This guide will have you knifing like a pro in no time. If you haven’t gotten a 20 burg with knife only in under a month of reading this guide, message me on steam for a full money back guarentee.
Intro to Knifing
The art of melee combat in Squad is one practiced by few, and mastered by fewer. Every odd is stacked against you. Firstly you don’t run that fast, the maps are wide open, and most of your enemies have rapid firing fully automatic weapons. This isn’t your Grandpas WW2 knife game.
So how can one thrive in a game where the odds are stacked against you?
That’s right by using your brain, a good knifer is one thing and one thing only, smart.
One gets multiple knives to kill not with the aim, but with positioning, route knowledge, and observation.
In this guide, you’ll learn the ins and outs of becoming a successful squad melee warrior capable of tearing up public servers and forcing pubbies everywhere to watch their backs, even long after you’ve left the server.
Part 1: Patience
Becoming a knife god does not happen overnight, before one becomes a pro one must watch and observe.
The most useful skill a good knifer has above all is their ability to see the entire battlefield and the way one develops that is with an abundance of caution. Many good knife streaks will be lost when one decides to rush out prematurely and is promptly mowed down by the last man in the fireteam/squad. Don’t run out after the first enemy you see fly past you, there’s a good chance he has a friend or friends. It’s much better to get two or three enemies on the tail end of a squad, than die knifing the first guy in the line.
Being a knifer is about many things but patience allows one thing above all, and that is opportunity. The longer you wait before a strike, the more chances some other event could give you an opening or cover.
For example, you have just seen an enemy squad pass directly by you, but on your map you notice a friendly BTR coming in, in the next 30 seconds. Using this, you could position yourself with the squad between you and the BTR such that when the BTR passes, its passing allows you an opportunity to infiltrate. While the potato squad is hiding between building staring in the direction of the BTR, you move up unseen and unheard and pick off 3 before the squad even knew what hit them.
Finally, this sounds obvious, but sometimes patience means not engaging at all. In some scenarios the number of enemy infantry or their location make them simply not a feasible target to attack. Often times it’s a lot better to remain alive in a prime position, than lose said position attempting an impossible attack. There is no rule for how much is too much, but using common sense you’ll probably be able to judge good ideas from bad.
When learning to knife patience is the first important lesson and playing too slowly to begin, will let you gradually speed up your play to where you are still stealthy, but also effective.
Part 2: Movement
Movement being important to a knifer, is a fairly straightforward concept, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Regular squad players can shoot themselves out of situations they created for themselves with bad movement, but a melee warrior can’t. If you move too hastily and don’t have stamina when you really need it, you can die for it.
Everything below this point will all sound fairly obvious but one can never allow themselves to forget it when following the path.
1. Always try to have a full stamina bar before initiating an attack.
Full stamina allows you to sprint at maximum speed until you hit half stamina. Having this edge in stamina allows you to catch up to people who might have already been sprinting. If you attempt to engage someone with your knife who is sprinting and you are out of stamina, you will never catch them if they continue to sprint. This can lead to many frustrating deaths, so the more stamina you have on hand, the more likely you will catch your target.
2. Avoid travelling in straight lines to an objective like a normal infantryman.
This one is extremely obvious but if you’re moving with your team as a knifer, you’re going to be running into many guns pointed directly at you making your job harder. If you are impatient then at least remember the routes enemies are going to use to get to you and have a way to intercept those routes or get behind them with a quick wall jump.
3. Different materials make different footstep sounds.
Some areas of the map will cause your footsteps to be more obvious such as the gravel fields of many desert cornfields. Try to avoid these areas if you can, and wait for your enemies to get very close to you if you can’t. This will minimize the time they have to react if you’re striking on loud terrain.
4. Avoid very open sightlines.
Another obvious one, but running down an open highway or through an open sand dune is asking to get shot. Unless you’ve got balls of steel don’t do this often expecting a good result.
5. Parkour is your friend more than it is your enemy.
We’ve all had those times we start a vault animation only to jump into an enemy just sitting there eating paste, but most of the time, vaulting can give you an advantage. Its fairly quiet for what it does and allows you to flank on city maps extremely quickly.
6. Anticipate enemy movement.
This is a basic squad skill but it pays off well for a knifer too. If you’re running in an area where you think there should be enemies, you’re probably right. It pays to be more cautious when travelling between areas that are directly between capture points. Utilizing the map key often can also provide you with intel, like infantry squads a friendly helicopter might have spotted. Or a mortar hab that can be quietly eliminated.
7. Avoid slopes when possible.
As you might already know travelling up and down slopes limits your movespeed, and on some maps, you might not really need to climb that mountain. If you can stay hidden and stay on flat terrain you’ll be able to cover more ground as a knifer, and covering ground faster is useful no matter who you are.
8. Target the strong first.
If you have to quickly make a choice, target the enemy that seems the most intelligent. Moving quickly to knife the veteran looking SL can allow you to knife the clueless MG gunner right beside him.
9. Weave in and out of the fight.
Knifing a target may quickly draw attention, if the next target is too far away, it might be preferable to dive into an adjacent alleyway or building and come around from a new angle.
10. Orbit enemy players during an attack.
This is a more advanced technique but placing enemy players between you and another enemy can help prompt a potential teamkill and additional enemy down if you know its already the end for you.
Part 3: Positioning
Positioning to make it simple, is putting your little soldier character in places that are advantageous for it in game. If you’re a LAT this is somewhere like a six story building next to an ammo crate. If you’re a machine gunner this is prone near a bush not on a crest, with coverage of a large section of important terrain.
Positioning for a knifer, is optimal movement routes between maps, to decrease the amount of time people can shoot at you from long range, and to increase the likelihood of you being in sections of the map with good hiding spots, or juke routes.
As a general rule the knifer is looking for short routes and or routes with lots of foliage cover or objects that block line of sight. Taking tunnels, avoiding large highways are all things you might already do normally as a squad player, but as a knifer it’s not really an option. It’s not like you can just fire back.
To go more into specifics here is a quick description of each map.
Al Basrah – Both simultaneously a terrible and amazing knife map. It should go without saying that infiltrating enemy-occupied buildings can lead to amazing knife sprees with starchy enemies. The most important part of this map is to learn the routes through the city that avoid crossing the main death roads the least. If one is attempting to knife out in the open sand dunes, that is brave but usually ineffective.
Belaya – This map is so samey that almost everywhere functions the same for a knifer. The only thing to avoid would be large open capture points like Coal Mine. This isn’t the greatest knife map, but the foliage everywhere can make for decent ambush potential.
Chora – This is one of the harder knife maps in the game. In general, the foliage fields with tall bushes are some of your best bets for easy knife potential. In more open spots of the map, you’re going to want to do outrageously long flanks at times to avoid getting pegged in the open. One of your best bets on this map is to play risky around the large walls and potentially drop behind unsuspecting victims with a near-immediate stab. There are not very many good places to hide from enemies so proper movement and stamina management are key.
Fallujah – Another top-tier knife map, the number of juke routes, climbable areas and just plain hiding spots are beyond count. To top it all off there’s a tunnel system that while risky allows you access to most areas of the center of the map. The verticality of the map is very useful in picking up free marksman knife kills or dropping behind squads you previously spotted. The only difficult thing can be picking up exactly where audio cues are located to secure kills. It’s hard to single any areas out of the map that one should frequent, it’s just one of those maps you have to play enough to pick up on them all.
PR Player’s Road – Fool’s Road has the potential to be a decent knife map but the overall flow of the map makes it fairly difficult. Much of the terrain is mountainous and the foliage doesn’t often help as much as you think it would. Avoiding the logged areas of the map is a no-brainer, but the same goes for most of the capture points on the map. The most important thing to keep in mind is while traveling the hilltop areas, keeping in your mind, all the other hilltop areas that have an angle on where you are. There are numerous small gullies, throughout the map, be sure to use these while traveling.
Gorodok – is one of the most varied maps in the game, and so is its knifing potential. Some capture points are loaded with foliage and decent flank routes, while others are small farmsteads surrounded by short grass. There isn’t much else to say about it. Most knife friendly areas will be blatantly obvious, the only advice I can give is to remember where they are on the map and if given the option fight in them, as opposed to its many open field areas.
Goose Bay – This maps like the Gorodok snow edition and it plays the same way. Stick to the forests at all times, they’re some of the densest and make for great knifing potential.
Kamdesh – Why are you playing on a server that has Kamdesh in its rotation?
Kohat – One of the hardest if not the hardest knife maps in the game. Stick to the sides of the river valleys if you can, and only start scaling mountains if you have no other choice. The foliage on this map is decent though, so moving from large bush to large bush can keep you alive. Compound fighting is actually fairly decent, the layouts of many don’t make much sense and parkour can be effective in jumping in from unexpected angles.
Kokan – A good knife map due to just how many tall fields there are. Remember though that the gravel underneath these fields is extremely loud, so being a rat and listening for enemies’ location is important when planning a strike. Otherwise, most knifing will be done in the goofy compounds of the map where good movement can put you behind enemies easily and provide you with many kill streaks. The small ♥♥♥♥♥ throughout each field can be useful to move around just remember the enemy can use them too, so be prepared to dive into a field if you see them.
Lashkar Valley – Similar to Kohat but with 10x more foliage on the hills. Hill knifing can be effective but long and tedious, compound knifing is similar to most other desert maps and the same principles apply.
Logar Valley – The best knifing areas of other maps all squished into one. The map is the primary city and plays very chaotically, this is a knifers paradise. The hills have ample foliage to use while traversing them, and the city is tightly packed with numerous places to jump over and surprise enemies. I can’t pick out any particular parts of the map to place yourself because it’s all good. 10/10 knife map. Would play again.
Manic – Avoid the steep steep hills, utilize the densely packed forest sections. This map would be an ideal knife map but the amount of foliage and likelihood for Russia vs CAF means you will encounter a lot of prone warriors you didn’t see. You will maneuver easily but often be killed by people you missed, so has potential but can be frustrating.
Mutaha – It’s Fallujah but more spread out, and with large open sections between it. So basically just worse Fallujah. Stick to the cities and avoid the fields of death, pretty simple stuff.
Mestia – This map is mini manic, making it a little bit better for knifing. As usual, avoid the barren hillsides and approach around densely forested areas. For the most part, the crucible is not an area that is friendly to you, but the woods surrounding it are. Stick to these areas.
Narva – Worse Al Basrah basically, tall building knives are your best bet, but you can fool around a bit in Oru Village and the Train station. The worst part about this map is the traveling between locations expect to die in open places in ways that you couldn’t really prevent. The Quarry area is a death trap, don’t mess with that region of the map.
Sumari – Only one word. Rooftop. Abusing the rooftops to get behind squads is the name of the game on this map, and is one of the maps where patience gives way to speed. Sprint management is a little bit less important on this map with the close proximity of locations. Just make sure you have a full bar when you begin river crossings.
Talil Outskirts – Are you high?
Part 4: Game Mechanics
This section is brief, it’s about the actual mechanics of knifing enemy players.
- Knife range is extremely short at 1.25m of reach requiring you to be very close to your target. If your target is prone be sure to at least crouch if you want the best chance of hitting them. The SKS bayonet allows an additional 0.5m of reach so if you ever have the choice to use the SKS, use it.
- The knife is only a one-shot with a head/chest stab. This is why it’s preferable to be behind your victim, but a frontal knife can still work if you hit the head or chest. If not two stabs will be required.
- The knife is essentially a short quick hit trace out to the center of your screen when clicked. It then finds out if you hit your target or missed and plays the appropriate animation. This is why your knife can glide through the enemy without hitting them as the blade of the knife is irrelevant to any damage dealt. If you’re a super tryhard you could put a dot in the middle of your screen to make your knives more precise and likely to hit where you want them.
- The knife’s equip duration is actually fairly quick compared to a normal weapon and can be whipped out in about half a second if one wants to instead whip the knife out for quick opportunity kills instead of devoting themselves fully to the way of the warrior.
- Don’t forget to utilize the rest of whatever potential kit you happen to be using. A medic has great self-heal potential obviously, and all classes come with smoke grenades which can be used as cover or distractions for the enemy.
- A cheesy but effective strategy can be to use an armored vehicle at low speeds to find isolated enemies ragdoll them with the vehicle and then knife them.
- Utilize enemy bodies as bait. Hiding until the enemy believes they secured the area and then striking again on the medic and your first victim is always a good time. Just keep in mind that they now have better vision when down, don’t place yourself near where they are looking.
- 5 men charging a guy with a knife, is a lot stronger than one guy charging with a knife.
Putting All Into Practice
No amount of guide reading is going to turn you into a fearsome warrior overnight. You must spend multiple weeks studying the blade, playing all the maps in the rotation. Multiple lobbies relearning how to move and when to move. You will die, and you will die a lot. Soon however you will begin to see the results.
A good way to accelerate this process is the courageous act of playing the game with only your knife. It’s not easy, but it is the fastest way to learn.
With enough dedication you will come to learn everything stated in this guide and more, hopefully, you will walk the path and come to understand the way of the warrior.