Jagged Alliance 3 – Quick Combat Guide

Quick Combat Guide (and Why Burst Fire Is Useful)

Assuming you aren’t save-scumming with a perfect headshot sniper squad,

  • It’s very difficult to get clear of the enemy and not take hits. The ‘ideal’ setup mid-combat, is having all/most of your squad retreat to ‘take cover’ to carry over AP before countering. This way when you are shot, you usually won’t even be wounded. This is also why high health mercs are useful.
  • When the AI is taking cover, you can use shotguns to ‘expose’ them. This is dangerous for the same reason you use it, so it’s sometimes important to interrupt it.
  • If you don’t have a kill shot or can’t get away from a scary enemy, shoot arms, legs or groin to disable them. Arm shots almost guarantee that enemy’s next shot is wasted.
  • SMGs are great for repositioning and using burst-fire almost guarantees these debuffs (including ‘Flanked’).
  • You should have one merc with +grit abilities. Ideally melee, to save ammo and distract the enemy.
  • Machineguns and grenades are important as a fallback in case you bite off more than you can chew. You can’t sustain using these. Luckily all your mercs can hold additional weapons.
  • I generally only use overwatch and fullauto (into a crowd) for the same reason: when being pushed by scary/many enemies at once.
  • Pin will allow your teammates next shot to crit. Great for when you’re low on AP or don’t have a clean shot.
  • You’ll want a merc with ‘Distracting shot’ by the midgame when you run into more gunners.

I only have 1 sniper in my squad, and the game is much easier if you use a little bit of everything. Though occasionally I have multiple mercs using a single-shot rifle in one of their slots.

You can lean into any aspect of the above based on your mercs abilities (even sniper only), but you shouldn’t feel the need to. Being well rounded also makes it easier on your resources (ammo, etc.)

Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 2704 Articles
My first game was Naughty Dog’s Crash Bandicoot (PlayStation) back in 1996. And since then gaming has been my main hobby. I turned my passion for gaming into a job by starting my first geek blog in 2009. When I’m not working on the site, I play mostly on my PlayStation. But I also love outdoor activities and especially skiing.


  1. I have a AR specialist IMP and they are consistently three rounding people in the skull with the thermal scoped M-14 you can buy near Diamond Red. Something that carried over from JA2 is throwing a scope and some mods onto your gun will make it perform a lot better.

    When you can feed it, the MG-42 is capable of supreme overwatch destruction (free overwatch plus cheap bursts). Grizzly is a bit of a MG expert and so far he’s cleaned house with that thing.

    Shotguns have pretty great range and stopping power, the cone itself does damage and then there’s the main salvo. I suggest having a few pump-action shotguns as a defensive weapon against Hyena or CQC enemies

  2. That’s a good list of points. I’m usually too verbose to summarize points in a succinct way like that. What your list shows first and foremost, is that the game is not dumbed down or shallow. There is a lot of mechanical complexity to it. When I started to pay attention to the various debuffs, and their effects, and started doing arm, groin and leg shots as needed, and not just doing torso shots or sniper shots to the head, my ability to win fights rose drastically.

    As my addition to the list, I offer the suggestion that you need to pay attention to the mods each gun has. There are no strictly BIS mods, they each serve different function and focus. So slapping Thermal Scope on every gun and calling ti a day is not necessarily the best move. Overwatch specialist benefits far more from a Reflex Sight, So check the effects of the mods and think what role they benefit the most.

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