In Destiny, even after you’ve landed the first shot, your opponent sometimes has more than enough time to fight back or run away. Reflexes alone won’t be enough, so you’ll need a solid combination of strategy and gunskill.
It’s got crazy range and you should almost never be surprised if you can get good at reading it. I know it looks a bit confusing, and it doesn’t show you exactly where an opponent is like it would in Halo or CoD, but it’s a powerful tool once you understand it. The pie slices light up as enemies approach, starting first with the ring around the outside, then a pie slice, then the circle around you means they’re basically at point blank.
If the color is bright red, it means they are on your level, if it’s faded red it means they are either above or below you. Keep an eye on this, but don’t just stare at it. Use it to help inform your situational awareness. Players can temporarily disappear off of it if they crouch or go invisible, so look out for those tricks.
If you see people in an area and they aren’t in combat, you can use that knowledge to narrow down where the enemies can be. Likewise, if you see where teammates are engaging enemies, you know where they are and can figure out a good path around them to flank or assist. If your teammates run into a room and begin engaging enemies, you can use this as a distraction to slip in yourself and clean up some kills, or even as a warning to not go that way!
When to Flee
If you’re outnumbered and/or low health, get out of there. Minimizing deaths is key to success. This is one of the key aspects of Destiny gameplay that I see so many people struggling with. If you’re in a bad situation, get out of there! Don’t peak back out at the sniper who body-shot you, don’t stay in a gun battle you’re losing, and don’t feel like a coward for retreating! Running away and living to fight another day is of much more use to your team than staying and taking a death.
If you’re dead, you gave the other team points and you now have to waste time respawning and getting back to an engagement. Staying alive means continuing to help your team, and denying the enemy an advantage, even if you had to back away.
Don’t Be Indecisive
Patience is key. Whichever strategy you want to use, be it aggressive shotgunner or passive sniper, pick it, practice it, and play it. Being indecisive is what gets people killed. If you’re going to charge that corner, then do it, but don’t hesitate halfway through, because now you’re out in a bad position. If you’re going to hang back and snipe, then don’t push halfway up and sit there, because you’re going to get picked off.
Aggressive players need to understand that they can be patient too, using measured or calculated aggression. Don’t just blindly run around the map shooting at anything you see. Pay attention to when the enemy is leaving themselves vulnerable and take advantage of that with an attack, but be aware of what’s going on. Aggressive gameplay can force other teams to account for you if you do it right, or it can force your own team to have to make-up for you if you’re doing it wrong.
When you’re passive, you’re waiting for the other team to make a move, and then making the appropriate counter-action. Whether this means baiting enemies around corners while you back-peddle or providing sniper support down an open lane, it doesn’t mean camping in the back of the map. You’re there to provide support for your teammates and be a part of a victory, not dead-weight that needs to be carried.
Aim for the upper-chest/chin area with your primary weapons. It’ll help to make sure you’re more consistently hitting the head while being flinched/fighting recoil.
This is one of the new most important aspects of the PvP landscape. Denying opponents special and heavy ammo can swing the tide of the game in your teams favor. It doesn’t matter if you have full sniper or shotgun ammo, pick up that special crate anyways. The radius for your teammates to get it is large enough that if they’re around you the will be able to grab it off the ground. You’re mostly doing this to stop the other team from getting it.
If you have shotgun and pulse rifle ammo and your opponent has only pulse rifle, you now have more options to attack or defend than he does. If your team has three snipers with full ammo and there team has none, you’ve just made it much easier to get map control.
In terms of heavy, wait for your teammates as long as you can. The general method to go by is wait until your teammates have gotten to you, or until you see the outer ring of your radar turn red. You want as many people on your team to get heavy as possible, but a few people not getting it is better than your whole team getting nova-bombed why you wait around the box.
Don’t Sit on Super
Don’t just sit on it waiting for that sick multi kill. A super that saves your life is not a wasted super. This was one of the things that, as a new player, I struggled with the most. I always wanted to save my super for a triple on a control point or use it to smash people waiting around heavy. Those things are great, and I’m not suggesting that you use it the second it fully charges on some guy who you could have killed anyways.
What I’m saying is that if using your super kept you alive when you would have died, even if you only got one kill, then it is a worthy reason to burn it. Keeping yourself alive is the name of the game, after all, as you can continue to pressure the enemy and assert map control, and using your super is just another way to do that.
Private matches are your friend here, but for the most part this comes from experience. Map knowledge can be the difference between a good player and a great one, since knowing where to flank from, which lanes the enemy will choose to push, where the choke points are, and callouts are all standard parts of high level gameplay.
There are a ton of great maps out there that can help you to learn this, but the best way to figure it out is just to play. Maybe organize some private matches with friends, or play some rumble with the express purpose of trying to survive while looking around.