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Improving Your Aim in VALORANT: Best Angle Positioning and Aiming Practices

MichaelKelly

MichaelKelly

Mon 18th May 2020 - 7:24pm

If there’s one thing that defines the difference between each tier of VALORANT players, it’s their ability to aim. Regardless of the title in the FPS genre, aim is always going to be the core mechanic that the game revolves around. When it comes to VALORANT, your aim is the core factor that’s going to make or break your experience.

In this overview, we’re going to break down everything surrounding good aim. Factors like crosshair placement, spray patterns, angle positioning, and more are going to be crucial when it comes to improving your gunplay in VALORANT on a wide-scale level. 

Crosshair Placement

Let’s start with the most important piece of your gameplay that you’ll want to work on in your quest to improve your aim. Crosshair placement is vital in VALORANT, and it’s most definitely going to be the first thing you should try to tackle when it comes to improving your aim as a whole. 

The most premier piece of advice you can utilize when it comes to crosshair placement is that when idle, or not in combat, your crosshair should always be placed at head-length with your opposition. Since VALORANT relies completely on split-second reaction times, you’re going to need your crosshair to be in the most optimal position to land a headshot immediately and deal the most damage as possible to any invading opponent. 

Additionally, since your first shot isn’t affected by any other outside factors such as recoil or spray patterns, your initial shot is going to land exactly where your crosshair is positioned. If you are targeting your opponent’s head, you’re going to be doing large amounts of damage straight from the beginning of any scuffle. 

From there, if the burst of combat does go on for a bit, your crosshair’s initial placement will be a large factor in where your weapon is going to be firing during the later stages of a gunfight. This brings us the next major factor that you’ll have to get a handle on if you’re looking to improve your overall aim in VALORANT: spray patterns. 

Spray Patterns

Spray patterns are a classic mechanic that anyone who’s played a tactical shooter before should be familiar with. However, if VALORANT is your first exposure to the genre, you’ll soon learn that many guns in the game behave differently than others. In fact, almost every gun has a different “spray pattern”. 

However, if there’s one commonality between all of the game’s weapons, it’s that you can easily manipulate where your shots are going to go without extensive knowledge of the entire pattern. Perhaps the most useful “trick” you can get a handle on when it comes to controlling your shots is going to be crouching after taking a few shots.

Since recoil is going to naturally pull the weapon upwards, it would make sense that your shots are going to be travelling vertically the longer you hold down the trigger. To counteract this, crouching will automatically pull your crosshair down, giving you a little bit of manipulation over your spray pattern and almost “softly resetting” your weapon’s pattern halfway through combat. After some time, crouching in a gunfight should be second nature, as it’s most definitely one of the more fundamental mechanics you’ll need to pick up. 

Additionally, you can make good use of mouse-work when working against spray patterns. If you’re coming over to VALORANT from another FPS game such as CS:GO, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with the concept of moving your mouse in a direction that’s opposite of the weapon’s natural pattern. This chart, courtesy of Reddit user "nova42", should give you a clear idea of how to control spray patterns in VALORANT

For example, if we look at the Phantom, whose pattern naturally moves up and slightly to the left, you can keep your shots centered during an extended burst of firing by physically moving your mouse down and to the right.

Learning the spray patterns for each gun in the game isn’t going to be a make-or-break mechanic that absolutely defines you as a player, but it’s good to have knowledge of the weapons that you’ll be using in combat. The quicker you’re able to combine your background knowledge with your in-game ability, the quicker you’ll improve your aim as a whole.

Angles and Positioning

Finally, the last major piece of fundamental knowledge you should learn to practice while improving your aim is going to be the concept of manipulating angles and properly peeking around corners. While your natural abilities with a weapon are going to propel you throughout your VALORANT career, map knowledge and a basic understanding of the way angles work in the game are going to be key to winning any gunfight. 

Image courtesy of RiotTuxedo

First and foremost, it’s imperative to know the general rule of thumb to live by when holding an angle and peeking a corner: every angle plays by the same rules. 

No matter what your positioning may be, or what angle you may be holding, every gunfight around a corner or a specific angle in VALORANT will work the same way. Naturally, the player that's further away from the angle will always have the advantage over the player that's closer to the angle. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you’re peeking across the entirety of a site, or if you’re camping in a corner - the same rules will always apply to the situation. 

Closing Thoughts

VALORANT is a game where fundamentals are going to be absolutely vital to improvement. There is no room for cheese, and there is no room for metagaming. In order to climb the ladder, you’re going to need to have good aim. However, it’s also important to keep in mind that improving your aim and gradually getting better at VALORANT is something that comes with time and lots of grinding. 

The biggest thing you need to remember is that good aim only comes with practice. Perhaps the hardest thing to do when improving your aim is breaking out of the habits that dug you into a rut in the first place. What takes even longer than improving your gunplay is getting out of your former mindsets and breaking your physical habits that kept you back beforehand. Once you wipe your slate clean and focus on breaking bad habits, the good ones will come naturally.