How to improve aim in VALORANT

Make every shot count.

Image via Riot Games

Aiming is the core mechanic of any shooter game. While abilities do a fantastic job of spicing up the gameplay in VALORANT, you’ll still need decent aim to land that finishing blow.

If you’re looking to climb up the ranks of VALORANT, you’ll also need to work on your game sense and knowledge since you can’t reach your aim’s full potential without knowing the terrain. Some players will be naturally gifted when it comes to aiming, but it’s a muscle reflex at the end of the day, and anyone can improve with enough patience.

Though each match of VALORANT serves as a great training experience since you’ll be going up against real players, sharpening your skills in the practice mode can help you prepare better for a competitive environment. Considering aiming is a transferable skill between FPS titles, you don’t even have to be playing VALORANT to improve your aim. Hitting the tracks of online aim trainers is also an excellent way to train if you don’t have access to VALORANT.

Reflexes surely play an important role while aiming, but there are many things you can do to give yourself an advantage over your enemies which will improve your aiming habits as well.

Here’s everything you need to know to take your aim to the next level in VALORANT.

Watch your crosshair positioning

How many times have you been caught off guard while goofing around the map with your crosshair pointing toward the sky? In a game where headshots result in one-tap kills, you’ll just be lowering your odds of securing quick takedowns by aiming anywhere else on the body or the map.

If you don’t watch your crosshair’s positioning and fail to pre-aim, you’ll spend a good couple of seconds readjusting your mouse to target the enemy player. In any scenario that the enemy player shows up with the perfect crosshair positioning, the odds of your survival will decrease to zero, and you’ll lose the skirmish almost instantaneously.

The biggest favor you can do to yourself will be adjusting your aim to stay at the head-height of any enemy that can show up around the next corner. Considering your bullet spread will be wide enough for your first shots, you’ll still be able to hit the torso.

Keep your cool and focus on landing that one headshot that will bring you the instant glory. Even if it may feel like you could get better results by aiming at the torso, don’t back down from adjusting to this new style of aiming since VALORANT is a game of momentum. The sooner you’re out of a shootout, the faster you’ll be able to move to the next objective.

Study the maps and perfect pre-aiming

Some players may make you go, “how did they know I was here?” The truth is most of them don’t know where you were camping and just expected someone could be there based on past experience.

Pre-aiming saves you from readjusting your crosshair when an enemy you didn’t expect pops up on your screen. There isn’t a unique trick to master this art other than studying all the maps.

The best way to get to know all the maps in the game is by playing them and experiencing everything they have to offer. You may feel like you’re stepping out of your comfort zone when you first step onto maps you haven’t played before, but your memory should start doing its magic as you play more.

Another decent way to get to know a map is through watching streams of top-tier players or tournaments. You’ll see where the best players of VALORANT prioritize while playing a certain map, which should give you an idea of where to lookout.

Fight back against the urge of spraying

Shooting out the most number of bullets as soon as you see an enemy may look ideal, but it’ll come at a cost. Spraying will cause you to miss more shots than you hit, and you’ll end up with your magazine empty while you get tapped away by an enemy player.

Tapping allows you to land more precise shots while moving slowly and also allows you to abuse an in-game mechanic called “first shot accuracy.” Combining tapping with counter-strafing can let you take this in-game feature to the next level since you’ll be able to bust it out every time you start a new movement action and land back-to-back shots with spot-on accuracy.

Tapping will make sure that you land more precise shots while ensuring you have enough bullets to cover more ground if the gunfight extends more than you’d imagine. Avoiding spraying will also allow you to control your aim better since you’ll have more time to deal with a gun’s recoil.

This doesn’t mean spraying is the worst way to shoot in VALORANT, however, there will be times that you’ll need to spray to get yourself out of sticky situations. If an enemy is one or two steps away from you, spraying will always be your best option since none of your bullets will miss.

Prefer walking and crouching over running while shooting

Running is one of the core mechanics of any shooter game. You need to run to get to objectives quickly, but it’s also the least ideal condition that you should fire your weapon in. Much like in real life, you’ll have no way of aiming your shots properly while running due to the constant motion.

Walking and crouching will decrease your movement speed significantly alongside reducing the noise you generate. The slower movement speed will also reduce your weapon’s bullet spread, meaning your shots will be more accurate.

While crouching will be a bit too slow when you’re peeking corners, walking will offer the best of both worlds. Take advantage of these two mechanics while pre-aiming to guarantee accurate shots.

Instantly switching to walking or crouching when you spot an enemy will also be enough to gain the aiming advantage, so you don’t have to spend an entire round with reduced movement speed.

Consider warming up before hopping into a ranked match

No matter how much you improve your aim, there will always be the days when you’ll feel rusty. Though you can simply write them off as being in a slump, there is quite a simple way to be in your best shape before each ranked match.

Like any physical activity, warming up will help your aiming muscles to get into the groove by not sacrificing the first rounds of your ranked match. Considering most people jump right into the competitive mode before warming up, you’ll always have a significant advantage over any player who’s playing their first game of the day.

Playing a casual match before-hand or spending some time in the practice mode are all decent ways to warm up. Don’t be shy about playing more than a couple of warm-up matches if you still don’t feel confident enough to switch to ranked since you’d also be practicing your aim simultaneously.

Warm up with a routine

Warming up is essential, but blindly playing the game in the name of warming up may not mean anything in the long run. Warming up with a routine will help you improve your aim while getting ready for a day of ranked matches since you’ll be focusing on certain aspects of your aim.

Are you struggling while strafing? Then you should completely focus on your slides as long as it takes while making sure you’re accurate with your shots. If you’re struggling with sniper rifles, dedicate your whole warm-up session to snipes that you’d usually miss.

Turning the warm-up session into a routine will also give some space to develop for your muscle memory, and you’ll slowly turn into a headshotting machine.

Be patient

Rome wasn’t built in a day. No matter how hard you try, there’s a chance you may not see the first signs of your improvement for a while. Most players tend to get discouraged and stop playing, but being consistent is all that matters.

It may take you longer than the professional players to master a specific aspect of the game, but it doesn’t mean that you’ll never be able to do it. Continue playing to improve and focus on what you could do better after each game.

An excellent way to extend your game knowledge would be to watch a professional player from their perspective and continuously think about whether you’d do the same. Try to put yourself in other player’s shoes and learn all aspects of the game. This will slowly transition toward improving your aim since you’ll know everything that goes around the map.