Picture this: you download a new first-person shooter (FPS) game. You finish the tutorial and jump into your first online game. However, you quickly find that you are not very good. This is not just because of skill though. It may mean that your hardware needs updating, or that your settings need improvement. Well, worry not. I’m here with six tips to quickly improve at your FPS of choice. Whether you play “Valorant,” “CS: GO,” “Apex Legends,” or even “Call of Duty,” these tips work. Also, keep in mind that while most of these tips are mainly for PC players, some of them can also be used by those playing FPS games on a console.
Get good peripherals
If you’re like me, you’re probably currently working with a $5 mouse, no headset, and other lackluster materials. These are what are known as “peripherals,” or accessories for your computer including items such as a mouse and keyboard, and they are the first things that need to be upgraded. No, I’m not going to recommend absurdly expensive upgrades. Simply get a gaming mouse and headset and you’ll be one step closer to success. I’d recommend wireless peripherals, mainly because it gives peace of mind without having to be constrained by a wire, and, for a mouse specifically, potentially needing a bungee to hold said wire to prevent it from scraping on your table. However, it will still come down to personal preference, and many things must be taken into account such as price, dots per inch possibilities, and just how you feel comfortable gaming. If it works for you, you can go ahead and look for other products like chairs or gaming monitors, but those normally have no effect on your performance as most office chairs fulfill the same purpose as a gaming chair. Gaming monitors, too, provide very minute differences that may not be life-changing for most people.
Don’t waste your money on a PC
I have been playing Valorant for over a year now with an office laptop and I have reached Bronze. That’s not a big jump, but considering some people with high-end PCs are also currently in Bronze, getting a gaming PC should not be a priority. In fact, gaming and “commercial” PCs are nearly indistinguishable aside from higher-end graphics that are exclusively found in gaming PCs. However, the upgrade should not be too great as most laptops and commercial PCs also look just as amazing. Furthermore, you can get up to around 120 frames per second with just an office laptop, which is widely considered “excellent” FPS for gaming. 60 fps, which is reached by almost all laptops, is also very good considering that’s what most consoles run on to this day.
In case you didn’t know and were confused about what I meant by fps, it’s just a fancy way of saying how quickly your computer can show you changes happening within your game. Higher fps means a game will run smoother. 60fps is the minimum fps you should aim for and is generally very good. 20fps, on the other hand, will be like moving in slow motion. You don’t want that in a competitive game like Valorant, CS: GO, or Apex Legends.
Find settings you can stick to
Why do I say “don’t change your settings?” It’s because maintaining consistency in your settings helps you improve. When you play, your brain is adjusting and establishing “muscle memory” so that it can help you improve. But if you’re changing your settings every few games, your brain doesn’t have the time to adjust to anything.
Now, I’m not going to suggest specific settings you should use because, that too, is down to personal preference. Know what sensitivity you like, what fps settings work for you and your computer, and what keybinds you like (what each key on your computer does in-game). These settings should be permanent for at least a few months.
Use aim trainers
Do you know what Valorant, CS: GO, and Apex Legends all have in common? Besides the fact that they’re all FPS games, they all have built-in aim trainers. Aim trainers are not only good for, you know, aim, they also help you build the aforementioned muscle memory to adjust to your settings. They’re also very good ways to warm up before your games. If your game doesn’t have an aim trainer built-in or you don’t like the aim trainer your game has, there are several third-party options, such as Aim Lab and KovaaK 2.0.
This probably goes without saying, but there are people out there who are extremely good at their game. Luckily, some are also the type of people who wouldn’t mind sharing their tips with you. These can come from streamers and pro players, who inadvertently give you tips just by playing the game themselves, or from Youtube channels dedicated to tips. Not only can you get tips about specific parts of your game, but you can also stay up to date with meta changes. A game’s meta is how things interact with each other in your game. An example of a meta change could be that a gun is now more powerful than it used to be. For guides, I recommend watching pro guides as they cover a wide variety of games compared to their competition. As for streamers, that will depend on your game of choice. As a Valorant player, though, I recommend Hiko and TenZ.
Learn from your mistakes
Another no-brainer, but I find that a lot of people, including myself, to be fair, don’t pay attention to what they’re doing wrong. They do something that makes them lose their game, but they don’t realize it and keep making that mistake without changing their strategy. At the end of the day, this might be the most important piece of advice I can give you. Know what you’re doing wrong, and try to fix it.
So there you have it — six simple, yet effective, steps to help you improve in your FPS game of choice. Now, these obviously won’t make you number one in the game overnight, but making these simple adjustments or additions to your routine will slowly help you improve. Of course, feel free to make your own adjustments on top of these suggestions since many of these come down to personal preference and knowing your playstyle and life habits.