Chapter 1 - Weapons and Vehicles
This section provides tips and strategies for Unreal Tournament 2004s weapons and vehicles. Weapon strategies are applicable for all game types; vehicle strategies are primarily focused on the onslaught game mode.
The multi-purpose shield gun serves as an offensive melee weapon, a defensive shield, and as a means (albeit painful) of extending your jump height. Hold down the primary fire button and run into an enemy to inflict a heavily damaging melee strike. Its fun (and effective) against a sniper that doesnt see you coming or a player currently guiding a redeemer rocket.
The shield guns secondary fire mode creates a shield that blocks damaging projectiles (and repels energy-based projectiles). The shield drains quickly while taking damage so dont expect it to defend you for an extended duration. But the shield also provides another service: activate the shield during a long fall, point to the ground, and the fall wont be quite as painful.
Finally, you can use the shields primary fire as a means of boosting your jumping ability. Charge the primary fire, point at the ground, and hit the jump button as you release the fire button. You can combine this technique with a running jump to reach high ledges or the top of buildings. You can also use it as a means of traversing a section of the map quickly (such as grabbing that power-up sooner or reaching the flag position faster). Note that the technique does inflict self-damage! Be healthy or, ideally, have a shield pack.
The assault rifle is a decent starting weapon that may get you out of a jam if youve just spawned in a really bad predicament. However, expect to find yourself running for the nearest new weapon as soon as possible. The assault rifles primary fire is similar to a machine gun: high rate of fire with moderate accuracy. Its secondary fire launches a timed grenade. Hold down the alternate fire button to shoot the grenade further.
It is possible to pick up a second assault rifle (if an enemy had one equipped when he or she died) and wield dual assault rifles. In this configuration the weapon becomes more potent. In deathmatch games, toss grenades into crowded rooms to score a kill against a wounded foe. If you spawn near an enemy vehicle in onslaught, toss a grenade at it while you move to the nearest weapons locker; you may score a kill against a damaged vehicle.
The bio-rifle, or goo gun, has one of the quickest kill capabilities in the game. Hold down secondary fire mode to charge a full glop of goo, move within close-range of your foe, aim, and release the secondary fire button. A fully charged goo gun will kill most opponents in a single blast. Its a sudden, and often annoying, way to perish; though certainly not so annoying when youre on the dealing end!
The primary fire button pumps out smaller globs of goo. Litter the ground around your opponent. Trap your opponent in a corner and force him through the goo to escape. If youre chased down a narrow hall, drop some goo to create a literal minefield of glop behind you. The bio-rifle is decent as a defensive weapon in assault games. While other defenders support with sniper rifles, lightning guns, and rocket launchers, use your bio-rifle in close proximity and blast attackers with a full green sandwich.
The shock rifle offers a primary fire mode, a secondary fire mode, and a combination of the two. In its primary fire mode, the shock rifle unleashes a highly accurate, instant hit beam. Think of it as a rail gun (though a single hit isnt life threatening). The primary fire mode works well against approaching enemies, particularly players who dont move much or arent equipped with a long-range counter weapon. Its decent rate of fire also makes the shock rifle a good weapon for on-foot node killing in onslaught.
The weapons secondary fire launches a plasma ball. Its a large projectile but isnt an instant hit. The plasma ball is better suited for close ranges; at long distances its too easy to avoid and dodge. But the plasma ball is required for the shock rifles ultimate weapon: the shock combo. Launch a plasma ball then shoot it with the weapons primary fire. If you connect, the plasma ball explodes into a heavily damaging eruption. The shock combo is great in crowded deathmatch rooms, narrow assault defenses, or even as a means of taking down a vehicle in onslaught.
Unreal Tournament 2004s minigun is the quintessential machine gun: extremely high rate of fire with mediocre accuracy. But dont let that sway you; the minigun is an effective weapon. Upon damaging your deathmatch foe with a rocket or flak blast, make the switch to the minigun to finish the job. The high rate of fire may be inaccurate but with so many projectiles out there youre bound to strike the target a few times, which will likely be enough to score the kill. Use the secondary fire mode for additional damage.