How to Be Good at Skywars

Finn McBride
8 min readNov 14, 2022

For as long as I’ve known Minecraft existed, I’ve loved Skywars. It’s a perfect meld of the strategic game-sense of Bedwars and the fast-paced combat of duels. Because of my love for Skywars, I’ve become quite good at it. In this post, I will teach you how to be good too.

As far as I understand it, being good at Skywars boils down to three things: PVP, game sense, and techniques.

Part 1: PVP

The most important part of Skywars, assuming you known how the game works, is PVP. You win by getting kills, and you get kills through PVP. Trapping and other methods of killing players are fun, but they aren’t sustainable in the long run, and won’t get you to the skill level you’re aiming for. If you want to be truly good at Skywars, you have to learn to cross swords.

PVP essentially consists of three elements: your movement, your opponent’s movement, and your aim/cps.

For your movement:

Your movement should consist of what are called “strafes”: zigs and zags that make it harder for your opponent to steadily point their crosshair at you. You can achieve these by pressing the a and s keys, alternating between the two, while fighting.

Your movement should also consist of little stops and starts. The reason for these starts and stops is that they reset your sprint, making you deal more knockback. When you hit somebody for the first time, you deal a lot of knockback, but if you hit them again, you deal less knockback. If you stop your forward movement and restart it, however, this resets the knockback system, so that you can continue to deal the same amount of knockback that you did on the first hit.

You can achieve this stopping and starting motion through a number of methods, such as w-tapping, s-tapping, and block hitting. W-tapping is taking your finger off of your w key every time you hit your opponent, then quickly pressing it again, to stop and start your forward movement. S-tapping is using your finger to tap the s key every time you hit your opponenet, achieving the same affect of stopping and starting your movement. Block hitting is when you right click while holding a sword. In older versions of Minecraft, this creates a blocking animation which slows your forward movement, resetting your knockback.

For your opponent’s movement:

Stopping your own movement helps you, since you can time it so that it allows you to deal more knockback. Stopping your opponent’s movement, however, also helps you, because it tends to mess up their timing and momentum, and possibly aim. Even though you might be increasing your opponent’s knockback by stopping and starting their movement, the disorienting nature of your attack should make up for this.

You can stop your opponent’s movement in a number of ways. The first is to place a block in front of them as they approach you. This is a common tactic among Bedwars players, and one that I must admit I find really annoying, precisely because of it’s effectiveness. As soon as someone starts placing blocks during a fight, I instantly know that I’m in for a challenge.

Another way to stop your opponent’s movement is to use a fishing rod, or projectiles like eggs or snowballs. Though a fishing rod may not seem like a snowball, the two function exactly the same when it comes to close-range PVP. Both can be used to stop the enemy’s forward movement (because of the small amount of knockback they deal). They also hit your opponent slightly into the air, and they cannot move while they are in the air (except a tiny bit). This affords you a yet greater advantage.

A final way is to use a bow. This technique is known as “bow spamming,” and, like using flint and steel in classic duels, people will hate you for it. However, I will describe it anyway. Basically, you pull the bow back a tiny bit, just enough for it to launch an arrow. Then you switch to your sword, the same way you would after hitting your opponent with a snowball, and hit them while they are stunned by the projectile. Using the bow in this way has advantages: arrows deal more damage than fishing rods, eggs, or snowballs. It also has disadvantages: the bow has a longer “reload time” than other projectiles, since it has to be pulled back. And, of course, people will despise you for using it in this way. You can decide for yourself whether you want to use this technique.

For your aim/cps:

There really isn’t much to say here. Point your crosshair at your opponent’s chest, since that is the largest part of their hitbox. Try to keep it there, even as they move. Also, click as fast as you can. Whether you are jitter clicking, butterfly clicking, or you have no idea what those terms mean, it doesn’t really matter. If you’re proficient in the other aspects of PVP, you don’t need to be able to click insanely fast, but it can’t hurt, so try your best.

P.S. Another technique that can improve your PVP is learning to hotkey. This means using your keyboard to switch hotbar slots, instead of the scroll wheel on your mouse. You can use the “control” box in your Minecraft settings to change these hotkeys to keys on your keyboard that you can easily reach, and this will make things like using projectiles in PVP much easier for you.

Part 2: Game Sense

One of the most important elements of Skywars is game-sense. No matter how much raw skill you have, not understanding certain basic principles of strategy will cripple your chances of winning.

There are two aspects to game sense: what happens before the game, and what happens during the same.

Before the game:

Before you load up a game of Skywars, there are two elements of the game that are crucial to understand: kits and perks. Kits determine which items you start with when you spawn, and perks give you certain advantages during the same.

Which kit you should select depends heavily on your playstyle. If you are someone who uses the void a lot, for example, baseball player can be a surprising good kit. Likewise, if you are really good at using projectiles in PVP, farmer might be the kit for you.

Assuming a relatively “normal” playstyle, however, the best kits for normal mode are disco, farmer, and armorer. There is no clear best kit in insane mode, at least in my opinion, but some good ones are scout, knight, armorsmith, frog, and salmon.

Keep in mind that kits don’t matter that much. In fact, the better you get the less they matter. So don’t stress too much about which kit you use, as long as it isn’t a horrible one like fisherman.

During the game:

The are many aspects of game sense that come into play during a game of Skywars. Some of these show up only in very specific situations, such as the strategy of switching to your bare fists when you are about to lose a fight and the terrain isn’t set up to allow for a combo (your opponent is against a wall, for example). This gives you a small chance of stealing your opponent’s sword with your robbery perk, possibly saving you from what would have been certain death.

Others show up all the time. Staying away from edges, for example, is almost always a good idea in PVP situations. The risk of being hit into the void is higher in Skywars than almost any other gamemode, so you should only position yourself next to a ledge if you are planning to use an ender pearl, or if you have insane confidence in your ability to dodge eggs and snowballs.

If you see lots of people all in a group fighting, try to stay on the outside. It’s not fun to get hit around like a tennis ball.

And, of course: anytime you see someone bridging and you have projectiles, use them to knock them into the void.

More important than even these common aspects, however, is a general “game plan” — a roadmap that determines how you go about trying to win the game. In normal mode, my gameplan is usually something like this: loot one of the chests on my island, rush mid, and kill everyone who I see whose gear is roughly matched or weaker than mine. In insane mode, my plan is basically the same, except that I loot all three of the chests on my island.

Part 3: Miscelaneous Techniques

Mastering both PVP and game sense will make you good at Skywars, but not great. What pushes you from a merely good player to a great player is the mastery and use of certain miscelaneous techniques in gameplay, such as block clutching, water strategies, looting chests quickly using axes, using pearls effectively, and using your kit’s specific benefits well.

Block clutching is a skill that will help you in more situations than you can imagine. It can give you a second life in the same way that an ender pearl can, except that ender pearls are rare, while blocks are abundant.

Servers like bedwarspractice.club have useful resources to help you learn how to block clutch. Do these, and you will get better. It is also useful to develop a habit of switching to your blocks, aiming your crosshair at the nearest ledge, and spamming right click any time you get hit into the void. Many times a clutch will be impossible, but you will be surprised how many times you can save yourself.

There are three main water strategies that are useful in Skywars: water clutching, using water to climb, and using water to slow your enemies.

Water clutching is simple. Anytime you fall from a high place, place water below you when you land. This will stop you from taking fall damage. If you don’t know how to water clutch, it’s really easy to learn: hold your water bucket, point your crosshair below you, spam right click, and pray.

Using water to climb is easy: just place it above you, swim up, and repeat.

Using water to slow your enemies is also easy: just place it between you and them.

Looting chests with axes can save you time in certain situations, especially if you are a slow chest looter. Basically: if you don’t have time to look through a chest (someone is chasing you, for example), just break it with an axe. You’ll get all the items, without having to so much as open the chest.

Pearls can be used in many situations. In normal mode, use them sparingly. In insane mode, use them carelessly. Their main two uses are saving yourself from falling into the void (by throwing them to land) and using them to quickly advance on enemies (by throwing them at your enemy). They can also be used for advanced techniques, such as side-pearling, but you shouldn’t have to side-pearl in a Skywars game unless your opponent is godly at PVP.

Finally, you can often exploit certain kits in certain situations. If you are using the salmon kit, for example, you can build a massive watery area, then lure your opponents into it. If you are using the enderman kit, you can risk getting closer to edges, since you know you’l be able to pearl to safety if you get knocked off. As I said before: kits don’t really matter all that much. However, they can still usefully inform certain strategies.

Conclusion

Skywars is just a game, so don’t be sad if you’re bad at it. But know this: you don’t have to stay bad. It is possible to improve, and I hope that this post gave you some of the tools to do so.

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Finn McBride

The Skrillex of blogging. My Wattpad is @ireallylovemangos