On the surface, Splitgate seems like a game easily summed up by “Halo meets Portal.” However, it’s far more unique than that, and requires a different playstyle entirely to really get good at it. The movement and gun mechanics are familiar, but with a completely different tempo and weight. And, of course, the portals throw an entirely new combat experience into the mix that you’ll need to leverage. Here, we’ve got a top 10 list for Splitgate tips and tricks to bend the learning curve in your favor.
If you’re just jumping into Splitgate, you shouldn’t have too much trouble picking things up, but the learning curve is incredibly steep and you need to truly lean into how the game runs if you want to improve. If you want to up your game in Splitgate, here are our top tricks and sticks to get ahead.
1. Use Your Portals Strategically
Our #1 Splitgate tip is portal usage. For a competitive FPS where the whole hook is the introduction of portals, perhaps that’s no surprise, but we’re telling you it can be very easy to forget about them. You might get caught up in a firefight, need to outmaneuver an enemy, or even just look for a better route through the map. In any of these situations, you need to start thinking with portals first and foremost. Here are a few ways to use them strategically.
Place Them Across the Map
The beauty of accurately placing a portal is that you can quickly get up in the enemy’s face or outflank them. This is especially crucial at the start of a match where your first move can set the tone. Once it starts, look for an opportunity to create a portal across the map near the enemy spawn point and then open one next to yourself.
Keep in mind that skilled players on the other team may be thinking the same thing. Be ready to either charge in and attempt a few quick kills or defend your position against opportunistic foes. Both situations rely on swift windows to land kills and push the enemy team off balance. And while this may be most useful as an opening move, don’t be afraid to keep looking for opportunities mid-match to spawn portals across the map.
Keep Track of Your Portals
Forgetting where you dropped your portals can be a death sentence. Accidentally replacing the wrong portal can be equally deadly. Be sure to get familiar with which buttons unleash which portal. It should be almost second-nature — as soon as you feel any pressure, you can make the right presses without thinking.
At the same time, try to keep track of at least one portal location. If you have an idea of where one goes, it can free up your ability to spawn the other end without much concern. Start with replacing just one until you begin to subconsciously remember locations, then start throwing two into the mix.
Shoot Through Portals
This may seem like an obvious tip, but you’d be surprised how little inexperienced players tend to use it. It may be partially due to them forgetting that while your portals are transparent to you, they appear as a solid color to your enemies. They have no idea if a portal is dormant, if another player is about to step through it, or if bullets will just start ripping through the air.
As you spawn portals for positioning, just remember that you can start the engagement before walking through. Look for opportunities to get an angle on opponents and hit them before they ever see you. This can even be a great strategy at the start of the match if you want to distract or take out a hapless opponent.
Close Your Portals
Replacing a portal will technically close the original, but it’s not always the fastest or most effective method. In fact, knowing how to close both of your active portals can mean the difference between death and survival. For example, if you pop a portal and an enemy suddenly lands a few shots, it may be wisest to close it and reposition.
Looping back to keeping track of your portals, closing them is also a great way to ensure you don’t leave strategic placements for your enemies. There’s nothing worse than walking through a portal you think is safe, only to find an enemy amping the spot. Remember to keep closing them when necessary.
The most advanced portal technique currently in-game is known as Triple Portaling. The setup is somewhat simple and requires you to place two portals. Stand inside just enough that you’re effectively on both sides, and without fully moving over, look for another spot and fire your portal. Move back through, and you’re suddenly in a fully new location.
For inexperienced players, the execution of this move can be slow. However, once you get placement down and have a better understanding of map layouts, it can become your quickest method for moving around. Eventually, you can start chaining triple portals and even backtrack when under fire.
2. Destroy and Limit Enemy Portal Placement
Coming in at #2 in our Splitgate tips and tricks list is managing opposing players portals. While knowing the basics of managing your own portals is crucial, understanding how to deal with enemy portals is just as important. In short, you need to learn to expect where enemies will place their portals. This means not only traversing the map and expecting enemies to appear in front of you, but behind, above, and to the side in enclosed spaces.
The key here is to actively track any blue surface that a portal can spawn from. To do this effectively, it requires you to know the maps and understand how the layout and size affect general strategy for a given engagement. If you’re not as familiar, look for ways to block placement with your own portals.
That’s right, an active portal can block other players from placing their own. The only thing that will remove it is killing the player or destroying the portal. So, in moments where you anticipate an enemy placing or are unsure of the layout, pop a portal. This can limit their movement and help bottleneck any portal placement.
Lastly, keep in mind that you can actually destroy portals. Doing so requires an EMP Grenade and can help free up a wall for your own use, as well as eliminate an escape route for an enemy player.
3. Pay Attention to Your Crosshair and Audio
Speaking of your enemies, there are actually two effective ways to track them down without really seeing them. The first is your crosshair, which can be customized for each weapon in Splitgate. It’s not just for landing headshots accurately, it also signifies when you have eyes on an enemy. It even works through opaque enemy portals, helping you push back enemies before they have the chance to come through.
Second, enemies are loud in this game. You can hear footsteps around you from a ridiculous range and enemy footprints will always sound louder than your team. This also means that your enemies can hear you move, which means you may want to think twice about actively sprinting across the map. Take the time to pause before rounding corners to help both minimize your own presence and listen for enemies.
4. Switch Weapons
Animations in Splitgate are weirdly fast. This means that reloading and weapon switching are way more viable strategies in firefights than in other FPS titles. Weapon switching can be especially crucial if you have the right weapon combinations.
For example, if you land an initial hit with a shotgun, you can quickly switch over to an automatic weapon to follow up with. This also works in the reverse or with any other weapons, really. Don’t be afraid to make a quick switch if you find your clip running dry or want different firing capabilities. It’s actually a viable strategy here.
5. Prioritize New Weapons
Weapon control is a surprisingly powerful way for you and your team to gain a competitive advantage. At the start of the match, everyone will typically have the same loadout (random game modes aside). However, weapons like the Railgun and Rocket Launcher will spawn at specific locations as the match progresses.
You should be aware of those locations and try to make a play for them yourself or create an opening for a teammate. These weapons are seriously powerful, and can quickly shift the dynamic of a fight depending on who claims them. Try to prioritize holding those spawns if possible!
6. Avoid Camping
Camping, especially with portals, may seem like a viable option, but it’s a two-way street. Sure, you have a potentially easy escape route and the ability to shoot long distances through your portal. At the same time, sitting still leaves you open and a consistently open portal may lead to enemies just shooting through it to try and take you down.
If you find a good placement, you can certainly try to make the most of it. That said, it’s best to keep moving so that you don’t find yourself being flanked or outgunned.
7. Strafing Isn’t Quick
Another weird quirk about Splitgate is the movement speed. While you’re relatively fast, turning really isn’t. This means that switching the way you’re strafing isn’t an immediate action and will actually require you to stop and make a full turn before you can do it again. This can leave you wide open, so try to leverage the camera instead to avoid stalling your movements.
8. Aim High
Headshots are the key in most FPS titles, but they’re especially crucial in Splitgate. Like others, it takes far fewer shots to land a kill and hitting body shots simply won’t cut it with the pace of this game. As you use portals and move around the map, keep your reticle aimed a bit higher.
This will make it far easier to adjust for headshots as well as keep an eye on your surroundings for enemy portals. There’s really no negative movement for aiming down sights either, so keep shifting into ADS whenever possible to help maintain accuracy.
9. Don’t Forget Your Jetpack
While many players forget about portal usage, they also tend to forget about the jetpack as well. It’s a great tool to gain higher ground, reposition yourself, and even quickly exit a combat engagement. For more skilled players, it also works really well with your portals if you want additional momentum.
All you need to do is place portals in hard-to-reach spots that allow gravity to launch you out. For example, some maps have lower areas you can high-dive into. A well-placed portal on a high blue wall can allow you to launch into the air and then hang there with your jetpack. Try this method and don’t be afraid to spawn new portals to keep yourself in the air even longer.
10. Learn Map Layouts By Playing Races and Custom Maps
Getting to know maps can be a time-intensive process, especially when they’re randomly chosen. To help kickstart your training, run a few rounds of the Race Training mode. It can be found in the Training section of the main menu and allows you to choose the map you want to run. Then just move around the map as quickly as possible to complete the objective and collect items as they appear.
If you want a slower-paced exploration, you can also play custom maps. These will allow you to venture around an area as long as you want, and you can even spawn bots for some practice.
Become a High Grounder
Getting ahead of the game in Splitgate can be a boon for how well you play and this list should give you a good starting point. Be sure to share this Splitgate beginner tips article on your favorite social platforms to help your squad fine-tune their playstyles and identify opportunities to improve. For the latest on Splitgate, sign up for our newsletter for regular updates.