Good shooting will only get you so far in Splitgate, the new online sensation that players are waiting hours (or more) to play. Splitgate is a different kind of hardcore online shooter — because thinking with portals is the most important way to play. Splitgate is Call of Duty crossed with Portal, dumping you into a sci-fi arena where you can place portals for some insane shooting opportunity. Portals can be used to launch yourself into combat at insane speeds, for quick getaways, or for some old-fashioned camping. How you use portals is going to determine how well you do in ranked play.
And it’s a lot to wrap your head around. If you’ve never played Splitgate but want to get started now that the game is spreading across the internet like wildfire, we’ve got a few tips to help you out. There’s no better time to get into the game. Its a totally F2P experience, with an open beta running pre-launch right now. Some things might change, but at this stage in the game, the tweaks are going to be minor just to balance things out for competitive players. The portal meta isn’t about to go away anytime soon — and figuring out how to portal (and where) is your best bet at success.
The Splitgate beta is available right now. You can download Splitgate for free via Steam here.
Devious Portal Tricks
The most important part of Splitgate is how you use your portals. Devious portal tricks are the most fun part of the game — so we’re starting there. Portalling is also the most advanced part of the game, but it never hurts to start learning proper portal play early!
- #1. Drop a portal at spawn. Easy escape options for later. Leave one placed and ready for later.
- #2. Use portals to create an overwatch. You can drop a portal in a high spot or down a corridor to gain an extra view of the area. Beware, enemies can go through your portals too — and they can shoot you through them. Don’t just stand in your portal!
- #3. Place portals high when camping. Why? Crouch and you can look through the portal without giving away your entire body. No need to shoot a portal right up against a wall. Make it high so you don’t reveal your entire hitbox.
- #4. Create a portal that you don’t intend to use. Enemies will often stop to look inside. Gives you an easy shot for a regular gun kill.
- #5. Shoot into any open portals. Especially if the portal is in a high spot. An enemy is probably using it to camp.
- #6. Drop a portal behind an enemy. Fakeout that you’re creating a new ambush point, then push in as normal for the kill.
- #7. Place a portal on critical wall just to deny the spot. If you play a portal, the enemies can’t override it until you’ve closed it. Sometimes denying the enemy a useful portal spot is more important for your team.
There’s much more you need to know about Splitgate, and learning can be tricky when you’re stuck playing with sweaty players.
#8. Improve Your Keybinding On PC
Splitgate requires a whole lot of buttons. Figuring out the most efficient setup is tricky with M+KB, so here are some suggestions from veteran players. It’s all up to you, the trick is just finding a setup that you’re comfortable with. The most important buttons to figure out are placing portals and closing portals.
- Mousewheel Up / Down: Place Portals
- Q / E: Close Portals
- Middlemouse: Grenade
Even if you’re playing on consoles, a wired (or certain wireless) keyboards can be used. If you don’t want to use a controller exclusively, you don’t have to no matter what platform you’re on.
#9. Training The Fundamentals
Aiming is important, but not as important as you think. Portal placement and learning where players tend to come from (and how they move) is much more important. Using portals can be tricky, so you’ll need to train yourself with the fundamentals like basic shooting and map traversal. To do that, you can play these modes.
- Play King of the Hill / Domination to learn maps. These modes force you to move around and explore the entire map.
- Play SWAT Mode to improve headshots or use Carbine to train.
- Play Gun Game to get a feel for different guns and movement. This mode tends to be played by less hardcore players due to the randomness, so you can get more of a feel for movement and portal placement.
#10. Surviving Longer As A Beginner
If you’re dying a lot, try sticking to another player. It seems obvious. Try to enter engagement 2v1 and watch your team. Stay close and see how they use their portals. Learning where your friends and enemies place portals is key — you can pull some pretty nefarious portal action.
Always look for blue walls so you can make a fast escape in a bad situation. Just leaving half a portal in one spot can be very helpful for retreating. Just don’t forget to close the portal!
#11. Hotswap To Shoot Faster
Not that important, but still important — tapping fire while quickswapping between your two weapons lets you fire faster. This is most useful with slow-to-recover weapons like Shotguns and Sniper Rifles. Basically, this trick will kill in Shotty Sniper mode.
That’s just a (very small) fraction of what you need to learn to conquer in Splitgate, but these tips should get you started off with a few good ideas in your head. Thinking with portals is too important to ignore.