The first FPS game I ever played (and PC game for that matter too) was DOOM in the 1990s on my first gaming PC thanks to my Dad. It was an Intel i486dxi running Windows 95 – boy those were the days when turning on your computer meant making a cup of tea. Gaming and First Person Shooters in particular have grown since the early days of gaming when we were delighted with 16-bit graphics and blocks for player models.
Anyway, enough babble. The reason you’re here is to instantly get better at all FPS games but, how do I do that, I hear you ask. Well, through the course of this FPS domination guide for Dummies, I am going to pass down 20 years of FPS gaming experience, tips and tricks to help you dominate your favourite FPS with ease.
Table of Contents
Now, don’t get me wrong, at 35, I am never going to be a professional eSports player but, I can pass down knowledge from my golden years that helped me earn a living for a short period of time fragging others in my teens and early twenties to help you get better at FPS games with a few tips.
I have regularly played the top 10% of players across a variety of games, but, my speciality is and always has been Counter-Strike.
I have found the skills gained during many years of play from CS 1.6 all the way through to global offensive have carried over to almost every FPS game I have played.
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How to Dominate Every FPS Game
Some things cannot be taught, they must be learned through hard-word and repetition over and over again but, there are some things that can be taught that will instantly improve your first-person shooter gameplay.
Don’t underestimate the power of these skills to skyrocket your gameplay in any FPS game.
1. Stop Changing Your Mouse Settings
One of the biggest mistakes I made through my time playing not just FPS games but video games, in general, is changing my mouse sensitivity over and over again trying to find the sweet spot instead of just settling on an ok setting and building the mind-muscle connection with my mouse hardware.
You see, building mind muscle takes time and repetition of movement which is why you will see a lot of professional eSports players aim training on a daily basis. The constant repetition leads to a stronger mind-muscle connection allowing them to perform perfect 180-degree flick headshots on a dime.
So before trying to find the sweet spot for your mouse sensitivity, head over to prosettings.net to check out what setting the pros are using. Try out different configurations and find one that feels right to you and stick with it.
2. Playing as a Team
If all you play is free-for-all deathmatch first-person shooters, then, this one is likely not for you.
Teamplay is a crucial part of any first-person shooter and, while it is fun to run off on a solo kamikaze mission spraying your way through the map, most of the time, sticking close to your team is going to prevail in most instances.
Here are a few things you can do to improve your team playing capabilities in FPS Games;
- Stay calm and don’t blame your team
- Always keep tabs on your team position around you
- Communicate your intentions clearly
- Lay down covering fire as your teammates make advances
- Don’t be afraid to take the lead and make a call
- Stay humble
Learning to be a team player in FPS games is an invaluable skill that will carry you through many matchups.
3. Use your ears
Sound is everything in first-person shooters – especially when playing online games like Valorant, Apex Legends, CS:GO, PUBG and COD. You see, with the development of surround sound and spatial audio, you can almost instantly tell where an enemy might be. There are so many times I have been called a cheater purely for having good sound awareness around me and being able to tell where someone is coming from – wall hack anyone?
Your first instinct might be to go and buy the biggest baddest 7.1 surround system you can find but hold your horses for one second because I am going to reveal an industry secret – are you ready?
The best sound hardware for FPS games is a quality headset with good directional sound. It cannot be beaten for pure performance and the ability to pick out the slightest footstep. Don’t sleep on this easy hack to improve you FPS gameplay.
4. Use a Microphone to Communicate
Communicationcano turn any game around in an instant if used correctly. Most FPS games come with in-game mechanics that allow you to convey actions you intend to make but there is no replacement for your voice and a microphone when playing in a team environment.
Having the ability to quickly and effectively tell your teammates what’s happening on the map, the flank coming from behind you or the sniper hiding out of the cliff will free up your brain to do other things. So if you don’t have a microphone already, pick yourself one up and start using that voice of yours.
5. Slice Rooms Effectively
Learning to slice rooms, break spaces and not expose yourself in critical situations I arguably the biggest skill that will carry over to any first-person shooter you decide to play. It’s not like the mind-muscle connection you need to build with your mouse – this is the knowledge that crystalises and stays with you forever.
I am going to need an entire article to explain how to slice rooms in FPS games and how to break through overwhelming the opponent. I will update the article when I have done that.
6. Control Gun Recoil
I’m sure you have been there; You pick up a gun, you hold down the fire button and you are looking at the ceiling – am I right? well, that is gun recoil and is a part of every FPS game. Recognising the recoil patterns of the gun you’re using and counteracting the movement is a skill that separates the rookie FPS Gamer from the eSports pro.
As a general example, if a gun was to go in a straight line up when being fired, you would pull your mouse down to counteract that movement however, it’s not that simple in reality. Many guns in games have unique recoil patterns that you must learn over time to effectively control your spray.
Usually, with a quick Google search, you can find gun recoil patterns by searching ‘game gun name recoil pattern’.
7. Check Behind You
If you’re using a good headset then you will likely hear other players before you see them but, just in case, get used to constantly looking around you instead of just pointing your gun where you want to go. Anticipating your enemy before they appear will allow you to position yourself and your crosshair more effectively.
8. Keep them Guessing
If your opponent just emptied his clip of ammo and has retreated behind an obstacle with no view, keep him guessing and change your location. Many times your opponent will be so focused on protecting himself that he will fail to notice that you moved location. Many times, this can lead to them overextending and exposing themselves in the open in less-than-ideal situations allowing you to blast them down with your rifle.
So before you start running after them, or you decide to pop behind your box and reload yourself, ask yourself one question; Can I relocate quickly somewhere else and leave this guy guessing where I went? If the answer is yes, do it.
9. Aim for the head
Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand that hitting an oval just a few pixels in size can be a challenge to start but, stick with it and it will get easier – almost like second nature. Most games have some sort of training mode which will allow you to practice your headshots over and over.
If you are new to first-person shooter games, then start by standing still and aiming for the heads then, slowly increase the difficulty by moving yourself, having the bots move, by increasing the distances between you and the target.
If you play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, there are plenty of headshot-only deathmatch custom servers you can play on that make headshot training even easier.
10. Use your brain
Sometimes, gaming is not all about unloading your clip into the enemy’s face – as fun as it is. Sometimes, you need to look at the bigger picture, stop tunnel-visioning your objective and use that amazing brain you were born with.