|There is more information available on this subject at Camping on the English Wikipedia.|
Camping is the act of voluntarily keeping out of firefights by staying in one place. The act of camping is generally frowned upon in the gaming community and often considered a newbie tactic.
The name "camping" is derived from the real-life recreational activity of the same name. In the same way that outdoor campers set up and occupy a small camp, video game campers lie in wait in a small area.
Campers typically hide in areas that are easily defended or where they are unlikely to be noticed, while shooting from a distance or sneaking out from behind a corner to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting player passing by. They typically lie in wait with powerful weapons; depending on their strategy, they may use ranged weapons like the Sniper Rifle, Rocket launcher, Designated Marksman Rifle, or Battle rifle; or close-quarters weapons, like the Mauler, Gravity Hammer, Energy Sword, or Shotgun.
Some campers hide where they won't be noticed, using their stealth to snipe unaware players without being detected or counter-attacked. Others use guerilla tactics, hiding around corners or on ledges, and waiting to ambush passing players. Still others will wait in a small, easily-defended area—often an area with a single entrance that acts as a choke point, allowing the camper to decimate any forces that try to retaliate.
While some instances of camping are dependent on stealth, other campers—often those that camp in easily-defended areas—will happily announce their position with Spartan Laser blasts and by grenade spamming. Campers that depend on stealth will rarely camp with an objective, such as the Oddball or a flag, as said items are marked with waypoints.
Although camping is a legal and legitimate strategy, and may actually be encouraged by certain survival-oriented game types (such as variants of Infection), most players complain that it takes away from the inherent fun of the game. It is often stated that it is a "noob" strategy, as it allegedly takes little "skill" and is a cowardly way to play. Though this is not always necessarily true, most players frown upon this strategy. Some claim that the term "strategy" is just an excuse.
On occasion, however, camping can be vital in non-multiplayer games, such as in Halo 3: ODST. In Firefight, the player may rely on higher difficulties to camp and take out enemies quickly rather than lose precious lives. Although some people still frown upon the tactic, even though in ODST, it cannot be used against other players.
Camping is often necessary in Infection, as wandering into the center of a map or hallway is a deathtrap for human players. The Human team often camps to create a better chance for survival.
Although, camping does not generally affect a sniper, if their position is likely noticeable, just not taken more time to notice it. As sniper rifles tend to be long distance, it may require skill to camp with it, unless firing at any part of a player then meeleing them. Still, in a war, a sniper usually tends to hide in an unnoticeable place, then picks targets off, then moves location. Those rules can apply here, as it is an important part of "team sniper" which can help by supporting teamates in defending spots such as Capture the Flag, and Team Slayer
Strategy and Counter-Strategy Edit
Many campers rely largely on close-quarters ambushes, or "corner rushing", to take down their enemies. Popular places to corner-camp are sharp, blind corners, where a camper may hide with a powerful short-range weapon (such as the Gravity Hammer, Energy Sword, or Shotgun) and cut down anyone who turns the corner. Once a corner-camper's location has been determined, however, it is generally quite easy to take them out. The usual strategy for these situations is to throw a grenade into their hiding spot to kill them or at least flush them out. With the advent of Halo 3's Mauler, which spawned rapidly and commonly on numerous multiplayer maps, corner-camping became a severe balance issue, so much so that Bungie drastically decreased the number of Maulers in multiplayer.
In objective games, such as Assault, King of the Hill, and Capture the Flag, it is relatively common practice for a player to hide out of sight near the objective and target anyone who attempts to claim or defend the objective. Unlike most other forms of camping, this is generally not frowned upon, and is indeed rather commonplace. Nonetheless, like all forms of camping, it is potentially an unsporting strategy.
Weapon camping is a form of target camping that is especially prevalent on smaller maps. Campers may hide near a powerful weapon, killing anyone who arrives to take it. This became a major focus of the Halo 3 multiplayer map Snowbound; players would hide near the Shotgun spawn and slaughter all the myriad enemies who attempted to claim it. This became more important than anything else on the map, so much so that Bungie removed the Shotgun from Snowbound and replaced it with a less potent Beam Rifle.
This has also taken place on the map The Pit, where the Energy Sword spawn is to the side of the map. The small room where the Energy Sword spawns is ideal for camping, since to either side of the entrance, there are sharp corners, where campers can lie in wait and attempt assassinations or noob combo kills with a Mauler.
Spawn camping is a tactic in which a player locates a series of Respawn Points inside of a specific map. The player will, during gameplay, camp with a power weapon in a position where they can kill opponents the moment they respawn. The victims of such a tactic are caught unprepared, ill-equipped and possessing only the default weapons, which are often no match for the powerful weapons wielded by the camper. Determined spawn campers that use a Sniper Rifle may even be able to headshot a victim within seconds of their respawning.
The act of camping at a Respawn Point is spawn camping; the act of actually killing players that respawn at the point is spawnkilling.
This became unfortunately common in Halo 2's Matchmaking, especially on smaller, symmetrical maps, such as Midship and Sanctuary. In Halo 3, the issue of spawn camping was addressed specifically by multiplayer designers, who engineered a complex algorithm to govern respawns. This algorithm not only assured that respawns would take place in a helpful manner, but also reduced the likelihood of respawning at a location with enemies nearby. Although spawn camping remains an issue to some extent, it is far less common.
Another type of spawn camping is to drive a rapidly moving vehicle around your enemy's base. Although this tactic will allow many players to escape their spawn points unharmed, it will also grant the player a considerable number of kills as they simply splatter newly spawned foes. This is not generally considered a serious form of camping, as it relies on motion and has a considerable level of risk involved. This tactic is especially popular in Halo: Combat Evolved, as even the slightest touch from a moving vehicle will kill an opponent.
Spawn camping may also refer to camping at the spawn locations of weapons, equipment, etc. in order to have a monopoly on the item. For more information on this tactic, see Target Camping, above.
Lift camping is the practice of ambushing and killing players who are in uncontrollable motion. It takes its name from the Gravity Lift and other similar lifting devices that often adorn levels.
Players in a Gravity Lift are unable to control their movement in any way, making them easy targets for campers. On the Halo 2 map Lockout, for example, the Gravity Lift launched players clearly into the open with a loud, recognizable noise in full view of the Sniper Rifle spawn, turning them into easy prey for a sniper. This has also become a commonplace tactic in the Halo 3 map Construct, where players will camp at the top of the lifts with the Energy Sword or Flamethrower and lay waste to those ascending through the lift. A well-timed Plasma Grenade can also kill ascending players. In Halo Reach this tactic is used on the multiplayer level Sword Base.
The lift camping strategy can largely be undermined by throwing a grenade or Power Drain into a lift before you enter it, although this is admittedly not always very practical. The best counter is often to take a different route up and flank the camper, as they are often unprepared for surprise-attacks from the side or back. Such campers often utilize close-range weapons, an effective strategy in Lockout.
Named for its use of Teleporters, tele-camping is usually—but not always—performed in an open map that is big enough for a vehicle. The basic strategy is to get a turret (such as the ones found on Warthogs) into a position where it has a view of the end of a Teleporter. Ideally, the turret would also be protected from any open fields of fire, such as classic sniping spots and bases. A variant of this method involves waiting behind the turret, so the vehicle does not show up on the motion sensor as an enemy.
The camper then gets in the turret and waits for an enemy to go through the Teleporter. As soon as the enemy arrives, the gunner tears the foot soldier to shreds. Another strategy, which is good if there are snipers about, is to drive a vehicle, such as a Warthog or Ghost, to the Teleporter, and stay in the driver seat. Such a setup would allow a camper to splatter anyone who uses the Teleporter.
The latter method of tele-camping is very popular in Halo PC's map Blood Gulch, as the level is wide open, but the Teleporters are fairly concealed. The method doesn't work in other games, however, as the vehicle would block the Teleporter, preventing its usage.
- Many people will camp if they have the Energy Sword or Shotgun due to the weapons' fairly short range.
- A Halo 3 Slayer Variant named "Duel" has the description "No camping! Free for all but the leader cannot hide." The game has a waypoint enabled to show the leading player in kills, rendering camping to be a much less effective strategy.
- In an episode of Red vs Blue, a red is killed by a blue who was camping. The red yells, "Oh, you fucking camping bitch". The blue responds, "It's a legitimate strategy", a reference to the fact that some players will argue and berate a camper.
- In Machinima, camping is often looked upon with joke and ridicule.
- In Halo 4 there are several achievements that actually promote such tactics.