Become king of Modern Warfare 2 online
15th Feb 2010 | 10:01
Modern Warfare 2 is th-DAKKA DAKKAaaaaaargh! ...the kind of game in which you die suddenly, and a lot.
It's an ineviGRAAAAARGH!tibility of contemporary weapons technology: things kill people fast. If you haven't spotted your assailant when he opens fire, it's foom... OOM! Gleurg - bad news.
In some cases, unfortunately, you'll die to weapons you haven't yet unlocked, such as the dual-wielded BANGBANG My precious face! shotguns with their improbable range. But this guide won't assume you have any of those: a lot of powerful stuff is unlocked surprisingly early on, and I'll tell you snick - blurgh exactly when you get them.
Early on, don't fret too much about getting back to the fight when you die. Unless you clearly saw what happened and why, take a second or two to watch the KillCam. The best players have found fiendish spots to lurk in, and some of your most bloody sprees will come from simply getting there before them next time.
Similarly, bear in mind you can always grab the weapon of any fallen soldier, and when you're just starting out this is almost always better than yours. In an average game, you're bound to find a few dual shotguns or high-level assault rifles with twin attachments already fitted.
1. STOPPING POWER
Stopping. Power. Stopping Power Stopping Power, Stopping Power. It's a perk available from the start, and it's all any hot-blooded soldier will ever want in that slot. That's because Stopping Power increases your bullet damage, and nothing really trumps that. Every time you lose a head-to-head firing match without Stopping Power, it's because you didn't have Stopping Power. Get Stopping Power. Stopping Power.
2. GO COMMANDO
Commando basically lets you win every very close range encounter with someone who doesn't have Commando. It extends the range of your insta-kill knife attack so that you effectively teleport the last few metres to your target. Provided you hit the key fast enough, there's nothing they can do: you're literally faster than a speeding bullet, and the blow kills anyone regardless of gear. So bind your knife key to something easily accessible, like Alt.
3. SCAR AND TAR
Despite its might in other games, and in reality, the M4 you start with is depressingly feeble. At level 8 you'll unlock the SCAR-H, and this will be your best friend for 12 levels: full damage, great accuracy. At 20 you earn the TAR-21, which on paper looks worse: same damage, half the accuracy. But its rate of fire is ferocious, and the first shot of a burst is still precise. This is your mainstay until the M16 at level 40.
4. SHUT UP
Kill 75 people with a gun and you'll earn a Silencer for it. Not many people bother with them because they reduce range, but in practice that's almost never a problem. The plus side is twofold: firing normally lights you up as a blip on enemy's minimaps, and silencers stop that. Secondly, they actually do work: you'd be surprised how often your gunshot and muzzle flash are what get you killed by an unseen opponent.
5. TAKE CARE. PACKAGES
Don't forget to fiddle with your killstreaks, my grandma used to say. You can only have three enabled at a time, and for some kill streak amounts there's a choice of rewards. Choose the Care Package reward for 4 kills: a Care Package is an airdrop crate that can contain any other killstreak reward short of a nuclear bomb. That includes the ridiculous AC-130 and Stealth Bomber attacks. If an enemy calls one in, you can also steal theirs.
6. GO PRO
There's a 'pro' version of every perk, with a major extra benefit, earned by completing the fourth challenge for that perk. Stab 20 people using Commando and it becomes Commando Pro, which renders you completely immune to fall damage. Scavenger Pro gives you higher ammo capacity, Cold Blooded Pro removes the big red name above your head on enemy screens, and Stopping Power Pro lets you destroy air support more easily.
7. THE IMMORTAL SNIPER
Like killing but don't like dying? Snipe. Getting one-shot sniper kills unlocks some extremely effective camo suits, and one of the best rifles to do it with is yours by default: the Barrett 50 cal. Fit it with a silencer, and at level 11 take Tactical Insertion. It's a beacon you can hide in the room you snipe from, and when someone finally backstabs you, you'll respawn behind them. At 31, replace that with Claymore mines to boobytrap the route instead.
8. EXPLODE LESS
Enjoy getting obliterated by randomly flung grenades? Me too! That's why neither of us should take Blast Shield, unlocked at level 19. It ruins the fun by cutting explosion damage sufficiently that you'd have to virtually sit on a grenade for it to kill you from full health. It also means grenade-launcher wielding enemies have to use - spit - skill rather than splash damage to take you out, utterly defeating the point of the game.
9. RPG HERO
How often do you use your secondary weapon? Unless you've unlocked something ridiculous for that slot such as the twin shotguns, not much. So do your team a favour and take a rocket launcher in that slot. With the aforementioned Stopping Power Pro, most enemy air support can be taken out in one or two shots, saving dozens of lives. The chance doesn't come up much, but when it does, you're a goddamn hero.
10. THE GHOST
I mentioned Stopping Power was a must for hot-blooded soldiers. The cold-blooded ones should take Cold Blooded, a level 25 perk that makes you invisible to enemy UAV, turrets and - this is the kicker - air support. That eliminates the game's most frustrating deaths, and gives you time to line up anti-air shots. Blow up 40 aircraft to get Cold Blooded Pro, which stops enemy crosshairs turning red when they point at you, and hides your nametag from them.
11. DRAWN AND HEADQUARTERED
In Headquarters, players rush to a randomly selected capture point as soon as it pops up. In Modern Warfare 2's Headquarters, they shouldn't. The capture point doesn't unlock for a while after it's announced, so approach slowly, stick together and shoot enemies in the back as they heedlessly sprint to it. As soon as it's yours, retreat a little: the capture room itself is always a tactical nightmare, and you only need to keep it in sight.
12. WINNING WITH GRACE
In Domination, you win by controlling the majority of three capture points. If you only have one, obviously you need to attack. But when you have two, resist the temptation to rush for the third: it's much easier to defend what you have. If you have two then lose one, nab the enemy's other point instead of taking yours back: most of them will be at the one they just captured. If you have all three, find a safe spot, bring up chat and type the following: lol.