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What is Spark?

What is Spark?

Spark is a 2D top-down team-based internet-multiplayer capture-the-flag game, with compelling gameplay that is simple to learn for beginners but offers years of depth for the committed player. Spark has a loyal and dedicated community, where players group together into like-minded 'clans' to compete in a variety of community-run leagues, ladders and tournaments for ultimate bragging rights. It has a rich history, a wealth of subtle strategy, and best of all, it's 100% free! Download it here or Learn to play!

Weapons Guide

Weapons Guide

Lasers

Basic lasers are the bread and butter of your offense and defense in Spark. They can be used to damage, suppress, stall, or trap your enemies. In the next few sections, you will learn how this is possible, and will get some insight on how you might be able to do it yourself.

  • Singling Shooting lasers one by one is called singling. This is done for a number of reasons, most notably to suppress an enemy behind an obstacle which he is taking cover behind. For more information, please view the Suppression section.
  • Spreading - Spreading is the art of shooting a burst of lasers in an arc towards an opposing ship. Spreads usually consist of between 3 and 6 lasers, and can be tightly spaced or spread over a more wide space, depending on the situation, number of enemies, placement of obstacles, and positioning of your teammates. The primary goal of a spread is twofold: you want to push your enemy into a less advantageous position, and you want to damage him in the process, if possible. If a spread is too widely spread out, however, the opportunity exists for an enemy Sparker to 'split' the spread by dodging between the lasers.
  • Suppression - Sometimes you want to use your lasers simply to suppress your enemy, keeping him away from a certain objective, such as your teammate who is carrying the enemy flag back to your base. Sometimes you fire lasers slowly and methodically, wanting to keep him hidden behind a corner.

Grenades

Grenades also known as 'nades' are valuable assets when use properly, and are powerful tools to damaging your enemy or tricking him or her into taking damage by other means. There are many strategies that can be employed by the conscious-minded Sparker when determining the placement of thrown grenades; a few of them are listed below:

  • Inflicting Damage The most obvious way to use grenades is to launch them at other Sparkers with the intent of inflicting damage. A direct grenade hit will kill a Sparker completely in most situations. A Sparker will also take damage from grenade shrapnel, relative to the number of pieces of grenade shrapnel that impact his ship. Be advised that an experienced Sparker will be able to dodge even the shrapnel of many grenades due to his prediction of where they will land. The farther you thrown a grenade, the easier it is to dodge, so to inflict maximum damage, try to predict where a Sparker will be, and/or try to force him closer to the center of your grenade's damage radius with lasers or other special weapons.
  • Positional Gain - Another valid tactic is to use the reverse of what is described above, by using your enemy's instinctive desire to avoid as much grenade damage as possible to your own advantage. In many situations if done correctly by launching your grenade in a position relative to an enemy Sparker, you can effectively steer his ship into the exact position you want him to be in, whether that be directly into a crossfire or into the path of an unload of bouncy lasers shot by you or your teammate. While the ramifications of wasting grenades without a definite tactical gain in positioning exist, a skilled player can effectively nullify them by using sound judgment and drawing on past experience within maps or against certain players.

Missiles

Missiles also called rockets are high-damage projectiles. Being hit by a missile in Spark takes away about half of your health bar. Depending on the amount of time you've been in battle before being hit, and how much health you have left, it may kill you outright. It's best to avoid situations in which you can easily be struck by a missile. Close combat is generally when they are fired, because they are generally slow and unwieldy, and it is easier to hit a target that is not that far away. Another thing to consider is that firing a missile depletes a great amount of your blue bar, and you may not be able to afford the longer recharge time in an intense battle.

  • Where and When to Use - Missiles are definitely not of good use in all situations. In fact, there are only a few situations in which it is right to use one. The best way to ensure a missile impact on your enemy is to fire from close range, because of the shortcoming missiles possess in speed. Even when a Sparker expects you to shoot back at him, you can often distract him. Chase him into eating a rocket by guiding him into its path, with a burst of lasers or the threat of danger from grenade shrapnel.
  • The optimum timing to shoot a rocket at a Sparker is when they are making their move. Don't shoot one at them when they are in a passive stance or when they are retreating; this allows them to easily dodge it, taking no damage and leaving you with a depleted blue bar. Enemies that are trying to advance on your position usually act very aggressively. A common place to dupe enemies eating missiles is when they are advancing around the edge of a bunker, or about to round a corner, especially at close range. Anticipate their blunder of walking around the corner, and step up to meet them with a nice pleasant rocket to the face.

Bouncies

Bouncy lasers commonly known as bouncies are widely acclaimed and commonly acknowledged as the favorite weapon of most Sparkers. They allow you to shoot places that most other weapons cannot. They are the fastest weapons you have, exiting your ship at even faster speeds than basic lasers. They can be used in countless ways to trick your enemy into moving into a position you want him to be in, only to smash him with other weapons. They are more powerful than basic lasers as well, and the amount of depletion to your blue bar is negligible when compared to a missile. Bouncies can supplement a spread of lasers, punish someone escaping from grenade shrapnel, and can be shot twice the distance of normal lasers. Truly, they are by far the most versatile and deadly of any weapon in Spark.

  • Bouncy Theory & Useful Info The main idea behind competent bouncy shooting is simple: Bounce the laser around a corner and hit your enemy. But the many intricacies of how this can be used to your advantage may not meet the eye initially. Instead of bouncing a bouncy laser only once, why not twice or three times? You can often hit people on the complete opposite side of obstacles from you. In seemingly indefensible spots, an enemy can lash out at you and steal more than three quarters of your health while barely blinking an eye all without ever exposing himself to your laserfire.
  • Before one can be competent with bouncies, he must become familiar with a very basic yet surprisingly elusive fact about how bouncies work. Bouncies will rebound off a wall at the exact supplement to the angle that they hit it at, essentially mirroring the original angle. If you shoot a bouncy at a wall at 45 degrees, it will rebound at 135 degrees, or a mirrored 45-degree angle. If it hits the wall at 15 degrees, it will rebound off at 165 degrees, or a mirrored 15-degree angle.
  • This leaves you to find creative ways to bounce them off obstacles to come from the side of an enemy Sparker, or from behind him. A common and useful tactic is bouncing lasers into narrow passageways after an enemy. Hundreds no, thousands of useful 'bouncy shots' exist in popular maps. In most of the league maps, the very useful ones have already been discovered, from over a decade of the most skilled Sparkers trying their best to find the most deadly way to kill their enemies. But there are infinitely more waiting to be found.

Combos

The quickest way (and arguably one of the best ways) to dispatch an enemy Sparker is by utilizing a deadly high-damage special weapon combination, or combo. Shooting basic lasers and different special weapons in rapid succession qualifies as a combination, and may also be called 'unloading,' depending on the circumstance. Either way, comboing is a very effective way of dealing with enemies.

  • Lasers + Missile A common close-range combo involves lasers and a missile. Since the missile eats up so much blue bar, usually no more than two or three lasers can be shot, depending on the speed of the combo.
  • Lasers + Bouncie(s) A popular combo is to lace one of your laser spreads with a bouncy laser. Since bouncies travel faster than basic lasers, some Sparkers shoot the bouncy only after they've finished shooting the laser spread. The chances of hitting someone with a farther-range spread increases when using a trailing bouncy, as an enemy who is steering away from the direction of your laser spread may not be able to run from the bouncy in time.
  • Another common approach is to shoot a more widely-spaced spread of lasers, but with a bouncy in the middle of the spread, to hit a Sparker who is trying to split your spread by dodging between lasers.
  • Grenade + Lasers/Bouncies Firing a grenade on one side of a Sparker and then following up with a bouncy or two when he runs away from it is a great tactic. However, don't waste your bouncies if he doesn't fall for it. Experienced Sparkers will dodge your bouncies and would rather take a piece or two of grenade shrapnel than two bouncies, which will hurt them a lot more than the shrapnel. At close range, however, this special weapon combination is a pretty sure bet to do major damage to your enemy.
  • Grenade + Missile As with the Grenade + Lasers/Bouncies combo, fire a grenade on one side of a Sparker and then follow up with a missile as soon as he dodges or even before, so that by the time he does dodge the grenade, a missile is already hitting his tank. This is a very high-damage combo, because if your missile hits the enemy Sparker as well as the grenade shrapnel, he will be more than half dead. Use lasers or bouncies immediately following this combo for a quick finish-off.


New Maps

Deadlock - 8-16+
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Madwars-Mini - 12-20+
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Cold - 8-16+
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Backlash - 12-20+
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New Patches

Classic ARC Patch
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Forest Patch
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Wave's Patch
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Bouncy Patch
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