Category Archives: Guides

PLAYERUNKNOWN’s Battlegrounds Guide

I’ve played a lot of PUBG now, 129 hours to be exact. That’s two hours more than the amount of time it took someone to saw their arm off because they were stuck between two rocks, so you know I’ve had a lot of time to think about the game.

One of the things that can be frustrating is introducing someone new to the game. It’s a squad game, so of course it’s more fun when more of your friends play, but it’s also an Early Access game with no tutorial, no skill-based matchmaking, and a pretty horrendous learning curve for people that haven’t played this kind of game before (or people that are really used to the other games in the genre). With that in mind, this is my effort to help new players find their feet, and hopefully teach more experienced players a thing or two I’ve learnt along the way.

Part 1: The Lobby
Part 2: The Jump
Part 3: The Drop
Part 4: The Looting
Part 5: Early Combat
Part 6: Getting into the Zone
Part 7: The Final Twenty

Part 1: The Lobby

The lobby is absolute chaos, but it’s also the closest thing to a practice that you’re going to get. If you’re quick you can grab any of the guns off the table (or there are snipers in the towers and more guns in the bunker/buildings) and mess around with them for a minute or so. This time is invaluable as the guns all have their own strange quirks. Ever notice the SCAR is fine with single shots but jumps around all over the place if you move at all while shooting? Or that the M16 has burst fire but no auto, while the M4 has full auto? Or that the M24 doesn’t have any iron sights at all? All of these things are a bad thing to discover in a firefight so you can take your time to get a feel for the guns. Practise shooting people at different ranges, take pot shots at the people inevitably standing on the wing at the top of the crashed plane – you can’t hurt them but you’ll see if you hit them from the blood splatter. Until you get to grips with the game, practising in this area is going to be a huge help.

Part 2: The Jump

Once the plane loads in, you’ll have a rough idea of the options open to you. Broadly speaking you can get to anywhere within a quarter of the maps length/width away from the plane’s route. Of course there’s a lot of randomness to deal with, you never know where the other players will jump, but you can make some educated choices. If the plane flies directly over the military base, the tunnels, or a town, it will be busy. If the plane misses all of those, the next closest one out of them will be busy.

A busy landing spot isn’t necessarily a bad idea, sometimes if you’re in the mood for a quick game you can get a few kills if you’re lucky with loot, and occasionally you’ll luck out and end up with a huge looting area all to yourself. It’s important to communicate with your team in duo or squad (if you put markers down by opening the map with ‘m’ then right clicking, everyone can see them) and try to keep an eye out for other people when you’re on the way down. Knowing where another team is looting might be the difference between an early death and being able to set the perfect ambush.

Generally if you’re looking to win, you want to find somewhere with at least one large building for each member of your team, and a guaranteed car spawn. The west side of Yasnaya Polyana has four apartment buildings and a garage between them with a guaranteed car spawn. That’s usually a pretty good location to get looted up and then drive to wherever you want to go, and if you see too many players heading there, you can always head to another part of the city.

Part 3: The Drop

As I said, you can travel about a quarter of the map from the plane’s route on your drop. To do that, aim as high as you can (hold alt to still look down) until your parachute opens, once it does you can keep rocking backwards and forwards pressing ‘W’ to keep your forward momentum going. As soon as the parachute is open, check all around you by holding alt to see what company you’ve got. Information is important!

If you’re landing in a town, generally you should aim for rooftops with loot spawns. If you find a decent gun you can often shoot people who are landing around you, if you don’t you still have options of heading into the building or jumping off and going somewhere else. Fall damage in this game is surprisingly lenient, so you can jump off even the apartment buildings without taking enough damage to kill you.

Part 4: The Looting

As soon as you land, you need to find a gun to defend yourself. Generally this will mean grabbing a shotgun or SMG. All the shotguns and SMGs can be devastating at close range (where most of the fights will be in the first five minutes) and they’re fairly common all over the map.  Assault rifles are also useful (the AKM in particular does a lot of damage in auto) but sniper rifles and pistols are only worth it as a last resort.

The 1911 pistol isn’t too bad but suffers from a small clip and a lack of accuracy over any kind of distance. The p92 and revolver are a nightmare to use. The p92 is weak, inaccurate, and has a fairly small clips while the revolves just takes forever to reload. If someone is jumping around you’re going to have a hard time doing any kind of damage.

Once you have a gun (seriously don’t worry about anything until you have something to defend yourself with) you need to get the essentials. Your priority list should be something like Gun>Backpack>Armour>Health>Spare Ammo>Attachments>Frying Pan>throwables.

The backpack is self-explanatory, but the armour is extremely important as it gives you an extra chance in a firefight. The reason health and spare ammo are so far down is because it’s rare that you’ll actually get to use them if you don’t have the other things. Don’t worry about getting too many bandages, they heal only a tiny amount and take quite a while to apply. Instead you should be searching for Medkits (full health) First Aid Kits,  painkillers, and energy drinks.

Spare ammo is useful but all too often I’ve got a backpack with 200 bullets in that I’m never going to use because firefights are often so quick. Once you’ve got three or so magazine’s worth, you’ll be fine for the rest of the game. Remember if you kill people you’re often able to take their ammo anyway. In terms of attachments the big ones are the Ext. Quickdraw mags, scopes, and suppressors. Suppressors enable you to shoot long range without giving your position away, which is invaluable in the late game.

The Frying Pan is the only melee item worth picking up because you carry it on your back and its model is bulletproof. This means if someone tries to shoot you in the butt, you’ll be fine and it happens far more than you’d expect.

The throwables are less important because they’re currently extremely reliable. Of course in certain situations a well-placed grenade or effective smokescreen might save you, but it’s rare that you’ll ever find these hard to get. They’re all over the place and will just be picked up as you loot everything else.

Part 5: Early Combat

Whilst your looting, you’ll often hear someone else running around near you. In PUBG, combat is all about getting the drop on people. If you hear footsteps, try to make sure you’re in cover (avoid windows and open spaces) and then stay as still as possible while looking around. Sound is incredibly important in this game, and running around is going to give you away, even outside in fields. Work out where they are, then wait until you have a decent shot. Say someone walks past a window and have time for a single shot, if you take it you’re only going to (at best) damage them slightly, but you’ve now given away your position and let them know you’ve seen them, this gives them the advantage. If you see someone at a window, set up so you can look at the door and shoot them once they leave. If you see someone hiding behind a tree, make sure you line up a decent headshot before you take that shot.

Of course if you’re playing with a group, everything changes. Communication is key, and in a hectic firefight effective communication is rare, but essential. Call out directions using the compass (numbers are fine) and try to give information about distance straight away. Saying ‘there’s a guy over there’ doesn’t help anyone. Saying ’15, 100m away, two guys’ gives your team nearly everything they need.

If you’re separated from your group, remember the compass directions might not be the same for them, so try to use landmarks like ‘green roof’ ‘left rock’, etc. As you play with a group you’ll find your own names for things and get better and better at letting people know what’s happening. Remember to let people know if you’re going to shoot, or if you don’t want them to. Remember if someone calls for help, you should be dropping everything to get to them. A dead team member means you’re now outgunned in any fights against full teams, it’s always worth risking everything to save people. It also makes the game a lot more fun.

As you’re shooting, remember this game isn’t Call of Duty. You need to account for flight time, bullet drop, and their movement. If someone is running right to left 100m away you can line the crosshairs up with their head and aim a cm or so to their left to hit them. If they’re 400m away you might need to aim a few cm above and to their left, long shots are difficult.

If your opponents is in cover, consider your options. Can you get a throwable to them? Do you have a teammate who can flank them if you give them the information? Are they hiding behind a car? If they are just shoot the car with full auto, it’ll explode in no time and kill them outright.

As you drop enemies in group modes, remember if they get knocked down they still have a teammate up. Only when the last one dies immediately do you know that team is done for. Using a downed enemy as bait is particularly effective, so don’t always be too quick to try and claim your kills. Definitely don’t loot anyone until you’re complete sure everyone nearby is dead.

If you’re looking for a fight, remember all the doors in this game spawn closed. So you should be looking for building complexes where some doors are open but others aren’t (implying that people are still looting) or cars that have their brake lights on (cars always spawn with their lights off but you can only turn them off again by pushing forwards a little after you stop, which most people don’t bother doing). Always make sure you have the advantage before going into fight, especially if you’re with a team and a few extra seconds would give them time to set up and cover you.

Part 6: Getting into the Zone

As you play you’ll notice a white circle on the map and a countdown. Once that countdown reaches zero a blue circle will start encroaching from the edge of the map until it reaches the white circle. The first zone will take ages to come in and you can comfortably escape it driving in any vehicle. It will do very little damage if you are in the blue zone and you can last for a very long time, so don’t panic too much and run out into the open while you’re trying to get to safety.

Towards the end of the game, the zone gets more and more dangerous. By the fourth circle being in the zone at all will drop your health quickly, and once it reaches the white circle, the damage is doubled which can down someone from full health in a few seconds.

Always be aware of where the zone is and make sure you have a plan to get to it, staying on the edge of the zone is a good idea as it means no-one will be behind you, but be aware the zone is random and could spawn on the other side of the circle from you, forcing you to move just when you don’t want to.

While you’re moving, you always need to be thinking about how visible you are. Standing on top of a hill is a great way for people to see your silhouette against the sky, so never stand on top of things. If you think people might be looking at your area, try to move as little as possible, movement is a dead giveaway.

If you’re in a team, consider where they are too. Can you see their blind spots? Can you get to them if they need help? Don’t crowd into the same cover spot behind a tree or room in a building, it makes it much easier for enemies to spot you, and if they shoot at your friend and miss, they’re possibly going to hit you!

Part 7: The Final Twenty

So you’ve got this far, you’re looted, you’re in the final zones, and you’ve hopefully got a few kills under your belt. How do you actually win?

Concealment.

As the numbers tick down and everyone gets closer together, you’ve got to stay hidden. Hide behind trees if you want, but remember you’ll always be exposed to people behind you. Long grass is excellent to go prone in, but it means you’ll be unable to move quickly or shoot anyone easily. Buildings can help you to feel safe but once there’s only a few buildings in a zone, everyone will be watching the windows and doors.

Each zone is different but you need to make a decision about where you can be to still move as the zone constricts, without letting people know where you are.

The most important thing is not to give yourself away by shooting unnecessarily. If you have a suppressor, feel free to pick off the players you can see, but remember players within 20ft will be able to find you easily. If you have someone discover you, put them down quickly, but other than that you really need to avoid firing your gun because it lets every other player know exactly where you are. In an ideal world you want to wait until the other players kill each other and it’s down to you and one other. If they’ve been shooting, you now have the advantage in that you know where they are, but they can’t find you.

Now you need to get yourself into a good position, make sure your energy bar is full (down those painkillers and energy drinks), and strike as hard and fast as possible.

Hopefully you’ll be home in time for some chicken dinner.

If you have any more tips and tricks please let us know in the comments and we’ll add them to this guide!

 

Don't forget to follow us on Facebook and on Twitter

Five Tips for starting out in No Man’s Sky

So we’ve been around the galaxy and back, all the way to the centre! So we know a few things about what’s going on in No Man’s Sky. That being said, a lot changed in patch v1.03 so in this collection of tips and tricks we’re going to stick with what we know that might help you out in No Man’s Sky.

1. Only take what you need

No Man’s Sky is going to be a nightmare for the kleptomaniac RPG players that love to pick up everything they see just in case they need it later (only to never use it in case they need it even later). Although the inventory upgrades are great, so you can now hold much more in each slot of your inventory, there’s so many different things you’ll pick up, it’s not practical to keep grabbing everything. It’s always handy to have a stack of plutonium, heredium, carbon, and iron, but anything else should only be considered if you’re saving up to make something right now, or if you think it can fetch a pretty penny. Things like gold are always valuable, and seemingly not that rare, so it might be worth grabbing a stack of that. To help you find things, plutonium is found as big bright red crystals poking out of the ground, and is very common, but important because it helps lets you recharge your thrusters to take off and your life support, so it’s handy to have a stash just in case you land on some desolate wasteland, and keep it topped up. Heredium is harder to find, and appears as big blackish blue square pillars on the landscape, but is used to make loads of different things. Early on you need a tonne of it, and even later you need it to build warp cells. Carbon and iron are everywhere, with carbon making up all the lifeforms and iron making up most of the rocks, but it’s important to take some with you when you head back into space in case someone on a space station needs it. It’s surprisingly hard to find rocks and plant matter on a space station! Thamium9 is super important too, powering your pulse engines, but it’s in nearly every asteroid, and loads of red plants on the surface, so it’s always easy to find more if you ever run out.

2. Line up your upgrades

All of your upgrades in your exo-suit, ship and multi-tool belong to a certain type. If you have upgrades of a similar type (so beam next to beam, warp drive, next to warp drive upgrade) they get a not-insignificant boost to their power. This is useful when you’re looking at new multitools and ships, as you not only want to the most slots possible, but you also want to make sure the existing immovable features like hyperdrives are in good places where you can connect other things to them. Plan ahead for your exo-suit, it’s a good idea to have a column dedicated to life support, one for shields, one for jetpack, and so on.

3. Focus on multi-tool upgrades first

There’s no point getting ship upgrades early because you’ll change your ship fairly quickly and you can’t swap over upgrades to a new ship. Your exo-suit is very limited in capacity at the very start so you really want to save that space for minerals until you’ve got a few more slots. You’re multi-tool on the other hand is a great thing to upgrade. Get the scanners as quickly as you can so you can find things, then also be sure to get some weapon upgrades and grenades. Grenades can often end a fight with wildlife in a single shot and they also let you dig out anything that might be buried by the terrain. The upgrades are also super cheap!

4. Get to an Atlas station quickly

While it’s tempting to dawdle on all the amazing planets you see, and that’s a big part of the game, making a beeline to the first Atlas station should be a priority. Once you’ve visited one then you will be find a space anomaly in the next solar system and there you will get an Atlas pass recipe. When you get your Atlas pass you can enter a lot of locked doors and open locked containers, making much more of all of your exploring. You should be able to get there in about five jumps from the start, so it takes a bit of scavenging first, but after that jumping will become a breeze and the galaxy really opens up to you. Plus it’s one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a videogame.

5. Don’t be afraid to fight the sentinels

When the sentinels are breathing down your neck, it’s tempting to panic, but they’re surprisingly respectful if you hold your ground. Your laser is better than theirs so if there’s only one or two, take them out and it might just deactivate the alert and let you off scot-free. If you try to get in your ship and fly off to space sentinel ships will spawn around you and chase you down, and they’re a slightly bigger headache than their planetary brethren. If you really need to go on the run while you’re on a planet, get into a building. They won’t follow you and often it’ll get rid of the alert too. Don’t try to jump in a cave as you’ll often find yourself trapped in a dark room with sentinels and possibly angry wildlife all ripping you to shreds. Then when you die you’ll have to jump back into that same cave to get your stuff. Good luck with that.

Don't forget to follow us on Facebook and on Twitter

H1Z1 Battle Royale Tips

The Battle Royale mode in H1Z1 is a compression of what a real life zombie survival situation might be like. Take a bunch of people, give them something to fight for (their life), limit their resources (the space to live in), give them tools to fight each other, choices are made hard and fast. Rounds can only last a few minutes or over 30. Here’s a few tips to get the most out of it. They probably focus more on defensive techniques over offensive ones so don’t consider these the only path success.
h1z1
1.       Get a headset with a mic and use it
So have a headset and use it. Whether to talk to a teammate (see below) or taunt someone the mic is worth it. What the headset also helps bring is positional audio, so if you hear someone speak, you will know what direction they are coming from.
2.       Bring a friend or more.
In Battle Royale you can play solo, in a 2 man team or 5 man team. If you have a friend (you can trust) why not convince them to join you, or more of them if you can. Sure if you want the glory you can run solo, it might be a tenser experience but starting out its more fun and more reliable to have more eyes to spot things and more brains (you hope) to plan your next move.
EwxrWkwDjQuu.840x0.Vdef9Kkm
3.       Watch where everyone is dropping in and don’t go there.
When you start the round you will be parachuting in, with any team-mates in tow. Resist the temptation at the beginning to crowd in to where everyone else might be dropping in. Pick a spot that looks a little less popular and go there. Buildings are better as they are typically more likely to have stuff. Getting the stuff is important, but you don’t necessarily want to start out the round with a fist fight. Unless of course you have complete confidence in any lag being in your favour.
4.       Get to know the gear.
It will take a while to figure out what your preferred weapons are, and sometimes you may not have a choice, but it’s worth doing if you can. Knowing if you prefer a .44 to a 9mm is worth it because it will inform how you choose to start a fight (or finish one)
5.       Don’t move for the gas until you need to.
Sticking to the edge of the gas wave might be a bit risky, but you should always have enough time if you need to move. Being in the center of the radius may mean you have to travel less distance, but more often than not using the whole space available will keep you alive for longer. Chances are you’ll encounter less people, and people are what will get you killed.
6.       Use to cover lines when moving
An obvious thing to say, but when you need to move from point to point use a tree line, wall or something to gain some respite from the open ground. Spotting something moving through open ground is a whole lot easier than in the forest so don’t give others that advantage.
oHV15kkrGlDC.840x0.Vdef9Kkm
7.       If you are picking the battle, do it to your advantage.
You might spot someone in the distance and have your pistol ready to aim, but think before you fire. Can you expect to win in the encounter, are you up against one person? Or two? Do they have better weapons than you? Visibly better gear? Better cover to use? Before you pull the trigger try to assess whether you are in a stronger position or not. The game is about surviving to the end and that doesn’t mean you have to shoot on sight, or kill everyone, all you need to do is be the last one standing.

Don't forget to follow us on Facebook and on Twitter

Replacing the Thermal Paste on an AMD Graphics Card

With our R9 290 not in warranty and starting to misbehave (fluctuating clock speeds and constantly hitting 95 degrees celsius as well as black screen crashes if we had two monitors plugged in), we decided to take it upon ourselves to replace the thermal paste. At first this sounded absolutely terrifying but it turned out to be much easier than we expected. So here’s a brief guide on how to do it. Please realise that this will void your warranty. If you’re still in warranty just send it back to the retailer.

0_0_640_0_70_-Features-Thermal Paste System Builder

Why would you do this?

Thermal paste is the material that is sticking the processor of your GPU to the heatsink of whatever is cooling it. If you have a normal card this will usually be either a series of heatpipes, or possible a set of metal fins behind some fans. The thermal compound is designed to draw as much heat as possible away from the processor. It’s much more efficient at doing this than air is, so the idea is that it creates a complete seal between the processor and the heatsink, without any air bubbles at all. If your compound was put on badly (as ours was) or has somehow decayed, it might be worth putting more on. If your card is overheating but the fans are working fine, this is almost certainly why.

What do you need?

  • Your GPU (ours is a Powercolor PCS+ R9 290 4GB)
  • A set of small screwdrivers
  • Thermal Paste (lots of good ones out there, we used some from Coolermaster than came with a fan we bought for the CPU, but this is probably the best. It’s crazy cheap.
  • isopropyl alcohol 
  • Microfibre cloth
  • A clean flat surface

35-100-007-TS

How to do it

tim2

  1. Disconnect your GPU from your PC and take it out. Usually you will have to turn the power off to the pc, take out any connections, remove the power cables that lead straight to the GPU, then unscrew the screws on the bracket at the back of the PC. now the only thing holding it in should be the PCI slot itself. You can press the little lever on the right hand side and the whole thing should slide out easily. Don’t force it, or you could damage either your motherboard or the GPU.
  2. Place your GPU on the flat surface and work out how the heatsink is attached to the board. The heatsink will have the fans attached to it. In the case of our Powercolor R9 290, it was simply 4 screws on the backplate in a square around the processor. You might also have to disconnect a little  power cable that will tie the fans to the board, that will just slide out of its socket, but be careful as it’s quite delicate.
  3. To remove the screws, try to loosen them all a bit at a time, don’t take one out then go on to the next. Normally I go diagonally so do one corner, then the corner opposite, then do the same again for the other two. This means there won’t be loads of pressure on one part of the board which could potentially crack something.
  4. Once you have all the screws out, put them somewhere safe and gently lift the heatsink off. Depending on the kind of thermal paste used before, it might just fall off or it might need pulling or twisting a tiny bit. Be careful and make sure you don’t touch the surface of the heatsink or the processor. These are the things that should be covered in gross old thermal paste.
  5. Now put a little isopropyl on the microfibre cloth and gently rub away all of the thermal paste that was left on there. If any has leaked to less sensitive parts, feel free to use a cotton swab or even a toothpick to make sure you get it all.
  6. Now both the heatsink and the processor should be shiny and completely gunk free. With your thermal paste, drop a very small amount (about the size of a grain of cooked rice) right in the middle of the processor. I know it doesn’t look like enough and it’ll seem like when you put it down it won’t be covered, but the idea is that you want an incredibly thin film and if you spread it yourself you’ll make little bubbles of air that will ruin it. Just trust me!
  7. Now you need to make sure you can link up the heatsink with the processor smoothly in one go without wobbling or smearing the paste. We did thisupside down because then we could line up the screw holes easily, but it’ll depend on your GPU. Just make sure you can put them together in a way that won’t let them move at all while you screw it back together – this is probably the trickiest part. If you mess it up just clean the thermal paste off and do it again.
  8. Screw the GPU back together (make sure you reconnect the fans if you did disconnect anything) and then put it back in the machine. You don’t need to wait or anything, when you screwed the heatsink down it will have spread the paste immediately.
  9. Switch your PC on and use something like GPU-Z or MSI Afterburner to monitor the temperatures. Hopefully they should be much lower than before! Ours was working much better after doing this, although it didn’t solve our black screen issue.

Don't forget to follow us on Facebook and on Twitter