Want to get started playing First-Person Shooter games, but feel like you can’t aim well? These tips and tricks are sure to help you out!

Gamer playing a First-Person Shooter using a VR System.

What are FPS Games?

For those of you who are completely new to this genre of gaming, FPS stands for First-Person Shooter. This type of genre is a sub-genre of shooter video games. It centers on mainly using guns and/or other weapon-based combat (e.g., swords & fists). On top of that, the player experiences the action through the eyes of the protagonist of the game, in a first-person point of view.

FPS Games on Different Consoles

When starting off learning how to play first-person shooter games, the player must first choose their console of choice. Playing on a computer versus playing on a PlayStation or an Xbox can very different and hard to manage for beginners. On a computer, the player relies on using the mouse to look around and the “WASD” keys to move around. For PlayStation or Xbox, players rely on using the right joystick to look around and the left joystick to move around. There are some similarities, but it’s best to stick with one when starting out.

Tips & Tricks for Aiming

This picture shows what these crosshairs would look like on the PC. It depicts the different styles you can choose from where each style is designed differently to help players of all skill levels.
  1. Using an Aim Assist Training
    • Some first-person shooter games don’t come with a very visual crosshair to help with aiming. So I highly recommend that beginners download an “Aim Assist” onto their computer–if they choose to play on PC. This will help you focus your aim much better
  2. Bobbing
    • Another trick to help gamers who are just starting out playing first-person shooter games is to remove the ‘bobbing’ feature. This feature tries to make games more realistic by portraying the up and down motions our heads make when we walk, run, etc… If the game you’re playing allows this feature to be turned off I highly recommend beginners to play first-person shooter games with this feature off at first. It helps steady your aiming instead of it bouncing around.
  3. Modes of playing
    • I realize that for some players it feels strange to play games on easy mode. But it is a great way to practice aiming and shooting properly without dying constantly in the game. And for that reason, playing games on the easy mode will actually boost your self-confidence. Unfortunately, if you play on hard mode you’ll learn very quickly the feeling of frustration that comes from losing or dying multiple times. As an avid gamer myself, and as someone who doesn’t like losing or dying all the time, I highly recommend starting off with easy mode.
  4. Tutorials
    • I know many of us tend to skip tutorials in games. I know I am guilty of doing that. However, the games that do offer a tutorial option to practice with the game’s mechanics before diving right in, use it. By practicing in the tutorial levels and replaying them if you so choose, it will help to improve your skills when you begin to use them more frequently in the game itself.

Beginner FPS Games to Get Started

According to an article from He, Him, His Media, here are some games that are great for beginners to get started on:

  1. Far Cry
    • The Far Cry series is heavily known for having a strong storyline that is described as casual and exciting. Each Far Cry game has its own story that keeps players engaged. Like any other game, it has its main storylines and sidequests. Additionally, this isn’t a multiplayer game so beginners won’t have to worry about other players disrupting their own mojo while they’re learning the ropes.
  2. Fallout
    • If you know anything about Fallout is that it also is a very story-driven game. The games are set in a post-apocalyptic world that the protagonist will explore. What is favorable to newcomers is that this first-person shooter game doesn’t have the constant shooting that is found in other games. Again, it focuses mostly on the story so it spaces out the ‘shooting’ players will have to do.
  3. Call of Duty
    • This first-person shooter game gains much of its popularity from its multiplayer feature. Although this may put off for some beginners, it can actually be a good thing. The best way to learn is from other gamers and the multiplayer feature allows that. Even if you may not be winning or shooting bullseyes right off the bat, you’ll learn about other facts and opinions that’ll help you progress in this game genre.
    • When this franchise started out in 2003, it focused on games set in World War II, and as the franchise gained fame, the series created games that were set in the midst of the Cold War, in futuristic worlds, and even outer space. This variety allows beginners to get a feel for first-person shooter games in different environments, as well as allowing them to find a favored environment.
  4. Halo
    • The Halo games are also another great story-driven game. It is more heavily combat-based unlike the Fallout series, but the story feature helps the player continue through the game. Since this game is based around outer space, it provides a variety of enemies (i.e., different species of aliens) to encounter and fight which will help beginners expand their FPS skills from just shooting at one type of enemy.
  5. Battlefield
    • Unlike fiction-based games, Battlefield helps beginners get the hang of first-person shooter games by utilizing the common sense every player has about weapons. Instead of weapons having extravagant names in fictional games, Battlefield utilizes the names of real-life weapons. In other words, a weapon you may come across in the game is identified as a shotgun. Gamers may already know what this type of weapon is and/or does because of information they learned about it in real life. This will help them determine how and when to use the weapon instead of just firing them willy nilly.
  6. Star Wars Battlefront
    • The advantage that Star Wars Battlefront has is the fan base. For gamers who’ve seen the Star Wars series or are familiar with the franchise may find familiarity in this game. Similar to that of Battlefield, players may recognize some of the weapons and landscapes found in the games and can use that knowledge to better their FPS skills.

Other Links to Help You Get Started