Technique: A Beginner’s Guide to Better Aim

Wanting to improve your online shooter play? All it takes is a considered approach at looking down your weapon sights.

To be an FPS player that dominates competition play, there is much more to master than simply hitting your targets.
A deep understanding of team play, movement dynamics and battlefield flow is essential to join the most competitive and elite players. However, many gamers seem to forget to give enough time to developing that most fundamental of FPS skills; mouse control. And if you’re just starting your FPS journey, it’s certainly best to learn to walk before you run.
So we’ve gathered three quick tips to help you get your enemies in your crosshairs… and keep them there.

Fine Tune Your DPI
Mouse DPI – or ‘dots per inch’ – is essentially about mouse precision and movement. A figure like 1,000 DPI means that for every inch you move your mouse, the on screen cursor or crosshair moves 1,000 pixels. So the higher the DPI, the greater the spectrum of movement from a single sweep of the hand. Today, gaming mice offer adjustable DPI up to and beyond figures like 4,000, with some going as far as 16,000. That makes it reasonable to assume that the higher the DPI, the better for gaming. However, high DPI can make precise movements very tricky, meaning your gun flails wildly as you try to zero in on your next headshot. So how do you find the right DPI for you? 800-to-3,000 is a typical gaming DPI for experienced players. Find a mouse with adjustableDPI, and start with what you use on your desktop when browsing the internet as that will be the most familiar to you. Experiment from there, pushing mouse DPI up and down in games until you find your perfect setting. But how do you do that?

Use FPS aim trainers
Many of us hope to improve our abilities with tracking moving targets and finding the perfect moment to shoot. That is where aim trainers can help. Many games include shooting ranges, training modes and other practice spaces where you can tailor the challenge, for example switching off damage from AI enemies. Use these tools with a clear idea of what area needs improving for you personally – perhaps it’s multiple moving targets, or long-range shots – and focus on those. You’ll also find that Steam’s ‘Workshop’ facility is also very useful here. Different games use the Workshop feature in different ways, but essentially it lets users create and upload game content. And most competitive games have special training tools uploaded to their workshop page. Take the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Workshop page, for example, which current has over 27,000 training maps and scenarios available. There are also several good aim training videos online.

Get Physical
This may sound like a very basic tip, but it’s something many players ignore when they focus on the nuance of good aiming. You need to sit well. Approach your gaming set-up like it’s an office set-up. For one, if you are going to be sat at a game for hours, you want to treat your own back with respect. Additionally, though, sitting well will keep you alert, in a position to react fast, and make your mouse movements clean and precise. So how should you sit? The opposite of slouched. Hold yourself up, keep your shoulders open and make sure your back is not slumped. Have plenty of space around your arms and mouse pad, and find a mouse grip that suits you, your gameplay style and your chosen mouse – the most common are ‘claw’, ‘palm’ and ‘fingertip’ grips; each of which can suit different DPIs.

There’s plenty of other advanced techniques to learn, of course, and we will very likely return to those. But for now, finding your DPI, putting in some practice away from competitive play and getting yourself comfortable and well positioned will set you on the path to FPS greatness. See you on the battlefield.

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