How Do I Learn to Aim with A Controller?


Alright, let’s gather around and let an old FPS veteran tell you how to hit your shots when you’re playing with a controller. 

To learn how to aim with a controller, shoot bots in a private match before you start playing online every single day. Load up a small map, max out the number of bots you can have, put on an unlimited timer and score, make sure you can replenish ammo, and start shooting. 

When you’re doing this, you’re trying to train your muscle memory because that’s all shooting with a controller really is.

While there is an element of recoil control involved, it’s much more important for you to be able to snap onto a target instantly and hit your first bullet. If you’re the one to connect with your shots first, then you’re probably going to win that gunfight. 

To know how to practice aim on console and if it’s easier to aim with a mouse or controller keep reading.

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How Do I Practice Aim on Console?

If you want to practice your aim on console, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Set up a private match. 
  2. Put on the maximum amount of bots on the lowest difficulty. 
  3. Make sure there is no time or score limit. 
  4. Make sure you can replenish ammo.
  5. Put on some music and run around the map shooting bots for an hour. 
  6. Practice your movement, as well as your aim, so that you get into an advantageous position during each gunfight.
  7. During the game, make sure you adjust your sensitivity to a number that lets you consistently snap onto enemies without underreaching or overreaching. 

Most console shooters, with the exception of Fortnite, don’t have custom maps like PC games, so you can’t download an aim trainer, meaning you need to make one up for yourself.

The steps above are going to help you get better at aiming in general, but there is another method that I use to learn recoil patterns and practice my spray control:

  1. Set up a private match with no time limit and no bots. 
  2. Equip your gun of choice and find a large, blank wall. 
  3. Empty your full clip into the middle of the wall without trying to control the recoil. 
  4. Observe how your gun is kicking, move to a new spot, and try to spray into the wall while keeping all the bullets in the same place. 

I won’t lie to you; these can get boring. However, it’s the fastest way for you to practice your aim on console. It’s much better to train in a controlled environment where you can focus on improving specific things rather than trying to get better in a public match. 

It is hard to improve when you keep getting spawn trapped!

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Use Custom Maps to Improve Your Aim

Most console games don’t have this luxury, but certain ones, like Fortnite, do. If you have the ability to play on user-created custom maps, then you need to take advantage of that. This kind of practice is infinitely better than shooting bots and is going to help you improve your aim in a more practical sense. 

No matter what title you’re playing, if there are custom maps, then there are going to be aim trainers. All you have to do is find and download the most popular one. Practice that for an hour instead of shooting bots, and you’re going to be working the same skills but at a much more efficient rate. 

Get Your Sensitivity Right

I’ve mentioned it briefly, but you need to find a sensitivity that you feel comfortable with. Once you find one, it’s important that you stick to it and don’t change. It doesn’t matter if you see a pro player using a crazy high sensitivity because that isn’t what’s going to work for you. 

A good place to start is to know what role you play. If you run a submachine gun, you’re going to be in close-quarters combat, meaning you want a higher sensitivity than an AR player or an anchor. 

Don’t be afraid to use a sensitivity that’s lower than the average, though, even if it doesn’t suit your role. I’ve been an OBJ submachine gun player my entire life, and I use an AR sensitivity when I play. It means that I need to adjust my movement to compensate for that, but it’s what I need to do in order to hit my shots. 

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Don’t Forget About Movement

Training your movement is a separate issue from training your aim, but it does affect it in a big way. If jump shotting or drop-shotting is popular in your title, you need to know how to do it, as well as how to play against it. 

Work on getting yourself into advantageous positions and try to have more cover than your opponent in every gunfight. Predict where they are going to go, and counter that. 

Centering is Important

I could write an essay on centering, but it isn’t related to your aim specifically, so I won’t. However, I will still touch on it. 

Centering refers to where you keep your crosshair when you move. You want to be aiming where an enemy COULD be before they actually appear. So, if you’re moving around a corner, keep that corner in the center of your screen and don’t aim at the ground. Remember, the person who connects with the first shot generally wins. 

Is it Easier to Aim with a Mouse or a Controller?

I’ve been a lifelong console fanboy, but I do play PC, meaning I’ve got plenty of experience aiming with both a mouse and a controller. 

It’s easier to aim with a mouse. You have far more control over your gun, meaning it’s easier to fight against recoil, and you can react to gunfights much faster than you can with a controller. 

That being said, you should use whatever you feel comfortable with or whatever the standard is for your game of choice. Using a mouse and keyboard is banned in competitive Call of Duty, so sometimes you don’t have a choice. 

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While it’s easier to aim with a mouse, the skill curve is much steeper. In truth, it’s easier to aim with a controller, but a mouse is going to give you much better results. 

What I mean by that is it’s much harder to get good with a mouse than it is to get good with a controller. It requires more precise practice for longer hours, and you’re going to get smoked at the beginning by keyboard players who used mouse and keyboard they’re entire gaming life.

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