strategy   general   The basics to staying alive.    

Keep a move on!

You know what you become if ya stop movin' in Outlaws? Ground chuck, that's what! Even if yer new ta maneuverin' yer character yer still much harder ta hit when yer movin than when yer standin' around like cattle.

Don't stop for nuthin'! If ya stop you'll give yer enemies time ta draw a bead on ya, or ta sneak around behind ya, or do all sorts of nasty things to ya. So stay on the move, and keep yer lids peeled for cattle rustlers!

Okay, so eventually you'll get a bit tuckered out and hafta rest up before ya can move on out again. So find yerself a nice dark corner of cave or somethin' ta shack up in where nobody can catch ya unawares while yer whistlin' Dixie.

Round these parts we call lazy, listless fellers "campers," which means that they like ta "pitch a tent" and stay still in some little hidey hole while the real men throw down outside! Campers may not die as often, but they also don't get nearly as many kills ta their name. They also earn the undying scorn of their non-camper peers. Don't get branded a camper! Get of yer rear and make somethin' of yerself!

Shoot, shoot and shoot some more!

There's nothin' I hate more than dyin' with a good gun and lotsa ammo.

I can't tell ya how many times I've seen it: a cowpoke new ta the game just sits there or runs around in terror, not shootin' back while everyone fills him with lead.

In Outlaws ya don't usually get a medal fer savin' up yer ammo. Don't go around firin' inta the air just ta make noise, but don't get stingy dishin' out the lead when the fracas hits the fan, either! When ya got yer opponent in yer sites, start pumpin' that trigger like there was no tomorrow. Cause if ya don't ya won't live ta see it anyway!

Heck, ya kin even start shootin' if the enemy ain't quite in yer sites yet, 'cause sometimes the little "auto aim" skill of yer character'l kick in and you'll score a hit anyway.

But my point is, ya can't kill no one if ya don't start shootin'. And what the heck, ammo regenerates anyway! If I die after runnin' outta ammo, I count myself a happy man, because I know I've given a good account of myself. On the other hand, there's nothin' I hate more than dyin' with a good gun and lotsa ammo for it, all left on my corpse for my killer ta loot! So start shootin' and don't stop 'til the server crashes!

Shoot AND move.

Okay, so ya got the movin' part. And yer down with the shootin' part. Now put 'em together!

It's a bit trickier than doin' 'em separately, but in a fight it's much much more effective than just dodgin' around or standin' still while ya empty yer barrel. If ya can master shootin' on the run, there ain't a whole lot out there ta stop ya.

Work particularly on movin' side ta side, or "strafin'" while ya return fire. Then eventually you'll learn ta keep circlin' like a whirlwind in a fight, never givin' yer foe a chance ta get a decent shot into ya while you keep him square in yer sites.

Course it's easier ta get off amazing hip shots with a wide-spread gun like a shotgun than with somethin' like the rifle. I never got too good in a twirlin' fight with the rifle, darnit! But don't let my failure dissuade ya! Get good at it yerself and then come bust some caps inta me.

Know yer weapons.

If only I'd thought ta use the dynamite!

Each of the weapons in Outlaws has it's own unique charms. Fer instance, the lowly fists are the only weapon (other than knives, duh) that work underwater. So if ya find yerself fallin' inta a pond fulla skinny-dippin' pole-cats, switch ta yer fists and you'll be able ta give a better account of yerself. Keep yer powder dry!

The same goes fer the other weapons: know which one ta use ta yer best advantage in any given situation. There've been lotsa times after a game where I've clapped myself on the head and thought "if only I'd thought ta use the dynamite then!" Similarly with the rifle, which is best used at long range, or the sawed-off shotgun which is only good fer point blankin' people. Learn ta switch quickly ta the appropriate weapon fer the job and you'll be a much more efficient killer.

Know yer enemy.

Everyone plays the game in their own unique way. Get a handle on the way someone thinks, be able ta predict their next move, and you'll have a big advantage on 'em.

While yer playin' pay attention ta what yer opponents do. Does that one guy always use a shotgun? Does he tend ta pause while shootin' or reloadin'? Does he always hang out in the same place? Learn his moves, and use 'em against him.

Also, each of the six characters has special abilities and weaknesses. Have a special strategy fer facin' each one. Fer instance, Two Feathers sucks with guns but carries a brutal knife, so stay back and fill him with lead from a distance. James Anderson, on the other hand, sucks beans at close range but kicks ass with his rifle at long range, so use the opposite strategy when you go up against him.

Know yer friends.

This'll prevent ya from each runnin' off in a different direction all the time.

In team play, don't ferget the teamwork. Most team play I've been in has really just been a bunch of individuals runnin' around like a deathmatch except they don't shoot at half of the people. When a team comes along that actually works together they usually clean up.

Pick out a role for each team member. Fer example, if yer on a two-man team, one person should take the lead and the other should follow in a cover position. This'll prevent ya from each runnin' off in a different direction all the time.

These roles can change in the course of a match. It's best ta know yer teammates well enough that ya don't actually hafta talk about this stuff during the game where the enemy can overhear ya.

One handy teamwork tool is yer map; in team play it'll show yer teammate's locations. Use it ta find each other when ya get separated so's ya can take on yer opponents together.

Know yerself.

Okay, so ya knew that wuz comin', right? It's important to have in yer mind at all times what yer personal situation is. Are ya gonna be runnin' outta shotgun ammo soon? Will you be ready ta use yer medbags when ya get hurt a bit more? Are you about to get fatigued?

Know what weapons ya got and how much ammo each one has so ya don't run out and stand there clickin' the hammer in a fight. Remember ta reload yer guns between fights!

Be aware of yer physical condition. I'd set the "use" function on a handy key like the space bar so ya can use any medkits ya get in the middle of a fight, which is when ya always need 'em. If yer takin' some serious hits in a fight, look fer an opportunity ta duck out and get that elixer in the next room over... Also, pay attention ta yer endurance bar when yer runnin' so ya don't get tired and start pantin', which gives away yer position and seriously slows ya down in a fight.

Also know how ta use yer character's strengths ta yer best advantage, and how best to minimize yer weaknesses. Don't let yerself get inta a situation where yer lack of some skill will put you at a severe disadvantage. Part of this comes in BEFORE the game starts, where you may want ta pick the character best suited ta the terrain...

Know the land.

Buildings aren't there just 'cause they look pretty!

Know where yer goin'. There's no rule that says ya can't play through a level on yer own before facin' real combat in it. Go ahead and set up a fake IPX protocol and host yer own little private game. Learn the ins and outs, hideouts and secret areas. Memorize where the useful items, weapons and ammo are. Plan a route through the level that'll take you through all the areas with goodies while stayin' under reasonable cover.

Don't run around aimlessly between battles. Go fer health, boilerplates, weapons and ammo, usually in that order. Follow yer route past the best powerups. If ya find a really good one, like an elixer, heavy boilerplate or vanishing cream, check in on it frequently. Some items take longer than others to regenerate, so be patient.

When yer in a fight, try ta maneuver in a way that lets you use yer knowledge of the area ta yer advantage. This may mean stickin' close ta some good cover, maneuverin' yer opponent into a crossfire, or whatever. Buildings aren't there just 'cause they look pretty!

Stay aggressive.

It's easy ta get intimidated by a good player or by th' advantage someone's weapon gives them in a certain situation. But just remember: it's only a game, an' dyin' won't hurt you one bit.

Also, crazy though it may sound th' best time ta go tearin' after someone may be when they've just killed you. If you were able ta get some hits in on them before they offed ya, they'll be hurtin'. So run back ta where ya died, or where they might've been headed, an' try ta get to 'em before they can lick their wounds.

The worst thing ya kin do is run from someone. Even if ya run backwards shootin' at yer pursuer, yer gonna have a much harder time hittin' him than if ya stood yer ground or attacked aggressively. And he'll have an easy time gettin' ya cause he can see where yer goin', an' you can't.

Try to take control of a fight. Grab th' initiative by makin' unexpected moves ta catch yer opponent off-balance an' unprepared. No matter what happens stay calm. If ya start ta get worried about yer health gettin' low, I guarantee that yer gonna get distracted an' yer aim an' defense will suffer. I'm not sayin' attack all th' time with no consideration fer th' outcome. Just don't let fear get to ya. We have nothin' ta fear but our hard drive failin'!

Timing IS Everything!

So that's an ol' cliche. Well that don't mean it can't apply ta yer modern day shooter. Because Outlaws makes ya reload an' get tired, timing is more important in this than in any other first person 3D game.

Each weapon has it's own special rhythm. Furthermore, each character has a different timing with each weapon than th' other characters. If ya don't know yer rhythm by heart yer gonna get popped by someone with more soul.

Each character also has a different level of cardiovascular endurance. Some can run farther than others before gettin' tired. When yer tired ya can't run as fast or jump as high. Also yer aim gets thrown way off, particularly if yer tryin' ta shoot an' move at th' same time. If yer in a fight an' ya get winded while facin' someone with fresh legs, they've got a BIG advantage on you. So pace yerself, an' take carefully timed breaks from runnin' so yer always ready fer action.

The best illustration of th' importance of timing comes from dynamite. Ya gotta time yer throw jus' right. Hold it too long an' you'll blow yerself up; throw too soon an' yer target will have plenty of time ta get outta th' way before it explodes. If you've got th' timing down there's no deadlier weapon in th' game. If you don't yer only a threat ta yerself.

Finally, timing is crucially important in th' sense of yer Internet latency, or "ping" time.


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 strategy   general   The basics to staying alive.