Call of Duty multiplayer isn't easy. All too often you fall into a repeating cycle of deaths and respawning all with just a few seconds in between.
It's highly frustrating, ruining what it essentially a fun and wholesome multiplayer experience. Pocket-lint in particular struggles to stay alive online. No matter how many times we Prestige, we find ourselves getting blasted to pieces over and over again.
While hanging out at this years CODXP, we spotted English tournament runners up team Apex and pulled them aside to try and grab a few quick tips on how to better ourselves at Call of Duty multiplayer.
The team itself consists of Jack Anderson-Crook (apeX Crookz), Ellis Strouthos (apeX Blackk), Zak Talis (apex Riddlez) and Thomas Trewen (apeX Tommey). Between the four of them there was plenty to say about doing better in COD online, so much so that we immediately ran on to the MW3 booth at CODXP to test out our new skills. It worked. We scored a 23:4 kills to death ratio in a match populated with pros including one with a tattoo reading "Infinity Ward" inked on his back. So what are these vital tips that got us so far in Call of Duty multiplayer? Read on to find out.
Comms - it's good to talk
"You need call outs for every position. It's difficult to spot people sometimes but you don't want to have to point at your screen"
This was actually the most useful point that Apex made. A lot of us use in-game chat but few actually communicate with it properly. Forget how silly you sound and start calling out enemies clearly, giving out straightforward pointers to team mates.
The better you communicate, the more you will get done and the easier your team will spot and shoot enemies. Keep it simple and straightforward and matches should be over quickly with your team taking the lead.
Strategy - love it when the plan comes together
"Defender or slayer, depending on the game mode you are playing"
Knowing exactly what your approach is going to be to each match is vital in preventing the headless chicken feel of some of the more frantic COD multiplayer matches. A plan will prevent you from running wildly about the map and getting killed over and over again. The plan also needs to be adaptable, so if one area becomes bogged down with enemies, you can switch over to the other.
In a nutshell, organisation is paramount in Call of Duty. It prevents situations from spiralling out of control and matches being lost very quickly. If team members communicate and follow plans, there is no reason why you can't quickly overrun or outsmart the opposition.
If you're playing with a regular team, this will be easier but it's probably doubly important in public games. Don't be afraid to take the lead or at least open the discussions. Do that, and you're already one step ahead of the enemy.
Team - play your part
"Know what your role is."
Having a well structured team ensures balance to each match and never sees players' roles overlapping. If, for example, you're playing capture the flag, then make sure you have a designated flag runner. This will mean other players can focus on holding off the enemy while you take the flag and grab vital points for the win.
Another example is in Search and Destroy where matches can be lost quickly by simple mistakes. Defending the player with the bomb properly is crucial, just as it's important to help support someone diffusing it. The best teams in the world are flexible, with every player proficient at all gametypes of Call of Duty multiplayer.
Aim - never miss
"Have a good aim"
Bit of an obvious one, this one. Without a good aim you aren't going to hit any baddies. Call of Duty exists ultimately as a game of gun on gun combat. This means, when it comes down to it, if you miss, you're dead.
A lot of people we spoke to at CODXP suggested a few rounds of Search and Destroy to try and get your aim down. It forces you to react quickly and go for better shots. Another option is to go into the control settings and increase the sensitivity, but go too far and it'll just become impossible to play. Experiment with different settings and find the balance that works best for you.
Theatre - learn from your mistakes
"You need the ability to watch the theatre and see where your mistakes are"
No one is born a COD god. Mistakes will be made and you need to learn from them. With all the shooting and running going on in COD multiplayer it isn't easy to keep track of what went wrong. So, going back to the Theatre after you've had a particularly bad match can help clear up mistakes made and show you how to play better next time. Reliving your failure might not sound like fun but it's one of the best ways to stop it happening again.
Maps - learn the levels
"To fully learn a map it takes a couple of weeks but it's crucial that you learn them all"
Unlike Battlefield, maps in Call of Duty are much smaller. This means you can learn every single nook and cranny as quickly as possible. Once you have a map learned properly, then you can start to predict routes that enemies will take as well as the best possible path of attack. Plus, you'll even be able to play it in your dreams, as if your addiction wasn't bad enough already.
Rulesets - adapt to survive
"American ruleset, everyone uses the same guns"
We aren't massive competitive CODers over at Pocket-lint but, if we were, we would know our rulesets. They tend to vary by country and competition and can seriously impede or benefit the way a fight goes. Some may win simply because of the weapons used, others might lose out if gametypes always cycle on random. The key is to know how to use each one to your advantage.
Being able to play well under any set of rules, or being a well-rounded player will mean, more often than not, you will take home the win.
Keep calm - awareness is key
"Knowing where the enemies are going to be or most likely going to be"
This stems from maps knowledge and communications. Keeping up awareness and not letting multiple deaths in a row ruin your game can result in a pretty significant win. It's easy to get seriously wound up when playing Call of Duty multiplayer and you need to keep a cool head if you want your aim to stay straight. Staying calm also means that you don't go running round looking for revenge when you should be holding your position and doing your job as part of the team.
Patience - wait for a clean shot
"You need to be a smart player, you need patience, while being aggressive at the same time"
This is all about finding a balance between taking your time, so you don't miss, while making sure you intimidate enemies by laying down a lot of fire. Be patient and you will find that more often than not you manage to nail enemies in the head. Rushing will mean more reloads and more time spent defenceless against your foe.
Like our tips? Got any more? And don't forget to check out our MW3 multiplay first look.