guides • Feb 01, 2020
The Basics of Aiming - A Guide to Landing Your Shots Better in Fortnite
As with any game that involves guns and shooting, having good aim is one of the most obvious ways to have a big advantage over others in Fortnite. Being able to laser down foes before they can react will allow you to win fights without taking damage, allowing you to loot enemies’ increasing your chances of winning a game.
Aiming is something that you have to work at constantly to get good at. The insane, inhuman, and ridiculous aim that most pros have is the result of tens of thousands of hours of practice. We mention this because at the end of the day, no matter how many guides you’ve read, you need to put in that practice time to get better.
However, there are a few techniques that you can learn to speed up the improvement of your aim and win a few more gunfights in the game. These are the most basic things that pros have practiced so much they do all of it without thinking. If you play with these ideas in mind, you’ll most certainly be able to improve quite quickly.
Aim before you shoot
The number 1 rule of good aim is to always, always, always, aim before you shoot. You know how in Star Wars: A New Hope, Darth Vadar waits until the X-Wing is in the right spot on his targeting computer before shooting? Same idea.
This is the simplest concept to understand, but one of the hardest to execute in practice. Most new players who can’t land a shot never think to aim - they usually put their crosshair in the generally correct area and pull the trigger. This is the entirely wrong way to go around it because it requires the enemy to walk into your line of fire for you to hit. Here’s an example:
The goal here is to mentally force yourself to aim before shooting, you’ll often at the very least hit one shot. Here’s a simple example:
Notice how that when ADS is triggered, the crosshair wasn’t centered on the bot’s head, and the player quickly adjusted it before shooting. Obviously, a moving target won’t stay in your crosshair for long, but a skilled player will be able to track the movement before shooting:
If the enemy moves out of your crosshair, re-adjust until the enemy’s in your crosshair then click. This is a lot easier said than done of course, and there’s a lot of things that can go wrong:
- You can shoot before your crosshair is on top the enemy
- You can shoot too late, after the enemy moves out of your crosshair
- You’re trying to aim and adjust before you shoot, and the enemy shoots at you
When you’re really focusing and actively thinking about making sure your crosshair is on top of your target before you shoot, you’ll find that the first two events will go down. From there, it’s a matter of practice of how fast you’ll be at getting your crosshair lined up faster than the other person.
Pay attention to your default crosshair placement
One of the key concepts of aiming in any shooting game is paying attention to where your crosshair is as you’re playing. As an example of what this means, here’s a clip of what not to do:
As you can see, the player’s crosshair is too low, and when the enemy comes in sight he has to do a big adjustment before he can shoot. Here’s an example of better placement:
Because the crosshair is placed better, only a slight adjustment has to be made for the headshot, meaning that the player was able to shoot almost instantly.
The basic idea behind good crosshair placement is that when an enemy appears on your screen, you:
- Will see the enemy
- Don’t have to move your mouse much to click on the enemy’s head
This is important for a few reasons:
- When you have to move your crosshair, you often throw your own aim off because you’ll likely not move in a steady fashion
- Often, you’ll move past your mark, or not far enough
- The more you have to move your crosshair, the more difficult it is to move it to your mark accurately
- It takes time to actually move your crosshair - the more you have to move it, the longer it’ll take
The extra time you spend moving more than you have to can delay your shot by a significant amount. (eg. it’ll take 0.5 seconds more to get to your target), that’s enough time for a skilled marksman to just headshot and kill you.
Make sure your aiming sensitivity is set correctly
This is an entirely different topic that we’ve covered in another guide.
To save you a click, here’s the TL;DR:
- Play with a sensitivity that is low enough for you to easily adjust for headshots, but high enough so that you can spin around if necessary
- The better you get at aiming, the higher you’ll be able to put your sensitivity because you won’t need the crutch that low sens provides
(PC Only) Large mouse movements with your arm, small adjustments with your wrist.
One of the reasons that PC players can get away with a low sensitivity is because they can do large mouse movements with their arms to compensate for the low sensitivity. The low sensitivity in return helps you be more precise when making small adjustments.
Here is what we mean by adjusting with your wrist:
You'll usually do this sort of movement when you're doing small aiming changes like in this video:
Here’s what we mean by adjusting with your arm:
You'll do this kind of movement when you need to spin around drastically like in this clip:
If you’re to trying to make big adjustments with your wrist, you’ll end up having to either turn your sensitivity up really high, or you’ll give yourself carpal tunnel from the constant repetition. Furthermore, your arm is a lot steadier when it comes to making large sweeping motions, meaning that your crosshair placement stays relatively stable.
(Console Only) Aim Assist - Yes or No?
Whenever you’re playing with a controller, the vast majority of shooter games will offer a configurable option called Aim Assist which does exactly what it sounds like it should - helps you lock onto targets.
While controllers may be the preferred input method for many, precision aiming with a controller is very limited due to the nature of the joystick; you can only be so accurate with your thumb and a stick that pivots on a base. Because of this, game developers have crafted Aim Assist, which is comprised of two core components: Slowdown and Rotation.
Aim Assist Slowdown refers to the strength at which your looking or aiming movement is slowed down when an enemy is near your sights. In-game, you can usually notice this by aiming down sights and trying to sweep your crosshairs over an enemy; More often than not, you’ll notice that your look sensitivity is seemingly slowed when nearing the target. This setting keeps controller players from making minor adjustments to their aim which cause them to overshoot their target.
Notice how whenever the crosshair moves over the target, the camera movement is slowed down
Aim Assist Rotation is a controversial mechanic which allows you more easily to snap on to your targets. Simply put, as long as you’re pretty close to your target, you can usually press the aim down sights button and the game will position your crosshairs where they need to be for your shots to line up. This happens to be the main cause of the so-called “L2 spam” which is plaguing the competitive Fortnite scene as of Chapter 2’s release.
All the player is doing in this video is strafing left and right. Notice how the camera gets adjusted whenever the target gets near the player’s crosshair. Watch the pole in the background if you want to notice how big the effect is.
Just as it is the case for keyboard and mouse players, aim sensitivities and settings are a delicate balance which require a lot of practice and time before you find your perfect fit. If you’re playing with a controller, it’s less of a matter of if you should use aim assist, but rather - how strong your aim assist should be.
(More PC, but can apply to Console) Get input devices that work
If you’re willing to spend money, getting a good mouse or controller can really help with aiming. A good mouse gives you access to sensitivity settings you wouldn’t normally be able to access, allowing you to really customize the feel of things. They will also tend to be more responsive, meaning that there’ll be fewer times where you’re pretty sure a shot would’ve hit, but it didn’t.
You don’t have to get a fancy gaming mouse or controller, and there’s plenty of cheaper options available that will do the job fine. If you’re really going for quality, Logitech has an amazing catalogue with cheap to high range options that won’t let you down. Here’s a list of mice we’ve personally tried:
- G203 (Cheap End)
- Basic quality mouse that covers all that you really need
- Very lightweight, which helps for long gaming sessions
- G402 (Mid Range)
- Fancier mouse with extra sensitivity settings which are nice to have, in addition to more mouse buttons that can be bound to whatever you want
- G502 (High End)
- Very fancy mouse that has all the features of the above two mice, in addition to an infinite scroll wheel
- The scroll wheel is our favourite part of this mouse, and can allow you to do some fun things you might not usually be able to
- A bit on the heavy end for a mouse though
- G Wireless Pro (High End)
- One of the best wireless mice on the market
- Great battery life, perfect responsiveness, and extremely lightweight
Ultimately, having a good mouse isn’t going to make you a god at aiming, but it’s nice to have and it can feel a lot better than an old mouse that you’ve been using for several years. If you’re looking to upgrade your gear, it’s definitely one of the better spots to spend a bit more money!