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Advanced Piloting
First thing is to focus on your reticle(the aiming sight). Use that to fly your ship not just looking past it to see where everyone is. This is especially true when far away. Let your reticle guide your movements. Keep it pinned in front of your target, that is, if he is moving forward.  Oh and the first and foremost rule of flying or more specifically dogfighting: DODGE FIRST, AIM SECOND. Staying alive is key. Thats how your efficiency goes up, by not dieing. I dont care what anyone else says, dodging is the most important thing.  The better you are at it the more frustrated your opponent will be. This is good. A flustered opponent will make more mistakes. Be prepared for lag accusations, some guys think you should not have been able to escape certain hits or shots. Thats when you tell him you obviously can dodge better than he can aim.


Lag and loss can also be a factor in gameplay. You have to learn from simple practice how to properly adjust for it. You must lead your shots ahead of your opponent so that they arrive at there destination at the same time your opponent does. This becomes more or less routine as you get better. Remember practice makes perfect so that's what it will take.


If you're not that good then play games with pilots as good as you or slightly better. This will help you hone your skills without excessive frustration. Ask other pilots for suggestions after a match. A GOOD PILOT CAN BEAT YOU, BUT A GREAT PILOT CAN HELP YOU LEARN FROM IT. Flying pyro should never be routine. If it is then your not playing pilots up to par with you. Don't be afraid to try different moves, tactics or even configs.  


  Even great pilots fall victim to this phenomenon every once and a while. Here's how it works. You may realize some pilots get into these same flying patterns and routines all the time. Learn to recognize each pilot's pattern and figure out how to counter it. At the same time make sure you are not getting into a predictable pattern or routine. Here's one thing to try: When you enter a dogfight just slide once or twice and let the other guy go to town on you. Chances are most of his shots will miss so don't worry about getting hit too much. Carefully observer his attack pattern, where he moves first and second. Then you can do either of 2 things from that point. One, you will know what he will do next each time you engage each other. Two, you can watch in that 1-4 seconds where he's going and immediately swoop in front of him plasma blazing. Most pilots expect you to start firing as soon as you seem them. Shoot one or two warning shots if you have to to get them into their pattern. Then if you know he is going to slide left then up and then right, immediately attack his third coordinate before he even gets there! You'd be surprised how well this works when executed correctly. Another thing you can try is "intermittent firing" or "pause and shoot." Thats when your in the middle of a dogfight or maybe a corridor and every now and then just stop shooting. The other pilot will either think you ran out of energy or that you are switching weapons. Remember to keep moving as you do this. Now start shooting again in strategic spots. How does this work? Well everyone can follow your flying pattern by watching your plasma stream. Some even pay more attention to your shooting than your pyro. This takes advantage of that fact. If you're not shooting he has lost your pattern and if your close enough, maybe your ship!


Never make the same mistake twice. or 10 times for that matter! Yes its sad but i have seen pilots do the same routine over and over again and they just don't get it thru their heads that it isnt working. So if some guy can always beat you to the other side of the tunnel, then dont keep doing it. Let him get there first and think that you will be there, then pull a switch on him. Be unpredictable, and expect the unexpected. Never underestimate your opponent, regardless of rank. I know ensigns that are better than some demi's.