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How to improve one's skills dramatically?

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    How to improve one's skills dramatically?

    Hi. I have been playing Unreal games since 1998. It's easily my favorite game series, and the one I've spent the most hours in.
    I love UT for many reasons but what I particularly find attractive about it is how much of a high-skill game it is. For me, it's really one these games that lends itself well to competitive\pro gaming.

    It demands many things on your part:
    - Lightning speed reflexes
    - High precision aim
    - To able to make quick decisions
    - Being able to come up with strategies on the fly to outsmart your opponents
    - Staying aware of your environment at all time
    - Lots of focus and attention
    - etc.

    I'm certainly not a bad player but I'm still a long way behind the level I would like to reach. Besides, I seem to have hit a plateau in regards to my skills and it's been that way for several years already. For instance, bots on the Inhuman setting are my limit. I have never been able to win a deathmatch against Godlike bots and that's especially true if Tamerlane, Visse or Loque are in it! Online, I have many times encountered players that are several orders of magnitude more skilled. Their abilities are overwhelming... it's almost as if they move and strafe faster the game actually allows for.

    What is it that those players do to get to that point? Do they have like a routine or exercises allowing them to improve every single aspect of their play? I don't mind never being as good as they are, that's not the point here. I just wish to feel that I'm constantly improving so that I have that extra motivation to keep playing.

    Thanks for your suggestions!
    Last edited by Shletten; 12-07-2015, 02:49 PM. Reason: syntax

    If you are using bots to judge your skill, you really arent going to get any better playing them. If you want to get better, get online and get your *** beat daily by the better players, eventually you will get better.


      Your ability to outsmart your opponents should be your most valuable skills, but it is limited by your physical skills (aiming, dodging, etc.) and techniques (how to move through the map faster, how to move in the environment to optimize your aiming and field of view, etc.). Bots are different, as you are most likely to exploit their AI rather than outsmarting them.

      But what I would recommend most is simply to post some video footage and let better players coach you. We've seen some really good players on the forums, I'm sure they can help.


        I feel i am at my limit also.
        But when i am watching my own replays. Omg i suck more than i realize. But very good players dont hit everytime also. But their mostly a litle faster and making better decisions on critical times. And indeed. That way they move better trough maps. That reqoirs practice.... sometimes offline.
        Playing different games, like dm ctf and insta will also help.
        I almost never play bots.
        I play mostly for fun but i want to improve my aim rather than winning in dm.
        MSI Z170A GAMING M5 | i7-6700k 4GHz | 4x4GB DDR4 - 2666MHz | MSI GTX 970 4GB | ASUS IPS 120Hz 1440P | Audioengine D1 + Sennheiser HD650 | WIN 10 x64


          I played bots to get used to kbm.

          That being said, you get better by playing better players.

          Duel helps a lot especially if you are already accustomed to playing UT.
          || MSI X99A Raider || Core i7-5820k @ 3.8GHz || DDR4 4GB x 4 Crucial @ 2400MHz || ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 || 2xSSD + 1xHDD || Corsair RM850 Power Supply ‑ 80 PLUS Gold ‑ 850W || ASUS VG248QE ‑ 24in 144Hz || Mouse: Logitech 502 || Keyboard (Keypad): Logitech G13 || Windows 10 Pro 64bit || Phanteks Enthoo Pro Full Tower || Sound Blaster Z PCIe Gaming Sound Card ||


            I just finished writing a section on this for my PUG Guide (see signature below). While the information is aimed at folks new to PUGing, it is pretty universal for learning UT4 as well. I can personally testify that my skills have improved dramatically since I started PUGing. Getting your butt kicked by the best of the best on a regular basis is a really great way to rise above your current skill ceiling. Above all else, forget playing against bots. If you want to get better at fighting other people, you must practice against real people. They play 110% different than bots.

            I also agree that playing in numerous game modes, particularly DM/CTF/InstaGib, is a great way to ensure you have a well rounded skill set. Each game type presents a completely different set of challenges and focus on certain skills more than the other types. For instance, InstaGib helps you work on your aim, CTF on tactics and strategy, and DM on surviving carnage and making snap judgements. Now the snippet from my guide:

            Its Hard Out There! How Can I Improve My UT4 and PUG Skills?
            Lots and lots of practice. Keep in mind that like most things in life, you'll get out of this process what you personally invest. There is something called the 10,000 hour rule. Essentially with zero natural talent or skill, any person can master any one thing with about 10,000 hours of practice. For more information check out this helpful infographic. When it comes to the art of practicing and self improvement, the advice within that image simply cannot be beaten.

            There are a lot of different aspects to PUGing that contribute to the overall difficulty of playing competitively. Things like learning a new vocabulary, playing productively on a team, effectively communicating, and adapting to the differences between PUGs and Publics, just to name a few. Watching how players move, react, and travel across the map in different situations can be extremely educational.

            Through observation you can examine the more experienced players, identify what makes them unique or successful, emulate what you deem great about their behaviors, and practice it until those various traits become your own. Simply listening to a team who is "in the zone" can help you build exceptional communication skills. Quite a few people record or stream their PUG sessions for others to enjoy. If you think you might find this useful or would like to see a larger variety of PUGs than the three videos offered above, this list is for you. Names are organized by the amount of UT4 PUG content available, greatest to least.
            1. cafe
            2. m3ss
            3. ne0
            4. cookie
            5. nuke
            6. fallacy
            8. steel

            Another important factor in your success as a player is a well rounded understanding of UT4. You need to know the ins and outs of each weapon. Understand the different types of movement and how to string them together effectively. Have you set all of your key binds and ensured, through testing, that their placement doesn't hinder you in any conceivable way during a match? What about extensive testing to find your ideal mouse sensitivity, the one set via the in game settings menu?

            Without a solid understanding of the foundational elements that make up UT4, you will never be at the top of your game. Zaccubus has put together a series of video guides to educate new players and introduce them to many of the finer points of playing Unreal Tournament. Everything you need to know to understand the core mechanics of this game is covered here. While it may take a little while to digest it all, every person who wishes to maximize their potential would be a fool to pass this treasure trove up. Dig in, dig deep, and never look back!
            Last edited by Mulsiphix; 12-07-2015, 01:14 AM. Reason: added a link to Zaccubus' YouTube page (the link is his name)
            Mulsiphix's Guide To PUGing In UT4
            What is the difference between a Public server and a PUG? PUG stands for Pick Up Game. A more organized way of playing, teams are selected by Captains and voice communication is used to achieve better team coordination. These clan-style matches involve the same regulars, week after week. The community aspect, of PUGing with friends, really adds to the fun factor of a match. Want to know more or get your friends involved in PUGing? Check out my guide.


              yea i also feel like i've been hitting a plateau lately. i've been playing since UT99 but i've never felt like an accomplished player really. i usually don't come in 1st 2nd or 3rd place in any deathmatch. i'd love to improve, and i do play every day (lately), and anyone who would like to practice together should add me. my IGN is Rif***e

              i was really glad to see this thread. i was about to post the exact same thing.

              EDIT: ok it just bleeped out my name... my name is R,i,f,f,a,g,e without the commas.


                Studying better players or playing against them is highly advised. Replay system is awesome, since in Replay UI has powerup countdown timers and X-Ray to help out viewer to understand the situation better at any given time.

                When your goal is improving your play at many different areas, many coaches would recommend focusing improving on one task at a time. Your mentality should be different practice games compared to competition games.
                • In practice games, more emphasis is on completing goals or tasks that you have set for yourself to work on. Winning is just a secondary objective. This might help you cope with losses bit better.
                • In competition games, winning is the only objective. Whatever it takes to win, you should take advantage over, of course taking into account tournament rules and general sportmanship etiquette.

                For example, after extended breaks from UT, I find myself "rusty" in different areas such as:
                • Aiming

                Against human players, you get more realistic view of where you are at. It's easy to hit ~100% sniper on bots since their movement patterns are very predictable. This is very different with human players as you need to learn to read and adapt to opponents' movement. Practice makes perfect and let the muscle memory do the work.
                • Powerup timing

                Powerup timing is easier to first learn the concept vs. bots and then try vs humans. It's harder to remember the more difficult opponents you play against as they will time those powerups accurately and force you to think of your positioning and planning whether to use powerup as a bait or go for it straight away.
                • Smooth movement

                Smooth movement is better first to learn without opponents, learn to combine dodges with wall-dodges and wallruns and slides. Then try vs bots/humans how your momement works in real scenarios and see what kind of adaptations you need to do (careless dodging can make you vulnerable during fights).
                • Map knowledge

                Map knowledge is something you learn by playing and also learn by watching other players. Positioning and advanced movement options might be easier or faster to find when watching a skilled player to play.

                As one of my teachers said long time ago:
                By playing better opponents, you see faults in your play and you learn what not to do. You get to play a lot on out of control position and learn how to survive in fights and how to get back control from opponent.
                By playing worse opponents, you can try out different tactics and learn more difficult-to-execute moves. You get to learn to play in control position in duels/TDM and see what you need to do in different scenarios and how you can lose control.
                UT ingame alias: nukkuj
                Youtube Twitch Twitter


                  The problem with playing bots is they're completely, utterly predictable. Given the same situation they'll do the exact same thing every time. What works best to beat Godlike bots is taking advantage of that predictability. Catch them on that route they *always take and kill them with a prediction shot before they can shoot at you.

                  Then you try it on real players who don't behave the same way and you get owned.


                    It depends what you want to get better at. General aim for gametypes like tdm an ffa can be trained simply by playing loads of pub matches online. Ctf and other team games will require you to play pugs etc and get your communication up to scratch. Duel will probably need you to take a step back and take the game slowly and think about every situation very carefully while ignoring things like reflexes and aim.


                      Playing is not equal training. Don't listen to "play more and you'll get better". You have to practice if you want to improve skill. Improve map knowledge, improve movement on those maps, investigate crazy routes, dodges, jumps, learn to time powerups as everyone is saying, do as much shock combos while moving as possible Watch videos at youtube, you will see some crazy gameplay, try it on your own, you don't need an opponent. Run through map, learn to be fast, agile. That's not playing. That's practicing.
                      In my opinion, the best and fastest way of learning is to find skilled mentor who can explain you how is he owning you ingame. What you do wrong, etc. Mentor doesn't even need to be high skilled, he can just be better from you to learn something from him. And final from me, never give up, never surrender
                      Duel rankings contributor | running Unreal Tournament @ ESL


                        My routine :
                        0- never play bot, NEVER
                        1- identify your weakness and work on it (you can watch your replays for that)
                        2- play a lot with guys whose skill is close to yours and sometimes with much skilled players (more if you can accept being bashed) and in different mod (each mod focus on different skills and it avoids boredom)
                        3- go back to step 1

                        Imo, weakness that have main impacts ordered by priority:
                        - aim : long distance off course but short distance as well (flak and rocket need to be mastered in ut4)
                        - movement: backward dodge, wall jump
                        - choice of weapon
                        - tracking aim : link / mini
                        - item timing
                        - decision making

                        Good luck.
                        Cunni, 37 years old, 16 years of UT, 90% CTF, 10% Duel
                        Discord PUG Community


                          I think the first thing is to get your mouse sensitivity sorted. This takes a long time and I'm still trying to get a good level for me... but I think it needs to be as low as it can be, but where you can snap round accurately at 180 degrees when you hear or get attacked by someone from behind. You can try tracking (Keep your mouse on them) friendly players as they run around near you (since they're less predictable than bots, but won't be attacking you). Try to get a balance so that all weapons work well - you probably can't go as low as an instagib player in NW. I've been trickling down from about 5cm for 360 to about 10cm for a 360, but this is still very high sensitivity compared to many others.

                          Keep playing and reducing/increasing until you find something that seems to work well and try to stick with it longer before tweaking it again.

                          I do find that bots can be good for one thing - weapon arenas (mutator). Playing 3 * 10 minute rocket, shock, flak, stinger, sniper areas can help you boost that weapon. It's all about frags here so get stuck in and try to aim as well as you can. You really need to use Masterful bots at a minimum, or ideally Inhuman to get the balance of movement and yet not ridiculous aim.

                          If you get your aim about right, you can jump from being a "Silver 9" to a "Gold 1" just by timing the items. I've not done it properly myself, but I see others who grab every belt, vial, armour and it boosts their frags and reduces their deaths considerably - armour is a big advantage in UT4. The items are easier to time than in UT99 - it's generally 30 seconds, 60 seconds or 90 seconds.

                          The next thing is to try to think about predictability. For example, if an attacker comes in to steal a flag and they're going straight to the flag... you can probably just shoot the flag. That's an easy kill, but then think of it the other way - what if YOU are the attacker... don't just go straight for the flag unless the opportunity is there. Try to learn the predictable things and then avoid doing them unless everything looks safe. Map knowledge helps a lot with this (and timing).

                          As Cafe said, getting a good setup helps - a fast computer, quality mouse and monitor and hope that you can get a good internet connection!

                          Then you just need to play against good players. After someone impresses you, go and watch the replay through their eyes - you'll pick up the things that they're doing and also see how easy/hard you were to kill and how to improve.

                          It does take a lot of time, but we're in pre-alpha... by the time the game is released you could be a master!
                          Current Main Issues: Tri-Rox (Remove), Scoreboards lack player stats,Team Balance.

                          My Pre-Alpha Highlights 2016 to early 2017 |


                            Awesome guys! I'm thankful for all your replies! Your suggestions make a lot of sense so I'm evidently gonna do my best to put them into practice. Moreoever, I believe that this thread will be very useful not just for me, but for anyone who wishes to get better at the game. So it's great seeing how much it picked up!
                            Last edited by Shletten; 12-07-2015, 10:32 PM.


                              is anyone out there willing to do some coaching to some lesser players (like me)? spectate a game or watch a replay and offer some input?