Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Succeeding at Titanfall 2: Movement and Shooting

[NOTE: One in a series of posts on my Titanfall 2 experience. Find the intro article with links to others here.]

Movement as a pilot in Titanfall 2 is just a crapload of fun. I love flow of dashing around, wall running off even small bits of vertical structure, combining that with a leap and a slide. There are even HUD mods you can use to show your current speed. (That’s cool, but I’m a HUD minimalist.)

Speed Is Your Friend

ProTip from Captain Obvious: The faster you’re moving, the harder it is to get shot. Duh.

Spend time in the Gauntlet learning to move quickly, and learning how to string together moves that add to your speed: wall runs, leaps, grapple, slides, all the neat things that really make moving as a pilot so fun.

Learning the maps well will help you out greatly with your movement, simply by knowing “Oh, yeah, I can bounce along this route right here.”

Colony is a good example of this. If the initial spawn is at the corner back from the garage, then I can get a short run off the corner building’s edge, slide, and get another tiny wall run off the wall ahead of me. I can then use my grapple to get fast boost and fling to the hill by the SOS platform/grain towers.

Speaking of the grapple…

I Love My Grapple

The various pilot tactical mods are all neat, but I have used the Grapple exclusively for many months. The Grapple lets me get to higher spots for better firing positions.

Used well, the Grapple can also get you a huge speed boost. Aim out ahead of you, just below the horizon, fire off your grapple and you’ll get a serious amount of momentum. You can stay on/near the ground (useful in hallways), or you can get yourself moderately airborne with a careful bit of up controller movement.

You can also use the Grapple to literally fly well across the map. Catch the edge of a building, then use your controller to look slightly up and off to one side. This will work just like a rope swing in real life—you’re effectively catapulting yourself through the air. There are some great YouTube videos showing how players can remain airborne for long periods of time with repeated grapple flings. I don’t shoot well airborne, so I don’t chain together these actions, but one fling will get me much closer to a different firing position, so it’s all about quick mobility for me.

Perhaps one of the best things about the Grapple is you can kill opponents with it. Grab ’em with the Grapple and they’re pulled right at you where you can give them a quick melee kill. Warning: they can shoot at you as they’re being drawn in, and they can also out-melee you if they’re perfect in their timing. But holy crap is it a satisfying kill when you pull it off!

Like everything else, the Grapple take some practice to get proficient with it. It’s freaking awesome once you’re good.

As I’ve repeatedly said in this series, this is specific to my style of play. I’m happy for you if there are other tacticals you prefer. Honest.

Changing Direction via Slides

Slides aren’t just for increasing your speed—they also enable you to rapidly change direction! Get a good slide going in one direction, then look in another and do a quick stand/slide action. You can make 90 degree turns, which is awesome for helping you keep your speed up while getting to a new firing point.

Sight Location While Moving

Pay attention to where you’re keeping your hip-fire sights while moving. For the longest time I’d run around with my ADS reticule down below the horizon. No clue why, it’s just how I rolled.

One of the best lessons learned I got from watching the Kill Replay was to see how good players moved and kept their sights just above the horizon. Like, at body height. This is really important because it dramatically reduces time to get the sights placed on target. You come around a corner and SURPRISE OMG THERE’S AN ENEMY PILOT AND MY SIGHT IS WAY OFF IN EAST JESUS AAAAND I’M DEAD.

Moving Sideways, Or Keep Your Sight on Threats

You’re not Charlize Theron’s character in Prometheus. You realize you can move and slide sideways, right? It’s a great way to displace or move to a better position while keeping your weapon pointed at threats or potential threats. Just keep your sight at a good height while doing it.

Get Faster at Getting Your Sight on Target

Getting your sight on target faster means you’ve got better odds at killing the enemy before they kill you. Hello, thanks Captain Obvious.

One part of this is the Gun Ready mod which gets you into ADS quicker. The other part is getting better at getting your sights on the target. That comes through practice, either deliberate practice or in the game.

Spend some time at the gun range in The Gauntlet working on speed and accuracy of good sighting. There’s lots of good exercises in the real firearm world on exactly this sort of thing. Look up things on YouTube or blogs/articles and find something that makes sense for you.

For me it was just repetition of a lot of simple movements: look 30 or so degrees off to one side of a target, then raise to ADS as I’m snapping onto the target. Work on limiting overshooting the target, meaning if you’re traversing left to right don’t traverse too far right.

I spent a lot of time doing things like that simple movement from various directions at various target ranges (near, mid, far).

I’m not great, but it paid off.

Learn to Shoot From the Hip

Firing from the hip saves you time transitioning to sights. It also leaves you a wider view versus the constrained one you get in ADS. Hip fire is especially good against opponent minions who don’t move and dodge very effectively.

Don’t focus on improving just your ADS firing; spend time on hip fire too.

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