If you’re even remotely following the PSVR news, you must have heard about Sparc. It’s been all the rage recently. A lot of players have jumped on the bandwagon, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
If you’re still on the fence – well, what are you waiting for? The game is absolutely awesome!
On the other hand, if you’ve just purchased the game and are looking to gain competitive advantage, I’m sorry to tell you, but there’s no such thing. Everybody is still new to the game because the game itself is brand spanking new too.
However, what you can do is elevate your game a lot to even the playing field against people who have already had dozens of hours of practice.
First of all, you should really go through the tutorial if you haven’t already done that. After you are done with that, come back and check the tips below to improve your game right off the bat.
There are a few extremists out there claiming you need a lot of distance for this game, upwards of 3 metres. Don’t listen to this. The most you will need is about 2 metres in front, about 1 metre on each side and 1-1.5 metres behind. In most cases, however, you will be fine if you cut half a metre out of all of these measures.
Seated or Standing?
It’s possible to play Sparc while seated, but it’s awkward and not practical at all. You will need to move to the sides a lot to dodge the balls, and doing so on a chair is quite challenging actually. So, prepare to stand and move.
The Optimal Setup
Two things you should do before each session. One is to move your headgear cable over to your back so it doesn’t get in the way of your flailing hands. Second, invest in a decent fan. You’ll be moving a lot, so having a fan circulate air at your chin area will prevent excessive sweating.
Make it Spin!
In order to make the ball spin, you can do similar hand and arm motions you would do to make the real life balls spin. Practice throwing balls with a spin, trust me, it’s worth it!
Block + Throw
One of the most staple “weapons” in your arsenal should be the ability to block and throw in a way for both balls to come to your opponent at the same time. The opponent will have to deal with both of them, and chances are, he will fail in the process.
This trick will require some practice and experience, so give it time. Also, there are a million and one ways you can accomplish the intended result, it’s on you to actively search for and find patterns you can employ to do this successfully.
Curves and Ricochets
Straight balls have their use and place in the game, but you will generally want to throw curved balls that ricochet wildly and seemingly unpredictably off of walls.
So, aiming should be the least of your worries. Instead, try to find exact spots you can throw the ball at to ricochet right into your opponent. Believe it or not, this is actually easier than trying to aim the ball directly at your opponent.
Also, there are dozens, if not hundreds of ways you can throw the ball. Try to time your shots as well, disrupt the rhythm, speed up and then slow down to throw your opponent off. Always be unpredictable.
Last, but not least, when your opponent does the same, don’t start panicking and instinctively moving your head following the ball path. It’s better to stay cool, calm and collected and just follow the ball with your eyes.
Over time, you’ll be able to easily predict where exactly the ball will enter your play area. This will make it very easy for you to pre-emptively move to the side or duck down instead of in the last moment.
Once you get good at this, you’ll be able to time the basic block + throw so well that the opponent won’t know what hit him/her. Literally!
In order to prevent shoulder pains, or worse, shoulder injuries, alternate your throwing technique to keep the joint from straining too much. A lot of people have reported painful side-effects of their shoulder joint overuse, so be careful.
So, overhand, backhand, overarm, sidearm etc. All viable throwing techniques that will help you both throw your opponent off and keep your shoulder healthy. Just keep experimenting, the more throwing techniques you have in your arsenal, the better your game and shoulder will feel!
Wait for Them to Throw First
I’ve left this one for last because it’s a cheap, almost dirty tactic, as well as a double-edged sword.
If you wait too long, the shot clock bar under your strike counter will fill up. If that happens and if the opponent throws first, he will get a free strike. As we all know, strikes build up the ball size and speed, making it harder to block/evade.
On the other hand (no pun intended), you might want to trade-off the strikes for a better chance at hitting your opponent. If the opponent throws first, you will have more control over the block + throw technique.
In reality, if you abuse this, your opponents will start waiting for you to make the first move again. The matches can become annoying stalemates, so it’s best to use this dirty tactic sporadically.
Stand, don’t sit, cable on your back, fan blowing fresh air in your face. Curveballs and ricochets from all angles, time your blocks and throws, break the tempo, change the rhythm, rest your shoulder and, most importantly, don’t be an asshole to everybody else!