10 tips and tricks to become a better Gears of War 3 player
To celebrate my recent, and most likely temporary, inauguration into the top 100 ranked King of the Hill in Gears of War 3, I thought I’d share some tips on how to become a better Gears player. I note that a good deal of players online don’t do very basic things which could make their life easier, so hopefully even you Gearheads learn a thing or two from these pointers!
10. Get comfortable with your starting weapons
Gears of War 3 is no longer a single-gun game; you have options available to you. There are six options for starting weapons, each one favoring a different type of playstyle. You need to figure out what you’re most comfortable with. Here’s a general guideline.
Retro lancer: high power at close range. Accuracy is difficult with the recoil, but that can be mitigated through fanning/bursting. One clip is capable of downing nearly an entire enemy team when active. Retro charge great for destroying people hiding behind corners. Best for players who value power and who like close-range warfare.
Lancer: medium power, fantastic at long range, very accurate. With it’s instant kill, the chainsaw, though risky, can be a great tool in the right hands. The lancer can be used as a general annoyance over distance, and you definitely do not want to be caught in the crossfire of multiple lancers, either. Best for players who value accuracy and prefer fighting from a distance.
Hammerburst: medium-high power, medium to long range, not as accurate as the lancer, not very good in close quarters but has good stopping power. Forget about zooming in with the hammerburst, your bullet spread stays the same and you waste a precious second clicking in. There is NO headshot multiplier, unlike the other weapons–so don’t even bother aiming for the head. Best for players who want more power than what the lancer offers at mid/long range, but at the price of a smaller clip and recoil.
Now we get to the gnasher versus sawed off debate. This is a difficult call, as both weapons can lead to the same result in capable hands: at mid or close range, enemies will be gibbed or seriously hurt. They’re shotguns, after all. Both weapons won’t be entirely consistent in doing it, despite claims of the ease of use of the sawed off.
So, which is for you? It’s difficult for me to say. If you’re up for the idea of killing multiple people with a single shot, and don’t mind long reload times–which presupposes that you have survivability–then sawed off is for you. At the same time, most gnasher fights happen at close range, and most close range battles end in gibbing opponents…not to mention that the large clip size makes it, hypothetically speaking, possible to kill many opponents before having to reload.
I’ll leave it at “both weapons can be monstrous in capable hands.”
Here’s a detailed damage breakdown for each weapon, which is a must-watch.
9. Teamwork is crucial
8. Active, active, active
Active reload can make a huge difference in a battle. Those times where you got downed by a single gnasher shot? That was active at work, and you want that kind of power, right?
Some people prefer to not even bother with the first clip or couple of shots of a weapon, and start matches or lives by discarding a few and then getting active. That’s always an option, sure, but you need to actually learn how to do active first–the timing is different depending on the weapon. Active reload is something worth practicing for until you’ve got the muscle memory down, because you do NOT want to be in the middle of a battle, only to jam. And, with the cover system, you have ample opportunity to take a second or two in the middle of a fight to bolster your shot a little bit.
Active often. It can shave entire seconds off the time it takes to down someone.
Now here’s something I hardly ever see anyone do: spotting. Is it that people don’t know how to do it? Just aim at an enemy with your left trigger, then click in your left stick–boom, that enemy has been marked for a few seconds for your entire team. My personal philosophy is that if you can’t tell where at least half the enemy team is at any given moment, my team is failing. In any case, there’s no reason not to spot. Not only does it help the team know where everyone is, if that spot leads to a kill, then you receive 30 points. If you shot the guy a couple of times, you can get 50+ points despite not actually doing much. You like points, right?
6. Power weapon control
Power weapons can turn the entire tide of a match, so it’s important to keep them under control.
Now, this does NOT mean you should scurry for a power weapon instantly just because it’s there. If you’re just dicking around with the weapon, you’re better off letting somebody else on your team, who has proven to be effective with it, have it. If you’re playing with a team, make sure to lay down who is best with what to establish a pecking order when it comes to power weapons.
If that’s not an option, well, better you, who may not know how to use the weapon (and can use this opportunity to learn it) than the enemy team, eh? Just remember that power weapons don’t go through teammates, so don’t be that idiot that shoots a boomshot, only to have it bounce off a teammate’s butt and explode in your face. They’ll be fine, you wont.
Lastly: don’t be that douche that stands on the edges of maps trying to be super cool by sniping. Most people suck with the sniper and will be lucky to land an errant headshot or two in an entire match, if that. Yeah, I said it: you suck with the sniper. Go do something useful for your team.
5. Right hand advantage
Now here’s something that isn’t just common sense and that even some veteran Gears players might not know: you have a right hand advantage. What the heck does that mean? Well, all characters hold the weapon on the right side. This means that you can stand behind cover–yes, not STICK to cover–while your weapon is outside of it. This means that you can shoot at enemies while being completely protected and still have mobility, which sticking to cover takes away. Here’s a video that shows it better than I can explain it.
Here, too, is a place where most players could use improvement. Gears of War is ALL about movement at it’s heart. Top Gears players do not move like you do. If you’ve seen one, you probably swore that they move in inhuman ways, in ways that the game should not allow. That’s probably astute, since high level movement is essentially bending/breaking the animations.
For instance: roadie running is NOT the top speed possible. Sliding and vaulting from cover to cover is, but this requires not only the reflexes to cancel a slide (done by leaning the left stick opposite the direction of the cover you’re sticking to, right after or right before you actually stick to it) and stick to the next possible cover ahead of you (hence, think of cover around you as nodes connecting to one another). This can be used to perform the infamous wallbouncing, which is much more difficult to perform in Gears 3.
Here’s a video that covers wall bouncing in it, since this is definitely a visual thing.
So: roadie running is useful, but you really should be sliding and vaulting from cover to cover, when useful and possible.
Rolls are, in conjuction with wall bouncing, the end all be all of evasive maneuvers. Use them both to play mind games with your opponents. You should also know that you can roll in all 360 directions–don’t just roll in the cardinal directions!
Lastly, remember the mantle kick. You are not safe behind cover when an enemy is directly in front of you, and the mantle kick is Gears of War’s way of rewarding players who take the initiative. That player should be you. The mantle kick can stun multiple opponents, too, if they’re jumbled together. Lastly: you can totally stand just outside the mantle range (might take some practice) and gib enemies who think they’re about to mantle you.
3. Map control
This requires knowing your way around maps, though. Make sure to dip into a few private matches to take in the landscape, identify hiding spots and vantage points. Gears 3 has a lot more nooks and crannies than 2 did, it’s important to know where those are and what advantages they pose–especially now that there aren’t as many closed off areas. Any key areas are visible if not reachable from other key areas, too. It’s possible, for example, to torque someone at boomshot from the belltower in old town, if not grenade either of those points from the safety of grenade spawn. It’s possible to one shot into boomshot spawn in Mercy. The list goes on and on, but the gist of it is that maps are very versatile and open and it’s important to be aware of what you can do from point A, just as much as it’s important to know how open and vulnerable you are at point A from points B and C.
1. Learn from those better than you
Got any tips or tricks yourself? Did I miss something you think is important? Did you learn anything new? Let me know in the comments!