• vhalin's guide and walkthrough to improving your aim

    There are plenty of guides and content out there for playing smarter -- but I don't see a guide to the basics required to have good aim. I created this guide not only with the goal that I can help you with your aim, but also so that I can write the single piece of content that you can read that should most help you with your success in TF2. In this I talk about everything from settings, to hardware to the best ways to practice your aim. The biggest thing I want you to take away from this is how important monitors are to being a successful FPS player, as well as the basic settings you should use for assuring that the movements you make with your mouse coincide with what you see on your screen.

    Table of contents
    1. Choosing your sensitivity
    2. Windows settings
    3. In-game settings
    4. Monitors
    5. Mice
    6. Mousepads
    7. Practicing your aim

    1. Choosing your sensitivity
    The best sensitivity to use - Preference, preference, preference - that's all this is. Use what YOU feel is comfortable and don't use someone else's sensitivity because what works for ruwin doesn't work for yz50 and vice versa.

    Class-specific sensitivity - Ideally medics should have the highest sensitivity for quick turning and flicking to catch heal beams on people, heavies also use a high sensitivity for tracking fast moving bombing soldiers, +forwarding scouts and turning around to spy check. Traditionally scouts and snipers have lower sensitivities for twitch aiming, and making small adjustments to hit those meatshots and headshots.

    Inches per 360 - This is what should be used to measure sensitivity, since both DPI and in-game sensitivity have an effect as well as your OS and even things like mouse acceleration. Use this link to measure your inches/360 - http://www.notalent.org/sensitivity/sensitivity.htm

    2. Windows settings
    Enhance pointer precision - This is a windows setting that comes enabled by default on windows that you want disabled. This basically adds mouse accel to your game which you don't want. Some degree of mouse accel can be good but not this much or this kind of mouse accel. When this is turned on (default is on) your cursor both in desktop and in game will move faster up and down than it will left/right. This is ideal for your grandma using a computer, or maybe someone using a trackball or touchpad but not for precision based fps.

    Windows XP - If by some reason you are still using XP make sure you download the mousefix for windows, because even after disabling enhance pointer precision there will still be some levels of mouse accel. Download the mousefix here -> http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads...Mouse_Fix.html

    Windows sensitivity settings - Just use default (6/11 bars) as I don't see a reason to change this.

    3. In-game settings
    In-game sensitivity - your preference

    m_filter 0 This is set to 0 by default but labeled as "smooth mouse movements out" in the options so some people may have read this and decided it was a good idea to turn it on, leave it off.

    m_rawinput 1 This is off by default and you want to turn it on.

    4. Monitors

    Importance - This is the single most important aspect to hitting your shots. Having a good monitor is just as important than having as having a good computer and more important than having a good mouse or mousepad.

    Hz vs FPS - Hz and fps basically measure the same thing - hz is a measure of how frequently your monitor displays a new image. FPS is a measure of how many frames your computer calculates. Whats the point of getting 300fps when your monitor is only displaying a new set of pixels 60 times per second? 60fps = 60hz The differences is that monitors use "Hz" while computers use "FPS"

    Monitor input - I'm sure there's at least some readers out there using HDMI because its newer, so it must be better - wrong, its worse because it has more input delay. You should be using VGA or DVI.

    120hz monitors - These can cost anywhere from $250-$500 depending on which model you get. Believe me, this is the single greatest upgrade you can do to become a better FPS gamer. It costs a lot of money but very worth it - you'd be hard pressed to find any invite players who don't use a 120hz monitor. If you just upgraded your rig, and have some money left over then buy yourself an early birthday present. If you are thinking of upgrading soon, leave some money aside for a 120hz monitor because like I said before monitors are the single greatest piece of hardware you can improve to make yourself a better gamer. Remember what I said earlier - whats the point of getting more than 60 fps if your monitor is only displaying 60 frames per second? One thing to realize is that if you have a laptop you should make sure you have a DVI-I input or else your laptop wont be able to send 120 new frames per second to your monitor.

    But vhalin, how do I check whether I have a 120hz monitor or not? - If you're asking that you don't have a 120hz monitor. They cost two or three times more and when you go out to buy them it's pretty obvious you're paying more money for 120hz. It's like asking someone "How do I know If I already have a Ferrari?" Trust me - if you had a Ferrari, you would know.

    CRTs - Many people don't know this but CRTs are arguably better for gaming than 120hz monitors - Infact the single greatest gaming monitor out there is a CRT which can be had on ebay for about $1000 - http://www.ebay.com/ctg/Sony-GDM-FW9...itor-/52108670 There are also CRT monitors out there that will support up to 200hz such as the Iiyama Vision Master Pro 454 - go look it up on google, all I can say is good luck finding one - they are rare gems. CRTs however have their downsides like weight, glare, headaches, desk space and color bleeding, which is why most gamers prefer 120hz LCDs.

    I am poor and Irish and can't afford a good monitor - The $20 Craigslist special CRT or the rotting cobbwebbed CRT sitting in your basement can be the difference between missed and perfect shots. In-fact, CRTs are so good that people measure the input delay of LCD monitors by comparing them side by side with CRT monitors. Even the medical field uses CRTs for displaying heart rates and stuff because of their accuracy. Most CRTs will be able to support 85-110hz refresh rate at 800x600 or 1024x768.

    For laptop gamers - Most laptops don't have DVI ports, only VGA and HDMI so your best option is to use an older CRT and connect it through a VGA port since only DVI supports 120hz gaming. This actually is a blessing since most laptops suffer from heat/poor frames and the resolutions you run on CRTs will be much lower (800x600 or 1024x768) and therefor create less stress on your laptop's video card and in turn give better fps.

    5. Mice
    Preference - Again this is mostly preference, you want one that fits the size and shape of your hand and feels comfortable using. The mouse you use actually makes less a difference than you think it would.

    Wireless mice - No.

    Angle snapping/pointer shaping - Primarily you want a mouse that has no angle snapping or pointer shaping, this is a feature added to mice that makes it so if you move it really fast in a mostly straight line it just automatically turns your movements into a perfectly straight line. Move your mouse quickly in a straight line across a blank canvas in a MSpaint to see if your mouse has built in angle snapping

    Good choices for mice
    Microsoft Wheel Mouse Optical - Cheaper, no built in angle snapping or pointer shaping, readily available everywhere and reliable.
    Logitech G400 - Best Logitech mouse choice available.
    Razer Deathadder - Another popular choice among pro gamers.
    There are others too, just remember it's YOUR preference.

    Mouse feet - Mouse feet are the part of the mouse that makes impact with your mousepad, the only reason you would want to upgrade or buy new ones is if your old ones are worn out or if you use a hard surface mouse pad.

    6. Mousepads

    Preference - Again this is mostly your personal preference, what works for ruwin, doesnt work for b4nny and vice versa.

    How much a difference it makes - Not as much as a new monitor

    Cloth or hard surface - Most people prefer cloth, few people prefer hard surface mouse pads. You should probably go with cloth, as most people prefer them. Not to mention hard surface mouse pads have a tendency to ware out. You can even throw your cloth mouse pad in the washing machine if it begins to get sticky or coarse.

    What are some good mouse pads to choose from?
    Puretrak Talent
    Razer Goliathus
    There are others too, just remember its preference.

    7. Practicing aim
    Do I have to? There are lots of ways to improve and practice aiming, and many of the best aimers out there in invite practice their aim outside of scrims much more than the UGC player base. If the best scouts in the game practice MGE why shouldn't you?

    DM - This is great practice for highlander because of all the chaos. Ideal for improving your ability to dodge/jump around and stay alive while also improving your aim. Great for hit-scan classes like engy, scout, improving your shotgun pyro, and even spies for improving their revolver aim. Also good for practicing pills as demo.

    MGE - This is great for newer soldiers but stops being so important after you become a platinum level soldier. Also great way to practice scout v scout.

    QUAKE - Go to www.quakelive.com and play some games, tell me that quake doesn't make TF2 feel like Hello Kitty Island Adventure in terms of difficulty. It's like a work out for your FPS muscles - if you can think, switch weapons, and aim as much as Quake demands, then TF2 begins to seem easy. This can especially be great for improving heavy tracking if you get yourself into a Clan Arena game and primarily use your lightening gun.

    Sniping - Sniping seems to be a thing that a lot of people either have or don't have but that doesn't mean you can't practice to get better. The only thing those sniper servers are good for is improving your sniper v sniper. I'm just going to follow what Jake told me - Jake would play in 32 player custom map servers - the custom maps put yourself in awkward unfamiliar positions and require you to think while you shoot, rather than just turn your brain off and shoot while you stay in one place

    Pyro, Heavy, Engy, and Spy - Let's face it your classes aren't as aim intensive as the rest but that doesn't mean you shouldn't practice your aim. If you can play scout and hit rocket jumping soldiers or other fast moving scouts, suddenly spraying your minigun becomes a lot easier as does aiming your shotgun while playing a slower moving pyro or engineer. If you can hit things as scout, you can probably hit things as all the rest of the classes.

    I wrote this because I realized how much content there is out there for playing smart and how I many people I run across that don't know these things. The main things I want you to pay attention to is how important having a good monitor is (CRTs are awesome too, if you're broke) and follow the settings I outlined earlier so that you're not missing shots just because of a few dumb settings.

    Cliff notes/TL;DR version:
    99% chance your monitor sucks, just read that part and make sure your settings aren't set to something stupid.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: vhalin's guide and walkthrough to improving your aim started by vhalin View original post
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. SteveC's Avatar
      SteveC -
      What rate settings do you recommend on lan?
    1. Anyar's Avatar
      Anyar -
      "Wireless mice - No."

      Aw. Why not though?
    1. Mermaid Man's Avatar
      Mermaid Man -
      Quote Originally Posted by Anyar View Post
      "Wireless mice - No."

      Aw. Why not though?
      beacuse wireless mice have more input lag, just like wireless controllers, and that's why people use gamecube controllers on ssb4