Improving your aim in CS:GO is not just one technique, it’s a culmination of all of the elements covered in this guide combined together. We will be digging deeper into each topic in their own section with guides and resources to help you improve.
What we will cover:
- Crosshair placement
- Shooting types (burst fire, 1 tapping, spraying)
Crosshair placement is the concept of putting your crosshair where the enemy is going to be; meaning keeping your crosshair at head level and predicting to the best of your ability where an enemy will appear on your screen. This greatly reduces the amount of time it takes you to move your crosshair onto your enemy because your crosshair was already on the enemy.
Map awareness and game knowledge play a big part in having good crosshair placement, but even before you have all of this knowledge you can create good muscle memory to always have your crosshair in the right place on your screen based on the part of the map you are walking through. Slicing the pie is a term you have probably heard before in relation to shooting games, its a technique used to effectively clear areas one piece of the pie at a time.
Refrag Prefire is the best way to practice and improve your crosshair placement as Prefire places bots in commonly played spots in games and you have to work your way through these arenas killing the bots before they kill you. It teaches you how to effectively clear areas on maps while not over exposing yourself to your enemies.
Check out this short video from Launders talking about “how good was swag’s crosshair placement”
Crosshair placement in relation to the type of peek someone will generally have like in the video above is a more advanced level concept to practice and master, but is undoubtedly what sets the good players apart from the greats. Knowing what type of peek a player is generally going to make on you on specific parts of maps is crucial to the type of crosshair placement you are going to use. You can practice this in Refrags Angle Trainer mod which allows you to create custom scenarios and practice them over and over again getting loads of reps in very quickly instead of them spread out over 20 different pugs/matches/scrims you were in.
Shooting types (burst fire, 1 tapping, spraying)
Determining which shooting type you will need to use based on the situation you are in and then executing on it is another aiming technique that needs to be practiced as well. There will be times when 1 tapping (generally when you are far away) is the most effective form of shooting, there will also be times where you turn a burst fire into a full on spray as well. Use the methods and resources below to help you improve these shooting types.
We will start off with spraying and learning spray control (countering the recoil) of the weapons first as this is probably the most important of the 3 for most people. All guns in CS:GO have recoil patterns which makes them pretty predictable, there is some RNG (random number generator; which means theres some randomness to where the bullets land) though. Meaning you wont make every bullet land in the exact same bullet hole, but you will get them close, close enough to take down your opponent.
Spraying is generally for close distance gun fights, but as you get better at it you can utilize it in medium distance gun fights, but only when you have practice and mastered it. You can practice learning spray control with the resources below, first watch the video to understand what you are trying to do, and then go and practice it with the resources below.
Burst firing is exactly what it sounds like, you shoot a burst of bullets (generally 3-5) depending on the weapon it can be more or less (the ak would be 2-5, the m4 would be 3-8) based on the severity of the recoil. Bursting is best used in medium to semi-long range gun fights, it can be very effective if you hit the first 4 bullets which will take down an unarmored or armored opponent quickly. This can be practiced on any of the Workshop maps where you shoot bots by intentionally NOT hitting them in the head and going for body shots to get use to countering the recoil (just pulling down and to the right).
1 tapping (or single fire) for most players is exclusively a long range gun fight type of shooting, its mostly used with the AK47 as most pistols (except the deagle) wont 1 shot someone, and most rifles wont either. 1 tapping at short and medium ranges can be wildly effective but very hard to master and for most users will be a liability for them. But with enough time and practice 1 tapping works even at the highest level if you have ever heard of French Pro player ScreaM, he is known for his 1 taps.
There are many free and paid ways to improve these shooting techniques, everything from workshop maps, Leetify recoil statistics as well as Refrags training mods. Refrag Crossfire is one of the mods in the suite Refrag provides which puts you in realistic scenarios where bots swing you from all different angles and positions. It forces you to utilize the most effective type of shooting that should be used in the scenario, or you will be penalized by the bot killing you for either your lack of aim, crosshair placement, or positioning.
The movement mechanic that controls your bullet accuracy. Counter-strafing is pretty unique to CS:GO and its movement techniques, it has been copied by a few other games over the years but not to the same degree.
Counter-strafing is where you press the opposite direction movement key to the direction you are moving, that might sound like a mouthful but in short, if you are moving to the right with your D key, you will want to counter-strafe to the left with your A key. This allows your player model to come to a stop quicker allowing you to shoot your weapon more accurately. If you are shooting while moving your weapon will not shoot accurately.
This technique takes some time to get good at, and even longer to master, but is imperative to having good aim. You can be the best in the world at putting your crosshair on the enemies head, but if you arent stopped while shooting (with most guns, most pistols have full accuracy while moving, except the deagle) your bullet will not land inside of your crosshair. This is probably the most important mechanic to learn in CS:GO for that reason.
Understanding how the counter-strafe mechanic works first is a good place to start, check out the video below from fl0m where he explains how it works, what you need to do and how to practice it.
Our Crossfire mode is another great way to practice counter-strafing and getting reps in after watching the video as it forces you to be able to move, stop and shoot very quickly. You can adjust the difficulty of the BOTs based on your skill level as well.
Tracking is the act of following the enemies player model while moving with your crosshair, sounds simple right? Its a tad harder than it sounds as CS isnt a game where tracking is used a lot so naturally CS players are quite weak at it.
Tracking in general really only happens on pistol rounds, which is only a few rounds out of a match. So why improve your tracking you ask? Improving your tracking will also improve your overall mouse control which is why its an important mechanic to improve as well as for those pistol rounds where you need to hit crisp 1 taps.
Since practicing tracking in CS:GO is as cut and dry as it should be, we will be using 3rd party resources to do so. Check out the video below, its already set to the timestamp in the video where tracking in CS:GO is covered.
Valkyrie uses KovaaKs (Worlds best FPS Aim Trainer) in the video, if you want to follow all the steps in the video for setting up your aim trainer to match CS:GO click the link below. KovaaKs is a paid game on Steam, but the value greatly outweighs the cost.
Flicking is where you very quickly correct the position of your crosshair from where it was, to on your enemy. This term may be obvious to some, but some it wont be. Flicking in general means your crosshair was not where it should be and or your enemy made an unusual movement resulting in you needing to either improve your crosshair placement (see the section above) or you will need to hit a flick shot.
Fortunately, flicking can be improved quite quickly with some more isolated training either in CS:GO via Steam Workshop maps, or in KovaaKs FPS Aim Trainer.
Yprac has a workshop map with a Flicking mode built into it, which can be found here
If you want to take your isolated training a little further check out this KovaaKs scenario called Horizontal flicks
CS:GO Aim Benchmark
If you want to take it even a step further and fully focus on making sure your aim is the best it can be and see how you match up against other players, there’s a few resources to do so. Keep in mind both of these products mentioned below are paid services.
Refrag has Crossfire and Prefire leaderboards on the website to track your attempts, and see how you match up vs other players (including some Tier 1 Pros)
KovaaKs FPS Aim Trainer also has a feature in the game called Benchmarks which is a curated list of scenarios that tracks your progress and rank through your aim improvement journey. There is a specific Refrag Benchmark that is built specifically for CS:GO by us and CS:GO Pros.