GK’s Strafing and Dodging Guide
An Introduction Into Strafting and Dodging!
Greenknight – Saturday, 07 October 2000
Quake on the surface seems to use a pretty shallow range of skills but really if you get into what actually seperates the best players from the rest requires a great range of skills. These kind of things include stuff like game knowledge, strategy, reflex’s, practice & experience. Quake it self and nearly all first person shooters tend to rely on killing the opponent and your aim to hit the enemy, but many people tend to overlock trying avoid the enemys attempts to kill the player themselves. This is where I like to add the saying “live to fight another day” comes into it. But what can help you survive that where this guide comes in, so if you can learn to straft and dodge efficiently and know what to do in various situations your chances of winning matches against a player with similar aim will greatly increase if you can out dodge him and straft using your superior l337 skillz =).
In this guide I will go into various techniques I have learned from my own analysing of top players and from experience and try and explain it to you to help improve you game play mega fold.
The Strafting Side of Things
Well strafting to many adept players is second nature but to some out there techniques are unknown and to others they have not developed there skills enough to be used effectively in game situations….
In this section I will briefly go into what I see as the most important skills and how this can relate to staying alive so to speak.
The Circle Straft
Basically with this technique you continue to keep facing the same direction and straft around in a small circle using a full range of movement and requires you to be comfortable with your setup or config. This can be very usful with other movements when dodgy.
Mixing it Up
One of the keys to strafting and thus dodging well in combat is to be able to mix up various movements and techniques well, doing them to fast can be counter productive but then again not to wide…. but although either of these can work in certain situations the key is to use a combination and also keeping the flow of these smooth.
These combinations of small and wide movements (even forward back side to side and all over) even using fakes (breaking a pattern to throw your enemy off his rthyme) to put the enemy off. And the list goes on, there are many possibilities but keeping it random and unpredictable is the key to being sucessful because if your movements are predictable putting the crosshair on your head is alot alot easier.
Its All about Angles
No I am not starting a maths class but dodgy a shot can even be decided before a shot is even fired. Your position related to you and the movement of your enemy. One thing that I have drawn to a conclusion about this is that the less linear (the same) you and your enemies movements are the better.
You may wonder what this may mean, well if your movements line up with your enemies this makes you alot easier to target this also means keeping your movement speed in sync with the enemies you then the enemie can line you up alot easilier. But if you can use irregular angles on and off plus keeping direction changing (making sure you do not do it linear) then you will be able to maximise your chances of avoiding his shots and therefore staying alive.
The Art of Dodging
Dodging is not heard of much when one talks about a players skill, yet this is a very important skill and can sort average players from the great. In this section I will go into some important things which can help you dodge and therefore stay alive just that much longer and maybe let you hold on and win a match. Without further ado lets get into it.
Usful Dodge Techniques
Before you can dodge well like alot of things you need to know techniques that actually work. When it comes to this there are many things that can work but here I will go into some of the most important techniques.
Firstly there is using a fake or “double fake” as I like to call it. Many players rely hugely on prediction to aim and when a player does a few moves left to right the other player thinks this can continue and thus relys on this pattern. So it is very usful to use fake in these situations but importantly while doing it stop as if you were going to go left again but then continue the same direction. This simple technique can then confuse the enemy and give you time to get your shots off.
This next dodge technique is pretty specific but very very usful, this certain technique is used to dodge rails.
On some levels in quake 3 specifically you tend to find yourself getting into alot of rail fights, these can mean the difference to controling the level and losing control and most likely losing the game. One way to help your chances to greatly is to concentrate on listening to the enemy reloading the rail or alternatively knowing the reload times and “feeling out” when the enemy is going to rail because more often than not he will fire as soon as he has reloaded. This simple knowledge very usful and very predictable and if you can predict this well enough you can use it to your advantage. The best way to use this keeping to a small area then doing a sudden movements at the right time making you very hard to predict and thus hit.
This is a trap many players fall into which is using a very predictable movement or constant movement or even using the same reaction in a given situation. For example one thing that can be helpful is knowning if the enemy is right or left handed because in many cases when the mind takes over with instinct it follows the preferred side of the brain thus making first movements very predictableand this helping you out, but you can also do this so when practicing learn to keep your movements random as possible even in similar situations. It easy to say but doing is hard and takes practice and constant reminder to yourself, but the best way to think about it is to keep thinking as dodgy as just various movement skills and putting them at a given time together like left right, circle straft, forward, back and similar things which you can develop.
When in close melee’s I have noticed a great difference between very good players and the not so good players. One thing is that not so good players tended to only keep to basic left and right movements and do not mix it up with various other movements and you heard me say this but I say it again keep it random as possible but do not go spaz try and keep control while doing this as best you can.
Other Things to note
This one is pretty simple, sometimes the best way to avoid being shot by rockets and other similar objects is to actually move forward towards the rocket. Why you ask? Well many rockets either tend to land in front or behind but with the natural reaction to always back off this can get you into abit of strife when it is coming behind you so sometimes the idea is to charge!!!
Sometimes you are caught off guard and how you move around a level can sometimes mean the difference between taking a nasty hit and not being hit at all. One thing in which I highly reccomend is that you keep as much distance away from things like walls etc, this is because the less surfaces there are to be hit off with splash damage around you the better.
If you only learned one thing from reading this, make sure it is this “that how you move when in a fight is very important and if you can learn to, then you will be able maximise to your chances of surviving and thus more chances to kill your enemy” but keep it simple and remember stick to basic techniques, just learn to mix and match these and techniques you will invent yourself and you will have mastered the art of strafting and dodgy.
Most important of all when trying to master this art is to gain experience with various techniques and learn what works and what does not work in various situations so the more you play around with it yourself the better you will become and try just doing various things when you are playing with friends and it will come, so get out there and dodge stuff!