So. You’re getting older. Your reaction times are dwindling and you’re finding it hard to keep up with these damn kids in online multiplayer matches. If so, you’re at least a little bit like me. I’m not the oldest gamer in the world, but hurtling towards forty I’ve been finding it hard to keep up in the world of online gaming.
If you’ve been looking for COD tips for older gamers, we’ve put together a selection of our top hints for surviving in multiplayer and warzone. This guide doesn’t aim to be all encompassing, but hopefully it can help you to raise that K/D or (primarily) just enjoy your experience more. While we’re primarily focused on the new Modern Warfare II here, a fair few of these tips will also help along in other FPS and third-person shooter PvP titles like Fortnite, Apex Legends or Rogue Company.
If you’d like to stick together more, you can also find us being bad at video games on Twitch, Facebook, Mastodon, Instagram and (for now) Twitter as well. We’ve also thrown together guides for Elite Dangerous and Jurassic World Evolution. We’d also love to hear your top tips as well. After all, us older gamers have to stick together.
How to Not Entirely Suck at Call of Duty as an Older Gamer
There are a few ways that you can help yourself to improve your CoD game, and generally enjoy yourself more. If you find yourself getting irate during online games, here are our 15 top tips to getting the most out of your CoD experience as an old git.
1 – Slow Down!
Honestly, this is probably our top tip for the title. Stop sprinting! Moving quickly not only means your environment is changing faster than you can keep up with, it makes you more visible and makes it harder to aim. Crouching and walking will allow you to take aim quickly when you see somebody and increase your chances of getting a hit. Older gamers should move in Call of Duty as we do in real life (slowly, and constantly grumbling)
If you can stomach it, I spend most of my time actually aiming down the sights to further improve this. While it does mean you move at an absolute crawl (even with beneficial weapon attachments) I’ve had significantly more kills since I started doing it. While doing this, it’s important to “slice the pie”, which we’ll cover next.
2 – Slice the Pie (aim in the right places)
“Slicing the pie” is a genuine tactical move used by military forces and SWAT teams in real life. It basically boils down to reducing your profile and systematically looking into the area you are moving into. When approaching a doorway or corner, align yourself with the nearside wall. So if you are approaching a door or corner going left, start with your shoulder to the left wall.
As you approach, pick your apex, this will be in our example above the point of the left corner or doorway. We would aim not at the corner itself, but just to the right, giving us enough time to react if somebody were to emerge around it.
As we approach the corner, we move away from the wall, in a circle around the apex of the corner. As we do this, systematically check from right to left as we go around. This practice allows us to “clear” one side of the area, while keeping cover on the other. It doesn’t always work but moving slowly, and aiming down the sights as you slice the pie will greatly raise your chances of spotting an enemy and reacting first.
3 – Use Scorestreaks, Not Killstreaks
We all know and love the killstreak options, and as well as a moral boost a nicely-placed cruise missile can really help your overall score. Switching to scorestreaks can help you to reach these much faster in a couple of ways.
Firstly rather than just kills, your entire score adds up to help you unlock these in-game assists. This includes score gained from completing objectives such as capturing hardpoints or HQs. It also includes shooting down UAVs, confirming kills and really anything which grants you score points.
Secondly, while you are defending points or areas in objective-based modes, your score for killing enemy players is greatly increased. This means that you could (potentially) unlock the largest killstreaks in as little as four or five kills.
To switch to score-based streaks, simply go to edit your killstreak loadout and hit the RT or R2 trigger. This moved me from sometimes unlocking one or two killstreaks a match, to regularly unlocking my highest killstreak multiple times per game.
4 – Play Tier One
The “Hardcore” mode in older COD titles has been replaced by a “Tier One” mode. There are certain aspects of this mode (removal of the HUD and radar) which can be seen to make it much harder. However, one element which initially seems to make it tougher – the massive damage and quick deaths in just a couple of bullets – we have found makes our lives much easier.
In the regular modes, you’ll have to keep aiming at enemy soldiers, pumping bullets into them as they run around. In Tier One mode, it takes just a few bullets to take them down. This means you don’t have to keep up your aim for a long time, and we’ve found it much easier to perform well in this scenario. It does make it easier for the enemy to kill you as well (obviously) but following the other tips in this guide Tier One should help you to improve K/D and raise your game.
5 – Tweak Your Settings
It’s important to not just stick with the out of the box settings. The main one we’re focusing on here is the Field of View (FOV) slider, but it’s important to go through your settings and tailor things to your own preferences.
In a nutshell, the FOV slider dictates how much of your surroundings you can see as you pelt about the various maps. In essence, the closer you are to your screen, the higher this should be. This will allow you to see more and while you’re at a close distance it shouldn’t negatively impact your game by making things smaller.
However, contrary to some “hints and tips” from others, whacking this up to max is not always the best tactic. Especially for us older gamers, it can make enemy players harder to see at a distance and actually end up negatively impacting your gameplay.
If you’re right up close with your screen of choice, the higher the better. But as we move backwards to playing at a distance (on our comfy sofa) the FOV slider should be reduced. It’s usually worth going down to a setting of 90 to 100 or thereabouts, but it’s important to remember that this is different for everybody. Unfortunately it’s not something where we can say “set it to this number” but it is important to play around with it and test it until it feels right for you.
Remember, you can test this in a private match to make things easier on yourself, and give you time to tweak it in game. You don’t have to aim at another player, so picking any target area in a private match will allow you to tweak this (and other settings) effectively and efficiently.
6 – Remember It’s Just a Game
It’s easy to get frustrated and angry when we’re not doing well. Sadly this also has a negative impact and (worst of all!) can lead to forgetting the tips to help us get better, such as slowing down.
It’s just a game, and regardless of your K/D ratio if you’re not having fun, it’s not worth it. If you find yourself getting irate, try and take a mental step back, and double down on things like moving slowly, reducing your profile and slicing the pie. Most of all, remember the aim is to have fun.
7 – Get to Know the Maps
One of the biggest “blockers to greatness” simply comes from not knowing the maps. You can give yourself a leg up on this by joining some friends for a private match without other players, and simply run around getting to know the various locations. This will allow you to find any hidey holes or places you would prefer to attack or defend.
That won’t do it all though. One important part of getting to know the maps is understanding where the typical player will move. There are always favourite kill zones and choke points which players tend to flock to. Bear with it on new maps, and concentrate on where players are moving.
8 – Get Into a Party and Avoid General Chat
People are, generally, horrible. For thirteen years Modern Warfare itself has been recognised as one of those places where discriminatory language, flame wars and trash talking has been extreme. Getting into a party with friends can help you to avoid the cess-pool that is general chat.
When we’re not doing well, this (most of the time) stops us from getting worked up by nastiness coming from others. While this may not affect K/D and improve gameplay, it’ll certainly help you to enjoy the experience more.
9 – Invest (If You Can)
There are a lot of things you can invest in to help you improve your game. Smaller monitors as opposed to larger TVs will help you to view more of the screen without having to move your eyes. There are also controllers such as the Nacon Revolution X Pro and the Pro Compact which come with pre-defined FPS settings. These genuinely do make a difference and with pre-set FPS settings you don’t have to worry about tweaking thumbstick curves or trigger depth yourself.
It’s also incredibly beneficial to be comfortable and whether it’s a gaming chair or a nice comfy old-person recliner, having a comfortable environment will improve your game.
10 – Limit Your Profile
Here we’re talking about what other players can see of you. Crouching will limit your movement speed, but it does also reduce your profile and make it harder for enemy players to see (and hit!) you. Combined with practices such as slow movement and slicing the pie, crouching and using cover wisely might be your best friend.
11 – Use the Right Tools
Everybody plays the game differently and it’s important to tailor your loadout to yourself as well as the maps themselves. I recommend three different loadouts and have set myself up long range, mid range and short range options.
Long range uses a battle rifle with a high-magnification thermal scope, mid switches to an assault rifle while short range utilises an SMG. Switch up the loadout weapons and perks to match your playstyle, and concentrate on matching how you play within different maps to make sure you always have a suitable option for you.
12 – Rank Up Quickly With Invasion Mode
One of the biggest problems when starting out is that you won’t have weapons, attachments or kill streaks unlocked. While you can slog through main multiplayer modes to unlock these, Invasion mode offers a faster and more efficient option.
Within Invasion mode, you’ll play against AI bots as well as other players. In addition, you can also gain XP by completing objectives and defending points. AI bots are much (much!) easier to kill as well. This should allow you to move up the ranking ladder much faster than throwing yourself into a standard multiplayer match, and get you unlocking new equipment quickly.
13 – Aim for Accuracy
This might seem pretty self-explanatory but here we’re talking about weapon improvements rather than just general aim. There are many different attachments which you can use on your weapons which can give you a boost, especially if you’re following other points in this guide.
We’d advise focusing on a sight, a laser pointer and other attachments which give a boost to movement speed, recoil and aim-down-sight movement speed. Aiming speed can also be important but if you are moving slowly and using aim-down-sight movement as standard this shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
14 – Keep Moving
Camping a spot might feel safe and secure but if you’re noticed doing it other players will hunt you relentlessly. Moving makes it less likely that other players will know where you are and also means that you get more opportunity to get kills throughout the map.
It’s important that you move tactically, including the “slice the pie” method to improve the chance of scoring kills when moving. If you manage to perfect this, dynamic movement around the map should lower that chance of being found again by players you have just killed, or who’ve seen you thanks to UAV and other killstreaks.
15 – Consider Your Scorestreak Loadout
High-ranking scorestreaks such as the Juggernaut may be really attractive, but weigh this against your chance of actually unlocking them while you play. If you notice that you’re never reaching your last scorestreak, consider changing to a lower one which you may not love the idea of, but which you will actually get to use. Doing this might raise your K/D, but it’ll definitely help you to enjoy your time in-game more.
How to Succeed in Call of Duty as an Older Gamer
Importantly, don’t think that these tips are the be all and end all. Even doing all of the above our K/D in game is still not what you would call regularly impressive. However, they have all helped to raise our enjoyment of multiplayer, and certainly helped to improve our gameplay overall.
If you have any tips and hints, please do get them in the comments box below. We’re always looking to improve our gameplay and when we share our tips and tricks together, we all get better.
As well as sharing them here, do also head over to Facebook, Mastodon or Twitter to let us know. If you want to come and play with us, we’d love to see you! We have a few ground rules and you can find Pendragon’s Activision details just over here.