Hitscan Dodging 101
Dodging is a very important skill that can be applied to most modern games and this guide will be focusing on the movement when dodging a hitscan vs hitscan in a high time-to-kill game with a reasonably fast fire rate like Apex, Quake, Diabotical, Hyperscape, etc… but will mainly be using arena fps’s LG type weapons as the basis of movement and aiming. This article will not cover the skills of the aiming component or strafe/movement aiming in detail which you can learn about in Aimer7’s strafe aim 101 doc.
Dodging in this context can be defined as the skill in which you reduce the amount of damage received from an enemy through unpredictable techniques or avoidance in response to the enemy’s movement or aim input. Dodging can be and sometimes is much more than just strafe aiming or using the strafe aiming techniques. I have the mentality that you should move to dodge damage and aim to adapt to that movement.
One thing that I have learned recently is that dodging should be based on if the enemy is hitting you or not. The basic technique is if they hit, you change your movement direction. So for the proper dodge, you should change direction when the enemy beam or crosshair is hitting you or an extended period of time. How you can do this is by noticing the knockback and or many visual clues like hitmarkers and the beam(for LG/ shaft)/bullet trail. The result of this should be quick fast strafes. Example being if they are trailing do longer strafes or if they are reacting quickly doing shorter strafes.
The basic technique isn’t perfect so lets look at how to overcome the issues. The issue that the basic technique can run into is the speed in which you can change direction efficiently which isn’t always a significant issue unless at the higher levels but it should be something to think about depending on the game like if the acceleration is faster the minimum strafe distance can be much lower and the opposite for when it is slow so you need to incorporate some other techniques to go around this problem. As well when the distance you travel in-between your direction changes is smaller than the hitbox, the enemy does not have to move their crosshair from the center of your player model to still hit constantly so we take that into account with the minimum strafe distance so it is larger than 1 hitbox in diameter. Now for the more fancy stuff (which is the most subject to change in the future) one of them is utilizing forward and backward movement to close the distance to exploit low sens players which would trail more because of the faster rotation per second or further away if higher sens where they lose that precision that a lower sens would have. As well this motion can sometimes be repetitive to the point of prediction while hard if you are playing against a human person and are reading the hits properly. It is sometimes good if doing longer strafes to do quick AD spam to throw off their aim even further and to remove prediction attempts. Similar to going close and circling is when going close is to go as close as possible to one of the 90degrees from the front of your enemy because most of the time people are doing only horizontal strafes you don’t even need to aim and you block their movement.
Just going to touch on some bad things that are quite obvious but you should still stay away from jumping because there isn’t much air control in most games without proper momentum so it is predictable then also purely mirroring and anti-mirroring which are not the best way of dodging when in a pure hitscan to hitscan fight but produce the highest accuracy percentage but lack the damage avoidance that good dodging has but as well can be applied to hitscan vs projectile where you can dodge the projectile or if the enemy is airborne so you can use knockback to pin them or to get the highest amount of damage done as quickly as possible while they are in a predictable motion and the movement from their perspective is much harder to hit you.
Examples of this in action
I am just going to leave some examples of good dodging
As an example, I got from pumpkin:
with an LG thunderstruck which this dodging is most prominent
And the upper final of the Mechanics cup shaft tournament in Diabotical:
Dodging vs Strafe Aim
They both can be applied to different situations to maximize your damage output(Strafe aiming *generally) and minimize the receiving damage(Dodging technique). For most of the time, the dodging technique is the best for most situations to minimize the damage received plus then you should just then aim to that movement and then use mirroring when the enemies are in positions where its hard to hit you or they are not shooting you for example in the air where it is hard to aim and they are moving at a constant horizontal speed or when they are not able to shoot you like when you are being a shield in Overwatch or on high ground and they are just not focusing you.
For further discussion around movement see my video on this topic: