What you'll need Edit
You'd think that the most important thing in this game is to get a good weapon in your hands and ammo to top it up with. And that's true -- you're not going to make it very far if you go about it unarmed.
But what you're really going to need if you want to make it to the very end are these three things:
- Body Armor
They'll be especially helpful in giving you an edge on your opponents. There's going to be a lot of waiting and a lot of moving around in this game, and there will be plenty of opportunities for your enemies to see you before you see them.
Give yourself enough time Edit
This is especially important when it comes to moving; you can run, jump, crouch-walk, and go prone. As you can imagine, you'll be a lot less visible if you're not sprinting around (made easier by the fact that if you hold run for a while, it will auto-lock sprint for you), but this means that you'll move a lot slower.
- Don't run in high-traffic areas and/or near a group of buildings. Listen around you first for the sounds of footsteps or the chatter of gunfire, and try to hug the walls and stay crouched while you walk. It's slow moving, so give yourself enough time to move this slowly towards the safe zone. You'll be given a lead time warning right through the center of the screen when that zone will shrink.
- Use your minimap. Always refer to it so that you have a clear idea of where you are, where everything is (and therefore where others are likely to be), and how you are going to get from Point A to Point B. It will also show you whether or not you are getting close to danger zones.
Know what you want to pick up Edit
I am a pack rat at heart, so games like this are hard on the "But what if I find x-y-z?" part of my anxious soul. I got over it.
After all, the point is that you have to be eminently, viciously practical to get anywhere in this game ... and for a large part of it, doing well is simply staying out of sight while the first half get brutally murdered by getting too close to the action too soon.
But even with a backpack, you are a walking bundle of finite carrying capacity. It's important to pick up what you need.
- Flashy clothes are probably a bad idea. Now, if you choose to swap your clothes out for some funky stuff just lying around, well, it might not hurt your chances of winning all that much if you're good at staying sneaky. Just know you're a more noticeable target if someone spots a waving orange and red coxcomb bobbing about in a window.
- Don't bother picking up ammo for a gun you don't have. If you're carrying a shotgun, there's no point in picking up 9mm ammo. If you've already got two really good guns, don't bother eyeing any more that you've found (you can only carry two). Prioritize which are more to your taste, but I would suggest that you're going to want to err towards guns that will allow you to spray and pray a little more than precision (this applies more towards handguns than it does sniper rifles, mostly due to the context in how you use the two).
- Listen! If you're going into a building to look for loot, there's always a chance that there's someone else that wants to do exactly the same thing. Always try and close the door behind you, either to lure other players into a house you've already looted (and sit back and watch) or, if you're inside, to give you a sound indication if someone is coming in after you. Listen for both gunfire and footsteps.
Play it safe and you'll make it through to the very end. Then prepare for the big firefight. Good luck and have fun!