Splitgate beginner's guide: Tips and tricks for victory on the portal-filled battlefield

Splitgate (Image credit: 1047 Games)

The free-to-play arena shooter Splitgate has gotten incredibly popular lately (the game's launch was even delayed due to server overload during open beta), with many fans falling in love with its "Halo meets Portal" gameplay design that combines the sandbox-focused structure of classic arena shooters with the creativity and momentum-based movement of Valve's iconic puzzle game.

It's an incredibly refreshing take on the multiplayer shooter genre in an era where battle royales and the class-based approach are dominant, but it's also a bit difficult to get started with Splitgate as a new player because of how deep and nuanced the gameplay can be. After all, when you add the ability to teleport and fling yourself around the battlefield with portals to a shooter formula that's known for its mechanical depth, things are bound to get complicated. If that's you, though, don't worry — we're here to help with some valuable tips and tricks that will help beginners succeed.

Never stop moving

Source: 1047 Games (Image credit: Source: 1047 Games)

Above all else, it's crucial to make sure you're always moving around in Splitgate. Unlike many other arena shooters where holding sightline angles for an extended period of time can be advantageous, doing so in Splitgate will usually result in your death since enemies can easily flank you with their portals. Constantly moving around will make it harder for enemies to get the drop on you, which gives you a better chance to come out on top.

You should also use your portals to move around the map as well. If you've been in one area for more than 30 seconds or so, try using your portals to quickly switch positions to a new location. Not only will this make it harder for enemies to track you, but it can also open up opportunities for you to ambush unsuspecting opponents as well.

Use portals to get into optimal range

Source: 1047 Games (Image credit: Source: 1047 Games)

One of the best ways to use your portals is to get into the optimal range for your current weapon. For example, players that pick up an SMG or shotgun should try to use their portals aggressively to close the distance or flank opponents, while people using a battle rifle or sniper rifle should try to teleport to an elevated vantage point where you can see a lot of the battlefield from afar.

This tactic is effective for all of Splitgate's weapons, but it's particularly deadly if used with the rocket launcher power weapon. If you're lucky enough to pick up the rocket launcher before someone else does, use your portals to get up close and blast the other team with rockets. The splash damage is capable of killing multiple people at once, so if you see a group of enemy players, don't hesitate to aggressively teleport to them and deliver a devastating blow.

Shoot through your portals

Source: 1047 Games (Image credit: Source: 1047 Games)

Another great way you can use your portals is to create your own sightlines with them by placing a portal on the wall in front of you and then another one in a lane you want to watch. All of Splitgate's weapons are capable of being fired through portals, so don't hesitate to do so if the situation calls for it.

This strategy is a great way to shoot at foes in a hotly contested area without actually putting yourself in much danger, as if enemies begin to retaliate, you can just close your portals and cut off the sightline. Just make sure you don't get campy with this tactic, as you'll likely be flanked and killed if you don't change your position after scoring a few kills.

Experiment with momentum

Source: 1047 Games (Image credit: Source: 1047 Games)

If you're looking for ways to catch your opponents off guard, try falling through two vertical portals over and over again to build momentum. Then, place one of your portals on a vertical wall while falling to turn that momentum into a horizontal movement boost across an open area. The huge speed increase you get while doing this will likely surprise enemy players you encounter, and you can shoot them while in the air before they adjust their aim.

This trick is also incredibly useful if you want to cross a dangerous area without simply teleporting to the other side, which experienced players tend to expect and watch out for. Just make sure you don't use this trick for the entire match, as players will eventually catch on.

Use grenades to destroy enemy portals

Source: 1047 Games (Image credit: Source: 1047 Games)

While grenades are usually used to soften opponents up and flush them out of cover in arena shooters, the grenades in Splitgate are unique. They don't do any damage to other players, but they do have the ability to destroy enemy portals. Therefore, if you see an enemy trying to execute some portal shenanigans, put a stop to it with a grenade throw.

Destroying portals is also an excellent way to confirm kills on fleeing opponents. Many enemies will try to escape from a fight they can't win by teleporting away, but a grenade throw will prevent this and ensure that you're able to finish your adversary off.

Your thoughts

What do you think of these tips? Do you have any of your own that you think we should add to the list? Let us know.

Splitgate is available in Early Access on both Xbox and PC now, and it's expected to fully launch in August 2021. It's one of the best Xbox games and best PC games available right now if you're a fan of arena shooters, so we highly recommend checking it out.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.