Insurgency: Sandstorm – Useful Tips for Playing Outpost

My tips for playing Outpost, based on my experiences with the game.

Outpost Tips

Introduction

I love Outpost, and I wanted to share some tips that other players might find helpful. I am a fair bit of experience with the game’s coop modes, and come up with a set of tactics that give you every possible advantage over the sometimes very frustrating AI. Let me know if any of the numbers/info is incorrect, I’m just writing this off the top of my head and striking while the iron is hot. FYI most of this info also can be applied to Checkpoint and other coop modes, but I primarily play Outpost.

In no particular order:

Kit Considerations

Don’t buy grenades until you have a weapon system/loadout you are happy with. Enemies will more often than not drop grenades when killed; pick these up and use them instead. They cost you nothing. You are better served with a decent weapon than anything. Once you have a loadout you’re satisfied with and an excess of points, grenades can be useful to defend yourself in later rounds or when outnumbered.

The Makarov pistol is not great, but costs 0 points. Use the 2 points to invest in a weapon during the first round. Most classes have a primary weapon that costs only 1 point. Use the other for body armour rather than the carrier; you shouldn’t need more than the initial loadout for just the first round. More often than not, I never upgrade from the Makarov to spend the entirety of points on other stuff. This depends on my primary weapon/loadout, however. In the later rounds, the only handguns that will have much effect are the M1911, M45, MR 73 and Desert Eagle, since many enemies will be wearing heavy armour which unlike yours renders some of them nigh invulnerable unless pummelled by high-caliber weapons or shot in the head.

While it doesn’t matter much in Checkpoint or other coop modes, caliber is important in Outpost, as enemies in body armour are much more common. The “Blaster” wave consists of almost exclusively elite enemies using MG3s and carrying heavy armour. Lower caliber weapons will often have no effect on them except at close range – sometimes not even then. It is advisable to shoot them in the legs since the armour seems to be weaker there. You want the highest caliber weapon you can get for your class, but different things work for different people. I typically use the AKM because it is cheap, requires zero attachments, and is effective against enemies in heavy armour. The Mosin (outside of .50 cal rifles) has the highest penetration of the Marksman’s rifles. Shotguns can be equipped with flechettes that shred body armour of any kind, though they are extremely powerful even without them. The MP7 and AS Val (off the top of my head anyways) have special ammunition designed to defeat body armour and will cause massive damage to armoured enemies.

Light armour is preferable to heavy armour. I’ve used both and found no difference in protection between the two. You will still often die in one hit even wearing heavy armour, and it makes you considerably slower, so evading enemies (like random suicide bombers or grenades) becomes much more difficult. Light armour gives just enough protection against non-fatal shots and shrapnel, and doesn’t slow you. Not getting hit at all is preferable to taking one potentially fatal.

Heavy kit however, is often a good investment, though you will want to prioritize this later. You will (if I remember correctly) receive an additional 2 magazines for assault rifles/semi-auto rifles, and an additional full load for shotguns/bolt-action rifles/revolvers. Magazines for pistols increase by one. As Demo, you receive a second grenade for your rifle launcher (when equipped). The M1 Garand for Marksman is capable of using rifle grenades, and benefits from Heavy Kit (but honestly it kind of sucks).

You can also carry 3 grenades wearing Heavy Kit; use this to grab anything useful the AI drops. However, regardless of kit, you are only able to carry a single launcher of any type. The most important grenades IMHO are molotovs and thermite grenades. These can be used to block off entrances to the objective as well as known routes that enemies take. This is especially useful when there are few players left, or, as often happens, you find yourself Last Man Standing and need to drastically reduce the arcs you need to watch. Frags can be useful to clear rooms full of enemies. Flashbangs/stuns are also good to disable enemies and give you time to shoot them. In a pinch, smoke grenades can be used to determine where enemies are; often they will run into smoke and cough, giving you their position.

Invest in a gas mask as soon as is reasonably possible. The AI will often use poison gas on the objective, and you will die if exposed to it for long. The gas mask also has the benefit of making you not cough while in smoke, giving your position away to enemies. If you don’t have a mask yet, you can sometimes avoid the gas by going prone on the lowest floor of the building or crouching in some corners. Provided the roof is high enough to keep you out of range of the gas, that is.

Commander Considerations

As Commander, you want to save your two helicopters, the Minigun and Gunship, for the final wave. You have to survive for roughly 3 minutes, and you can expect that often a great deal of the team will be killed. The AI will throw absolutely everything at you, and you need the help. Only use them before wave 6/7 if necessary to prevent losing the objective.

The A-10 autocannon is your fastest call-in as Commander. You only get 2 in Outpost, so save these for emergencies when being rushed by enemies, since it arrives quickly before they have time to move a considerable distance. In a pinch, call it down directly on yourself to dislodge stubborn enemies around you. Be sure to stay away from the walls/windows as the gun will penetrate slightly through structures. Lie prone on the lowest floor of the building. Same goes for calling danger-close artillery on yourself. Make sure you warn your team what you’re doing so they have time to take cover.

Awareness / Tactics

Get your lay of the land by pressing Tab during waves (not between waves, they won’t be shown) to take note of where the enemy spawns are located (red shield-like icon). They will typically come from these directions, but not always. The AI is clever enough that if they see their own take casualties, they will sometimes take a different route and flank you. Knowing where the spawns are is helpful for a Commander to decide where to deploy their call-ins.

The AI keys in on you by sound. Any sound you make will attract attention if they’re close enough. If you fire and they’re within a certain range, they will have a rough idea of where you are and how far away. They will then begin combing the area for you. This can be used to your advantage in some situations, such as deliberately drawing enemies into an ambush. Using “Intimidate” from the Comm Wheel (default C) can be used to antagonize enemies on purpose if you’re feeling bold, or to draw enemies to your position as Last Man Standing, rather than risk exposing yourself to enemy fire. When you are Last Man Standing, enemies will often use Intimidate on you, giving themselves away instead.

Pick an arc (preferably on the objective) and stick with it, ensuring all the possible entrances to the objective are being watched. Don’t bunch up around other players to avoid being multi-killed by errant grenades. Spread out and stay in place so that when enemies enter, you are less likely to be shot in the crossfire.

Don’t stand in doorways; just like fire exits, you want your escape route unblocked. Use Lean (default Q for left, E for right) while crouching off to the side. Often running into/out of a doorway and sharply off to one side is the only way to escape a suicide bomber or other explosion such as grenades. Try not to move around too much while indoors during waves to avoid getting lased by other players or blocking someone else’s shot. Lean is your friend.

Contrary to what some players may say, smoke and stun grenades do effect the AI. The AI isn’t dumb; if they see you running into the smoke, they know you’re in it and will spec fire where they think you are. This is why the AI always throws or deploys smoke before running through it to attack you. Stun grenades can often be valuable to engage large masses of enemies standing inside the objective when you have nothing else available. At the very least, smoke grenades can be used to obscure your own position when outnumbered. More than once, I’ve been Last Man Standing and used a smoke grenade combined with the gas mask to successfully clear the objective. When in smoke, going prone will improve your visibility in some cases.

Learn to pick the “best” spots of an objective. The ideal position to defend is one where all or most of the potential entry points are visible to you without effort, and where you are defending the narrowest arc possible. Ideally you are not immediately visible from any doors or windows. This gives you time to react to enemies coming in since you have the element of surprise. Preferably you are crouched behind an obstacle, the best ones being those of the height where when crouched, if you go into ADS mode it puts you just over the edge, enough to take aim and expose as little of yourself as possible. Worst case scenario, just go prone on the floor. Being prone or crouched can also help avoid friendly fire. Leaning can also help save your life by exposing less of you to enemy fire; if you get lit up, just release the lean button to snap out of danger.

A big pet peeve of mine (and most skilled players) is people being not on or at least near the objective. You should never be more than a few feet from the capture area. Most objectives have some kind of defensible position to ensure you don’t just get wasted. If you hear the distinctive music that begins playing when you’re Last Man Standing, be prepared to muscle onto the point and defend it.

Misc

When resupplying at the munitions box, the fastest method I know is simply to press M and then immediately press F1 (if you just want a kit refresh without changing anything).

When using non-magazine-fed weapons (i.e. Mosin, shotgun, MR 73) you can receive an additional full load of ammo from the ammunition box on top of what you are spawned with. The two primary shotguns can be loaded with 1 additional shell on top of the 7 they spawn loaded with, and you can get an additional shell from the box for the maximum capacity possible.

Keep your head on a swivel and don’t get tunnel vision watching just your one arc. Watch the scoreboard (Tab) to see how many of you are left and react accordingly, usually by hunkering down in the objective. Don’t count on your back always being covered (especially as Gunner), since someone can easily get taken out and you might find the room behind you full of enemies…or suicide bombers. Looking out for teammates means they can potentially save your skin later.

If you can afford it, a Suppressor is a good investment. Since the AI cues in on sound, this is important. Not only will it mask missed shots, the AI will have a much more difficult time tracking you down as gunshots are what they mostly pick up on. As a Marksman a Suppressor is recommended, since the AI seems to have a particular hatred of the Marksman and Gunner classes, and the less they know about where you are, the better. If you linger in a position as one of those classes for long enough, you can expect the AI to suddenly shift a disproportionate amount of aggro to you. It’s not uncommon for them to begin bombing you or throwing grenades/shooting RPGs at you.

-Except at extreme close range, it is extremely dangerous to engage suicide bombers. When you hear the cell ringtone, you have essentially one second to react. More often than not, I simply try to dodge the explosion, by running through a door and off to one side or by hitting prone (default Z) and hoping the explosion passes over. This has the benefit of also taking out any of their team that happens to be nearby. Be aware though, suicide bombers will sometimes trigger the explosive BEFORE running into the objective, and you will have no chance to do anything.

The AI absolutely LOVES grenades. Smoke, frags, molotovs, anything. They will throw them constantly. There is a particular wave called “Grenadier Wave” where they quite literally do nothing but throw grenades. Grenades (especially frags) make a distinctive tink sound when they hit a surface; if you hear it, you’re in lethal range. Often I do the same that I do for suicide bombers, just hit prone and hope it misses you. Hopefully it will clear the enemies unfortunate to be close by. Sometimes it might just be smoke, so I typically hit the deck, wait two seconds for a detonation, and then carry on. Enemies can be crafty with grenades; I once played a game where the entire 8-man team was holed up in the objective, watching the single door that led to us. One of the AI enemies managed to throw a frag grenade through a tiny 1 x 1 foot window behind and above us, killing the entire team. The AI had caught onto where we were, and seeing the rest get mown down, changed tactics. Watch out.

W.I.P.

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