Choosing the right loadout:
- Heavy Machinegun (108 DPS): Never choose this gun unless the Lightning Gun is unavailable as a loadout. The damage output of this gun is roughly the same over time as the shotgun. Although this weapon is the easiest to aim with, it cannot grant you kills as fast as the rocket launcher or lightning gun.
- Rocket Launcher (125 DPS direct, 100 DPS splash): This gun is currently overpowered, dealing more damage per second than the lightning gun. Naturally, everybody will pick this gun. If you want to win and the map has small corridors, choose this weapon. You especially want to choose RL if the map is crowded and you expect to be encountering multiple enemies very frequently. In space contrained maps, this gun can deal massive damage to multiple enemies. If you see a large group of people just shoot a bunch of rockets at the center of the crowd. On 1v1 scenarios, make sure you get pretty close to your target (but not too close so as to blow yourself up).
- Lightning Gun (120 DPS): You may consider using the LG if the map has open rooms and multiple stories. If you want to win and your LG acc is less than 35, don't bother with this weapon. This gun will only be a better choice than the rocket launcher if your aiming is good enough to grant you 2 kills with only 50 LG ammo. LG is a good choice if you expect to encounter enemies one at a time. A good LG player can frag pretty much any person in a 1v1 scenario. It is worth investing time to learn this gun because not all maps are optimal for rocket launcher use.
- Railgun (53 DPS): This gun has been nerfed so badly that you have to be 60 acc to have a chance at winning against a guy with 30 acc LG. Each shot takes 1.5 seconds, and you have to hit 2 rails on average to kill somebody (sometimes 3 or 4 if they have armor). The only reason to choose this weapon is for really big open maps like silentfright and coldwar. If you expect to be seeing enemies from a distance more than actually encountering them close-mid range, choose the RG. For all the other normal maps, this is the worst primary to choose (even worse than the HMG). This weapon deals one of the lowest DPS out of all the other weapons in the game.
- Shotgun (100 DPS): This gun is more useful for stealing frags than getting real frags. You don't really want to choose this unless you are really bad at aiming and the map is overcrowded. I've frequently seen people win with this gun on bounce pad maps like verticalvengeance and longestyard.
- Plasma Gun (200 DPS): Yes this has the highest DPS, but this is one of the easiest weapons to dodge which makes it less than reliable against people at your own skill level. However, you might consider using this weapon if the map will be crowded with long narrow pathways (e.g. houseofdecay, hellsgate, bloodrun).
Your secondary weapons:
- Machinegun (50 DPS): Never pull this thing out unless: you are out of ammo, or your other weapons cannot reach your enemy.
- Gauntlet (125 DPS): This is only good for camping near teleporters
Pursue vs Retreat:
A key mistake I see from a lot of people is getting too caught up in trying to kill every single enemy they encounter. In FFA, you have to know when to pursue and when to retreat. Pursue the enemy if it will be a quick kill. Do not pursue if it will take too much time to frag them (even if you have the stack advantage). Because if you get too concerned with fragging that one guy who baits and hides behind corners, you will end up wasting your time while the guy in second place catches up to you. Rapidity is the essence of FFA.
This principle also applies to picking up items. If you only need 1 or 2 frags left and you're tied for the lead, do not waste time going for Red Armor or Quad Damage.
If the powerup is Quad Damage, it is extremely important that you do not miss it. You can be 10 or 12 frags ahead, only to find yourself losing because you didn't get that Quad Damage that spawned 30 seconds before the game ended. I'm still trying to master powerup timing, but I suggest hanging out around the general area 10 seconds before it spawns and then closing in during the last 3 seconds before it spawns. Make sure you're not easily visible, because then you can catch a few surprise frags from other people trying to get the Quad. You don't want to be around the Quad Damage area any earlier than 10 seconds because then you're wasting fragging time. Do not squat near the Quad longer than 5 seconds before it spawns, because you risk getting killed and missing the pickup.
If you have Battle Suit and you encounter a guy with Quad Damage. You have a greater chance of survival. The Battle Suit multiplies damage you take by 0.25. The Quad Damage multiplies damage you deal by 3. If you do the math, the Quad Damage guy will end up doing 25 percent less damage than normal. So unless, you're health is weak, you should attack Quad Damage if you have Battle Suit.
It takes practice to build up the intuition necessary to know where enemies are. Before you attain that skill, you can use empirical clues to find enemies:
- Follow the sounds.
- If you just died, observe how many enemies are around you on the death cam so that you know if you should head back to where you died after you respawn.
- Observe the structure of the map, you're more likely to find enemies in the center of the map than in the far off corners.
- If a powerup is going to spawn, you will usually find enemies there.
Getting frags is important, but a big impediment to achieving this goal is if you get fragged too often. It's important that you pick up any health or armor that you happen to pass by. Do not go out of your way to get these items, only get them if it is convenient for you.
Also try your best to not be the #1 target in the room. Try to frag enemies from the side or corners of the room where a door is near you for escape. It is not a good idea to hang out in the center of a room, thus making you the center of attention. Make sure that all angles and doors are within your view, I know this is impossible, but the penalty for not paying attention is someone sneaking up on you from above or behind you with rockets blasting your ass.