Yeah, this sounds like a blindingly obvious one but it’s not about that…
Airsoft has always been an honour game, it only works if we all call our hits when we get hit. Otherwise, we’d have to play paintball or laser tag. As Airsoft in the last few years has suddenly become competitive (where people care about winning), there has been an increase in the minority who don’t call their hits, which has then been amplified by the algorithm hunting, wannabe “famous”, b-grade binfluencer types who need to play up the drama for their video edits to catch the attention of gamer kids who are sifting through Fortnite thumbnails. It’s a sad state of affairs, more so the circus that follows it, but I’m not going into that in this article.
Instead, I want to talk about getting hit. In airsoft, we all talk about the giving of hits, but not so much the taking. And how as a sniper we can use hits to our advantage.
If we take away the competitive nature of skirmishes, and stop caring about which team wins or loses (not like there’s a physical prize at the end of it), then we can look at every skirmish day as a training exercise. Every day we play, we look to sharpen our skills and work towards a much bigger prize, the reward of becoming a better player. A lot of what I cover in all these blogs is stuff I’ve learned from doing, and trying to pass that knowledge onto people so they can skip ahead a lot and learn from my mistakes and experiences, as it were. One of the best learning experiences for any sniper though is actually getting shot.
I’ve said in many tactics articles that my goal personally on every game day is to come out of it with zero deaths – I’m not as bothered about how many kills I get. That’s not to say you cheat your way to zero deaths by not calling hits. It’s all about learning to hide and move better so that the enemy players never see you and never get that opportunity to hit you. If you can do that, you’ll find yourself a much better sniper than one who just sits on a vantage point flinging bb’s at the enemy spawn, visiting respawn 50 times but able to claim a lot of kills.
For the record, I’ve only managed zero on two occasions. One for 18 kills, one for 22. And I’m really proud of those ratios even if AEG players can get more kills in one hour. Every other skirmish day, there’s a few deaths but each time I try to learn from it – where did the enemy come from? How did they see me? How do I improve on that position? And that’s the real value in being hit; not like anyone is recording it anyway. But there is another advantage…
If you’re being shot at, or have been hit, look at it as an opportunity for a free relocate – you can go back to respawn (don’t wait for medics btw, it just attracts attention) and then come back into the fight from a different angle, maybe pick a different route, and learn from that. If you’re just getting shot at, but not hit, then realistically the game is up because you’ve been spotted anyway, and it’s just a matter of time before someone dumps a mag into you. With one shot in the barrel, you’re not going to stand much of a chance, although you can quickly try and fight back with a pistol and take a few out before you go, it’s worth putting it down as a mistake on your part and use getting hit to try something different.
It might even be that you’ve just found yourself surrounded by enemy forces and ended up in a bad spot. Although you could stay hidden and wait it out, there is always the option of attracting attention (ideally by shooting the enemy) and getting hit back as an excuse to visit respawn and try again.
You have to make mistakes to learn and develop. If you ignore mistakes (or don’t take hits), you’re just cheating yourself. And there’ll always be some dickhead with a camera watching, recording, and hoping people will like him if he starts kicking off about it like a wet cabbage. And nobody wants to see that, nor have airsoft portrayed as some kind of shit show.
Still try and keep that death rate down though if you can. I’m not saying go and get shot if you don’t need to…
But if you do it’s not the end of the world.