How to Improve Your Aim on Console First-Person Shooters

How to Improve Your Aim on Console First-Person Shooters

It may be time to face facts. No matter how many times you practice perfecting your aim in your favorite first-person shooter, it just isn’t getting any better. The traditional “try, try again” method is far from foolproof, so don’t be shocked that it’s not doing the job. It’s okay to admit that you need a little help in steadying your reticle to score those brutal, game-changing headshot

Unlike PC gaming, consoles appear to have fewer options when it comes to improving your aim. You could be a bit of a scoundrel and cheat with a mouse, keyboard, and aimbot or pick up a modded controller, but I’m here to give you some tips that will make you proud of your in-game accomplishments.

Adjust the Sensitivity

In-game sensitivity determines how much you have to push a thumbstick for the character to move. A higher sensitivity will have you zipping the camera around with just barely a tap, while a lower sensitivity will move everything at a snail’s pace. Everyone has their preference, so you may just need to find yours.

Do you like the resistance of low sensitivity aiming? Or do you find that moving quicker has you landing more shots? Tinker with the settings until you find a level that you’re comfortable with and see how that improves your game. Lower sensitivity is often recommended for newcomers to first-person shooters because it gives you more control over minor adjustments in your aim. Coupled with auto-aim, this is invaluable.

However, everything has its disadvantages. At a lower sensitivity, you could be a sitting duck for players that have mastered aiming. If you can, stick to the shadows and sneak up on players until you’ve learned how to dodge and weave while aiming.

Performance Thumbsticks

I promise. It’s not considered cheating if you extend the length of your joystick. At least not in casual gaming. You’re probably wondering how that’s going to help, and to start, it keeps your thumbs from slipping off. But there’s something else to this inexpensive tool – it provides you with a greater arch across all plains of movement on your joystick and lessens the resistance of your stick. What does that mean, exactly? How about an improved range of motion and smoother movements, giving you more precise control of your reticle than you had before.

To get the most out of your thumbsticks, start using them at the highest sensitivity the game offers. Then, just like above, gradually reduce sensitivity until you feel you’re at a level that you can manage. What you should find is that you’re scoring more hits and taking down more opponents with well-placed headshots.

There is a bit of a comfort curve when you first start using performance thumbsticks. The added height can feel awkward and will take some getting used to.

Change the Weapon You’re Using

Maybe the rapid-fire rifle you’re using is just too much for you to handle. Or maybe that unmodified pistol doesn’t have a suitable sight. If that’s the case, then just change the weapon you’re using! You don’t have to be a master of every firearm as much as you may want to. So make it about finding the best one for your skills. That may be a shotgun with a large spread or a heavy machine gun that peppers the battlefield in no time.

Don’t be afraid to tinker with the assortment of weapons at your disposal until you’ve found one that you’re most comfortable with.

Switch to Mouse & Keyboard

“But wait,” you exclaim, “you said a mouse and keyboard are cheating!” Actually, it’s the aimbot that’s the cheating part. If the game supports mouse and keyboard use, you’re just using the tools made available to you. It’s possible that the jerkiness of using a controller thumbstick is working against you, so why not try something that’s a little smoother and gives you more control over your reticle.

So, what do a mouse and keyboard do for you that a controller can’t? It’s all about precision. A mouse can give you 1-to-1 precision, so if your mouse moves 1 inch, the in-game reticle will also move 1 inch. With a keyboard, you have more say in button assignment, so you can choose a layout that feels most natural at your fingertips.

It’s not uncommon for player accuracy to suffer because of how controllers play, which is why you’ll see so many tout the importance of playing with a mouse and keyboard. Keep in mind, though, that not every console game is compatible with a mouse and keyboard, so you’ll want to toy with the other methods of improving your aim, as well.

Remember to Just Have Fun

Oh, no. This has nothing to do with actually improving your aim, but it’s important to keep in mind. You don’t have to be really good at a video game to enjoy it. It’s okay if your aim is a little off, so long as you’re having a good time. It may be frustrating to play against more skilled strangers, but with friends, your inaccuracy may actually lead to some hilarious stories. You may also find that not putting so much focus on lining up the perfect shot will have a positive effect on your score.

Don’t let your inability to aim effectively ruin your time with first-person shooters. If you can master the art, that’s wonderful. If not, that’s okay, too. Just do your best and celebrate those occasional kills that you do wind up scoring!

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Mark LoProto
By Mark LoProto

Mark LoProto is a horror-loving gaming enthusiast who has a soft spot for Ghostbusters, bubble wrap, his wife, and his two kittens, Jack and Ichabod. He’s been content writing for more than a decade, spinning creative copywriting, video game news and reviews, and so much more. is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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