There are a lot of different tricks and uses with Shadestep, but this guide is going to point out and go over some of the ones that are most useful. What this guide will be sharing with you today might not be a new revelation to you, but we're hoping some of you might learn something from this and apply it to your game. And pretty much all these applications of Shadestep can be used on a game-to-game basis.
Alright, so without further ado let's get into it.
The first thing that needs to be address is making sure you fully understand how shadestep works. What this means, is that you can confidently shadestep in any direction and turn corners with shadestep – so essentially the fundamentals of shadestep movement, without becoming confused or lost in your positioning. It is recommended for you practicing this in patrol if you're unfamiliar with the movements and then apply them into Crucible when you feel comfortable.
Choosing the Right Button Layout for You
Next, you need to be making sure you're using the most optimal button layout. You'll see here in the settings that all of the layouts except for Puppeteer have “circle” or “b” for crouch. If you're a claw player, perhaps running one of those layouts is ideal for you, but that depends on what you find to be the most comfortable. It is strongly recommended changing to Puppeteer. It'll be weird getting used to at first, but being able to look around and Shadestep at the same time is extremely valuable because you don't have to move your thumb from the thumbstick to “circle” or “b”, Shadestep is just right there under your thumb. If you're a SCUF or Elite Controller user, binding Shadestep to one of the paddles is also ideal so that you can basically never have to move your thumb from the right stick and also because having the only function for your thumbs being looking and moving makes for much smoother movement and aim. In my opinion, the motor control aspect of Shadestep is equally as important as the actual application of Shadestep.
Okay so now you are comfortable using shadestep and you have established what button layout you should use. If you have to make changes, just know that it might take you up to a week to get fully comfortable using the different layout. You might find yourself playing worse at first, but trust me, in the long run, it'll be so much better. Let's talk about how valuable Shadestep truly is.
The first thing and most obvious function for Shadestep is avoiding grenades. This is something that you will have to practice and perhaps even remind yourself to do. However, once you get the hang of it, you'll be able to Shadestep the grenades just by recognizing the sound of them. In order to Shadestep the firebolt or arcbolt grenades, you want to Shadestep when it hits the ground. Basically what happens when the grenade touches the ground is it searching for targets, and Shadestep will confuse the tracking on it and prevent you from taking damage. Arcbolts are a little bit more forgiving than firebolts as they seem to take slightly longer to track a target., however it should be noted that if it chains to a teammate, you might have to time it so it simply doesn't chain to you, because it can hit your teammate while you're in Shadestep and then when you come out of Shadestep, it can chain to you. For axion bolts, you can Shadestep at any time during the chase or when it hits the ground. For skip and swarm grenades, you can Shadestep at any time. Skip grenades will track you a lot harder and longer than swarm grenades. You usually only need to Shadestep once for skip grenades, but sometimes you need to Shadestep twice because of how aggressive the tracking is. Also if you drop the tracking from skip grenades and get close to the fragments, they might begin tracking again. Shadestep is also useful for avoiding the blast radius of tripmine, flashbang, surpression, and incendiary grenades.
Movements and Repositioning
The next tactics are the different types of movements and re-positioning with Shadestep. Similar to panic melee in Call of Duty and “panic supers” in Destiny, Shadestep can also be used in the same panicking way. Shadestep can be used as a quick fix if you make an error – it is very forgiving. If you make an error or miscalculation, you can usually Shadestep back into a room or behind cover. The only time Shadestep will not be forgiving in this situation is if you make an error using your Shadestep. The first movement tactic is sliding. Sliding is a tactic that almost every top tier player uses in Destiny. It's an invaluable tactic as it allows you to catch someone off guard, as well as keeps you off radar for slightly longer as you're coming into range on the opponent's radar. Sliding, as most people know at this point, is a staple for gap closing when using a shotgun. Similar to sliding, Shadestep can also close gaps. And then obviously sliding into a Shadestep can close an even larger gap. This is most useful when utilized defensively. So for example if you're running to get behind cover and you're close to death but you're also close to that doorway where you won't be able to be shot at, sliding and Shadestepping towards the door would be the ideal movement here. Essentially you're sliding to throw off their aim - so basically ducking under their reticle, so to speak, and then Shadestep to gain that extra bit of distance that you'd otherwise have to run if you were not using Shadestep. Another example would be if you are engaging using the sliding method and you end up being caught out in the line of a sniper like this, you can Shadestep back behind cover. Again, this can be applied if the enemy throws a grenade or if another enemy appears to help teamshot against you.
Gaining Vision with Shadestep
Another type of movement you can apply Shadestep to for instance would be to gain vision. You would do this by peeking around a corner or down a hallway. Using the method of sliding to engage, you can slide past a corner to check a position in a room or see where a player is down a hallway/sniper lane, and quickly Shadestep back to where you initially came from. Another way of doing this, and perhaps a more safe method is to just Shadestep across the doorway or across the hallway or even just from cover to cover while checking the area in question. Now this movement doesn't even have to be done with the intent of checking if an enemy is there. It is always smart to use your slide and Shadestep to maneuver the map at all times. More importantly any time you could be exposed to an enemy. You can usually gauge this based on radar and your teammates positions, but there is the chance that someone is sniping and is way off of your radar.
Gunfights and Shadestep
So we have outlined all of these different movements with Shadestep, but arguably the most practical and most common use for Shadestep is repositioning in gunfights. You'll notice that a lot of Nightstalkers will Shadestep if they are losing a gunfight – that's because it is a quick and effective escape tool if used properly. So there are a number of different scenarios where you would use Shadestep in a gunfight. The one that I find myself getting into the most frequently is when I'm going to engage into a battle and the player has already or is about to throw a grenade. Your first priority should be to Shadestep the grenade, regardless of what kind it is. If it hits you, you're doing to take a substantial amount of damage and more than likely you will lose the fight. Essentially, if you Shadestep the grenade first, you avoid any damage taken from that and you can work on gunskill alone to outplay the opponent. The only time you should prioritize shooting the enemy instead of Shadestepping is if you're committing to a shotgun kill. This leads me to my next point – shotgunning and Shadestep. If you slide in for a shotgun kill and both you and the enemy happen to miss, Shadestepping to get another angle on the player is going to be an advantage for you. This is of course reliant on the fact that you know where Shadestep is going to take you when you use it – which leads back to the beginning of this video. The same principle can be applied to a player using a sniper. If you miss a shot against another player who is also aimed at you, it would be wise to Shadestep away so you're no longer in that players scope. Alternatively, you can Shadestep to try and gain a second angle on the player. It is important to note that if you miss your shot, it is always smart to pull out a primary if the range is appropriate. You wouldn't want to pull out a MIDA against a shotgun or your TLW against a sniper. It is also advised that if you miss more than 1 shot that you just disengage completely and try to regroup with your team or gain another angle entirely. If you choose to continue in the gunfight, It is recommended just securing the kill with a super after 2 failed shots if the circumstances permit you to do so. Meaning if you have to use your Nova Bomb, it's not going to shaft you because the other team still has an offensive super or using your super is going to secure you a round in Trials for example. And finally the most used repositioning tactic is a 1 on 1 gunfight where you are losing or the enemy gets the drop on you – you would Shadestep to avoid the shots or to throw off their aim, so you can attempt to catch them off guard or have them mess up. Typically if you can, you don't want to Shadestep into the wide open. You should always be trying to Shadestep to cover or out of line of sight of the player shooting at you. If you end up Shadestepping just to the side or back or forwards, you will be vulnerable as Shadestep is not very difficult to predict.
Other Uses for Shadestep
Here's a few other quick applications for Shadestep: If you didn't already know, Shadestep also removes the tracking that is granted to other Nightstalkers using the perk Keen Scout. Basically you will see above your super bar a text that reads “Hunted” and by Shadestepping, you will no longer be targeted by the enemy Nightstalker. Similar to the removal of tracking from grenades, Shadestep also drops the tracking from rockets and supers. Typically you have to be quick when Shadestepping rockets as once they are headed in your direction, unless there are no structures surrounding you, the blast radius might just end up killing you anyway. And for the last quick trick, is potentially avoiding a revive-snipe. We've all been there where you have a teammate that revives you and you can just see 2 or 3 guys aimed right at your dome ready to pick you off right away because your teammate didn't body block or push your body. Your last ditch effort here is to just spam your crouch button in hopes that you can Shadestep out of the way before you get sniped back into an orb.
Shadestep is a very strong mobility tool because it can be effectively used in and out of close quarters combat. It is more effectively used as a defensive tool rather than an offensive tool because it is easily predicted if the player has vision of you prior to the Shadestep. While the actual application of Shadestep is ultimately going to be what saves your ass one game, the physical mechanical application is equally as important. Find a button layout that works for you and test it for a couple of days. It's going to feel strange to you. Puppeteer is recommended. The next most important point to make note of is to actually understand how Shadestep works. Where is it going to take you? How long is the animation? How far does the animation take me? Educate yourself on Shadestep. Don't expect to be a pro with it if you find yourself lost after you use it. You might end up finding that switching button layouts is ideal for you well after you've gotten used to how it works. Whichever step comes first does not matter, so long as you're comfortable with both the button layout and you are comfortable with Shadestep. Shadestep stops the tracking on all grenades, rockets, supers, and even Keen Scout from other Nightstalkers. You can close gaps to get away from enemies or get closer to them. You can close even larger gaps by sliding first and then applying Shadestep. Shadestep will help you get out of sticky situations if you make an error in judgment. You can use Shadestep to reposition in gunfights, gain vision of enemies by quickly using Shadestep to get out of their line of sight, as well as evade conflict completely by confusing your enemies.
Important Points (Additional Notes)
1) Swapping weapons during the shadestep animation. Someone gets the drop on you while sniping? Shadestep away -> press weapon swap during shadestep -> pop up with TLW and gun them down. This is much more helpful when sniping but has some use when shotgunning too. You can slide -> Shotgun -> Shadestep/Swap weapons -> finish off with primary if necessary.
2) Using shadestep to get/push revives. This can be somewhat difficult depending on your controller/button layout, but shadestep is great for getting revives safely AND pushing the person being revived. Holding x while shadestepping around a friendly orb will make it very difficult for you to be sniped. Shadestepping into a friendly player instead of pushing them normally will also make you much harder to hit and help prevent revive trades.
3) Slide + Shadestep is great not just for covering distance, but for rapid changes in direction as well. Sliding through a doorway/to the side of cover and then shadestepping left or right once past is a very effective way of dodging enemy fire.
You can watch the video guide below if you don't like reading wall of text. :D
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Credits: Special thanks to Finger and Anarchy for this guide.