The Crucibible: Motion Tracker (Chapter 1)

Published on: Mar 3, 2015 @ 5:20

Guardians, the time has come to start your training. It is our duty to be the best we can be if we are to fight the Darkness and push it back to the depths from which it spawned.

Here then, is your first lesson. Learn your radar, outsmart your enemies in Crucible, and become a master of the grounds on which you fight.

With this ultimate guide to the Destiny’s motion tracker you will understand the exact distances of the radar, what does and doesn’t cause enemy detection, how to manipulate the radar to confuse your enemies, and more.

The Basics

The tracker in Crucible is very unique when compared to the radar or map of traditional online shooters. Destiny’s radar offers no building outlines, doorways, paths, or even exact positions of enemies. It gives you no information at all besides showing nearby enemies in a general direction, similar to how a traditional radar would work in a military submarine.

As a result, the radar in Crucible emphasizes player knowledge of map layouts and spatial awareness of maps to gain optimal amounts of information and the upper hand before a firefight even commences.

Whether or not an enemy shows up on the radar, and how often, depends on a few conditions, the most obvious of which being if they are in range of it. The maximum range of the radar is 30 meters.

An enemy will be constantly on your radar if they are:

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Shooting (except while crouching)
  • Jumping
  • Throwing a grenade
  • Activating a Super

An enemy will not show up on your radar if they are:

  • Under the effects of the Bladedancer’s Blink Strike perk Escape Artist, Super ability perk Vanish, or the Stalker Perk
  • Granted invisibility by the Don’t Touch Me gauntlets
  • Granted invisibility by Patience and Time‘s unique perk
  • Sliding

You’ll be exposed if invisibility is removed by shooting, activating a Super, or any other action that would normally put an enemy on your radar.

An enemy will ping on your radar if they are…

  • Crouching
  • Crouch-walking

Reddit user D3M4NUF4CTUR3DFX warns, “Do not underestimate the power of crouching. It’s amazing how many players will blindly sprint through an area, especially near a control point they want to cap if their radar looks clear. Usually they’ll be moving too fast to notice the intermittent blip that would otherwise give you away, and by the time they realize they aren’t alone, they’re probably staring at the respawn timer with a lung full of LMG rounds.”

destiny motion tracker guide

Few players will notice a blipping radar marker as they sprint past your position. Crouching may not seem like it does a lot, but do not underestimate its usefulness.

The amount of time between each ping is 2 seconds. This is the same for all actions that cause an enemy to ping on your radar.

There is no way to remain completely off the radar. Even with invisibility, these effects last a maximum of 12 seconds. However, there are ways to manipulate the radar and use it to confuse and outsmart your enemies.

Some other points to consider:

  • Crouching causes you to ping on the radar; shooting while crouching doesn’t appear to make you constant on the radar.
  • The radar has a max horizontal range of 30 meters. Vertically, it would seem that the radar has infinite range. I tested this by finding the highest points of all the maps and seeing if any enemies below me registered on the radar, and they did. An enemy will always show up on your radar no matter how far below or above you they are.
  • Crouching up and down (T-bagging) in Crucible has a very interesting effect on the radar; it makes your blip pulse on and off as you crouch/stand up. This can wreck absolute havoc on your opponents’ radar, especially during those tense one-on-one moments where both of you are crouched around a corner with a shotgun, waiting for the other guy to make a move.
  • I’m sure we are all aware that the radar goes away while you ADS. This is a death sentence as most players are too busy to worry about their radar. Knucklehead Radar is invaluable, but if you don’t have it…
    • ADS in two situations: When shooting at someone or when you’re 100% sure that someone is going to be coming around a corner.
    • If you’re looking down the sights while defending or capping a point, pop out every few seconds and take a glance at the radar to see if there’s movement.
  • Always assume that there is more than one enemy whenever your radar lights up.

Where & When

Any enemy movement picked up by the radar will light up one of 17 sections of the radar. Which section depends on how close or far away an enemy is and where they’re positioned.

  • If an enemy is between 30 meters and 25 meters away, the outermost ring of the radar will light up. The top outer ring section will light up when an enemy is in front and if they’re behind you the bottom outer ring section will light up, and so on and so forth.
    • The outer ring is important because it gives you plenty of time to prepare for a possible firefight and gauge where an enemy will be coming from and within what time frame.
    • Reddit user Hamworth said it best: “Your radar is your biggest asset when capturing points. Your enemy knows exactly where you are, they have an instant advantage. If you see movement approaching, bail. Loop around, dive down an exit path and surprise them from a new angle. They’re expecting a fight and I find most people get jarred when the objective is empty; this moment of confusion is great to dive on.”
    • Do not just stand in the middle of the capture point; pick a spot as close to the edge of the capture range that provides cover.
  • If an enemy is between 24 meters and 5 meters away, than a larger middle section of the radar will light up.
    • This middle portion of the radar is the most practical. You can use this portion of the radar to figure out more accurately where an enemy is.
  • If an enemy is within 4 meters or less, the center of your radar will brighten.
    • If the very middle of your radar lights up and you have no idea where the enemy is, get out of there. It’s a safe bet that the enemy knows exactly where you are, waiting to strike any second. It’s better to retreat and save yourself a death than try and scramble to find the guy.
    • Reddit user Toastie88 offers the followjng tip: “When the inner circle on the radar is lit up, it means someone is extremely close, and more often than not underneath you or above you. It is really hard to tell where the enemy is at this point – if you have a wall nearby, go and stand with your back to it so you don’t get ambushed.”
    • If an enemy is above or below you, the radar will actually light up a bit dimmer than usual.

Field of Vision

How the radar is used will define your playstyle, and instead of covering all of those possibilities, I’m going to teach you all how I use the radar.

I look at my radar about 85% of the time in Crucible. I never take my eyes off of it unless I see enemy movement, get into a firefight, or if I need to take a quick glance at my screen if I get stuck on a wall. How do I do this? Peripheral vision.

For anyone that may not know, peripheral vision is formally defined as “the part of your vision that occurs outside the very center of gaze.” In other words, it’s the stuff you see in your line of sight that you are not directly/actively looking at.

destiny radar guide

Peripheral vision serves a few purposes, the biggest of which is recognizing shapes and colors that are common to you so that you can focus on things that are not. There are ways to train your peripheral vision to the point where you pay just as much attention to it as you do to your “main” vision. Try it out now. While you are reading the rest of this paragraph, become aware of the stuff around you that is not on your computer.

If you can run around a map using your peripheral vision while looking at the radar, you will be a much more effective.

Unfortunately, there is no magic thing you can do and automatically master this skill. It’s something that you have to practice for a long time. You aren’t just practicing to get better at a game, you are actively training a central part of how your body functions.

Practice makes perfect:

Head into Patrol mode and practice running, jumping, and navigating around the environment while looking (but not staring) at your radar.

Keep looking at the radar as you make your way towards the enemy’s location. By doing this, you’ll train not just your eyes but also your mind to pay attention to more than just your visual focus point.

  • Start with big wide open areas like the spawn point of Earth Patrol since there will be less obstacles in your way.
  • Once you get better at being able to navigate the environment without running into anything, practice the reverse: put your radar in your peripheral vision and pay attention to it without actively looking towards it.
  • Once you are comfortable with this in PvE, dive into PvP. The concept is the same but the radar is obviously a lot more important in Crucible.

Mastering this skill will allow you to pay attention to two things at once, removing the milliseconds of time you spend shifting your eyes from your crosshairs to your radar. Like a blind man who has learned to use echolocation, you will be able to navigate the world without even seeing it.

destiny radar tips

The radar is often ignored, but those who master it will have such an advantage. It helps you gain the drop on your foes before they even know you’re there.

Learn it, love it. Use it to find and form your own personal playstyle. Define who you are in the world of Crucible and make sure everyone knows it.

End of Chapter 1

This week’s bounty: Using your radar to locate your enemies, flank around them and take them down while keeping your radar in your peripheral vision as you navigate towards your enemies, five times.

Chapter 2 of the Crucibible will focus on aiming: How to better control recoil, the proper rate of fire to reduce recoil, finding the right sensitivity, how to lead your enemies, land headshots consistently, predict enemy locations, among many other things.

As always, feel free to post your own tips in the comments!

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.
  • Oscar Enrique Miranda

    ….. im amazed with the incredible work u guys are doing! incredible article keep them coming!

  • Christian

    Top tip for the radar: If there IS more than one enemy in the same location, the blip appears a slightly thicker shade. Additionally, the inner spokes (Not Centre) also fade slightly when enemies are above or below (:

    Plus, if you aren’t checking your radar every 3 seconds, you aren’t checking it enough, is what I always say 😉

    • Zander_BR

      thicker shade? OMG, another shade ;-; i can’t even differenciate the two regular ones…. (colorblind, FML)

      • Christian

        It is pretty difficult to notice. I only found out very recently, and I have been playing from release :S

  • Quark

    Is that the Sparklepony shader I see on that warlock in the first picture?

  • Alex Garcia Ponce

    I still want to have a permament mode with no radar. That will be so much fun

  • Duncan

    Luckily I have been playing Halo for 12 years so I’ve been using my radar this way for a long time

  • john

    ironic this comes out same day as inferno lol #noradar

  • ProfessionalCitizen

    Tip: Your centre circle and surrounding spokes and far edges (I need to double check that last one) will all go hollow / dim when enemies are on different elevations than you. Excellent article, I look forward to the rest of the series, and to posting tips in the comments.

  • blackwell32

    This was very helpful.. Looking forward to the rest.

  • Aron Beijl

    I will most definitely use this to my advantage. Time to start training the peripheral vision I guess!

  • Zander-Br

    I wish destiny had a colorblind mode, those two shades of red kill me, i can’t tell them apart most of the time ;-;

  • Trail Runner

    Thank you! Great read.