Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Aim in FPS Games Like Call of Duty and Escape from Tarkov

If you're afflicted with bad aim in CoD or EFT, try out our best 10 tips to take your aim to the next level.

Call of Duty soldiers standing in front of a portal
Image via Activision
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All the tips and strategies in the world can’t help if you have bad aim in first-person shooters (FPS). Here are 10 ways to help improve your aim in an FPS, like Call of Duty, Escape from Tarkov, or whatever other shooter you enjoy.

Best 10 Tips to Take Your FPS Aim to the Next Level

A Tarkov PMC holding a rifle on Lighthouse
Image via Battlestate Game

Practice with Software Like Aimlabs or Kovaak’s

PC gamers have one option that those on Xbox and PlayStation can’t easily get their hands on: aim trainer software. Two of the most well-known are Aimlabs and KovaaK’s, but other companies like Steelseries also have an offering. Most of these software suites work with both mouse and keyboard and controller, featuring dozens of bespoke aim challenges to test and hone your skills. Just a few minutes a day before a gaming session can definitely do wonders for your aim.

Training ground with two enemies
Image via The Meta

Play the Game with Aim in Mind

This method, just, you know, playing the game, is probably the one you’ll hear about most. I’d like to propose a slightly more actionable version of the “just play, bro” strat. Play the game with improving your aim in mind.

In Call of Duty and other fast-paced FPS games, that means starting with a weapon you know well — preferably one in the meta — and setting challenges for yourself. Going solely for headshots, for instance, or working on your flick accuracy exclusively. You’ll still be playing a match somewhat normally, but don’t expect your endgame performance to be what you’re used to. You’re not playing for stats, but to improve specific skills.

Using In-Game Tools as They’re Available

There are two types of tools you can use here. The first is an in-game shooting range where you can simulate basic movements, try out different weapon setups, and so on. You can set similar challenges here that you could in a regular match. How fast and accurately can you flick to a target at 45 degrees? How many headshot kills (or their equivalent) can you get in 60 seconds? How tightly can you keep your spray?

If your game allows console commands (this mostly goes for Counter Strike players), you can make a bind in your config files to automatically kill your character if you don’t get a headshot. These kinds of extreme training sessions can get frustrating if you’re new, and so I don’t recommend them if you aren’t comfortable with your aim yet, but the options do exist.

Practicing Out of Game

Hear me out, PC players. Even if you aren’t playing a game, you can still practice your mouse movements while you’re at work, doing homework, or just browsing your favorite websites. Say you have a YouTube video open. Rather than lazily watching it, see how accurately you can trace the video player. If you’re editing an image, see how close you can get to only needing to trace something once. If where you need to click is on the other side of the monitor, see how fast and easily you can flick your cursor over to it. The possibilities are endless.

Fine-Tune Your Sensitivity

This aim-training method is platform agnostic, though how you go about it will differ between controller and KBM. If a game starts you on a four sensitivity, try turning it up or down based on how you’re used to it and see how your accuracy changes. As your aim gets better, continue making minor adjustments in the game settings to see if you can eke out some additional improvement.

Play Games That Require Precise Movements

Hollow Knight player dashing to enemy.
Image via Team Cherry

You don’t need to be playing a shooter to work on your reflexes and aim, necessarily. While no non-PvP game will give your skills the same test as going against other humans, you can still play with improving your aim as a task. Specifically, you’ll want to play games that require precise movements regardless of target.

On PC, something like Osu is a favorite of anime-loving gamers. On a gamepad, you might try playing Armored Core 6, Hollow Knight, and games like them. Platformers and Metroidvanias are great when they ask for very exact movements to get to hard-to-reach places, and mastering them can help with your stick control elsewhere.

Play Games That Don’t Require Good Aim but Try Anyway

On the flip side, you can play games that don’t ask anything of your aim, like Stardew Valley or any turn-based JRPG, but see where you can work on your aim as you play. The same strategies apply. Move your cursor or reticle to hard-to-hit locations on the screen, navigate menus quickly and efficiently, or use any other method you can devise.

Play with Friends for Target Practice

As I said earlier, there’s no replacing a human player with even the best NPC for aim practice. If you have a group you tend to play with often, see if they’re up for some friendly target practice. The goal here is simple. One player will have a weapon, the others will jump, dive, and dodge as erratically as possible for a set period, and the shooting player will try to down as many targets as they can.

Try a Different Seating Setup

I can’t stress how much your real-life setup can make or break your aim. If you play super slouched, for instance, switching it up can throw your skills for a loop. This fact remains true whether you use a controller or a mouse and keyboard. In either case, you should first focus on keeping the best posture you can but also prioritize comfort. If you play with KBM, having your whole arm free is always been key to the best possible aim. It allows you to have a lower sensitivity but maintain accuracy. I can confirm that I was at my best when I didn’t use an armrest and aimed from the shoulder rather than the wrist.

Use New Equipment

No, this isn’t me telling you to buy expensive “gamer gear” or expensive custom mice or controllers. However, it is me telling you that doing a modest upgrade or sidegrade could help. Have you only used the controller or mouse that came with your PC or console? Try getting a new one or one that’s slightly more geared for the type of gaming you enjoy. If your chair or couch is uncomfortable, try getting a new cushion or pillow to help. Hell, if your gaming station is a little dirty, clean that place up and see how better it feels. Expensive plastic is not always the answer.

Those are our 10 best tips for improving your aim in your favorite FPS. Hopefully, at least a couple of them work for you. For more top 10 lists, check out the top 10 2024 game sequels, the best guns in Call of Duty Zombies, and the top 10 best Steam Deck AAA games.

About the author

John Schutt

John Schutt has been playing games for almost 25 years, starting with Super Mario 64 and progressing to every genre under the sun. He spent almost 4 years writing for strategy and satire site TopTierTactics under the moniker Xiant, and somehow managed to find time to get an MFA in Creative Writing in between all the gaming. His specialty is action games, but his first love will always be the RPG. Oh, and his avatar is, was, and will always be a squirrel, a trend he's carried as long as he's had a Steam account, and for some time before that.