Aiming Tips with Hitscan (Soldier and McCree)

General Discussion
Hi Guys,

Ever since I have made it to Diamond rank, I have encountered a lot of really good DPS/Offense players in both competitive and QP mode. Sometimes in QP i even regularly bump into Masters DPS/Offense players.

Most of them have extremely good aim and situation awareness. I have been trying to imitate their play style to elevate my game, any tips on how to further improve my aim to play at a higher level?

In addition, I also noticed one interesting thing from their kill cam replay, a lot of time the higher ranked DPS/Offense players seem to be aiming via "anticipation" much like a projectile instead of trying to aim via target tracking. For example, I noticed that a lot of good McCree players aims slightly toward the side of where i am moving to hit me. Is this a better aiming practice then trying to aim exactly on top of the target?

Appreciate tips and feedback. Thanks!
Tracking with hit scan is a bad move, generally you want SOME slight movement to your cursor so you can adjust to the target. The only exception is stationary targets in which you peak and stand still pre lining target behind cover. Practice peaking it's the next step in your player evolution.
Just keep in mind all hitscan is, is point and click.

Whenever you click, you will hit wherever your cursor is.

So if you're struggling doing snap shots/flick shots, just predict enemy movement and time it so you click when you think the enemy will "run into" your cursor.

On a side note, don't have too high of DPI or in-game sensitivity. You're better off having lower sensitivity and getting used to having to more your arm/mouse around more, instead of getting used to really small movements and how much your cursor shifts.
01/15/2017 02:04 PMPosted by LemonIceTea
any tips on how to further improve my aim to play at a higher level?


Point gun at man. Shoot man.

Is the simplest way of doing well on hitscan.

01/15/2017 02:04 PMPosted by LemonIceTea
For example, I noticed that a lot of good McCree players aims slightly toward the side of where i am moving to hit me. Is this a better aiming practice then trying to aim exactly on top of the target?


There's 3 main ways of aiming in an FPS (On PC at least):

- Tracking
- Predicting
- Flicking

People generally have a preference that they naturally learned to do. Some weapons favour one over the other, for example, one shot weapons like flicking while rapid fire weapons like tracking, however, there's use for all 3 irregardless of weapon (Be it hitscan, projectile, one shot, rapid fire etc) during games.

A quick rundown of what these terms mean and examples of when they're useful:

- Tracking. Simply following a players movements keeping your mouse on them. This is good for pushing out sustained damage, such as when using a rapid fire weapon. Or if it's a high health target you're pinging down with a McCree or something.

A way to practice this is by going to the Practice Range and go to the moving bots. Then simply pick a bot to keep your reticle on their head (Only their head, don't allow yourself to aim at their body) while constantly moving and jumping erratically. This combined with their natural movements will be a challenge to maintain. Note: Don't shoot the bot for this, just keep tracking (Shoot another bot every ~30 seconds or so to stop getting kicked)

- Predicting. This is putting your reticle somewhere you know the target is going to be so you then just fire when they move into it rather than you moving into them. This is most useful when facing players that are jumping as after they hit the apex of their jump, they'll be moving in a very predictable pattern as gravity does its work (If you want a reliable headshot, aim for where their head will be when they land). It's also useful if you notice people are walking in straight lines too often.

Only real way to practice this at the moment is by playing in game vs players. It's simple enough to get the hang of though. Bonus points is at the start of a game, your allies will often jump around like idiots, so you can practice predicting them too and get used to how jumps travel in this game.

- Flicks. This is when you have you aim at a relaxed position and when you see a target you quickly flick over to them, shoot and then flick back to the rest position in a single movement. This is useful for getting headshots with one shot weapons, since getting the muscle memory for this allows you to push out the headshots before you've even thought "There's a dude there, I should headshot him" nah you just flick > pop on reflex. Flicking is also useful for other weapons too, if you just disregard the return to rest half of the flick, it's useful for just aiming at targets quickly.

To practice, you can start with the bots in the Practice Range. Go by the steps and aim at the grey box in the centre for your rest position. As bots come into sight, flick at them and flick back. Once you're used to this, go into a custom game with all Ana bots and enable Headshots Only. Then try and flick to kill the Ana bots since only headshots work it means they can't damage you and you HAVE to be accurate to kill them. Then you just gotta move up to playing real players.

So yeah, all 3 ways are useful and ultimately necessary for performing well as hitscan (Or any character really... When you start flicking on Hanzo for example, you get some good kills against things like Tracer while people who just predict will die everytime)
01/15/2017 02:10 PMPosted by BurmaJones
Just keep in mind all hitscan is, is point and click.

Whenever you click, you will hit wherever your cursor is.

So if you're struggling doing snap shots/flick shots, just predict enemy movement and time it so you click when you think the enemy will "run into" your cursor.

On a side note, don't have too high of DPI or in-game sensitivity. You're better off having lower sensitivity and getting used to having to more your arm/mouse around more, instead of getting used to really small movements and how much your cursor shifts.


Thanks for the advice, I tried to tune down in game sensitivity to around 8 and it helps. I know 7 is generally recommended from the pro but it feels a bit too slow sometimes for me when turning, I guess i will need to adjust to playing around 8 first then tune down to 7 later.
01/15/2017 02:21 PMPosted by Taril
01/15/2017 02:04 PMPosted by LemonIceTea
any tips on how to further improve my aim to play at a higher level?


Point gun at man. Shoot man.

Is the simplest way of doing well on hitscan.

01/15/2017 02:04 PMPosted by LemonIceTea
For example, I noticed that a lot of good McCree players aims slightly toward the side of where i am moving to hit me. Is this a better aiming practice then trying to aim exactly on top of the target?


There's 3 main ways of aiming in an FPS (On PC at least):

- Tracking
- Predicting
- Flicking

People generally have a preference that they naturally learned to do. Some weapons favour one over the other, for example, one shot weapons like flicking while rapid fire weapons like tracking, however, there's use for all 3 irregardless of weapon (Be it hitscan, projectile, one shot, rapid fire etc) during games.

A quick rundown of what these terms mean and examples of when they're useful:

- Tracking. Simply following a players movements keeping your mouse on them. This is good for pushing out sustained damage, such as when using a rapid fire weapon. Or if it's a high health target you're pinging down with a McCree or something.

A way to practice this is by going to the Practice Range and go to the moving bots. Then simply pick a bot to keep your reticle on their head (Only their head, don't allow yourself to aim at their body) while constantly moving and jumping erratically. This combined with their natural movements will be a challenge to maintain. Note: Don't shoot the bot for this, just keep tracking (Shoot another bot every ~30 seconds or so to stop getting kicked)

- Predicting. This is putting your reticle somewhere you know the target is going to be so you then just fire when they move into it rather than you moving into them. This is most useful when facing players that are jumping as after they hit the apex of their jump, they'll be moving in a very predictable pattern as gravity does its work (If you want a reliable headshot, aim for where their head will be when they land). It's also useful if you notice people are walking in straight lines too often.

Only real way to practice this at the moment is by playing in game vs players. It's simple enough to get the hang of though. Bonus points is at the start of a game, your allies will often jump around like idiots, so you can practice predicting them too and get used to how jumps travel in this game.

- Flicks. This is when you have you aim at a relaxed position and when you see a target you quickly flick over to them, shoot and then flick back to the rest position in a single movement. This is useful for getting headshots with one shot weapons, since getting the muscle memory for this allows you to push out the headshots before you've even thought "There's a dude there, I should headshot him" nah you just flick > pop on reflex. Flicking is also useful for other weapons too, if you just disregard the return to rest half of the flick, it's useful for just aiming at targets quickly.

To practice, you can start with the bots in the Practice Range. Go by the steps and aim at the grey box in the centre for your rest position. As bots come into sight, flick at them and flick back. Once you're used to this, go into a custom game with all Ana bots and enable Headshots Only. Then try and flick to kill the Ana bots since only headshots work it means they can't damage you and you HAVE to be accurate to kill them. Then you just gotta move up to playing real players.

So yeah, all 3 ways are useful and ultimately necessary for performing well as hitscan (Or any character really... When you start flicking on Hanzo for example, you get some good kills against things like Tracer while people who just predict will die everytime)


flicking practice is an interesting one, thanks.
Whenever I try to flick, I either go too far away, too close, or just next to them.
01/15/2017 02:22 PMPosted by LemonIceTea
01/15/2017 02:10 PMPosted by BurmaJones
Just keep in mind all hitscan is, is point and click.

Whenever you click, you will hit wherever your cursor is.

So if you're struggling doing snap shots/flick shots, just predict enemy movement and time it so you click when you think the enemy will "run into" your cursor.

On a side note, don't have too high of DPI or in-game sensitivity. You're better off having lower sensitivity and getting used to having to more your arm/mouse around more, instead of getting used to really small movements and how much your cursor shifts.


Thanks for the advice, I tried to tune down in game sensitivity to around 8 and it helps. I know 7 is generally recommended from the pro but it feels a bit too slow sometimes for me when turning, I guess i will need to adjust to playing around 8 first then tune down to 7 later.
Well DPI has an influence too.

My sensitivity is at 4, but now I'm curious about the pro endorsement of 7. I haven't bothered looking into it yet for Overwatch, but in TF2, it was common knowledge to keep sensitivity at default (3) because the way the Source engine worked was that it'd divide or multiply input below/above the default setting.

In any case, I used to be a lazy wrist aimer way back in the day but in the long run it's best to use your arm for more precision. It's much harder making small adjustments to your aim on a moving target when your sens is higher and slight shifts of your mouse throw your cursor a larger distance.

Honestly, a good mouse and getting used to a comfortable but low combination of DPI and in-game sens makes a big positive difference.

EDIT: Oh and one more thing, figure out mouse acceleration. Personally I have it completely turned off, but I know some people, pros to other/more skilled fps games included, use some form of mild accel. That's something that is more preference though.
01/15/2017 02:39 PMPosted by BurmaJones
EDIT: Oh and one more thing, figure out mouse acceleration. Personally I have it completely turned off, but I know some people, pros to other/more skilled fps games included, use some form of mild accel. That's something that is more preference though.
Overwatch uses raw mouse input, so changing your acceleration in Windows doesn't do anything.

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