Bow before battle: A SMITE beginner’s guide to good sportsmanship
In this SMITE beginner’s guide, we’re taking a look at good sportsmanship. SMITE is a competitive game, where players need to work together as a team to win and have fun. Everyone has a job to do, like in a game of basketball. Imagine if you started a little 5v5 game in your backyard or park, and someone on your team started shoving people or ignoring passes. You wouldn’t want to play with them anymore, would you? Here’s seven ways to not be the jerk on the court when you’re playing SMITE.
1: Call your role
Calling your role or position is good manners. You can call your role on console by pressing the left stick, then choosing which position to play and pressing A/X. On PC, call your role by typing it into the pre-game chat. When you don’t call your role, you confuse your teammates because they don’t know where you’re going to start. It also annoys your teammates, so your team work will be hurt right from the start.
Another bad practice to avoid is “instalocking” Gods. Even though you might be excited to play the new God, or just can’t get enough Bacchus (what, that’s just me?), check yourself. Instalocking makes you look immature at best, or makes you look like a troll at worst.
(Especially if you instalock Loki. The SMITE community generally frowns upon this practice. Instalock Loki at your own peril, because you will have to deal with a lot of abuse from people who either haven’t read this guide, or are sick of Loki trolls.)
Finally, if you call your role and find someone else beat you to it, accept the issue with good grace. You can try messaging the quick-draw player and asking them to switch, but be a good sport if they turn you down. Pick a different role to play, so that the other nine people playing with you can also enjoy the game. If you aren’t comfortable with the role you’re stuck with, ask for a little help. Veteran SMITE players can be impatient with new players, but they are much kinder if you are proactive explaining that you need a hand.
2: Use VGS respectfully
The Voice Guided System (VGS) is supposed to be used to provide important audio information in the game. VGS is really useful for players who can’t afford a microphone, or to reinforce information like attacking an objective. Do not spam the VGS; make a call two or three times at maximum, if it’s very important. This keeps vocal clutter down in the game, which helps the team coordinate more efficiently.
The VGS also has a few non-tactical options, like jokes, compliments or emotes. Many salty or trolling players use compliments sarcastically, as in the notorious “You Rock, Cancel That” combo. Using the VGS to be sarcastic or express frustration is not helpful, because it clutters up the audio and makes your teammates more likely to tilt. It’s OK to feel annoyed or angry, but it’s not OK to be a jerk about it. Find a more appropriate way to deal with your feelings.
3: Use chat respectfully
Whether you use PC chat, send messages by XBOX LIVE, or have voice communication, be respectful. It can be easy to forget that there are real humans on the other side of your computer screen. This illusion of anonymity often makes people forget to speak to others the way they would in real life.
Think about it: if somebody bumped into you on the street, would you say “excuse me,” or “go F*** yourself dips***?”
If somebody harassed you in person with racist or hateful language, what would you think of that person? How would you and your friends react in that situation?
What do you think would happen if you used fighting words on someone when you got in a fender bender? Would they:
A) Apologize and admit it was all their fault to make you feel better.
B) Fight you, or call the cops.
Hint: it’s not A.
Using hateful or racist language is a violation of the code of conduct for SMITE, XBOX LIVE, and PlayStation network. You can be banned for using hate speech. Help enforce the rules by reporting hate speech, and make sure to take a photo to send with your report. If you are harassed by hateful speech, block and report the offender. Talk to your friends and loved ones for support, if you need it. The internet is, sadly, full of small-minded and reactionary people who can’t empathize with the damage they do to others. Do your best to deal with it, in your own way.
4: Play to win (by taking objectives)
In SMITE, the golden rule is to always take as much as you can. If you can take an easy kill, by all means do so! Then, take something else, like jungle camps or minion waves. You earn the opportunity to steal farm, knock down towers, and win the game by killing enemy Gods. You don’t win the game just by playing “slayer” mode; you have to do something with your kills. The best thing you can do is take an objective.
In Conquest, it’s especially important to take objectives because they provide gold for your team. Taking objectives also provides your team with pressure. Pressure is what forces the enemy team to react to your team’s movements. When you have pressure, you have initiative, and the enemy team has to scramble to catch up. It’s much more fun to play SMITE when your team has pressure, so it’s good manners to try to play to create pressure.
5: Don’t be a troll
This wouldn’t be a SMITE beginner’s guide if it didn’t address trolling. Trolling is a broad issue that shows up all over the internet. Often, trolls are just looking for a reaction from people. They think it’s funny to make people angry or upset. In SMITE, trolling covers all kinds of behavior, including:
- Not calling roles, ignoring called roles, instalocking
- Picking Gods inappropriate to their position (although sometimes, this can be a strategy if the team agrees to it)
- Calling one role or no role, then forcefully taking over a role someone else called
- Spamming VGS
- Being disrespectful in chat
- Chasing kills excessively
- “Stealing” kills repeatedly
- “Feeding” the enemy team by deliberately dying to them
- Jumping, spinning, or otherwise goofing around in base in order to avoid playing
Generally, any behavior done to deliberately upset people, or done purely for selfish amusement at the cost of the team’s chance of playing the game well
Trolling is inappropriate because it amuses one or two people at the expense of several other people. If you find yourself in a game with a troll, ignore them. Mute them, block them, don’t react to them in any form or fashion. Report their behavior after the game, and move on.
Of course, if you just want to mess around a little with your friends, you’ll do as you wish. Try to play game modes where your only teammates are your friends, or play custom games. You can also “feel the room” and ask the chat if they’d back you up if you picked an unorthodox God or strategy. That way, because everyone on your team is OK with your silly shenanigans, you can relax and experience the thrill of playing Khepri mid. Or Loki anywhere.
6: Be a good opponent
The rights of your enemies are slightly different from the rights of your teammates. Your opponent does not have the right to always play against a meta mid God, for example. That means, if your team is OK with Khepri mid, then your job is to make the enemy deal with your giant scarab butt (now that I’ve written about that so much, I gotta try Khepri mid now).
Being a good opponent is much more about your behavior before and after the game. Don’t use hateful speech. Say “good game,” “GG,” or “ggwp” after the game, then leave. Be a good winner by not offering condescending advice, making fun of other players, or harassing anyone. Be a good loser by not making excuses, throwing your teammates under the bus, and keeping your dignity.
During the game, you are free to use whatever legal tactics you see fit. Some people think it’s rude or unsporting to spam-laugh at an enemy, for example; others think it’s fine to do this to try to take advantage of a badly-disciplined or emotionally sensitive enemy. The choice is up to you, but remember that hateful speech in PM’s or any other medium are 100% not OK.
7: Remember why you’re playing
The best reason to play SMITE is to have fun. You may have secondary goals, like winning a game or a tournament, or even the SMITE World Championships…but if you aren’t having fun, then you’re misusing your time and mistreating yourself.
If you know you’re guilty of trolling, ask yourself why you still play SMITE. Do you sincerely enjoy the game when you play it properly? Or, is it only fun when you’re getting a reaction from other people? If the latter is true, try giving SMITE a break and playing a different game you can enjoy the way it’s meant to be played. You might be surprised to find you were bored of SMITE, or unhappy with it, and feel more satisfied playing something new.
Have fun when you play. Remember that it’s OK to lose. Remember that sometimes, other people just have a bad game or a bad day; don’t rip into them just to make yourself feel better. If you feel really angry and want to say or do something hurtful, try taking ten deep breaths first. Or, punch your couch cushion ten times. You might find that the urge to be cruel passes, you’re more calm, and you’re ready to move on and have fun again.
In this SMITE beginner’s guide, we saw seven ways to be a more respectful player. What other tips do you have? Do you disagree with something, or want to know more about this topic? Make a comment below.
All images courtesy of smite.gamepedia.com
By Sam Boyer, aka Thanatos1342. Friend me on XBOX LIVE (Thanatos1342).