H1Z1 King of the Kill (also known as KotK) is not a simple game for me. As an old ass man without the lightning fast reflexes that kids are coming at me with, I’m getting wrecked almost each and every game. But I’m learning tricks that I think are speeding me up and allowing me to start increasing my chances of seeing the top 10 each go around. I’m getting better at generally surviving, and I want to share some of these tips with you.
I imagine most people think the 30-60 seconds you have before each match is generally a waste of time, watching idiots run around, chase one another in vehicles and punch players who are just sitting there. However, the first thing you want to do is open up your inventory and immediately “scrap” your hat, gloves and shirt or hat, gloves, and face piece. This will give you six pieces of cloth, which you can craft into a satchel. Satchels add 350 units of “carrying weight” to your kit, which means you can carry more stuff. Nine times out of ten, you’ll find a backpack pretty quickly. That tenth time, you’ll be thanking your lucky stars you crafted a satchel because you found some pretty sweet loot and have nowhere to carry it all.
Also, drop whatever shoes you have. You want to keep that spot open for running shoes, which makes you run faster overall, but picking up a pair of shoes doesn’t insta-equip them”¦unless you don’t have anything in the slot, and then it will put them on automatically. King of the Kill is all about speed and how fast you can move, so every keystroke and button press you can shave off, the better.
GREEN LIGHT, GO
As soon as that parachute opens and you’re heading towards the ground, hold down the “W” and “D” or “S” button and aim your mouse directly facing the ground. You take no damage from burning in with that parachute, and the faster you get on the ground, the faster you can get to a weapon to defend yourself from the horde. Your best bet is to look for the tell-tale signs of a police car from the air; they stand out like sore thumbs at high altitude, and they are your ticket to freedom. Why?
VEHICLES = LIFE
King of the Kill is all about mobility, and vehicles are absolutely essential in providing that. If you can land next to a vehicle the second, your parachute drops you, grab that vehicle. Don’t worry about looting, because five other asshats are landing around you trying to grab that same vehicle. Just get the hell out of Dodge.
Why? Because you now are driving around in an armored vehicle that makes you nearly invulnerable with enough gas to last you well into the final stages of the game. You now have the luxury of waiting for all the other peons who are less than lucky with finding vehicles to all murder one another, and then drive to places far away and loot at your leisure. You have a much lower chance of running into someone as the other fools are murdering one another, so let them. With a vehicle, you can literally out run the gas clouds as they close in around you, drive out to places where on-foot players are sprinting head long away and take your sweet time doing so. Another good trick is to simply drive around the countryside at full speed until you see a campsite or trailer all by its lonesome. The chances of it being looted are slim, and you can simply slow the vehicle down to check to see if there’s anything useful lying around the campsite. If not, you can hit the gas and be on your way before any other players can jump you and you’re two to three klicks away before they can say “boo”.
And here’s a fun fact for you: if you hold down the shift button (usually reserved for running out of vehicles), you kick in a nitrous boost. It drains your gas more quickly, but then what were you going to do with that extra gas can anyway? 80 hours into the game and I just found out about it. Sheesh.
Also, if you get a car, you can store items in it as well! Want to roll around with 700 rounds of M4 ammo? Drop it in the trunk!
And doubly also, if you find a car in the wild who someone has taken the keys for but it’s still servicable, there’s a “hotwire” button above the inventory section for the vehicle. Takes six seconds and a lot of noise to hotwire and car, and every time you stop the car, you have to restart it using the hotwire button, which is extremely obnoxious, but it’s still better than hoofing it on foot.
GET INTO SHOOT OUTS
Okay, some other fool grabbed that police car you were diving at, and you’re on foot. Unless you’ve made a wager on your match and are trying to win skulls, the only way you’re going to get better at shooting in this game is to GET SHOOTING IN THIS GAME. Run into buildings, get some weapons you feel comfortable with, and run to the sounds of the shootouts happening. It sucks spending five minutes getting into a match only to get wasted by the first donk you see, but you’ll start getting more accustomed to how the shooting plays out. Another great move is to show up while two players are shooting it out, wait until one wins, then jump in and mop up the mess while the surviving player is trying to bandage up: hey, it may not be fair, but you’re here to win, not play nice with others. Sure, there’s a training mode you can monkey around in, but it’s not the same.
CLOSE THE DISTANCE
The headshots people are clipping me at in King of the Kill are breathtaking. I can barely see them at range, and they’re taking my helmet off at 300-400 yards. I can’t possibly fight that, so I find I do much better when I can fight them close up. My best bet is to try to stay in urban and suburban areas where people have to run up stairs, open doors and come to me. Of course, thanks to the magic of the ever-present gas cloud, it’s not always possible, but early on, if you’re taking long range fire and you’re in an area where you can duck out and take cover, do so. Most of the shootouts I win, I have a distinct advantage of complete surprise. If someone takes a shot at you, and you’re not sure where it’s coming from, just run into a building, take cover, and try to figure it out while you’re bandaging. That is DEFINITELY not the time to spin around in a circle trying to figure out where you just got shot from because you’d better believe they’re going to plug you a few more times before you figure it out.
MIGHT AS WELL JUMP
The game has an on-foot auto run button, and it gets really easy to just sit back and coast as your guy runs in a straight line. However, when you’re running from one house to another or feel that you’re in an area that you could easily make contact, jump while running and turn your camera 90 degrees to your left or right with your mouse. You continue moving forward at about the same pace, but it opens up your field of view and makes that headshot for that sniper a little harder. Every now and again, you’ll catch someone you would have missed in your peripheral vision.
AVOID OPEN FIELDS
Another “yeah, no kidding” story here, but King of the Kill seems to love collapsing the arena into large open areas or sides of hills with little to no cover. When you’re autorunning from one spot to another, make sure you have a piece of cover you’re running to in mind like a small grove of trees or a large boulder of some kind. If you’re just out there running in an open field like a mad man and you, start taking fire without some kind of plan to take cover? You’re dead.
As an ex-Infantryman, I also have the slight advantage of knowing how to read a terrain map. Because that big red box is one kilometer wide, that’s a lot of ground for you not to be 100% sure of where you are standing when that gas starts closing in. Obviously, it’s easy to see major landmarks like churches and hospitals that are marked on the map, but individual hills and valleys may be all you have to go off of as far as where you’re standing. The best trick is that “terrain lines” (the brown lines all over the map) show increases in elevation: the closer the lines are together, the more severe the incline/decline. Good way to get a general idea of where you’re standing at in that one-kilometer box.
I’m guilty of this one myself; King of the Kill forces you to look down to pick up gear, and I find my crosshairs drifting down as I’m running around. Make sure to keep your crosshairs up when you can to save you the time of having to bring your rifle up to bear on someone. Keep it leveled on the horizon as opposed to in the dirt looking for gear and your chances of drawing a bead on someone increases by just a smidge more.
GAS? NOT THE END OF THE WORLD
Early on in King of the Kill, getting gassed isn’t too terrible. You can actually bandage yourself and stand in it for some time. I got glitched and was locked inside of my police car during the first wave of gas, and as an experiment, I took every piece of kit I had, shredded it all, made a bunch of bandages and used medkits and managed to stay alive for another five minutes or so. Sure, I wasn’t going to rank high that round, but it was funny watching my score go up and up each time while I was staving off the effects of the gas. And remember the higher the score, the more experience points you get towards your level and the more percentage points you get towards getting another of those nice bronze betting chips.
King of the Kill is not about getting the most kills. This is about being the last one alive. And if that means sitting with your back to a wall in a bathroom with a shotgun waiting while the first hundred players murder one another, then hey, thems the breaks. You don’t have to kill anyone, you just have to survive long enough to manage to take out number one, and boom. Sure, your score will suffer because you’re not banging out ten kills a match, but your overall chance of survival is far higher, which means higher average score per match. May not be glorious, or a lot of fun to wait out the slaughter, but are you here to win, or are you here to get a few early kills and then die?