Our Definitive Controller Aim Improvement Guide
In our endless pursuit of designing gaming gear that enhances play and takes gaming to the next level, we’ve discovered a number of techniques for improving aim on a controller, specifically in FPS and TPS games like Call of Duty and Fortnite. This guide applies to all console and PC controllers, including the Dualshock 4, Xbox One and Xbox One Elite, as well as custom and third-party controllers like the Astro C40.
The following guide will focus on three main categories:
Mastery of these categories will result in the foundations for better aim on controller in games like:
- Call of Duty
- Apex Legends
- Battlefield V
- ...and many more
Addressing your comfort on controller is the first step in ensuring that your aim is on point. When you're uncomfortable, you lose focus and start to think about the strain on your hands rather than hitting your mark. As a result, your reaction time can suffer and you'll have less time to line up a shot. This is why comfort is a priority.
Before you even turn on your game and pick up your controller, make sure your environment is comfortable, yet focused. Remove distractions like your phone, adjust the brightness on your TV/monitor, and make sure you are seated in an active gaming position: back straight, don't slouch, or even lean forward slightly with your elbows resting on your knees. Wear comfortable clothes, and do whatever it takes to make sure you are comfortable and active.
Now, onto the controller.
Everyone's hands are different, but every OEM controller is the same. It's your responsibility to tailor and customize your controller to accommodate your hands and your preferences.
Here at KontrolFreek, we've tried to make this as easy as possible by creating our lines of Performance Thumbsticks and Performance Grips, available for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One. Our Performance Thumbsticks add surface area and height to maximize thumb comfort and agility. To maximize your hands and palms' comfort, try our line of Performance Grips, available in three sizes to match your hand size.
After you've loaded out your controller and tailored it to your optimum specs, it's time to get to work.
Now that you're comfortable and improving your accuracy, it's time to make sure that you stay that way for good. Consistent shots are the final way to ensure that you've permanently leveled up your game.
Like any skill, practice makes perfect. Use in-game training modes like in Apex Legends. In Call of Duty, setup a custom game that is Free-for-All with 11 recruit bots. Turn off sound or take off your headphones and resist pre-aiming any corners, as you are trying to practice reflexes and fine tune split-second aiming.
One incredibly helpful tool is Aim Master by SteelSeries. It's a web-based browser game designed specifically to help you hit shots consistently and accurately. It's totally free and works in any browser! Aim Lab is another great one with controller support available on Steam.
A.D.S and Aim Assist
When you click in that left-trigger and Aim Down Sights (ADS) in most shooting games, you may feel a level of discomfort compared to normal shooting, or hip fire. However, you may also notice that when playing on controller, your weapon makes small movements for you and snaps to your target, adjusting the aim for you. This is known as Aim Assist and is common across most FPS and TPS games.
Aim Assist is a HUGE advantage that controller players have over Keyboard and Mouse (KBM) players. Most shooters have it built in, and if you know when to look for it, you can utilize it to your advantage to maximize damage and minimize shots.
Each game programs Aim Assist differently. Keep experimenting in your game of choice to get a consistent feel for it. When you're able to trust it enough to snap to any enemy when you ADS, you can nudge the right stick slightly upward to help guarantee a headshot.
Accuracy is all about making sure that the majority of your shots land on your target. Here are a few quick tips for improving accuracy on controller.
Tip 1: Adjust your Sensitivity
Sensitivity settings are the first thing you should consider when trying to improve your accuracy. Every modern-day shooter from Call of Duty to Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare has adjustable X and Y axis sensitivity settings, and often has additional settings for A.D.S. (Aim Down Sights) sensitivity and accelerator settings for when your are up to the edge of the thumbstick's field of movement.
Sensitivity ultimately comes down to personal preference, but your goal should be to increase your sensitivity as much as possible without losing control of your in-game player. To find your optimum sensitivity, we recommend spending some time playing against bots and/or loading your games practice mode and tinkering with raising your sensitivity until you reach that perfect point. If you want to jump straight to the point, look up your favorite pros' and content creators' settings on Google or YouTube.
Additionally, KontrolFreek's Performance Thumbsticks are intended to allow you to increase your sensitivity to take advantage of faster in-game movement without creating an uncomfortable, difficult to control player.
Tip 2: Reduce Your Input Lag
Wireless controllers are one of the many fantastic luxuries that make modern gaming so glorious, but a MAJOR key to improving your accuracy is keeping your controller plugged in. A wired connection reduces input lag and generally makes the controller more responsive. To give yourself the best reaction time and the least input lag, plug your controller in via micro USB and change the console's settings to receive inputs via USB instead of Bluetooth.
Tip 3: Continually Test and Adjust
Once you've changed your settings around, don't get too set in your ways. If you start to notice that you aren't as quick hitting targets when they are above or below you, continue to adjust that Y-axis sensitivity until it feels like second nature. We recommend going back to that practice mode or bot game every few weeks, to ensure that you are continuously improving over time.
And stick with it. Things may get worse before they get better, but we promise that sticking to your guns will yield the results you're looking for.
Follow these steps and you'll be hitting your shots and ranking up in no-time! Got some aim pointers of your own? Let us know! Tweet your suggestions to @kontrolfreek on Twitter... and happy aiming, FreekNation!
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