Trickshotting is a common playstyle used by snipers in Call of Duty to add style, creativity, and difficulty to the gameplay. It employs the use of spinning and various combinations of buttons on the controller to create a unique kind of shot in the form of a no-scope. In most instances, Trickshotters can be found playing Search and Destroy trying to hit a trickshot, or killcam, on the last enemy alive.
Brief History of Trickshotting
Trickshotting was allegedly started in Call of Duty 2 to make montages or videos showcasing a unique playstyle and the skill of the player. One of earliest recorded trickshots was hit by Xbox Live player zzirGrizz. While Grizz doesn't credit himself for being the founder of trickshotting, he certainly had a great deal of influence over its popularisation and spread to the rest of the Call of Duty Community. While Call of Duty 3 harbored little to no trickshots at all, the next installment, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, caused a huge boom in the rapidly evolving trend. This was caused by hugely successful montages by Youtubers such as zzirGrizz, who discovered a way of increasing no-scope accuracy, and others who put out both brief and lengthy montages of their shots. Similarly to Call of Duty 3, Call of Duty: World At War experienced a drop in popularity of trickshots. During this time however, players were still in abundance going for trickshots in Call of Duty 4. With the release of the 6th game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, trickshotting took a phenominal leap in popularity over the lifespan of the game to the extent that thousands of players continued to play on it and go for trickshots right up through 2013. Modern Warfare 2's trickshotting took on a much more advanced form that utilized graphical glitches to make shots look better and more innovative. One particular group of trickshotters by the name of FaZeClan gained massive mainstream notoriety by publishing regular videos of both individual clan members, their entire team, and even random members of the community who hit trickshots impressive enough to be featured in their popular series FaZe Top 5 TrickShots. The Releases of both Call of Duty: Black Ops and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 heralded a conflict between regular cod players and trickshotters. Both Black Ops and MW3 were regarded by players as being far worse for trickshotting and having far fewer popular combinations of tricks with even fewer still being the same as MW2. A possible reason for the failure of Black Ops was due to it's initial nerf of sniping due to feedback from non snipers and sniper skeptics of Modern Warfare 2 complaining about the unfairness of snipers being able to quickscope, or quickly scope in on the target and fire a shot, and land a one bullet kill was unfair to non snipers. To counterbalance this, Black Ops developers implemented immense sway to the snipers upon initially scoping in. The result was snipers being blocked out of quickscoping and as a result, discouraging the use of snipers and by canon trickshotting. However, before the end of its lifespan, Black Ops recieved a reinstallment of the original style of sniping with the ability to always land a shot directly between the crosshairs. Modern Warfare 3, unlike Black Ops, was the most sniper friendly of all the games yet. It included many snipers and even had a perk geared specifically towards snipers and quiscopers called quickdraw. In order to unlock the enhanced or 'Pro' version of the perk, players needed to get kills with a weapon within a few seconds of aiming down their sights with a gun. On the other hand, the developers of MW3 unknowingly eliminated the ability to preform a "Y-Y" (as represented by the Y-button on and xbox controller) which was used in the majority of all trickshots in Modern Warfare 2. The reason was that it prevented from the canceling out of reloads and swap animation, hence making players who use it able to fire their weapon far faster than those not using it. Finally, with the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops II, trickshotters recieved the ability to Y-Y again, and, thanks to trickshotter-friendly developer David Vonderhaar, preform may tricks intended to mirror many of the classic tricks made popular in Modern Warfare 2. As of now it is unknown how future Call of Duty games will support trickshotting capabilities.
Methods of Trickshotting
Solo Trickshotting (Any Game Mode):
The original method of going for trickshots was to enter a random lobby alone and try to hit shots. This is can be exceedingly difficult seeing as your team likely doesn't know or care that you are trying to trickshotting and the enemy knows and cares even less. As a result, teamates will often kill the intended target or enemies will kill the trickshotter before they can either go for the shot, or sometimes even out of the air during the trickshot. The difficulty is heightened even further if the player is playing Search and Destroy where they have only one live per round and players are driven to try their hardest to get kills and win the round.
By far the most popular method of all, Team Trickshotting entails a team of anywhere from 2 players to an entire team working together to hit shots. Tactics employed can be exceedingly more organized as teams communicate and work together to increase the likelyhood of landing a shot.
In Team Deathmatch:
In TDM, a full team tries to get their team one point from last kill before the other team, and spend the rest of the game trying to hit a shot for the game winning kill. In Call of Duty titles from MW2 onward, hitting a shot for final kill rewards the player who hit the shot with the opportunity to show the entire lobby their shot via the Game Winning Killcams and Round Winning Killcams. It also gives players chances for other players with a recording device or capture card to record the other player's shot and either send or upload the clip.
In Search And Destroy:
In SnD, full teams are extremely effective for hitting shots. Popular tactics are the calling out of kills earned, locations of enemies, and number of enemies left until last kill.
A useful way of hitting a shot is to ensure that the target isn't moving and/or trying to kill you. Many players acomplish this using stun or flash grenades to disorient the target and give themselves time to go for, and hopefully hit, a shot.
Tagging, or non-lethaly wounding, is a helpful way to prevent hitmarkers. It can help to tag the enemy with anywhere from one up to even 3 or four times, depending on weapon, attachment, and position of the target eg: behind a thin wall or across the map.