Spray and Pray is a term used by gamers to identify when someone merely sprays with a weapon. Spraying and Praying is frequently performed in shooter games, and has something of a reputation among players as being a ‘cheap’ or ‘noob’ tactic. While spraying has a less than positive reputation, the simple fact of the matter is that it is a tried and true tactic, and it works. On some occasions, even experienced players spray and pray, in the hope of getting the all-important kill, or flushing an enemy out.
Generally, spraying is performed with a weapon that has a high rate of fire. In games such as Halo, spraying is more prevalent as weapons have little to no recoil, and they do not grow less accurate under prolonged fire. However, even in games where prolonged fire makes spraying less accurate, it can still be a viable tactic at close ranges.
Call of Duty
Spraying is a commonly encountered tactic in Call of Duty games. However, it is more common in more recent instalments, such as Call of Duty 4, World at War, and Modern Warfare 2. This is due to the ‘Steady Aim’ perk being included. This perk makes the crosshairs for your weapon tighter, or smaller. This allows more accurate hipfire, and Steady Aim is an extremely common perk across all three games. Sub Machine Guns have the smallest crosshair initially, and it grows even smaller when the Steady Aim perk is equipped. In previous games in the series, weapons were less accurate when sprayed, and players had to rely mainly on knowledge of their weapons.
In the more recent Battlefield games, spraying is a reasonably useful tactic when in close ranges. However, it is almost completely useless at longer ranges owing to the recoil of weapons. In both Bad Company games, the LMGs grow more accurate under prolonged fire, so they are commonly sprayed with. With Bad Company 2, Specializations were added, and among these there are ‘Marksman’ options. These make the crosshair smaller, and therefore make hipfiring more accurate. The M60 was well known for being almost too accurate when hipfired. While the crosshair expanded steadily as it was fired, the weapon did not actually deviate too much from its initial accuracy.
Halo is arguably the ultimate game for spraying and praying, owing to the fact that your crosshair does not expand as you fire, or as you move. Weapons such as the Mounted Machine Gun, or MMG, are arguably the ultimate spraying weapons. The MMG fires quickly, and deals a considerable amount of damage. The key problems with overusing the Mounted Machine Guns are that you move more slowly when carrying one, and that it takes time to spool up. Experienced players can have a would-be attacker killed as they try to spool up their turret. Another commonly used weapon for spraying is the M5C Assault Rifle, due to the fact in the majority of game modes you will spawn with such a weapon.