crucibible positioning

The Crucibible: Awareness (Chapter 6)

Published on: Sep 1, 2015 @ 15:42

Now that the basics have been covered, let’s dive into the meta-game. Mind games, tactics, map movement, spawn control, and other strategies are part of the meta-game; smaller, more specific aspects of Crucible strategy not made apparent in-game that grant a greater understanding of PvP matches and offer distinct advantages when mastered.

In this chapter of the Crucibible, we’ll be talking about the meta of pre-positioning. You’ll learn how to give yourself the advantage before a firefight, and how to take into account equipment, other players, and your surroundings to win a standoff.


What is Pre-positioning?

Pre-positioning involves placing yourself and your aim in the right spots before engaging an enemy. Skilled players can adequately predict where the enemy’s head will be when they turn around the corner, and if you can have your reticle trained to that area, it will cut the kill time dramatically. Unfortunately this is something that can only be learned by playing the game and experiencing it for yourself.

Where you position yourself will depend on a wide variety of factors, like how far you are from your enemy, how high or low the cover is, what shape it is, whether your enemy will walk, run, slide, or jump around the piece of cover, and a myriad of other situations. It sounds daunting, and it is, so I’m going to give you what I think are the three most important factors to consider when getting ready for a firefight.

Weapon Class

Each weapon class varies greatly in stats and how they are used, but the biggest difference among the weapon classes is their effective range. In regards to pre-positioning, what weapon class you currently have equipped should dictate how close or far away you place yourself from a corner or piece of cover that you are expecting an enemy to pop around. If you have a shotgun, it might be best to pre-position yourself up close, ready to surprise your target. Conversely, if you have a Scout Rifle equipped, you’ll want to place yourself as far away as possible from the corner, keeping your weapon aimed down sights so that you have the advantage before you engage an enemy.


Aside from the occasional toss across the map, there are two moments in which thrown grenades are likely to make contact: before engagement, and after. The former involves throwing a grenade that will strike your enemy before you shoot – this can be used to get the jump on an enemy damage wise, or simply locate their exact position. A good initial grenade hit is good pre-positioning; forcing an enemy out of position can make them an easy target to eliminate. Throwing a grenade after initial contact, however, is where the majority of grenade kills come in. A well-placed grenade after contact has been made is a safe and effective way to clean up a kill after you’ve done damage with a weapon.

If you find yourself at a stalemate and need to pre-position, grenades quickly become your best bet in turning that stalemate into a checkmate in your favor. You can use your grenades to flush your enemy out of cover or injure them as they rush you by throwing it down directly in front of them. This only works if you have pre-positioned yourself at an adequate distance to give yourself enough time to toss a grenade down and let off a few shots. The Gunslinger’s Trip Mines in particular are amazing for setting up ambushes. You can toss it on a wall so that the beam points directly on the path your enemy will run on when they rush you.  On the other hand Lightning, Vortex, and similar map control grenades will keep your enemy from rushing you, giving you the opportunity to come in for the kill.

How do you avoid grenades when these strategies are used against you? Simply resist the urge to advance and avoid staying put – conceding ground will keep you alive and allow you to stay in the fight. How far you back away depends on which grenade you think is going to be tossed, so you should learn to recognize what class your enemy is playing and be familiar enough with all grenade types, how they work, and their effective range.

Situational Awareness

Situational awareness, or lack thereof, is what truly separates the good players from the great players. Great players can take on two enemies in front of them, toss a grenade to their left and kill a flanker, and then turn around and kill a would-be sneaky shotgunner.

In regards to positioning, that extra awareness will help you decide where to be, and whether or not it’s worth engaging an enemy. Is there more than one enemy around the corner? Is your radar showing a blip behind you? Do you have teammates backing you up? Do you or your enemy have low shields or health? Has your enemy used a grenade recently? Do either of you have your Super ready? These are questions you should be asking yourself at all times, and will help you decide whether or not to follow through.

Again, the whole point of the pre-positioning meta-game is to put yourself and your weapon in the most advantageous position as possible before engaging an enemy. Rather than stand on the ground and wait to be shot, why not hop on the rock beside you? It seems insignificant but being somewhere unexpected can surprise your enemy and give you those few precious milliseconds you need to get an extra shot off. Destiny is a more nimble and flexible game than other shooters – use that extra mobility to position yourself in the most unexpected of places.

And that, ladies and gentleman, is the end of chapter 6. Chapter 7 of the ‘Crucibible‘ will teach you how to handle situations when you’re outnumbered, and still come out on top.


For more Crucible talk, be sure to check out the latest episode of Crucible Radio