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Splitgate tips and tricks: a beginner's guide

Use these practical Splitgate tips to win countless matches

Are you in need of some practical Splitgate tips and tricks? Often described as "Halo meets Portal", Splitgate has exploded onto the scene out of the blue after 2 years of Early Access, and a great many players are only now discovering that it's about as brain-meltingly complex as it sounds.

In this beginner's guide to Splitgate, I'll walk you through some top tips and tricks that have helped me dominate any map and mode in the game, covering everything through portal usage to weapon types and map knowledge.

Splitgate tips and tricks

Splitgate is an incredibly chaotic arena FPS game. It feels like a homage to those old-school shooters like Halo multiplayer and Quake, until you realise that there are portals and jetpacks which provide an enormous amount of complexity and depth to every match and every fight.

If you're struggling to get started with Splitgate, let the following tips guide you to start earning kills and outsmarting your opponents - which is where the true splendour of Splitgate lies.

Use portals to traverse the map

In Splitgate, you can shoot a portal at any blue wall, ceiling, or floor. Most players know this, but most new players don't take full advantage of it, and run ploddingly towards their destination instead of portalling to get there in an instant. Not only is it faster, but it's much harder for enemies to keep track of your whereabouts, which gives you a massive advantage. If you find yourself running a lot, you should put more effort into using portals for map traversal.

Shoot through portals

Your portals are see-through to you, but opaque to enemies. This means it's not always clear to an enemy if you are standing on the other side of a portal. Take advantage of this by shooting through your portal instead of moving all the way through it before engaging in a fight.

Of course, more experienced players will learn to deal with nearby enemy portals because they understand that there might be an enemy right behind it. Which leads us to the next point.

Pay attention to your crosshair

No matter your crosshair type (and you can change your crosshair type for every weapon in Splitgate's UI settings), it will turn a different colour when you are hovering over an enemy. This is true even when looking through an opaque enemy portal. This offers some counterplay to the previous point: if you hover over a portal and your crosshair changes colour, an enemy is there and if you shoot right now you'll hit them.

A player in Splitgate using two portals to block a wall from enemy portal placements.

Use portals to prevent enemy portal placements

You can't place a portal where another player's portal already is placed. Instead you have to either kill the player, wait for them to portal elsewhere, or use an EMP Grenade on the portal to destroy it.

But even the EMP, which is the most practical method, isn't always viable. That makes it a powerful technique to use your portals to block up a wall where an enemy might want to portal, preventing them from doing so. It's a great defensive trick that every Splitgate player should know.

Learn to expect the enemy portal placement

Many new players might treat Splitgate as an ordinary shooter and ignore portals, but more experienced players will always be looking for the opportunity to portal behind or above you and shoot you from an unexpected angle. As your map knowledge grows (more on how to do this later), you should focus on the blue portal-able areas within sight of you, and expect an enemy to appear from those angles at any moment.

On certain maps this is even more of an issue. Stadium is a small map where each team can view and portal into the other team's spawn area from the very start, so it's an important thing to learn to expect.

Triple portals: an advanced portal technique

For our final portal-specific tip, we're going a little bit more advanced. Triple portals are a technique taken from Portal itself, and they're essential for players who really want to play competitively. Here's how it works:

  • Step 1: Place down your two portals.
  • Step 2: Stand inside the portal, and move only just far enough to take you to the other side.
  • Step 3: Without moving, look around and fire another portal (the opposite colour from the one you're standing in).
  • Step 4: Move back through the portal.

This technique is the single fastest way to move around in Splitgate, and in many cases it allows you to cross to the other side of the map in an instant. It relies heavily on map knowledge, of course, but as you get better and better at Triple Portalling, you can use it to great effect in fights. You can even chain together multiple Triple Portals with enough practice, side-stepping back and forth through portals to blink from point to point across even the largest maps.

If you want even more details on how to Triple Portal, check out this video by YouTuber (now 1047 Games developer) End Of Forever.

Switch weapons quickly in fights

You can switch weapons extremely quickly in Splitgate, because the animations for lowering and raising your weapons are so fast. This means it's often better to fire once with a punchy weapon like a Carbine, and then switch to your Assault Rifle to continue shooting.

It's particularly powerful when playing the Team Shotty Snipers game mode (where every player has a Sniper Rifle and a Shotgun), and a quick example is displayed in the short video below. Shoot with a Sniper Rifle for 65+ damage, then switch to a Shotgun and finish them off. This is much faster than waiting for either of these slow-firing weapons to be ready to fire again.

Play Race and Custom Games to improve your map knowledge

Map knowledge in Splitgate is unbelievably important - more important than in almost any other game I can think of. You need to learn the different portal spots on each map, and the different sightlines and angles from which you can shoot unexpected portals and move about with the highest possible efficiency.

I've found a great, pressure-free way to explore and learn each map is to play either the Race training mode for that map, or to create a private custom game where you can move about the map for as long as you like. If you want you can populate those custom games with bots to practice against, but I'd honestly spend some time Triple-Portalling from point to point to point on any new map until you understand its layout and portal possibilities better.

Prioritise the weapon pickups

Many of Splitgate's modes start its players off with a certain loadout of weapons, but offer other weapons as drops at certain spawn points across each map. Some of these weapons are awesomely powerful, such as the Railgun, the BFB, and the Rocket Launcher; and it's very important for your team to gain control of these weapons before the enemy team does. So at the beginning of a game, you should work with your team to prioritise taking the strongest weapons as quickly as possible.

A player shoots a wall near the camera in Splitgate.

Learn from your fellow players

Splitgate has one of the most robust replay systems of any game I've played, and it's incredibly easy to save replays of your games and re-watch them from any player's perspective. It's useful for confirming whether players are cheating, but even more useful for improving yourself by learning from others. If there's a particularly good player in your game, save the replay and watch what they do.

Understand the quirks of all the different weapons

Obviously certain weapons will feel better and more familiar to you than others, but it's well worth learning the ins and outs and strengths and weaknesses of each one regardless. Here are just a handful of little-known quirks about certain Splitgate weapons:

  • Different weapons have different headshot multipliers. The multiplier is largest with the Sniper Rifle.
  • The Railgun is a one-shot kill but only has 4 shots. Even so, it's better to waste your shots than to die and give the Railgun to the enemy team.
  • When you aim down sights with the Sniper Rifle, the bullet size actually increases. You can demonstrate this in the practice range by aiming just to the side of a target, then zooming in and seeing your crosshair change colour. So it's always better to quickscope than to no-scope with the Sniper Rifle, because you have a greater chance of hitting your target.
  • EMP Grenades don't require line-of-sight on a portal in order to destroy it; it just needs to be within range.
  • Aiming to the side of a player with the BFB will actually allow you to hit them sooner than if you approached them head-on. You can tell when the BFB is in range because the bat will start glowing.

Spend some time in custom games or the practice range and learn the feel, fire rate, and range of all the different weapons. It's well worth the time spent.

Hopefully these Splitgate tips have given you the ammunition you need to start stepping up your game and outplaying your opponents. If you're after more Splitgate content, why not read a bit about how the game exploded in popularity during its beta?

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Ollie Toms avatar

Ollie Toms

Guides Editor

Ollie is sheriff of Guidestown at RPS, and since joining the team in 2018, he's written over 1,000 guides for the site. He loves playing dangerously competitive games and factory sims, injuring himself playing badminton, and burying his face in the warm fur of his two cats.