Back view of person playing a FPS game on PC
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Aiming is a huge part of FPS (first-person shooter) games, and learning how to aim and shoot effectively is necessary if you want to have a good time. Thankfully, you can easily improve your aim through a series of simple exercises.

No matter how many legendary weapon skins you have, your skill is still what counts. While you spend that money, make sure to also spend some time improving your Kills/Deaths/Assists (KDA) record in Valorant or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). This article guides you on how to buff up your aiming skills so that you can finally ace your gameplay.

Use the Right Aim Trainer

The fundamentals of FPS games are aim and shoot. You’ll have a greater chance of winning every game if you constantly work on your accuracy and reaction time. Besides the actual multiplayer games, you can practice your aim using various aim trainer programs. A popular example is the Aim Master from SteelSeries as well as Aim Lab from Steam.

Practice your aim using various aim trainer programs. An example is "Aim Lab"

Aim trainers help train your muscles and reflexes for aiming, without the risk and downtime of dying. Unlike when you play games like Valorant and CS:GO, aim training is purely aim and shoot. You get the benefit of shooting and refining your aim without having to panic while fighting or wait for yourself to revive while you’re dead.

Make sure to choose the aim trainer that lets you adjust the settings to mimic the recoil of the guns in the game you’re practicing for. You should also consider the versatility of training tasks. Some games like Apex Legends have no recoil and involve a lot of vertical movement. On the other hand, games like Valorant and CS:GO are more horizontal and have recoil.

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Utilize In-Game Practice Modes

Just like most games, an FPS will likely have training or practice modes. Allot some time to visit these game modes to improve your gameplay as these can help you familiarize the game and the guns in it.

First Person Shooters likely have training or practice modes

In addition to this, you’ll be more acquainted with the available weapons, and you might find which ones are best for your pulse. In-game practice modes can supplement and perhaps even replace your aim trainer application.

Proper Positioning

Your perspective can significantly increase your chance of survival. Even the most aggressive shooters can find it hard to aim at your head when you know how to effectively position yourself on the map. To further improve your positioning and survivability, pre-aiming and jiggle-peeking should be inherent to you.

An example of pre-aiming your weapon

Pre-aiming is a strategy utilized by pro players to clear out corners. The idea is to position your crosshair to an angle before moving into an area at which an enemy might be setting up an ambush. Through this, you’ll have a higher chance of surviving because you can immediately shoot back if an enemy engages.

In an episode of Gamerzclass conducted by Nicolai “GLACE” Jensen, he demonstrated how pre-aiming can help you reach your next objective safely by anticipating the opponent’s placement.

This strategy has been popularly used by players in professional scenes. When you are left without a choice but to retake an area, always clear out all possible enemy angles if you have enough time. And in moments when you need to stay still and hold an angle, choose the best position to pre-aim from.

An example of jiggle-peaking

On the other hand, jiggle-peeking allows you to have a glimpse of the possible positioning of your opponents. Whether you are on the offensive or defensive team, taking a quick look or peeking at an area helps you better strategize your next moves.

Practicing how to jiggle-peek lets you stay ahead of your opponents. It is a movement that requires you to keep an aiming angle while quickly moving in and out of a line of sight. This is effective when you want to gather intel, and you are expecting that a sniper is waiting for you from an angle.

Put Your Crosshair at Head Level

Of all the aiming techniques, this can be the most challenging, but it’s certainly one of the most rewarding. Various cheap tricks such as aimbots are available online, but where is the fun in that? And surely you wouldn’t want to get banned for life for using these tools.

Place your crosshair at head level while moving through the map

Instant headshots can be practiced through routine. By consistently placing your crosshair at head level while moving through the map, you can quickly kill your enemies with just a flick. Keep in mind though that your aiming level will always depend on the area you are moving through.

When climbing up or down a stairway, adjust your crosshair to a point where you expect that an enemy’s head would appear.

Aim First, Then Shoot

Hearing the intense sound of shots being fired at you may cause you to panic, especially when you’re a newbie. But, this should not be the reason to just hold the trigger and brush over the location of your opponent. Making the gamble with that extra second to align your crosshair to the enemy’s head or chest can make all the difference.

Eventually, you’ll build the muscle memory of where to aim. Every game map will feel different as there are various horizontal and vertical angles to note, but you’ll get used to it. With enough time, headshots will be second nature to you.

Wall Banging

A common feature of FPS games is the capability of players to shoot through objects such as walls to deal damage to opponents. This can be a game-changing strategy, especially when you are familiar with the objects on the map you are playing at.

Shoot through objects such as walls to deal damage to opponents

Like in reality, you’ll find that the level of bullet penetration depends on the caliber of the weapon and the object you are shooting at. Lighter objects such as wood can oftentimes be penetrated by average pistols and rifles. High-powered guns like AWP and machine guns may cut through tough objects, including concrete and metals.

Knowing which spots you can wall bang helps you position yourself better. And from there, you can figure out what aiming angle would give you the most advantage.

Learn the Spray Patterns

Just aim for the head and hold the left click, right? This may seem right at first, but in reality, the actual shots sometimes hit off the mark because of the weapon’s recoil.

Look at the varying spray patterns produced by different weapons

Always remember that every weapon in an FPS game has a certain level of recoil. Because of this, it’s definitely a good idea to learn about the spray patterns of the weapons you desire to use. Most FPS games offer a target shooting mode, so take some time to practice recoil control and spray pattern as this will give you a significant boost in your aiming skills.

Get the Right Tools

Your mouse sensitivity is what affects your aim the most. With that, you’ll need a mouse with the DPI setting you’re most comfortable with. While lower sensitivity is said to be better for control, feel free to experiment with it, plus the in-game sensitivity adjustments. Don’t forget to check if you like the grip of the gadget too.

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You’ll also need a good gaming chair to keep you comfortable. The rest of your setup, especially your monitor, has to be arranged ergonomically as well. This will ensure that you can move comfortably and safely. As an FPS player, you’ll need to have enough space for either your wrist or elbow movements. As a person avoiding back problems, you’ll need to keep your screen at eye level.

The most expensive gear may not be the best for you. Make sure to consider the most important features that will affect your gameplay, such as build quality and functionality. For the mouse, in particular, most FPS gamers prefer light ones.

Practice Makes Perfect

Overall, the key to successfully shoot down your opponents lies in how well you place your crosshair. It’s not just about making sure that the crosshair hovers over your opponents during the crossfire. More than that, predicting your enemies’ movement helps you decide on the best areas that you should be aiming at.

If you take all these tips into account and combine them with sheer dedication and consistent training, you can eventually improve your caliber and start top fragging for your team.

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Profile Photo for Mako Young Mako Young
Mako Young is a Computer Science graduate turned writer for How-To Geek. He's a tech enthusiast who has written tons of tutorials, technical articles, and blog posts. From tweaking hardware components to fixing software bugs, Mako is constantly experimenting with technology. His computer has been through hell and back, troubleshooting problems and testing out solutions.
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