Welcome to Part 12 of WiNGSPANTT’s Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag multiplayer strategy guide!
While many players wonder what’s considered a “good” score in Assassin’s Creed multiplayer, really the only answer is “more than everyone else.” The final placement is decided only by each player’s score relative to the others, as is your change in Abstergo Rank. Getting lots of points is great, but it won’t directly correlate to more money or better ladder placement. In other words, it’s okay to end the match with 2500 points, as long as everyone else has 2475 or less!
That said, it’s generally in your best interest to score as much as possible. Your score translates directly into experience that propels your leveling, which in turn grants you ability unlocks (levels 1 through Prestige 2) and aesthetic perks. More importantly, scoring higher will allow you to come back from worse positions and/or more handily secure victory with a huge lead. You don’t need to get ahead by 5,000 points to win, but it sure makes winning easier. And more gloat-worthy.
The strategy of scoring more
The most fundamental thing you need to know about the scoring strategy is that you need to have one. If you kill all your targets without actively thinking about your score, you’re going to end up with crappy kills. Every assassination should be 70% approach planning and 28% score planning if you really want to up your game. (The last 2% should be reserved for taunting.)
First, you should obviously take any opportunity to activate a score multiplier: acrobatic (1.5x), hidden (2x), and bench (3x). If done well, each of these positions can also indirectly increase your score by making you harder to spot, stun, or lock. Don’t consider these bonuses optional! Moving into position to grab a hidden boost will take only one or two seconds, but can drastically improve your reward. This is especially true of the acrobatic bonus, which is often forfeited by players who do not understand that an aerial kill isn’t the same thing.
You also need to be aware of your opponent’s mindset. If you’re anticipating the fact that your target is about to run, you’ll be ready to get an execution bonus with the Pistol ability. If you know that your victim identified you ten seconds ago, you’ll anticipate and avoid a contested kill approach. When you’re absolutely certain your killer has no clue who you are, you can afford to risk a 350-point focus stun.
Scoring more also means paying attention to the game state. This includes not only the overall game clock, but also the duration of your cooldowns, the current score, everyone’s locations, the duration of enemy players’ abilities, and how long it takes for things like approach meter and focus meter to fill. Staring at your HUD all day will help, but memorizing and internalizing these figures, even if they’re just estimates, will be more useful. Once you’re comfortable with in-game timing, you’ll have a better sense of when it’s okay to be patient and when direct action must be taken right away. Also remember to pay attention to your Variety count. While a Chain is only normally worth 50 points, it could be worth 450 points if it’s the last bonus you need in order to activate Variety!
Score denial (point starving)
Although it’s pretty much the opposite of the last few paragraphs, I want to take a moment to discuss the importance of score denial. The concept is simple: since your behavior and positioning directly affects how your pursuer scores (and thus how their own pursuers score), you can greatly influence other players’ scores by drawing out confrontations and generally wasting other players’ time. It’s a strategy that’s generally disliked by the Assassin’s Creed community, which is why it’s one of the first things you should master. Here are some quick tips for undermining your enemies’ best-laid plans.
- If you stand in the middle of rooftops, pursuers will be forced to reveal themselves, spoil their approach, and/or resort to low-scoring ranged weapons to kill you. Sounds perfect.
- When you are in the lead, players will typically be drawn to you. Move to the edges of the map to increase their travel time and the likelihood they will ruin their stealthy approach.
- Rushing or shooting your target for 100-200 points is usually the best option when three or more players are assigned to that target. Don’t let someone else set up a 800+ point kill.
- When you have no contracts and no pursuers, look around for nearby players. Observe their plans and, if possible, disrupt them (either literally or figuratively).
- When you know your death is imminent and you don’t have a realistic chance of reaching your target, draw out the chase to deplete your killer’s approach (and the clock).
- If you have two pursuers approaching you simultaneously, immediately confront the player with the lower score. You’re essentially giving the player who is least likely to win free points, instead of the player who already has score momentum.
- When traversing large areas of the map, activate chase breakers even if you don’t have to. You’ll limit the mobility options of other nearby players.
- Sometimes you’ll have the choice between killing your target and stunning your pursuer. Go after the player with the higher score to delay them with a stun/contested kill/respawn.
- Even though you can’t directly kill or stun neutral players, you can bomb, blind, knife, slow, wipe, disrupt, sabotage, and reveal them. You can also shoulder ram them to ruin their day.
- Remember: if you’re in first place, there is much more pressure on everyone else to beat you than vice versa. Simply by making yourself hard to find or kill, you make it less likely that players directly below you will be able to surpass you.
Looking for more tips? Head back to the main Assassin’s Creed multiplayer strategy guide index.