Rifles & SMGs
Assault rifles span a variety of ranges from those nearly equalling snipers (usually single-shot or burst-shot as well) to those fully automatic machine guns which can barely outrange a shotgun. Anyone that tells you there is one set of tips which applies to all assault rifles is, honestly, a moron. That’s basically the same as suggesting you should drive a Lamborghini the same as 30-year old vintage Ford.
If you are playing with a single-shot long range rifle, these are similar to a sniper and much of the same advice applies to these. They should either be played by picking off targets from a safe distance through windows/door/ledges or by moving around the battlefield at the edges and shooting down long ranges to kill moving targets before they are any threat. This type of assault rifle works perfectly against enemies using SMG’s, shotguns or automatic rifles but will usually fail against a sniper as they will have both greater range and (usually) greater power.
However, if you are using a faster firing automatic rifle, you should adopt a play style similar to that you would use with an SMG. Mid-range firefights are where your biggest advantage will be, and although it is tempting just to hold down the fire button and ‘spray and pray’, don’t forget that often the best tactic is to burst fire by briefly holding the fire button and then stopping to allow your aim to become more accurate again.
If you find yourself up against a longer-range target such as a sniper or single-shot long range rifle, then your best bet is to either utilise lethal / non-lethal grenades or Page 7 attempt to lay down enough cover fire while you move so that they won’t be able to take time to line up a proper shot until you’re close enough to take them down with ease.
Another fantastic bonus with these automatic rifles is their ability to eliminate enemies hiding behind weak cover. Unlike a sniper or shotgun, an automatic assault rifle packs enough bullets to shoot up an entire area behind weak cover (thin walls, desks, etc) without having to reload and give the enemy a chance to move and ambush you.
SMG’s, like assault rifles, also vary considerably in range, but most tend to fall in the mid-range bracket, making them a useful tool for dealing with closer and longer range enemies at the same time. Many players find SMG’s the ‘easiest’ weapon to play with, as they do not have a significant range or power disadvantage against any weapon and are often seen as the ‘middle ground’ of your armory.
While primarily suited to short to mid-range combat, they also excel at mid to long-range firefights provided you burst fire and take your time to aim instead of shooting and hoping for the best. Attachments can often add a great deal of gameplay technique to an SMG by either boosting their fire rate and power (for short range combat) or their accuracy and range (for mid-long range combat).
If you are facing enemies wielding shotguns in a short-range environment, then counter to your instincts (‘if I get closer I will get a better shot’) you will find the best tactic is to keep your distance and easily outrange them. If you get too close and don’t kill them quickly then they can easily one or two-shot you while you’re busy reloading or trying to run back away.
Anyone with an SMG should broadly stay away from long-range only combat scenarios, as although they can still be useful at this distance they are really no match for a sniper over a long range. Grenades are often essential for SMG playstyles as they allow a player to either eliminate or incapacitate others at a longer range or those hiding behind cover so that the SMG player can approach.
One of the best weapons for a newbie to get used to, SMG’s are still found in many professional players classes as an ideal ‘all-rounder’ for an environment involving a great deal of variety where it is not a clean cut choice of ‘a sniper is best’ or ‘an automatic machine gun is best’.