Ever wondered why the enemy seems to be like they’re aimbotting? Or have you ever seen the pro players in competitions and think to yourself, “Hey I can make that shot too!”? More than likely, the professionals have good crosshair placement and are using it well and effectively to make those shots seem easier than they look.
What’s Crosshair Placement?
Crosshair placement is the act of placing your crosshair such that it’s always at where you predict an enemy might be. An example of crosshair placement would be always placing your crosshair at head height. In a game where most guns can kill an opponent in a single headshot or a headshot coupled with a shot to the body, this gives you the upper hand when they engage you in a firefight, even if they get the drop on you.
This is because most of us casual players of CS: GO don’t have the same kind of muscle memory and precision that professional players do, which allow them to make crazy shots by flicking their mouse halfway across the screen and still scoring a kill, so by placing the crosshair at head height level, we’re eliminating the time needed for us to react, move and precisely aim the crosshair at an enemy.
The end result is just having to click the left mouse button to fire a bullet straight into the enemy’s skull. Sounds much easier doesn’t it?
How do they do it?
Crosshair placement is a simple technique in theory, but in actuality, there are many factors on where, when and why you would place your crosshair along the wall. A couple of them would include communication between your team and having an overall game sense.
However, in order to simplify the technique we can break it down into a handful of steps.
1. Always Head Height
As previously mentioned, keeping your crosshair at head height reduces the steps needed to take and almost always effectively halves the reaction time needed to kill an enemy. You can headshot them instantly as they are around the corner.
This is especially effective and extremely deadly when coupled with information from your team. You will know where and when the enemy is going to appear from, and you can adjust your crosshair accordingly.
2. Pre-aiming versus Wall-hugging
This comes hand-in-hand with the previous tip, and when used in conjunction with each other, it will definitely increase your chances of getting many more kills when holding or pushing corners.
The way that most CS: GO players aim is one of two ways, pre-aiming and wall-hugging. Pre-aiming is the act of placing your crosshair on a wall in a position that you know an enemy might be in the moment you round the corner.
An example of how pre-aiming works is shown below.
This is working on the player’s experience when playing the game to know that the enemy may be on catwalk, so he or she aims prematurely at the expected location of the enemy and in many cases, this might still help you catch a couple of people off guard.
Now, while this may follow the principle of aiming where the enemy might be, this is most cases is much more disadvantageous to the wall-hugging technique. The pre-aiming technique is mostly effective only when the enemy is caught off guard.
On the other hand, the wall-hugging technique is the movement of the crosshair such that it’s along the wall. It is important to note that the crosshair should not be right next to the wall. This is to allow yourself the additional reaction time needed to click and shoot the enemy in the head.
This is much more advantageous when compared to the pre-aiming technique as shown before since the player is much more prepared if an enemy comes out from an angle or is in a different position than what the player was originally pre-aiming.
In reference to the pre-aiming picture above, if an enemy were to pop out from behind staircase, then the pre-aiming player would not be prepared for the new enemy and has to move their crosshair to the new threat in front of them. These precious seconds could cost the player their life and as such, wall-hugging is much preferred over pre-aiming.
3. Relevant Positioning
This is usually the hardest one for new players to get used to due to the fact that they will develop “lazy” crosshair positioning.
Always keep your crosshair somewhere that an enemy’s face may pop up. Heavily observe pro-players and you’ll never see they’re crosshair in anywhere that an enemy would not be during a round. Their crosshairs are always next to walls, ready to give any of their enemies a cranium blast the moment they step into their screen.
Another bad habit is when we have to hold more than one corner. Don’t place your crosshair in the middle such that you can see both entrances, constantly flick your crosshair from the corner of the first entrance to the next.
4. Practice, Practice, Practice
I know it sounds obvious, but the only way to develop good crosshair positioning is to play the game. Forget about aiming maps and all that fancy stuff. And don’t practice crosshair positioning in deathmatch; players won’t be holding the usual corners in sites. Just suck it up and play competitive.
Don’t be afraid to lose your rank, because it’s the only sure-fire way to learn. Take each loss as a learning experience and try to improve yourself from each one.
Record your games if you can, and watch them back to see if you lapse into “lazy” crosshair positioning or don’t even position your crosshair at all.
Remember, one of the reasons why the pros can use crosshair positioning so well is because they have experience and game sense. None of which you can obtain if you don’t put in the time and effort into playing the game.
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