Introduction to 1 on 1
Although team games and free-for-alls are good assessments of one's skill, the defining factor in whether one player is better than the other is by playing one-on-one. In a 1-on-1 game, sounds are way more important than when you are playing teams or free-for-all (FFA). Each map requires a slightly different strategy; however, there are some general tactics you should follow when you play. There is a point where the good players' skills don't vary too greatly amongst them. What differentiates the good players from the great are their strategies and their abilities to outsmart their opponents.
The combination of skill and strategy usually determines who will come out the victor.
Take away the weapons, especially the rocket launcher.
Taking away the "good" weapons of the game, such as the lightning shaft and rocket launcher, will leave your opponent relatively harmless.
On levels where there is only one rocket launcher, that should be the focus of your strategy. Once you gain control of the level, try to keep the RL away from him. Weapons respawn every 30 seconds. Wait for the RL to appear, take it, then go and hunt down your opponent. 20-25 seconds later, before the RL reappears, start heading back to it. Your pattern should bring you to the RL about 5 seconds before it reappears. Since the rocket launcher is the most versatile and strongest weapon in the game, as well as most people's primary weapon, you are essentially limiting their offensive capabilities.
On levels where there are two rocket launchers, you should still try to control both of the rocket launchers; however, don't focus all your attention on keeping both away, as it'll be extremely hard to time perfectly. Instead, try controlling the yellow/red armors. (Depending on what level you're playing.)
If your opponent is especially good with a certain weapon, such as the lightning shaft, focus on keeping that away. Run the same pattern as you do when you want to keep any weapon away from your opponent. Remember to be back a good five seconds before the weapon reappears.
Grab this rocket launcher...and this rocket launcher...
Take away any armor.
An opponent without armor is an opponent that you should go after. If you have rockets, you should go after him. Without armor, one direct rocket will kill your opponent.
On levels where there is only one red armor, that should be the focus of your strategy. Again, once you gain control of the level, keep the red armor away from him. The armors respawn every 20 seconds, so you have to check back a lot earlier than if you were "running" (controlling in gamer's terms) the rocket launchers. Use the same strategy as if you were running the weapons. Get back to the armor a few seconds before it respawns so your opponent has no chance of taking it. Controlling the armor works even better because generally, your opponent will be waiting there (probably without armor), hoping it'll come back before you get back. If you can get there before the armor gets back, you'll him without armor and easy to kill.
On levels where there are two red armors, try to control either the armors or the weapons. It is generally hard to control both, as the armors are likely on opposite sides of the level. If you can keep the weapons away from him, though, then he'll have lots of armor and nothing to kill you with.
...and this Red Armor while you're at it!
Though I personally feel that playing with quad is totally lame in a one-on-one match, there are people who still play with it. If that's the case, then obviously the quad is something you want to protect as if it were your little baby. Quad respawns every minute, or 30 seconds after it runs out. Run it similar to how you run the other stuff, and be back about 5-7 seconds before it gets back. You don't want to get there at the same instant it's respawning, because if your opponent is waiting there already, he may pick it up as you're walking in… and you'll be toasted.
Well, this should be pretty obvious. Just remember, every five minutes. Keep a tab on it at all times. Use a stopwatch if you have to.
Fire prediction shots.
In team games, you cannot fire random shots into hallways because you might hit a teammate. However, in a one-on-one, you don't have to worry about it. If you have some extra rockets to spare (more than 7), throw a couple rockets down corridors you think your opponent may be coming through. If you have over 50 or so rockets, shoot them more often. Generally, the good deathmatch levels are well balanced. They usually give both players a chance to regroup and give them relatively equal armor/health/weapons. Knowing this, if you can hit your opponent, or even nick him, with a random prediction shot, it will give you the advantage you need to beat him when you guys meet in battle.
This is a very common attack
position, so just to make sure...
Listen closely to sounds.
It is that much more important to know and listen to sounds in a one-on-one. Sounds can tell you exactly where your opponent is and where he's headed. Certain sounds can give you cues on when to fire your prediction shots. Listen to where they are coming from. When you hear a sound, go to where you think he'll go after. Figure out what most people do when they get a certain object, such as the armor or rockets. If there's a teleporter nearby that most people go through after they get the stuff, then wait on the other side of the teleporter and surprise him when he comes out.
Surprise is the key.
Surprising your opponent, like being in a place where he doesn't expect you to be, is the best way to kill your opponent. My favorite way to find cool spots or shortcuts on a level is to run through the level on single player, with the all-weapons cheat and god-mode on. Do rocket jumps in strange areas, look for cool ledges that you can drop onto or rocket jump on, and practice backward rocket jumps on areas that will help you beat your opponent to the punch. (Usually rocket launcher or armor.) Search for dark areas where you may be passed over. You want to find places where you have a clear view and shot at your opponent (usually found on a higher ground)… this way, even if he spots you, you still have a better chance at hitting him than he does you.
Hmmm...is he hiding in ambush?
Aren't you glad you sneaked around?
Castle of the Damned - 1 on 1