Hello CuteBeaver here with an interesting little written guide on Camouflage and how to use it in Planetside 2. We often think of camouflage as just something pretty or fun to make our character more memorable. While self expression is very welcomed I personally feel we have really overlooked some of the benefits that camouflage can STILL offer. First... Lets get the rubbish out of the way shall we:Creating a one size fits all camouflage guide has become a difficult and very complicated task. I feel at this moment core concepts we are going to cover will not change drastically. However during my teaser I got allot of negative feedback on reddit (Regarding technical limitations when creating MP4's) which I have no control over. Essentially when I created an MP4 using Movie Studio colors are slightly washed out. To maintain accuracy this section of the guide will not include video footage.If you DO want video footage of camo in action, please understand colors, no mater what editor being used are not going to be 100% perfect. I am not going to spend hours upon hours trying to perform color correction, and deal with the negative feedback or accusations for altered video. Even if I were to upload raw shadowplay clips directly to Youtube there would still be anomalies. Any MP4 especially on Youtube is going to be slightly different then what you will see in game. Or even what you create using editing software. Youtube changes the files it uploads to their codex. I have no control over what happens when I upload my clips to youtube. I will also not endorse specific camo for "no good reason". As long as someone actually reads the entire guide they will surely understand the logical reasons behind selecting one camo over another camo. I am not attempting to sell camo for Daybreak, or help someone on player studio profit. I don't know any of the camouflage creators in real life either.Now that that pile of rubbish is dealt with lets begin. Second, lets talk about the reasons why people tend to think camouflage is simply cosmetic, with no real advantage in Planetside 2. #1) Tracers... Snipers have visible tracers which tend to give away their location. This is especially true when the sniper is skilled and becomes very efficient, someone like Mustarde, who can fire two shots or (possibly more with implants) per breath. As the snipers skill improves their overall concealment level goes down. More shots = more tracers. Cloak does its job offering temporary ambiguity between attacks while sounds echo across the landscape. For a skilled sniper like Mustarde, he has to be mobile in order to avoid being counter-sniped. #2) Kill cams... Or as I like to call it "Wrel cam" also supports this style of play because if the sniper is not using a silencer, a line is drawn on the death screen map to the killers location. So your looking at a situation where success basically gives away your position. There are also implants like awareness which auto spot anyone who damages or kills you unless that player is wearing a silencer. Most players do not like to use silencers because of the damage penalty that shortens the rifles effective range, and the additional bullet drop. Silencers basically change the weapon and most of the time people will not see any large benefits because they are still reliant on mobility to increase their life span rather then the location. #3) That Sound... Cloak sound advertises your presence. Fortunately we do actually have control over this drawback. Its hard to remember sometimes that you don't "need" to cloak. Lets be honest, sometimes we do it out of habit, however there are certain circumstances where it becomes advantageous not to flash cloak frequently ~ if at all. #4) Thermals and Doritos Tanks almost always equip thermals, aircraft, and those using HS-NV scopes can still see a well dressed warm body. The range on HS-NV is roughly 50 meters, but thankfully HS-NV not as popular of an optic at the present time. The q-spot can also be used to highlight someone using camouflage as well. There are implants you can use which will show you that you have been spotted. #5) Movement The human eye is very adept at picking up movement. Especially if that movement is prolonged, and usually the faster an object is moving, the greater the chance that we notice it. Even someone wearing perfect camouflage will be spotted if they are moving rapidly. Common Sense Disclaimer: To suggest a player stays still 100% of the time and ignores the situation at hand is pure suicide. What I expect is for intelligent usage of camo, and once you are concerned that you are spotted, evasive or aggressive actions on your part occur. If mobility is your preferred style of sniping please understand I agree with the logic behind it. I expect you to use those skills once you are concerned for your safety. I am not attacking something which has proven to be very effective. However I would like to show how its possible to use stationary play along with camouflage to your advantage. In essence give you another card in your deck to use depending on the location and battle. In order to do this properly..... and NOT create a guide designed to get people killed and frustrated, we first had to examine where game mechanics cause Camouflage to fail. In short any type of prolonged movement will ruin your attempts at using camouflage effectively. A problem, whenever I bring up the subject is "unrealistic expectations". People don't understand the game mechanics that are leading to getting found in the first place. They blame camouflage for not working out of ignorance... Or they have this completely bizarre idea that camouflage is for mobility. So lets talk about concealment: What makes a GOOD camouflage different from a AMAZING camouflage. How do you get that "Magic" camo which is barely detected even at 20 and 30 meters. With player studio some innovative designs have been added to the game which can really help to conceal you in specific locations. Sometimes these camos will have mutli-purposes, and other times they are best used against a very specific type of background. Unless you enjoy hide sniping primarily - camo's with more varied purposes may be ideal since they are not freely obtainable with certs. Before you purchase a camo, for the sake of camouflage, you should probably understand what makes good camouflage in real life. The perfect camouflage has to have 3 elements:1) Background matching2) Disruptive Coloration3) Counter-shadingCryptic Behavior: Its also worth mentioning player positioning techniques can be used to "mimic" the object, and further conceal the human shape. This is where your personal skill and creativity comes into play.Background matching: Your looking for colors that are as close as possible to the environment your trying to blend with. AVOID FLAT single colors which do not have any highlights or low-lights. You need to take lighting into account. A single shade of green for example is going to stick out. However a camouflage like Amerish Leaf is a good example of using both highlights, and low-lights for a strong element of background matching. Sadly Amerish Leaf tries to use some disruptive coloration but doesn't pull this off with a huge degree of success. The disruptive pattern is present but is not dark enough to be truely effective at distorting the human shape. Most people only select camouflage which has background matching properties ignoring the other two elements entirely out of ignorance.Disruptive Coloration:(click larger view of 5 chicks)Most likely the strongest element when selecting good camouflage. The best example is a camo that incorporates portions of dark organic shapes, which hide the body. Disruptive Coloration tricks the eye into seeing false shadows and makes a human form harder to pick out. Most people just overlook these types of camo patterns as "weird" and would think that they would not help them blend into the background because it looks "too dark". While background matching can be effective, as seen with Amerish Leaf. Its totally missing a powerful transformation. Derelict Tech Camo is the best camo for hiding in bushes (For Vanu). It conceals the players body shape making it difficult to determine what is a bush, and what is a human.Counter-shading:Often seen in nature when the underbellies of animals are lighter, and the tops are darker. It makes them a bit harder to pick out from a distance. You might be asking.... how does this affect planetside 2? Female character models have a more shapely appearance, and concealing anatomy can help make you less obvious. Some camo's will brighten the bottom or drag shadows across the lower back. Camos that can Counter-shade parts of the females appearance change how our minds identify even the fullest of shapes.That was allot of reading lets take a short break and watch this inspirational video: Cryptic BehaviorCamo is only effective when you are demonstrating cryptic behavior. Generally speaking not standing up is actually very useful when it comes to disguising the human shape. Cryptic behavior is any behavior pattern that maximizes an organism's ability to conceal itself. You will find your creativity and positioning can actually increase your concealment and make you much harder to pick out. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Positioning techniques will change for every camo that you use for the intended purpose of camouflage. Some camo will be daytime only. Some will be night time only. During the night and low light conditions, humans become partially color blind. For example a green camo might look more brown and become viable to be used against a tree. You may not initially expect this to happen but indeed some Camo's can change their purpose from day to night. Its important to understand what lighting conditions you can use the camo under. Shadows can be trickly. Each camo has its limits. Should you hide on the shaded side of the tree? Or the light side? If you selected the shaded side of the tree during the day, do you accept the risk someone could be running with NO SHADOWS - and possibly see you more easily at around 40 meters. Is the camo actually good enough to be used under improper lighting conditions? Or should you just stick to where it performs best. In order to mitigate risks and compensate for a potential lack of shadows being seen by the enemy should you hide on the darker spots of the tree? Does the pattern support that? or can you hide anywhere effectively on the tree? All this is going to change for every single type of camouflage that you use. Watch out for high gloss camouflage. Like Forest Ground. The gloss produces different colors on the body making you appear more shapely and this makes the human form easier to spot. It draws attention to the outlines of your body and makes seamless color transitions impossible. During the night, watch out for camos which are too dark. Remember proper background matching requires highlights and low lights. A solid black shape will be less effective then something like "Gambler" against a tree which produces fake highlights to trick the eye. If you choose to stand in direct sunlight, but want a higher vantage point, does your camo allow your waist / midsection to line up with the existing shadows of the tree branches during daylight to hide your faction markings better? Is there any way that the purple Vanu faction markings can be used as Disruptive Coloration, taking advantage of dark markings on the object? For example dark cracks on the rock being used to blend the Vanu Identifiers. Knowing what objects, and parts of your body are most visible when trying to hide snipe can come in handy. For example camo coverage on a Vanu Sniper Rifles is lacking, and if you are trying to hide inside a bush while an enemy is approaching switching to your secondary may be a better option then holding the steel gray accented rifle. As a player approaches the bush most of the time the sniper rifle is going to give you away even if you point it towards the ground. As distance increases between you and the observer the rifle becomes less prominent. At a distance the rifle can be used to mimic a tree branch. The player can also use tree trunks to block thermals, and hide their human shape as well. Thinking about how you appear to enemies takes time to master. Some of my biggest tips came from friends watching me and telling me they can see certain parts of my body. Other times I will go to the test server and practice with a second account. Try and get feedback from people you trust when possible. I think ultimately having the confidence to know the enemy is unlikely to see you because your faction markings are concealed by bushes, trees or rocks can boost your confidence. Using that camo effectively and knowing you don't have to flash cloak (giving away your presence) out of fear allows you to pace your shots, pick high value targets and helps take some of the pressure off. I hope you find the written portion of this guide helpful. It was nearly impossible to convey this much information into a single five minute video. I will be going over my top camo's for all factions in shorter videos which will be added to the playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDSGbSi_LsVWcwCYBoU5WmZUxROobxsW_ I imagine that all of you will have much fun being creative and finding new hiding spots. I will add videos to this post as I incorporate them into the playlist. These will be tailored to specific hiding locations for each faction. I wish I could have used more video, but the responsible way to do this is using a text guide first to avoid false impressions and keep peoples expectations in line with reality.