In computer games, the verb (to) frag derives from the act of assassinating a senior officer, often by throwing a fragmentation grenade into their tent. The term was invented during the Vietnam War when such an act was more widespread than usual. In terms of computer games, or more precisely the 'shoot-em-up' genre, to frag means to score a kill. To achieve this in any reasonably difficult game requires a degree of skill, and the following is a basic guide on how to frag.
Find a decent weapon. It's all very well going in gung-ho if you're armed with a peashooter — you won't come out alive.
If possible, pick up some upgrades to improve your health, shield or firepower.
Find a victim, preferably one who has a weaker weapon than you. Hopefully they won't have seen you yet.
Shoot at them while not being hit yourself. A good way to achieve this is to run around them in a circle while shooting at them. This is known as strafing, and it makes you a lot harder to hit. Do this until you have fragged them.
Build your health and ammunition levels back up and start all over again.
Alternatively, you may want to take out your enemies from long distance with a sniper weapon. This tactic is known as camping, and is greatly frowned upon by the gaming community. To do this:
Obtain a sniper weapon, or at least a weapon with a zoom scope.
Find a place to 'camp'. This involves not moving around and instead hiding in a place where you can shoot at people without them seeing you immediately. You also want to avoid the risk of someone sneaking up behind you, and so the spot should be off the beaten track. Places that are high above the ground and reasonably quiet are good sniping spots.
Wait for someone to come into view. This may take a while, so patience is needed. If you pick a spot too far away from the action then there is a chance that nobody will turn up at all.
Shoot them. Usually the most effective way to frag someone is to shoot them once in the head, but if they are quite far away then shoot at them repeatedly.
Continue to use this spot until you are discovered or get bored with sitting around and fancy some action. You may be forced to leave the spot if you run out of sniper ammunition.
More Advanced Tactics
The above instructions form the basics of fragging. There are also more advanced ways of playing, which can lead to a higher frag count.
Follow an enemy, taking the shortest route so as to close in on them. Just before you reach the ideal range for your weapon, load it up to full power and finish them off in one shot. This requires a weapon that can be charged up, making a direct hit very powerful.
This tactic goes completely against the spirit of the game, as you are taking advantage of players before they can re-arm themselves. Simply find the spot where your enemies reappear after dying, and stand there with a powerful weapon, picking them off each time they appear. Many recent games prevent players from using this tactic by making players invincible for several seconds after they reappear.
When playing a team game, it is advisable to stay near to one another, so as to have a firepower advantage should you come under attack. However, you should not stay so close together that you are an easy target for one grenade or rocket round. One good tactic in team games is to have someone watch behind the group for stalkers. There are many other tactics which can be used when playing as a team, including ambushes, surrounding the enemy and having one player lay down covering fire for others. These tactics are especially important in games where the aim is not merely to kill, such as 'capture the flag'1.
Have you been fragging too much? Learn about Computer Game Brain Saturation Syndrome.
Want to know how computer gaming was invented? See A History of Computer Games.