II. Game Specifics and Rules
-Weapon Damage and Efficiency
-General Dueling Tactics:
-Dueling Rating Scale
V. Team Fighting
VI. Dirty Tricks
This guide is mainly for experienced Subspace players looking to improve their skills. Beginners will be better off going to the http://www.subspace.net/ for basic rules. The guide focuses primarily on aspects of Warzone and League Zone. Dueling strategies applies to all zones.
The best way to improve is to duel people better than yourself. When you lose, analyze what you did wrong. When you accomplish one thing, congratulate yourself and raise your standards to improve even further. Can beat anybody 1 on 1? Try going for 2 on 1. Nobody in Warzone can beat you in dueling? Go test yourself against better pilots in league zone. I have over 3500 hours in Subspace and am still learning.
Don't forget, the most important thing is to PRACTICE!
Here are some of the more obscure rules and facts in Subspace.
Ship type is mainly a personal choice. I'm glad to see in Subspace the ships are balanced enough that all ships are used and complement each other. Certain ships are better at certain things though. What follows is a list of the ship types and the best and worst usage for each.
|Shot Type||Ave. Direct
Shrap does same damage as bullet of same color
All bombs do same damage with direct hit but proximity effect is doubled with yellow bombs and tripled with blue bombs. Assuming not all bombs hit directly, blue bombs actually deal damage most efficiently.
Beginners don't realize this, but in Warzone there is deeper strategy than simply having the best pilots on one team. I could pit the best pilots of Subspace who all acted without teamwork vs. a group of average pilots with good teamwork and the average pilots would win.
Good greening quickly means your team recovers more quickly from death and gets more powerups. Greening speed is directly related to the strength of the team. A team that greens twice as fast will have twice as many powerups to use and will have only have as many members out of action at any one time. How to green quickly? Don't duel, die as a team, green whether you need it or not, don't sit around base, and don't attach as a neg.
Concerning dueling, a lot of the better players will spend time dueling on flag frequencies. While you are dueling you are not greening and the team is basically has one less member. You might as well be dead. You also have a chance of dying for real while dueling in which case you'll be out of action that much longer.
Dying as a team is more important than you'd think. Because of team greening, the more players dead while somebody greens the more use the team get out of those greens. If I have five players greening and five fighting each green is only worth five powerups. To get to 100 bounty each player would have to get 20 greens. If those five fighting players die later, they will have to green and it will take as long as the original five. However, had all ten players been greening at the same time, each green will be worth ten. Each player would only have to get 10 greens and greening would take half as long FOR TWICE AS MANY PLAYERS. Which is more efficient, spending 5 minutes twice to green ten people or spending 2.5 minutes once to green ten people? Even if you are not dead though you can still help those are recover faster.. Imagine this attack scenario: Ten attackers attack a well defended base with ten defenders. All ten attackers die and take out half the defenders with them. 2.5 minutes later all ten attackers are regreened and ready to attack. However, the five dead defenders are only half greened, needing another 2.5 minutes to recover. Now, ten attackers attack a base with five defenders and easily win. What went wrong here? Even though the defenders won the first battle, they weren't able to regenerate ships as quickly as the attackers. What they should have done was to have all but two of the defenders go out and help green. This brings up my next point: Green whether you need it or not.
If you are greening and don't need it you are helping the team a great deal. First, they have a player ready to attack or defend if need be. Second, those who are dead recover faster which is more important than you might think (as shown above). Third, you get powerups such as bricks that only go to the individual player but help the team. The absolute best players I've seen will watch the death messages, see that most of their teammates have died, and will stop whatever they are doing to help green. If every player did this that team would never lose a single game.
One way to help this team greening is to not sit around base. If not under attack, a base shouldn't have more than three defenders. If it does, you should warp out and green. If you are just sitting around you are not helping the team at all and might as well be dead or go dogfight.
Another thing that adversely affects greening is attaching as a neg. It sounds good, and many squad leaders promote this, but in reality it hurts the team more than it helps. As a neg, you won't actually do very much. It might make a difference or it might not. If anything your opponent will see a more serious attack than it actually is and call more defenders. I know a lot of people will do this not because they actually want to help the teammates but because they are lazy to green. The real problem with this though is that you are not greening when you should. Let me give an example. Let's say there are five strong defenders and five negs on a team. An enemy attacks. One of two things can happen:
Don't call attacks if you are a neg, don't call attacks if your base is under attack, and don't call attacks if everyone but you is dead. Those are three simple rules to follow, but you might (or might not) be amazed at how often these rules are broken. It's a simple matter of numerical advantage. I've seen four attackers attack a base defended by seven defenders before. All four attackers died while only one defender died. Later on the other six attackers would attack and would also be outnumbered because of the loss of the original four.
Attack in groups. If you have less numbers than the defenders then DON'T ATTACK. Go green instead. I'd say 75% of the time I'll see the attackers attack anyway and all die for nothing because they are only thinking of themselves and not the team. This is simple and obvious tactics. If you outnumber your opponent your opponent will usually lose and also take higher causalities. Don't attack if you aren't going to win, and don't reinforce if you are going to lose. I think a past military general stated this before in different terms and it applies here. Two groups of five will lose. One group of ten will win.
Another consideration people don't think of is WHEN to attack. This is again based on the selfishness of the individual who will call attack when they happen to fly by an enemy base. I see all the time teams attack a base that was also attack by another team at the same time. Both teams wind up killing each other, and the base defenders are the ones laughing the whole time. Don't attack when the enemy base is heavily defended. Instead, wait nearby and green. Watch when the base is lightly guarded, and has been so for a minute or so. At this point you can safely assume that the other players are involved in attacking someone else. THIS is when you should call attack. Invariably, the other players will be dogfighting/attacking bases/greening and the defense will be less than full strength. Also, by calling attacks less often you will have more players attacking at the same time and your attacks will be stronger. Your attacks will be more likely to succeed and when you do you'll have few casualties.
You want to try to avoid situations where you defeat an enemy base just to have them ten man you a minute later. At best, all your players will have to defend base for the rest of the game. At worst, you immediately lose your base and ten man them back. The base will switch hands back and forth and doesn't do you any good towards winning. There are two ways to avoid this:
The same considerations applies to defending as to attacking. Defend as a team. You'll be more likely to succeed and take fewer casualties. Don't reinforce defeat. I hear squad leaders say all the time "Attach even to certain death." This is wrong and based on principle rather than strategy. If you are certainly dead having your teammates dead as well won't help you. It would help the enemy though since you'll have less players to defend a second base (if you got any flags away). Instead, have your teammates help you regreen and take the base back.
Some other things to keep in mind in base defense: Keep up slow bombing and keep the area mined. Many players are lazy to slow bomb. I don't like it myself, but it absolutely forces your opponent to use a repel, costs nothing, and gives you extra shrap. Don't let the mines run out in the area, but don't overmine either. There's nothing worse than attacking, trying to mine, and getting the message that you can't because some fools in base piled a bunch of mines around that will only get repelled into the defenders anyway.
As stated before, the single most effective weapon in SS is surprise. You should mine with this in mind. Putting bombs at passage entrances is the single biggest and most common mistake in Warzone. If your opponent expects mines to be there he/she will never get hit by it and will always repel it. At best, you simply have less mines elsewhere. At worst, which happens quite often, the mines get repelled into the defenders and so are a liability to the team.
Where should you mine then? Mine with the following things in mind:
You will be tested on how well you choose to mine in 4 bases
Assume that no mines are currently present, other defenders are present, and the base is not under attack
Warning: Large graphic downloads
Take the Test
For beginners, dueling is a matter of aim and timing. For pros, dueling is a matter of intimidation, confidence, and patience. You need to have the first before you can gain the second.
The basis of dueling is energy management. You want to have more energy than your opponent at all times. The lower energy you both have, the more important this becomes. If you have less you would normally take defensive tactics that conserve energy. This includes single fire gunning, running, and skimming bombs. If you have more you would normally take offensive tactics such as gunning, gun rushes, and offensive positioning. Something most people don't realize is that dueling is not a matter of who hits whom more often. It's all about who has more energy. You shooting at me with two bombs and missing twice is the same as if I shot you with a bomb myself. You hitting me with ten bombs in a row doesn't do any good if those bombs are so spread out that I charge faster than you hit me.
An equally important factor is mentality. If you think you are going to lose, you probably will. Intimidated opponents shoot less and are less likely to exploit mistakes. There are times when I've dueled opponents in the past where I had less energy than they did almost the whole time yet they were the ones running. If you have your opponent thinking only of his own survival you can keep shooting without regard to energy usage and do so in aggressive postures. This is the strongest type attack possible, usually gets the kill, and is purely based on mentality. Overconfidence is also bad however. Overconfidence leads you to take more vulnerable attack positions, to use energy more quickly than is wise, and to concentrate less. Overconfident opponents are especially susceptible to turning and gunning. When you duel, the best possible mentality is to neither expect to win nor lose. Simply concentrate on the situation. If you have to think one way or the other though, it's better to think you are going to win.
General Dueling Tactics:
Offensive Dueling Tactics:
Difficulty: Extremely High
Range: Variable, usually medium
Technique: Accelerate in a straight line from 1/2 maximum speed or less while firing bullets. After the third bullet shoot a bomb.
Counter: Fire single bomb and dodge then gun rush
This is a difficult to achieve type of fire that if successfully executed will result in 1800 damage, thus killing anybody instantly. This tactic takes superb aim and usually requires the element of surprise. Best done with the Warbird.
Doubled up Bullets:
Technique: Accelerate in a straight line shooting two or more bullets possibly until maximum velocity is reached.
Counter: Fire single bomb and dodge
Since the later bullets will have a higher velocity than those before they will eventually catch up. Because of this, the normal delay between bullet hits is negated and your opponent loses that second or so of recharge. For three bullets, if you can maneuver to the perfect range and hold your opponent for the second it takes this can do up to 1000 damage with only 200 overall energy cost. This can also be done with two bullets for a faster but less effective attack.
Doubled up Bombs:
Speed: Very Slow
Vulnerability: Very High
Difficulty: Medium to High
Range: Long to Extremely Long
Technique: Accelerate in a straight line shooting two or more bombs until maximum velocity is reached.
Counter: Dodge and gun rush
This is a common tactic in bases to get quick kills. It is easy to do as a random vulch as well although harder as a killing maneuver. Done perfectly, you will time all three bombs to reach the same area at the same time, which also happens to be where your opponent is located at the time. This is not usually done in dogfights except possibly as the opening fire. This is more effective with the Leviathan.
Non-linear Doubled up Bombs:
Speed: Very Slow
Difficulty: Extremely High
Range: Extremely Long
Technique: Pick a spot from 1 to 45 degrees off your velocity vector to fire at. Shoot your bombs at this spot while modifying thrust if necessary to keep within firing range and ensure your bombs will hit this spot at the same time. Correctly done, your first bomb will be slower because of the arc of the fire but still slightly faster than your ship. Your second bomb should be slightly faster than your first bomb, and your arc should be less. The velocity vector of your last bomb should be very close to that of your ship and should be fastest of all. All bombs should overlap at the same spot at the same time at the spot you chose to fire at..
Counter: Dodge the bombs and try for a direct hit bomb yourself
This leaves you much less vulnerable than the standard method of doubling up bombs because you fly in a parabola. However, it is one of the hardest techniques in the game. It also requires your target be far away, near the edge of the large radar .
Turn and gun:
Speed: Very Fast
Range: Extremely Close
Technique: When an opponent is following too closely while you are running, you quickly turn to face them and gun while accelerating through them.
Counter: Keep your concentration and bomb when your opponent attempts this. Afterwards gun rush if your opponent doesn't start running fast enough.
This is the favorite tactic of runners and negkillers. This takes so little time that you can usually get free hits. Done at longer range it will do more damage while making you more vulnerable. Done at closer range you will be less vulnerable but do less damage. Best done with the Warbird.
Vulnerability: Medium to high
Technique: Face your opponent and charge through them while firing guns. Doesn't work if your relative angular velocity is too high when initiated.
Counter: Quick positioning dodge, then counter rush
This move can kill if done correctly, but is unlikely to succeed. Works best against slow opponents or if you have much more energy than your opponent. The closer you are when you do this the better, and the better you manage to double up your bullets the more damage you will do. Done from medium range will certainly result in getting hit by a direct hit bomb. Done from long range will not only get you hit by a direct hit bomb but will also enable your opponent to counter rush and probably kill you. The most important secret is the lower your relative angular velocity the easier it will be to hit your opponent.
Speed: Very Fast
Vulnerability: Very Low
Technique: Fire a bullet to directly hit your opponent (usually with a small bit of acceleration first) and IMMEDIATELY dodge.
Counter: Gun rush at opponent's anticipated location.
This takes little energy and usually suffices to keep your opponent off balance long enough for you to charge. Can also be done to hold off aggressive opponents, or to make your opponent make a mistake.
Fencing: (Warbird only)
Difficulty: Very High
Range: Close to very close
Technique: Stay at close range to your opponent firing doubled up bullets while dodging them yourself.
This is the art of gunning/dodging at extremely close range. Only a Warbird can manage this. This is the perfect situation to take advantage of mistakes. Your opponent is too close to run without risk and too far to bomb or mine. This is the best way for the Warbird to kill non-Warbird ships.
Direct Hit Bombing:
Vulnerability: Usually High
Difficulty: Very Easy (if your opponent makes a mistake)
Technique: Fire a bomb when your opponent makes a mistake
Counter: Not making mistakes in the first place
This tactics usually involves your opponent making a mistake, such as charging of some sort as happens with gun rushes, or inattentiveness.
Bullet positioning with bombing:
Difficulty: Extremely High
Technique: Fire one or two bullets with perfect accuracy. Immediately fire a bomb where your opponent would have to be if he/she turned to dodge the bullets.
Counter: Wait for charge then gun rush
This only works when your opponent is very low on energy (300 or less) and running at full speed. It is also inefficient and at best costs 1:1. If done right several times in a row you can get the kill even against an opponent openly running.
Lure: (Warbird Only)
Damage: 1400 or more, usually death
Technique: Close Range/Skim a bomb and then fully turn around and run. Your opponent will chase you firing guns 90% of the time. Keep at close range, dodge the first one or two bullets, then either turn and gun or do a reverse fire.
Counter: Don't fall for it
This works best against aggressive gunners, especially negkillers. Since you have the element of surprise AND the positioning advantage at that point you'll win the gun fight. If your opponent does not react fast enough or is overly aggressive he/she will be dead before he/she knows what's happening.
Defensive Dueling Tactics
Damage: 1000 or more, usually death
Technique: When an opponent gun rushes you, reverse and turn so the back of your ship faces away from the opponent's movement vector while keeping your nose pointed at them and firing bullets.
Counter: Jerk to the side, then continue firing straight in or use a bomb.
With this move, for the first second or so, while your opponent's angular velocity is matching yours, your opponent will be shooting where you WERE while you will be shooting where your opponent IS. Because of this, and the element of surprise, you can get anywhere from three to all of the bullets into your opponent before you get hit yourself. This ONLY works at close range however. Done at very close range, you will only get two or three bullets in and your opponent will rush past you. Done at too far range and you will wind up moving parallel TOWARDS the opponent's initial bullets and be worse off than if you had done nothing.
Skimming: (Warbird Only - Positioning tactic)
Damage: One to one energy loss - Position advantage
Technique: Dodge bombs at the extreme edges of the explosion maintaining a close/medium range to your opponent.
Counter: Don't be too trigger happy
With this move your opponent will spend as much energy shooting and you take in damage. Neither player will gain energy advantage, but the skimmer gains positional advantage. The player firing bombs can easily make a mistake (close range bombs or susceptibility to gun rushes) which the skimmer will be always ready to take advantage of.
Technique: When you are not moving and somebody is trying to gun rush you from the side, thrust forward long enough to make your opponent turn to adjust. Immediately reverse thrust before the first shots hit you (ducking the bullets). If timed right, as you drop down your opponent will fly past you, with your nose right under their ship. Forward thrust and fire into them, doubling up bullets if possible.
Counter: Reverse fire when your opponent tries to shoot at you after the duck.
This move is most effective with the warbird since it relies on the quickness of the thrust. It highly depends on the aggressivness of your opponent so is best done when the rate of closure between your ships is high and your opponent is not trying to dodge.
Difficulty: Medium but opportunities are rare
Technique: This depends mainly on seeing the opportunity and taking advantage of it as it is hard to setup. The following conditions must exist: You are moving at medium speed, your opponent is moving at full speed in the same direction as you but with distance still decreasing, the minimum distance your opponents position will be is medium, and your opponent shoots a bomb at or behind. When these conditions exist, rather than back up behind the bomb or back away accelerate forward past the bomb (and match your opponent's velocity). Once you hit full speed do a gun rush at your opponent. He will only be able to slow down or maintain velocity and will be unable to immediately shoot guns. Even if your opponent does shoot guns he will be behind you in energy by the cost of a missed bomb. Either way, your opponent will be easy to hit and will most likely lose a direct gun battle. This technique results 75% of the time in a kill.
Counter: Back up as soon as your opponent slips the bomb.
This technique does two things at once: Dodges a bomb and sets up for a perfect gun rush. This sometimes happens in duels when your opponent tries to attack but is too nervous to close the distance. It also sometimes occurs near walls when your opponent who you are chasing will alternately slow down then speed up along the wall.
Close Range Bombs:
Damage: Energy Advantage
Technique: Manipulate your opponent into firing bombs at close range
Counter: Don't be too trigger happy
Most people don't realize that if you shoot a bomb and your own ship registers damage AT ALL the total energy loss for yourself is greater than that of your opponent. Not only does your opponent lose that much less energy, but you lose that much more. This rarely happens at such a range as to cause instant death for the player firing, but it happens quite often close enough to gain an energy advantage for the player dodging.
Damage: Enemy loses energy by cost of a bomb
Technique: When both you and your opponent are at near zero velocity facing each other, rather than firing a bomb as anticipated turn to a 90 degree angle and thrust in an anticipatory dodge.
Counter: Delayed Gun Rush
Your hopefully opponent will fire a bomb straight at you (as in counter to a gun rush or as the only possible move at that range) and miss. This situation happens most often after you charge past each other and both turn to face each other.
Damage: Usually none
Technique: When chasing or closing in on an opponent rather than rushing at them head on weave the nose of your ship back and forth between 45 clockwise and counterclockwise relative to your opponent.. Every time your nose passes them fire a bullet..
Counter: Dodge the Bullets; No counter to defensive part
This is a defensive maneuver that gives you inherent dodging ability making it much harder for your opponent to guess where to shoot and providing automatic bomb skimming..
Technique: Shoot a bomb as soon as you guess your opponent will advance an attack. Shoot the bomb before the opponent starts to move and he'll charge into it.
This works best against agressive opponents. A miss results in the loss of energy cost of one bomb.
Dueling Rating Scale
I've composed a system of ratings by which I judge people's dueling ability. It ranges from 1/8 for the worst players to 8/8 for the true masters. If you which to be tested, let me know online.
See the Rating List
Fighting with others is the hardest thing in Subspace to master. Simply going at the enemy as if you were alone will sufficice in most situations and 95% of good players never get past this point. There are 3 different team situations: You outnumber the opponents, equal numbers, and where you are outnumbered.
Common situation: Two or three pilots are chasing one runner. In this particular situation, do your best not to fly near your teammates. If you see the runner start to slow down, rather than charge in, move to the right or left first. That way if the runner makes a break for it you have a side shot with equal velocity. Easy to hit, hard to dodge without reversing back into the pursers. Even if they start running again and you are farther back than the closest pursuer you still have an advantage. If the runner bounces back you have a clean shot if they bounce back or turn around. If they go into a base you don't have to rush in after but can fly to the exit instead.
Common situation: Four on four league play. Four is enough of a group to get a quick kill on careless pilots, but not enough to kill sole running pilots. Go for vulching/flank attacks as much as possible. Don't dogfight. Remember the concept of the invisible lines! Connect the dots between your enemies. That box is enemy territory. If you go in there you'll get hit from all sides and die. Instead, try to extend the formation of your own team around the enemy. Hit them from the sides, and if your enemy shoots back run to your nearest teammate.
Common situation: Two players fighting as a team against a swarm. In this particular example it is extremely important to stay together. Either one of you can get quickly killed so it's important to protect each other. Don't initiate attacks yourself, but watch to see who attacks your teammate. Usually pursurers are going for equal damage such as gun rushes and won't wait for their own teammates. Use this to your advantage.
Lay three or more mines in one area. Maneuver so your opponent is between you and the mines. Repel them into the mines. Doesn't work if your opponent knows the mines are there. Can also be done with people leaving safe zones.
Lay three or more mines on one side of an area you expect your opponent to pass through. Lay a portal on the other. When your opponent enters that area use the portal then immediately repel them into the mines.
Safe Zone Bounce Mine/Repel
Lay three or more mines in one area at medium range in front of a safe zone. Manuver in front of the safe zone so your opponent is between you and the mines. When your opponent leaves the safe zone repel so they bounce off the wall of the safe zone and bounce back into your mines..
Slow Bomb Mine/Repel
Difficulty: Extremely High
Shoot 3 bombs behind you in a straight line while running. When your opponent flies past the mines maneuver so you, the mines, and the opponent are all lined up. Repel your opponent into your bombs behind you..
Bullet wall bounce
Difficulty: Varies on ship type and speed
While running shoot the wall in front of you so your bullets bounce back into your opponent. Particularly skilled players can do this at an angle with single fire bullets
When you are being chased bounce off an asteroid back into your opponent. If you are lucky they will blow themselves up with a bomb. Won't work without small element of surprise. Can also be used for quick escapes
With a weasel only, fire a bullet 1/10th a second after firing a bomb. Takes a bit of practice but makes your direct hit bombs do 1 1/2 times more damage for1 1/10 the energy cost..
Neg Warp through antiwarp
If a neg killer is using antiwarp on you just do a ship change to get through. You'll lose your bounty but it doesn't matter if you have none to begin with..
Why do neg killers neg and lamers act lame?
They want attention (which is why neg killers would complain if they weren't on the lamer list). This desire for attention is usually based on a lack of love or support at home but could be a lack of friends or a lack of general popularity in social situations, such as school. In particular, they don't have the skill or personality to gain friends or win admirers in Subspace (positive attention) so they resort to acting like jerks and win negative attention. For them, negative attention is better than none at all. Normally you can't get away with that, since if you act like a jerk in school or elsewhere there are penalities incurred. You might be beat up, people will ignore you, teachers will suspend you, parents will ground you, etc. However, in Subspace and other internet games you are safe behind your screen. You don't have to deal with the people you play with other than in the game. If nobody likes you to begin with, then there are no penalites and you still get the attention. Even hearing "So and so is a jerk!" and knowing everyone else hears it as well makes them happy knowing others will pay attention to them. The habitual negkillers, those who do it everyday, also do it to make themselves feel bigger by being able to beat everyone else (or so it is in their perception when they win most fights against negs). Those who are ignored and unpopular tend to have low egos to begin with so this goes hand in hand.
What should I do about neg kiilers?
The best thing to do is ignore them. They do it for attention and by depriving them of the attention they want they lose interest in the game. Don't say 'Fuck you negger' in public, this is what they want. It makes them feel good to know they made somebody else feel worse and the attention they get from it strengthens this. Some other things you can do:
Lamer justification: "It's just a game!"
Many players of all kinds of internet games use the excuse "It's just a game" to justify their negative actions to themselves. What they refuse to realize, is that multiplayer games on the computer are just as valid as physical multiplayer games such as soccer or tennis. The adage "out of sight out of mind" applies here, since these mental children don't see their opponent's faces so don't make the connection that these are real people with real feelings at the other end. Not that totally they aren't aware of this, just that they don't have to deal with the consequences so it's the same effect.
If you see a bunch of kids playing soccer would you run out and grab the ball and try to run away with it? If some people were trying to play basketball would you stand on the sidelines and throw marbles onto the court? If two people were playing tennis would you jump in with scissors and start cutting up the net? No, and that's because this kind of antisocial behavior would get your ass kicked. Would you do it if you could get away with it though? The answer for some people is 'yes' since acting like a lamer in Subspace or any other game is no different than the above examples. In my opinion, online games are where people's true inner personalities show. I fully believe this is a valid basis to determine in part if a person is fit for society, but in the meantime the best alternative is to ostracise them online.
Take the lamer test and find out how lame you are.