10 Years of Halo. From being terrified of the Flood in Halo: CE, to the matchmaking modders, glitches, and awesome customs of Halo 2, to the apex of competitive play in Halo 3, and finally to Halo: Reach, I’ve been through it all. I have learned so much about competitive play in this time, and I would love to be able to share some simple insight that I have learned.
In the book Outliers by Malcom Gladwell, he examines how people become successful in life. One aspect of his book deals with the 10,000 hour rule, where he explains that in order to become a master of a skill or craft, one needs to spend 10,000 hours practicing in order to reach the apex of skill. While I truly hope that I have not spent 10,000 hours playing Halo, the main point of this is to show what a role practicing plays in ultimate skill. Therefore, most of these tips will only come with practice, as i have STILL not been able to master them all.
Keep Calm. This sounds like an insanely obvious tip, but it is not so obvious for some people. Yelling at teammates NEVER helps. Ever. That was Halo 2 for me. Screaming at teammates in a high pitched voice. It never helped. Also, its stressful, and who wants that? Chances are, if you are getting mad, you are doing something wrong, or could be doing something better. I promise.
Don’t Lose Hope How many times have you done this: You get matched up with the other team, look at their service records/ranks, and immidiately say “Oh we are going to win,” or, “We lost already”? This is bad because you are going into a match with a preconcieved expectation. Those are never good. Treat all your opponents equally and don’t look at their service records. My doubles partner and I got matched up against an inheritor and a noble a few days ago. We were losing 12-0, but we were smart enough not to rage/lose hope. We won 25-20. The point is, if you rage/lose hope you will lose. If you keep hope, you have a chance to win.
"Pull back, pull back, PULL BACK!" This is my most frequent callout. The whole theory behind my play style is that I do not do risky things. To illustrate this point, imagine I have rocket launcher on Powerhouse. I know there are two people inside the gravity hammer room, and I want to kill them both. I can either rush up and shoot my rockets, let them go and wait for a better situation, or try to shoot the rockets from afar. If I rush in, I have about a 90% chance of killing them both and a 10% chance of dieing. If I shoot from afar, my chance of killing them both decreases to about 70%, but i have a 0% chance of dieing, and their escape chance increases to 30%. Choosing the best outcome is what strategy is all about. If I run into a room and me and another person start shooting each other at the exact same time with DMRs, there is roughly a 50% chance I will win and a 50% chance he will win. I don’t like those odds, so I PULL BACK and run away. Always try to aim for a 70%/30% odds and NEVER lower than 50%.
Relying on Teammates always ends badly. “I’m getting shot, HELP!” Save your breath. 9/10 times (especially with randoms) your teammate will not/cannot save you. Instead, see what you can do for your teammates. Replace “country” with “teammates”. The sign of an awesome teammate is when your teammate CAN and WILL help you out, like my doubles partner. Until then, help your friends out.
5)Assists are beautiful"You stole my ki-" “SHUT UP”. Seriously. The only thing that matters is if you win. If you care more about individual kills than winning, then stop reading. I strive for Assist Sprees. Kill when you need to and assist when you need to and run away when you need to.
Don’t Rush Someone making you mad? Don’t Rush. It’s stupid and feeds kills to the enemy. Chill back. Always leave an escape route. Remember the percent-chance rule before. Don’t use sprint. Makes you more careful.
Tactical Tips That I Can Name Off the Top of my Head. Learn to strafe. Learn Spawn times of power weapons. PRACTICE. Play with a friend. Jump around corners to throw off enemies. Learn how to perfectly place those grenades. Dont Jetpack mostly. Don’t charge the plasma pistol. Learn how to drive the warthog and not die. When playing objective, kill everyone before taking objective, ESPECIALLY oddball. Try to get in the enemy’s head. Needlers kill jetpackers. TRY GREEN THUMB CONTROL SCHEME. SERIOUSLY.
And finally, practice. Don’t use sprint and get used to moving slowly, so when u use sprint it becomes a great advantage. Don’t play agressively and keep calm.
Feel free to add anything else here and give me feedback. Hope this helps someone!
tl;dr: Be patient, don’t rage, and practice. 10 years of Halo, two 50’s in Halo 3 and 20% Onyx say its true.
EDIT: I am going to TRY to update this as much as possible with random things that come to mind. Mostly for myself because whenever I switch to another game i forget a few things, and this will be able to store all my notes. I highly doubt I will be following through, however.