If anyone wants to assist with pictures or video, post a reply and I'll pm you my discord so we can work on it.
If anyone has some tech that has not been included, feel free to share; I will update the main post and you will be credited.
Who am I and why should you care about my guide?
What do I intend to include in the future?Spoiler:
Huge thanks to Lost for helping me round up some areas and lending expertise about some moves that I don't have down, and Bob for helping me capture footage for the "Further Analysis".
----------Kinds of Stabs----------
-----==**__II. INTERMEDIATE TECH__**==-----
-----==**__III. ADVANCED TECH__**==-----
-----FPV->TPV Snap Shot (TPV TRICK SHOT)-----
-----Third-Person Snap Shot-----
-----==**__IV. General Tactics__**==-----
-----==**__V. Further Analysis, Examples & Community Content__**==-----
Kinds of Stabs
In total, there are three different ways to attack your opponent with the knife. The stun attack, the lethal attack, and slashes.
STUN shots have a slightly faster startup animation than a lethal shot, and the same reach. This often makes it the optimal attack in many scenarios. It can be ideal to bait out your opponents so you can gain the frame advantage.
LETHAL shots have a slightly slower startup than their stun counterpart, and the same reach. It is performed by firmly holding L1 (not pressure sensitive) and R1 (pressure sensitive).
SLASHES are very fast and can be done easily while moving. For this reason, they are used mostly to "sneak" damage during long fights. They are pressure sensitive; if you press too firmly, you may do a stab by mistake. It takes a minimum of four slashes to kill a player.
STUN, LETHAL, and SLASH all have an approximate hitbox that extends beyond your characters CENTER to approximately one and a quarter player feet to the left of the end of the blade, and approximately one half of a player foot to the right. The hitbox's reach is SLIGHTLY SHORTER (reaching to about the end of your wrist, rather than the blade), but the same WIDTH in First Person View.
This is the first place any beginner should start. Attack cancels allow you to execute your attack more quickly, by cutting off the end frames on the attack. Since the end frames are considerably longer than the startup frames, this is paramount in making quick attacks. There are three basic kinds of attack cancels.
The fastest and most reliable way to cancel an attack, but it can be performed too quickly. By releasing L1 and unequiping your knife with proper timing, you can stab extremely fast. Doing so quickly enough (about a 100-200ms window) will slow your character for only a few milliseconds, allowing you to maintain your movement and get out quickly. Note: FPV, you will ALWAYS frieze briefly, unless facing within 15* of your character's view.
This is mostly used for ducking, and is not preferred unless you are combating CQC. The box will also cancel your attack, but because of it's own startup animations, it is much slower and more dangerous than unequiping. Running into a boxed player will cause them to be "bumped" (known as a "box bump") and staggered briefly, leaving a large window for a knife shot.
Arguably as dangerous as the box, but much more useful. Shots can only land on grounded players while in first person mode, and even then you must be at least almost overtop the player. However, players are vulnerable while moving into the prone position, and coming out of it. You can cancel a shot by going prone as well, even frame-perfectly, but the startup frames make it much more dangerous, and having to stand again makes your movement much more predictable. It is especially useful on inclines where your shot can be sent over a hill, making you unreachable in the right position.
Perhaps the next most important to learn and master after the quick stab, ducking during a stab shortens your hitbox, but at the expense of a small amount of reach and mobility - though when done quickly, these costs are negligible.
To properly duck, or "crab-stab" as it is sometimes colloquially referred to, you should press the cross button just as your attack fires, and again just before cancelling it. This ensures that you do not accidentally roll - which can cost you a set - while making sure that you stand before the end of your attack, so that you can maneuver afterwards with maximum speed.
Of course, sometimes it may be best to remain ducked after an attack, in order to better evade. When you're ducked, a player can only reach your head and shoulders with a normal shot (unless using FPV, of course). While ducking, and the other player is also ducked, the hitbox for either player extends to about a hand's-length from the waist of the target character.
A lean is only performable in first-person view (FPV). Of the two kinds of leans, the left-leaning shot has the most reach. It's hitbox is quite wonky, extending to about the normal maximum reach of a knife in TPV (Third Person Mode), if not a little further. The right-leaned shot has less practical utility (outside of adjusting your shot to have better aim). However, the right leaned shot is easier to perform without taking your finger off of the analogue stick.
Because of these reasons, when utilizing (or fighting against someone utilizing this tech), it is usually preferred to approach your target from your left (and their right if possible), so that you minimize their attack window and maximize your own.
Note: approaching someone in this way would mean the attack is made with them on your left, and you behind them/them walking away from you.
Also note that it takes slightly more frames to successfully execute a lean than it does to execute a normal attack.
Leaned shots can also be thrown around some corners, used to block or zone people around terain, as well as sneak hits in at relative safety from outside your opponent's attack window if performed very quickly.
In the third options tab, there are a couple of settings you may have never used. These are "First Person Memory" and "Direction After Viewchange". If you enable "FPV Memory" and set "Direction After Viewchange" to "Camera" instead of "Player" (you should set this anyone for shooting people); then it will remember when you enter FPV, and the next time you make a shot it will aim the shot where your camera is facing, rather than where your character is facing.
This is extremely handy to sneak shots in at close range, as your shots become much more accurate given you do not have to "aim" your character to make the shot - just the camera. This was once colloquially known as a "Snap Shot" - because your character will STAND STILL (as a consequence of FPV) and SNAP to the camera position.
However, this does come at the penalty of reduced range. You will also stand perfectly still during the start frames; if the end frames are allowed to finish, than you will move BACKWARDS rather than FORWARDS - as with TPV. See this video for examples and more information.
Generally, you should try to use this mode once you are comfortable with the reach of third person. It is ideal to swap between the two, as the bonus third person reach and motion during startup frames are superior. The attacks are, however, just as quick.
FPV-into-TPV "Snap Shot" (TPV TRICK SHOT)
The FPV->TPV SNAP or "TPV TRICK SHOT" tech is extremely difficult. It involves toggling between the FPV and TPV state in order to exploit both the range of TPV and the aim of FPV.
It sounds fairly simple on paper - you just include a TRIANGLE input just before your attack. However, if you do this too quickly, your character will be aimed either where the CHARACTER was aiming, or between that and your intended TARGET.
Your characters HANDS must appear - or be just about to appear, depending on the YAW of the attack - BEFORE swapping to TPV for the attack. The player can then safely swap BACK to FPV during the attack animation, or remain in TPV, and swap back later. Swapping back in the middle of your attack has no effect on it's range.
The exact timing for the execution for this at a maximum yaw of 180 (a difference of 180* between your character's direction and the camera) is approximately 100 milliseconds.
When done both quickly and correctly, rather than stopping and spinning to the target, your character will turn their torso while briefly maintaining TPV's directional velocity. Sometimes this will look crazy to your opponent - your body may jitter and spin wildly. This glitch is a kind of "wiggle".
I've finally made a video demonstrating this tech. Since you can't see view change in spectator, this is the only way to see what the tech looks like when performed. It was a real ***** to record on my dinky $20 capture card (depth of field and 2s lag were hard to deal with), but the pain was worth it to demonstrate it in 60fps. 9/10 times, this is how i fight anymore.
*You can also see what this looks like to spectators from 0:39 to 0:45 of the "knife tech continued" video under "Further Analysis"
Video Description (includes combo instructions):
No Slowmo breakdown
The "wiggle" trick is very easy to pull off with some practice. In FPV, with extremely high FPV camera speed, it is possible to "hook" the range of your knife by spinning the camera in a left or right direction. This increases it's effective hitbox. You can notice the difference in the path of the knife by the trail - anything within that trail will be counted as a hit.
Before we get into the second kind of wiggle, it's important to understand how the game's netcode functions, if you don't already.
Because of the p2p nature of the game, delays in actions sent from the client/server and received by the server/client (respectively) can cause some very strange glitches. You probably know this, if you've ever seen a player roll and teleport, this is one such example.
Damage can be registered on either your end, or your opponent's end, but it is calculated on the host end. This means, if EITHER your, or your opponent's, games register attack damage, damage will occur.
Notably, this plays exceptionally well into the previously mentioned wiggle-glitch. While the glitch is not too common, and completely unpredictable, it can sometimes create anywhere from a 30*->360* arc of instant death in a radius around you. I can only assume this is from the client-side interpreting your third-person actions as first person; maybe by receiving third-person information before receiving the swap queue? Though you will never see it on your end, if your opponent should be unfortunate enough to be randomly caught in it, salt will soon follow.
A similarly challenging tech to the "TPV TRICK" is the "slash" shot. This is an attack where a player uses the slash of the knife to break the start the start frames of a full stab. By slashing, releasing the attack, and performing a full stab - you are able to keep more mobility during your attack, because the start frames do not register properly to lock your character movement.
The lethal variant is only performable from a third-person state; however, the nonlethal variant can be performed from an FPV state. However, due to the already quick speed of a stun attack, it is hard to determine if such an attack adds value.
Arguably the most difficult manuever in knife, the third person spin/snapshot involves the use of the R3 button - which snaps your camera to your character. However, it has a weird quirk - if you hold it down, you can continue to move your camera, allowing you to snap to it's new position.
This is especially handy when floored, or trying to escape from a stun loop, as a surprise spin from the floor can potentially add a much larger reach than even a max-range lean or third-person stab.
"The best defense is a good offense." ~ Julius Caesar, March 15, 44 BC .
Died by stabbing gangbang.
First, we will make a small note of footwork. Footwork refers to your position and movement relative your opponent. It is important to both predict your opponent's footwork, and make your own unpredictable. For instance, you might notice your opponent tends to go right before each attack. Knowing this, you could perform a right leaning attack to catch them more frequently. When you notice your opponent beginning to catch on and adapt their playstyle, that's when you should move further onto the offensive, to increase the pressure.
Every time you knife, your character slows down. This gives your opponents an attack window. An attack window can be as low as 200-500 ms, depending on the players skill. The maximum attack window for a player with blades 3 that does not cancel at all is about 1500ms - that is, the duration of time in which a player's speed is impaired. Through proper unequipping, this time can be lowered to as little as ~250-400 ms, depending.
The attack window also depends on your proximity to other players. An attack made outside of your hit range will always result in negative frame advantage, leaving you vulnerable to counterattack. For this reason, attacks should only be made intentionally outside of effective range if your plan is to feint your opponent.
There are many kinds of feints - card board box, back step, and stun to name only a few - but we'll start with the most prominent two. A "Fake Out" (or generic feint) and the C.Box "juke" (also known as "Box Dummy" or "Dummying"). A brief explanation of the others will be given later.
To perform a generic "fake out" or "feint", an attack is made outside (or sometimes, inside) the range of your opponent, with little intention of connecting, in an attempt to bait your opponent into stepping into range, performing their own attack, and leaving an attack window. To be properly executed, you will also have to unequip and requip your knife fast enough to either:
1) gain the mobility to evade, then counter attack
2) perform a pre-emptive attack that your opponent moves into, or is already inside the range of.
Another prominate fakeout is the "Box Dummy". This involves equipping the cardboard box in an attempt to taunt your opponent, bait them into rolling, or trying to bump you. Some players will respond in kind, equipping their own box - either for humor or, if perceived as a taunt, to taunt back. All of these things can create their own attack window, if you are quick enough with both unequipping the box, and standing with timing.
A backstep feint is very useful and underused maneuver. By pressing l1+back on the left analogue stick+cross, you can perform a "backstep" maneuver; a very fast dodge that moves your character away from incoming frontal attacks. Though the distance of the dodge is not great, and your hitbox is not reduced, it has very good frames. With proper timing, this feint can often lead to an opponent missing their attack, or mis-timing it, potentially creating an attack window.
The last feint is much more risky. A "stun" feint is done by purposefully putting your character into a state with end frames (Note: This is different from a stun feint, in which a character fires a stun attack and then follows-up with a lethal attack) . In a CQC stun feint, you intentionally give your opponent a brief attack window - either by intentionally failing a grab, or performing a one-to-three hit CQC jab combo. Either are fairly dangerous, as the only way to cancel the fail frames early is to equip the box - which can itself leave you vulnerable, if bumped. Nevertheless, as CQC maneuvers are sometimes performed on accident anyway, it is worth practicing.
"The best offense is a good defense." - Caligula, 41 AD.
- Also stabbed a lot and to death.
If the most important rule of defensive footwork is not to be predictable, than conversely the most important rule of offensive footwork is to not be caught out. When you have the offensive, you increase the likelyhood of walking into an attack. Similarly, when chasing or directly pursuing your opponent, it makes your movement extremely predictable. For these reasons, it is generally best to approach your opponent from the side.
When approaching your opponent this way, it is important to note that (if using third person mode) you/your opponent must swing one direction or another, in order to aim their shot - similar to a car making a left or right turn. Generally speaking, most players will swing in towards their opponent. It is this footwork you want to watch for, at all times, when taking the offensive.
Particularly dangerous, but not very well known or used, is "stop tech". This is where you freeze your character, so as not to advertise your movement, and then move in the desired direction and quickly exectute your attack. When done correctly, this can greatly reduce the attack window in both offensive situations (eg executing an attack against someone to your left), and defensive (eg being chased directly by someone or a group of people.
The last bit of offensive tech we will touch on involves "trapping" or "cornering". This is where, through constant pressure in a specific direction, you limit or threaten your opponents movement by "boxing them in" to a corner. Remember, NOBODY puts baby in a corner! It goes without saying that, by limiting your opponents movement, you create openings simply by virtue of them having fewer movement options - not to mention making it more difficult for them to aim. HH is a great map to practice utilizing, and defending against, this.
A brief video made demonstrating various tech and differences in FPV/TPV performance. Exhibited also in the beginning is the "TPV Swap" trick.
Spoiler contains timestamp info/video description
Guide by "skillas" (has good examples but some inaccuracies):
Various montages (Good reference)