From time to time, I run across people who happen to ask how another duck happened to get, “so good,” at the game. The answer seems to be obvious: “They played a lot of Duck Game,” right? Yet, there are high-level players who do not have over 500 hours in the game and match those with nearly 1,000 blow for blow. Putting time into the game is clearly important, but there is more to it. There has to be more than simply, “playing a lot,” that goes into what makes a skilled Duck Game player – so let’s talk about that.
What makes a good player?
There are techniques in Duck Game which a lot of players consider to be integral to the toolbox of anyone who tries to play at a higher level. Primarily, we have angle-shooting. That unintended feature became the essence of meta – especially so after the November 2016 update, through which the timing for angles became somewhat more feasible.
Using the recoil of the gun to boost one’s jump – or gun-jumping, as it’s frequently called – is a helpful thing. The single-player Arcade mode of the game features a handful of challenges which make use of this technique. The timing is simple to grasp and often comes in use to ascend to higher ledges, though some players have taken to ascending quicker by rapidly angle-shooting downwards to create a bullet cone.
Pre-igniting grenades, understanding teleporters, accurate platforming and the knowledge of how to counter less glamorous strategies also fall into this toolbox. Nonetheless, there are, “good players,” who do not pre-ignite grenades and who do not make use of glitches; there are good players who do not shoot in diagonals or have accurate platforming skills.
Some combination of technique seems to be a requirement, however there is one thing that a lot of the current upper echelon players share, and that is a good battle sense. The phrase may seem somewhat glamorous for the topic at hand, but it describes it suitably. A player’s ability to read the enemy and appropriately counter the enemy – with whatever means they are adept with – is one of the hallmarks of skilled players. If A happens, then B needs to happen. If C happens, then D or E or F need to happen. This is a learned instinct that often comes from experience – as in Duck Game, so in life.
I encountered some people who view the, “good players,” to be the ones who get the best gun on the map the quickest, and you see this often: A duck will rush for the laser rifle, the plasma blaster, the virtual shotgun or the AK-47 to give themselves the best possible advantage. It’s a strategy that leads to a quick conclusion.
There needs to be a mention of map-specific meta, such as exact angles and bounce trajectories, as well as certain glitches (wall-breaking, wall-shooting and bypassing the teleporters). While important for reliable performance, they are not necessarily integral to being a, “good player.” This telegraphs well when people play on custom maps they are unfamiliar with. The aforementioned duck instinct allows an experienced player to find the angles on the spot. A quick-paced game like Duck Game does not allow one much of a chance to think. The strategy forms on the spot and is executed in its raw state.
If technique and a duck instinct make a, “skilled player”, then does that also make them a, “good player?”
I want to make the argument that: No, it does not. The attitude the player takes towards the game is just as important as technique.
I want to make the argument that: Those who do look upon defeat as a learning experience; those who treat their opponents with respect; those who can learn by admiring others possess one of the requisite qualities that make up a good – a great – player.
Everyone has had their taste of salt in one match or another. To appropriately label a, “good player,” I want to look beyond simply their skill at the game. The player is the person pressing the buttons, and not only the results of inputs on the other side of the Web.
In this league, we are all people who have an adoration for Duck Game.
First and foremost, we are all people.
Tell me what you think makes a, “good player,” and perhaps we can make a community edition of this discussion a reality, as well.