Welcome to Part 5 in WiNGSPANTT’s Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag multiplayer strategy guide!
Inside FFA matches of the Animus, survival is often a sandwich. Every moment, pursuers pin their targets between themselves and their targets’ targets (also known as grand-targets).
Whatever happens, you don’t want to be the pastrami, the sucker in the middle. Murdering is stressful enough without having to worry about being murdered. So you’ve got three primary options to making a relatively safe, low cholesterol approach.
You could try to go in clear by stunning all your pursuers first. That, of course, depends on correctly identifying your would-be assassins and kneeing them in the skull (more on this later). This option will yield the most points and build your streak, though it’s obviously difficult to pull off.
Choice numero dos would be a kamikaze kill. Rush in after your victim like a divine wind, get your points, then bask in the glory of the afterlife as your pursuer gouges you with a longsword. It’s not particularly impressive, but it typically works. Hell, use a ranged attack for extra speed.
The third possible path is to draw/bait your pursuers. Instead of stealthily avoiding them, try to move somewhere incredibly inconvenient, like into the middle of a plaza, onto the top of a building, or right next to a chase breaker. This way when your killer comes after you, she’ll reveal herself to her killers (your grand-killers), who might just take her down.
Or, you know, she’ll shoot you in the head. That could definitely happen.
If you know for a fact you can stun your pursuer(s) and be done with it, that’s usually the way to go. But in most encounters, the kamikaze kill will be more realistic. Without a guaranteed stun move like Smoke Bomb, Throwing Knives, or Tripwire Bomb, any attempt to confront your killer is a huge gamble. Plus, it’s always possible you’ve misidentified your pursuers, making anything other than the kamikaze approach a complete waste of time.
Go for guaranteed stuns on confirmed pursuers. Otherwise, carry on and kill your target smoothly.
Lock before you leap
I don’t care how good you are at Assassin’s Creed, you should get used to locking onto our targets as early and as often as possible. Locking decreases the chances you’ll accidentally eviscerate a virtual Animus denizen, but more importantly it keeps you aware of exactly where your quarry is, even when she moves around a corner or over your head.
You’ll get the auto-lock prompt whenever your target and/or pursuer performs high profile actions (running, jumping, stunning, beatboxing) in your line of sight, and you should definitely use it. Even if you don’t maintain the lock afterwards, it’s important to check out the action in your vicinity so you can calculate pressing opportunities and threats. That’s pretty straightforward.
But when you first spot your target – high profile or otherwise – make sure you acquire a lock. If you’re having trouble choosing a specific character, read these tips:
- Avoid tapping the lock trigger/button. Hold it to create a precise cursor, then release.
- If your target is moving, hold your cursor in front of her and release as she passes it.
- Aim for the head. For whatever reason the game engine just tracks heads better.
- Lock from as far away as possible. You’re less likely to panic and make a mistake.
Once your prey is tied to your HUD, everything else is a lot easier. You’ll be able to use abilities with greater accuracy, and you’ll be able to spam the living hell out of your Assassinate command when your target is above or below you, including off your screen. You’d be surprised how many kills you can earn on players who are right under you but somehow hard to capture on camera.
And let’s not forget…
There of course remain an infinite number of tips on how to make a smart approach that blends stealth and speed. But hey, you’ve got places to be and people to kill. Here’s a quick list of best practices that will help you get away with murder, if only directly before being murdered yourself.
- Your target will hear whispers when you get close. Avoid being the only character in range.
- NPC’s don’t stop and stare, so pick a spot or keep moving. Besides, staring is rude.
- There’s nothing wrong with using the roof, but it limits your options if your target strays.
- Moving blend groups are great tools, as long as you’re good at predicting their direction.
- Benches, hay bales, and static groups are even better, but also harder to choose.
- Have a backup plan if your target fights or flees. This is where ranged abilities excel.
- If your target prepares a throw animation, quickly dodge left or right (instead of forward/back). Most players anticipate a rush-in or runaway response, so strafing may save your life.
- Check the ground for Tripwire Bombs and check doors for Booby Traps.
- For fuck’s sake, don’t walk straight at your target.
One final note: if you think your contracted player has spotted you, it’s usually in your best interest to move in for the kill immediately. Every second you wait is another second his defensive abilities are refreshing and another second he’s got to plan how to stun or run from you. Take the initiative and slit the bastard’s throat.
Looking for more tips? Head back to the main Assassin’s Creed multiplayer strategy guide index.