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Not only rookies should read this!
06-12-2012, 05:09 PM, (This post was last modified: 06-19-2012, 12:15 PM by [SiN]bAnfire.)
Post: #1
Not only rookies should read this!
Originally posted by [SiN]bonfire:

This is supposed to be an attempt to explain some about what you can do with your controls
and improve your game-experience and skill.

The default controls, to move around the maps, are AWSD.

A: strafe left
W: forward
D: strafe right
S: backward

To jump, use SPACEBAR
To crouch, use C

Commands that have nothing to do with movement, but are pretty handy to know (qwerty keyboard layout):

To drop a vehicle, use X
To drop a weapon, use BACKSPACE
To speak ingame to all in that game, use T
To speak ingame, but to your teammates only, use Y (qwertz keyboard layout uses Z here)
To speak from the game in IRC, use U

Sometimes, you see people moving a lot faster than yourself.
It is easy to think this might be a cheat or hack, but you can actually do
it yourself too.

How to:

-Strafe jump:
Keep W pressed down, while you combine A+SPACEBAR and then D+SPACEBAR.
Doing this continually, will make you move much faster.
Keeping S down (instead of W) and combining A+SPACEBAR, then D+SPACEBAR
will make you strafe jump backwards. Not always usefull, because you can't see behind you...

-Dodge jump:
Double tap one of your strafe keys (A, W, S or D), make a jump inbetween, using SPACEBAR and double
tap your strafe key again. This is called chaindodging.
Chaining these, makes you move even faster than strafe jumping, but it is very hard to master.
When you use A or D, you make a dodge sideways (A-left, D-right).
It actually is possible to dodge backwards too and chain them, but not being able to see back, it is kinda useless.

If you make a dodge jump, it is possible to continue with strafe jumping, and if you do that right, you will not loose the
initial speed you gained from the dodge.

!Note: the controls as described above, are default settings in the game.
If you prefer using different keys, you can configure this in 'Game Options/Customize Controls'.


For all gunjumps: aim your weapon at the ground, jump, shoot and look up.
Remember to do this fast, or you will get damage from your own shot.
Weapons you can jump with:
-Flamethrower (use alt-fire for this gunjump)
-Vaporizer; note that you need to time this shot very well, because the gun has a 'delay' before it fires.

With the beamgun, you can actually climb walls.
Stand close to a wall, aim at the lowest part of the wall and fire with your alt-fire-button (default right mouse-button)
It is somewhat possible to 'stear' where your are going by using your strafekeys.

All weapons have alt-fire modes.
-Blaster: fires straight plasma shots, aiming is easier.
-Smartgun: Puts trip-mines on the floor.
-Chaingun: fires 10 rounds in each shot, very effective in close combat.
-Flamethrower: blasts a long flame at your opponent, burning him/her faster.
-Rocketlauncher: fires slow rockets; pick up green ammo and you can shoot homing-rockets.
-Disruptor: has a zoom function; good for sniping.
-Beamgun: shoots fast plasma shots; good for close combat and climbing.
-Vaporizer: shoots a vaporizing-bomb; slow but effective in close combat and crowds.
-Minderaser: shoots a little spider, that will hunt your opponent and kill him/her; good to leave in a room for surprise attacks.
-Probe: probes, LOL.

So, now you know the basic keys to use to move and the weapons alt-fire functions.
You even learned how to jump and climb!

Often, the question: 'but how do you guys do this so good?' comes by.
The answer is pretty simple: play a lot.

And do not just play one mode. That might make you decent at just that mode, but never really good.
Try and play different type of games and most of all, do not give up too easy and fall back to the gametype that makes you
'feel comfortable'.
You will get bored and that can't be why you play...

Team Core Assault, is the best game type to master movement.
Capture The Flag is very good to improve the skills you learned from TCA.
Play Deathmatch! I do not think there is a better way to improve your skills than this.
Fast movements, strafing, dodging and aimingskills will get better.
You will learn to look around you (enemies are everywhere) and react faster.
It is a must to know the maps and where the weapons are at.
Extra bonus from this, is that you learn to move around smoother when playing other games, like TCA and CTF.
And your aiming in Instagib games (even Insta/rockets CTF) will improve drastically.

There is one 'special' kind of game: Rockets.
Some are extremely good at it.
How come they allways hit there targets?
Those rockets are so slow, yet it seems like each shot they fire becomes a hit?

Best answer: do not aim straight at your opponent; he will not be there anymore once the rocket is there.
In other words, try to figure out where he will be going, and aim there. Splash damage from walls and floors
will hurt him. Keep on moving yourself. Do not get to close to walls. Keep moving. Keep moving, keep moving
and practice. A lot!

Now, stop reading this and get your butt into the arena!!!

Have fun and good luck!
09-19-2016, 02:02 PM,
Post: #2
RE: Not only rookies should read this!
And now for some more advanced tactics:

On weapon balance:

The overall design of our weapon balance is
  • The starting blaster is inferior to the other weapons, but useful in a pinch. In the new version, human and alien blasters look different but behave the same. If all you have is a blaster, you should get something better as soon as you can, but it's still better to run backwards and fire the blaster at your attacker than to just blindly retreat. You can do some damage that way, which will make your job easier when you finally do get a better weapon. The blaster actually does quite good damage on a direct hit, but its projectiles move slowly, so it's hard to hit with and easy to dodge. However, even if you slightly miss, it does do some splash damage. You always have it and it does not need ammo. The blaster is also very useful for trickumping (see below.)
  • The bulk of the weapon primary attacks are sort of "in the middle of the pack," but with slightly different niches.
    • Rocket launcher is good for medium range, it's a good "workhorse" weapon. If you don't think you can make a direct hit on your target, try aiming for a nearby floor or wall, as the splash damage is still quite effective.
    • The disruptor (railgun-like) is a good long-range weapon, and it can do headshots for extra damage. Even a non-headshot will deal a lot of damage. A good player can use it well at any range, even close up, but watch that slow rate of fire-- if you miss, you might not get another shot! It also does a tiny amount of splash damage, but it's a waste of ammo to aim at walls and floors like the rocket launcher. In the instagib mode, your only weapon is the disruptor, but it has infinite ammo. This changes the tactics a lot, making splash damage more useful.
    • The chaingun is a rapid-fire weapon, but with a wide scatter. That makes it most effective at medium or short range, because too far away and most of your shots will miss.
    • The beamgun is a rapid-fire weapon, with no scatter at all. You pay for this with weaker damage than the chaingun. You have to land relatively more hits than with the chaingun. It can take almost two seconds of continuous accurate fire to take down a target, but that's hard if the target is moving. You use it a bit like the lightning gun from Quake 3, but it doesn't have limited range. Note that the beamgun, disruptor, and homing rockets (see blow) all use the same "cell" ammo.
    • The beamgun alt-fire is like a rapid-fire blaster that does slightly worse damage. You use it a bit like the Quake 3 plasma gun, including "plasma climbing."
  • The vaporizer (BFG-like) is superior to the other weapons, but hard to handle due to the delay on the primary attack.
  • A few other weapons for special cases.
    • The violator is our melee weapon, does huge damage but you have to catch your target first! You always have it and it doesn't need ammo.
    • Chaingun alternate fire acts like a shotgun, good for close range. But it uses up a lot of ammo.
    • Homing rockets (rocket launcher alt-fire, requires "cells" ammo in addition to rockets) are literally slow enough that you can outrun them easily. You don't use homing rockets to kill people, you use them to force a retreat. It's more of a tactical weapon than an offensive weapon.
    • Flamethrower can light someone up really easily, and then their priority is to find health pickups to survive until the fire goes out. Also a good way to get people off your back.
    • The alien smartgun (grenade lanucher) is good if you have some height. In addition to the main explosion, it sends out lightning bolts that can do very slight damage to anyone in a room. Alternate fire can set up proximity mines, but you can clear those by shooting at them.

On trickjumping and movement:

We start with Quake 2 physics, and we retain a lot of the "feel" of Quake 2. Just like Quake 2, you can do rampsliding, where if you hit a ramp with enough forward speed, you'll "scoot" up to the top of the ramp with 0 friction. This can be fun and useful at times. In the upcoming (gen3) version, stairs in most maps have been redone so that they're actually ramps disguised as stairs (using clipping brushes.) That makes this trick a lot more accessible.

Quake 2 had some anti-strafejumping/bunnyhopping code that we have removed. In Quake 2, you have to be on the ground for a small fraction of a second before you're allowed to jump again. In Alien Arena, after you jump, you can let go of the jump button and then hold it down again while in midair. Then, as soon as your feet touch something, you'll automatically jump again. This makes strafejumping easier and faster than Quake 2. It also makes double-jumps much easier to execute than Quake 2. Double-jumping is where you jump off the ground, then you jump off a higher object, and the momentum of the two jumps adds up. You can get higher than you would from just jumping off the higher object. See:

Another thing we added was UT-style dodging. Double-tap any movement key to dodge in that direction. It gives you the same height as a normal jump, but also a quick burst of forward speed, faster than normal running speed. The most common use of a dodge is to start a strafejumping run. Strafejumping works by building momentum gradually, but a dodge can get you some good initial speed. Dodges are great to combine with ramp sliding, as they'll get you going fast enough to initiate a ramp slide. They're also great to combine with double-jump: you get an extra high jump PLUS some good forward speed, which can take you over a wide chasm in the right map without using a gunjump. When combining a dodge with a double-jump, it's best to use the dodge as your first jump, as timing the dodge right for the second jump is very difficult. You can even combine dodges with gunjumps, although this can be tricky.

Any weapon with splash damage can be used for gunjumps: the rocket launcher, the disruptor, etc. The disruptor gunjump is mainly used in instagib. The rocket jump will take you very high, but it does a lot of damage to the person using it, so you should only use it in emergencies or where you know there's a health pickup handy. Rocket jumps are not really practical most of the time. The most useful gunjump is the blaster jump. It gives you a good height boost without doing too much damage. You can actually use it relatively often without weakening yourself too much.

Gunjumps work by combining the upward momentum of a regular jump (or dodge) with the kick-back of a splash damage weapon. It only works if you complete your regular jump BEFORE you take the splash damage. You have to jump, and then fire your weapon downward at the ground such that the projectile hits JUST after your feet leave the ground. Othewise, the splash damage will lift you and won't allow you to make your regular jump. Because the disruptor is an instantaneous hitscan weapon, the timing of the disruptor jump is a little different-- you have to delay your fire for a little longer.

Gunjumps can even be combined with jumppads, if you time it just right: walk onto the jumppad, let it launch you, and then fire your weapon down to add some extra height to the launch.

As you work on your trickjumping and movement, you can use the speedometer (cvar cl_showspeedometer) to get an idea of how fluidly you are navigating the map. During combat, your speeds will be lower, as you will have other things to worry about besides movement, but advanced players will sometimes load up a map without any opponents just to practice movement and navigation.

On general tactics:

You should be able to switch between weapons fluidly. Suppose you're running through a map and there aren't any enemies nearby. As you run into a small room, you might switch to a chaingun, as it's more appropriate for close quarters. Then, as you get into a larger area, you could switch to the rocket launcher or the disruptor. That way, if an enemy does appear, you're ready with the right weapon for the job. Furthermore, although Alien Arena will automatically pick a different weapon for you when you run out of ammo, it does so with a time penalty, which could be deadly depending on the circumstances. It's faster to switch manually if you know you're running out.

To switch weapons fluidly, it's better to use keybinds to pick your desired weapon, rather than using the scrollwheel to cycle through them. The default keybinds just use the number keys for the weapons, because it's more beginner-friendly, but mine are a little different:
  • Q for rocket launcher
  • 1 for violator
  • 2 for blaster
  • 3 for chaingun
  • 4 for vaporizer
  • E for beambun
  • R for disruptor
  • F for flame thrower
  • G for smartgun
This keeps them in a nice cluster around the WASD keys so I don't have to move my hand much to get any weapon I want.

Another advantage of using keybinds: suppose you don't have a weapon (or ammo for it,) but you're just about to pick up the weapon or the ammo. If you hit the button for the weapon up to half a second before you pick it up, then the game will remember that and automatically switch to the weapon. This system gives you the speed of autoswitching, but without the inconvenience of having your weapon change when you don't want it to. However, you need to use the keybinds in order to take advantage of it, since there's no way to make it work with the scrollwheel.

It's always good to keep firing, even during a retreat. At the same time, if you're on the offensive, you should not come to a halt while firing, even though that makes aiming easier: it also makes you an easier target. In general, you should be able to fluidly combine motion and firing, and that means being able to fire sidways or backwards relative to your direction of motion. This is part of the reason why map memorization is so important: you might need to navigate the map while running sidways or backwards.

Remember to use sound to locate your enemies.

Don't discount the usefulness of armor! A player with lots of armor can take much more damage thatn a player without, which can be a huge advantage. We've also balanced our instagib mode such that a direct hit can be survivable if you have enough armor.
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