Frozen Synapse – Tips and Tricks for Getting Started

Before you play the Frozen Synapse game, you will definitely want to know these simple but useful tips and tricks. If you have any tips feel free to share with us!

Things to Know Before Playing

General Tips

  • Go through the tutorial. Then play a couple skirmishes to get used to how things work.
  • Use and abuse the preview function. If you can, try to predict your opponent’s moves, and see how the resulting firefights will turn out.
  • Don’t move unnecessarily. Stationary units have faster reactions than moving units.
  • Aiming doesn’t count as moving. Spin in place all you want, as long as you’re facing the right way when the enemy pops out.
  • Ducking makes you move slower, but it also allows you to hide completely behind short cover. This is especially useful if you need to pop out, and kill a guy, then pop back down before his buddies can fire back. It may also make you aim better and/or harder to hit, but I’m not certain.
  • Cover is your friend.
  • You know all that shit they do in the movies like have several people enter a house at the same time, cover each other, etc? Do that.
  • Don’t forget to cancel aim before you move again, or your guys will happily charge through the door into the enemy ass-first.
  • Never assume you will win an equal engagement. (Rifleman vs Rifleman, Shotgunner vs. Shotgunner, etc.) Always find some kind of advantage, if you can.

Rifleman

  • Your bread-and-butter. Treat them well, in the right hands they can be deadly.
  • Riflemen are the only unit that should ever Engage-On-Sight advance through the open, and even then, only when necessary.
  • A Rifleman who is behind cover will live several times longer than one who is not.
  • You can beat Shotgunners at range, but if you’re both moving, he will turn you into cheese before you can even look at him.
  • The effective range of a machine gun is both surprisingly long, and disappointingly short.
  • If you even think your opponent might have a Shotgunner in a building, stay the hell out.

Shotgunner

  • You move and aim faster than Riflemen, but your effective range is much shorter. You will be cut down at anything greater than about ten feet.
  • Hit and run. Pop and drop.
  • Stay indoors or behind cover if you can. Open terrain is just asking to get blindsided by a Rifleman.
  • When you do move through the open (it happens), make sure you’re standing, and set to Continue on Sight until you’re indoors again. Anything less will get you murdered.
  • Generally speaking, in close-quarters, you have the advantage over riflemen, but if you’re moving, and he’s not, it’s still a gamble, so be careful.

Grenadier

  • When you’re ducking, your grenades will go over short cover. When you’re standing, they’ll bounce off of it.
  • If your grenadier isn’t ducking, you’re doing it wrong.
  • Pop a grenade through a short-cover window into a house, watch everyone inside flee into the open or turn to smears.
  • Your grenades can also be used for area denial. There’s no friendly fire, so get creative.
  • You have no direct defense against Shotgunners or Riflemen, so stay out of their ways.
  • You having a grenadier means your opponent does, too. Try to avoid confined spaces, or grouping your guys too close together.

Rocketeer

  • You have the unique ability to destroy cover.
  • When you’re ducking, you can also hit short cover. Many people don’t know this.
  • Don’t be afraid to crack open the wall of a building your opponent’s hiding in. It’ll deny him cover, and you might just get lucky and take someone out in the blast.
  • Keep near short cover, but stay the hell away from full walls, unless you want to get blown the hell up.
  • Duck behind cover, pop up, fire, and duck again. There is literally no advantage to keeping your ass hanging out in the open.

Dark Elimination

  • These tips also hold for other game types, but since Dark Elimination is the most-played by far, they’re under this section.
  • Never have anyone move alone into a building unless you’re absolutely certain you know where the enemy is.
  • If you don’t know where an enemy unit is, always assume the worst.
  • If you can’t see an enemy at this very moment, you don’t know where he is. Even if you saw him 0.2 seconds ago.
  • It is very possible to take out an entire team with one guy. Never give up, and never get cocky.
  • After about 6-8 turns, the game will end, awarding victory to whoever has the most guys left. Turtling is effective, but no one will ever play with you again.