Become Better at First Person Shooter Video Games

This article explains a few tips & tricks and techniques, as well as methods, that will hopefully improve your FPS gaming ability.


  1. Play the single-player campaign. This will help familiarize yourself with the guns, environment, etc.
  2. Master the controls. This is very important. Shooting, crouching, reloading, etc. Knowing these perfectly is imperative!
  3. Learn the 'maps'. Familiarize yourself with the surroundings, 'vantage points'*1, 'chokepoints'*2, where the bomb plants are for 'Search & Destroy'*3, or the flags for 'Domination'*3. It's very helpful to have the know-how on these maps as when you can navigate them easily, you can get the drop on the enemy. Additionally, experiment with different routes that will help familiarize yourself. You'll know where you're going, which is always to your advantage!
  4. Try a plethora of weapons and determine which suits you and your playing style the best. Sometimes, however, you will need to variate your weapon usage, e.g if your weapon runs out of ammunition and you must pick up an enemies... so it's good to be familiarized generally with different weapons. Additionally, in most FPS games usage of a weapon (x amount of kills, x amount of headshot kills) will reward you with extra XP points, so it is a good tactic for quick leveling up!
  5. Have the correct perks which suit your gameplay. Certain roles demand different qualities... if you play with an SMG (Submachine gun) you may want to employ a perk which allows extended running times (Marathon, Extreme Conditioning, Lightweight) and if sniping, Sleight Of Hand Pro or Steady Aim is highly recommended (if playing CoD that is). Familiarize yourself with the weapons you'll be using. Guns, explosives, any machinery (Helicopters, Spy Planes, etc.). Knowing what suits you will really help your ability! Experiment with different 'classes'*4, use new weapons, new explosives For novices I recommend an assault rifle, which is balanced in all areas.
  6. This is quite simple, but use your 'Equipment'! Grenades are great for picking up kills and clearing objectives, especially in game modes where the enemy is capturing somewhere, throwing a grenade in can get you a nice amount of kills! Stun/Flashbang grenades are also great for incapacitating the enemy, creating an easy kill. Also, it will sometimes be useful to 'cook' the grenade (hold the live grenade so that the time between you throwing it and it exploding is less) leaving the enemy less time to react! If you know somebody is 'camping' (staying in a certain given area) throw in a Stun/Flash before going in, this will reduce the chances of you dying during your ambush.
  7. Edit your controller layout. This is a smaller adjustment, but there is a technique called 'dropshotting' in which when you engage in a firefight you go from STANDING position to PRONE (lying down) position. It makes you harder to shoot, I do it myself and find that it is a very good technique. What you want to do is change your MELEE (knifing) button from R3 to circle, so that POSITION CHANGING (standing to crouch, crouch to prone etc.) is R3. Now the MELEE should be circle, or 'B' on Xbox. This means your crouch button is closer to your CHARACTER MOVING button so you can go prone easier during a firefight. Practice it!
  8. Consider adjusting the sensitivity of the controls. Continuing on the subject of controls, after you are more comfortable, you may want to change the sensitivity so that you can turn quicker.
  9. When you're killed, or do something that gets you in to a bad situation, reflect upon it. 'What could I have done to have averted this?' Then put that into action. Learn from your mistakes and do not blame others for them.
  10. Killstreaks. If you manage to get a certain amount of kills without dying, in some FPS games there are rewards. Within the gaming realm of Call of Duty, these are 'Killstreaks'. Try to use team-helping killstreaks such as an enemy locator (UAV/Spy Plane).
  11. Don't get too frustrated. Everyone gets better with time & practice. And of course, don't forget to have fun!
  12. Explanation of terms:
    • Vantage points - an elevated area where you can view a large amount of the area you're playing in. Useful for surprising the enemy and seeing what is going on!
    • Choke point - an area which is 'funneled' meaning it is small and enclosed, and forcing the enemy into them means you can easily dispatch them, very useful! This is also known as a "bottle neck".
    • Search & Destroy and Domination- Two game modes found on Call Of Duty and some other games, the most played along with Team Deathmatch.
    • Classes - a combination of a primary weapon with an attachment e.g Extended Magazines (Submachine Gun, Assault Rifle, Shotgun, Sniper Rifle, Rifle) and secondary weapon (Usually a pistol or explosive weapon), a grenade slot and often 'Perks' which give you certain advantages e.g a quicker reload.


  • Practice makes perfect. Experiment with different methods of play.
  • Focus on accuracy. Headshots are a guaranteed fatality in most games, so aim for the head.
  • Know your enemy. Make an effort to learn what your opponent does and how to beat them.
  • Work on your timing and how fast you shoot. It can make all the difference.
  • Watch videos of players on YouTube. They may have tips and you could learn new things!
  • Enjoy it as much as you can!
  • You need to go for harder missions and harder guns etch. Don't play on the same difficulty. You can try playing older shooters because they may have easier controls, but they have plenty of harder options. Also shields don't regenerate. Perfect and Golden Eye would for N64 be an excellent choice because they have pave the way for almost all shooters today. The simpler graphics can help you get better at aiming.
  • Don't just mash buttons. That can also make all the difference. Sometimes you have to though.
  • For flat out beginners: The first thing you do is pick up a shield or gun. Don't wait.
  • If the music is distracting, mute it turn it off. It may help some people though.
  • Always ask for tips from friends.


  • Always remember some people are epileptic. If you exhibit any symptoms stop playing immediately and consult a doctor.
  • Try not to play for over 8 hours at a time. It can overheat your console.
  • If you need sleep. Don't play. You won't get better and your body needs it. There is always tomorrow.

Things You'll Need

  • A good PC or games console and relevant items (controller, mouse, keyboard etc.)
  • A copy of the game in question
  • Patience
  • Experienced players
  • Positive attitude
  • Motivation to push forward

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