Do you enjoy the particular FPS you’re playing, but you’re tired of holding a mediocre rank season after season? If you’re not consistently in the top three or five of the lobby (depending on the game size), aim training can help change that. If you’ve decided to invest in your skills, practicing first-person shooter (FPS) aim training software is the way to get better.
Why training software in the first place?
Apart from playing the game every day, aim training software is the best step you can take to upgrade your skills. We’ll take a look at the best FPS software and games to help you get the results you’re looking for.
What makes an aim training software “good”?
Good aim training software challenges you in multiple ways. A simulation that throws objects towards you at inhuman speeds or repeatedly out-guns you works to your advantage. It causes you to rely less on memory and more on instinct. A perfect aim trainer trains your mind and muscles to react instantly instead of thinking about reacting.
If you’re training for a game like Call of Duty (COD)
or Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO)
, it’s beneficial to train using simulations you probably wouldn’t encounter in those games. COD
tend to lean towards “realism” compared to other shooters like Overwatch
Even though you might not encounter Overwatch and Destiny-type scenarios in Call of Duty, preparing your mind like you will encounter them can add to your preparedness.
Training the mind
We mentioned “training the mind” earlier. What does that mean? Most FPS pros have lightning-fast reflexes from years of practice in-game and with software. Some may even show you a view of their mouse and keyboard or controller while streaming.
You’ll notice that most of them talk out their movements with their teammates or to themselves. Think of these actions as products of training in general. Talking your actions aloud confirms to you and others what you are doing so that you are never unsure about those actions.
How does aim training software factor into this mentality? When objects are flying at you, you have little time to stop, ponder, plan, and then execute that plan. Thinking and acting on the fly is what pros of all game-types do as a result of constant practice in-game and with simulations.
The top FPS training software and games
1. Aim Lab
Aim Lab was released in February of 2018 by State Space Labs Inc. Space Labs isn’t a true game developer, they are a data analytics organization staffed by neuroscientists and computer programmers looking at the crossroads between technology and education. Aim Lab uses artificial intelligence-driven programs to ensure that you improve every time you enter the game.
Aim Lab is FPS and third-person shooter (TPS) compatible, meaning that it can be used by pretty much every gun-focused player. This software sports a variety of playlists that focus on specific skills within FPS.
These skills include precision, strafing, and target acquisition, just to name a few. What makes Aim Lab so popular among budding professionals is its highly detailed after-action reports that detail your strengths and weaknesses. These reports show graphs and charts that break your training runs down to the smallest detail.
One key element to FPS and TPS games is the diversity of weapons. Aim Lab gives you access to categories of weapons you typically see in an FPS or TPS. Aim Lab also sports the largest array of guides and settings for specific FPS titles among our list of aim trainers. Diversify the scenarios you encounter and Aim Lab can give you more accurate suggestions on where your strengths are and how to capitalize on them.
Osu! was released in 2007 by developer Dean Herbert. It is perhaps the most unusual aim trainer on our list since it is not a dedicated FPS trainer like Aim Lab or KovaaK 2.0. Instead, Osu! is a game where the player clicks, drags, or spins their mouse on the screen according to the rhythm of a song, typically one of Japanese anime origin. The game has four modes, with the most widely used being Osu!standard which features the mode that most esports pros use to warm up and practice with.
Although Osu! is not an FPS-focused game, its simplistic gameplay is what attracts people looking to increase their reaction and focus speeds. The rhythms and speeds of some of Osu!’s higher tier songs look nearly impossible to keep up with. Through constant practice and deliberation, Osu! can produce reflexes that even some of the dedicated aim trainers can’t match. Osu! doesn’t account for FPS gameplay like types of guns or recoil, but it does focus your eyes and mind on where the target is as soon as it appears on screen.
Osu! Is a fantastic introduction to aim trainers even if it isn’t officially one itself. While it doesn’t offer advanced analytics like dedicated trainers, it can still serve your purpose as a fun warm-up tool. Fun is a key aspect of getting better at any game, and Osu! does an excellent job of capitalizing on that feeling. Combine the ever-increasing, fast-paced gameplay with musical rhythm and you get an unlikely aim trainer in Osu!
3. KovaaK 2.0
KovaaK 2.0 was released around the same time as Aim Lab and features diverse scenarios and simulations for players. There are two primary modes, Sandbox and Trainer.
- Sandbox: The larger of the two modes. Sports 5500 and growing scenarios as well as community-made maps.
- Trainer: Focused on the “flicking” aspect of FPS. This mode analyzes your performance in-game and works to improve your overall skills.
The strength of this aim trainer lies in its advanced settings options. The sensitivity settings you use for Call of Duty are likely to be different from the ones you use in Fortnite or Overwatch. When you’re in the KovaaK 2.0 Sandbox, you can customize the given simulation using settings you wield in your favorite FPS titles. Other notable customization options include:
- Target models (and their movements inside the scenario)
So how do all these options benefit you? KovaaK 2.0 is focused on training you for a specific FPS title as opposed to giving you general performance practice. That doesn’t mean that the skills of one game don’t crossover into another, but it’s better to focus on one game at a time instead of spreading out your time with multiple titles.
Another benefit of KovaaK 2.0 is its strong reliance on community. You can be one of the contributors to the game’s ever-growing list of maps. KovaaK’s developers also sponsor competitions each month to see who can achieve the most in a given time period. Funnily enough, setting goals for the community to achieve makes gamers train harder to achieve them!
4. 3D Aim Trainer
3D Aim Trainer is software that can be downloaded to your browser, desktop, and iOS and Android mobile devices free of charge. This diversity allows mobile and smaller platform gamers to train without using a dedicated PC. Additionally, this software sports more dedicated training guides and routines for some of the biggest FPS titles available such as Rainbow Six, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and even Hyper Scape. 3D Aim Trainer is focused on five core FPS skills within its Academy division:
- Flicking: Quickly moving your mouse to a recently appeared target’s position
- Clicking: Predicting the movement of your target as it moves across your screen
- Tracking: Locking your eyes and crosshairs on a target as it moves
- Target switching: Switching from one target to another as fast as possible
- Strafe aiming: Consistently hitting a target while you and it are moving
What makes 3D Aim Trainer unique is that its training simulations are more dedicated to top FPS titles than other aim trainers. You won’t have to go browsing through hundreds or even thousands of playlists to find the right simulation for you. Furthermore, you won’t have to create your own scenario just to mimic situations in those FPS titles. You can choose one of the skills, add the FPS title, and 3D Aim Trainer will automatically begin the lesson.
3D Aim Trainer works with a couple of other skills in addition to the five core ones. Its multiplayer function allows you to go head-to-head with other budding professionals. This will give you the chance to test your growing skills before heading back to competitive gameplay.
Regardless of which skill you choose to train, this software is exceptionally good at training for consistency in various FPS titles. It’s dedicated simulations and guides for those titles work the most important skills for high-level FPS play.
5. Counter Strike: Global Offensive & Valorant
The last aim trainers on the list aren’t actual aim trainers, but very popular FPS titles. Counter Strike is an FPS series first released by Valve Corporation in 1999, with professional tournaments following soon after.
The most recent title, CS:GO, is by far the most popular of the series with its excellent balance of gameplay, battle modes, and user interface. In 2020, Riot Games released its version of the 5v5 multiplayer format with Valorant, a similar game to CS:GO with some notable distinctions. When comparing the two games, one can see similarities in the types of skills it takes to be good at both games.
Both games require excellent reflexes and practice with skills like the ones that 3D Aim Trainer focuses on. CS:GO in particular, with its setting and gameplay based somewhat off the real world, relies on the player’s ability to balance teamwork with individual skill. The time-to-kill (TTK) in CS:GO can be above or below a single second, which means that every single movement of the mouse and keyboard must count. In Valorant’s case, gunplay is very similar but the notable difference is player abilities, which can turn the tide of a game in a way that CS:GO can’t replicate.
So why are these two games on our list? If you play some of the other aim trainers on our list, you’ll notice that most of their mechanics are based on CS:GO and Valorant techniques. Think of these two titles as the pot in which almost every FPS skill that can be trained is tested in.
CS:GO and Valorant rounds can be over in less than a minute, and you must think quickly and decisively if you and your team are to succeed. If you’re willing to jump right into the crucible of FPS training, these two games are the destinations for you.
Important concepts in FPS
So you’ve chosen one of these aim trainers to hone your skills. Are you ready to start? Not so fast. There are some terms and concepts when it comes to FPS (and third-person shooters) titles that you should know. You will make better use of your time if you familiarize yourself with these concepts. It is better to focus your energy on the skills you need to improve on rather than going into these trainers aimlessly.
Here are some key terms in the FPS category that you can use to help orient yourself with aim trainers and competitive play:
- Crosshair position: Where your crosshair is when you’re not firing so the time to lock onto a target is as small as possible.
- Recoil control: How quickly you can reposition your weapon after firing or while holding down the “fire” button.
- Precision: How consistently close your crosshair is to the target’s weak points (usually the head area).
- Strafing: Keeping your crosshairs on your opponent as both of you are moving.
- Flicking: Quickly moving and firing on a target as soon as it appears on screen. This skill relies heavily on speed.
- Target Acquisition: Your overall ability to recognize the target, lock on to it, and then fire in a short amount of time.
Some of these terms are actually skills that most of these aim trainers are focused on. You’ll sometimes hear pros talking about these individual skills and how important they are to a specific FPS. Consistent practice in any of these areas is sure to boost your efficiency in-game as well as your confidence.
Playing on the lowest graphics setting is neither pleasing to the eye nor fun to deal with. If you’re aiming for high-level play, you’ll want to ensure that your graphics are in good condition. As we’ve seen with games like CS:GO and Valorant, the slightest detail can be the difference between getting the jump on your opponent versus being surprised yourself.
That means taking good care of your PC’s internal components and ensuring that your monitor, graphics card, and processor are all in alignment. Ensure that your PC or chosen device is working at an ideal or better capacity to best replicate competitive FPS scenarios.
Another key element to high-level FPS play is having a high frame rate. As we saw above, frame rate indicates how many frames-per-second are appearing on your monitor. The higher the frame rate, the smoother your game feels.
Configuring your monitor settings
Monitors also have a part to play in your quest to become better at aiming. You may have seen monitors advertised with their refresh rate
as a key point, usually measured in Hz (hertz). This is the number of times your monitor is refreshing the given image on the screen. Refresh rate and frame rate are different concepts from one another but both are linked to your gaming experience. Your PC may produce more frames than your monitor can refresh, limiting to whatever the refresh rate is. Learn how to change your refresh rate in our HP Tech Takes article.
It is important that you study the potential of your monitor, graphics card, and processors carefully. Your games are going to look inconsistent and choppy if you pick out components that don’t work well together. Monitors with high refresh rates
can be enticing to purchase, but you must ensure it’s a good fit for your PC before making the final decision on which monitor you want.
A stable internet connection is prized by virtually every gamer in the world. Healthy connections lead to less unusual occurrences in-game like players teleporting, running in place, or rapidly flying across the screen after a five-second delay.
Your aim in a certain FPS could be the best around, but if your opponent is managing to teleport around you because of a poor connection, it may be time to invest in higher tier internet service. Internet connection has less to do with graphics than it does with ensuring that your PC is on pace with the game.
Telling the difference between skill and hacking
It can be quite frustrating to lose to the same opponent or team over and over again. Sometimes the word “hacker” or “cheater” is thrown around. Cheaters have been exploiting loopholes in gaming software since the beginning of competitive play. But how do you know if someone you can’t see is actively cheating?
Your skills vs. hackers
Cheating comes in a variety of ways that are expanding as quickly as games are diversifying. Some notable examples of cheating across multiple FPS titles include the following:
- DDoS attacks: Attacking your opponent’s internet connection (also a U.S. federal crime) so that they are dropped from a game.
- Scripting: A set of preset commands that eliminate the need for player control.
- Lag switching: Interrupting the flow of information from the player’s PC to the game, enabling the cheater to gain the upper hand.
- Aim botting: Locking on to and firing at an opponent with no effort or movement on the keyboard or mouse.
The good news is that, at least in FPS games, cheating is usually so blatantly visible that it's impossible to ignore. We can all hope that the report button will solve the issue, but game developers are almost always swamped with bogus reports that the chances of a cheater actually receiving punishment is unfortunately low.
You can invest in a recording application or software that will enable you to replay and see what an opposing player is doing. Hopefully, this will better prove your argument and result in a higher chance of getting a cheater disciplined.
A quick search around YouTube will show many gamer encounters with cheaters and the hilarity that ensues. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to beat cheaters at their own game with your skills.
Aim trainers for FPS games are the biggest crutch you can give yourself against cheaters. These simulations work on consistency along with those individual skills that make FPS pros who they are. Nothing will infuriate a cheater more (and possibly cause them to make a visible error) than getting beaten by an opponent who isn’t cheating.
Bottom line: Which aim trainer is the best?
Our favorite is KovaaK 2.0. Its ever-expanding library of scenarios and vast customization settings give it the edge over other aim trainers that are limited to certain FPS titles.
KovaaK 2.0’s preference for user settings means you can focus on your own strengths more so than any other aim trainer. KovaaK 2.0 isn’t necessarily better at strengthening your skills over other aim trainers. Instead, it offers you more options to diversify your training experience so you can be ready for any situation an FPS title throws at you.
We encourage you to try all of these aim trainers, though, because one of them might teach you something the others cannot. Some may have features you’ve never considered before, like detailed progress reports, that could benefit you.
Regardless of which one you end up choosing to stick with long-term, consistency and fun are the keys to progress. If you can come back to a game day after day and have fun training and playing, you’re already well on your way to mastering the first set of skills for professional FPS gameplay.