If you’ve ever played an online first-person shooter, you probably know what it feels like to get ripped apart. Whether it’s from missing shots or taking hits too easily, FPS games are a playground for other players to completely destroy.
But don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to up your game to become the MVP. Here are eight of the most important tips to improve your aim and overall experience in any FPS.
The best ways to get better at FPS games
1. Identify your weaknesses
Before trying to improve, you first have to identify what is holding you back. That means reflecting for a moment and really considering how you play.
The easiest way to do this is by watching a replay of a recent game. Most modern games make it easy for you by having match replays built into their systems.
When reviewing any moment of gameplay footage, ask yourself three questions: (A) “What am I doing here?”; (B) “What am I doing wrong here?”; and (C) “Why did that happen?” And remember, this applies to whether you’re doing it right or wrong. So you want to analyze his clutch wins just as much as you want to analyze his pathetic snap losses.
Then, with your key weaknesses identified, you can start training those parts of the game.
2. Marksmanship training
FPS games are all about shooting, so good aim is required to win. And to be a good shooter, you have to be precise, with no ifs and buts.
Achieving perfect aim takes time, dedication, and a lot of setting adjustments. While you’d need an entire article to learn how to perfect your aim, you can start by (A) finding the right sensitivity and DPI, (B) learning how to aim your crosshair at a target, and (C) spending time on the practice range or in aim training games like “Aim Lab”.
Every FPS game has in-game training and maxing it out can do wonders for your ability to shoot in different conditions and ranges. In addition to aim training games, you can also take part in AI battles to simulate how it feels to play the real game.
3. Movement training
While firing your shots is important, your movement can be even more important, as good movement keeps you out of harm’s way and puts you in a better position to take damage.
Generally speaking, you need to master how to use cover, how to move unpredictably, how to use the high ground to your advantage, how to maximize accuracy while moving, and how to know when to stop moving altogether to take it all. -major hit
4. Evaluate your game
Alright, you got us, technically we already said this as it’s the best way to identify your weaknesses, but evaluating your game is much more important than evaluating your starting weaknesses. If you’re seriously looking to improve, you should consider reviewing a good proportion of your game, anywhere from 1 in 10 games to every single game. Not only will this give you hints about specific upgrades, which can be map-specific, matchmaking-specific, or weapon-specific; it will also let you know how your game is improving.
So while you’re waiting for your next match, make a habit of reviewing a previous match and taking some notes on your game. You can overload your progress.
5. Learn maps
“How did they get there?” “What, where did they come from?” “What the hell was that?!”
We’ve all said things along these lines, and for the most part they come from players performing interesting map-specific tricks.
While learning maps may seem easy initially, learning the layout and all the possible movement options goes much deeper. Take a hero shooter like Overwatch, for example. In Overwatch, each part of each map provides a unique utility for each player. Maybe there’s a particularly good line of sight for Widowmaker, lots of walls for Lucio to run through, or a few tight corners for Reaper to take advantage of. Learning all of this will allow you to gain an advantage over players, while also avoiding unfavorable matchups on particular parts of the map.
Also, getting down to the finer details, many players also choose to learn specific methods to change the game. For example, learning an exact way to throw a grenade so that it lands in the middle of the target.
All of this learning takes practice, so jump into a custom game and get creative.
6. Stick to a role
While FPS games aren’t often thought of in terms of “RPGs,” they certainly do. While you definitely want to have enough skills to play any weapon or playstyle, the best way to improve your game is to focus on one (or at least one at a time).
That means if you’re a fan of being a sniper, you could double down on learning how to get the most out of that style of play.
7. Consider synergies and counters, all of them!
Most FPS games are team games, and with team games comes teamwork, synergies, and counters. Learning to create a strong strategy and team composition while being aware of the weaknesses in your plan is a big part of gaining the upper hand in competitive games.
For example, your shotgun can become useless on a map with long lines of sight, unless you team up with a teammate to provide a distraction while you take the long alternate route behind the enemy team!
While 99% of the improvements in the game come from your skills as a player, the hardware plays a big role in giving you a head start and finding your skill cap.
More specifically, for a PC gamer, you’ll want to use a responsive and comfortable mouse that suits your grip style on a mouse pad large enough to allow for all types of mouse movement. You’ll also want to play on a monitor with a relatively high refresh rate – 120Hz is ideal – to ensure your frame rate doesn’t interfere with your chances of victory!
Marksmen are tough, but it’s precisely for that reason that it can be incredibly rewarding to upgrade them. If this list has reinforced anything, it’s that you should actively reflect on your game if you’re looking to improve, looking closely at your weaknesses and fixing them. With enough dedication, you’ll rank up in no time.