Pre-firing is self-explanatory: Firing before you actually need to. It sounds simple but the execution is more nuanced than that. 

Let us use an example of an easy pre-fire scenario:

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You are in a room by yourself, and suddenly out of the corner of your eye, you see a streak of red and black behind some boxes. It’s a TR Heavy he’s coming after you. By the short glimpses you’ve seen through the gaps he’s sprinting straight south, so you set your sights to where he’ll be momentarily.

You time it just right – before he shows himself, you let off a burst right where his head is going to be. Your first bullet hits nothing but air, but the following rounds hit him right in the head.

On his screen, he’s just died seemingly before he can react.

This is but one scenario you can utilize pre-firing. There are many others that will come to you as you become better at the game such as: 

  • Lining up a pre-fire with Minimap information (Recon Darts, Motion Spotters)
  • Coming into a room and pre-firing a common spot
  • Intuitively just knowing when your opponent will peek out

If you play this game long enough and develop a good game sense, you’ll find yourself pre-firing people with little more than intuition. 

Be careful though, as pre-firing is a double-edged sword, if you fail an attempt your opponent will know where you were and they still have a clientside advantage over you. You aren’t doing this to nullify clientside, that is impossible, you are doing it to nullify the lag between your brain and your mouse. Follow some rules when employing this trick.

  1. If your opponent fails to walk into your pre-fire, do not stand there waiting for him. Reposition!
  2. Do not expend all your ammo trying to pre-fire. Be frugal: only a few shots
  3. Do not crutch on it, this is just one thing inside your toolbox. If it isn’t working, do something else.

Note: Suppressing Fire tactics do not work in this game unless it is with something that has splash AND you have several of them. (Lasher, Bulldog, Fury, Pounder). If you spam fire doorways waiting for someone to show up you’ll find yourself needing to reload at a bad time. Don’t waste your time/bullets.