For most situations, you’ll want to be ADSing (Aim Down Sights) with your weapon. However, there are times when it is essential to instead hip-fire. When do you hip-fire? Whenever you can get away with it.
Note: Some weapons such as the NS-15 (NS) are very bad at hip-firing due to low DPS and low hip accuracy, while some such as the MSW-R (TR) are excellent. If you are using a poor hip-fire weapon it may be better to swap to your sidearm in such a scenario.
Another fundamental of combat we’ll go over shortly is movement, and mobility is key. When you aim down the sights of your weapon your movement speed is lowered by 50%/25% depending on your weapon. When you are hip-firing you are not slowed whatsoever, giving you a large mobility advantage over someone who ADSing. While you will lose the accuracy you’d have if you were aiming down sights, the tradeoff for movement speed is well worth it if you are in close quarters.
A good way to tell if it’s an appropriate time to hipfire is if your crosshair is tight around your opponent’s body.
This section is for players that already have good aim but find themselves plateau-ing at the 3kd mark – where you have some decent game sense, but are ignoring it because of tunnel-visioning.
What is Committal Aiming
> When you actively devote conscious effort to keep your crosshair on the place where you’re shooting.
For newer players, all of their aim should, and will be, committal, as they are just learning how to shoot and they need to concentrate on hitting his shots. But, for a lot of experienced players, they continue to make conscious efforts to shoot at the head, as to have a high headshot ratio.
The difference between committal and non-committal aiming
At this point you may be wondering why consciously aiming for the head is a bad thing. In Planetside, most players are fairly predictable – they follow the same paths, strafe in the same ways, and their chest/center of mass never do anything unpredictable. Their heads, on the other hand, move around quite a lot. Aiming for the head on a player moving erratically becomes much harder to track as opposed to their center of mass (which will move comparably less).
Everyone has experienced a similar moment – stating to shoot at an unaware enemy just as another enters to face you, and you die because you were locked into shooting the unaware player. Instances where you’re unable to win an engagement you should have because you put too much effort into killing one player that you neglected the other, more serious threats.
Basically, overcommitting into a less important target
Central Nervous System Burnout (also known as being “mentally boomed”) is the formal name for mental fatigue experienced after prolonged concentration. If compare your statistics between various session, you’ll consistently notice a downward slope occur between the 45 and 90-minute mark
In this clip, you see the player enter a room with essentially zero threats. None of the visible players are paying much attention to him, so why put anything more than the bare minimum effort required into killing them? As well, had there been a shotgunner crouched behind one of the boxes, you would be much more likely to see them if you were hipfiring those players while retaining essentially full lethality.
Where you should focus
The environment and the players around you. Players with committal aim die most often to flanks or bad matchups (e.g. scatmax), because they have 1v1 aim in a 1vEverything game.
So is non-committal aiming just hipfiring as much as possible?
No- it’s just knowing when you can sacrifice mobility for extra damage guarantee. Hipfire is incredibly powerful in the right situation in PS2- almost too powerful. For most weapons with a small hipfire CoF (Most carbines, especially with ALS, SMGs and similar) you want to be hipfiring in any situation where you don’t have complete control over the engagement from beginning to end (Providing you’re within range). Hipfiring makes you significantly harder to hit, allows for easier tracking and lets you more easily disengage from bad engagements.
Three examples of various hipfiring and the benefits it provides:
Bunnyhopping- useful in certain situations, but use sparingly
Hipfiring allows you to peek/unpeek a lot faster than doing it while ADS. You almost never want to peek around a corner with a hostile enemy (that knows where you are) while ADS, assuming you have a good hipfire gun. Sticking to corners and walls, and using the faster in-out of hipfire allows you to be annoyingly hard to damage or kill.
When in doubt, maximizing your mobility is always a good option. Never hold down ADS when you don’t have to, don’t run in a straight line, zigzag in and out of cover to throw off your opponents aim, and spend less time thinking about how you’re going to headshot this guy so you can think more about how you can shoot the next three dudes coming through this doorway in the back.
The ability to stay mobile and disengage quickly is something you learn, just like everything else- reading this guide alone will not make you better. The best way to learn is to actively practice this, with the mindset of improvement.