Background: I've been playing since 1/1, and the first couple of months were…pain. I took a friends advice to just run a SKS, 6B3TM rig, penis helmet and PS ammo, and only ran Customs. It took me probably 2 or 3 weeks to get my first PMC kill, I -constantly- died to scavs and I really had no idea what was doing on most of the time. I'm the sort of person who gets bored of a game when I'm ok at it, and I was not okay at this.
A couple of months later I'm 2 quests away from Kappa, have a very healthy ruble stash and can more than hold my own in a fight. I'm not -great- at the game, but I'm doing much better.
Here's a couple of tips I think might help new players.
- Listen to advice – but if you like your own play style, stick to it. Everybody I played with was telling me being aggressive was always going to win PVP gunfights. When you're not good, being overly aggressive will 9/10 lead to you donating kits to other players. If you aren't great at PVP, you don't even need to purposefully get in fights.
- Listen to advice – but if you enjoy a gun, use it. My two favourite guns in the game are often talked down as being some of the worse; the Ash-12 and the Vepr AKM. Being able to one-tap scavs through most armor in the torso will always be satisfying with the AKM and .366 AP, and the noise of the Ash-12 more than makes up for any shortcomings the gun has. Yes, you might be more likely to lose against guys running the meta kits, but if most of the raids you're having fun, who cares?
- Gear is transient. Almost any gear you pick up and want to hold on to is easily and reasonably cheaply available as soon as you hit level 10. If you have something FIR you're not comfortable using, sell it. If you have it not-FIR, run it. You can always replace it when you will best be able to utilise it.
- Treat scavs like really bad players. If you were against a Timmy, you'd always try and give them the bamboozle by running at them from different angles. Run at scavs the same way. Use their audio to work out where they are, peak from one angle to see if you can take a shot before the couple of seconds after they yell at you, if you can't then get back out of sight and repeat. While there are a few times I've been aggressively pushed by AI scavs, most of the time they'll just stick out of cover and are easy kills. Doing the COD-style stand and fight is often not your best bet, and a bad habit a lot of people (including myself) have from other FPS games.
- You will die a lot of dumb and surprising ways. 7mm buckshot scavs shooting you in the ears from 50m away while wearing a face shield. Hearing a bullet hit next to you as it passes through your noggin with no shot, and a second later just getting deleted from the server. No matter what kits you have, no matter how careful you are, no matter how good at the game you are, death is inevitable.
- Find a rat run you can make which is reasonably uneventful and can earn you money. After 3-4 raids in a row dying, you're gonna get frustrated and probably much poorer. Having an easy, relaxing loot run you can make as a PMC is going to level up skills, earn you money and give you a break from all the stress. With that being said, always bring a decent gun to a rat run as you're likely to come across hatchlings or pistolings doing the same thing – and being able to turn them into a loot delivery service is always convenient.
- As soon as you can, work on leveling up skills passively so it's not such a pain in the ass down the track. Eat every bit of food you find. Search every stash and kill you make if it's safe, and pick things up constantly. Knowing you've got 50 raids to level up charisma just to hit the quest requirement is a bad time when you could have been doing that since the start.
- Use your scavs at every chance. After I started to have a pretty healthy bank account and some decent gear, I decided all my scav runs would be chasing PVP to try and get better at it. I spent an entire week solely running to KIBA just to fight player scavs, and I hugely improved in PVP in that week.
- Craft constantly. There are a number of crafts that will earn you money, even if only a couple of thousand rubles, right from the get go. Figure out what they are, and run them whenever your generator is on.
- Work out the trades. You can get reasonably meta gear for trades and save hundreds of thousands of rubles. The AACPC rig trade, the eTG-c trade, the scav vest trade (when you need to do Setup and Punisher), etc are all very accessible and can save you a lot of rubleydoos.
- Try and make friends. Wiggle at every player scav you see on the off chance they will want to team up. If you shit on a beginner clearly doing a quest, message them and offer to help them finish it. There's a lot of ways to have enjoyment in the game that isn't just shooting everything on sight.
- The game is never going to be exactly what you think it should be. Guns/gear you like will get nerfed. The economy will get broken, unbroken, and broken again. For every change BSG makes that you like, somebody else will hate it. That is the reality of games that have a very enthusiastic player base.
Yes, the game can be broken as fuck. Yes, desync is a huge issue and probably will be forever. Yes, there are some very obvious cheaters who don't appear to face any consequences. Yes, there's some buggy as hell elements of the game which aren't going to be fixed.
With all that being said, it's by far simultaneously the most infuriating and enjoyable game I've ever played and if even half the stuff that's been promised comes out, I think it has the chance to be the GOAT shooter for a lot of people.