timing your shots and also timing theirs. If you know what they are using then you can use their gear against them and for your benefit. If they snipe, you can beat their shots and use a sniper of your own or an assault rifle for fast fire rate. If they are using a submachine gun, then you can use range to your advantage or use a weapon that could counteract that easier. It is wholly possible to defeat an opponent with superior technology using the basics. I could use a pistol and strategy to defeat a team equipped with miniguns if I use battlefield tactics and their own gear against them. This could be said for anyone if they use strategy.
4. Try new things. If a strategy isn’t working, don’t be afraid to switch it up. That being said, one strategy may be more beneficial in one situation than another. Do not be afraid to experiment and to test things. Most players run in, die, run in, die, run in, die, and repeat. Let them. Use your terrain to your advantage and flank or force them to keep firing and use more ammunition. If they have to reload before you then they will either waste time switching weapons or wait for the reload. Having some ammunition left to finish them off in either circumstance will benefit you even if that means they had a few extra seconds to shoot you earlier.
5. Know your limits. If you know what you can and cannot do then it is easier to analyze a situation and gauge success. While this doesn’t mean that one can succeed or fail because something is out of their reach, it does mean that those who know their limitations can better analyze situations and use their own strengths and weaknesses against their opponents. Personally I am no good withshotguns. Since I have never been able to use them I don’t, but I have had experience with them and know how other players play with each type. I use this to my advantage and use range, fire rate, accuracy, and movement to route this and usually come out on top.
6. Sometimes doing the opposite is more beneficial than doing the norm. The fragmentation grenade example is a good story to use.
a) Whenever someone throws a grenade, most times people will run out and scatter to get away. When assaulting a DFP (Defensive Fighting Position) this can be used to your advantage by causing them to scatter, giving you the ability to take them out one by one. When dealing with that same scenario, one can also choose to run or to fight. Experiment with the latter; charge over the defense and attack head on. Typically it is easier to get out of range of the grenade and puts you close enough to your opponent that you can make up for the reaction time of both yourself and them with close-range combat. The sandbag wall below the pipes near Alpha’s spawn on the map Snow Valley is a good example of this.
b) As alluded to in the previous point, sometimes doing the opposite is better than doing the norm. The point I stated about reaction time is vital in itself because it forces the opponent out of their original plan and usually causes them to spray shots. Timing yours and knowing ahead of time your strategy for routing them can guarantee success by turning your opponent(s) strengths into their weakness. So next time, try to “Get closer; make up for reaction time in close-range combat.”
7. My last point is based on teamwork. While this game is largely based upon individual combat, teamwork is vital to the success of all in most modes and maps. While there are numerous benefits to working as a team, this requires individuals to unite and work together. This may not give you the most kills, or the highest ranking, but working together grants success to all and interlocks the strengths of individuals together, thus forming a barrier protecting the weaknesses of all from being used by opponents. While teams are only as strong as their individuals, the benefits of being a team translate farther than just Combat Arms. Experiment and see what you can adopt into your own personality and lifestyle!
While there is much more that I could say and more advice I could give, it is important to research just as much yourself as you are looking for from others. All of the tactics and understanding I have gained has been through experience and using nearly every weapon in game since the Open Beta Testing period. It is a trial and error process, but it yields success to those that work for it. Success isn’t guaranteed to those with the better gear or bigger team, but to those that know how to use strategy against their opponents and how to cause them to make the mistakes themselves. This guarantees success and allows one to capture victory far more than their opponents.
I will leave you with this paraphrase from Sun Tzu (the saying I have written will not be as he wrote it, but the point will be the same):
Know your enemy and know yourself, and your need not fear the results of a hundred battles. Know yourself but not the enemy, and your chances of winning and losing are equal. Know neither yourself nor your enemy, and you will be defeated in every battle.
Have fun and continue learning!