Match strategy guide/Controls and basics
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Controls are an often-overlooked part of playing SRB2, but in a competitive multiplayer game, they make a huge difference. One's controls should be set with all the important buttons in easy reach, and be comfortable to use. Using bad controls is a major handicap that may be impossible to overcome.
This is the recommended method for aiming. The dominant hand (usually right) should be used to control a mouse. The number of buttons a mouse contains will dictate how many important controls will be mapped to it. Mouselook should be activated and sensitivity set to preference by going under Mouse Options within SRB2. Left-click should be assigned to firing, and right-click should be assigned to jumping or the normal ring fire, whichever is more comfortable. If the mouse has a mousewheel, it's a generally good choice for the weapon select. Also, it's not a bad idea to set a "mouselook" key, which while mouselook is on, will temporarily turn it off, allowing you to fire horizontally while the button is held down. Note that SRB2 does not support mouse buttons beyond the 4th.
Choosing not to use a mouse limits the firing arc to the horizontal plane, therefore making it impossible to aim at any targets above or below line-of-sight, crippling the ability to respond to attacks from above or below, especially when Tails or Rail Rings are involved. It also restricts how fast the player can turn around, because the turn keys only turn the player so fast, while just moving the mouse across the mousepad can cause the player to turn around instantly. While it's possible to play well without a mouse, getting used to using a mouse will improve anyone's game skill.
The non-dominant hand (usually left) should be used to control the keyboard. Movement keys are commonly the W, A, S, and D keys. The W and S keys are used to move forward and backward, while A and D are used to strafe left and right. Strafing is not the same as turning. Strafing essentially moves the player (sidestepping) to either side without physically turning the character to face that direction. Strafing is invaluable for keeping an opponent within a crosshair and still be nimble on one's feet.
Buttons not assigned to the mouse buttons should be assigned close to the movement keys for easy access. For example, one could assign the Q key to spindash, and E to normal ring fire. Other good keys for assigning things to, depending on taste, are left shift, left control, F, and space. By default, the numbers 1-7 also will switch to that number weapon, which can be a lot faster than scrolling through the weapons one-by-one.
- Avoid standing still. There are some circumstances where it might be advantageous to remain in one location for a time. These occasions are rare. Under all other circumstances, a target that doesn't move is a dead target.
- Never run in a straight line. Targets that move in a straight line are easy to predict, and therefore easy to hit. Make sure plenty of turns and zig-zags are included in all movement.
- Never be predictable. A player who zig-zags and turns the same way every time while running is almost as easy to hit as a player running in a straight line.
- Use the jump button and special abilities often. Sonic players should thok frequently. Knuckles players should alternate between running and gliding. Tails players should use their ability to fly to provide vertical variation.
- Look around. With the speed the game goes at, it's very easy to be flanked and attacked from behind. Make sure to check often, especially as Tails and Knuckles.
- Watch out for environmental hazards. Slime, lava, and drowning can be hazardous, and all rings, weapons, and emeralds are lost when hit, regardless of whether it was caused by the stage or another player.
- Exercise caution while using springs. Springs, like spindashing, reduce the amount of control a player has over their character. Players should always vary their direction (horizontally, vertically or both) when using springs. Simply hitting a spring and not making any modification to mid-air direction will allow opponents to easily predict motion and shoot the player down.
Aiming and firing
- Don't fire straight at a moving target and expect to hit it. Even Tails can move quickly enough to evade a ring fired directly at him. Fire ahead of targets so that opponents run into the rings, instead of past them. This, by far, is the most important skill to master in SRB2 match.
- Fire more than one shot at a time. Unless showing off, it simply isn't practical to simply fire one shot (except for Rail) and expect it to hit something. Fire off many rings in the direction of opponents.
- If firing at long range, fire along the ground. If rings are shot too low, the rings will hit the ground before reaching any opponent, if fired too high, the rings will hit the top of the map. Shots fired along the ground have a much higher chance of hitting an opponent since players spend most of their time on the ground. When using mouselook, the mouselook key is especially good for this, as it sets your view to exactly horizontal.
- Surprise the opponent. Fire from places the opponent isn't likely to see, and attack from above, below, or especially behind the opponent. Attacking a player's back is a sure-fire way to get an advantage.
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