Despite the common trope of “Ash mains just run in and die etc etc,” there is much more to being a successful Ash than meets the eye. My goal in this guide is to familiarize the reader with all of the different playstyles possible with Ash, and how to pick which one works best for you.
As a 3 speed 1 armor, ash is perfect at taking quick engagements and escaping before the enemy can return fire. Picking the right weapon and gear is essential to allow you to catch the enemy by surprise.
R4-C: The fastest time to kill of any Ash weapon. This gun trades higher damage and a faster fire-rate than the G36C for more recoil. This is a good choice if you can control recoil well, as even landing body shots with this weapon is brutally effective.
G36C: The tamer counterpart of the R4, the G36C is useful for people who like to take it a bit slower, carefully aiming for the head and using the lower recoil and slower firerate of this gun to land consistent headshots. This is a good choice for players who are planning to take longer range engagements.
Similar to her primaries, ash’s secondaries come in faster and slower varieties. The faster pistol has less damage than it’s counterpart, but boasts 13 more bullets in the mag to compensate.
5.7 USG: This first pistol comes with 20 bullets in the mag and 1 in the chamber. This is one of the highest out of any pistol in the game, and helps compensate for its low damage is you like spam-clicking for headshots. I personally use this exclusively since I only pull out my pistol in tight situations when I can’t reload my primary, so I don’t want to run out of bullets in my secondary as well before the job is done.
M45 Meusoc: The slower and more powerful counterpart to the 5.7 boasts a higher damage, but that comes at a cost. This pistol has 7 bullets in the mag with 1 in the chamber, and is a good choice for players who like to carefully aim for center of mass and make sure they’re lined up perfectly before taking a shot. If you can make those 8 bullets count, they can be devastating to an enemy.
This is one of the most debated parts of Ash’s loadout. With the recent additions of flashbangs to her arsenal, however, I believe that the debate should now be able to end with a clear winner.
Flashbangs: One of the most underrated gadgets in this game. Flashbangs, while being sometimes inconsistent, can most certainly put an enemy out of commission for a couple seconds. This gives a 3 speed ash time to rush in and headshot them while they can’t even see where you’re coming from. If used properly to cover a doorway or explode in front of an angle you think someone is holding, these can allow an Ash to win gunfights almost every time.
Breaching Charges: The other option in terms of gadgets are Ash’s breaching charges. Some people find them useful if they want to hot-breach or open multiple walls/doors, but since her special ability already allows for 2 walls to be opened from any range I find the breaching charges redundant, with better options being available. If you really want to open more than the 2 walls her ability provides, a friendly sledge or buck might be just what you need. If you really want to go solo and blast your way through the map however, breach charges get the job done better than most.
My personal choices
These are by no means what you should take without experimentation just because I used them. They are only here if you are curious or want to try what I recommend (call it the chef’s special).
R4-C: Holo, Vertical Grip (always), Flash Hider, Laser Sight
5.7 USG: Muzzle Break + Laser Sight
The most important part of ash, no matter which gun or gadgets she has, is the way she is played. She has some of the most powerful guns in the game and is one of the fastest operators to boot, and needs to be played with this knowledge in mind. As an Ash player you should be knowledgeable about the layout of every map, since flanking roamers to clear them out or pushing an alternate route to site will often be your job. Confidence is key, knowing you have the upper hand in gunfights often helps you win them. If I had to make a TL:DR of Ash tips it would go as follows:
Don’t be afraid to make plays. You think a roamer is in meeting hall, go around to the back door, flash yourself in and push. More often than not they won’t expect that.
Always use every gadget if the opportunity presents itself. Better to use it when you might need it then die with it still on your body. That applies to drones, flashbangs, ash charges, or anything else you might have at your disposal. Learning to anticipate when a tool might be useful is part of being a good Ash.
Above all, still be a team player. Just because you have a good character for going solo or roam clearing doesn’t mean you should ignore your team. Keep an eye on what they’re doing and communicate with them, if they call out where someone might be think “could I use the tools I have to help them clear out that person without anyone dying?” When you see your team pushing, make sure you aren’t on the other side of the map droning for yourself. Inversely, try not to be the first to die before your team has already entered the building. There’s a balance, and that balance might take some time to reach. It’s a real sweet spot that you’ll realize you’re in when you’re there.