How does one go about becoming better at FPSs?

FPSs? FPSes? FPI? In any event, while noting that every game is different, I tend to be a decent player- in most online FPSes I tend to consistently rank in the low half of the top 50% of the scoreboard. However, I am nowhere near the level of the really good people I see in public games.

Given that, if I wanted to get really, really good at FPSes, what do I do? Is it simply a function of having the hours to pour into practicing a specific game, or are there skillsets and/or simple things I can work on that would seriously improve my game?

Practice. A lot.

I play PC FPS. I have friends who play PC and PS3.

The most important thing is to learn the maps. Choke points, power ups, spawn points, objectives, sniping spots, everything. When you move through the map you should know where any threats might be coming from and take advantage of any cover or opportunity the map provides. Play until you are not surprised when you get killed, but think, “Damn, I shouldn’t have tried to go up that stairway without lobbing a grenade into the 2nd story first. There’s always someone hiding up there!” You have to make every map your home turf. Know your maps.

Master doing a 180 to look behind you without changing direction of travel. You need to be able to run backwards through the map as well as you run forwards.

Never stare in the same direction for too long. Always look around. If you’re facing the same direction for more than 5 seconds without shooting you need to look around.

Don’t get discouraged by where you come in the scoreboard. If you’re playing solo against clans, or friends, or people who are using voice for teamwork you’re not going to rank high. Join a clan, find some people to play with. Use your mic for teamwork! It’s pretty easy to make friends in FPS and it will up your game tremendously.

I agree with Anti-reallybloodylongusername - Practice.

I’ll say that with Practice - all that other stuff comes automatically - eventually. Map knowledge, knowledge of where the enemy is likely to be and so on.

When I decided to get into playing FPS games I did so with a very clear philosophy - “Expect to die, a lot, and do badly, a lot” “Eventually the sheer amount of time played will lead to improvement” I’m not the greatest player that ever lived, but I’d say that due to my competence level I’ll enjoy about 70-80 percent of the games I play in a given night, and I’ll win on average one of those games (a Free-For-All game with 12 other players, being the best out of 12 is good)

I tend to stop playing when I’ve had a good game. End on a high.
edit: Check out my youtube channel to see some of my ‘good’ games -

The easiest thing you can do is get better map knowledge. There are always angles of attack that you don’t see off the bat, always some kind of map geometry you can exploit, and spawns to learn/time.

Get into a game by yourself, and walk around a map. Get around the important spots and look atound. Look to see what you can see and where you can throw grenades. Go to all sorts of places and try to do the same. Also, know where the spawns are. Try to develop a spawn trap with a group of people. Find the spot in the map that you can’t cross, or else the spawns flip.

After that, practice, practice, practice. Different FPS games need different skills.

The last thing is something I brought up earlier. Have a set group of people you play with. Develop chemistry and communicate. Know where the other team is through your teamspeak. Know who has some skills, who can snipe, who controls the objective, and who’s best at keeping the other team in respawn.

Map knowledge is indeed a key point - it’s pretty hard to be good when you don’t know where the hell you’re going or where you’re supposed to go.

Practice is also key, but that’s obvious.

Finally, try and find yourself a crew, clan, guild or whatever. Playing with the same people most of the times lets you guys build cohesion, teamwork and so forth. Makes the sum better than the individual parts, much much better. When you can trust the defence team will actually stay the fuck put and DEFEND the base instead of waiting 30 seconds before figuring that they’re bored and moving on, it makes one more confident and focused on the attack for example.

One other thing, though this really falls under the heading of “how to avoid getting worse”: don’t get old.

I’m 43. My son is 12. I never realized how molasses-slow my reflexes had become until I tried playing Call of Duty with him…

Though I did find that swapping our 25" CRT television for a 42" HD LCD helped a lot…apparently my eyes have gotten older too :frowning:

My roommate used to be among world’s best in a smaller CS mod back in the day and pretty damn good in various other FPS games, and it was interesting to see what it took to stay good. He practiced and played easily over 40 hours a week: practiced alone on an empty map, practiced against bots, practiced on public servers against other people and practiced with his clan. Most of it seemed quite boring, but watching him mow down people on public servers was fun - he went through them like a hot knife through butter.

So yeah, if you are a regular working person, you have little hope against people who play these games half their waking hours. Not sure how much of it is talent and how much of it is practice, but I’m sure it takes a lot of both to be really good.

I think that’s the issue- the people who are really good are usually adolescents or college students who devote most of their spare time to playing these games, and in that age range, that’s a LOT of time.

I’m actually a pretty good player in terms of reflexes, etc… but I still get run by the play-all-day-without-showering set. It’s usually freakish map knowledge- like knowing right where to stand, or right where to throw grenades, etc…

That aside, on Xbox Live COD:BO, I’m usually in the top 1/3 of the players, unless I have one of the inexplicable bad games. I tend to attribute it to network congestion and low pings- it seems like I can’t do anything right when this happens.