Home Guest Article Tactical Tuesday Guest Article: Black Ops Tactics by Ninjalemon

I recently spoke to Tyler of Ninjalemon’s Reviews and Tactics, a new gaming blog about (surprise!) gaming impressions and strategy. I was immediately impressed by the quality of his work and the content of his character, so I agreed to post one of his inaugural pieces as a Guest Article on Top Tier Tactics. If you enjoy it, go check out the rest of Ninjalemon’s offerings. Because when life hands you Ninjalemons… good luck finding them later! ~WiNGSPANTT

Going from Casual to Hardcore – Tips to Up Your Game

Alright, everybody who plays video games knows (or should know) that there are casual players who play for fun, don’t care about things like KDR or achievements, or about the game mechanics. Then, there are the players that usually are pretty good at the game- they know a lot about the game, they play it often, they have good KDRs (or at least care about what their KDR is). Also, many people want to make the jump from casual to hardcore, yet they still suck at the game. Well, I’m going to give a few tips to possibly help these people get at least slightly better at this game (And these tips will apply to games outside of Black Ops as well).

I myself am not a pro at Blops, but I still have some tips to help people out…


If you really want to get good at the game- Learn the gun stats. I talked about this briefly in my other rant/review of Blops. It’s very easy to find the gun stats for any of the Call of Duty games online, because people with the PC version just go into the files and search them for these gun stats. Learning the actual damage the gun does (Not what the little damage bar in-game says) and its range is a great help and will definitely improve your game. You will learn that some guns are just simply way more effective with certain attachments, for example the M16 with an ACOG scope has much less recoil than without it. After learning that, I tried it out, and sure enough, I was much better with the M16 and it was more usable with the reduced recoil.


Learn the maps. This is a tip that is universal for any multiplayer games. It sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at the amount of people that still don’t know their way around the maps after playing for a long time. Go into Combat Training, look around the map and learn it. Learn spots to snipe from, learn where you can be sniped from, find good spots for hiding, and all of that good stuff. You will be much better at the game when you know the maps better then you know the back of your own hand.


Review your theater clip matches. Did you go 20-35 last game, and wonder how you could suck so much? Go into theater mode and look it over. Did you do that poorly because of lag, or because you can’t aim for shit? Did the guy who killed you find a sneaky way to flank you? Being able to see what other players do can definitely help improve your game. And also, if you’re in a match where somebody had a really good game, you can check out what they did to achieve that and maybe pick up a few strategies like where to go at the start of the match. There’s much to learn from watching other people play, which brings me to my last tip for now…


Watch commentators on YouTube. Just search for Black Ops gameplay, and I’m sure you will find a lot. My personal favorite is WhiteBoy7thst, but there are hundreds. Generally these guys are good at the game, and commentate about strategies they use and certain things that they did in that gameplay. I’ve picked up countless tips this way, and it significantly helps you get better at the game. There are also people on YouTube like zzirGrizz who have videos on map tutorials. Essentially he spends his time finding spots to throw tomahawks and shoot ballistic knifes from to hit certain flags on Domination or certain bombs in Sabotage/SnD, and watching those map tutorials can give you an extra edge. He also shows some ‘secret‘ places, where you’ve probably seen people before but had no idea how to get there.


Now it’s your turn to go out and try out what you’ve learned. These tips have helped me greatly to become a better gamer, and things like learning the maps and watching YouTube commentators can help you with any multiplayer game. Personally I also love Assassins Creed: Brotherhood (A review for that will be coming up soon), and learning the maps helps a lot in that game although there’s no bots mode to do it in. And there are plenty of YouTube commentators (Such as WiNGSPANTT) who make gameplay videos that also include tips for many games, and I’m sure there’s a commentator out there who you will enjoy.


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8 replies to this post
  1. The one thing here I don’t do is the watching of Theater mode. I don’t know what it is, but if I go 20-35, I want another game right away to rectify the error, but I’ve heard from friends who have watched that I probably need to. I know I’ll see things like “What the hell was I thinking?” moments again and again. I think the main problem for me right now, barring this, is that in the moment, my decision making is still subpar, and beyond just playing and watching YouTube/Theater mode, I don’t know how to rewire my brain. I can listen to all the tips I want, but if in the moment I can’t apply them, I’ve learned nothing.

    Also, WhiteBoy annoys me. I enjoy WoodysGamertag and his crew more, though I also watch Battlefield and TF2 vids (which is how I met our dear friend Mr. PanTT)

    • Xiant,

      I’m not sure how often you play Black Ops or any Call of Duty game for that matter, but really the only way to make your decision making above-subpar (So at par I guess?) is really just by playing. Don’t beat yourself up for making dumb mistakes over and over again, but consciously thinking about the mistakes you generally make while you’re playing will help you notice them better and possibly fix them. For example, twitch knifing. Soooooo many times I have died because I don’t have that twitch-knife instinct, and I still don’t have it. However, when I’m playing and actively thinking “Okay, use the knife, don’t get scared and spray like a bitch” I actually get a lot more of those knife kills that normally I wouldn’t get. So if you were looking for a possible solution to your problem, I guess that is my ‘tip’, hopefully it will help you at least a little bit.

      And I can totally see how WhiteBoy can be annoying. When I get tired of hearing what he has to say though, I listen to penguinz0, who I guess is considered a commentator. Really he just plays horribly on purpose and commentates it, and it’s pretty funny. I haven’t listened to WoodysGamertag and crew, but I’ll give them a try.

      Thanks a lot for actually reading this tips though,

  2. A lot of this is common sense but the “Watch your Replays” is a nice one.
    To bad it only affects BO but it might affect other games in the future.

    • You’re right that a lot of this is common sense, but that doesn’t necessarily mean people realize it. And also since this is geared towards casual gamers that want to step it up, it’s really not common sense at all to watch YouTube gameplays, learn the maps (Okay well this one is kind of obvious), or learn the actual gun stats.

      And it is too bad most other games don’t have a theater mode because capture cards are expensive, hopefully though BO may have started a revolution and will cause more games to have it

  3. Well there’s the source recorder. I need to get into the habit of recording all my plays. There’s so many situations where I do something absolutely ~awesome~ then I end up wishing I recorded it so I can play cheesy techno music over it and filter rape it.

  4. One of the main problems with watching how a pro operates is that each situation is, well, situational. Although you can still improve your playing style by miming someone more successful, it may not be as effective as thinking through about your errors. Personally, however, I make little mental notes about when commentators have said in certain situations like “Bullet spray equals to nearest escape route”.

    Other than my little menial comment, very well written Ninjalemon, and I hope that many shall prosper from your teachings.

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