- Never bring a gun to a bazooka fight
- How to bedazzle your gun like a pro
- Cover your ass
- Blind fire for dummies
- Zoom in to see the goods
- Shoot 'em in the head!
- Ninji skillz
- Combat roll makes you badass
- Hunting your prey the S-M-R-T way
- Assault shotgun = WIN
- Body Armor doesn't make you a badass
- Last mag, last mag!
- Remember, It's just a game. Or is it?
- How to Drive-By in 7 easy steps
- Personal Favs
11/18/13: added to Ninji Skillz
01/12/14: added: TL/DR Section, Cosmetic Changes, Melee Weapons in section one. Flashlight modification in section two, bonus tip in section three, Bonus Tip in section 8.
02/12/14: added: How to Drive-By in 7 easy steps
05/07/14: added to Cover Your Ass; added Personal Favs
Never Bring a Gun to a Bazooka Fight
Everyone loves the assault rifles. They're well-rounded weapons with solid damage, magazine capacity, & versatility, and superior accuracy, range, & fire rate. For most situations an assault rifle can be the only tool you need to win. But, having a decent understanding of all the weapons' advantages and disadvantages will help you as a player make better informed decisions over which weapons are better for different encounters.
- Pistols - Extremely accurate at all ranges and make quick work of your opponent when aiming for the head. Best used at short range.
- Shotguns - Devastating in tight corners, over short distances, as a defensive weapon (e.g. when pinned behind a dumpster by multiple opponents). Best used while behind cover, firing blind.
- SMGs - Faster fire rate than assault rifles, but less accurate. Best used for short to medium range encounters.
- Sniper Rifles - Unmatched when used over great distance. A lack of Auto-aim and a slow fire rate leave you vulnerable at shorter ranges. Use with caution.
- MGs - Slower, but stronger than assault rifles. Extremely accurate when single or burst fire is used. Best used at longer ranges against less accurate weapons.
- Miniguns - Rate of fire is unmatched. Anyone in the line of fire will lose. Cover & rolling can't be used while weapon is held. Anyone not in the line of fire will have a severe advantage. Makes quick work of vehicles. Best used as a fear tactic.
- Grenades - Instant kill if caught in range. Makes quick work of vehicles. Can be dropped to make a quick, temporary booby trap. Best used for flushing out players in cover.
- Sticky Bombs - Same as grenades, but have to be detonated manually. Best used for traps.
- Tear Gas - Creates cloud of slow damaging gas over several yards. Can be used to block enemies from entering a doorway. Makes a great scare tactic. Best used to flush out enemies from cover.
- Jerry Cans - Leaves trail of gasoline that can be ignited in various ways. Can be used to quickly destroy vehicles. Upon contact with enemies, the fire will instantly incapacitate and rapidly drain health. Slow and clumsy usage makes it impractical. Can be used for fire traps. Best used for humor.
- Grenade Launchers - Accurate up to medium range. Destroys vehicles on impact or close proximity. Easily eliminates enemies hiding behind cover. Best used to quickly destroy close range helicopters.
- RPGs - Similar to grenade launcher. Slower rate of fire. Covers greater distance. Best used for "the lulz".
- Melee - Very short range, medium damage. Useful for moving/damaging vehicles.
How to Bedazzle Your Gun Like a Pro
Weapon attachments can give you a life-saving advantage in most situations. Here are the different attachments, and why each of them are useful in their own way.
- Silencers - Arguably the best attachment, silencers, well...keep your weapon silent. More specifically, in deathmatches, they keep other players from seeing your position on the radar every time you fire. If you've played a deathmatch and wondered why everyone around you knows exactly where you, having an unsilenced weapon is probably why.
- Extended Magazines - Extended mags are like the U.S. Postal service. They're never appreciated until they're needed. In most instances, the extra bullets are just there as a security blanket, to make you feel better without doing anything meaningful. But every once in a while, you may encounter a situation that eats your bullets for all they're worth (e.g. encountering three, four, or five enemies in a row). Most players know that feeling of having to reload while having someone shoot at you. Having the extra bullets helps keep that feeling to a minimum.
- Grips & Scopes - Grips and scopes do the same thing, they increase accuracy. This is useful in all encounters, but shows it most when in longer ranged engagements. Higher accuracy helps you hit your target, which gives you a greater chance of survival. Pretty self explanatory.
- Flashlights - Flashlights should NEVER be on when in a deathmatch, regardless of the time of day. The light gives away your position faster than you can say, "I'm dead". They're useful against NPCs to help you see in the dark, but they're horrible against other players. Just leave them off. Better yet, take them off all your weapons except one you don't use. That way, if you do ever need the light, it'll never be in the way untill needed.
Cover Your Ass
If you take nothing else away from this guide, please, remember this: USE COVER! You wouldn't believe how many gunfights I've been in where my oponent would start firing at me from the middle of a field or empty parking lot. That's one of the WORST ways to start a fight. If you don't know, to use cover, simply walk up to something that looks like you can hide behind it (e.g. a wall, dumpster, picket fence, car, etc.), and press R1/RB. Where your character faces doesn't determine where you hide, your camera does. If you've ever noticed your character run to some random cover, not even close to the wall you were standing next to, that's why. Putting cover between you and your enemy astronomically raises your chance of survival. A bonus tip is to get a good look at your cover. Makes sure your head, butt, or knees aren't sticking out. If they are, find better cover fast.
Edit: To better explain how the camera determines where you go into cover, not where your character faces, I'll try to give an example. Let's say you're between two walls that are about 3' apart. You're close enough to both that you could easily go to cover against either wall. if you stand still and press R1/RB you'll go to the wall that your camera (your perspective that you can move with the right stick) is looking at. Even if your camera is facing straight at your characters face, so he/she is looking at one wall and you are looking at another, your character will always go to the cover you're looking at. I hope that made sense...
Blind Fire For Dummies
Blind fire is a simple technique you can use any time you are using cover. While behind cover, without aiming, just start shooting. Your character will either expose one or two arms (depending on the weapon being used), the weapon, and and a hail of righteous democracy. Blind fire sounds amazing already, right? Well, kind of. Firing blind is like a double-edged sword. Its pros are the already mentioned smaller target you become, and since your chest is covered, you can't be auto-aimed. Its cons are that you are less accurate than if aiming, and you can't auto-aim either. I find blind fire to be useful in two situations: the first being a situation where you see an easy kill at most a few yards away from you, but you know or feel like another players is waiting for you to break cover for an easy kill of their own. The second situation I've found useful is when a player gets the drop on you. By either sneaking or sprinting, another player has placed themself dangerously close to your comfort zone. They're hiding behind cover, you're hiding behind cover, and neither of you wants to pop out to make the first hit because you both know the second shooter will have auto-aim, and probably the kill. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide whether blind firing in any given situation is advantageous. I've found the assault rifles useful for their large magazines and surprising accuracy while blind firing, but by far the most useful weapon to use while firing blind is the assault shotgun. I'll explain why a little later.
Zoom In To See The Goods
Now that you're safely snug behind some cover and ready for whatever your opposition could shoot at you, here's a small tip to help aim at enemies that are just a little too far away. While aiming with whatever boomstick you find useful, click the right thumbstick. Your weapon should zoom, albeit in varying degrees depending on the range of chosen boomstick. Why would zooming in on your target be useful? Two reasons: one being the ability to see subtle movement far away, an example being a foot moving at the edge of a dumpster fifty yards away. The second being a great lift off your shoulders when trying to make a headshot. That tennis ball sized head just grew to a soccor ball. "Well what do I need to make headshots for?" you may ask. I'm glad you did.
Shoot 'em In The Head!
Headshots make quick work of every character in GTA, players and NPCs alike, and for good reason, because...they're...headshots... Anyway, a headshot to any NPC will instantly kill said NPC. One shot, one kill, no muss, no fuss. Players on the other hand are a little different. There's a myth going around that certain helmets help protect your dome, but that's a different topic. Back to headshots. If you're having trouble making quick headshots, I behoove you to practice. Practice, practice, practice. I played Red Dead Redemption's Undead Nightmare DLC until I hated it (unpossible!), and one core component of that game is headshots are one of your few ways to kill the undead. Amazing practice for any gunfights you will encounter in GTA V, online or otherwise. If you don't own RDD or the Undead Nightmare DLC, playing survival makes great practice. To help get you started with making headshots, auto-aim your target, and nudge the right stick up. That simple. With practice headshots will become an involuntary reflex. A few tips to help you out just a smidge when trying to get that headshot are to use a weapon that can auto-aim at the distance of your target, zoom in for a more accurate shot, and to change your targeting reticle to advanced.
Sneaking is a unique aspect of GTA Online. It's absolutely useless when trying to hide from other players in the open world, since every player can see your character blip on their map. It has its uses when hiding from the police, but that's a different issue. Where the sneak stat shows its true value is in a deathmatch. The easiest way to die in a deathmatch besides suicide is by allowing other players to know your position. Running, sprinting, climbing, falling, brushing against almost anything, using explosives, driving a vehicle, and shooting an unsilenced firearm all create a "radius of sound". It appears as a red circle that grows and shrinks on your radar. Different actions create different levels of sound, but you want to try to keep all sound as minimal as possible because any enemy player inside the "sound radius" instantly sees your players position on their radar, which makes you public enemy number one.
- Forgot to mention while aiming, if you hold X/A, you can move faster, but it doesn't work if your aim is zoomed. It's great help when sneaking or trying to move faster without taking your sights off a target. Also, while sneaking, strafe rolling (rolling sideways) is faster than holding the run button.
Combat Roll Makes You Badass
Rolling is in my opinion the best & most overlooked technique in GTA Online. To roll, hold the aim button, move in any direction, and while moving, press the jump button. Simple as that. This simple move has saved my ass more times than I can count. If caught off guard by a player shooting you from any direction, the first thing you should do is roll. "Why?" you ask? For one thing, rolling breaks your oponents auto-aim. Yes, it is possible, but only for a second. Surprisingly enough, many players are so caught up with trying to get that one extra kill, they neglect to relock-on to your character, giving you that much needed, if slight, boost in your chances to survive the ambush. Also, if caught off guard, rolling gives you a precious moment to catch your bearings. If shot by someone out of view you can roll to the nearest cover (which there always should be), and at the same time turn the camera toward your would-be executioner, raising your odds of surviving such a disadvantage. Remember, speed is key. *Bonus Tip* : While using a sniper rifle, you can roll to quickly aim in another direction.
Hunting Your Prey The S-M-R-T Way
The Most difficult thing to master in a deathmatch or gunfight is knowing when to do what. If you feel like no matter what choice you make is wrong, fear not. Here are a few suggestions to help understand what to do in different situations, but remember, every situation is different.
- When to break cover: Just because you're hidden safely behind a wall or hiding in a dumpster, don't think you're untouchable. Keep an eye on any and every direction that's open to enemy fire. If an enemy shoots you from behind, either quickly turn the corner or roll to face your attacker. If you're lucky and the other player hasn't seen you, all the better. Another reason to break cover is if either an enemy has spotted you & left your line of sight, or you have killed all players in sight, both for the same reason. They know where you are. An enemy who knows your location knows your weak spot/s & will most likely attack from your flank, from behind, from above, or explosively if you're covered on all sides.
- How to move through a deathmatch: Never sprint anywhere. Don't even light jog. Take things slow. Find cover first thing. Check your surroundings for enemies and the next best cover you have that's closer to your target. Break cover and SNEAK to your target. If another player sees you, they see you, but it's better to take that chance than let everyone on the map know exactly where you are. If you can, hug walls. It'll make you harder so see and it's faster than sneaking and just as quiet. As soon as you reach your next cover, immediately scan your surroundings again, then repeat. If you're patient, your enemies will come to you without knowing where you are until it's too late.
- Knowing when to reload: This is rarely a "tactical" decision. After a kill, reload. Simple as that. But, there are a few situations where that second means the difference between who's dead and who's on to the next victim. Rarely I'll come into a gunfight with a player who after a handfull of bullets has to reload. Needless to say, those gunfights very quickly end. If you do happen to get caught in a gunfight and have to reload and you have no cover, roll, then reload. You'll throw off their auto-aim and give you a greater chance to survive.
- Knowing when to run away: Running away isn't even entertained as a possibility for most players. It's a tough decision for everyone, but it's better to run away and survive than to die from a sense of pride or greed. Many players HAVE to get that kill, regardless of any other factor. They see an enemy, they shoot. They don't take into account if they're outnumbered, how much health they have, if they have to reload soon, if they're even in cover, or any other disadvantage that makes engaging in a fight more trouble than it's worth. Consider your options before engaging, and if another player finds you first while you're at a huge disadvantage, they're no shame in running. If for no other reason than to fool them into chasing you so you can ambush them. Fight smarter, not harder.
Assault Shotgun = WIN
The assault shotgun is arguably the most overpowered and most fun weapon in GTA V. Its damage is devistating up to medium range, and surprisingly accurate to boot. The assault shotgun's rate of fire is exceptional for the damage it deals. Simply hold the trigger and let the weapon do the work or tap the trigger repeatedly for an even faster flood of destruction. But it doesn't stop there kids, this bad boy can be upgraded from an already impressive magazine of 8 shells to a whopping 32 shell magazine! If you EVER get into a no hope situation, whip this bad boy out and I gaurantee if you don't kill any and everyone trying to end you, at least you'll go down having a blast. The assault shotgun is a force to be reckoned with.
Body Armor Doesn't Make You A Badass
Body armor is a wonderful tool in the right hands, but a deadly trap if not understood. I've heard many players and "guide-givers?" (yeah...that's a word...maybe...) say it's a waste of money buying armor. If this was a census, I'd mark "strongly disagree". I always, ALWAYS buy armor, every chance I get. It gives you a greater chance of survival, and that alone makes it worth the few hundred bucks. Don't get me wrong, armor doesn't make you invincible, and it doesn't make you much harder to kill, especially if you're being shot in the head, but it helps, and that can mean everything. Just don't do anything you wouldn't normally do without it and your body armor should serve you well. Granted, if you see armor sitting in the middle of an empty parking lot, I'd advise against it. You open yourself up to a quick death and even if you do nab the armor, you're only half of the way back to cover. If you happen to be near some armor, sure, nab it, but don't risk your life for it. But remember, any item picked up in a deathmatch disappears from the radar. Everyone's radar. It's like a sneaky way of your enemies finding your location, or you finding theirs. Use with caution.
Last Mag, Last Mag!
Running out of ammo is embarassing in any situation. You start up a mission with some friends or strangers and the first thing you have to do is run to Ammu-Nation, halting the mission and making everyone wait on you. Not a good feeling. But where it really stings is when another player comes out of nowhere and makes you their personal bullet sponge for the next hour or so. This griefer and little 'ol you go at it for a few dozen minutes when you suddenly realize all your bullets are gone. Oh shi-BANG! and you're done. You can either leave to another session or slowly, painstakingly make your way to an Ammu-Nation and hopefully have enough cash to buy some bullets to keep this bullet train 'a chuggin'. Needless to say, keeping your ammo topped off is a simple way to give you an advantage in any gunfight. Also, the higher your gun skill, the more ammo you can carry, up to 9999 at skill 100 with all guns. If you're having trouble raising your gun skill at an acceptable rate, I suggest running survivals. They're a great way to raise your shooting & stamina skills, refill your ammo if it's running low, give you brief access to weapons you won't unlock until higher levels, they pay $20,000 if completed, and give a few thousand RP. What's not to love?
Remember, It's Just A Game. Or Is It?
GTA Online is an amazing, emersive experience that provides truly endless hours of entertainment. Being such an awesome game, it will attract all kinds of players, including the less desirables (e.g. trolls, griefers, etc.). Some players have the most fun when causing the most pain. Instead of giving in and fighting back against usually a group of players who grinded and hacked their way to the top and are "bored" with this masterpiece of gaming, I suggest you simply switch to another session, or even leave the game for a minute or two. Go make a snack, smoke a cigarette, use the restroom, do your homework (for the the children reading this with apathetic parents), etc. Playing a game while angry makes most people play worse. It clouds their judgement, screws up their coordination, and throws their strategic planning out the window. If you're one of these people, or even if you're not, the next time you encounter a troll or griefer, I ask you to take a minute to cool off, just to see if it helps. When you come back to the game you may surprise yourself with how much better you're playing. Grand Theft Auto is a game. It's meant to entertain. Enjoy it.
How to Drive-By in 7 easy steps
Vehicle gunfights are an inevitable part of GTA Online, so knowing how to survive a shootout between cars is paramount to becoming a good all-around player. Many players are either good at shooting or driving, possibly neither, rarely both. Hopefully these tips help you balance out.
- Plan out Your Route: The most simple tip is also the most crucial. If you're being chased, before you start shooting back, get a good look at your minimap and where you are. Look for a side street or alley, heavy traffic, trees, anything that could slow down your attacker and give you another second or two to prepare either your escape or retaliation. If you're trying to escape, sudden quick turns are beneficial, but hard to pull off if it's raining, or if your vehicle has crappy handling. If you're trying to retaliate, watch out for dead ends, oncoming traffic and which way the road turns, which I'll explain in step 5.
- Choose the Right Weapon: Your choice of weapon while driving are the pistol, combat pistol, ap pistol, micro-smg, sawed-off shotgun (while on motorcycles or a few other vehicles), tear gas, grenades, stickies, and molotovs. The pistol & combat pistol are as accurate as they are slow. If you can aim well, they're a viable option. But, with much better alternatives, they're mostly overlooked. The ap is my weapon of choice while driving. It has a high rate of fire and it's surprisingly accurate. It's major downside is sometimes it's too accurate for when you're just tyring to spray-and-pray behind you while weaving through traffic. Next up is the sawed-off. It is absolutely devisating at close range and still packs a wallop at medium ranges. It's major downside is its slow fire rate. The surprisingly high accuracy and slow fire rate can be unforgiving if you miss. Great for blowing out tires. I have yet to find a viable use for tear gas while driving. Grenades and molotovs can be thrown while your vehicle is inert or dropped while driving. Grenades make great timed mines if your attacker is moving in a straight line and you can time your drops. Molotovs are a lifesaver because they can blow out tires that are bulletproof. Don't waste them if you have them. And last, stickies are your most powerful offense and defense in a drive-by. They can be thrown at all times and be detonated at will. You can throw them at pesky helos, leave them as mines, or whatever you can think of. Just be wary of using explosives in drive-bys. If the other persons vehicle is insured, you will pay a fine, unless they have a bounty.
- Know Your Vehicle: Sounds simple, but knowing the vehicle you're driving like back of your hand can be a daunting task. Whenever you get a new vehicle or upgrade, take your car for a spin. Test its turning, its brakes, its tops speed, its acceleration, whether the tires are bulletproof, where the windows are, how heavy it is, the color, everything. Knowing how your car drives is just as crucial as your ability as a driver and a shooter. You may know how to drive super cars better than anyone, but if that's all you can drive, be prepared for a quick death if you ever have to drive something else. Use your vehicle to your advantage. Don't try to force it to drive how you want. Sedans have crappy handling and slide a lot. Use that. Sports cars have great speed. Use that. Motorcyles are small and can weave through traffic. Use that. Know how open your vehicle is. The bigger the windows, the bigger the target on your forehead. Be wary of the vehicles color. Dark colors help you blend (especially at night), while bright colors give you away and can even hurt your eyes when looking behind you while trying to aim.
- Key Areas to Aim: Your enemy's head, for obvious reasons. Tires, because a blowout pretty much guarantees youre escape or their capture (if their tires aren't bulletproof). And last, a lesser-known "weak spot" on cars, the gas tank. For most vehicles it's located on the driver's side in front of the rear wheel at the bottom of the car, but it varies for others. If you're out of explosives or want to save money or whatever reason, you can easily blow up cars by shooting the gas tank.
- Shooting Behind You and Not Crashing: It's not as hard as you think. The main thing to remember is which way the road goes while you're not looking. By clicking RS/R3 you can quickly snap the camera behind you to see where your attacker is and make a fast shot. If you do not press the fire button while looking behind you, the camera snap back to its forward facing position. If you do shoot, when you stop, the camera will slowly pan around back to the forward facing position. Keep that in mind if you have a turn or traffic ahead.
- Avoiding Stickies: This is probably the biggest problem for most people that are chasing/being chased, mainly for two reasons. One being that stickies have a wide blast radius of car-consuming death, and two being that stickies are, in my opinion, the number on most overused troll tactic. The short answer is stickies are hard to avoid if thrown by someone who can aim worth a damn. The long answer is you can better your chances of escape by swerving, making frequent turns, keeping on the move (e.g. not crashing), and avoiding other vehicles. Driving in a straight line or, god forbid, sitting still, makes you a significantly harder target. Maybe even enough to not be worth it.
- When to Leave Your Vehicle: Leaving your vehicle while being chased is a bold move, and not a decision to be taken lightly. There are three benefits to leaving your vehicle. One, you can find adequate cover to protect yourself; two, you have your full range of weaponry; three, you can lock onto your attacker for more precise shots. There are three downsides to leaving your vehicle. One, you can't run away if you change your mind; two, explosives will end you with minimal effort; three, if you're out in the open you'll probably just get run over. I recommend leaving your vehicle for one two-part reason. You are in an inadequate vehicle to escape (e.g. buses, slow motorcycles, bicycles, etc.), and you have enough time to get off your vehicle and find cover. Even on a bicylce you still have a better chance of survival by shooting back than you do getting off the bike and running if your attacker is right there. If you find yourself being attacked by someone in a vehicle while you are on foot, I recommend using a shotgun. They have surprising range, and typically, most players are facing straight at you when shooting from cars, making their biggest window available for your bullets. If their body is obstructed by the cars frame, shoot for the gas tank.
For anyone who doesn't really have a gun they like, or can't decide which weapon to use, or whatever reason you might want to know, here are my favorite weapons and why.
Combat Pistol - My most used gun when travelling around free-roam would have to be the combat pistol. The aim is extremely accurate, the bullets are cheap, headshots are easy, and it takes out npcs like it's nothing. I prefer the combat over the regular pistol because it's better in every possible way, so no real argument there. Over the AP because the AP feels too much like a small rifle. It sprays bullets, yeah, but it doesn't feel as accurate. But in a car, definitely my go-to gun. Over the SNS mainly for it not having a silencer, but also the same reasons everyone else hates it. And over the heavy pistol because even though the heavy has more damage, the recoil slows it down and knocks off its aim too much for my liking.
Carbine Rifle - My favorite weapon in the game. Deadly accurate at medium range, minimal recoil, and a moderate rate of fire, this weapon is a dream. This is the weapon I use the most in pvp and on missions. I prefer the carbine rifle over the assault rifle because it's more accurate, has higher damage, less recoil, basically just a better gun. Over the Advanced Rifle because even though the advanced has a faster rate of fire, it's less accurate. And over the Special Carbine because even though the special has higher damage, it is also less accurate than the Carbine. Overall, I prefer the carbine because it's the easiest to get headshots at longer ranges, and one bullet to the head beats more/stronger bullets to the body.
I've used every weapon and enjoy all of them, but those two are my absolute favorites. Other weapons do better jobs in certain situations, but 90% of the time I use one of those two.
- Choose your weapons wisely. Miniguns aren't always "leet".
- Flashlights hurt more than they help. If you want to see in the dark, put it on a weapon you don't use.
- Silencers = WIN in deathmatches. Useless in freeroam (against players).
- Always use cover if you can. Be wary of your blind spots and flanks.
- Pulling the trigger in cover without aiming lets you "blind fire". It's more accurate than you think. Add Assault Shotgun for extra Pwnage.
- Clicking the right stick while aiming lets you zoom. Makes gun more accurate.
- Headshots almost always equal one-hit kills. Never hurts to try.
- Sneaking in deathmatches gives a huge advantage. USE IT!
- While aiming and moving, press the jump button. It lets you roll. Rolling breaks auto-aim and stops npcs from being able to shoot you for a short time. Most invaluable tip I have.
- Even if you have body armor, don't be any more reckless.
- Keep bullets stocked. There's no such thing as too much.
Hopefully this helps you. If it did, share it with a friend. If not, let me know why. I'll personally work with anyone to help them become a better shooter. I want all players to enjoy this game and gunfights are what I know. Thanks for reading.