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How to Improve Your Aim and Game Sense in CS:GO

Henlo

Henlo

Wed 5th Dec 2018 - 8:53pm

Since the inception of the Counter-Strike franchise, people have been pondering the importance of aim and game sense and deciding which one they should prioritise to improve their game. In this article, I will be weighing up the difference between aim and game sense and how important they are to the game. I will also be giving tips on how to improve both so that you can decide if you want to focus on one or try and improve both your aim and game sense.

Aim

A staple of professional Counter-Strike players throughout the years has been their consistent, and sometimes god tier, aim. From NEO back in 2009 in Counter Strike: Source to S1mple now in Global Offensive, the best players have always been the ones with the best aim, but why? Simply put, if you have an amazing aim you will most likely win all of your aim duels and every 1v1 you're faced with. Then you begin to win more difficult clutches and, if you can win those, your K/D goes up and your team picks up more rounds. Eventually, you've got a situation like Astralis, who are the undisputed best CS:GO team right now and arguably of all time. And that is why aim is so crucial in CS:GO, it means that you can win the clutches and you can become a better player. But now the question is, how can you improve your aim and is it the most important skill in CS:GO?

How to Improve Your Aim

Professional CS:GO players will have practiced their aim for years and years and will have no difficulty in picking up frags that the normal player would struggle to hit and will likely never be able to hit consistently. But, you can improve and with time, you may find yourself consistently hitting shots that you never thought you could. So how do you do it?

1. The first method I will cover here is a steam workshop map called Aim Botz by Ulletical. On this map, you can change the speed at which bots move so that you can try and hit shots on moving targets or simply have bots that are standing still so you can practice trying to one-tap players who are standing still and holding an angle for instance. There are also challenge modes such as the '100 Kill Challenge' where you have to try and kill 100 bots in the shortest time possible. You are also able to use any weapon in CS:GO so you can practice your spray or just test the first shot accuracy on any gun you want.

2. The second option is aim servers. There are hundreds of community run aim servers where you can train your aim on actual players in a situation similar to an actual competitive game. There also different servers for different weapons. For example, there are servers where you can only use pistols and others where you can only use rifles. This is also good practice for competitives, as you can improve your aim with pistols so that you can win more eco rounds and pistol rounds. However, there is a downside which is that many of the best players (including professionals) use these servers so, if you have a lower rank (silver and some gold ranks), you should probably avoid these servers as you will likely just end up getting annoyed and won't be able to improve.

Importance of Aim

So, now you know how to improve your aim, how important is good aim? Well, aim is a cornerstone of all FPSs so, naturally, it is key in CS:GO but not as important as in games like CoD where the sole objective is frags and you don't need to worry as much about outmaneuvring your enemy or knowing exactly where they will come from based on how they've played the rest of the game. To me, this is the biggest difference between CS:GO and other FPSs and is what sets it apart from them as you can't just rely on your aim you have to rely also on your game sense.

Game Sense

Something that sets CS:GO apart from other modern FPSs is the importance of game sense in pretty much every rank and especially at high ranks. Game sense is something that is absolutely key to winning a game and is why you need to focus on learning one map at a time and perfecting it before moving onto other maps. For each map, there are dozens of positions you need to know so that you can have a good game and not get outpositioned and killed from angles you didn't even know existed. On average, I would suggest that it takes ~50-75 hours of game play to be able to know a map properly and know all of the positions that your enemy could be at and where they could push you from (contact points) so that you can plan ahead and attack weak points and defend points where the enemy will likely be. You also need to have an understanding of the CS:GO economy so that you know when you should buy, when you should save and what your opponent will be doing.

How to Improve Your Game Sense

1. Firstly, I would suggest just playing the maps. If you don't want to risk your official CS:GO rank, it's always a good idea to use other hosts outside of the official game such as FACEIT and ESEA. FACEIT and ESEA are brilliant ways to learn maps, especially if you have a five-man. An important advantage of ESEA and FACEIT are that you can get experience on all of the maps, as you don't have the final decision on what gets played and that the servers are 128 tick, which means that hit reg will be much less buggy. However, you will need to relearn some of your nades as jumpthrows don't work the exact same on 128 tick servers as they do on 64 tick servers so you may end up missing your smokes and flashes. If you don't want to use external hosts, you could always just play casual mode in CS:GO. It is similar to a competitive, although there are more players on each team and the economy is different, so it is not ideal for trying to learn a map and the economy but is useful to learn contact points as they are similar in competitives and casuals.

2. My best advice would be to watch YouTube videos on the maps and how you are meant to play them. Many Counter Strike YouTubers have made brilliant videos on the maps in CS:GO and how to play them such as: 3kliksphilip and TheWarOwl. There also YouTubers such as HOUNGOUNGAGNE and former pro player n0thing who only play CS:GO but give commentary when they play and explain where you should position yourself and why. Also, the ex-professional CS:GO player, Pimp, streams CS:GO most days and is well known for explaining what he is doing and why it will work. These are excellent to help you improve your utility usage and use nades effectively. Lastly, there are CS:GO tournaments every month and, if you want to see how the pros do it, I would highly suggest watching those as the players generally know where the enemy will be and the casters analyse the situation and explain what they are doing and why they are doing it.

Importance of Game Sense

Game sense is hugely important in CS:GO and to say otherwise is wrong. It is a key part of CS:GO's meta and changes often and, if you want to improve, you need to keep on top of the meta and improve your game sense for each update. I believe that game sense is one of the most difficult aspect of CS:GO to learn as you can't just learn it once, you have to learn it for each map and memorise it so that you know where you need to look and when you need to be prepared for an enemy to peek you. Without a good knowledge of game sense, there is every chance that you will be surprised by an enemy who you didn't realise could be behind you and takes out your entire team before you can react.

Conclusion

To be a truly good player, you need to have a healthy balance between game sense and aim. If you have good game sense, you will be able to outmaneuvre the enemy and get yourself into a favourable position where you can take out at least one enemy before you get traded, which can be very crucial and influence how a round is played. You may also have amazing aim but very poor game sense so you can never get yourself into a favourable position where you can get multiple kills and will likely end up getting killed from a position you didn't know existed or you didn't know how to defend against. To summarise, if you want to vastly improve your game, you need to train your aim and learn the maps one by one so that you can get influential kills and win rounds for your team.

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