5 Reasons Why Camping Is a Legitimate FPS Tactic

There is more to the art of camping than hiding.

In the multiplayer FPS gaming world, the camper is among the most despised players (fourth only to cheaters, noobs and racist trolls). Camping is a tactic that is looked down upon because it relies on luck, cowardice, and having an auto-shotgun.

After all, everyone knows that running and gunning is the only real tactic to use in a game. 

However, there is more to being a camper than finding a good hiding place. It requires mastery of a series of skills. Here are five reasons  why camping is a legitimate tactic. 

5. You have to know yourself and the enemy. 

As the great Sun Tzu said:

"Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster."

This ancient quote holds merit even today, and it applies to how one plays online.

Being a camper is not all about finding a hiding spot then waiting for someone to pass (unless you're a noob). Good campers need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of themselves (and their teams) as well as the tactics of the enemy.

4. You have to know the environment

Level designs have changed as programmers work to ensure that no map has a spot where players feel safe turning their backs. Hence, good campers need to be able to familiarize themselves with the level to find the ideal location to hide.

How difficult this is depends on the game. It's relatively easy in Modern Warfare 3, while Battlefield 3 requires some time master the environment. To camp successfully, a player needs to quickly identify tactical advantages and disadvantages of an area. The player must also be aware of where other players will likely engage most often, as well as what secret unlocks may be hidden in the level. It takes practice and a certain level of skill to process an area quickly and use it to one's advantage. 

3. Adaptability 

Knowing the enemy and the environment allows players to adapt quickly to a dynamic environment. Adaptability is a key skill for any good camper. The player must be able to quickly identify and equip the most effective camouflage or the ideal weapon for a given situation. 

Camouflage makes all the difference in how quickly the enemy notices a players who is camping. To successfully blend into the environment, the ideal camouflage closely matches the details of the level. It also helps to add a camouflage design to the weapon to avoid sticking out. 

2. Campers are masters of stealth

It isn't enough to know a setting and to be able to adapt to it. Campers must also be able to navigate their evnironments quickly and quietly, so as not to attract excess attention. This requires a mastery of stealth.

Stealthy play demands both skill and patience. Players will need to be patient and calm when moving in on kills, as rushing in will expose their position. This becomes even more difficult when you're trying to stab the enemy rather than shoot them. 

1. Camping requires accuracy and killer reflexes

This is necessary for pretty much any FPS player, but it's especially important for campers. When it's time to make the kill, a camper has only a few seconds before giving away their position. To truly take advantage of this short window of time, it's important for the camper to be quick and accurate.

Every second will matter, and being hesitant is not a real luxury for a camper. (There is a fine line between the patience that stealth requires and complete hesitation.) Being slow and not knowing how to aim properly are the best ways to fail. When it comes down to a camping encounter, the players' levels of skill and the quickness of their reflexes will determine who comes out on top. 

As you can see, there is more to being a camper then being some noob hiding in a corner. It is a tactic that requires mastering one's own skills and the environment, while being quick and quiet enough to successfully take out the target.  

Featured Contributor

Stan Rezaee is a gamer from the Bay Area who has been writing about the medium for over five years. He is an old school gamer who still plays with his N64, PlayStation 2 and GameCube. When on his PC, he could still be found playing classic Counter-Strike with friends.

Published Jan. 17th 2015
  • Si_W
    Guess it depends on the reason for camping. I can remember going sniper hunting in Black Hawk Down, but some of those campers were fantastic shots. Nothing more satisfying than knifing a sniper in the back.

    I camp now and again in Titanfall, but it's always generally short-lived. Problem is when you're stuck on a sniper rifle challenge, you can't can't really spray n pray...
  • ReadFat
    The ever talked on argument, if I am not twitching and running around like a chicken with my head cut off then I am a no skilled camper?

    Many, many competitive games rely on teamwork and holding down areas to be an effective force. Using Battlefield 3 as an example we know that holding flags, defending M-Coms, storming strategic buildings that hold vantage points is just the magic of team work in the game.

    I am called a camper because I hold down an area and kill every noob that runs blindly into the frey. While my teammate holds up a counter position which protects my back. Big flashes of red give away my location at every use of my weapon. I don't even need to be stealthy at times... just need to be better then those challenging me.

    Knowing the maps is the biggest single advantage to multiplayer. Knowing the likely methods the enemies will travel is equally advantageous. Put that together and let the enemy die tired, running into your bullets.

    Why die tired, relax and read a book. ;)

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