Aiming with the mouse is essential in almost any PC shooting game, doubly so if you play online. It’s a simple and intuitive process, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for improvement.
To improve your precision and reaction time when playing your favorite shooters, you’ll want to look at three things: hardware, software, and training. Don’t worry, this isn’t as hard (or as annoying) as it sounds.
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Hardware: Get The Right Mouse for the Job
The hyperbolic marketing of gaming accessory companies like Razer is sometimes a bit ridiculous. No, buying a $150 gaming mouse with a laser so precise you could use it for Lasik surgery won’t turn you into a pro gamer overnight. But gaming mice are designed with intention and features that aren’t there in more conventional mice. Getting one and using its features will definitely help versus a standard office mouse.
Most important among these is ergonomics. Gaming mice aren’t just designed to be comfortable—pretty much every mouse made in the last fifteen years can make that claim. They’re designed to be comfortable with more intense, extended sessions of use, and with the kind of hand grips that people use while playing. Those grips are surprisingly varied, and you might have adapted a standard “gamer” grip to your own mouse without even realizing it.
Broadly speaking, those grips come in “palm” and “fingertip” styles. With the palm style, you hold the mouse with your entire hand, your palm resting on the mouse. With the fingertip style, you grip the mouse with only the tips of your thumb, ring, and pinky fingers. (“Claw” grips are somewhere in between, with raised fingertips on the main buttons but a palm on the back of the mouse.)
Palm grip users prefer a tall, rounded mouse that supports their palm, and fingertip users want a shorter, lighter mouse that’s easier to move around quickly. Which one you prefer will depend on your ergonomic sensibilities.
There are other considerations for ergonomics, but they generally fall into two camps: more buttons (for top-down strategy, MOBA, and RPG games with lots of key binds) or fewer buttons (for fast-paced shooters and action games). A “sniper button,” which adjusts the mouse’s DPI on the fly, can be particularly useful for precise aiming—we’ll take a look at this later.
The least crucial aspect of a gaming mouse is one that often gets the most attention on a mouse’s packaging: the sensor. Only the most obsessive and skilled players need laser or optical sensors in excess of 10,000 DPI—most players can do just fine at much lower levels. Don’t overpay for a gaming mouse with features that you won’t actually use.
Unfortunately, mouse comfort and utility is hard to gauge online, and even in a retail display. I recommend investing in a cheaper model that you think will suit you, something under $50 or so, and figuring out how it fits into your play style. Once you get used to it and know what you’re looking for, you can go hunting for a gaming mouse with more features and extras, if you think you want one.
Software: Adjust Your DPI and Sensitivity Settings to Suit You
You probably already know that you can adjust the…
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