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The Times Square map in XDefiant, a downtown block in a city.
Image via Ubisoft

Mark Rubin shares crucial but obvious XDefiant tip that fans apparently need to hear

It seems obvious in retrospect.

Ubisoft’s contribution to the increasingly saturated shooter space XDefiant has gotten off to a strong start this week, and as a result of this player influx, executive producer Mark Rubin has shared a “PSA” to help out those who may be struggling with one of the game’s differentiators—it’s higher time-to-kill.

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XDefiant‘s roster of characters is varied in playstyle but across the board, they are beefier than many of their peers in rival titles like Call of Duty, which can make gameplay a bit hard to digest for those used to the game’s contemporaries. Fortunately, Rubin was there to help players out with a piece of sage advice on X (formerly Twitter) today: Aim for the head.

XDefiant player using Spiderbot.
How do you hit a headshot on a spider bot? Image via Ubisoft

It seems blindingly obvious, which is something Rubin acknowledges himself, but he also notes that “[hitting] those headshots” is key to the game’s core design philosophy. According to Rubin, it “takes practice but that’s what this game is about. It wants you to get better.”

It’s also a reminder to those who are annoyed with XDefiant‘s slower TTK—a mechanic that has already prompted frustration among fans of the game. These complaints about enemy players being “bullet sponges” may just be what prompted Rubin’s response in the first place—one would think that “aim for the weak spots” may go without saying, but evidently it hasn’t sunk in for players yet.

That time-to-kill is so low in the first place to encourage teamwork, one of the key tenets of XDefiant‘s heavily team-based gameplay. It makes sense that you’d have to have significant skill to strike out as a lone wolf in a game so heavily skewed toward sticking with the pack. To make that barrier to entry a little easier on players, Rubin also shared ideal settings for hitting as many headshots as possible, including raising controller sensitivity and disabling Vsync.

Ultimately, Rubin’s advice may boil down to “get good,” but all the same it seems like a necessary piece of reassurance that the game is working as intended. The thesis is simple: Make your playstyle as clean and precise as possible or die trying.

If you’re up to the challenge, you have a long journey to max level, so grab some XP boosters, hit the play queue, and get to it.

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Grant St. Clair
Grant St. Clair has been gaming almost as long as he's been writing. Writing about games, however, is still quite new to him. He does hope you'll stick around to hear about his many, many opinions- wait, where are you going?