When I re-started playing this game, about a month ago, I found myself being a terribad player. People on my team would cheer out loud when I was killed because it meant they now had a chance to win. After a month of playing again, I can now say, with all certainty, that I?m only a bad player and that even though I?m no asset to any team I?m in, at least I am not an omen of certain loss for my team anymore (well, not most of the time, at least).
In my opinion, a few things I did to improve my game were responsible for this, and I would like to share them with other horrible players who are struggling at this game. There tips are directed to people who, like myself, play with the keyboard and mouse configuration. Also, if you are not a complete useless player and can actually get some kills, these are not for you. I kindly ask of the aces in this game that they correct me if I give any bad tip.
The first thing you should do as a terribad player is getting familiar with your control settings. This means two things: first, you must actually re-map the keys and reset the sensitivity of your mouse to suit your needs; second, you must actually memorize what the keys do and how to properly use them.
Re-mapping and setting the sensitivity is a pretty straight forward but often forgotten part of most games. It is vital that not only you know which keys to press, but that you are actually comfortable with the placing of the commands on your keyboard. The best way to accomplish this in game is to change the settings and fire up training battles until you think the controls are working for you.
For the memorization part, I would advice that you take a longer approach and take your time in learning the commands of the game. The most important commands in the game are flaps, throttle, targeting and mini-map/radar controls. You should try this out in steps, so you don?t get confused. First, learn to use your flaps and to cut your engines to fly better. Once doing those come naturally, you should start paying attention to your mini-map and targeting to get used to switching between targets and also between the mini-map and the radar. After all those come naturally, you should try to learn how to properly apply throttle to control your aircraft. The reason I recommend learning this after being able to comfortably use the other commands is because this is, in my opinion, the hardest to master for the kb+mouse control settings. You could obviously change the order that you try to learn using them, but I still would recommend that you do not try to learn how to use them all one once.
While you are trying to get familiar with controlling your aircraft, another thing comes in handy (as said before): doing team training against bots. I have seen people in the game chat saying that the best training is against real players, but I beg to disagree with them. When I re-started this game I could not even follow a bot, let alone a real player. Had I only practiced against those I doubt I would have been able to improve much before I just gave up.
Team training is the perfect environment to get used to the game because the bots are plain stupid. They don?t shoot back and they just fly in circles, unlike some of the players (most of us actually fly in circles and, well, we shoot but you wouldn?t notice anyway). The game controls with the mouse and keyboard setup take some time to getting used to, even after you configured it to suit your needs. In the team training, you?ll get a good feeling for how your aircraft will react to the commands and, given there is no one shooting you, you can try out things and improve your flying.
A second thing team training is very useful for is getting to know how your particular aircraft flies and shoots. Different guns have different ballistic characteristics, and trying them out against bots, for me, was very helpful in being able to land my shots. Each plane also have very particular flying characteristics, and getting used to them before running a real match can be the difference in being able to kill an enemy or not.
I know training can be very boring, so play a few training battles and then play a couple against humans. Doing this will probably also serve to show whether or not you made any improvement.
Also, while you are trying to learn your plane characteristics, take note of a couple of things that should determine how you play them. The most important things to note, in my opinion, is how well your plane is able to conserve and gain energy. This should determine your course of action during the battle and, again IMO, the training room is the best place to check it out.
This is not only the displayed characteristics of your plane, like climb rate and turn rate. Those, obviously, govern how your aircraft reacts. But knowing how your aircraft will hold up after doing those is very important.
As an example, I?ll use two very different planes. The LaGG-3, for instance, is not able to regain energy very fast. Even though it has a good climb rate, if you are pulled into a turn fight to save your life, even if you come out victorious (this is not a fighter you want to do that, by the way) you?ll find yourself at low speed and having a hard time regaining either speed or altitude. The La-5, on the other hand, will be able to regain both speed and altitude fast, even after turn-fighting for a long time.
How does this help you battle, you may ask? Well, in the former I will try my best to conserve my speed/altitude, or at least trade one or the other. I know I?ll have a hard time regaining either after a dogfight, so I want to keep them for as long as I can in a battle. In the latter, I don?t mind losing either at the beginning because I know the aircraft will have an easy time regaining them later on.
After you pass the training phase (though I recommend that you do it for every new plane you get), there is one thing you must exercise every battle: fire discipline. You should not fire your guns at the beginning of the match, and that?s pretty obvious, but knowing when to fire at an enemy is a big step towards killing him.
Avoid, as much as possible, shots that you know will not hit him. It will only count for gun overheat and, as said, you will not hit an enemy. When ammunition comes back to the game (I hope it does), fire control will also mean that you will be able to shoot someone later on. Also, unless you have a sure fire, to hold the trigger for too long. Your bullets take some time to reach the target, so try to shoot in small bursts to see whether you?re hitting them. I haven?t tested it in this game, but in most games firing longer bursts also mean bigger bullet dispersion, which is very bad. Last, but not least, try to hold your fire until you are close to the enemy. The closest you are to him, the bigger chance you?ll have of hitting him. If you fire from too far away, he will notice you earlier and start evading, which will then make him a much harder target to hit.