While it’s easy to compare Splitgate to other games, there’s really nothing quite like it. Sure, it has the portal system of, well, Portal. Yes, it has combat reminiscent of the Halo series. But those elements combined make an entirely new and unique experience unlike any other shooter. Because of this, there’s a pretty steep learning curve to the game. To help you get started, here’s a few Splitgate tips and tricks that can help you conquer the competition.
Splitgate Tips and Tricks for Beginners
1. Have an Escape Plan
Splitgate allows you to rip open two portals on blue lattice-textured walls around each map. These portals are connected, letting you — and any bullets — travel freely between them. There are a few great ways to use this to your advantage, and one of them you’ll want to master early is to always have an escape route.
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Dicey moves like trying to flank around the enemy team can become far less risky if you place a portal in a safe area first. Set one up to quickly warp back when in danger — just make sure to immediately close either portal afterwards so that enemies can’t follow you through!
2. Keep Track of Your Portals
It may seem obvious, but you’re going to want to commit your two portal keybinds (or controller buttons) to memory. Each time you hit a portal’s key, you irreversibly replace it. It can be easy to accidentally replace your escape portal when you meant to create a new one, leaving you completely defenseless.
Spend some time in games placing only a single portal, especially when you’re under fire. Add the second portal only when you feel comfortable and confident that you’ll place the right one.
3. Open Portals Across the Map
The beginning of a match is the perfect time to get some kills in. You can easily place a portal clear across the map, and then one next to you. Warping through will allow you to shoot enemies from behind, or charge through for some extra action. Keep in mind that enemy players may also be thinking the same thing. Treat this opening move as both an opportunity to attack and a countermeasure.
4. Don’t Camp Your Portals
You may find a solid niche in a map to place a portal to shoot through, and another that seemingly gives you a perfect line-of-sight towards enemy players. While it may be tempting to just camp your portals, keep in mind that the enemy players you kill won’t miss the opportunity to pop you through your own portal. Treat portal shots as you would peeking corners in other games – reposition often to catch your opponents out.
5. Enemies Are Loud
If you hear footsteps around you, chances are it’s an enemy. Enemy footsteps are significantly louder than friendly ones, so it’s safe to assume that you’re in danger when you hear them. This also means that enemies can hear you clearly.
Take a moment and stop moving when you first hear an enemy. This allows you to locate where they may be, and cuts them off from doing the same. Don’t wait around too long though, just enough to get the upper hand.
6. Be Careful Strafing
Strafing in any shooter is crucial to keeping distance between you and an enemy. But while other games may allow you to turn on a dime, that isn’t the case in Splitgate. Reversing strafing directions in Splitgate takes a good chunk of time, nearly stopping your character dead in their tracks for a solid second and leaving you wide open. If you really need to change directions quickly, perform a full 180° and turn around with your camera.
7. Aim High, Always
It should go without saying, but headshots are where the money is at in Splitgate. In Deathmatch mode, the player who is aiming for the head will nearly always come out on top simply because of the reduced number of shots they need for a kill.
Body shots might seem easier, but you should practice aiming at head level at all times, even when placing portals directly in front of you. There’s also no penalty to aim while running, meaning that as long as you’re on target, you should come out on top.
8. Closing Portals Is Just As Important as Opening Them
Once you’re comfortable with opening portals, it’s time to start closing them. Closing portals requires you to memorize two more keybinds, but the effort is well worth it. If you’re shooting enemies through a portal and they manage to pop a few shots off on you, then you’ll be able to shut them out completely before they get the kill. Closing portals is much faster than running away or replacing them, so start getting the muscle memory to do so early.
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(Keep the foam finger gun tho!)
Nicolas Perez is a journalist who has played way too much Civilization 5. He’s rambling on Twitter @Nic_Perez_.