This guide will be my compilation of helpful tips and tricks for playing Insurgency.
Weapon and Equipment Handling Tips and Tricks
- Recycling old magazines: if it is a risk you think you can take, try to shoot until your mag is empty. When you unload more than half of your magazine's capacity away, it is natural to reload back up to full in order to be ready for the next engagement. But always remember that the old magazines will be used again later once you've cycled through all the new mags, you don't want to load in an old magazine with only a few rounds left!
- Ammo check/chamber check: If you have a weapon mod that include a visually different reloading animations for when the weapon is empty and when the magazine still has rounds left, you are able to reload and quickly cancel by switching your weapons in order to determine if your gun still has rounds left in it or not. Alternatively, some weapon mods has a feature that shows the charging handle/bolt locking back once the gun is empty, such as the Kel-Tec RFB (old and unsupported now).
- Sprinting reload: nearing the end of most fully empty reload animations you are able to start sprinting without cancelling the reload and having to do the entire thing again. The timing has to be precisely near the end, usually around the part where your hand touches the charging handle and is about to charge it or when you press the button to release the bolt locking back in its place (does not work with weapons that reloads rounds/shells individually). But always remember! This is mainly a movement/traversal trick, not a combat trick. If you run dry while engaging, cover first then reload later. You are not supposed to reload first then slowly walk into cover, if a reload takes 4 seconds you still have 3 seconds for you to die first before you can use the 4th second to sprint away.
- Creating a slightly safer area with smoke grenades: enemies closing in from multiple directions? throw a smoke grenade into the corner and get the jump on them (provided they don't blindl fire into the whole thing). Everyone is more confident in pulling the trigger if they can directly see the target they're aiming at, but if they have to put in more effort in finding you then that gives you more time to work. If you're outside the smoke and the enemy is inside then shining your flashlight into it will reveal silhouettes of the people inside, unless they're in the deep end or the opposite side of the cloud from where you're shining the light from. If you're inside the smoke, avoid the middle of the cloud (where the grenade is) as that will blind you completely. As you move further away from the center of the cloud it will be easier for you to see but it's also easier for you to be seen as well.
- Grenades usage: left mouse click pull the pin without keeping the lever and throw, holding it down allow you to cook it. Middle mouse button does an underhand toss, can be used to roll the grenade foward but only a little bit. Right mouse click pull the pin while keeping the lever, can be held indefinitely. If you keep the lever (not using the left click) you can cancel the throw as long as you don't release the grenade by switching your weapon.
- Readying your equipment: every time you spawn in you will ready your weapon by doing a slightly long but cool animation, this applies for primary, secondary and launchers, and only for the first time you equip that weapon. This will be done only when you pull out your weapon while in the re-supply zone indicated by the supply icon on the screen, moreover this area can be seen as a blue zone on the map with the symbol of the team you belong to. It is recommended you ready all your weapons to avoid doing the long animation in a situation where you capture a point and being in the re-supply zone dictates you take a few seconds longer for you to pull your sidearm out. Be careful, be vigilant, be ready.
- Quick resupply instead of reloading: bind the resupply key into a key you're comfortable with using console commands and you can press that button to instantly resupply, it's the difference between using 4 seconds to swap mags and fully reload and using only a few seconds to just pull out and ready a new weapon.
- Magazine check: quickly swap weapons to check the hud at the bottom right corner of the screen for how many mags you have left.
- Keep your distance: from the cover you're currently using and your teammates. Being too close to your cover means that you have to turn more before you can move foward back into cover cover, or if you decide to strafe sideways into cover while shooting your gun, it will be too close the cover and you'll have to lower your weapon which prevents you from shooting effectively. Avoid being near teammates when crossing open areas or when not in full cover, any enemy who's trying to hit your teammate can hit you if you're too close to them and it's unfortunate if you catch stray bullets that are not meant for you.
The Two Main Playstyle of Insurgency
When You're Alone
- Advantages: less concern for friendly fire (as long as you know they're in a different area). You are your only limitation, there will no one to impose restrictions on you allowing you to move and act freely, weapons free. You advance at your own pace, kill as many as you want, go to the objective with the route you have in mind.
- Disadvantages: increased requirement for independency, spatial awareness, speed, reflex, reaction time etc. When you inevitably rejoin with the team you will have to turn off your 'shoot to kill, free fire zone' mode, lest your teammate(s) suddenly pop out from around the next corner and your reflex take over.
- Tips: good positioning can help you out a lot, if you don't want to be aware of all 360 degrees around you then place yourself next to a wall and then you'll only have to worry about the 180 degree. Be aware of who's gonna come around the corner of the wall you're next to though. Having only a 180 degree arc for you to look at is a big difference between checking behind you as well and only having to check your left and right. Don't stay in one place for too long, or if you want to then keep roaming around that immediate area.
When You're With the Team
- Advantages: less concern for other zones or angles of approach from the enemy, your team should cover and clear their own respective areas leaving you to focus on your own. With multiple team members working, covering, clearing the immediate area around your own position, you are relatively safer than being alone and that allows you more time for actions such as reloading. I usually imagine that I have a strict time limit when performing certain actions and if I take too long I will die, having teammates greatly increases that time limit until you need to be ready, of course you should strive to perform your best without relying on your team too much. What you receive from your teammates, you should be able to return to them the same benefits.
- Disadvantages: increased requirement for cooperation, possible bad teammates, higher chance for friendly fire and trigger discipline is recommended. If your teammates requires a higher level of performance from you for whatever reason, you may need to perform similarly to how you would while soloing while under restrictions from your teammates which can be tricky.
- Tips: use the map to determine which direction your teammates are covering and fill in the gap of the team. If every possible direction is covered you can patrol from place to place and be ready to provide support to whichever direction is under attack. Similary for offence, if most of your team are converging and moving into one area then look out for possible flankers from the side or behind. If you are behind the group let your frontline teammates handle the front, don't try to shoot past your teammate who are in front of you. If you want to go but they're too slow, go to the side and go around them.
Close Range Assault Type
- Description: this style is essentially for people who likes the adrenaline rush or like being a speed freak. This is my favourite and main playstyle due to its fast pace. Fast assault, full auto, quick kills in rapid succession, moving and clearing areas quickly etc. It can be summed up to the faster you are, the longer you live. (When performing certain actions, this doesn't mean you rush off and hurry to your death.)
- Playstyle info: engagement range is as close as that of urban areas like Tell, Contact, District, Revolt etc. Weapons are fully automatic weapons with 30 or more rounds per magazine, relying on quick target acquisition and trigger pull to take down enemies before they return fire and kill you.
- Playstyle tips: when presented with multiple enemies, make a 'sweep' by killing from left to right or right to left. If you manage to lock on different targets and shoot them fast enough then that's good but if not then shoot the ones who's a threat to you i.e. aiming at you or notices you before the rest does. You can try to master how to hip fire effectively to increase your killing speed at extremely close range, shaving off a second or two for aiming down sights if you can hit without needing to. If you have less than 4 seconds before the enemy react, return fire and kill you, you need to consider if you can kill them all within 4 seconds or not; if not then kill as much as you can within a couple seconds before quickly getting back into cover. Take on as many enemies as you're comfortable with at any single time, never more than you can handle. Don't try to kill everyone at once, if you need take out 10+ targets, take them out in smaller groups of like 2, 3 or 4 at a time. Try to guess how long you can stay out of cover to shoot for, if enemies return fire, don't keep shooting unless you know you can kill them before they kill you.
- Other tips: I usually don't have time to extend my finger to the numbers so I key binded Q to switch between primary and secondary, this allows for grenade cancelling and switching weapons to be quicker. I normally don't use lean unless I know I won't have time to get back into cover if I peek out, I like to have my fingers on movement at all times.
- Factors affecting play style effectiveness: how prepared you are vs. how prepared your enemies are, this effects how much time you have to kill them before they react. Controlling your weapon efficiently, how many rounds per target is considered optimal? How fast is your gun's rate of fire, how many enemies can you kill with one magazine? How much time do you need to have in between each killing session if you need to reload a completely empty mag? What do you have to do to make sure you have the time you need etc.