|Duel might look similar to normal deathmatch for the unexperienced player, but it is a very different playstyle. The main skills are strategic play, prediction and timing opposed to Free For All, where the main skills are aiming and guarding important areas, aka camping.|
Although the maps played in duel are very different there is a general scheme in every map, because except Grinder every popular duel-map has every weapon, 1 pair of pads, 1 armor and 1 shield. It is always about denying your opponent access to the defensive items, mainly armor and shield. There are 2 reasons why you should want to do that. You keep your opponents health down and yours up.
That´s why in duel it´s not so much about getting frags, it´s about armor and shield control. Once you´ve got that the frags will come alone.
The best way to control both at once is to stay at the armor until about 15-10 seconds before the shield respawns. Then you have to get shield and get back to the armor before the next armor respawns. In order to do that you need a very good shield timing, this is probably one of the most important skills in duels. I will explain some timing tricks later.
This strategy requires the armor to be out of sync with the shield. You don´t want the armor to respawn just as the shield respawns, so you shouldn´t always take the armor immediately. If you wait until 15 seconds before the shield respawns you have 15 seconds to get the shield and 15 seconds to get back to the armor, which is more than enough time in most maps.
Of course it isn´t easy to control both armor and shield, because your opponent will try to get at least one of them. Furthermore in most maps there are only 2-3 ways from armor to shield, so it´s easy to get ambushed and with UT´s strong weapons your armor advantage is usually gone with 1 hit, so you have to be very careful when going from armor to shield.
Even if you made it to the shield you still won´t be safe, because unlike armor the shield is very accessible in most duel maps, so you can´t really defend it for long. That´s why your shield timing has to be as exact as possible.
If your opponent is low on health after the shield attack you can try to get a frag, but you shouldn´t forget about armor. The best time to try making a frag is between the 2 armor respawns, because you have 27,5 seconds time before you have to return.
Here is a short illustration that should help you to understand what I am talking about:
In Phase I you have to get from shield to armor. You should go there as fast as possible, only trying to get a frag if you get a good chance.
In Phase II, after picking up the armor you have 27,5 seconds time to do whatever you want. You can hunt your opponent, get weapons you don´t have yet, get boots, pads, ammo or vials. You just have to be back at the armor before it respawns.
In Phase III you have to get from armor to shield in time before the shield respawns, this is just like Phase I only the direction changed.
After that everything repeats, starting with Phase I again, where you have to get from shield to armor.
If you manage to do this you leave your opponent with only the pads (if there are pads on the map) and vials, which gives you at least 100 armor advantage. This won`t help you anything if your opponent surprises you, but you should have enough advantage to win a normal gunfight.
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