Stick to allies.
Especially if they have a fancy camo and shiny armor. They are likely to be a veteran with loads of experience.
Stick to cover.
Pick your engagements.
If an enemy starts firing on you first, hide back into cover, and wait for a better opportunity. Firing first gives you a good chance of killing the enemy, so pay close attention to your surroundings, and try to notice enemies first.
Weapons in PlanetSide 2 have two independent mechanics that make them inaccurate: Cone of Fire and Recoil.
Recoil kicks your crosshair in a semi-random direction with each shot.
Cone of Fire makes your weapon less and less accurate with each shot. So if you always fire at full auto, your bullets will eventually start to literally fly around the target. Cone of Fire will reset whenever you stop firing for a moment.
When hip firing, size of the crosshair roughly indicates the size of your cone of fire, but there is no way to see cone of fire when aiming down sights.
To maintain accuracy, you must control recoil by moving your mouse in the opposite direction, and fire in bursts to prevent Cone of Fire from getting too big.
- Aim at enemy’s chest.
- If the enemy is only a few meters away, fire from the hip. In all other situations, Aim Down Sights.
- Start firing only after properly aiming.
These rules will work with all weapons, but they are extremely primitive. You will learn when to bend or break these rules as you get more experience.
Most weapons deal less damage against distant targets, so targets at range will require more hits to kill, and at the same time it will be harder to hit them.
Remember this simple rule: if you’re not getting a red cross hit marker near your crosshair, then you’re not dealing damage. However, some targets that do take damage from small arms, can withstand a lot of it. Valkyries, for example.
To survive in PlanetSide 2, you have to keep constant awareness of what’s going on around you. But, it is an open world game, and an enemy might appear behind your back at any moment. So trying to have a hyper awareness of a known number of players, like in Counter-Strike, will not work. Instead you must maintain a general awareness of the flow of battle, and pay attention to things that may warn you about enemies nearby.
There are three major sources of information for you:
When you first get into a fight, take a look at the minimap. If the population bar shows that you are outnumbered by more than 60 to 40, or if your spawn location is surrounded by enemies, it’s best to look for another fight.
Weapons have different sounds, especially between different factions, so sounds of the shots will tell you the direction where you can expect enemies from.
Soldiers of different factions have different voices, so when enemy spots someone near you, you will hear enemy’s voice, and you will know to keep your guard up.
Enemies can hear callouts that you do by pressing a key – when you spot an enemy or ask for ammo. So be mindful of engaging your voice, as it can give away your position and status. But enemies don’t hear callouts that you do automatically, like “reloading” or “frag out”, only allies hear those. Enemies don’t hear Proximity Voice Chat either.
Aircraft, like ESFs and Liberators, also produce loud noises when flying and firing, so run to cover when you hear them.
Muzzle flashes and tracers from fired weapons, blinking lights on anti infantry mines. Enemy movement. Cloaked Infiltrators. You will need some experience before you can read all those hints and react to them in time.
Keep in mind that all of it applies to you as well. Firing an unsuppressed weapon puts you on the minimap of nearby enemies. Enemies can see your nameplate even through smoke / foliage when you are spotted. Enemies can hear when you’re calling for a medic, spotting an enemy or firing, and can see tracers from your weapon.
Standing still makes your head an easy target, especially for enemy snipers. Keep moving, and try to minimize your exposure.
Move from cover to cover. Don’t run through open fields, and don’t charge into a room without backup.
When you do get in cover, take a look around. Be sure you are safe before moving to the next location. Never fire standing out in the open. Always fire from cover.
You’ll learn when to bend or break these rules as you gain more experience.
If you take some damage – retreat and hide. Let your shield recharge to full, use restoration or med kits if you have them, reload your gun. Use a voice callout to call for a Medic. Be at full capacity before heading out again.
Dead teammates indicate danger around the area where they got killed. If they are clustered around a doorway expect that the enemy is set up guarding that entrance and you probably won’t fare any better going in alone.
If you get shot from one direction, it means you’re likely to get shot from the same direction again. In this example you can see, that a TR soldier hid in cover briefly when he was shot from one direction, but then returned to the same position just to be killed by second shot.
There are no stray bullets in PS2. If you get shot, somebody was shooting at you, and he will shoot you again if you give them an opportunity. Don’t.
Nanoweave Armor is the go-to Suit Slot for infantry combat. First rank costs only 1 Cert, and will make you able to survive 1-2 additional bullet hits, which is a much stronger bonus than it may seem at the first glance.
Alternatively, you may use Flak Armor to protect yourself from explosives, like mines, grenades, rockets and most vehicle weapons – if you get killed a lot by them.
Lethality in PlanetSide 2
The time it takes to kill a player varies a lot. Many things can kill a player instantly:
- Pump Action Shotgun
- Many Sniper Rifles on a headshot
- Many Vehicle Weapons
- Activated Power Knives
- Explosives: mines, C4 and some of the Rocket Launchers.
Or almost instantly:
- Melee Combo
- Pretty much any automatic or semi-automatic weapon is capable of killing a player in the span of 0.2-0.3 seconds, assuming all shots hit the head.
At the same time, it is possible for a player to survive under constant fire for seconds.
Generally, time to kill in PlanetSide 2 is longer than in other online shooters like Battlefield, Call of Duty and Titanfall.