A comment from BlindGuardian made me think that maybe I should try help the less fortunate when it comes to aim in QuakeLive. Who am I to give aim advice? Well when I started playing Quake way back when, I wouldn't have been able to hit Liam standing a metre away from me. Admittedly, I have very poor hand eye coordination, or did anyway. When I started I was mostly celebral; I concerntrated on timing, and strategy. I did both of these quite well, but my aim was lacking. I developed a very big insecurity over this, therefore all I have been doing for the past 9 years is trying to get my aim better :) I can't time for shit anymore but I can damn well hit 60% rail when I need to!

I am going to try and outline the most simple and effective ways to improve your aim. If you practise these techniques your aim WILL improve.

This porridge is just right..."

Firstly, I would recommend watching a few demos of yourself. Be very critical about your movement and aim. You can usually tell from watching someone play whether their sensitivity is too high or too low. Of course it is important to be comfortable with your sensitivity, but there is no point in being comfortable if you can't do a 180, or your are unable to turn fast enough to kill someone who is surprising you.

At the same time, it's quite easy to see if your sensitivity is too high. The 3 areas to look for are:
- Overshooting when flicking
- Over turning when doing large turns (90 degrees, 180 degrees)
- unable to track people effectively when they are dodging your LG (movements too small for your hand movements)

You need to find a sensitivity that is comfortable, that you are still able to turn effectively, and not be overshooting.

Once you have that sensitivity, you need to STICK TO IT. The only time you should ever change your sensitivity is if you get a new mouse, or monitor, and even then you should try to keep it as close to your original settings as possible.

For beginners and people people with bad aim I would recommend not to use accel. Accel can mean a great improvement for some players, however for others it just complicates things. I think you should probably first get your aim up to standard before experimenting with accel.


When you are at your PC you should be relaxed as possible. You should be able to sit in the same position for hours and not have it bother your aim. I am not going to go into the pro's and cons of every mouse, since there are hundreds out there and most recent mice are atleast good enough to aim accurately with. Find one that you are comfortable with, has a reasonable DPI and non-squiggly buttons.

However, the mouse surface is extremely important! I would urge you not to use your desk, as this causes tracking, transport and comfort issues. Once again find which one you are comfortable with, find out what other players with a similar preference to you use and try that out.

The Lightning Gun

This is easier than you think. No really! First, point and click. If he's standing still you should hit every bolt. Ok, not very impressive. But this does show that you can hit your initial shot. What if he's moving in a straight line? Can you track him? This also isn't very hard to do, and once again I would recommend watching your own demos to see if you are tracking too quickly or too slow. If you're too slow the solution is easy, just make your sensitivity higher until you aren't anymore. (This falls under finding the right sens) However, the problem is usually because you are too fast. In the heat of the moment, mouse movements can get erratic. This can be OK for RL and rail, but can wreck havok on any lightning gun tracking.

To make matters worse, the guy you are trying to lg is going to be shooting shit at you and moving quickly from side to side. How do you learn to deal with that! Easy with my 2(3) step solution!

1 - Lock

This is the part that we all agreed was easy to do. Point and click.

2 - Don't move your mouse

Eh... what? You heard me! Don't move your mouse! You don't know what he's going to do, so let him decide where you are going to aim. First he needs to move out of your lg stream, if you are aiming for the centre, you're still going to be hitting him even if he's moving away. Once he is away, he's going to do one of two things. He's either going to move BACK into your stream, or he's going to bolt for it. Which leads to step 3.

3 - Track

This is also not very difficult and anyone should be able to do this with a bit of practise. However, don't be over zealous. Try to move your mouse calmly over the opponent, don't end up gripping the mouse like an eagle with muscle spasms.

Of course, you are not going to be able to control your actions completely, and you are still going to try to follow the opponent subconsciously. I like to think of moving my mouse as slow as possible, while still tracking. People don't move that fast anyway, unless they are rocket jumping or strafing by, and he shouldn't be doing either of those when you have your lg out.

The Rocket Laucher (Or "I like your shoes.")

Aiming with the Rocket Launcher is very easy. The main problem that people have is that they try and predict where the guy is gonna go. You do not need to do this. You already know where the guy is. Rockets travel faster than your opponent. Shoot directly at his feet. He can't do anything, he WILL be hit. He can't jump, strafe, dance, NOTHING.

Even at a longer range, take your time, and shoot at his feet. He is either going to be forced to move, making him vunerable, or he's going to get splash damage and moved somewhere. Both of these things take the job of trying to predict where he is going to go out of your hands.

The only time you should ever go for a direct rocket is if he's in the air and you have a free shot, or if you are 90% certain you will hit him. If you are 89% certain, go for his feet rather.

When spamming and aiming around corners, don't just throw the rockets out there. That ammo is valuable! Take your time and do precise spam. Get it so the splash goes fully around that corner, make sure it explodes exactly outside that door way. The time taken is worth it.

Wait for it... The Railgun

The rail is all about waiting. Flick rails look impressive and can be very helpful sometimes, but they also get you killed. Wait until you have a clear shot. Some people (me) become completely obsessed with getting the first shot in, but what's the point if you miss? Rather get hit by his rail and then you hit yours. Over time you will win more battles than him, because you are going to be hitting more rails. He will need to be extremely lucky (or good) to hit every single rail before you have a shot. Don't go for difficult rails, wait for them to become easy rails.

Something, not exactly related to aim, but effective railgun use: When you pull it out, make sure you can pull out! There is nothing worse than being drilled by lg and you are waiting for rail the reload. And what's the first thing most people do? They fire (and miss) another rail. Of course, sometimes you don't have enough time to change to another weapon, but in every other case change to something else! I think rail punishes the most for bad positioning, don't let it happen to you!

On the topic of the railgun, Prozac once said that this was the secret of aim:

\bind MWHEELDOWN "cg_fov 60 ; sensitivity 3.13"
\bind MWHEELUP "cg_fov 90; sensitivity 4.7"

Or something similar. Although I don't agree with using zoom ALL the time, there really is no reason not to use it at long distance.

A lot of people stress over their rail acc, how it was 50% yesterday and 9% today. Remember, you don't need 50% to win, the rail gun is a tool to hit guys from far away, use it as such, and your low accuracy won't matter.

Here are the other guns, quick fire:
Gauntlet: Aim directly towards the centre of the model
Machine Gun: Same as LG
Shotgun: Same as rail, in QL, even long range!
Grenade Launcher: Learn spam routines before hand. Run around a map and learn where to shoot the grenades.
Plasma: I have no clue, want to give me some tips? :)

Remember, you don't need good aim to win, but it certainly helps :)

PS. I didn't go into graphics, but high picmip, brightskins, truelightning and thinlightning will all increase your aim too.

UPDATE 28-11-2014:

Finally learning that plasma. The 1st Key is to have decent ping. If you don't have below 40 ping, stick to using it as spam and long corridors. DO NOT USE IT CLOSE RANGE. If you get under 40 ping it's game time! Close range can be super effective, and to me it feels like really laggy LG. You basically want to shoot directly at the guy and wait until he moves, like LG, but then over compensate and predict. They will usually go side to side, so you need to see the 2 spots he is going to, and then time it correctly. If you try to play plasma only for a bit you will see what I mean.

At medium range, you will need to kinda predict where he is going. You can either start on the enemy and slowly aim in front of him until you start hitting (This gives you the range) or you can try aim in front of him from the get go and then randomly shoot before and behind him, also to get the range. Once you got the range you know what positions you need to shoot (left, center, right) according to how he is moving.

This stuff still isn't easy and requires practise, but I'm starting to consistently hit plasma balls at close to medium range, using it over LG in some instances. 20% plasma > 40% lg.