Quake Champions is coming to the end of its second week of early-access Free To Play and has gained wide praise from the wealth of new players. However, let it be known, Quake is hard. Damn hard. Perhaps you're looking for some helpful tips and tricks to become proficient at this punishing arena shooter? Well you're in the right place. Lets get started.
Champion choices are an important part of Quake Champions. There are no direct counters as such, but rather characters with certain strengths and weaknesses when it comes to playstyle.
My first piece of advice would be to get comfortable with Ranger. He's your default champion, and though there are no direct benefits to completing the tutorial more than once, the short deathmatch section at the end is a great place to get comfortable with Ranger's ability, movements, and passive abilities. Ranger is one of the strongest and most versatile champions in the game and is the perfect place to start if you're a newcomer to Quake Champions, so spend some time really getting to grips with him, so you'll always have a safe fallback onto this Champion.
Just because Ranger is such a good choice doesn't mean you should avoid other champions though. Learning Scalebearer, the other free champion, and the various other champions will make you far more of a flexible player overall, and also help you understand how to fight those champions when you see them in the arena. Mastering your Champion's ability is just as important as raw gun skill, and when you can combine these two factors together, you'll start to see a rapid improvement. Don't feel the need to rush to learn all of the champions in-game though, every single champion is extremely viable and powerful in the right hands, and theres no shame in sticking to one champion and mastering their strengths and weaknesses. Take your time and learn as you go.
You've heard it before in every FPS game ever, map knowledge is key. This has never been more true in the case of Quake Champions. The map isn't just a plain to fight your battles on, its an intricate battleground with ebbs and flows, and perfecting your map knowledge can literally make the difference between living and dying. With Quake's health and armour system being almost 100% dependent on picking up these resources from around the map, map knowledge is essential for not only knowing how to traverse the arena, but for staying alive.
Small health pickups are littered around the map, as are armour pickups. Small armour also drops from dead enemies, which is a good source of sustaining yourself. Mega Health and Mega Armour are also present on every map, though there is only one of each and they're on a 30 second timer between respawns. These offer huge increases in each respective stat, and can over-heal/over-armour your character beyond normal limits if you can encourage them, thus attaining these power-ups is essential.
Hourglasses are also present around the map, offering you a small decrease in your ability's cooldown. This may not sound so important, but every champion's ability has potential to change the turn of a gunfight. Learning the positions of these hourglasses and picking them up will make you far more flexible and dangerous in gunfights.
Some other pick ups to note are Quad Damage and Protection. They're very self-explanatory, Quad Damage makes you very powerful, whilst Protection makes you significantly more tanky. These powerups usually spawn around the centre of the map, or in a high-traffic area, and can be seen if you're close to them. When they're close to spawning though, the announcer will let you know, and the icon for this incoming powerup will be visible from anywhere on the map. These powerups can hugely change the flow of a game, so controlling them for you or your team is essential, as everyone will flock to these powerups.
Taking some time trying to note where the more important pickups are, such as mega health or mega armour, will prove an invaluable part of the knowledge that will help you at any skill level. These big power-ups are usually in high-traffic areas where you can be shot from multiple different areas, so you want to minimize your time hanging around these sections of the map. Get in, get the powerup, go. Even better, if you can, try to learn routes that will let you pick up numerous power-ups, and practice them to decrease the time you spend searching for health, and increase the time you spend fragging your opponents.
Quake's weapons are almost as important as the Champions and Resources around the map. Whilst each character starts with a basic Machine Gun, Nailgun or Shotgun (you can choose on the respawn screen), these weapons pale in comparison to what you can find littered around the map. Collecting weapons is a huge part of Quake, and whilst these weapons are fairly straight-forward in terms of how they work, its important to learn which weapon to use when.
As a rule, your three most important weapons are your Rocket Launcher, Lightning Gun, and Rail Gun. These three weapons fill three important categories, and are readily available to switch to on the Q, E and R keys respectively, on the default control scheme. Its more than possible to succeed and do very well with these 3 weapons alone, though having more weapon variety can't hurt.
The most important thing is to be able to identify which situation would benefit most from each type of weapon. All of the weapons in-game fall into the following 3 categories:
Hitscan Tracking: Lightning Gun, Machine Gun
Projectile Burst Damage: Rocket Launcher, Tri-Bolt
Hitscan Burst Damage: Shotgun, Railgun
There are two weapons that act as outliers to these categories though.
Melee Burst Damage: Gauntlet
Projectile Tracking: Nailgun
These two weapons can prove a bit harder to use, especially the Gauntlet, as it serves as more of an ambush weapon, but both offer huge bursts of damage if you can use them correctly.
Finally, when it comes to weapons, familiarize yourself with using the number keys and the default keyboard binds to switch between weapons. Again, your 3 most important weapons, the Rocket Launcher, Lightning Gun, and Railgun are bound by default to Q, E, and R respectively, with your other weapons being bound to the 1 – 5 number keys. All of these keys are fairly easy to reach in a pinch apart from maybe 5, but seeing as the Tribolt is bound to 5, this isn't much of a problem. The Tribolt, whilst a great weapon, can be harder to use than a lot of other weapons and fits a fairly nuanced purpose of an ambush role. Whilst this weapon can definitely be used to great effect, other weapons can do the job too.
Becoming comfortable with all of the weapons in Quake Champions sounds difficult, and it will take you a little while, but each weapon is extremely powerful and viable and will become an extension of your own arm as you become comfortable and proficient with them. Practice, practice, practice.
AIM AND MOVEMENT
Good aim is key in Quake. Pretty obvious, right? I mean, its pretty essential in any First Person Shooter. Quake can be a tad more forgiving though. Various body parts all take the same damage, so whether you're putting a railgun shot in someone's head or you're zapping their leg with the Lightning Gun, you'll always do the same damage. Don't be afraid to aim for centre mass, you won't be punished for doing so, and you'll find you have a much easier time taking down the smaller champions in the game when you don't have to aim for such a small and mobile target.
Speaking of mobile, movement. Movement is absolutely essential in Quake, with the entire game being built around a complex movement system. You don't have to understand all of the nuances of speed and acceleration though. As long as you're not standing still in Quake, you're already a harder target to hit. Staying mobile and making yourself an elusive target, even as the bigger champions in the game, will pay off massively when you're fighting any other champion. With that said, don't be afraid to wait for a moment when a powerup is about to spawn, that brief moment of vulnerability is worth it if you can guarantee yourself a powerful power-up, and also deny your enemies that same resource.
Bunny-hopping is prevalent in Quake, and is the key for reaching your maximum speed faster. If you're walking around the whole game, not only are you again an easier target for your enemies, but you're overall slower and of course, less mobile. Jump more, get faster, and frag out.
Quake isn't easy, not by a merry mile, and many of the people you run into have been playing this game since release, and probably have invested hundreds, if not thousands of hours into the Arena Shooter genre as a whole. You will lose gunfights, you'll lose matches, and you'll get absolutely stomped by veterans. Don't be discouraged though, Quake's skill curve means these losses are absolutely essential to becoming an overall better player. Whilst you may be tempted to ALT + F4 straight out, stick to it. Quake is insanely fun when you've passed that initial struggle of starting out new, and succeeding in this game is an extremely satisfying feeling. Take every loss, every death as a learning experience and you'll improve even faster as you learn what you did wrong and how you can avoid it next time. As you start to improve, you'll become even more addicted to this amazing arena shooter. Welcome to Quake, friend.