Deathmatch Guide : BFG Basics

As you might have gathered the BFG is a bit of an odd-ball in comparison to other weapons. This guide will explain it's most basic functions with all the deep theory left out, the BFG FAQ will be linked at the end of this guide in case any of you wish to expand this knowledge further.

When you fire the BFG, the ball is hurled into the air and drifts off slowly. When it impacts two main things could happen:

Direct Hit

This is when an unfortunate player strays into the path of the powerful green ball and as a result is left as a red pile of mush.

BFG Ball + Unfortunate Player = Pile of Mush (or a Direct Hit...)

The ball carries enough power to frag any player with health in excess of 200% so it always kills if it's a direct hit. Great you think. But what about the people around you who get fragged even though the ball missed them? Well this is where it gets a bit harder, after the initial impact comes the blast zone...

Blast Zone

Imagine whenever the ball detonates a cone appears round you in the direction of the balls path. If anything is in this cone it will lose some health, depending on it's position in the cone. Usually the further something is into the cone (closer to you) the more damage it takes. This doesn't always happen but we'll leave that for the BFG FAQ. The following diagram shows this in action:

As you'll see the imp in the middle suffers a direct hit and turns into mush. The imp at the top left of the diagram is still in the cones range therefore it gets fragged. The imp at the bottom right isn't in the cone so it doesn't get fragged or lose any health (Don't worry his time will come :). The cone is fixed onto the player but always faces the direction in which the ball is travelling as this next diagram shows:

It's the same thing again but this time our player turns round. This proves that changing your point of view does not affect the blast area direction. Pretty simple, but what if a player moves when the cone is active? Although the direction doesn't change, it's position can, making this one of the BFG's greatest features. The next diagram shows this in action:

The BFG is fired down a corridor and our player runs off to the left towards another corridor. As the BFG ball makes its impact the blast area becomes active and that smarmy imp is fragged. As long as the ball hits something (a player, monster, wall, etc.) it is counted as an impact and the blast area becomes active. Notice the direction of the cone is the same as the Ball's direction. The next diagram shows that this doesn't only apply when side to side:

Instead of letting something stray into the path of the active blast area you are now moving so that something that once was safe, is now in the blast area. Try these manoeuvres yourself with a friend or some bots to see this in real-time.

Useful Tactics

Now that you've read through this guide maybe you could make use of 2 key tactics in BFG usage.

1) Most people tend to grab the BFG, go to where other players are and fire it off once they're in view. This is a sure way to get fragged because of the delay waiting for the thing to actually fire. Instead you should determine where your opponents are and fire before they're in view so by the time it fires it'll be as if there was no delay at all.

2) Everyone knows a BFG is fired when they hear that loud scream in the distance. Anybody with a clue of how it works will take cover, others get fragged. But what if there was a way to trick the BFG literate into not knowing you even fired it? Well there is, it goes by the name of 'Silent BFG'. Because of the way the sound works in doom you can make another sound to 'cover' the BFG noise. Surely it would be even louder than the BFG you say, well actually it's not. Pressing the use / open key (usually spacebar) against a wall just a fraction of a second after firing the BFG will sound the 'oomph' noise instead of the weapon sound. When playing 1 on 1 it's a very good idea to listen for these 'oomph' sounds as it could mean there's a BFG ball flying around somewhere.

You can download a small video file that shows both of these put into action. Remember to refer to the top of this guide and look at the diagrams to see how it works. Download the BFG Video.


As promised here a few links to different versions of the document. It proves a good academic read and will require some parts being read again in order to understand. - Pictures and nice formatting. - Text diagrams and slim formatting.