How to Improve Your Aim in First-person Shooter Video Games

Written by luis delgado
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How to Improve Your Aim in First-person Shooter Video Games
Avoid looking silly during your next online FPS match. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

First-person shooter (FPS) is a genre of video game that some gamers find difficult or even intimidating to play. One of the things that people find most difficult in an FPS is aiming their weapons. An FPS game is all about manoeuvring terrain and firing your weapon effectively, especially in competitive online play. Improve your aim with a few tweaks to your game settings and playing style.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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  1. 1

    Change the in-game sensitivity settings. Most FPS games have an options or settings menu that allow you to change settings, such as the way the camera moves in response to your controls. Find the setting for "Mouse/Gamepad Sensitivity." Adjust this setting either up or down depending on your needs. A more sensitive setting causes the game to be more responsive for fast action and hectic play styles. Lowering the sensitivity allows you to fine-tune your aiming, especially if you do a lot of long-distance sniping.

  2. 2

    Get plenty of sleep. Get a good night's rest before a planned play session, and take frequent breaks. Sometimes it is hard to pull away from a game, but more rest results in better reflexes.

  3. 3

    Play many single-player campaigns. Playing against more experienced FPS gamers in a multiplayer match can be intimidating. An FPS game is complicated, with button/key-mapping requiring a different button or action for every weapon and special ability you have. Computer-controlled enemies have predictable patterns of attack, so hone your aim and learn the controls before you take on more agile foes.

  4. 4

    Practice aiming while moving. Strafing (i.e., moving side to side without turning) and running are important for escaping enemies and getting into advantageous positions. Hold your targeting reticule on anything stationary, such as a poster or a spot on the wall, and move side to side. Practice this until you are able to coordinate your movement with your aim.

  5. 5

    Maintain your controller/mouse. Take a cotton swap and wet it with some rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) and use it to gently clean the parts of your input device. For a mouse, clean out the buttons, mouse-wheel, and laser or track ball. For a controller, clean the buttons, directional pad and right and left sticks. Blow into the device with a can of compressed air to remove hard-to-reach dust.

  6. 6

    Practice playing the game. The best way to get better at a game is to practice. Don't get discouraged, even if your character is taken down often. Keep at it and soon aiming will become second nature.

Tips and warnings

  • Consider purchasing a gaming mouse with adjustable sensitivity buttons. Switch between sensitivities (measured in dots-per-inch or dpi) on the fly. This allows you to switch between a high sensitivity run-and-gun strategy and a low-sensitivity sniping one.
  • If you are playing on a PC, do not adjust your sensitivity using the Windows configuration. Windows sensitivity settings may disagree with game settings. Leave your Windows setting alone and only adjust via the in-game menu.

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