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Never lose online at COD4

Learn Call of Duty 4's online secrets from the world's best players...

We play a lot of online Call of Duty 4 - in fact, most team members play for a few hours a night. But while we're good, usually finishing in the top four of Free-For-All matches, and winning the odd game, there's always someone who's better - the 50+ ranking veteran who's a step ahead. That's why we've asked that person - or rather, lots of them - to give you the ultimate guide to CoD4 Team VVV are one of the UK's, if not the world's (see 'Clan Team VVV') leading games clans.

"The chaotic scenes of Call Of Duty 4 online can be daunting at first," claims clan member Alan Boiston. "New players often run headlong into battle, only to die every few seconds. Besides creating a growing frustration, this will also demolish your stats - and potentially damage any possible respect from the hardcore online community."

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So how do you become John Rambo and do the business? "The key is staying calm and focused, with a good idea of your surroundings," reveals Alan. Whether you play alone or in online squads, this guide will cover the initial strategies you need to make it happen.

Why play online?
"Going online can be initially daunting," reassures Alan. "Some may find it nerve-racking, feeling every move they make is being analysed. Yes, there is more competition online, and if you think you're great you'll always find someone better, but it's better to relax and enjoy the experience. Take your time - and the game's key skills will slot into place."

Team up with friends and rule the world...
"Creating a team of complete strangers can be tough," confesses Alan, "But if you are able to find some like-minded people - or if your friends decide they enjoy regular games of Call Of Duty 4 - then there's no better way to enjoy yourself online.

Team gaming isn't just for experts - taking the time to learn some basic tactics can improve the performance of any given player immensely. Team gaming is for anyone and should be looked at as a social activity, not just something for the elite pro gamers to enjoy."

Ten essential CoD4 tips

1. Focus on your favourite game type
Choose the mode that suits you best. Domination is often a good, fun way to get used to the maps and to learn where opponents are likely to come from. Become aware of your surroundings and it'll make you a better player - one less likely to be surprised by where enemy attacks are coming from and ready to take the appropriate course of action.

2. Learn the spawns
Spawns can alter in every mode, and constantly evolve depending on where your team-mates are positioned. Learn roughly where your team-mates should stand to control spawning, and a controlling grip on the level can be assured. Victory awaits.

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3. Name map areas
So you see an enemy getting past your lines. He runs past a bush - but which bush? Always give simple, quick-to-pronounce names to different parts of maps. This way your team-mates will know the exact location of the opponent and can make adjustments.

4. Judge your perks
If you're playing with perks, you need to know the ones that support your playing style, be it aggressive or defensive. Consider your role within the team and what you'll be doing to ensure victory. Try everything out at least once, if only to gain a full understanding of which playing style you're most confident with.

5. Grenade tricks
Often referred to online as 'trick nades', these are grenades skilfully thrown within a few metres of enemy spawns at the beginning of games. Also take into account any vehicles - these can create chain explosions, which are very powerful. Practice in this area and a vital early advantage can be secured.

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