How to improve aim in CS:GO

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A good aim is a must if you’re looking to climb the ranks in CS:GO.

Even if you identify yourself as a tactical genius who can command their team to victory, there will always be moments where you’ll need to take down a player in a one-on-one situation. If you neglect to work on your aim, the number of times you prevail in similar situations will be relatively low and cause you to get stuck within the trenches.

While some players are naturally gifted when it comes to aiming, others will need to work tirelessly to see visible signs of improvement. In a game like CS:GO, aiming is heavily dependent on muscle memory and expecting your enemy’s movement. This means increasing your game knowledge is also essential for improving your aim in CS:GO.

In addition to one of the most competitive ranked modes in the world, CS:GO comes pre-loaded with other game-modes that allow players to practice their aim and in-game scenarios. You can even practice your aim outside of CS:GO with some help from online and offline aim trainers. Putting the necessary work in to get better at aiming can seem tedious at first, but know that aiming is a universal skill in shooting games, and you’ll be able to take your talents to any game you play in the future.

Here’s everything you can do to improve your aim in CS:GO and all kinds of shooter games like VALORANT, Call of Duty, or Fortnite.

Position your crosshair wisely

Once you cross roads with an opponent in CS:GO, you’ll only have a couple of seconds to react. Considering a headshot usually results in a clean one-tap kill, trying to score a headshot will always beat aiming for the torso.

If you enjoy looking to the sky or the finer details on a map, readjusting your aim once you hear an enemy can put you at a significant disadvantage. While you won’t be able to appreciate the attention to the detail in CS:GO, keeping your crosshair at where your enemies’ heads would potentially line up on your screen should increase your odds of winning a skirmish.

Remember that this height will continuously change based on the distance between you and the enemy players. Your overall experience will play a huge factor here since most CS:GO players can anticipate when to expect an enemy player while playing their favorite maps.

Learning how to keep your cool will also play an essential role here since panicking can cause you to aim at different places other than the head. Even if it may not look like it while you’re in a match, the bullet spray should still cover the most of the torso and the shoulders, so you just need to concentrate on aiming at the head at all costs.

Always think like the enemy and cover all of your surroundings by pre-aiming

Being unfamiliar with a map can significantly worsen your aim. Though the practice is essentially a reflex and will be carried on to other maps/games, knowing your surroundings helps you prepare you mentally. If you don’t know when and where to expect enemies, you won’t be able to prepare your aim or be ready to shoot. Someone who knows the map you’re playing will be able to react faster than you, meaning you’ll always be at a disadvantage even with a perfect aim.

Studying all the maps in the rotation pool will help you carry your aim to different setups, which is vital if you’re looking to become a competitive player. Learning a few maps should be enough for climbing up the ranks since you can pick which maps you’d like to queue for in CS:GO ranked mode, however.

Learning the ins and outs of a map can only be achieved by playing it repeatedly until you grasp the basics. Watching professional matches can also be a great alternative since pro players are likely to use optimized routes and techniques that most high-level players are already accustomed to.

Know when to tap and spray

Most players, especially at lower ranks, are guilty of spraying whenever they’re in panic mode. While spraying isn’t a flawed method to shoot down someone who’s exceptionally close to you, it decreases your accuracy more than you’d expect.

Tapping allows players to take advantage of a mechanic named “First Shot Accuracy,” which helps them land a guaranteed shot under certain circumstances. This is one of the most advanced tricks in CS:GO when it comes to aiming and can only be mastered with experience and immense training.

You can find many YouTube guides explaining how to use this mechanic and train to abuse in private lobbies. Even if you can’t get yourself to understand this mechanic, tapping instead of spraying will improve your accuracy since spraying increases the spread of your weapon drastically. 

Tapping rapidly instead of spraying will always let you keep your aim under control, but it doesn’t mean you should stop spraying altogether. If there is less than an inch between you and the enemy player, spraying will always be better since the distance in between isn’t long enough for bullets to go to waste. Being able to make this judgment call also becomes easier with more experience and practice.

Use walking and crouching to stabilize your aim

Though running gets you from point A to B faster in CS:GO, shooting while running is one of the worst things you can do when it comes to aiming. Your weapon’s spread will be at its widest when you’re running, and there are a couple of mechanics you can use to reduce it instantly.

In addition to decreasing the sound you make while moving, walking and crouching also make your aim more precise. These two especially shine if you’re trying to tap someone from a distance. Instantly crouching or walking when you spot an enemy will be enough for you to take advantage of both the mechanics, but be careful since overdoing it can get you killed as well.

Most long-range battles can be decided by strafing, and if you choose to stand still while your enemy is juking all of your shots, they can get you with a lucky shot. Try not to stay that still while crouching or walking if the situation doesn’t allow it. 

Always warm-up before a competitive game

Warming up before doing anything physical may have sounded like extra work during middle school, but it’s quite essential for the body, and the same principles apply to CS:GO.

You can’t expect to have a god-like aim when you jump out of bed and join a competitive game as the first thing in the morning. Like any physical activity, your aim can also use a little warm-up since it’ll get rusty during your time away from the game. Jump into a deathmatch server or an Arms Race game for at least 30 minutes.

This will ensure you will be in excellent condition when you join a competitive match and won’t waste the first few rounds trying to wake up your aim. Not to mention warming up will give you a massive advantage on any enemy players who are playing their first game of the day.

Adopt a training routine

Warming up is key—not warming up randomly, however, since having a proper routine can help you concentrate on certain areas.

There are countless aim training maps and routines available online, which all feature a set of pre-decided activities to improve your aim. Mastering a drill will mean successfully adapting whatever in-game skill the map’s trying to teach you. Don’t change your routine unless you believe you perfected it and feel like it’s too easy for you.

The key here is practicing the in-game aspects that you’re lacking. If you have problems while aiming with sniper rifles, load a sniper map. The same applies to all gun types and moving or stable targets. The opportunities are endless, just like the resources available online. Search for the training maps that professionals use if you can’t decide on one since most are quite thorough.

Don’t rush things and gain as much experience as you can

Even if you think you’ve been putting in the work but find yourself lacking the results, remember that people have been playing Counter-Strike since the early 2000s. No matter what you do, there will be things that you’ll understand and get better in only through experience.

The best way to gain experience is by playing the game and watching professional matches. Following a pro player’s perspective will allow you to take a glimpse at how they function as a player. Don’t just watch, however, try to compare what they do with what you’d do. Pause the replay and make in-game decisions to see if they do the same thing as you or something different. If they choose the opposite route, brainstorm over what they could have thought.

Thinking in a constructive manner will help you increase your game knowledge, which is essential for improving your aim in CS:GO.