A Comprehensive ARC guide for Advanced Players
By: Fordus and Braindx
The goal of this guide was to break down the various parts of ARC into subsections from which lessons can be taught and tactics can be learned for more advanced players. There have been many newbie guides that people have made in the past along with bouncy graphics, but there have been no attempts to put together a guide to help improve the middle and even top echelon of players. This guide aspires to do that. This guide will take into account two ARC players views on each subject, thus allowing each player who desires to improve their game a different perspective on various tactics and situations that can better their game.
Update: Fordus decided that he did not want to help anymore. The sections he wrote will be credited to him. The rest are mine obviously. -Braindx
A. Long range open space shooting
Spreads (General Info, 2 Factors, Comet, Reverse Shooting, Adaptability)
Instincts (1 2)
- Comments (Here)
B. Short range open space shooting
- Specials (1 2)
Basics (Anticipation, Anti-Anticipation, Reaction, Meta-Dodging)
Two Methods (1 2)
- Moonwalking (Here)
D. Corners (deals with popouts, suppression, etc.)
Popping Out (Useful Tip, “Illusion” Shooting, Geometry)
- Corner Manipulation (Manipulation, Timing, Angle Advantage, Corner Theory, Pop-out Conc.)
- Positioning (Here)
DeadEye’s Top 10
- 2 High, 2 low
I. Fragging in open spaces
A. Long range open space shooting
• Singles are not effective in the open.
• If someone shoots singles slowly then you should be able to dodge every
one of them since there's a larger distance and it's not difficult to move out
of the way.
• The only way they could hit you is by shooting them rapidly in a line, but this
is just a watered down version of what I call a "spread."
• Spreads are what all the best fraggers use.
• A spread comes from the commonly needed objective on the field of a sure- fire way to hit your opponent. i.e. - finishing off smokers, or just being able to
slowly weaken someone who's charging and/or fighting you.
• So in order to make sure you hit someone, you need to do two things...
Spreads: Two Factors
• 1) Make sure there are no gaps that the enemy ship can get in between
• 2) Cover all possible range of movement so that the enemy ship can't
simply move in front or behind the spread.
– Put into practice it results in anywhere from 3 to 6 lasers in a line, or a "wall." This
wall of lasers" should be undodgable - each laser should be spaced from the
other such that it's smaller than a ship length.
• Now, you have to modify this to what the situation calls for. If you don't want
to use a lot of your blue bar, you can space them slightly father
apart and only use 3, and chances are you'll still hit the player with
1 laser, or you can make it tighter and with accurate placement, force
the enemy to potentially eat 3 lasers in one burst (hard to do).
– This brings us to the second factor, PLACEMENT, as opposed to what we just
talked about, SPACING. The placement should be such that by the time
the spread reaches the opponent, their ship is in the middle of the
spread (thus making it optimally hard for the enemy to get in front or
• There's what I like to call "the comet" - which is a tight burst of lasers with a
bouncy in the middle.
• The bouncy runs faster than lasers so shoot it just a little bit after the
package of lasers...and I guarantee it throws them off balance (shoot the
bouncy directly at where their ship will be) and they eat lasers as well.
• This might completely miss the person if your aiming was not well
timed or well placed, however it has the potential of completely
railing them. This usually makes them go "wtf" and accuse you of
• Some advanced ARCers might frown upon Bouncies with lasers in flat-out
open space because it does waste your bouncies in situations where you
can just hit with lasers as opposed to when they go behind a wall. But I find
bouncy/laser spreads to be VERY effective in killing people quickly.
Index Spreads: Reverse Shooting
• There's another very important concept: reverse shooting.
• You'll notice that if you shoot your lasers in the same direction that you're
ship is moving, it is easier and more natural, and you will find most
players actually do this!
• And it becomes predictable – people subconsciously gauge that if you're moving
right to left, that your spread will go from right to left, which is why you need to learn to
shoot the opposite way.
• Go into a map and start moving up, but try shooting your spread downwards. Then
try moving downwards and try shooting your spread upwards.
• You'll notice it's awkward at first and you'll have gaps -- practice!
• Be able to make tight effectively placed spreads from all directions and angles, and
don't ALWAYS shoot the opposite way, or you'll be predictable in that respect, too --
mix it up, see what kind of player you're fighting, and what he expects of
you, and think of where he will go, and shoot in that direction.
• This also makes you free to dodge any direction you need/want to and still
be able to hit someone with a "wall spread".
• One last concept for shooting spreads that builds on this - the
adaptability of direction. IF you start shooting a wall spread from up
to down - and you see that your opponent is moving UP (and not in the
direction of your spread), obviously don't waste the rest of your
lasers continuing with the spread!
• Try to quickly adjust and reverse the direction of your spread so you shoot
"into him" so to speak.
– When you start shooting, try to send your stream of lasers (the slightly spaced
ones that compose your spread) INTO his ship. Like 3-5 lasers half a ship length
right at him. Chances are he'll eat 1 to 3 of these.
– When you do this, put your cursor near the enemy ship (I think
I put mine either on him or just a bit in front of it) and move it AS
he moves, making sure keep the lasers directed into where he’s
going. I also look at his ship during this time, but if he shoots me,
I make my dodging take priority and look at my own ship-but this
brings us to the next section.
• Special usage is particularly important when using spreads. Many of the top players
throw in a bouncy at the end or middle of their spreads to catch players with extra
damage since it is quite difficult to dodge without taking some damage.
• If you don't do this, often if there are many obstacles around it is useful to fire a
bouncy where it can intersect with their dodging arc. This will throw off their dodging
enough that you should be able to hit them with a spread regardless of whether the
bouncy hits or not.
• Utilizing bouncy distractions to their fullest is very important especially in close
range and corners which I will talk about later.
• When using grenades, wherever you decide to throw it you will have to predict where
your opponents’ movement will be to dodge it. Usually one will go farthest away from
the grenade, but we all know that they do not to avoid the incoming stream.
– This means you will have to either spread them to make them move into the grenade and
get a few laser shots at the same time or counter with a compact spread that hit a lot of
times. You will have to be precise in your calculations though otherwise you will waste a
whole blue bar.
– A good strategy to effectively pull off slamming people with streams of lasers is to go into a
public go on a smurf name and open space grenades and follow up spreads/streams and
other shots against good smurfs or players to see what is effective.
– Missiles, for all intents and purposes, are basically worthless in long range open fighting.
• A certain freedom from instincts and capitalization on the instincts of your opponent is needed.
As I suggested before, it is human instinct to run for cover when you are being attacked.
• When playing less skilled players, this can easily be capitalized on. When both of you are in the
open, they will almost always run for cover so you can shoot towards the corners and spread
outwards and almost always get free hits on them.
• With stronger skilled opponents, this is more tricky. In the end, one of you will almost always run
• Whichever one of you does this can be at an advantage or disadvantage
depending on how you play it.
• For instance, if you fake towards running for cover you can usually make an opponent waste a
portion of his blue bar. As he is doing this, if you can shoot at the same time in a spread at him
you can usually catch him off guard.
• There are many specific scenarios in which you can capitalize on various instinctual dodging of
your opponent. There is also many times when specials come in handy. Often times, these go
together very well.
– For example, in high tension situations like flag swaps, a lot of the time dodging with instincts can take over.
With spreads as your main shooting technique, you will not have to waste as many specials trying to hit
opponent which leaves you at a distinct advantage.
– You can use your specials to go for quick kills when your team needs it most or hold off a flagger that is
almost to the other side of the screen. It is always good to have an overabundance than not enough. Just
make sure you do not die with them still there.
• There are many specific scenarios in which you can capitalize on
various instinctual dodging of your opponent. There is also many
times when specials come in handy. Often times, these go together
– For example, in high tension situations like flag swaps, a lot of the
time dodging with instincts can take over. With spreads as your main
shooting technique, you will not have to waste as many specials trying
to hit opponent which leaves you at a distinct advantage.
– You can use your specials to go for quick kills when your team needs it
most or hold off a flagger that is almost to the other side of the screen. It
is always good to have an overabundance than not enough. Just make
sure you do not die with them still there.
• Open range fighting is a decently large portion of the game.
• There are always moments when you both are out in the open as your team is
charging a base and you have to be able to capitalize on these moments
or if someone has to waltz past a bunker and you need to kill him/her
– These are the moments when it is necessary for your long
range open shooting to be exact as it could cost you the game.
• You need to make sure your spreads are in tiptop shape before every
serious game and league play.
• Often times when I had no time to play because of schoolwork or because I did not
feel like playing, I would make myself go into an empty server and fire spreads for a
few minutes just to practice them. Never underestimate the power of just
practicing by yourself.
• The reason why Toshi was effective for CaDF a few APL’s ago was because he
has/had brilliant spreads which helped his ability to charge positions and take charge
of the open space in an area.
B. Short range open space shooting
• Short range open space shooting I feel is mainly about being able to know your
opponent. What I have noticed is that the less I play with my real name (the more I
smurf or the more I do not play in general but keep my current skill level) the easier it
is to kill people 1v1 in short range open space. Why is this? I think the answer is quite
– The more you know about an opponent and their tendencies, the easier it will be able to hit
them. I think this is something that is acted on by our subconscious because short range
fighting usually goes way too fast for any of us to react to and counter-react.
• Those with faster reflexes obviously will have an advantage in this department.
This is something that takes generally a larger amount of time to
learn than long range or radar shooting I believe.
• If you can observe a lot of games from blue just watch how people react in certain
situations -- i.e. what they do when they jump out from a corner to
surprise someone in close quarters, what kind of dodging they use when
charging someone, how they dodge in open space with walls close by --
you can make more accurate predictions of how they will dodge when
they fight you which will give you a better chance of defeating
them. I feel this is the key to winning these short range battles.
• Another concept that needs to be taken into consideration is special
usage and laser usage.
• Missiles should not be used on smokers. Ever.
– The only reason I would use a missile on a smoker is if they are
hugging a wall and the shrapnel will bounce out and have a chance at
• Learning to use missiles properly is probably the best tactic one can learn for short
range open space shooting for obvious reasons.
• The main problem, though, is that if you miss you are basically leaving yourself open
to everything. The technique that works the best for firing missiles short range is
when you have a full blue bar using the first one or two lasers to spot your opponent,
which basically puts them in a certain position and then following that up with your
missile for a direct hit.
• I have found that more often than not this will hit about 25% more than just a plain
missile coming out from nowhere. If you are good enough where you can do this
though, the follow up with the two lasers after the missile can take someone with full
health all the way down to smoking, which will give you a considerable advantage.
• Bouncies are probably the best open space short range weapon as you can fire them at a far
obstacle and have them bounce back catching someone off guard.
• This will be the key to successfully pegging an opponent with lasers and/or hitting them with a
• Each and every person should always try to know what their surroundings are before engaging in
a close short range battle so that they can manipulate and position the opponent and themselves
in positions where they have good bouncy angles.
• Combined with 3-4 lasers spreads or two 2 lasers streams you can easily take off 1/4 or
more of an opponents health.
• The key is to learn how to position and manipulate an opponent into the right position without
them doing the same to you.
• This is often tough with top ARCers. Lasers are your bread and butter as they are the most
common shot fire.
• I have found the best way to get good at this is to essentially grab a smurf name and head into a
go and just charge people for a few days in a row. Experiment with what types of laser shooting
• Quazark's style of fast shooting ones while charging is a decent strategy to get hits at
• Spreading at close range almost always guarantees that 1-2 shots will hit your opponent. Making
most of your shots count by streaming lasers or manipulation into specials is harder. This will be
sped up with the practice I suggested.
• The art of dodging spreads is something one can never get good enough at.
It is probably the most useful ARCing ability since one needs to come out in
the open sometime! There are three aspects to open, rangedlaser dodging.
• These are: 1) anticipation
• Anticipation is something that will come up a lot - the name gives it
away, it’s being able to anticipate what your opponent is going to
do, and so preparing for the best way to dodge it.
• I won’t go into all the nitty gritty details, as most of it just has to be
learned through experience, but for example you can watch
someone’s movements/lasers and see that when they move up,
they’ll shoot upwards, vice versa.
• But since most players (both newbies and good players alike) don’t
work in any specific “pattern,” you’ll have to try to pick up on
tendencies. Newbies or inexperienced players will tend to shoot the
same direction as they move in (see: reverse shooting). You’ll get a
feel for how people shoot and what to expect.
• Anti-anticipation is very important, and people who become very good
at reaction tend to forget this, and then get owned by players who
know how to do perfect “wall spreads.”
• This is the art of being UNPREDICTABLE - when you play vs. mediocre players, they tend to
shoot in the same space hoping you’ll cut back, so don’t retrace your steps.
• Always move around, don’t stay in one spot or someone will easily be able to rail you.
• Don’t do lots of shakes in one spot like a lot of players think this works well, IT DOESN’T.
• You need to always be moving around, making the person think you’re going right but you’re
going left, and do not constantly cut back in the direction you were just coming from.
• Again, most ARCers tend to shoot right at your ship, so if you just move in a
straight line, most players won’t even touch you, especially if you don’t cut back after they shoot
(they will probably get a laser close behind you and very far in front of you since most peopledon’t
know how to spread).
• So what do you when you people ARE able to target your ship, and send a spread your way?
• This brings us to reaction - the ability to react to shots. There’s two parts to this. When a spread
is sent at you, first ask yourself if you can get in front of it, or behind it.
• By this I mean, if there are 4 lasers coming at you, look at the farthest laser on each end of the
spread. If you can get past either one of those, the spread can’t hit you at all until he shoots
another laser! (and a single should be easy to avoid), or until he shoots another spread.
This is judging distance/time.
• The farther away you are from your opponent, the easier this is to do. When your opponent is
VERY close to you, it gets to a point where this is probably next to impossible
• Anyway, if you calculate that you CANNOT get in front or behind the spread (by getting around 1
of the farthermost lasers, that is) then you go for plan B. Plan B is: look for gaps in the spread.
Did he leave a big hole in the spread you can go in and not get it? did he leave 2 lasers widely
spaced apart where you can fit through? You need to find those and go there. I cannot
emphasize this enough -- when the lasers are approaching your ship. LOOK at your ship.
• You will have time to glance back at your enemy’s ship to kill him, if you survive-and you survive
by not getting hit. Make sure you don’t get hit! Looking at your ship will improve your reaction time
and allow you to weave between close lasers.
• Note: to see how this is done with perfection, observe Mage playing ARC!
• In long range open fighting one should first take note of a few things: does your
opponent lag; can he punish you if you run for cover; can he fire an accurate spread?
• These things will aid you in your quick decisions on the battlefield because both of
you are prone to getting hit. In a 1v1 situation you want to first take note of his
• Are they wide enough to dodge through? Dodging through a good spread is very
nearly impossible so the best route to take is simple anticipation or doing the
• Fake out moves are relatively effective and can waste the opponents blue bar. Since
new players usually run in straight lines the first line of anticipation is that smarter
people will dodge back and forth.
• This is counterintuitive because it gives a spread a point of reference, and an almost
sure probability that they will hit at least a few lasers before you or they die.
– For example, a relatively good move to fake people out is to move and then stop like you are
about to cut back but instead keep going in the same direction you were going at first. This
will almost always get players to waste some lasers.
• That being said, the best thing to do is to know your opponent’s open space
shooting style before going into a game. If that is not possible, then you will
have to gauge their shooting style quickly.
• Do they do certain things before they shoot such as going the same way as
their ship? If so, then it would be advisable to run in the opposite direction.
• Be wary though; expect them to be able to hit you and be ready to dodge
whatever comes based on reflexes. Anticipation of shots does not always
work, so reflexes must be used to counter this.
• The thing that is easiest to be punished is running for cover if you are out in
• Thus, if you need to escape always have a backup plan because most
players will shoot to punish. Dodge and then make your escape.
2 Methods to Dodging (1)
• There are two main methods to dodging.
• The first is which beginning players and even top players willing to work on their dodging should
learn to do. When lasers start coming at your ship LOOK at it and dodge them so you get a feel
of how to maneuver between them.
• Even though you may be only able to barely see your opponent in your peripheral vision just
throw a few lasers out there while they’re shooting at you sometimes makes theirs more
inaccurate. They will occasionally hit them as well. I cannot count how many times I have just
randomly throw a bunch of lasers out in a mock spread and have some hit or kill a smoking
player while I’m dodging their shots.
• Also, this will aid you later on as you become more advanced. When you start to get a feel of how
fast the lasers move in comparison to your ship you are becoming a very good player. In fact,
most of the time I don’t even look at my ship when I am dodging well and everything will miss. I
only look about halfway between my ship and theirs to see the lasers angle compared to their
ship to get a feel if it will be close to me or not.
• Thus, refocusing on your opponents ship to hit them with a spread will be much easier and
throwing out random spread shots while dodging will be that much more accurate. This is
eventually the type of dodging you want to learn if you want to have very accurate shooting.
• I think Mage has a good concept of knowing laser angles between his opponents ship and his so
that he does not have to look at his ship to dodge but can rather just concentrate a lot on
shooting his opponent. This is some of the reason why I believe his lasers are so accurate when
he is playing well.
2 Methods to Dodging (2)
• The strongest technique that enhances your ability to dodge well besides shooting when you opponent is
shooting is the use of shaking.
• You may have noticed (or I hope you've noticed that many of the top players in the game shake their
while they "dodge" lasers or are preparing to dodge lasers. I have found this to be effective for various
• The first is very similar to the method that tennis players use: they shift their weight back and forth on their
feet when they are getting ready to be served to. Why do they do this? Moving around a bit keeps the
muscles tense and ready to react to any situation that might come at you. It will basically give you an
increased reaction time, which should help you more efficiently dodge lasers.
• The second is less noticeable: moving around in a shaking motion throws off the enemies calculations for
you position and thus will throw off the accuracy of their shots at least by a little bit.
• Why does this happen? It is a lot of easier to calculate a ship moving in one dimension like opponent do
when you are dodging "back and forth." But if you are constantly moving in two dimensions at once, it will
subconsciously throw off their calculations and shots as you will be moving back and forth AND forward
• A good example of this in calculus would be integration of simple functions versus integration of parts.
You have more variables to worry about and a greater chance of calculating wrong.
• For you non-calculus users, it would be synonymous to say taking care of two pets rather than one.
Taking care of two pets requires more time, energy and calculation to take care of them both. Similarly, it
would require more time, energy and calculation if you want guaranteed hits on an opponent. Yeah, yeah,
my analogies suck. But you should get the point!
• This brings me to the last point, moonwalking; if the spread lasers are at least a ship wide, it is
possible to move through the spread without getting hit.
• This term, apparently coined by Mage for dodging spreads, basically describes a quick up or
down dodge into the spread splitting the laser tips.
• It is usually pulled off when one backs off diagonally as the spread is coming towards your ship
to locate a break in the spread. Then you move into the spread with a
quick reversal of direction.
• For example, I am on the left side of a screen and my opponent is on the right side of a screen. If
he fires a spread from top to bottom towards me, I will want to start backing off it down and to the
left to try to position myself at one of the break points in the spread. Once this is accomplished
and the spread is very close, I will reverse my direction up and slight to the right trying to just
miss the laser tip of the top laser I was trying to split while avoiding the tip of the bottom laser.
• If you can get the timing right, you will be able to dodge through "impossibly" small breaks in
spreads and people will start calling you a cheater.
• It is very hard to do and takes a lot of practice to perfect. You must have quick,
honed reflexes to do this so I would suggest other dodging methods until you have the time to
work on this technique.
• First and foremost, it has to be known that only the front part of lasers/bouncies/missiles inflicts
damage. You might think this doesn't make a difference, but in a server I could show you how it
• This basically means that when one is behind an obstacle, one is able to maximize the "window
of opportunity" for shooting an opponent. When the opponent is using suppression lasers, there
will be shots he fires in which there will be enough time to pop out as soon as a laser passes
(getting hit by the 2nd half of the laser and thus not taking damage) and being able to shoot and
then get back behind the wall before the next laser arrives.
• If the opponent uses slow suppression lasers (a lot of the older players, like idiots, do this for
some reason, they think people are going to run into lasers that are shot every 3 seconds or
some shit) it's extraordinarily easy to pop out.
• If they use fast lasers you'll have to wait anticipate right before their blue bar is low enough that
you'll have enough time between 2 of their lasers to pop out.
• Now, a good opponent won't use strictly slow or strictly fast suppression lasers, their technique
will be to mix it up-to use slow lasers to try and lure the opponent to pop out and when
anticipating that he will come out, immediately increase the speed of the pace.
• So now when one is popping out against such an opponent, I'd say the popper-outer still has the
advantage but it gets more tricky in anticipating the right time to pop out, and there is the risk to
take shots because it's human nature to be hasty/imprecise.
“Illusion” shooting (1)
• As for how those shots, when popping out, should be, it's similar to open fighting long range. You've got your
standard wall spread – the main difference being that you should use smaller ones more often than you do in the
open (I don't really use 3 laser spreads vs. good dodgers in the open as much as I do 4-5 laser ones, but when
popping out blue bar is more important. you would think not since you have a wall, but in the open you've got a
perfect shot at someone all the time, when popping out - if you don't have ample blue bar to be able
to threaten people at all times you won't have a good chance of damaging them).
• Then you've got your comet spread (the one I notoriously use in the open, I shake as I shoot a rapid 4-5 laser
spread with a bouncy in the middle to throw them off balance). This, when popping out, will either miss completely
or really rail them, so use them only when you really have a good read for where they're moving.
• Finally, you've got your 2 laser shot, but here it's a little bit different. This isn't just a regular V. The shots have to
be very specifically angled. Your goal here is not to trap the person in between the 2 lasers. What you want is to
have the 2nd laser hit them unexpectedly. I.e. they think they aren't in range of being hit, because of the nature of
angles and their subconscious reasoning.
• Let me explain:
– So you're popping out with a shot of 2's. The first laser should be shot as soon as one comes out behind
the wall. This laser is just an "establishing laser." You're establishing an angle of shooting range and the
opponent will expect that if you shoot another laser or so closer to him it will not be far enough to reach his
– That is why the 2nd laser must not only be shot the split second before you get back behind the wall, but
you need to sort of jerk your mouse a little bit. There are a couple things to keep in mind when you do this.
First of all, make sure you do it such that the laser shoots from the side of your ship, coming out as a
– You also need to get behind the wall and move as far as it does not harm your position to do so to create
the illusion that you are not in range of
shooting the enemy, so by the time the laser reaches him he is subconsciously thinking that he is safe and
the laser catches him off
guard not only because of its exceptionally sharp angle.
• This concept of “illusions” btw, is also key to corner shooting. Especially with those rapid singles type lasers that
two people do back and forth from respective corners. If you shoot a single laser and retreat to a position out of
shooting range, by the time the laser reaches the enemy he will perceive the angle as unable to damage him and
the laser will catch him off guard as he moves down to try and shoot you.
Illusion Shot (2)
• You'll notice that the concept of these "2's" can be applied to any
corner on the map, and will ALWAYS give you a better angle for
hitting the opponent.
• A lot of people use a similar technique with a missile at close range,
most notably Zsnore.
– Basically you shoot a laser upwards as you pop out and then a missile
hugging the edge of the wall at the split second before popping back in.
• With the 2 laser shot you can put the 2nd laser anywhere you want,
but it's recommended to shoot it as wide an angle as possible
without exposing your ship too much.
• Now I'll talk about another type of corner fighting that relies heavily on anticipation. This is the
classic close range corner fighting in which missiles or burst of lasers are fired either away from
the wall or hugging the wall, where the enemy will be in one of those two spots.
• I don't know how to explain how to play this-I know for myself I love to hug the wall most of the
time, as it is harder for the enemy to pop out and shoot close to the wall than it is for him to shoot
away from the wall.
• Simple geometry shows us this, the angle to shoot hugging the wall requires more exposing of
the ship - so when people just pop out with missiles or lasers or whatever I try to shake a lot and
then ride the wall when they shoot-but when they come ALL the way out, I go away from the wall.
• Likewise when I‘m shooting someone, I try to use a very unpredictable method to slightly expose
my ship at the right time and shoot a missile or comet-burst against the wall, or in this latter case
I'll start shooting above them to trap the enemy and then bring the lasers converging down until
they're forced to eat a burst.
• To pop out in this situation, I employ a special technique. It is the vertical pop out, where I put
only one finger on the keyboard to move my ship up without shifting in horizontal position. Now, if
I shake around randomly and swiftly, and then use the vertical maneuver right as I pop out with
the missile or whatever, it catches them by surprise, they don't see it coming at all.
• The key to suppression is the feel. I rarely look at my blue bar, so I have to know by intuition how
much blue I have to left to use and fire should my opponent attempt to popout on my
• This takes a lot of practice. I find that if I take a break from the game I will not have as good a feel
as I do if I play a lot. But if I play a lot I get bad habits such as being too aggressive. So there is a
between playing too much or too little and taking slight or long breaks from the game.
• Laser intuition that goes into suppression among any other things such as spreads and combos
is a very, VERY important aspect of the game. This is particularly one of the reasons Mage does
so well against everyone else. He has lasers when you do not. This comes with practice, but it
can be sped up by knowledge of what you are doing.
• When playing against suppression there are a few things you want to keep in mind. Only the tip
of each laser/missile/bouncy does damage to your ship (only when in a non-air server
unfortunately it seems like now).
• With this in mind, you can dodge right behind these lasers to get shots off that you previously
could not get off before. This is particularly useful when you and your opponent are close to
each other behind corners or if a bunker edge is close by.
• The key to how I became so dominant against other top players back when I was in CaDF was by
manipulating the corners against almost every attack.
• It is also the key to learn how to deal extensively with 1v2 fighting. Corner fighting (i.e. popping
out, suppression and manipulating angles) should be one of the things that all ARC players learn
well if they want to be good.
• Fordus has covered the concepts of anticipation, 2s and spreads pretty well so I will talk strategy
with corners that he missed.
• Basically when I look at a corner with an opponent on the opposite side, I look very closely to see
what angles of attack he can get on me. This is usually made easier when they fire suppression
shots or lasers close to the corner. You can basically see how far out you can go before getting
hit. This is the line you want to stay on (the “suppression line” I will refer to it later).
• The hard part is that it will be constantly changing as you both move back and forth trying to get a
better angle on each other. So constant recalculations need to be made in your head especially if
there is a break in firing.
• Now, here is where this comes into play: Ford has already talked extensively about the ideas of
shooting around corners.
– However, another very, VERY important aspect of corners is the distance of each of your ship to the
corner, how to effectively manipulate the corner angles in your favor, and how to shoot after popping out.
Bear with me as this is sufficiently hard to explain without the use of diagrams or pictures.
• The distance from your opponent to a corner plays a significant impact in how you can play. If
you are closer to a corner angle you have a huge advantage over your opponent. Although this
may seem obvious to some, the reason why this is true is because since ARC ships move at the
same speed for everyone, the person closest the corner can fire over a larger angle with the
same amount of movement as the opponent.
• Think about it. If you can successfully avoid the lasers coming at you and you are closer to the
corner then your opponent, you can pop-out and easily blast him if your spread or shooting is
• This ensures that you will suffer no damage and the opponent will suffer at least a laser’s worth of
damage, which is significant against top players. The problem I have encountered the most with
being close to a corner is that you need to have really good timing to avoid the suppression shots
or spreads the opponent will be firing at you. Mage has brilliant timing and execution, which is
why he is so good at this. He can effectively “charge” a corner, implicitly getting this tactically
superior angle and then execute the timing needed to pop-out and hit you while you cannot hit
him. I, on the other hand, have problems with being consistent in my timing, which often leads to
me taking hits for no reason at all except that my game or careless.
• I would say this is the most important part of shooting to know in the game. If you are going to
learn anything about shooting, you need to know about spreads and this tactic on corner theory.
• Now, manipulating corner angles in your favor is somewhat distinctively different skill than corner shooting and
taking the advantage by being close to the corner.
• Imagine this: when you are up against the suppression line, you need to be able to calculate within your mind a
line straight through the other ship that hits the tip of the corner and then through your ship. This will produce
three angles. One will be on your opponent’s side, the second is on your side and the last will be a 180-degree
angle out in open space. The 180-degree angle out there for all intents and purposes is useless.
• Now, we will take a look at the two other angles. Unless they’re split evenly with 45-degrees apiece, the angle that
is smaller has a very distinct disadvantage. I am sure this is another implicit thing many people know is a bad
thing, but here’s the reason why: universally, when one player has the acute angle to the wall created by the
suppression line, he has a space disadvantage that works against him. He can only go so far before he runs out
• More specifically if we categorize all of the space around the ship as a place where one can go to dodge, then he
will run out of valuable dodging space, which every good player needs to have to avoid being dominated. A
smaller space limits the range of motion a player can dodge, therefore limiting the range in which the opponent
must fire. Thus, if you are even matched with your opponent, he will statistically hit you with more shots that you
will hit him with.
• This allows people with “less” skill to be able to beat people with “more” skill. Now, since you have this
knowledge, the key to implementing it is to try to tactically never let yourself get in this position. If you are in a 2v2
and your partner dies, you should try to back off before you get in this position, as usually you will die very easily
without damaging an opponent very much. The same is true of any 1v1. If you happen to get caught or forced into
the lesser angle position against players, you want to seize an aggressive stance. Most players, even good ones,
will back off if you play the corner aggressively. This will allow you to reclaim more dodging space and, at the
same time, limit theirs. This will almost always work in your favor. But you always must be prepared to face an
aggressive opponent who will not back down.
• It seems in my opinion that is better to jump out into the open if your space is limited then stay and get trapped. At
least you can dodge to the right/left, up/down or a combination of the two if you are out in the open. If you are
stuck in that space, then you will only be able to dodge in three directions, as the wall will limit your range of
motion. This is the second most important aspect of corner theory.
• One of the most important shooting combinations (which deserves a paragraph all to itself just
like moonwalking) is based upon the two ideas above which I have dubbed “corner theory.”
• This combination is the cornerstone of pulling off a successful 1v2 as red against green when
they charge the tunnel in red base, and there is a lot of other applications this can be used as
• The key, as you may have already realized, is that you need to be the one closer to the corner,
and you must have also acquired the greater angle. If they are limited to about 30 degrees of
space or less, you can time a diagonal pop-out in which you will start shooting at approximately
the 30 degree mark and push them all the way against the wall with a spread. If you do it
correctly, you should be able to hit your opponent with 2-3 shots, as he will have nowhere to go
but into your spread or get stuck up against the wall in which case he will get hit anyway.
• This is a very easy way to get hits on your opponents and even top players. A good follow up to
this spread is a bouncy that will hit slightly slower than your last laser. People seem to not like
• Implicitly, I believe this translates into dodging where lasers just were as we have a conception
that lightning won’t strike twice. The bouncy takes this into account and if it hits, combined with
the spread you have successfully taken off half their health. Don’t forget, this is against good
players which is HUGE.
• Basically stealing half their health when they are on the attack is one of the reasons why I did not
lose base in 1.5 years with CaDF even if I was smoking against good players (I am mainly a
• Pop-out shooting is the key to victory. While Fordus has suggested various modes of
pop-out shooting such as comet spreads, 2s, anticipations and various other
techniques so look at those if you want to learn how to do them. I will suggest a
strategy that will cohesively pull all the information together.
• Utilizing the techniques of corner theory should get you the ability to get a strong pop- out with the correct timing. With this, you need to be able to know how to read your
opponent. Usually, when you pop-out, your opponent does one of two things: they
either go towards the wall decreasing their angle or away from the wall thus
increasing their angle. Most of the time they will head towards the wall, as most
people do not pop-out the first time when suppression lasers or spreads are fired.
• You can use this knowledge to your advantage if you have very good timing, but it is
hard to do. It is better to use 2s at close range when both of you are near the corner
as they will have less chance of dodging the lasers because it is so quick. However,
2s can be put to good use with. Usually when I pop-out with a 2 against a long-range
opponent they can dodge it decently easy.
• This is why it is generally a better idea to spread 3-5 lasers when popping out long
range. Although the spread is better, the 2s allow you to gauge your opponents
reaction, which, when followed up with 3-4 lasers or a bouncy and 2-3 lasers can do a
lot of damage to them. If they break in, you will just continue the spread that you did
with the 2s to hit them, if they break out, you will reverse the direction of your spread
to hit them. It is pretty simple in concept and most good players do it implicitly.
• Radar was the method that people used on HFront and TEN to dominate the playing
field. Now, radar is relegated to a lesser role as one can basically pretty easily dodge
lasers at a whole screen's length or even half a screen's length.
• These dogfights on radar teach us something very important -- radar is one of the
keys to being a truly great player even with the new higher resolution. This is why if
you watch a top level player game from blue, they will almost always be in the
beginning and a lot during the game about a screen length or more from each other.
This is because when players are in groups, it is
easy to punish people for getting too close.
• Thus, a great radar is the key to making 2v2s, 2v3s and other multiple player
combinations come out in your favor. Even 1v1s often start with the radar. Having a
good radar will give you those extra few shots advantage over your opponent, which
can make a large difference in their style of play.
• If a player is damaged some, they might play more conservatively thus allowing you
to be more aggressive and manipulate them around more. This, in turn, will eventually
push them into bad positions making them easier to kill. I cannot emphasize how
important this is.
• The main part you have to realize about radar shooting is that singles or suppression type fire
does not work. The lasers can been seen coming from a mile away and it also gives your position
to your opponent to they can more accurately fire back at you and will have a greater chance at
• This is why it is critical to do spreads of 4-6 lasers for radar shooting. Using your actual radar to
plan and do this is the key to hitting people. I have noticed that in any strategy game, the best
players always utilize the radar or mini-maps the best. The radar or mini-map is the key to
formulating teamwork and to locate the general or exact vicinity of opponents.
• Generally when shooting radar spreads into open space, you want to make them as wide as
possible without having any significant lapses or breaks in your spreads where the opponent can
waltz through untouched. This requires practice! Go practice spreads!
• Secondly, if there are corners around, you almost always want to shoot from the corner to the
outside if the opponent knows your location and you have a general idea of theirs. This takes into
account that most players usually try to go for cover when fired at. Some of the good players will
just sit in the middle of walls or whatnot relying on their dodging to help them bypass your shots.
Punish them for this! This is another reason why good spreads are critical. Spreads are used for
• If you cannot get 10 good consistent spreads in a row, then you should go practice. It
becomes harder to spread under pressure as the natural tendency is to want to shoot as many
lasers as you can as fast as you can. However, this is prone to easy dodging and your lasers will
almost always miss. Do not fall into this trap. Spread, spread and spread again especially for
• The key in go to being a good radar shooter is anticipation. If you have ever been on a blue team
when good players are playing, I suggest you pay special attention to what they do in certain
• I have noticed that when I watch the red team, they almost always try to hide behind obstacles as
they advance. Thus, I will shoot my radar bouncies close to corners.
• No radar bouncy is more critical than the one that can be used on the farthest bridge that enters
red base. It is a decently long bridge and pretty much narrow to a good extent. A radar spread
with a radar bouncy at the end is almost always guaranteed of hitting good opponents as they will
dodge down to avoid the spread and then a fast bouncy comes before they can get out of the
way and whacks them.
• If you feel uncomfortable wasting bouncies in such a frivolous manner, then do not do it.
However, if you have 3 bouncies I would almost always suggest using at least one of them for
radar. There is no general rule for when to use bouncies, but I feel that if you are having a hard
time penetrating red base and have three bouncies sitting there to be used, then some of them
should be used.
• This takes into account the mindset that in time it takes you to get deeper into their base, you
should have another bouncy ready through charging. Therefore, you are basically have the same
amount of bouncies at your utilization, but you have also thrown a bouncy which means that you
could have potentially damaged an opponent of 1/5 health which is not that bad at all.
• The best way to get a feel for how people dodge is to watch them. Watch where good
players dodge when certain stuff comes at them. Do they try to head towards corners
to escape? If so, then try to find a way to punish them.
• One thing I like doing is timing radar bouncies. Sometimes when I'm fighting
someone who is on a corner, I back off. When I back off I basically calculate or
estimate the amount of time it will take for him to make another pop-out or come out
into the open.
• At the same time, I try to manipulate my angle so that I have a more direct shot
towards the corner where my opponent is hiding. When the time comes I stay off
screen and fire the bouncy at the corner and charge a little and fire a spread so that
the lasers have a chance of hitting.
• This tactic has worked with some success against top players as the bouncy may hit
them or if they avoid the bouncy then they could potentially just dodge into the
spread. I use this tactic when I have trouble hitting certain opponents who may lag or
just dodge very well. It seems to catch them off guard because most people are not
that adept at radar shooting and the different radar tactics that can be used to get hits
DeadEye’s Top 11
- Don't leave base in a 1v1, 2v2, or 3v3 situation when your own flag is out of your
base- always rape in greater numbers until the flag is safely retrieved. (solo flagging
with 4 enemies in your own base should only be done if you can pick up their flag
before they pick up your own flag.)
- Don't engage in a situation wherein your team is fighting a 1v2 in your own base
and a 3v2 in the enemies base. 2v1 are much easier to flag on due to the greater
possibility of a successfull flank and the fact that only one bunker can be occupied (as
opposed to two.) Exceptions include if the enemy attackers are smoked or if the
enemy flag is already out of their base and your team flag is still in the holder.
- Don't place more than 1 person in the bottom portion of the map. (This range
includes the small area to the left of the low tri-tunnel system all the way to the small
area to the right of the larger tunnel above the bottom left most red spawn.)
- Don't go for both flags in a flag-swap situation if both flags are farther than 2/3 of
the map away from your own base.
- Don't leave a person returning a flag to the holder alone to a 1v1 an oncoming
enemy attacker at base, your teammate's inability to get into a proper defensive
position and his likely disadvantage in health make his chances very low of being
able to successfully defend the flag by himself.
DeadEye’s Top 11
- Attempt to flood into red base whenever a hole is open, THE IDEAL FLAGGING
SITUATION when you are playing as the green team is either a 1v1, 2v1, or 3v1 in
- Let a smoker flag unhindered and run as far as you can in the direction of the
enemy base if he persues you attempting to suicide. Kill him if he gets within 1/5 of a
screen of you, Don't let him get close and drop a short range nade or unload to kill
- Preserve as much health as possible when attempting to pull out a flag, E is a
strong clan and will almost always have support on the way to help spring you into the
- Don't be overaggressive with the flag which often results in a costly death and easy
save for the other team. Make like a running back and wait for your teammates to
create a hole for you.
- Employ the following shooting strategy when cross-firing. The person lower than
the enemy should aim above and to the left of the enemy (if shooting from the right)
and the person higher than the enemy should aim below and to the left of the enemy
(again if shooting from the righ of the enemy)
- Flag if you are the one on your team attacking with the most health. If the person
with a significant amount of health is flagging (as opposed to a smoker) it's more
difficult to stop because a desperation bomb or bouncie won't be enough to kill the
flagger and impede the progress of the flag run.
DeadEye’s 4v4 Theory
• Over the course of ARC, there have been many different
theories on what the best possible way to score a cap in
a 4v4 are. Here in Enigma, we've been very successfull
with a style of play that is somewhat uncommon when
compared with many of the other clans on ARC. The
following are the key elements involved with this theory.
Aggressiveness, as opposed to passivity
A focus on the constant gain of territory
The assertion that, the more flag attempts you make, the
better chance you have of eventually capping one
In the following paragraphs, each of these elements will
be discussed more in-depth.
DeadEye’s 4v4 Theory
• Aggressiveness, as opposed to passivity. Many clans on ARC
(CaDF, TnT, and INVADER- to name a few) employ a strategy that
is passive in nature.
• These clans double team at base and generally play more
defensively as they wait for the 'perfect moment' to try to flag.
Enigma has never subscribed to this philosphy- not only is it not a
fun way to play, but the only way to win is to cap, and if you're
constantly on the defense you cannot do that.
• In most sports a popular cliche is 'a good defense is a good
offense,' but on ARC the opposite holds true, we like to say that 'a
good offense is a good defense.'
2 High, 2 Low
• Strategy: 2 high, 2 low
NOTE: Use screenshots at eodarc.tripod.com
Advantages of 2 high, 2 low: People are stronger in numbers. In this system you are almost
always in a pair, so we'll almost always be in a good position to rape. Also, it helps cover up
weaknesses we have fragging 1v1 wise, so you dont have to be on the top of your game 1v1
wise to still be effective.
Also, another focus of this formation is map balance. With this, there is no point on the map
where you can be easily raped. You're solid. Plus you're able to quickly rape if the opponent
screws up and leaves someone alone (which, believe it or not, happens so many times it's silly. I
don't know how many times I've seen good players just abandon someone to get raped for no
reason. It's a simple concept, but people overlook the small, simple things all the time)
Disadvantages of 2 high, 2 low: It's possible that one can be in this system so long and be used
to relying on their teammates so much, that they lose the ability to make plays 1v1. No matter
what, you'll be in a 1v1 situation in a game. It can't be avoided. To truly be solid, it's important that
you be strong 1v1 wise, or else we'll just be TnT =/. Thus, it's important to be solid in all aspects
of arc, in teamwork, knowledge of the game, raping, and 1v1.
2 High, 2 Low (cont.)
• First of all, in normal situations (i.e. no flag runs, we will have the two high, two low formation.)
We deviate from this when we have a flag run (we'll break up a pair by leaving 1 person to 1v1 at
base or mid while the other person goes to help the flag run)
Defensively: Rape base unless we're flagging. The flagger is responsible for telling you whether
to stall or kill, however with stalling, we will attempt to do it but if you must kill to keep from being
flagged on, then do it. We always place defending our flag over getting the other team's in that
situation. Also, in order to have our offense run smoothly while simultaneously maintaining a
strong defense, it is important that we rotate effectively. The easiest way to do this (with the 2
high, 2 low formation) is as follows. Since we'll almost always have at least two people at base,
one person will rotate into offense from defense as one of our guys on offense dies. When doing
this, you have to make sure of the following: a) the spawner has enough time to help out the guy
still at base (don't leave as soon as the guy on offense dies because he may not have enough
time to spawn and rape the opponents in our base) make sure that when you leave that the
person still at base is not weak and can hold someone off 1v1 long enough for the spawner to
come and rape, c) make sure there are even numbers at base (if there is already a 1v1 at base
and you see another opponent coming, don't leave until the spawner is out and in a good position
to defend; it's a very simple concept. You have two opponents in your base, so you have two
people to defend.
• NOTE: This is probably the most important thing because rarely in games will the opponent only
send solo flaggers against you. It's more likely to be 2 opponents as opposed to one.)
Here is another tidbit defensively. Don't be afraid to stall at mid. In fact, that's more preferable
than stalling someone at base. If you see that some teammates on offense have a strong chance
of flagging, and you're at mid with an opponent, don't be afraid to stall for a bit in order to help set
up a flag run. It's all about timing and situational awareness. This is more of an advanced thing,
but it's very useful.
2 High, 2 Low (cont.)
• Once these things have been realized then you're good to go. Now we'll move on to what you
should do once you have left base and reached the middle.
a) If base is called, then go back. Once again, we place a heavy emphasis on securing base.
We'd rather the opposing clan actually beat us, rather than us making a careless mistake in our
If the offense in front of you dies off, then play passively and try to hold the other team off until
help arrives. The idea is to hold them back as far as possible, so we can regroup and go right
back into offense.
c) Look for the best place to go based on where the offense is. For example, if you see a
teammate down low and an opponent has just spawned in that area, then go low for the easy
spawn rape as opposed to going high and just 1v1'ing.
d) Be aware of the opponent's spawns and our spawns. In the previous example, if a teammate
spawned low and was closer to the teammate that was already down low (by the opposing
spawner), then continue to go high and let your two teammates rape him.
Flag swaps: Make sure you go after one flag, unless it's absolutely clear that we can get both. It's
pretty obvious but I just wanted to make sure we got this.
Okay. Now onto how we start the game as green and as red with this formation.
2 High, 2 Low (cont.)
Due to the tunnels at the very bottom of the map, we don't really have a two high, two low
formation for green at the middle of the map. The biggest weakness lies at the bottom with #4. It
is the responsibility of #3 and #4 to make sure we aren't overrun down low. A smart red team will
attempt to rush through the tunnels with 2 people and rape that lone green guy. It's very important
that you watch this if you're #3 or #4. Failing to do this could lead to a quick cap against us.
The positions up top (1-3) are very fluid. Some tips for #1, watch for the bouncies as you move
forward and make sure you don't move so far forward that you get raped. Also, #3 needs to be
aware of the cross-fire. They're out in the open the most and red can easily cross-fire that
position. Once you successfully win the initial battle (when the game starts), 1 and 2 will pair and
control the top, while 3 and 4 will pair and move towards red's base along the bottom half of the
• NOTE: If there is a 4v4 in red's base and they are pinned inside, we may send one person from
the bottom up top to try to attack there as opposed to staying at the bottom. Sometimes, there is
too much fire power focused there and it may be more effective to go high as opposed to staying
low and trying to deal with all of that opposing fire. This all depends on the context.
2 High, 2 Low (cont.)
The top (1&2) isn't really set in stone (it's really a flexible position), while 3&4 are
standard for the most part (unless of course green manages to take that position at
the beginning of the game, but that's rare.) Basically, you just have to have patience.
If you're 3 and 4, a good thing to do is to nade the opponents on the bottom
simultaneously. It's easy to do. If you spawn at the same time, then you can just make
it to where the person who gets there last will throw the first (or leading) grenade to
hopefully force the opponent into that lower bunker, while the second person will
throw a follow up grenade right on or by the opponent. If you don't spawn at the
same time, you can still do this, but it will take a little longer for the grenade to load.
The bottom two also need to be aware of rushing the tunnels. Let's say green has the
position of the first screenshot. If you notice that the #3 green is too far away to help
or that he's not paying attention, then #3 and #4 need to rush the tunnels and rape
that lone #4 green. It's very simple and it works a lot.