A lesson in Call of Duty Multiplayer

In my year and a half as a Gamestop employee, I have met one person who claimed to only play Call of Duty for the story mode. I meet many who play exclusively for the zombie mode in Treyarch’s iterations, but the vast majority of us play for the competitive multiplayer element. The key word in that phrase is competitive. We play to prove that we are better than our friends, and to see where we stack against the rest of the world. Youtube is filled with videos of “Awesome Games.” Call of Duty Elite is specifically designed to track stats, most important of which is the Kill to Death Ratio. This is a simply calculated figure, taking the total number of kills in all games and dividing it by the number of deaths in those same games gives a number. Anything above 1.00 is above average, anything below is below average. I’m here to give you some advice on how to get that number as high as you can.

Getting a decent K/D requires some basic skills, such as the ability to move, shoot, and use equipment without incident, reflexes and aiming precision. I can’t improve these for you, they take practice, and have a greater impact on K/D than anything you can be taught.
But once you have mastered those skills, you can still suffer from a negative K/D ratio. Just as a soldier is hampered if he does not have adequate equipment, we as players must give ourselves the right gear. For first person shooters such as CoD, a first party controller is the best budget conscious option. There are attachments to controllers and specially designed controllers, but many regard these as cheating. Both Microsoft and Sony make brilliant controllers that don’t break the bank. Another serious consideration that should be made is what headset to get. Never go into a game without a headset. I don’t care what people say about lone wolf tactics and the idiocy of teammates, the worst thing you can do for your team is ignore them. While my $149.99 Tritton 720 headset might give me an advantage with its directional sound, the basic microphone and chat capability that can be bought for $15-$25 dollar headset is vital. A team of mediocre players that communicate effectively will be far more effective than five lone wolves all doing their own thing.

Equipment in game is just as important as physical hardware. There is a reason for the class creation tool that is given to you when you hit level 4. There is also a reason that there are a few pre-created classes. The class creator tool is there to allow players to choose their role in combat. Every class should have a specific role in mind, and the player should stick to that role for the duration of time spent as that class. For example, a class with silenced SMG with stealth perks, claymores and a pistol is useless at frontal combat with multiple targets, but is that same class can get behind enemy lines, it can cause havoc (and possibly cause a few rage-quits, my favorite in game pass-time). It is the same for a class using an assault rifle, grenade launcher, and explosive perks to move around in tight corners. Make your classes each fit a role, and switch between classes as you need to change roles.

Of course, having the best gear in the game won’t help you if your tactics are useless. Just to see what happens, play five games without sprinting. Just make a basic assault class and spend a lot of time looking down the sights, checking for campers, and lining up shots before your target can stop sprinting, raise his gun, and shoot. Many people think of Call of Duty as a fast paced game, and think that they must match that pace in order to keep up and be competitive. Movement speed is useful for getting to cover, those annoying melee classes, and certain objective based games, but for the majority of the game, cutting your aim and shoot time is much more important. Sprinting everywhere does little more than turn you into a target sooner. Taking a slower pace and thinking about every action will result in less time spent re-spawning. A fast paced game does not mean that precision is not valuable, and controlling that pace means controlling the game.

The idea that a single player can control the pace of a game that has up to seventeen more players in it is absurd, which is why playing with a group of people is one of the most reliable ways to be effective in CoD. Having one partner will give every solo enemy you encounter a huge disadvantages (having to choose a target, having only 1/2 the firepower of the opposing force). Having a third player to group with allows for a little bit more specialization in the group, such as having a designated marksman (semi-auto with ACOG), a point-man(full auto with red-dot) and a spotter/flanker (Silenced SMG). This kind of teamwork results in a massive increase in combat efficiency, and works all the way up to a fave-man team. One excellent combination is: a designated marksman, two assault soldiers, a spotter/flanker, and a close quarters (not melee) shock trooper(SMG or shotgun).

Combining the use of proper equipment, classes, tactics and teamwork will almost certainly result in a great deal of improvement of K/D ratio and general enjoyment of the game. Yes, the guidelines above limit your creativeness with the class creator tool and some of them even limit what you do in combat. It is important to remember and consider all of these tips, but also that every single one of them can be broken. You’re on an assault class and see a flanking opportunity, take it. You’re using a long range weapon and see a target 5 yards away, whip out the pistol. A flanking attempt went bad and you have to duke it out with your silenced MP5, aim for the head. Play the game, enjoy it, but putting a little consideration into every action you take will really improve your experience, and maybe even hurt your opponents.


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