Understand your aim

Your aim is one of the most important skills you need to learn to succeed in Counter-Strike. You need to learn and understand the different aim skills or you will lose most of your aim duels.

An underlying mechanism for most aim skills is eye-hand coordination which is the ability to control mouse movement according to what your eyes see on the screen. This mechanism is the foundation of your aim when looking at what happens in your brain and body.

The goal of improving your aim skills is to strengthen the connections in your brain that are responsible for performing the movement and make them automated. Not thinking about how you aim because it’s so automated is a huge advantage and can free up a lot of mental energy, benefiting other aspects of your game.

This article covers each aim skill and discusses the mechanisms, in-game importance, and difficulty to master. Furthermore, you can find tips on how to improve each aim skill.

Types of aim skills

  • Crosshair placement
  • Counter strafing
  • Spray control
  • Spray transfer
  • Tapping
  • Bursting
  • Flicking
  • Tracking
  • Reaction time

Crosshair placement

Crosshair placement is about having your aim at the most favorable or advantageous position at any time when you can expect an enemy. This means that you never walk around aiming at the ground or up in the sky. In almost any case you should have your crosshair at head height. With great crosshair placement, you limit the distance you need to move the mouse to hit the target. This lowers the risk of being inaccurate due to certain mouse movements.

Importance and difficulty:

Crosshair placement is one of the most important aim skills to master in CS2. You need to have your crosshair in a good position when you peek, clear, or hold angles.

When you hold an angle where the enemy can run into your crosshair you need to find out, according to your reaction time, how far you need to aim from the wall. If you aim too close to the wall the enemy will likely run past your crosshair before you start shooting. How far from the wall you need to aim depends on several factors such as the angle and how close you are standing to the wall. When you move and clear angles your crosshair should always follow the edges.

It is not difficult to get a decent crosshair placement however it is still hard to master because you need to know about multiple angles on the different maps and be able to quickly switch back and forth between them.

How to improve crosshair placement?

The best way to improve your crosshair placement is by playing prefire maps such as Ypracc. This will let you practice all different angles and positions on almost every competitive CS:GO map.

You could also practice crosshair placement on a deathmatch server where you focus on perfecting your crosshair placement.

Counter strafing

Counter strafing is when you immediately stop moving sideways to shoot with full accuracy. For example, if you move left by holding the A key, then release the A key and quickly tap the D key, then shoot. This will stop your movement without losing accuracy. There is a very short delay between tapping the counter strafe key and you being fully accurate. Remember to not hold the counter strafe key, only tap it.

Counter strafing is used to jiggle peek or pre aim angles. Counter strafing is often used in pistol duels, especially at long ranges. Here you move from side to side to make it harder for the enemy to hit you while you still maintain high accuracy.

Importance and difficulty:

Counter strafing is an important part of your aim and is a skill that higher rank players use all the time. Before your counter strafe becomes effective you need to have your crosshair placement on point. When you develop confidence in these two aim skills it becomes a lot easier for you to get kills because you improve your accuracy a lot.

It can take a lot of practice to master counter strafing but when you get the movement and timing on point the skill becomes invaluable.

How to improve Counter strafing?

To improve counter strafing I suggest you start slowly to get a feeling of the movement. Give yourself time to feel how long it takes to stop. A good way to practice counter strafing is on Aim botz map. Here you can set up walls in front of the bots to simulate a real peek.

You can set cl_dynamic_crosshair to “1” to get visual information about when you stopped completely.

Spray control

Spray control is when you compensate for a weapons spray pattern by moving the mouse in the opposite direction. Each weapon in CS:GO has a unique spray pattern which is determined by the recoil of the weapon. Some weapons have a high amount of recoil which means that you need to move your mouse more than with low recoil weapons. This makes it harder to control the spray of higher recoil weapons.

Each weapon has a recoil recovery time which is the time it takes for the weapon to reset its recoil to zero. The recovery time will increase the more bullets you spray.

Importance and difficulty:

Spray control is extremely important in CS:GO. Without being able to control the spray You will most likely lose the majority of your battles if you are not able to control the spray of the weapon you play with.

As a result of the many different weapons in CS:GO it is very difficult to remember all the spray patterns. First of all, you should start learning the spray patterns of the main weapons such as AK47 and M4. It is not recommended to spray in long-range fights due to the high inaccuracy when spraying.

How to improve spray?

A good way to improve spray control is to divide the spray into chunks. Start by mastering the first 10 bullets. The first 10 bullets are mostly based on horizontal movements which makes them less complicated to learn. The first 10 bullets are also the most important in a gunfight. if you haven’t killed an enemy within the first 10 bullets you will probably be dead yourself.

There is a great map called Recoil master. This map is only set up to practice spray control with any weapon of your choice including several features to improve learning.

Spray transfer

Spray transfer is when you move your crosshair from one target to another while keep shooting. When you transfer your spray you need to realize how far you are into the spray to be able to continue the spray control on the next target.

Importance and difficulty:

Spray transfer is an advanced aim skill that first becomes important when you reach the higher ranks. Before that, you should focus on basic aim skills such as crosshair placement, counter strafing, and spray control. But when you reach the higher ranks it becomes a crucial aim skill to master.

Spray transfer is without a doubt the most difficult aim skill to master but is very effective in scenarios where you are out in the open in front of more than just one enemy.

How to improve spray transfer?

To improve your spray transfer you should first become comfortable controlling the spray of a full magazine of the weapon you carry. You can practice this on the map Recoil Master – Spray Training. When you feel comfortable you can move on to practice spray transfer on bots that are standing still. CSGOHUB is a great map for this as they have a spray transfer game mode.


Tapping is when you shoot one bullet at a time. Tapping is useful at long ranges because you reset most of the weapon recoil before firing the next bullet. This allows for high-accuracy shots. Even though you only fire one bullet at a time you can still increase the pace at which you tap. When tapping at a higher pace you need to compensate for the recoil.

Importance and difficulty:

Tap shooting is not an important skill in itself, but when we look at the underlying mechanism we find something special. When tapping we can talk about first bullet accuracy which depends on your eye-hand coordination. The first bullet accuracy is a vital aim skill and is beneficial to all other aim skills. This is because in any case where you are in a gunfight you need to point the crosshair at the target as fast as possible.

It is easy to control eye-hand coordination during slow hand movements but as you increase the movement speed it becomes much harder to stay accurate.

When tapping against a moving target you also need to predict the player’s next movements.

How to improve tapping?

Aim Botz training map and CSGO HUB are great maps to practice and improve tapping. Start with slow movements to maintain high accuracy, then Increase the speed when you feel comfortable.
Improving your counter strafe movement and tracking skills could also benefit your tapping.

When practicing tapping and the underlying eye-hand coordination you should focus on getting a lot of repetitions. Making errors is what your brain adapts too. Therefore, when you should practice you should set the difficulty above your current skill level. This applies to all skill practice.


Bursting is when you fire a predetermined number of shots in a row, usually two or three bullets. Most weapons have very low recoil after shooting the first three bullets which makes bursting attractive at semi- or long-range distances.

The time you should take between each burst depends on the weapon’s recovery time. The recovery time differs from weapon to weapon but common for all is, when you spray or shoot at a faster pace the recovery time becomes higher.

Importance and difficulty:

Bursting is not so often used, which makes it a less important aim skill to focus on. Yet it is still important to distinguish between when you should tap, burst, or spray, which all depends on the distance to the target.

How to improve bursting?

To improve your bursting you should look into the small amount of recoil that appears after three bullets and see if you can compensate for that. Besides that, you should practice bursting the same way as tapping, just shooting more bullets at a time.


Flicking is where you move your crosshair very fast onto a target. You use to flick when you spot an enemy but your crosshair is in another direction. This could be spotting an enemy holding an off-angle. In these situations, you heavily rely on your eye-hand coordination.

Importance and difficulty:

Flicking is important in the way that you need to be able to move your crosshair quickly onto a target before getting shot. The faster you flick the harder it gets to hit the target. The hard part of flicking is to calculate visual distance according to mouse movement while being fast and accurate. Therefore, it takes a lot of practice to master the skill of flicking because your eye-hand coordination needs a lot of repetitions before it adapts and improves.

How to improve flicking?

A great way to improve your flick aim is on the CSGO HUB map. The map has a time trial mode that spawns bots at a random location. This allows you to instantly flick your crosshair onto a target without predicting the location first. You should try to react as fast as possible. It might be beneficial for you to use a wrist movement to control your flicks as they tend to be more tuned for fine motor skills.


Tracking is when you keep your aim locked onto a target. This is used when you spray towards a moving enemy. You also use your tracking skills when clearing angles where your crosshair follows the corner of the walls.

Importance and difficulty:

The aim duels in CS2 are very short which makes tracking a less attractive aim skill to practice. However, it is still important to be able to maintain your aim on a moving target and follow walls.

The hardest part of tracking is predicting the future movements of an enemy.

How to improve tracking?

A great way to improve your tracking skills is on the map Yprac Aim Trainer.

This map has a game mode designed to practice tracking. It can be beneficial to practice tracking on a deathmatch server to get a sense of how it feels to track a moving target by real players.

Reaction time

Reaction time can be defined as the time it takes to react to a stimulus. In this case, spotting an enemy. Reaction time is a skill you can improve just like any other aim skill. If you can react faster than your enemy, and you have your other aim skills developed, there is a good chance that you get the kill.

Importance and difficulty:

Fast reaction times are useless if you don’t hit your shot, but being fast and accurate is one of the most valuable aim skills you can have when taking fight.

How to improve reaction time?

There are several things you can do to improve your reaction time. One is practice, another is living a healthy lifestyle with a focus on eating good quality foods and exercising regularly. This gives your brain and body great conditions to improve your reaction times.

In addition to nutrition and exercise comes sleep, which has a major impact on your reaction time. If you’re not getting enough quality sleep your reaction time immediately becomes slower. So a great way to improve reaction time is to improve your sleep.

If you want to know more about reaction time you can read more here.

Final words

You now have been taken through the different aim skills and how they relate to CS:GO. Hopefully, the information can help improve your understanding of the various elements and how to improve your aim.

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