How to Be An Ace Spy in CounterSpy Guide (The Basics)

Do you have what it takes to maintain world peace? Do you not mind being dressed in skin-tight long underwear and goggles? Have we got a training course for you then!

Hello, fellow agents. Chances are, if you read my dossier on why CounterSpy is a fantastic game, you've probably downloaded it. You feel ready to go out in the field, punch some random faceless grunts, and save the moon from nuclear destruction. Well, there's a lot more to being an agent than just wearing skin-tight stealth suits and having a license to kill. Here are the basics to get you up to speed on modern 70's Cold War techniques.

1. Keep Your Starting Pistol

Contrary to the colloquialism, bigger is actually not always better. While you can unlock two grenade launchers, shotguns, and assault rifles -- that does not mean they will win the day faster for you. In fact, precise headshots with your starting gun can do plenty damage on their own.

Additional Intel: With a little help from the Precision Aim formula (read: perk) on top, even the hardest enemies will only take three shots to the face to down. It also has the cheapest ammo.

2. Foreground/Background Takedowns

While all C.O.U.N.T.E.R. agents must never deviate from the 2D plain, that does not mean your enemies follow such civilized rules. Thankfully, if you quickly hit square while they are in front of, beside, or behind you, you can still take them down with a quick "JUDO-CHOP!" If that fails you, you can either manually aim for them while behind cover, or use auto-aim while normally walking around.

Additional Intel: Auto-aim indicates whether you are over a target or not by glowing red when on an enemy, camera, or explosive. Be mindful that you sometimes cannot see what you are aiming at. What you might think is a grunt's head is in fact the gasoline soaked, antique gas can the fool inherited from a deceased uncle. Aim from cover whenever possible to avoid such embarrassingly loud, unintended explosions.

3. Spend Money Carefully

Unfortunately, due to the yoga incident and budget cuts, C.O.U.N.T.E.R. has a very tight budget. In fact, if it weren't for your activities, we would probably go broke faster than you can say "Archer. Vice!"

So while we are perfectly fine with you spending all of your money on devastating new weapons, ammo refills, or even one-time Formula purchases; do bear in mind that any further funds depend upon your success in the field. Collect enough intel to complete dossiers, chain kills together, or chain stealth actions together, and we'll be able to keep the lights on for another week or so!

Additional Intel: We also get additional funds whenever you one-up Rival Agents' scores. So do be a good sport and rub your greater peformance in their faces. We're going to need every cent we can.

4. Locating Intel

Now obviously intelligence items will not just be lying around. Conveniently, both the East and the West keep all their intelligence data in three forms. The most readily available are lockers full of written reports. The more valuable are computers containing key information that will allow us to stop the moon's destruction.

The third type is either new research data for Formulas and Weapons, or very high quality Intel we can sell - I mean use to benefit the world. Every base you infiltrate will be full of these, all hidden in dark corners... or just left lying around by an elevator so they can make room for a new broom closet.

Additional Intel: Intel lockers, unlike every other type of intel holders, can be extracted silently. It's best to clear out lockers first if you cannot eliminate all the guards silently, and then roll with the literal and metaphorical punches.

Due to the wonders of modern 70s science, we have devised a way to fill all the holes in your body when bullets attempt to turn you into a pinata. How? That's top secret! Just know that whenever you see a bright red locker, it will make all that blue-err-I mean "red" liquid stop pouring out of your body.

Unfortunately, in the process of devising such a marvelous regeneration system, we forgot to figure out how to optimally store bullets on your person. As a result, whenever you find a green ammo locker, you can only pick up two to three clips for your current gun on hand. Despite having a generous R&D department for weapons, we don't actually understand how these "bullet" things work...

Additional Notes: If you are at full health and attempt to use a health locker, we have a beeper in your pocket that will beep when you try to open it. The beeper also works for ammo lockers. If you continue to do so for too long, it will crawl out of your pocket, insert itself in your brain, and play horrid "Rock'n'Roll" music in your head until you go insane.

6. Formulas

Science is a wonderful thing. It gave us two-way radios, jackalopes, nuclear winter, and radial dial phones -- and now it gives you amazing one-time perks to choose from! You can carry up to three into every mission. While some may cost a small fortune to use, they can really give you an edge. It is advised you experiment with them all. A guaranteed winner is always Precision Aim; it coats your bullets in armor-breaking metal that no helmet or armored camera can withstand. It may also cause rashes, but it is a worthwhile cost for world peace!

Additional Intel: In order to unlock Formulas, you must first find their datapoints at enemy bases. You will start out with a health upgrade, but it is advised you unlock the second Formula as soon as you can. The Formula is called Persuasion, and lowers a level's Defcon before you even arrive, ensuring an even better chance you won't doom us all with your incompetence... -err I mean it guaratees your continued success as a C.O.U.N.T.E.R. agent at large!

7. Don't Be Afraid to Restart

Here's a top secret bit of information only our best agents know. We have developed short-term global memory loss. While it is not the time travelling solution we were hoping for, it does ensure that if a mission goes awry, you can simply press a button and start over. We'll never remember which base you were to infiltrate, nor what intel you found, but you can start over with all of your purchased formulas. We were only aware of the experiment's success when... when... what was I talking about?

Additional Intel: Seriously though, there's no shame in restarting. No one will judge you, and as a result, you can experiment with different Formula combinations. Just be sure to not leave the oven on! Hahaha-... wait... I'll be right back!

If you require any further intel, be sure to let me know! Soon we'll have some Advanced Tips for the more experienced field agents, including advanced backtracking and identifying if your enemy is a mild annoyance or a screaming toddler category 12 annoyance! And in case you haven't already, be sure to look up CounterSpy!

Featured Columnist

Grumpily ranting at this computer screen since before you were playing Minecraft. For more of my work:

Published Mar. 5th 2015

New Cache - article_comments_article_20111