Flank, don’t tank – If you have the possibility to flank on an enemy then it’s almost always a better choice than staying put and hiding behind cover. A lot of players will pick the relative safety of ducking behind a rock over strategic movement but those players will most likely end up dead if the other players flank. Don’t be afraid to back out, run far and come around the side.
Get the most out of your time – If you only have an hour to play every day then that’s two rounds where you end up in the top 10 or 4-5 rounds where you die midgame. Before you start playing you should set a goal for those rounds (apart from winning). I usually practice something for 3-4 days. Say for instance that you want to get better at controlling recoil on the AKM. You should decide that for the next couple of rounds you will always pick up the AKM and always play on Full Auto. Having a clear goal helps with not only getting better at the game, but it will also make you feel like you’re making progress even if you don’t win.
Tactics are easier to emulate than mechanics – A lot of my friends who play the game watch pro players and then they try to emulate their playing style. Problem is that when you’re trying to emulate someone like Shroud you forget that he has 10+ years of pro CS-skills under his belt that help him with aim and movement. You can’t just emulate that, it takes years and years of practice. What you can do however is emulate tactics. Good positioning, decent spots to drop or how you best defend a house is something you can learn and practice right away after watching a pro do it on stream.
Take breaks – I have days where nothing works, I can go lots of rounds where my aim is off or I’m just having bad luck. Sometimes when you’re in that spot you just keep playing hoping that something will give, but from my experience it’s better to take a break and do something else for a while. Come back fresh later instead. Otherwise those bad rounds tend to add up and eventually you’ll get sick of the game. Or even worse, you’ll learn bad behavior that might ruin future games as well.
Use everything in your arsenal – I find that the average player tends to focus on one weapon and forget that they have a secondary weapon and grenades to their disposal as well. We’ve all been there, you finally get your M4 all decked out and you stick with it no matter what. But sometimes the S686 or the UMP even might get the job done better. I’m usually the one with a big stack of grenades that I never use. Well, use them! Use your secondary weapons, switch to them instead of reloading. And use your grenades. Use a smoke inside a building when attacking to disguise the sound of your steps or throw it at an enemy just to confuse them.
Drop at the same spot over and over again – I wanted to practice peeking corners and dealing with several enemies early game, so me and a friend dropped on school for 10 straight rounds. From just those rounds I could see real improvement. Eventually we got pretty good at surviving a drop on school. And I got better at peeking around corners. Now I’m doing the same thing in Pochinki in order to improve my close to mid-range combat aim. Knowing a place intimately also helps improve your chances of coming out on top if you drop there.
Beware of tunnel vision – A lot of players focus on one enemy or objective so much that they lose all situational awareness. You’re completely homed in on getting inside a building so you don’t hear the enemy coming around the corner or you see a care package nearby and never stop to ask if it’s worth going for. Force yourself to snap out of situations like these and just stop and breathe for a second. Ask yourself questions while you’re playing. Am I doing what is strategically smart? Could there be more enemies around? This is especially helpful when trying to find a new spot in the next circle. If you think you know a good spot then someone else most likely also knows about it and might already be there. Don’t just automatically decide and head for that spot immediately, stop and think about how you should counter someone who is already there.