How to Improve Your Aim in Overwatch: Flicking
Thu 23rd Aug 2018 - 8:07pm
There are two main aspects when it comes to aiming in Overwatch: flicking and tracking. In this guide, we will talk about exercises to improve your flicks, which will positively affect your performance on heroes like Widowmaker and McCree. Keep in mind that this is not a Widow guide, because in order to play her correctly you also need other skills like tracking.
The first thing you want to do when logging into Overwatch is to warm yourself up. Jumping into a game straight away will probably result in you underperforming. Five to ten minutes in the practice map is usually enough.
If Overwatch is your first shooter, and even if you have been playing for a while, it is possible you haven't tried flicking yet, because there are a lot of different heroes with very different playstyles and only two of them use flicks. This was my case back in Seasons 1 and 2.
First, make sure your sensitivity is low enough. This is not a sens/DPI guide, but I strongly advise you to play on the lower end of the spectrum. If you multiply your DPI by your in-game sensitivity, you will get a number in the thousands called effective sensitivity and anywhere from 3000 to 6000 is a good place to be, wherever you are comfortable. Of course, there are people outside this range that perform at a very high level, but it is a good place to start until you find your perfect sensitivity.
The ideal place to learn to flick is the practice map because the bots have large head hitboxes and you have no pressure upon yourself. Place your crosshair a few centimeters away from the bot and instantly move your mouse a short distance towards its head and click without thinking. Don't try to measure it, don't have second thoughts, and trust your instincts. You don't have to hit just yet. Repeat several times adjusting the distance and your movement, training your muscles (and not your brain) to instinctively and rapidly move your mouse appropriately. If your camera moves too much when flicking, consider lowering your sensitivity until you are comfortable.
For Intermediate Players
If you already know the basics of flicking, but you aren't comfortable trying it on real players yet, consider spending thirty minutes before each gaming session in a solo custom match as Widowmaker or McCree. I recommend picking Ilios Lighthouse, make yourself almost invulnerable and set up skirmish and headshot only mode. Grapple or jump to the roof of the control point and you will be in the perfect position to practice against unlimited moving targets with proper hitboxes.
Some example settings. I recommend increased jumping on McCree to easily access roofs
Pick difficult heroes with small hitboxes like those above.
Crosshair placement is important, but not as much as in other games like CS:GO, and in the chaos of a teamfight, you will find yourself trying to flick from every direction, particularly with McCree. To make sure you can handle aiming from every spot, practice positioning your crosshair in every possible place around your objective, switching up the distance as well. Over time you will likely notice that you perform better from specific directions, maybe left to right or moving upwards, use this knowledge to your advantage and try positioning your crosshair where you perform best. On the other hand, playing Widowmaker means you are away from the chaos so there is no excuse for bad crosshair placement. Position your sights at head level, always keeping in mind what targets you want to shoot at and where their head is. A perfect placement means you don't even have to flick and the enemies will walk into your crosshair.
One aspect you have to keep in mind is the relative altitude difference between you and the target. A first-person camera is a complex system and it is shaped like a sphere. If you are aiming straight, moving your mouse in a horizontal line will move your camera horizontally, but it will do a semi-circle if you aim towards the sky or the ground. This is particularly noticeable when trying to shoot a Pharah or aiming down from a very high position. To counter this, try placing your crosshair much closer to the target to minimize the deviation or even stop flicking altogether.
Maps like Ilios Well have very pronounced altitude differences.
The last step is the one that will make you improve the most. Playing against real players in a Widowmaker headshot only custom map. Real players' movement is very different from bots and this last phase will prepare you to flick in any situation you encounter in an actual competitive match. In addition, if you underperform, you don't lose SR because it is only a custom match so you can focus on improving rather than winning. It is really important you don't overthink your mistakes, missing several shots in a row is perfectly normal and it happens to everyone, even the pros. If you start worrying about it you will likely start missing more than before, so don't lose your focus and be confident in your skills.
You are now ready to jump into a competitive game, putting your skills to good use and finally picking Widowmaker and McCree. Don't worry about not performing up to your own expectations at first, losing several matches in a row is an investment you are making to practice and master those heroes, and you will regain it soon enough. In addition, flicking is a skill that is much more heavily used in other shooters like CS:GO and you will be glad when your ability in Overwatch transfers to future games.
With this concludes our guide on how to improve your flicking skills. Remember that to actually develop your aim you have to consistently practice, no one starts shooting like a pro at first. I hope this routine helps you as much as it helped me and you are able to rank up thanks to it because... the world could always use more heroes!
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