Sadly FFA and TDM are the most targetted by actual hackers of any game mode, since they don't have to concentrate on objectives and just kill kill kill... I'll admit there are better players but most often hacks are identifiable if you know what to look for... you will learn who is and isn't hacking in games after awhile... you'll just know when the script kiddies are in bed and you perform better for like an hour then you'll know when they wake up and start all over again...
if your on PC, then you could be experiencing hackers... there really isnt "body armor" available besides ballistic vest which only can take one shot before your back to normal health so its not that significant.. it can help in a gun fight though
if you are seeing shots fired through walls, and jumping like halo, then yeah someone has hacked the game
I have noticed I score better when I play later at night.
I assume being shot through a brick wall and bullets have no effect are signs of hackers / trainers, and not the benefit of a bullet proof vests etc. that I have not unlocked yet.
I thought steam was suppose to have anti cheat software built into it.
You may be experiencing hacks but most likely you are experiencing lag. In other words, they seem superfast and can insta kill you because they literally are a good second ahead of you in the game. MW3 has a rather faulty lag comp system which was supposed to purposely delay players with better signals with the idea of leveling the playing field but ultimately all it did was slant the playing field deeply in favor of people with worse signals.
Now to the game itself. You've already unlocked the heartbeat sensor but about lvl 78 I believe is where you can unlock the portable radar. It's basically a localized UAV which on some maps can cover a good portion of the map and it's effect will be seen by everyone on the team that's using it. It's very common in FFA for portable radars to be down. Although in FFA only the guy using it will see it's effect.
My best advice to a guy starting out would be to run Assassin. The enemy will still hear a beep when you enter the range of the portable radar but they won't get a red dot and that is bound to help to keep you alive for longer periods of time.
Also since you are playing FFA a lot, I would suggest getting familar with the SMGs. All but the MP7 are best used when hipfired which can give you a jump on the enemy by not having to ADS. SMG's are short to midrange weapons for the most part but often in FFA that's exactly the type of engagements that you are encountering. So they work out well.
Thanks for that very helpful reply.
The portable radar explains a lot, I'd recently had Assassin running and have been scoring a lot better without realising what benefits it was giving me.
I've been mainly using assualt rifles, will give SMGs a go.
I had a look on youtube and now see that I'd see a red square highlighting targets if they were using aimbot or wallhack, I don't think I've seen this in a FFA game, but I have seen people take loads of rounds of ammo (i'm not missing) before leaping up into the sky as if they have a jet pack on.
Well, I would say that what you are dealing with is hackers. There are a lot of hack available, and they seem to fit to your describtions. When they do not die, they might either have Godmode(infinite health) or you may have a really bad connection, and therefore your shots are picked up in your client, but not in the server, and then they kill you.
If you see them shooting at you through walls, and hitting perfectly on the first shot, there is a high chance they have Wallhack(see through walls) or, they might see you on their radar. To prevent them from seeing you on their radar, you should use assasin.
Also, what you mention about the body armor, is not the case. The enemy never have more health than you, unless they use a ballistic vest. Though if they use one of those, you will see it, since there comes up a mark when you shoot them. Though I do however understand why you would think there is, since the connection screws you over a lot of the times with the client side hits, and their hitboxes.
Also, I wouldn't say it really matter what you play if you want to get good. Because it seems to me that to do good on all gamemodes you will have to play all the gamemodes. This is because of the different spawn systems, and because of different player behaviour on the different modes. I would say, stay off FFA for a while, until they either fix the hacking, or until Black Ops 2 comes out. If it is not fixed in BO2 either, then just play something else.
You're level 40...
Although there are a lot of hackers, I would say that you are likely just not up to the same standard as players that have been at this for almost an entire year.
I get called a hacker multiple times daily in FFA and TDM. Yet, I have no bans on record in 8 years with the same steam account. I have played every COD game, and have just learned how to best manipulate the perks that they have given me to use in the game.
Sit Rep Pro. Most people (even one's that have played the game for a long time) don't realize what this perk does. When you unlock the pro version you can hear other player's footsteps a long way off. The ability to pin point the location of these footsteps is largely dependent on how good your headset is. Many serious players run high end headsets - yes this makes a HUGE difference. I have used 5 different headsets vearying in price and quality and I can confidently say that there is a massive advantage here.
Specialist "kill streaks": I also use a very strange specialist build. Specialist allows you to unlock other perks as you kill other players or take objectives. I run dead silent pro, stalker pro, and marksman pro for specialist. My main perks are scavenger pro, assassin pro, and sit rep pro. Once you get 8 kills without dying you unlock and use every perk until death. This is a MASSIVE advantage if you can do this. Keep in mind, the more perks that have the "pro" version unlocked, the more deadly this build becomes.
These things combined with play style give the seasoned player the one up in any FFA or TDM. My KDR in FFA is around 2.0 and my TDM kdr is around 1.65 (avg weekly over the last 2 months is 2.4)
If you really want perspective look at it like this...you are level 40. I am prestige 20, level 80. That makes me technically...level 1600. I should boot stomp you every time.
That said, there are plenty of hackers out there right now. Look for people pulling off nothing but headshots, or the very blatant bullets coming through walls from that person all the time (keep in mind that uav and sit rep pro can sometimes get you walled legitimately).