The Most Common Aim Mistake and How to Fix It (especially in lower ranks)

Posted by Steve

Friday, November 13, 2020 1:14 PM

The Most Common Aim Mistake and How to Fix It (especially in lower ranks)

I've seen a lot of posts asking how to get better aim in Valorant, so I figured that I'd make a post about it. A common topic on this subreddit is advice on how to hold angles, and I think it's tied to a larger issue.

Video Format Here

Today, I'm discussing a common aiming mistake - overestimating your own mechanical skill. You'll learn how to hold angles better and more consistently.

But first, What is "good" aim?

When people talk about having good aim, they're generally talking about two things, even if they don't realize it, and they are crosshair placement and mechanical skill. Now, there's also the topic of recoil control, but I'm going to leave that out of this post for now.

These two factors are what constitutes good aim, and will be the difference in whether you're getting kills or getting killed. Both factors are essential for consistency, and you can't use one factor to compensate for the other if you truly want to improve.

I'm going to be upfront and say that building mechanical skill, aka your flicks, tracking, and reaction speed - is a lot harder than having good crosshair placement.

Simply put, crosshair placement is knowing where head level is, and anticipating where an enemy will pop out. Since Valorant is a game of headshots, you should be aiming for the head in most situations. Having good crosshair placement eliminates the need to flick to your target, making it a point and click situation. This will make your aim more consistent over time because you don't need to perform high accuracy mechanics in order to be effective.

The Common Mistake

One of the most common mistakes that players make, especially in lower ranks, and that is overestimating their own mechanical skill. Since good aim is a combination of two factors, you're going to want to hold an angle that your mechanical skill can keep up with.

Some players love to hold an angle too tight. The problem is that, while in theory, their crosshair placement is great because they're holding it at head level, their mechanical skill (in this case, their reaction time) can't keep up with their crosshair placement. (This is a lot easier to see in the video, so bear with me here)

This also doesn't factor in the fact that your crosshair placement won't be perfect each time. So by holding an angle too tight, you're going to have to react faster, and you might have to make adjustments along the way.

For example,

I'm holding a very tight angle (barely any space between my crosshair and the wall), anticipating the Reyna to peek at the same time. If I'm not confident in my reaction time, I should be holding something else that caters my mechanical skill better. It's a very tight window to react to the visual stimuli but I'm able to kill the Reyna because I, myself know how fast I can react to something.

You need to know the limits of your mechanical skill and adapt your play accordingly. If you're unsure, holding the angle a little wider might be better to give yourself time to react to someone popping out of nowhere. You'll see a lot of pro players tend to leave a gap between the wall and their crosshair to compensate for reaction time. It's very hard to hold close to the wall because you're going to have to react almost instantly. So if pro players give themselves space, then you should too.

A lot of players already have the right idea, but don't have the mechanics to keep up with it. So get to know yourself and your own skill level and try not to overestimate.

How to Improve + Practice

In terms of improving crosshair placement and mechanical skill, the way I improved was through spamming deathmatch. In deathmatch, I was able to familiarize myself with head level on different parts of the map and improve my mechanical skill because I had to constantly move my mouse around due to the sheer number of enemies present. This is a good way to practice both your crosshair placement and mechanics, so I highly suggest DM'ing for at least 15m minutes a day. It's not perfect by any means, but it helps.

Now, good crosshair placement is something that you get used to overtime. The more familiar you are with the map, the better your crosshair placement will be. So my only suggestion is to practice more, and of course, you can speed up having good crosshair placement using natural markers on the map.

But crosshair placement can only get you so far, and this is where mechanical skill comes along. This one is a bit tricky because everyone has different ways of improving, so I'm going to tell you how I improved. I started playing FPS games on PC about only a year ago since I switched over from console so my aim probably isn't as good as other people in my rank. I've found that going into the range for 15m a day helped improve my mechanics a lot.

For flicks, I suggest that you do the challenge mode on hard difficulty. This will not only train your flicks but will improve your reaction time as well. I've gone from single digits to peaking at 23 over the course of training every day.

One thing I've learned is that you shouldn't grip your mouse too tight. If your fingers are tense, it makes it harder to flick accurately and will strain your hand more.

For tracking, you can opt to have the bots on strafe mode, and just have your crosshair on their head without shooting. Try to be as accurate as possible. This will get you used to how other players move.

You don't have to do it over a long period of time, but just daily repetition helps a lot.

One Last Piece of Advice

Honestly, the best way to train is to play more. I can't stress how important deathmatch is. You can get around 30 engagements in a 5 minute period, compared to the same amount of engagements in a 40-minute game. Either way, mechanical skill is something that improves the more you play. I'm a firm believer that you don't need external programs to play well, and I've hit Immortal without them. But if you do want to use them, then feel free. Just make sure that you're using the same sensitivity as your sens in-game so that you build muscle memory.

Hope this short write-up helps! I'm sorry if I wasn't able to convey the information properly, especially on the example, but I hope you got something out of this. Feel free to reach out to me on Discord if you have any questions - it's eggwick #7855. Good luck on the grind! :)



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