The Crucibible: Strafing & Defensive Maneuvers (Chapter 5)

Published on: Aug 13, 2015 @ 12:09

Strafing is an extremely important technique that can drastically improve your your survivability. In this chapter of the Crucibible, the finer techniques of strafing will be covered so that you know how to catch your enemies off guard.

For more Crucible tips and tricks, check out the Crucible Radio podcast!

Nimble Feet

Strafing is one of those things that a lot of players do, but don’t necessarily do optimally. The concept is simple: a moving target will always be harder to hit; standing still is a death sentence.

Some players tend to strafe to only to the left, or only to the right, and stick with that direction until the gunfight is over. This is extremely easy to predict, so instead, make sure that you’re strafing back and forth, left and right. When you suddenly decide to switch directions while your enemy is leading their crosshairs on you, this can throw off your enemies aim. The aim assist will attempt to pull their sights towards you while they are moving their reticle in the opposite direction, basically slingshotting their aim away from you.

More advanced players may even choose to jump in the middles of a strafe, but with the exception of Icarus, doing that will throw your aim as well as your enemy’s, but could be just enough time to throw a grenade or knife.

Another factor to consider when strafing is which weapons you and your opponent are using. Different weapons have different effective ranges, so you’ll want to use strafing to also position yourself in the best possible spot to use your weapon’s strengths to your advantage. Ideally, you’d want to position yourself in an advantageous spot before you even start a gunfight; this is called pre-positioning and will be discussed in the next chapter. For now, let’s assume that the enemy got the drop on you and you now find yourself in a 1v1 situation with neither of you having the positioning advantage. This requires quick thinking as you’ll need to ask yourself a few questions:

  • What weapon is my enemy using?
  • What weapon am I using?
  • Out of these two weapons, what range will make mine the most effective?
  • How can I position myself into that effective range as quickly as possible?

Let’s say that you are using an Auto Rifle, while your enemy is equipped with a Scout Rifle, and that you and your enemy encounter one another at medium range. You are going to want to close the distance as quickly as possible, and how you do that is completely up to you, but once you do, the scout rifle user is going to have a much harder time at placing his shots.

Taking Cover

The key to strafing from cover, is to be unpredictable in how you strafe away each time you pop out, especially during a sniping battle. Snipers often make the mistake of slowly inching out from behind cover in the hopes that they’ll land a headshot, but more often than not, it’s the person inching out from cover that will die. Why? Because it is extremely easy for the other player to simply set their sights on the edge of the other player’s area of cover and wait for their head to become exposed. The other player has many more factors to consider when trying to inch from behind covers as they have no idea where the other players is positioned and still have to actively aim at their target.

So how do you combat this, regardless of whether you are sniping or not? Be unpredictable! Rather than always take a few steps out of cover, switch it up and take a few more, and do something they haven’t seen you do before. Pop out on the other side, slide away from your cover and toss a grenade, try to loop around and catch them off guard. If your cover allows it, jump on top and take shots from above. If you have a flank lane, take it and surprise your enemy because they will most likely be ADS and ignoring their radar.

Speaking of the radar, make sure to always keep an eye on it; if you have some teammates behind you, wait for them to come around the corner and draw your enemy out from their cover. Using your teammates as a distraction may seem like a bad move, but if you’re quick enough, you can kill the opposition before they get to the bait.

Think of strafing as more than a way to dodge bullets and instead as a way to position yourself to gain environmental and mental advantages over your opponents. The weapon perk Single Point Sling grants you quicker ADS movement speed, so any gun with this perk is a great way to practice. The Hunter’s Radiant Dance Machines allow you to move insanely quickly while ADS, as well as the MIDA Multi-Tool. A Bladedancer fully specced for Agility running the MIDA and the Dance Machines is the best way to practice your ADS and movement game. Once you master aiming and moving at the fastest speed possible it’ll be much easier to learn the normal speeds.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the end of chapter 5 as well as the “basics” chapters. Next, we’ll dive deeper into the intricacies of the Crucible, starting with pre-positioning. You’ll learn what that is, how to use it to give yourself advantages before a gunfight even starts, as well as what factors to take into consideration before engaging in enemy.

Click here for more “Crucibible” chapters – and let us know any tips you’ve got!

Martin Q

PlanetDestiny’s PvP specialist, author of the “Crucibible” guide. I’m a writer and I’m a gamer. Combining the two seemed like the logical thing to do. You can usually find me in the Crucible. If I’m not there then, I’m most likely dashing to and from class.