Ah, the noble art of living longer and dying less in Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer.
Dying as little as possible. Killing as many opponent characters as you can. In the end, this is the whole point of online first person shooters, isn’t it?
Because there are so many good players out there that it’s starting to become a nuisance, I don’t take this topic lightly. And neither should you.
Jumping into a match and thinking you’ll succeed if you play with all your might – and a pinch of luck from your fairy godmother – is not really an option in this game.
Practice makes most things perfect – and this goes for the odds of living longer between each respawn, too.
Let’s face it: Ghosts isn’t based on coincidence or luck. Your skills (or lack thereof) determine whether or not you’ll succeed.
I’ll give you some tips, though. All of them extend the total lifetime of your character while playing.
All right, let’s get to it.
1. There’s a Reason for those Goggles
Try keeping up to speed on what’s going on around your character. And I’m not just talking about what’s happening in his or her direct line of sight. I’m talking sides and backs, too. So, you know, use your eyes for what they’re supposed to be used for.
Don’t lock your gaze into a forward position. Make a habit out of throwing quick looks to the sides while moving. Sometimes you should do a 180, just to see what’s going on behind you.
2. Use the Minimap
The Minimap is there for you to use it. It gives you vital information (for your character, that is) on a lot of what’s going on in the game. Learn to give it a glimpse or two at quick intervals.
Just don’t get stuck in doctoral studies of it. The minimap mustn’t steal your attention from what’s happening on the screen otherwise.
3. Not So Fast, Grasshopper
What’s with the rush? Cool it down. When you’re running, you miss more of what’s going on in the game. And you usually die more often, too. Like when sprinting around the corner where Mr. Camper of the Year is expecting you with the barrel pointed at your head.
I’ve written a complete guide on how to move smarter and with more efficiency in Ghosts online. You’ll find it here.
4. Less is More
The smaller you’re able to make your character, the harder it’ll be to be hit by your opponents.
No, we don’t have a pill for shrinking. But there’s other stuff you can do.
Hide behind cover, so that as little as possible of your character is visible, or go prone. And do it often.
5. Reload in Safety
Don’t make my mistake of many years: I fired, I killed, and I reloaded – no matter where I was.
More often than not, I was in the middle of a street, room, or field. And while I stood there, fiddling along with weapons and mags – still in the open – I made easy prey for other players.
Do this instead:
- Run for cover
6. Don’t Reload
Here’s a classic scene for you: You’ve just killed a character. You hurry to reload, even though the clip’s practically full. Cause someone told you once that you should reload between each kill.
Suddenly, that dead dude’s buddy shows up. Bang! Your character can now be found lifeless on the ground.
Well, because you can’t cancel the reloading animation to shoot. And that animation usually takes a couple of seconds. These seconds tend to be enough time for that hostile to kill your character.
So what do you suggest?
Wait to reload. Either ‘til you’re safely behind cover. Or ‘til you’re sure that the character you just killed off doesn’t have mates lurking about.
Points 5 and 6 are really about being conscious. Conscious of how many rounds you’ve got left in your mag after each gun fight. If your clip’s more than half full, you’ll be able to take out at least one more character before a reload becomes necessary.
7. Avoid the Blueprint Death
Blueprint deaths work like so:
- Your character gets shot to death by a hostile.
- You get pissed off and swear revenge.
- As soon as you respawn, you move your character back to the place where it died the last time.
- Bang! Dead. Again.
- Angrier and keener on revenge, you return once more. This time you’re more careful. Of course.
- Bang! Bang! Well, that didn’t work either. Your character died, again – in the same place, by the gun of the same opponent.
Why does this keep happening to you?
Well, because you’re playing predictably. Your opponents gamble on the fact that you’ll do what a lot of players do: return to the same kill spot, time and time again, chasing for revenge.
What should you do instead?
Don’t use the same route. Find an alternative. Try flanking the damned opponent, or attack from behind. Or, perhaps best of all – let revenge lie for a little while and move in a completely different direction.
8. Charles Darwin
What the hell’s Charles Darwin got to do with a guide on survival in Ghosts online?
Well, I’ll tell you what the hell he’s got to do with it.
Darwin is commonly associated with the term “Survival of the Fittest”.
The expression means something along the lines of that whoever is best at adapting, will win.
And this is the case, not just in Ghosts multiplayer, but in pretty much every first person multiplayer game.
The better you are at adapting to the different situations you’re faced with, the better your chances of survival.
I’ll try illustrating my point with some examples:
- Are you and your team being tormented by hostiles placing out a whole range of SAT COMS (UAVS)? Choose a class with perks that inhibit SAT COMS from finding you.
- Getting slaughtered by attack choppers? Pick a soldier with an anti-aircraft weapon and shoot down the winged mixmaster.
- Cornered by hostiles? Pick a stealthy soldier, with silencers and the works, who’ll sneak past the pack of wolves with greater ease.
- Is the opposing team fortressed in a building? Pick a soldier armed to the teeth with grenades and launchers. These work excellently when you want to clear a room of resistance.
My point is this:
Be prepared to switch to a different soldier, better equipped to handle the tough going, even if you’re in the middle of a match.
Vary the load out from one soldier to the other (you do have 10 to choose from, after all), so that you’ll always have soldiers adjusted to most purposes.
9. The Coward
Sometimes, you’re better off being a chicken. More precisely put: sometimes it’s best to let your opponent think you’re running off, tail tucked neatly between your legs.
Here’s how to do it:
Let’s say you’re practically running into the arms of a hostile, who’s able get two or three bullets into your character.
Since you’re already hit, it’d be pretty stupid to attempt the return fire approach. A single bullet from your opponent’s weapon could be enough to end your character’s days.
So instead you’ll make a 180 and run away, so that you get out of sight of your potential killer.
What do you think the opposition will do? Well, he’ll commence pursuit, of course.
But here’s the twist: As soon as you’re certain he or she can’t see you, you stop, turn around, raise your weapon, ready to take your shot as soon as your pursuer shows himself.
Now you’ve suddenly got the upper hand.
You’ve regained most of your health. Additionally, you’ll probably be able to fire enough lethal bullets before your enemy’s able to do the same.
10. Be a Difficult Target
Side strafing and circle strafing are a couple of effective techniques – both for attack and survival.
It’s pretty simple, guys:
- When meeting an opponent, you move your character from side to side, or in a circle around, the opponent.
- You’re aiming and shooting the whole time your character’s moving.
This means you’ll have to adjust your aim continuously while keeping up with your moves.
And this is where it starts to get a teensie bit complicated.
Strafing – whether it’s from side to side or in a circle – can be a tricky thing to master in the beginning. But you’ll get better the more you drill it.
Keep this in the back of your head while practicing:
- Strafing is quicker when you use hip fire. This does reduce your accuracy, though.
- There are perks that allow you to strafe quicker simultaneously with aiming.
You can try it out on your own:
- Start a private match.
- Pick an object on a map.
- Practice keeping the aim point somewhat consistent on the object while you move your character from side to side, or while circling it.
11. Equipment Does NOT Stand for Garnish
Here’s another classic mistake a lot of CoD players make. They play match after match, day in, day out, with at least one grenade. But they don’t use it. Oh, no. The grenade sort of just hangs there, you know, for safekeeping.
Grenades, Semtex, flashbangs, stun grenades – and anything else that makes the sound “BOOM” – are excellent for defence. Use them as often as you can, especially if you find yourself in a bit of a pickle.
You keep a lot of attacks on your character at bay simply by reaching for that grenade or using the flashbang.
Headed into a building?
Throw a grenade in, just to empty the room of unfriendlies.
Did an opponent just chase you into cover?
Throw a grenade in their direction. It might be just the thing to put him out of play.
So, you’ve just stumbled onto a group of opponents?
Throw a stun grenade or flashbang in their direction. It may well be enough to paralyze the entire crew, giving you enough time to take them out, one by one.
12. Stay Indoors
The enemy’s air support is no joke. Stay on guard when hostiles call in choppers or drones.
If possible, you should move your character indoors.
The exception to this rule is of course if you find yourself with launchers in hand to shoot down the airborne threat. If you can do that, you’ll be today’s hero (in my book, anyway).
There are also perks that make you less vulnerable to attacks from above.
But normal mortals, without perks or launchers, should stay inside as much as possible to avoid the chopper, drone, or whatever it might be that’s about to attack.
13. The Drop Shot
Drop shots became standard issues to reckon with in Call of Duty: Black Ops. Suddenly, it seemed like everyone and their mum threw themselves onto the ground at the same time as shooting and killing your character.
It’s a highly effective technique when performed correctly. That’s why it’s so popular.
Fundamentally, the technique consists of two parts:
- When meeting an opponent you quickly go from standing position to prone.
- You fire your weapon, the whole way down, from standing to lying position.
How well the technique works is determined by how quickly you manage to go prone and how good you are at hitting your opponent heading down.
The first thing – going prone fast – is not particularly difficult. And you can make it even easier on yourself if you play on a console:
Change your controller’s button layout to Tactical.
With this selection, your character’ll go prone when you press the right thumbstick. This is quicker, as you won’t have to move your fingers in order to start the movement.
The other factor of success – hitting your opponent’s character – is a little more tricky.
‘Cause while your character’s headed down on his or her tummy, you’ll still need to hit the enemy with as many bullets as possible.
This is best done by raising your weapon gradually the whole way down.
Here’s the process – this is with the tactical button layout:
- You see a hostile (yikes!)
- You start firing your weapon.
- Press your right thumbstick immediately in order to go prone.
- Headed down, you raise your weapon gradually – also done with the right thumbstick.
It might take some time before you master the technique fully. Aiming while your character’s moving can be especially tricky.
Just don’t give up. Cause the technique’s so advantageous that it’s worth the few hours of torture that mastering it may be.
– Advantageous, you say?
Try looking at this from the hostile’s perspective. He discovers you, and starts shooting. Suddenly, your character isn’t there anymore – he’s on his belly, shooting up hell.
And because it all happened so fast, your opponent didn’t have time to adjust his aim quickly enough. 1-0 in your favor.
14. Van Halen Knew How to Put It
Jump! Jumping can save your character’s life in Ghosts online.
If you manage to jump while being fired at, you can reduce the number of bullets that reach your character. Cause you’ll just scadoodle right over them.
If you manage to return fire while midair, the odds increase considerably in your favor.
Jumping while shooting’s obviously been coined The Jump Shot.
This technique can work well, too, like if you want to turn a corner:
- Run at high speed towards the corner.
- Jump right before you reach the corner.
- Rotate your character while it’s midair. The aim is to turn it towards possible enemies lurking on the other side of the turn.
- Start shooting while your character’s still airborne.
It’s the rotation, combined with the fact that you’re both aiming and shooting while in the air, that makes this technique a tad hard to master.
But nothing’s impossible. Not even jump shots.
15. Stay Close
You can extend the time between each respawn considerably if you stay close to your team mates.
‘Cause more often than not, you’ll run into two or more opponents at the same time.
If you find yourself alone in situations like these, you can probably forget about the kill streak which is just one kill away.
If you meet the opposition with one or more friends, however, the chance of victorious survival is much higher.
16. The Con Artist
This technique’s about taking advantage of your opponent’s expectations about what you’re going to do next.
To illustrate it, I need you to picture that you’re standing in front of one of the long sides of a container. Picturing it? Great!
Now I want you to picture an opponent that’s coming from the left, and who’s running to the back of the container. See it? Good!
Now – if you do what a lot of other players do – you’ll turn your character to the right. Cause that’s where the hostile will soon be, correct?
Wrong. Behind the container, out of sight, the unfriendly makes a 180 degree turn. Instead of showing up to the right of the container, like you’re expecting, he’ll show up on the left. Clever chap.
The opponent’s made you into a much easier target simply by tricking you into looking in the wrong direction.
This is about not being gullible, guys. Most of us are simply reacting to what we think is the natural consequence of what we’re experiencing.
And that’s what we can use to our own advantage in Ghosts multiplayer. The more we’re able to not do what other players are expecting us to do, the higher up on the score board we’ll sit.
It goes the other way, too. The more we expect other players to throw tricks our way, the better we’ll get at revealing their schemes.
17. Use Silencers and Perks
Silencers make it more difficult for your opponents to discover your character. The catch of using them is that your weapon range decreases.
You’ll have to measure the one against the other. My own experience tells me that the reduced range really doesn’t matter all that much. Most gun fights take place close to your character anyway.
There are also several perks making your character more difficult to spot. Here are a couple of examples:
- Blind Eye – Hides you from hostile AI controlled air support.
- Off the Grid – Keeps, among other things, the opponents’ SAT COMs from discovering your character.
18. Sniper? Use a Powerful Secondary
Sniper rifles are the most powerful weapons in Ghosts online. But until you reach a certain level (like the level the nV Snipers are at) they’re fairly worthless in close quarters combat.
How good are the nV Snipers? Check out this clip.
Now back to the guide.
Are you not as fast as the speediest quickscopers?
Then you’d be smart to equip your sniper soldier with a powerful pistol or revolver. Preferably a pistol that’s fully automatic.
With these you’ve got an tool at hand when you want to keep opponents that are literally breathing down your neck at bay.
19. You Look Better from the Side
Storming your opponents face to face is a game of chance. You’ve usually got a 50-50 chance of success. These aren’t exactly good odds in a game where those who die the least win.
How can you get the odds in your favour?
Well, here’s a way:
- You see a hostile.
- Take note of where he or she is situated.
- Pick a detour instead of a full frontal attack.
- Surprise them with a flank attack, or an attack from behind.
I’m not saying you should do this every single time. But keep flankings part of your tactical repertoire.
This requires you to know the maps well. And it entails a question you’ll need to ask yourself – often:
– When my character is here, from where can it be shot at by my opponents?
In an ideal world, you’ve got a full overview of all lines of sight to all points on a map.
In reality, this is practically impossible.
Even so – the more of an overview you’ve got of possible lines of sights, no matter where you find yourself on the map, the more you reduce your opponents’ chances of jumping at you with surprise attacks.
The rest goes without saying: the chances of survival increase proportionally with your reduction of the number of lines of sights you expose your character to.
Over to You
These were just a few tips that’ll let you live longer and die less in Ghosts multiplayer. I know there are a lot of other things you can do.
Have you got some tips you’d like to share with the rest of us? You’re more than welcome to use the comment field below.