Thanks to neur0 @ gamreplays.org
Both cover and concealment are very important concepts that need to be understood (this is the easy part), and then implemented in your everyday game-play as instinct – so you don’t have to think about it (the hard bit).
Most people can learn to be good at shooting. Aim, and a feel for scatter, gravity and burst fire comes with practice. Previous FPS experience also helps. What separates ‘good’ and ‘advanced’ players, besides teamwork, is location and pathing. Pathing simply means choosing the best path to a location, and it largely relies on map knowledge, predetermined team strategy and knowing both actual and potential enemy positions. Being in the right place at the right time is essential to being useful to your team.
So, what is this ‘right place’?
- In proximity of your squad (unless you are playing as a recon spotter)
- In accordance with your role in the squad (LMG medic stays in the back, a Grunt goes first while the ‘Shotgun Recon’ dude is the first one to go through the door)
- In cover and/or concealed
First, let’s see what exactly are the benefits of using cover:
Protection from damage
Whether it’s because some of the opponents simply can’t see you from their angle through the cover or because your silhouette is smaller and less exposed, or the cover protects you from a nearby explosion, it is obvious that your average life expectancy is greatly increased when in cover.
Protection from spotting
One of the biggest reasons for being killed in this game is being lit up like a Christmas tree and thus getting attention from the entire sniper squad on that hill. That heavy tank doesn’t care that you ran behind a wooden fence, and all the nearby opponents will decide to treat you to their version of the Chinese New Year party with hand grenades the second you get spotted. Cover won’t protect you from being spotted by the guy you are facing and shooting at, but by then you can at least expect retaliation and act upon it as opposed to being spotted by some random sniper because you didn’t think about your pathing and poor cover choice. This is especially important if you are playing versus good players, as they will spot much more than novice players.
In the very likely situation that you run out of ammo, get hurt or killed, being in cover makes it much easier for your team mates to help you out, because in doing so they also will be in cover. A medic can’t do much if you get killed while standing in the middle of ‘Snipers’ Street’, completely exposed to enemy fire.
Types of cover:
There are a lot of materials covers are made of but they all generally fall into these 4 categories:
- Soft cover
Even small arms fire goes through this cover and it also destroys it. (wooden fence)
- Medium cover
Small arms fire doesn’t penetrate it, but can destroy it. (some concrete walls)
- Hard cover
Only explosive damage can destroy it (most house walls)
- Permanent cover
It can’t be destroyed or penetrated by anything (concrete blocks, some house walls etc.)
Because of their ghillie suits, the recon class can easily blend with the background, but this principle is not exclusive to the recon class. Every class can more or less gain the advantage of camouflage depending on their surroundings. Even in mid-range combat, you’ll have a big advantage over the enemy if you see them first.
Basic things to remember:
- Move through bushes and woods to dramatically decrease chances of being spotted
- Avoid being silhouetted against the sky by keeping your background solid from the opponent’s perspective
- Wire fences and other translucent materials improve your concealment slightly
- Use smoke grenades for temporary concealment as a way to avoid long-range spotting and fire. Nearby opponents will notice this however, but at least you’ll be much safer from sniper fire.