When I first started playing Squad I was feeling overwhelmed. This game has a steep learning curve and I had no clue what to do during my first few games. The in-game training only teaches you so much. So I started to write down my learnings and those from other players. And there’s just so much information about this game that my guide grew and grew (100+ pages as of now). At one point I thought that the community might benefit from it as well. So here it is (at least a small part of it – the full guide can be found on https://squadfm.org).
Hope you enjoy reading it. Please leave a comment. Would love to get your feedback.
What’s this game about?
- Squad is a team game of communication, coordination, and movement.
- The goal of most of the game modes is to capture territory, not kill the enemy. Killing enemies is a secondary objective, often required to achieve the primary objective. Don’t lose sight of the primary objective because you want to get a kill.
- The vast majority of this game is actually about NOT engaging the enemy, and then engaging them quickly and completely destroying them before they can respond. By not engaging the enemy, you and your team can move around them and secretly get into a position to destroy them.
- Rather get 0 kills and take out an enemy FOB to prevent them from spawning than get almost any number of kills. I call this “cutting the head off the snake” or “pulling them out by their roots”. Go for the critical hit, not the “hits” they will simply recover from very easily.
- The secret to winning games is LOGISTICS. Meaning how fast can your team move around the map. This is done with FOB networks and vehicles and “spawn shifting” and smart rally placements. The game is not about outkilling your enemy, which may come naturally, but about outmaneuvering the enemy.
- Squad is a points game disguised as a tactical game. If you have a good sniper that can kill 30 players and AT that can kill 4 vehicles while holding a flag, you might just win. Points matter. Points are called Tickets in this game.
- To win a round, one of the teams must reduce the enemy’s tickets to zero or have more tickets than the enemy by the end of the round (a round lasts up to 2 hours).
- Tickets are essentially the team’s available “reinforcements” during the battle, as the number of tickets a team has denotes the number of times a team’s players can collectively respawn. If a team’s tickets are reduced to zero or are lower than the enemy’s by the end of the round, they lose the match.
- Both teams are given a limited number of tickets.
- Certain events during a match will result in either team gaining or losing tickets.
- Control Points (CP), also known as “flag” or “cap”, are areas on the map that teams need to capture.
- A CP is a certain limited area of the battlefield, there is not an actual “flag” in the ground.
- The capping radius (or even shape) of a CP may differ for each CP on the map.
- CPs can be either neutral or belong to one of the teams.
- At least 3 players need to be within the capping radius of a CP to capture it. At the start of a round, a neutral CP can be capped by one player alone.
- It takes 2 minutes to capture a flag.
- If players from the opposite team are in the capping radius at the same time, players from the teams will cancel each other out. The team with more players in the radius will gradually take the CP.
- When you are inside the capping radius of a CP, the Control Point widget will appear. The flag shows who owns the CP and a progress bar shows the current progress of capping or decapping. The widget also shows the name of the CP.
- Neutral CP show with a white bar,
- those being capped or owned by your team show a blue bar.
- A red bar indicates that the opposite team owns this CP (also indicated by the enemy’s flag; e.g. Canadian flag).
- The layout of the CP on the map may change for the same map from game to game. In some game modes, CP can only be capped in a specific sequence (e.g. AAS, RAAS).
- Main – The main base. This is where the game starts. Teams cannot capture the other team’s main base. You cannot fire a weapon in the main base. You cannot fire into a base (it has an invisible shield that protects it). It is your team’s safe harbor.
- Neutral flag – Flag that has not been captured yet by either side. For example, the very first flag once you leave main.
- Contested flag – Flag that has not been captured yet by either side and both teams are on the objective at the same time and try to capture it. The team with more people on the flag will capture it after 1-2 minutes. The middle flag often is contested by both teams at the same time.
- Middle flag – Exists only in map layers with an uneven number of objectives. It’s the flag, well, in the middle. This is usually where both teams clash full force.
- Capped flag – A flag that has been successfully captured by a team.
- Offensive flag – This is the next flag that your team is going to capture. It has a red knife symbol on your map.
- Defensive flag – This is the flag your team already captured. You can see it being represented on the map by a blue shield symbol. You need to hold these flags. If you lose any defensive flags to the enemy, your team cannot capture additional flags. Should your team lose a defense flag, your team has to move back and recapture it. Sometimes squads are back capping, which means they are protecting the already captured flags from the enemy. Back capping only needs 1 person on the flag. However, if that one person is being killed by the enemy, you’re losing this flag and your offensive cannot continue until you recapture this lost flag.
- The examples below are mostly for the game mode Advance and Secure (AAS)..
- To capture a point, players must stand within the point’s capture area until it comes under their team’s control.
- The cap rate doesn’t change with more people on the flag. One person captures as fast as 10 from the same team.
- Once a flag is captured you can leave the area with all soldiers, but this is not advisable. Should an enemy squad stop by they can easily neutralize this flag. Therefore leave some soldiers behind (also called “back capping)”. It’s not the most exciting job to do, but it is important not to lose any already captured flags. Doing so will prevent your team from capturing any other flags until they recaptured the lost flag.
- Neutral flags can be capped by 1 person (e.g the first flag once you leave main).
- It takes 2 minutes to neutralize a flag that was previously captured by the enemy and then 2 more minutes to capture it.
- It takes the same amount of time to go from captured (capped) to neutral as it does to go from neutral to captured (capped).
- For flags that were captured by the enemy you’ll need to have a minimum of 3 people and outnumber the enemy in the cap zone by 1 to neutralize it.
- On contested points (those caps not yet fully captured by either team) you have to outnumber the enemy contesting the point. So, if the enemy enters the cap zone of a neutral flag while you’re capping it, you need at least one more person than them to continue capping.
- Any flag that’s not a current objective for your team, you won’t be able to capture. For example, you’re not able to capture the flag after your current offensive flag. You first have to capture the offensive flag.
- Your team can only capture the next flag if they already captured the previous flags (those that connect back to your main base). And you have to keep holding these back caps.
- You need 3+ players to cap an active objective.
- On most maps, your defensive flag has a small and hard-to-see blue bar under it that indicates the level of cap that it has. You can view this on the map to see whether your defense is holding or whether the enemy has started to cap your defensive point and what % is capped already.
- Many people get confused by the indicator that shows up when you’re inside a cap zone and capping the point. If the indicator bar is BLUE you are capping. The BLUE bar may be going down which indicates you are DEcapping what the enemy team has already capped. Many people panic and see the BLUE bar decreasing and think we are losing the cap, but that is not what is happening. If the BLUE bar goes white, no one is capping. If the BLUE bar goes RED, the enemy is capping. OWI needs to clarify this GUI element and make it more obvious as to what is happening.
- You can cap a neutral point with 1 person, a*suming that point has not been previously captured.
- Capping any point that has previously been captured: you need at least 3 people in the cap zone, plus 1 more player than the enemy team has on that point.
- The enemy team will start bleeding tickets if you successfully capture at least one objective on the enemy side of the flag lattice. For each objective on the enemy part of the map, controlled by your team, the enemy will lose 1 ticket per minute.
- On map layers with an odd number of objectives, middle flags do not trigger ticket bleed. To introduce ticket bleed to the enemy, your team will need to capture at least one more flag past central. For example, if there are 5 objectives to capture in total, your team would need to capture 4 objectives to introduce ticket bleed to the enemy team.
- For map layers with an even number of objectives, your team will need to capture more than half of them to trigger ticket bleed on the enemy team. For example, if there are 6 objectives to capture in total, your team would need to capture 4 objectives to introduce ticket bleed to the enemy team.
- In the case of a “double-neutral” stalemate situation, all ticket bleed mechanics will be paused until the stalemate is resolved.
- If one team manages to successfully capture all flags on the map, the opposing team will suffer a catastrophic ticket bleed of 60 tickets per minute to bring about the end of the round more quickly. This is the equivalent of 60 soldiers being wiped out per minute.
- A double neutral occurs when the enemy neutralized your defensive flag and you neutralized their defensive flag. Now neither of you can finish your offensive capture until you have retaken your respective defensive flags.
- Double neutrals are possible in AAS and RAAS. If you neutralize the offensive flag and then lose your flag, the offensive flag will still be neutralized for the enemy, even if you can’t see it on the map anymore. I’ve seen teams completely give up that advantage and leave the flag open for the enemy team to recapture because they don’t understand that they’re still holding it hostage.
- If the enemy team was starting to capture your neutralized flag before the double neutral was initiated, the defensive flag will continue to flash red, even though they’re no longer able to manipulate the cap. Once a single friendly enters the cap range, the icon will stop flashing. This will be your guide for understanding when you’ve lost your hold on the enemy’s flag. If that flag starts flashing red again, you’ve lost the double neutral and need to relocate.
- One thing to add. It’s most confusing on RAAS because when the enemy neutralizes your defense flag and you neutralize theirs, you won’t see the attack flag that you have neutralized. It is still there, and you are on the flag blocking it. There’s just no indication. This always leads to squads leaving the flag they just neutralized since they think it’s no longer active. It is just hidden. As an SL I always tell my guys that the flag is still here and we need to stay on it to keep the flag neutralized. Pretty much every single game the rest of the team will run back to the defense flag to try and get it back. The enemy will do the same, so you end up swapping back your flags and you’re back to where you were at the start. TLDR; On RAAS the flag icon will disappear on a double neutral, it’s still there and as long as you stay in the cap zone, you’re still keeping the double neutral.
- To recap the double neutral flag you only need 3 friendlies in the flag, regardless of how many enemies there are.
- When you are attacking a point and it goes neutral, quickly check your map and look at the blue bar under your defensive flag. If there is no progression towards neutral, you won’t go double neutral. If the enemy has started capping your defensive flag as you neutralize your offensive flag, you will go double neutral a*suming no team stalls the cap of the other team
- Advice – Unless your situation is very stretched out and very likely to fall apart, focus your team on holding the double neutral while sending one squad to recap the neutral flag. They don’t need to win firefights, only be sneaky, get in cap and stay alive. The rest of the team should focus on holding a secure perimeter around the offensive point. A common mistake teams make is everyone falls back from a double neutral, making it an easy recap and cap on the next point as an entire team moves between points.
Game Mode – (Random) Advance And Secure (AAS/RAAS)
- AAS/RAAS are control point modes. These modes are played on most servers.
- The objective for both teams is to capture and hold Control Points (aka flags) in a preset order (or in a random order in RAAS). Capturing enemy flags penalizes the enemy team and rewards you with additional Tickets. The team that first runs out of tickets will lose.
- AAS moves you along predetermined points that you can see at the start of a match, capture them. Stand near a location to capture it. You can see the progress bar at the top of the screen.
- Two teams will start from opposite ends of the map in their main base, or in certain circumstances a limited forward spawn area. The team’s objective is to capture and hold Control Points from the enemy team. Control Points can only be captured in a specific order that will appear on the map
- Your team cannot capture a Control Point out of order, your team will need to capture and hold the previous flag. This is indicated by the Attack and Defense markers that appear over Control Points on your map (these markers look like a knife, respectively a shield on your map). – If both teams neutralize two opposing flags in the CP’s line of sequence, it’s a stalemate – neither team can take their next attack flag. – Only after a neutralized defense flag has been re-captured, the next attack flag can be captured.
- As each team starts to cap neutral flags, it’s not possible for enemies to block this capping process. For example: if one soldier is in the capture zone of their team’s first flag and nine enemies are in that cap zone as well trying to block it, the flag will still be captured. Once they find him and kill him, the flag will (obviously) stop capping. This should severely reduce the “Rush Flags” meta, and shift the focus more towards the linear progression of moving from flag area to flag area, as well as having a proper supply train with FOBs and logistics. Blocking a flag is technically still possible if you eliminate the entire attacking force, but it will require more resources to do and is more likely to fail.
- The team who runs out of tickets first loses. Therefore a*sets and FOBs play a big role in the ticket count of a team as well. Knowledge about the value of those a*sets can help you in correctly an*lyzing the situation of a team. Securing a flag while losing a lot of a*sets can harm your team’s effort in winning a round.
- Furthermore, keep in mind that individual scores do not affect the result of the match.
The complete list of Game Modes can be found here https://squadfm.org/#game-modes
Before Joining A Game
- If you don’t have a mic, get one. This game is all about communication. Also, know that text chat can be disabled. People may not see what you write (or they don’t focus on text chat since they’re busy attacking the enemy).
- Get a call sign that can be easily pronounced. It makes communication easier and it can help others to remember you more easily if you’re interested in making friends. It’s not super important, but it can help in situations where your SL or another friendly needs to address you quickly. Also, it can help with immersion (“CHARGER HIT THAT TANK AT 2-3-0” has a different ring to it, then “Ah man, wow dude, how, what, what’s your name… XxxSniperxxX_HD? COME BACK HERE ASAP!”). You can search for “military call sign list” to get some inspiration. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be a military call sign. Any easily pronounceable name or word will do.
- Try teamwork. It will make for a much better experience for everyone.
- The game has a learning curve but it’s super rewarding once you’re in the groove of things.
- Squad is about playing your role within a team. Sometimes that means rolling in kills, Squad-score, and glory. Sometimes that means sitting on a hill for 30 minutes watching the world go by. Remember: it’s not all about you. It’s about the team.
- When you’re playing Squad, whatever you’re doing and whatever your role is, your actions should be, in some way, related to the team’s objectives and/or the objectives of the particular game mode that you’re playing.
- Think about the objectives constantly and ask yourself: “Is what I am doing right now positively contributing to the team?”, “What could I be doing better?”, “What could we be doing better?”. This focus on playing the objective should be your preeminent concern for the entire round. Irrespective of what the 40 other players on your team are doing, you can make a difference by playing the objective. Sometimes, one player is all it takes to tip the balance in a firefight, on a flag zone, or at a FOB. Get your arse onto the point. Get behind some cover. Dig in. Help out.
- Your first 20 hours will be about learning and making mistakes. You have to go through it. It gets fun when you know the basics.
- Also you should know you are not the slave of the squad you joined. If you don’t like your SL or teammates join another squad. Play with a squad that sticks together. Also, if you choose the rifleman or medic role instead of HAT or MG your SL will have less expections from you.
- You may meet sh*tty people (like in any game), but fortunately, they’re very much the minority in the Squad community. Much like other games, there are a few loudmouth a-holes, and a ton of friendly players who’re happy to help you learn.
- Do the training. Then do it again.
- Practice on Jensen’s range and practice a lot! Try weapons, mortars, tanks, fly the helicopter, have fun and explore everything. Get used to rifle optics and see how far you can hit targets.
- If you want to train on a different map than Jensen’s Range, open your console and type AdminChangeLayer. A list will show up with all maps and game modes and you can choose one of them. If the map has a timer that prevents you from getting into a vehicle or flying the helicopter open your console and type AdminSlomo 150, which will speed up time. You can set time back to normal with AdminSlomo 1.
- Useful Console Commands:
- AdminChangeLayer (and the map of your choice)
- AdminDisableVehicleClaiming 1 (allows you to claim any vehicle)
- AdminAlwaysValidPlacement 1 (allows you to place anything you want)
- AdminSlomo 20 (speeds or slows in-game time; set to 1 for normal time)
- You can explore a map with Shift + P. Move around with your usual movement keys. Find more information below under https://squadfm.org/#admin-camera
- Want to check out being a Squad Leader? Create a squad in the deployment menu (just name a squad and you’ll be SL). Make sure to grab the SL kit from an ammo box. You can use map markers and place structure foundations (though you’ll need a non-SL role to build them. The SL does not have a shovel).
- Want to be a Commander and call in airstrikes? Create a squad first, then click on “Volunteer as Commander” and get your binos out, open your radial menu and click on “Request Tactical Support from Commander”. Then go to the deployment screen and approve the request (right mouse click on the target area).
Good Roles And Jobs For New Players
- Use the Rifleman kit if you’re new to the game. It’s a great way to learn the basics.
- Choose the basic Rifleman role WITH OPTIC and run that for a long time until you get a better sense of the game.
- You have an ammo bag (your backpack) that you can put down. Your team can refill their supplies with it. Very important for LAT, HAT, and Medic. Ask them if they need to refill medkits/ammo. Your SL may put you in a fireteam with HAT/LAT.
- Always keep your gun on semi-auto. Full auto may only make sense in CQB.
- Communicate things that you see to your squad.
- Move slower than you think you need to. Whenever I rush or think I’m too safe I get killed. That also has to be balanced, going too slow won’t get anything done.
- Once you have experience as a Rifleman check out Medic/Automatic Rifleman. Automatic Rifleman is all about positioning and suppression. Medic is self-explanatory.
- Most of all, don’t be afraid to fail. Try new kits or roles and accept that you’re probably going to be sh*t the first few times. Youtube tutorials are a godsend for the more advanced kits like AT or armor.
- Communicate Secure Rescue
- The Real MVP As a Medic alongside the Squad Leader you form the backbone of your squad. The SL gets the show on the road but the Medics are the true MVPs who keep it going. I want you Medics to recognize your value and learn to say “No.” You don’t need to revive everyone always and you definitely should not put yourself at such a risk where the most likely outcome is that you end up dead on top of your buddy. Your survival should be a priority for everyone in the squad and if you think it’s too high of a risk to revive someone in the middle of the road, you should have the balls to say “no, I won’t” and that’s fine. ‘You should never end up in a situation where you die with a bandage in your hand, that means either you’ve misa*sessed the situation or someone who was supposed to cover you messed up.
- Basic Gameplay Basic play as a Medic is pretty straightforward, you bandage bleeding or incapacitated friendlies and bring them back to full health with the medpack (or the Force). On top of that, you’re expected to be the last man standing in most cases to get the most out of your ability to revive others. Few tips to help you achieve this are to stay in the middle or back part of your squad to not catch the first bullet that comes your way. You’re better off letting someone else catch it and go pick them up when the coast is clear. You also want to stay separate from the other Medic in the squad so that you don’t both get killed in the same instance or by the same enemy. This often prevents the squad from being wiped too quickly. It’s common practice to have one Medic stay close to SL and the other with the rest of the squad to keep a simple separation between the two. Revive priority is SL + Medic ” AT ” Joe
- Communication & How to be an a*set to your squad
- The easiest thing to do to go from “Yeah, it’s some dude playing a Medic” to “Holy sh*t that guy is super useful how do we recruit him now and have babies in the progress” is 100% communication as you can both relay critical information that nobody else has and talking to the people you’re trying to rescue ups their chances of survival quite significantly. Firstly you’ve got the Medic Vision which allows you to see downed players in about a 150m radius around you regardless if they’re in your squad or not. This gives you the best overall picture of how the fight is going and learning to relay the crucial information from this to your squad members and Squad Leader can change the pace of the fight and save you from getting flanked or losing a*sets.
- Secondly, you should be in constant communication with your squad members and the other Medic to get your reviving responsibilities handled effectively and safely. As a Medic, you have a certain amount of authority, and asking/telling the other individual to cover you should be a routine aspect of your game. When reviving players they should preemptively tell you critical information about their status like “An enemy is standing on top of me” or “I got sniped from West but am in good cover so clear to pick up”. Good players do this, but more often than not you need to demand it if you’re unsure of what you’re getting into. Again, your survival is more critical than the random Joe’s in the middle of the street there. Once you are reviving them, if the situation demands it, tell them what to do as they get up to survive the next 3 seconds as well. Nothing is more frustrating than busting your a*s saving a guy and having them stand up and get shot in the face the moment they’re back in the game. So tell them not to.
- You have a rifle Use it As a last gameplay tip, do remember that while you usually play the friendly neighborhood doc, you’re still kitted out to kill, even better than a normal leman. You’ve got the same kit with extra bandages and the ability to heal yourself fully in between taking hits. You’re literally the Terminator in the right circumstances. Use this to your advantage and if there is no one else to clear the enemies for you, go do it yourself. You’re always better off dying in a 1v1 fight that while won allows you to revive a friendly than walking straight up to the friendly and getting killed on top of them because the enemy was still watching his body.
- Be aware of your surroundings, make sure you know where the enemy is so you don’t get killed trying to revive a teammate.
- Prioritize! Revive other fellow Medics first, if there are multiple people down, bandage them all at the same time so they don’t bleed out.
- Your safety before others. This means you need to make sure you’re not under any fire or threat. Make sure you are safe! No point in trying to revive someone when you’re taking MG fire in your direction.
- Communicate! Use your local voice channel to tell those who are down to keep breathing and not go towards the bright light.
- Medics are important to ensure a victory for your team, as I’ve had many close games where we end up winning with less than 20 tickets.
- You have a shovel and can build structures too. Though this shouldn’t be your primary objective when your teammates are down.
- Ask if they know where the shot came from and how much time they have left.
- Don’t smoke your position, always smoke as far away from yourself as you can, in the enemy’s direction.
- While bandaging, freelook in that direction and if you see movement, abandon the bandage, swap to rifle, and shoot.
- Bandages heal bleeds (blood droplet symbol).
- Kit heals health.
- Have to fix the bleed first then heal.
- Right-click with kit heals yourself, left-click heals friendlies.
- Second Medic kit has a long-range optic.
- Try to always have a visual on your Squad Leader. If they go down before they can place a rally or FOB your whole squad will most likely lose the precious ground they just covered.
- If you go down, the squad goes down.
- In a firefight with multiple downed friendlies, when reviving, give each person a quick tap with the Medic bag (don’t fully heal them). This quick tap allows your friend to begin building stamina, and therefore allows them to aim better and help defend while you go and get to another person. Go back when it’s clear/everyone is up and then begin fully healing them.
- Use a Logi truck to bring build and ammo supplies to the FOB.
- Tell your SL that you volunteer for logi runs. Learn how to drive a truck first and how you can load/unload it.
- Logi runs are a great way to learn maps and have a positive impact on the game. No victory without supplies.
- Use your mic. To speak with your squadmates or friendlies close by you need to press and hold a button (check your keybinds).
- Say ‘hi’ to your squadmates. You may be the first person to break the ice. If the squad is all clammed up, someone saying anything can help kick start the comms and the banter. Be positive and be confident. If you’re not, wing it.
- Tell your squad that you’re new to the game.
- Ask questions. People are usually willing to help.
- If someone talks to you, talk back. Act like you’re in the real world and not a video game.
- Chit-chatting and making jokes while you’re on your way to the first objective is usually fine. But listen to your SL if they want to tell you about the objective.
- Tell your SL/Team if you had a good time. Squad leading is hard work and showing some appreciation can brighten someone’s day. Also, you can ask your SL if they’re leading again next round in case you want to continue gaming.
I Am Too Shy To Speak
- If you’re shy you’re in a great place. This is a perfect game for you. It will improve your confidence in talking with others greatly. Try it.
- Squad helped a lot of people overcome their shyness and also helped many players learn to speak more confidently in English.
- The community is very welcoming and you’re most likely surrounded by other shy people (that may or may not yet be comfortable to speak into their mic).
- Just start with enemy callouts. This and following orders is a Squad Leader’s dream.
- No one will call you out for not chatting about random stuff.
I Cannot Speak (I Am A Mute)
- If you’re a mute we want you to join Squad nonetheless! We won’t leave anyone behind! You’re one of us!
- If anything, send a quick message to your squad when you join that you can’t use your voice due to medical reasons.
- You can add [MEDICALLY MUTE] to your name to let people know that you won’t be talking.
- If you run into an a-hole, let the admins know.
- Play Medic for absolutely no need to talk. Most other cla*ses other than Command or scouting don’t really need talking unless you see something.
- While speaking is helpful, even more important is following orders and playing as a squad.
- There are plenty of squads without speaking. These are the squads where the SL is just a filler and isn’t really a Squad Leader. They don’t care if you can speak or not.
- Be aware that not a lot of people read text chat a whole lot or quickly enough. Text chat can also be disabled in the UI, so some people won’t see chat messages at all.
- You could set up a soundboard to play the most common phrases (take a look at the Callouts chapter https://squadfm.org/#callouts). You can download the Soundux Soundboard here https://soundux.rocks/. It’s free software for Windows and Linux.
- Don’t get caught up in speech or slang. Clear quick and precise information is important, not how you say it.
- Always identify yourself and never say “me”.
- Use the appropriate voice channel.
- Before you use voice chat remember this: A.B.C. Accuracy, Brevity, Clarity. Your Squad Leader will thank you, and the rest of the squad will too.
- Always check your map to see if you’re looking at an enemy or friendly soldier.
- Don’t ever say “101 degrees” in squad chat. Any degree direction in squad chat is useless and anybody not in local range will just get a confusing direction to look at. Stick to local chat for degree information.
- Don’t say “Enemy on me”. Not in local chat and especially not in squad chat. Other players do not know who said: “On me”. If they are quick enough to spot your name in the voice chat notification they would still have to open their map and then find where you are. Say at least “Enemy on YOURNAMEHERE’s position” and give some indication of where you are.
- If you’re incapacitated you could say “I’m down. Enemy on YOURNAMEHERE’s position” on local voice chat. Your SL or FTL can use their map and look for a faded arrow (faded green if it’s someone from your own squad, otherwise faded blue) and hover over it to see if it’s you and mark it. However, it’s usually best to give some indication of where you are (especially over squad chat).
- FTLs should mark any callouts on the map to decrease SL load.
- The map is split up into grids. A grid is a network of evenly spaced horizontal and vertical lines used to identify locations on a map. Each grid has a number and a letter, which you can see on the edge of the map, A1 being top left and J10 being bottom right.
- Each of these grids is further divided into subgrids, called keypad. Keypad is a subdivision of the grid location which is numbered like the layout of a keypad on your PC keyboard. 1 is bottom left, 3 is bottom right, 7 is the top left, 9 is the top right, and 5 is in the center. Just like the 1-9 on your keyboard numpad. It allows you to very quickly give a precise location.
- Grid locations should be used rarely. It’s time-consuming to bring up the map and to figure out what grid you’re referring to. Better to say “Enemy BTR north-west of the objective, on the road” rather than “Enemy BTR A5-6-4”. Grid coordinates are handy though when there’s an enemy HAB somewhere without any landmarks to reference.
- Call vehicles out to teammates and SL with the minimum information you know. Does it have tracks? Mention that. Which way is it moving? Etc.
- The more effective you can communicate the location of the enemy, the more quickly and more efficiently that you and your team can deal some death in their direction. Weight of fire and accuracy of fire wins firefights.
- Examples Local Voice Channel:
- CONTACT! 300 degrees … Top of the ridge … 2 enemies in the open … About 100 meters
- CONTACT! 2 enemies … 100 meters … Top of the feature … At 300 degrees from my position!
- CONTACT! 100 meters … 2 guys with AKs … 300 degrees … Watch my splash! (proceeds to smash 100 rounds from the SAW in their direction)
- 2 infantry north of YOURNAMEHERE position
- Contact South, at 190, infantry
- Contact North, 13 degrees
- Contact on our right/left/on the rooftop
- Enemy squad flanking from the bridge
You can find more callouts here https://squadfm.org/#callouts
- Avoid the compulsion to run around all the time, movement is easily spotted by the human eye. If you are close to enemies, move slowly.
- Stop every now and then and try to spot enemy movements.
- Check the map often for intel and to get your bearings. Also, to see where friendlies are and if you have an enemy in front of you.
- Manage your Stamina. It’s the bar that’s being depleted when you sprint. Without stamina aiming and hitting something is nearly impossible. Stop sprinting when you approach an area with enemies so that your stamina can replenish.
- If you hear enemy weapons nearby in the direction your headed stop and try to figure out another route, maybe you can flank them.
- Never profile yourself on top of a hill unless absolutely necessary. You should try to use the terrain as cover as much as possible.
- It’s often better to take a slightly longer route in cover than it is to take the shorter one across an open area.
- Moving across an open area is how you die. Run fast or smoke to conceal your movement. Let smoke plume before you move.
- When crossing terrain, choose paths of movement that minimize your exposure to any potential snipers. Always move in a way that puts you near buildings and environmental objects you can put between you and your attacker and use as cover if you get surprised or ambushed. You know how rats and mice in houses will run along the edges of the wall and behind things to try to stay hidden as they travel, you gotta be like that. You gotta be the rat.
- Don’t get discouraged if you don’t know the maps or where you are getting shot from. You will learn the maps while playing.
- Stick together. This isn’t Call Of Duty. This isn’t even Battlefield. You need to stick with your squad. Especially Medics. I understand if we just met up with another squad and they need medical attention but as soon as their Medic is up regroup with your squad. I’ve had countless times where my Medics are 200-300 yards away busy healing another squad when I need them on my own squad members. Also, this game is called Squad for a reason. Teamwork is essential! Sure you may get a lot of kills as a lone wolf but you aren’t helping the team when the objective is lost because you could have been the one guy that noticed a whole enemy squad coming up on the back.
- Rebind your map key so that you can reach it easily. Use a mouse thumb button or a key close to WASD.
- Red markers on the map mean enemies, but they are placed by players. This means enemies could be anywhere near there.
- Use your map to make an educated guess on where the enemy is, and when you need to be vigilant, which direction you should be watching, etc.
- Find out where your teammates are looking. They are usually looking towards the enemy in a firefight.
- If you’re SL or fireteam lead you can place markers on the map.
- You probably heard something like “Enemy grid Alpha 3, subkey 4, 6” This is referencing the grids on the map, if you hover over a grid at the bottom right it shows the grid (ie Alpha 3-4-6). The largest grid would be Alpha 3, then inside that grid is another smaller grid (subkey 4) and inside that grid is an even smaller grid (6).
- You can use the map coordinate grid for callouts (e.g. “Tank in F-8”).
- Each grid has a smaller sub-grid. The smaller one consists of 9 squares and is called Keypad. It is read from 1 to 9 like the numerical keypad on your PC keyboard. The square in the lower left is 1, the square in the upper right is 9.
- If you hover with your mouse over a grid you will see the actual position of your mouse. When you open the minimap by running you will see your player position on the left up corner.
- If you want to see all maps and objectives check out https://squadmaps.com/.
Identifying The Enemy
- Learn which uniforms, weapons, and vehicles each faction uses. Also, learn to identify weapons and vehicles by their sound. This will make it easier to identify enemies and what vehicle is approaching your position.
- Study the faction uniforms on the team selection screen. This screen can be accessed during the game from the deployment menu.
- Identify something that’s both easy to remember and easy to differentiate between the two teams. This is usually something like overall uniform color, brightness, or camo pattern. For example: “the enemy is lighter,” or “the enemy is darker green,” or “the enemy camo is more splotchy.” These generalizations are especially useful at the beginning of the round when you haven’t seen the enemy on the battlefield yet.
- Find finer details about the enemy uniform that can help identify them. These are usually harder to spot in the field, but can still be helpful. For example: “the enemy all wear dark sungla*ses.” Ideally, look for traits that aren’t shared with any of the kits in your faction.
- Take a close look at a downed enemy. This is even more effective if you can see one of your teammates near the corpse at the same time.
- Check your map often to see where friendlies are and are not. When looking at the map, I try to make generalizations or rules of engagement about the battlespace around me. For example: “there are no friendlies to the west.” This understanding allows me to open fire immediately if I see any units to my west. These rules are often very short-lived, so I open my map frequently to revalidate them or define new ones.
- Make liberal use of the scroll wheel when using the map. Changing the zoom level provides useful adjustments to the level of detail and context provided by the map. I zoom out to make more strategic decisions about where to move, attack or defend. For more tactical decisions and actions, I zoom in as far as I can so that I can take notice of nearby threats, friendlies, and environmental features that can provide cover and concealment.
- The map and scroll wheel also help me with vehicle identification. If I hear a vehicle or helicopter, I quickly open the map, zoom out, and look for green or blue vehicles in the vicinity. If I don’t see any, then I take cover and proceed accordingly.
- If you’re still in doubt, wait for verification from the friendly player name tag. Note that the tags don’t always show up or are often hard to see.
- You will still make mistakes occasionally and fire on friendlies. When this happens, be sure to apologize, and do your best to revive them if they’re down. If you TK someone type in the console ChatToAll Sorry for TK. Admins see that you killed a team member and if they see an apology they know it was not intentional. They can miss apologies via voice channel, therefore always apologize via text chat.
- Staying still and watching for moving pixels is the best way to spot enemies.
- Call Contacts You shouldn’t shoot at an enemy unless you’ve been given the clear to fire. One of the things a lot of new players don’t realize is you may want to get the kill but then no one knows where you’re shooting. You need to call out the contacts using the compa*s at the bottom of your screen like “Contact at 330”. Saying “Contact left” isn’t going to do anything to help and so is just shooting at an enemy. Now on the not firing until given the okay to shoot, you don’t necessarily know what your SL is trying to do and when you shoot and give away your position you may have just messed up the SL’s plan to sneak around the enemy flank.
- Any time you are under fire you need to be shooting back, it is the only chance you have in some cases. This game is centered around one of the best suppression models I have seen to date in a game. If you are being shot at, shoot back. Can’t see them? Guess. You might be right. If anything it might get the enemy’s head down and gives you a chance. The moment you return fire, even if just in the direction of fire, you created a 2-way firing range, and the entire tempo has changed. You now have him surprised, off guard, possibly suppressed, maybe wounded, or even dead with enough lead and luck.
- Don’t be too far away from or right on top of teammates when attacking and defending.
- As for spotting enemies, look for movement, not shapes.
- Always use single fire. In CQB (e.g. in a building) autofire can make sense.
- Hide behind cover and use your lean keys to expose less of your body.
- Someone shoots at you? Don’t fret, and don’t immediately go prone, and don’t immediately go to your bandage unless your screen is blood red and you are about to die. Instead, try to move to cover quickly, dodge back and forth to make their next shots miss, and with each shot, you coerce out of them, you get more information about where you are being engaged from. Get to cover, then bandage.
- When you’re running for cover use your freelook button and look around where the shots are coming from.
- Tracers work both ways. You can see where your shots land and the enemy can see where they’re coming from.
- Change position every now and then after you shoot. Once a single enemy soldier knows where you are they will let their team know. Peeking the same angle on an enemy again is how you die.
- To get an accurate range ask the SL or an FTL to tag a specific spot to get an exact distance. Otherwise, if you can see an enemy player, most scopes/binoculars in the game give you a way to estimate the range.
- ADS before peeking or rounding cover This tip is mainly applicable to scoped weapons. Being zoomed in simply gives you a closer look at a target, making it easier to identify them as friend or foe. Aiming down sights doesn’t happen instantly, and you don’t want to lose that precious time if you round a corner and come face to face with an enemy.
- If you are dying constantly it is probably because of positioning and awareness
- You are moving past an enemy position you don’t know about
- You aren’t moving close enough to cover
- You are visible from too many sides
- Do not waste TOW/Kornet (the guided rockets) shots on infantry
- Watch out for IED bikes and drones. If a bike is making a beeline for you, shoot that guy immediately.
- Learn to identify where the incoming fire is coming from by listening. Bullets move faster than the speed of sound, so if you get shot at, you’ll first hear the supersonic crack of the bullet pa*sing by you, and then you’ll hear the dull “thump” of the rifle that fired it. If you hear a crack, get ready to listen for the thump.
- Hold your fire if you spot a group of enemies in the distance. Let soldiers around you know (local com), let your squad know if it’s an armored vehicle (squad com). If possible let enemies come closer or let them move to a position where they hardly find cover. Coordinate the attack with soldiers around you.
- If you get pinned down, you will lose. Anytime you are in a small area defending, it’s only a matter of time until you will lose. Trying to defend the point? Push OFF the point. If you stay on the point, you will eventually lose it. Too many people are too scared and get pinned down immediately, and you end up with 10 players within 20m who are completely combat ineffective. Getting pinned down? Quit attacking in the same linear direction as your entire team and flank.
- Suppressive fire is underutilized and extremely powerful. If you get shot at close to you, what is your default reaction? You go prone and/or take cover. You become combat ineffective. All it takes is a close shot not a hit. Guess what it’s the same for the enemy. People don’t utilize this enough. You can put a few shots into a window at long range and the person who was holding the angle will forfeit it allowing you to push them. If the enemy is somewhere in a building, put one shot every second into one window, then the next, then the next, then the next. 30 seconds of a person not shooting back. You can suppress whole squads with one rifleman doing this.
- Suppressive fire is not a mag dump. It is not 30 round bursts from an AR/MMG. Suppressive fire is one or two shots a second (maybe 5 or 6 if using an AR/MMG) in the general direction of the enemy. You don’t need cover fire that is a 10-second stream of automatic fire and then a reload. You put slow, consistent fire downrange and the enemy keeps their damn head down.
- Use your smokes. It’s the single biggest advantage you have when advancing. Smoke removes the defender’s ability to see your advance.
- “I’m up, he sees me, I’m down” is a marine tactic and it works well. Move from cover to cover, from concealment to concealment with this. It means make bounds, wait, scan, look, bound again. Expose yourself for a few seconds, then get back in cover. Say it out loud or in your head and you’ll get the idea of how long it’s realistic to be in the open.
- Check out the chapter on how to How To Identify A Vehicle: https://squadfm.org/#how-to-identify-a-vehicle and How to Destroy/Disable A Vehicle: https://squadfm.org/#how-to-destroydisable-a-vehicle.
I’m Dead, Now What?
- Not dead yet and still on your feet? You’ll bleed at 0.3 health points per second until bandaged.
- Stamina will not regenerate if your health is less than 5 health points.
- If you’re shot and on the ground wait for a Medic. If no one is close to you ask SL where to spawn.
- Say “Thank you” if the Medic fixes you up (or dies trying).
- Don’t click the “Call Medic” button as it’ll alert enemies in the area to your/the Medic’s presence. Instead, call teammates via local chat because the enemy can’t hear that.
- However, you can use the Medic call to bait enemies. Just spam it if you are alone and maybe the enemy will wonder if people are still near you.
- Also don’t give up when there are teammates nearby. You have 5 minutes until you die. Even if it seems impossible to be picked up now, a lot can happen in 5 minutes and the coast will probably be clear to be picked up in a bit. Be patient, it’ll save you time & tickets.
- However, sometimes respawning quickly and throwing away a ticket to win an objective can make sense. Sometimes you need pressure, especially on Invasion defense. Check with your SL.
- When the Medic heals you, give cover and look for enemies, don’t look at the Medic. Also, try to stay in place so the Medic can properly heal you and doesn’t have to follow you around (this can lead to both you and the Medic getting killed).
- If a friendly is dead you can drag them by their feet/shoulders. Approach them crouched and press F to drag them.
- Drag downed players to cover, so your Medic does not have to risk their life and can focus on healing.
- If no Medic is close by, use your own bandages to get a downed player back on their feet. You can refill bandages from a Rifleman’s backpack.
- Sometimes it is smarter to die and spawn shift to the next cap than to sit on a point your team just captured. Ideally, leave all enemies on that useless cap point behind while spawn shifting onto the next offensive point.
- Walking 100m takes ~30 seconds and sprinting ~20 seconds, so balance that with respawning. Travelling takes time and sometimes you’re needed somewhere else immediately.
- If you’re in the middle of nowhere and you need to get back to a FOB, open the console and type Respawn. This will kill you and your team will lose a ticket, but you can spawn where you’re needed.
Being a Fireteam Lead
- You can hold T to open the radial menu and place markers on the map (e.g. attack marker).
- You can give fireteam lead to someone else on your fireteam.
- Leapfrog with the other fireteam on your squad to move around.
- Mark any callouts you hear over voice vom on the map to decrease SL load.
What If I’m Given SL?
- If your Squad Leader leaves the squad the first person that joined the squad will automatically be given SL. This usually happens if your SL was an a*shat. Best practice would have been for the SL to ask who wants to be the new SL instead of just abandoning the squad.
- If you’re a new player, ask your team who wants to be SL and hand it over to them in the deployment menu (right-click on their name).
- If you want to remain SL, get an SL kit ASAP. Additionally, teach the person who gave you SL a lesson and kick them from your squad.
- Also, check out the Squad Leading tips here: https://squadfm.org/#squad-leading
- Ideally don’t change kits in the field this causes the ammo on FOBs to melt away fast (even though 80% is being refunded). Change kits ideally at main. In the same vein, changing kits to solve a problem is fine. Your squad desperately needs a Medic, a Crewman to repair a vehicle, or AT to kill that BTR trying to wipe you out? The extra ammo won’t help much if you’re all dead. Just remember someone had to drive or fly all that ammo out there and try not to be overly wasteful. Next time you rearm, check the ammo point cost of each item. You can also select a specific kit to rearm rather than grabbing everything (click on the individual items).
- When topping off ammo at a FOB be mindful only to refill what you need. The ammo is being shared across all team members.
- Don’t shoot from the HAB/rally. Don’t draw attention to our spawn area. In fact, get away from the spawn area. Stop spending your entire game within 20m of the HAB.
- Dig down your own structures, unless specifically ordered to you are just trolling at this point
- Solo a vehicle, especially IFV (the tracked fighting vehicles) and Tanks
- Mine friendly traveled roads or friendly HABs. Put mines where enemies are going to drive, please.
How To Make Friends in Squad
- Be a regular on a server and have a positive reputation.
- Play on the same server.
- Have an easy-to-pronounce and remember name.
- Answer questions teammates have.
- Talk to teammates, they don’t even have to be in your squad. Make casual conversation (at appropriate times). Ask about the situation as you come upon teammates in the game. Make callouts of enemies you see. (it’s amazing how many conversations I try to start up and the other person is mic-less, or so they seem to be, but 30 seconds later they finally start speaking. This is a huge turn-off. Talk in-game like you would IRL. Would you ignore that person standing next to you talking to you?)
- Know how to play Squad and play the objective. This leads to other regulars knowing they can depend on you.
- Rally the troops and pull random blueberries doing nothing into a useful task. Like when spawning on a FOB. Announce that our FOB 200m away is going down and everyone that can hear you should help push and save it.
- Play one step ahead of your SL so they don’t have to ask for things.
- Have a good time and see the fun in losing at times.
- In short, build a positive reputation among the community you play with.
- This will take months/years to get to.
- You can find people you played Squad with in Steam – Profile – Friends – Recently Played With. Add your new friend!
Hope you enjoy the Guide about Squad – New Player Guide, if you think we should add extra information or forget something, please let us know via comment below, and we will do our best to fix or update as soon as possible!
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