Shotgun Meta: How to Play With & Against It

Shotguns are king right now. Beat ’em, or join ’em. Depending on which side of the camp you fall on, there are a number of things you should pay attention to if you want to improve your game.

If you’re on the dark side, here are a few things to focus on that will help you use shotguns more effectively:

  • Use grenades to soften targets before pushing. Grenades can be extremely helpful to either weaken a target or forced them out of cover, and an enemy that is wounded or retreating is much easier to attack.
  • Being baited as a shotgunner is one of the biggest things you have to watch out for. Don’t fall for the tricks of players who want you to charge blindly into a battle that you can’t win.
  • Move from cover to cover, as opposed to running directly at targets. You need to have the idea in your head that anytime you’re not in cover, someone is aiming at you.
  • Hesitation will get you killed. If you decide to push, don’t chicken out halfway through. If you decide to retreat, do it ASAP.
  • Use calculated aggression. Patience is different than hesitation, and in Destiny it’s vitally important. Constantly pushing without thinking about the advantages and disadvantages isn’t a good habit.
  • Communicate! This has the advantage of both letting them know when and where you’re going to push, and helping everyone gain a better sense of awareness.
  • Understand where enemies are, and why they’re there. If someone is defending a position, do they have the advantage? How many of them are there? Why are the enemies in this area?
  • Make your movements quick, decisive, and unpredictable. Learn how to feint, and utilize avenues of approach other than simply moving towards someone on the ground. Shadestep, Titan Skating, Twilight Garrison, and other forms of movement should all be taken advantage of.

Want to rage against the shotgun machine? Surprisingly enough, a lot of the skills that benefit strong shotgun play also help to counter it.

  • Stay away from areas that favor shotguns! It’s not always possible, but try your best to avoid an area that would put you at a disadvantage. Using a sniper rifle? Don’t run to an area with no good sightlines and expect to prosper.
  • Baiting, back peddling, and uncommon positioning make yourself a more difficult target.
  • Call out where you think a shotgunner may be, and make a coordinated push as opposed to entering combat solo. If they have the high ground, or an easily defended position, hold tight and wait for reinforcements.
  • If you’re sniping, make sure to use cover lanes, as opposed to aggressively moving forward. Cover a teammate’s push & keep the enemy out of a lane.
  • Spend some time playing with a shotgun. Learn what is most effective against you, and then see if you can adopt those things into your playstyle. The best way to beat an enemy is to learn the way they think.