Destiny 2

A foolproof guide to improving your game sense (x-post from /r/CruciblePlaybook)

destiny2 3 - A foolproof guide to improving your game sense (x-post from /r/CruciblePlaybook)

Video for the groovy ones:

Thought I'd post this here, even though Crucible isn't DTG's bread and butter. Can't fault a guy for trying, right?

Game sense is a topic that every good player understands in Destiny 2, but nobody really knows how to explain. Because it isn't really one thing, it's an amalgamation of a hundred different little things.

Let's get into it.


Game sense is an umbrella term that describes every single bit of information you can glean from the game in order to accurately create a mental map in your mind's eye about the state of the match at any given point. The purpose of doing so is to accurately predict the situation that's the most likely to happen next, and to set yourself up for that situation to the best of your abilities.

Game sense is often referred to as Situational Awareness, which is absolutely true, but with the amount of information that Destiny 2 throws at you it can be used in many more contexts than that.

There's a lot of information to take in when playing Destiny, doubly so when you start to consider information with context. Radar pings, enemy positions, enemy weapons, your weapons, audio cues, how many teammates around you, your ability timers, super timers…. it goes on and on. And whilst it's all important when talking about crafting a fuller understanding of game sense, this doesn't help a beginner. And certainly not in a game sense 101 post.

So let's break down game sense in simpler terms.


What is the purpose of game sense? It's to obtain information about a situation for a future sequence of events so you can set yourself up for it. Game sense should help us keep track of what's going on in the game. It should give us a rough idea of what's going to happen before it happens.

There are hundreds if not thousands of different situational possibilities in any given game. So planning for all of these situations in advance just isn't realistic, especially since, as a beginner, you can't yet predict a sequence of events. After thousands of games, I'm much better at it but I'm never 100% certain of what's coming next. That's kind of why I like playing PvP.

For a dynamic environment like the Crucible, the only thing you can trust is that things are constantly changing. So every time we want to get a reading of the game, we have to do it for the moment we're in right now. Yes, the game is continuous and so too is the information. When we take stock of the immediate moment, we're just taking a quick picture of that information flow. A snapshot of a window in time.

For now, just to explain the process of building our game sense, let's freeze any particular moment in time, and ask a few questions:

1) where are my teammates in relation to me?

2) where are the enemies in relation to my teammates?

3) are any objectives in play?

Question 1 is an easy one, just look around you. If you're near multiple teammates, you're relatively safe. You've likely just spawned or are playing for an objective. Or someone left a container of gamer girl bath water on A and the game spawned you into the stampede to mess with you.

Question 2 is something you may not know immediately off spawn, but it will quickly become apparent as you get more involved. You don't need to know exactly where the enemies are, just have a general idea. You can figure out where the enemy is in relation to your teammates if they're firing at them, rushing towards a particular direction or if there's someone in a position well away from the main cluster of teammates.

Question 3 again is an easy one – are there zones to capture, is there heavy ammo up, is there anything in the game that demands attention in order for the game to proceed? If so, you can bet that it's going to become very relevant if it isn't already.

So what do these questions help us achieve?

Question 1 assesses our relative safety and proximity to the action. It helps us give an understanding of ourselves and our influence on the current proceedings. If we're separated from teammates, we're either in the thick of the action or they are. Either way, predicting a likely series of events becomes a lot easier.

Question 2 asks us to find the enemies, but in relation to something we can observe easily – our teammates. If our teammates are engaged, we know the position of the enemies. We can then use that information to position ourselves to help much easier, or use that information to execute a flank.

Question 3 is a macro-level question about the state of the game and asks for you to consider the larger game at play, the concrete drivers of motivation. If A and C are captured, but B remains uncaptured, the likely scenario is that some of the opposition will make a play for that zone. If a zone is mid-capture, you could make a decision to intervene. If you're a life ahead in Survival and the game is in the last 20 seconds, expect some aggressive behaviour from the enemy. If the game mode is Clash or Rumble, there's no real objective per se and this question becomes harder to answer.

Depending on the situation, you won't always have clear answers for all three questions. And that's okay. The goal of these questions is to give you a starting point to collect background information and context to answer the single most important question that you should be asking yourself constantly throughout the course of the game.

And that question is:

"What is the most likely thing that's going to happen next?"

The answer to that depends entirely on how you've answered those earlier questions. The more specific information you have about your surroundings, the narrower the possibilities. The less information you have, the more likely every possibility seems to be and you spend more time confused and unable to act decisively.

If you don't have enough information to answer the question "what is the most likely thing that's going to happen next", try again from a different spot on the map and at a different point in time.


Okay. Let's say you've got a pretty good idea of what's going to happen next. How do you respond to it correctly?


This depends entirely on your immediate goal.

If you're trying to read the overall state of the game, you need to be thinking about spawns, the center of action and any objectives in play.

If you're trying to find out where the enemy is, you need to pay attention to your teammates for the next few seconds. Listen for gunfire if you're not hard of hearing, or look for exclamation marks over your teammates' indicators if you are. You're looking for clues that help you get back into the heat of the action as soon as you can.

If you're prepping to win an immediate fight, you need to look for the following pieces of information:

  • your position
  • your health
  • the enemy's positioning and movement
  • their health
  • their loadout (if possible)

"What is the most likely thing that's going to happen next?"

If this person is rushing you, they likely have a shotgun or something close range to finish you off.

Is this person retreating? They're disengaging for a reason – are they low? Did they see your teammates? Or are they looking for a long range kill because of their loadout?

This person is coming in on a flank – why is that? Are his team in front of me or behind him – did we flip a spawn? Are my teammates nearby to avenge my death or are they doing something else?

You have to think like the enemy during this window of time. You have to empathise with their MO – they want the kill and they have an approach. But you need to be able to pick up on their tells, which are specific actions that are based on their loadout and playstyle. They're super easy to spot with enough practice once you know what you're looking for, be it a pattern of movement, a specific class or the initial starting position from which they engage you.

The good news is that you can make your life a lot easier by going in with a set mentality of how you want to play, and you can reinforce that further with certain builds. Running a Mida Multi Tool, an SMG and Stomp-EE5s will make you zip around the map and enable a vertical playstyle. A Cold Denial and a Shotgun will force you to keep your distance. A sniper and a hand cannon will immediately enter you into a $10,000 tournament and make your frames drop.

By playing a certain way with a certain loadout, you can set an overarching theme for your playstyle that can influence your decision making. Eliminating possibilities leaves you with fewer options to choose between, meaning you're less likely to be hung up on indecision.

Once you've got a plan of action, it's all about the execution. This comes down to positioning, aim, movement and the two second rule. This is all about your gunplay and engagement management. We'll break this down in more detail a future post.

Win or lose, you're not done yet. That was just one time you took stock of your situation and one time that you responded accordingly. But time doesn't stop. The trick now is to do it again, and again, and again.


Info, setup, fight, repeat. That's the cycle. And it needs to be repeated often, because I'm not going to sugar coat It – if you have no experience doing this in some form already then you're going to absolutely suck when you're trying to learn it.

Info, setup, fight, repeat. That's the blueprint, and it's now up to you to practice it as often as you can. I wish I could give you a recommended amount of times to do this in a game, but it completely depends on how comfortable you are in doing this. The top players do it constantly throughout a match, using it to inform their already rock-solid match instincts. However, that's not sustainable for a newcomer so instead I'd recommend you take your snapshot 3 seconds after you respawn. You'll have had enough time to wade into the general direction of the action for you to be able to get good enough information to form a plan of action. From there, you can set yourself up for the engagements to come.

It can also work in tandem with the 2-second rule, which states that if no targets present themselves in your current field of view within two seconds or less, I take up a new position. But which position do you move to? That's when you take a snapshot – at the end of those two seconds. You can then make an educated guess as to where you should be going next in order to best set yourself up for the action.

"What is the most likely thing that's going to happen next?"

This is the central question that you must repeat time and time again in order to spark yourself into motion, to start thinking about the next step. Over time, as you become more adept at asking yourself this question you will get a better feel for when you should be spending time taking stock and asking this question, versus actually moving to action.

We will be using this question as our base for further game sense videos that go more into depth on the anatomy of a fight, predicting the future and how to build experience in a meaningful way.

"What is the most likely thing that's going to happen next?"

In time, you may find that you don't need to stop to ask this question at all in the course of a match. You can just do it and execute without thinking.

When that day comes, you'll be a very dangerous player indeed.

Thank you so much for reading. A huge shoutout to /u/Ruley9 of CrucibleSherpa for helping me on this one.

Hope this helps a few of you. Until next time!


  • The purpose of developing Game Sense is to accurately predict the situation that's the most likely to happen next, and to set yourself up for that situation to the best of your abilities.
  • pause for a moment in time to assess your surroundings, and ask yourself three questions:
  • 1) where are my teammates in relation to me?
  • 2) where are the enemies in relation to my teammates?
  • 3) are any objectives in play?
  • form a plan of action based on your response to these questions
  • repeat until you can do this without thinking.

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