Unreal Tournament is a hard game to get into. Most players right now have been playing for a long time and it’s difficult to find enjoyable games with players around your experience level. Unless you’re a sucker for punishment or super keen on getting good, it’s going to hurt.
There are a few thing you can focus on to make it easier. Before getting into them, I’m going to assume you’re using surround sound and a high hz (90hz+) monitor. I’ll to some budget recommended products:
If you do not have GSYNC, set your fps cap at one frame above your monitor refresh rate, and don’t use VSYNC. Make sure you are hitting your fps cap in game by typing ‘stat fps’ in console (enter console by pressing tilde: “~”). Turn of framerate smoothing.
If your monitor is 60hz, this could be a problem if it’s not setup correctly, but if you set it up right it could be fine. Cap your frames at 121. Don’t use vsync. Play in fullscreen mode (borderless is vsynced by windows). Use skip gpu buffering in visual settings if your gpu can run it (it’s expensive, but you could probably achieve this most of the time on low settings with a fairly modern gpu).
If you can’t use skip gpu buffering, try to run at 121. If you can’t cap at 121, cap at 61, without vsync.
In Control settings, turn off all acceleration, and mouse smoothing (unless you know you really want them. Set your sensitivity so you can turn a full 360 with a 20 centimetre swipe of your mouse, unless you have another preference.
Weapons and Keys
Getting to know the weapons is essential. The fastest way to do this is to start a 60 minute custom game on your PC and type “unlimitedammo” and “god” into the console. This way you’ll be able to experiment without needing to constantly respawn and recollect weapons. Set up weapon groups with each weapon on it’s own key around your movement keys. This will allow you to switch to the most effective weapon at the right time, instead of scrolling through them all. You could start with having separate weapon groups for similar weapons: Rockets and Flak… Sniper Rifle, Lightning Rifle and and Shock Rifle… Minigun, Link and Enforcer…. and Bio Rifle and Grenade Launcher.
The shock combo is a valuable weapon and almost like a powerup if you can use it well. It requires a number of skills to use so it’s a good thing to focus on right from the start. Start up a 60 minute game with a few bots on novice. Use unlimitedammo and God, and use the Shock Rifle. Try to avoid standing still, it’s a good habit.
Movement is key in ut4. The first thing is basic avoidance. Don’t move in a straight line, always throw some unpredictability into your routes. Never stand still. Learn to do a basic figure 8 with your directional keys.
In ut, jumping has no speed advantage and movement it more linear. If you want to to move quickly, practice getting around using dodge, wall run and slide. The best way to do this is to load a popular map with no bots and just runaround.
Learning maps is also key. Playing them is a good way to learn. ASDF and Erase a good maps to start with.
Pickups and Timing
Armour timings are important. The 100a, 50a and 20a spawn every 30s after start, and then 30s after they were last taken. The 150a spawns on a 60 second rotation.
Sound is important. Having surround really helps but it’s more important to be able to recognise pickup sounds. Listen to the sound items made when you pick them up. These sounds are audible across the map so you will be able to track your opponent via these sounds, and also ammo and vial pickups.
Find a buddy around your skill level, or slightly higher, and invite him/her to duel with you regularly. Duelling gives you the space to think about the game and practice tracking via sound and item timing.
Unreal Tournament is a game that takes a bit to learn and it might feel a bit old school in 2018. However it doesn’t get that much more fun.