Playing first person shooter games competitively can be either incredibly rewarding, or incredibly frustrating.
Most of this experience hinges upon your ability to aim accurately and efficiently. If you can master the art of aiming, the first-person shooter experience becomes incredibly more fulfilling. Nothing beats the experience of completely dominating a first-person shooter and truly being unstoppable.
Conversely, nothing is worse than being completely destroyed in a first-person shooter and being forced to respawn constantly pinned at your own respawn point. So how can you become a better gamer and start winning more gun fights in first-person shooter games?
This article will explain exactly how to improve your tracking aim in FPS games so you can become a more successful gamer. This is a critical type of aiming and improving this skill will make you a drastically better gamer.
What is Tracking Aim?
Tracking aim is a type of aim in first-person shooter games. Specifically tracking aim refers to the type of aiming used when you are already on your target and want to keep tracking him with your crosshair, trying to both predict and react to his future movements.
It is most useful in first-person shooter games that require multiple shots to kill an opponent. Tracking aim is very important in games like APEX Legends, Gears of War, Halo, Destiny, Call of Duty, Overwatch and PUBG. The longer the TTK (Time to Kill) the more important tracking aim becomes.
In games like Valorant tracking aim is important, but not as critical as longer TTK games such as Halo and Overwatch. For every first-person shooter, tracking aim plays a critical role though and is something you will want to master to become the best gamer you can be. Having a good tracking aim can give you a huge advantage in competitive FPS games.
If you are able to more accurately predict your enemy’s movements and hit your shots at a greater percentage during gun fights, you are going to win a ton more of these fights.
Pro players are exceptionally good at tracking aim. Especially Overwatch pro players where the TTK is quite long. These professional players take years mastering their tracking aim to compete at the highest level in eSports. If you want to start gaming at a higher level and improve your play, increasing your tracking aim is one of the top skills you will need to learn to enhance your game.
Here’s a very thorough aim guide by IDDQD, a former overwatch pro player and an active twitch streamer, who’s tracking aim and (aim in general) is considered one of the best in the business. If you’re truly comitted to improving your tracking aim, make sure to watch the video before you advance in the article. It’s mostly designated to overwatch players, but the tips can easily be translated into any competitive game.
How Do You Improve Tracking Aim?
First, you need to identify any problems you have with your current aim techniques. If you are aiming the wrong way and have bad habits from gaming over the years, you will want to eliminate those.
The best way to identify problems with your aim is by practicing and noting every shot that you miss. Ask yourself why did you miss that shot? Was it because you predicted the enemy’s movement wrong? Did you place your crosshair incorrectly? Is it hard for you to track the enemy because you have high sensitivity? Or is it too low?
To analyze your gameplay and aiming techniques, make sure to record your gameplay and have a closer look at it. By slowing it down, you’ll see things you didn’t notice when playing and quickly begin to noticing your bad habits and mistakes.
Identifying the problems will drastically improve the speed at which you improve your tracking aim. Once you know exactly which areas to focus your attention on, you can then start training your aim accordingly.
And of course, you need to put the time in. If you want to get better at anything, you need to practice, and the more you practice, the better you’ll become. But more on that at the end of the article. Let’s now go over the things you can do right now to give yourself a quick performance boost.
Invest in Yourself to Get Better
Having great hardware is essential to gaming at a high level. If you want to maximize your tracking aim, you need to make sure you have the best hardware for your play style.
First, you will want to evaluate your mouse – specifically the weight of your mouse. If you have a clumsy, heavy, mouse it might be the reason why your tracking aim is suffering. For optimal gaming you will want to have a slick, lightweight gaming mouse. Make sure to check out our list of the lightest gaming mice for that.
(Image credit: Xtrfy.com)
If you do not see your current mouse on this list, you might want to think about upgrading to a light gaming mouse. These mice can have a huge impact on your gaming performance and the mouse is probably the most critical component to your tracking aim. If you have an uncomfortable mouse it will really hold your tracking aim back. Find a lightweight gaming mouse that best fits your play style and stick with it.
You also want to make sure that you have a great mouse pad. Common problems with a poor mouse pad are slipping, sliding, and sticky mouse pads. This can really damage your tracking aim since tracking aim requires you to be steadily moving across your mouse pad.
Investing in the right mouse pad can be a game changer for improving your tracking aim in FPS games. Keep in mind, that when you change mouse pads you might need some time to adjust to the new mouse pad. Do not expect your aim to be perfect when you first change your mouse pad. Give yourself time to adjust and with a little practice you will start to see your tracking aim improve if your old mouse pad was sticky or sliding around.
Another piece of hardware that is essential to your tracking aim is your monitor. You will want to find a monitor that fits your play style the best. Although the curved wide screen monitors can be great for watching movies and for playing different games other than competitive FPS, these type of monitors are not the best for gaming. Most professional gamers use a 24-inch monitor.
This is because with smaller screen, you are able to orientate better, easily capture the whole action happening on your screen and therefore, react and aim better. 24-inch monitors are a great size monitor for competitive gaming. If you want to read more about what screen size should you pick for your next gaming monitor, make sure to read our full guide covering the topic in depth.
On top of that, you will want to get a monitor with at least 144 Hz refresh rate.
144hz refresh rate is a night and day difference compared to 60hz. The display is buttery smooth and helps you get an accurate view of what’s happening in the game. This accuracy matters when you are trying to track your opponent and keep your crosshair on your enemy. If you are using a 60hz monitor, this might be one of the reasons your tracking aim is suffering.
Wired or Wireless Mouse
Also be conscious of the type of mouse you are using too. Some players prefer to play with a wired mouse, while some prefer to play with a wireless mouse. An older wireless mouse will have some lag due to the wireless functionality. This can be problematic for some gamers and could be the source of aim tracking problems.
If you think your tracking is suffering due to using a wireless mouse, switch to a wired mouse and see if you notice any improvements. If you are using a wired mouse, some common problems with wired mice is learning how to best manage your cables. A great way to better manage your cables and give yourself ample room to maneuver your mouse is with a bungee.
A high-quality bungee will reduce your cable drag and make your mouse feel wireless without the compromise in speed and performance. Both mice options are viable for gaming, it really just depends on your personal preference. Try both and see which option works best for you.
Desk and Chair
One piece of hardware that is often overlooked when trying to improve your aim is your desk and chair. You want to be super comfortable while gaming and, in a position, to make the best mouse movements.
If you are not comfortable in your chair, you might find yourself struggling to focus and play at your best. Invest in a proper chair and desk. You want a smooth surface for your mouse pad and mouse. You don’t want to be overly hunched over so find a chair with proper back support. There are plenty of great gaming chair options available on the market and find one that works best for you. You can also check out our list of the best gaming chairs for under $200.
Aim Trainers and Other Useful Software
There is a lot of software out on the market that can help you improve your tracking aim. For starters, there are aim trainers that are designed to specifically improve your aim in FPS games.
These aim trainers are mini games of sorts that allow you to continually practice your aim on targets. You can even practice specific types of shots and complete challenges. Some of these aim trainers cost money while others are free. If you are interested in downloading one of these free aim trainers, check out our list of the Best Free Aim Trainers of 2021 to pick the one that suits your style the most.
Aim trainers are a great way to improve your aim, especially your tracking aim. Investing hours into these trainers can drastically improve your overall gameplay. Most professional gamers today spend lots of time in aim trainers practicing their aim. If you want to have the tracking aim of the pros, you need to download an aim trainer and start practicing consistently.
FPS (Frames Per Second)
Another factor in your tracking aim is the frames per second that you are getting from your current computer. Most modern games today feature an FPS counter that you can add to your in-game HUD. If you haven’t enabled this FPS counter, do so now so you can be aware of your frames per second at all times.
If you are experiencing low frames per second, it can be almost impossible to correctly track your enemies. You are going to need to have a bare minimum of 60 FPS in any modern FPS to be able to aim accurately. If you are not getting this number of frames per second, you will need to look into upgrading your computer components.
Frames per second plays a huge role in your tracking aim because it gives you the most accurate display of where your opponent is on the map. If you are tracking an enemy, but your frames are low, you are not going to be able to hit your opponent. Ensure your FPS are as high as they can be.
If you are running into problems with your frames per second, there are a few things you can do. You can lower your in-game resolution and graphics quality settings. This will cause the graphics to be less detailed, but will raise your frames per second. This will give you the optimal settings for performance to improve your aim tracking. Do this only if you have to.
Skills and Mindset
There are many skills you can use to improve your tracking aim.
(Image credit: wepc.com)
A lot of gamers claim that the best way to improve your tracking aim is by improving your mouse grip. When it comes to gripping your mouse there are three main types of grips, either the claw, fingertip or palm. All these grips are equally good in their own right, but determining which one to use depends entirely upon player preference.
For tracking aim specifically, it is recommended to use either a claw or a palm grip.
However, it is said that players who use the claw grip tend to track a little bit better than those who use the palm grip. The palm grip is better for flick shots, but the claw grip is better for aim tracking.
The main reason this is the case is that the claw gives you better finger control, which gives you more precise movement. The palm gives you a sturdier grip for flick shots stemming from your arm instead of your wrist.
If you are currently using a palm grip and are struggling with your aim tracking, switching to a claw grip might help improve your aim tracking. Just keep in mind that you might see your flick shots decrease after this change.
Arm and Wrist Movements
To improve your aim tracking you will want to improve your arm and wrist movements as well. A lot of amateur gamers use a really high sensitivity and use only their hands and fingers to adjust their aim. However, many of the pros and best aimers use relatively lower sensitivities and use their arm and wrist more.
Incorporating this kind of movement into your play style will allow you to start getting better with your tracking aim. When you just use your hand and fingers to aim, you limit your body control of the mouse. When you use your arm and wrist you start to build a true muscle memory movement that can be repeated time and time again.
You should also be aware that improving your tracking aim takes time. It is important not to lose enthusiasm for improving your aim when just starting to improve your aim. You need to have a positive and focused mindset. You must realize that your tracking aim might get worse before it gets better.
If you switch your mouse grip, your aim will likely get worse initially. However, if you stick to practicing your tracking aim you will slowly increase your aim. Eventually it will be better with a claw grip than with a palm grip, but it will take some time.
Sticking to your game plan is also very important. If you plan on logging a couple hours each day in an aim trainer, you need to stick to that routine. Putting in a light session every now and then is not going to do much for you. If you go into it and treat it like it is your job than you will likely see much better results from your training.
It is also important to mention that your tracking aim is highly dependent upon the characters movements in game. The more you play a game and study the maps the more you can start to predict enemy movements on the maps.
A lot of FPS games feature heatmaps where you can see where players most likely are on the map. Studying these can help you better predict your enemy’s movements, another important tool to have in your arsenal.
Improving your tracking aim is a great way to improve your skill in first person shooter games. Be sure to be aware of all of the elements that go into tracking aim before starting to train.
It is important to make sure that you find the route problem with your tracking aim before aimlessly trying to improve it. You don’t want to spend a ton of time in the aim trainer only to find out that your mouse is the problem. Ensure you have all the right hardware and software in place to become the best gamer you can be.
There are many types of aim besides tracking aim, but tracking aim is one of the most important. If you play any game where the time to kill is quite long, tracking aim should be your number one priority to improve as a gamer. Remember to stay focused and be relentless. Do not let anything get in your way from improving.
You might have to take a break from playing games for a while and focus on playing an aim trainer, but in the end it will be worth it.
I really hope this has been helpful to you. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section below and I will be more than happy to help you out.