The Ultimate Aiming System Explained

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You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. One of the questions I love to ask other pros is how they aim. Many of them operate on instinct, and they just hit enough balls to keep their instincts sharp. A few of them prefer to use aiming systems that range from the simple to the scientific.

My game already moves at a fairly slow pace, so I don't want an aiming system that is overly complicated, and I find the very simple ones just aren't that effective when I'm not seeing the table well. Over the years I have compiled certain tricks for aiming that I learned from my fellow pros. These little tricks are incredibly powerful, especially when the balls don't seem like they want to go in.

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The first shot is the straight in shot. Shane as in the legendary Van Boening likes to divide his shaft up into multiple pieces and use that as a guide for where to hit the object ball. For the next two shots I will use his aiming trick only when he looks down the center of his shaft. Aiming Tip for Straight Shots. For the straight in shot , Shane draws a line down the center of his shaft and aims that line at the center of the base of the ball , right at the point that it's touching the table.

Aiming this way shows a clear connection from your cue to the point of aim. Aiming Tip for Slight Cut Shots. The second shot of Shanes's that I frequently use is when the ball is just off straight. Again a line is drawn down the center of the cue , but now that line points at the left or right edge of the shadow at the base of the ball.

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If you are cutting to the right, then aim to the left edge of the shadow, and vice versa. This works remarkably well for those shots that only require the slightest of cuts. Aiming Tip for Standard Cut Shots. The next system I learned as a beginner, but then was it was reintroduced to me by pro player Oscar Dominguez. Why do pro players use flick shots so often? The trick is developing the muscle memory to reliably flick the correct distance depending on how far your reticle is from the target.

This technique essentially provides a method to bypass the difficulty of aiming at moving targets by taking a snapshot of their position, and shooting at it before that changes. Secondly you can practice tracking keeping your reticle on a particular spot or moving target by picking a spot on a wall or pole and moving around and trying your best to keep it steady on that one spot. You can also practice on allies to mix it up and work on faster paced tracking. Tracking is great for automatic weapons, or beam attacks that require your aim to stick to the target while firing.

Your Schematic is something you will build as you play more games and every time it grows, your ability to make correct tactical decisions increases. Imagine an enormous grid filled with dots, and every dot represents a unique situation. For example, you might end up as Reaper against Mei. If you get frozen by Mei and killed with her right click and then verse her again and have the same thing happen, you have not learned this dot. Situations that represent an opportunity for schematic development are everywhere. The mark of a great player is their ability to learn from every situation they come across.

If you lose a fight because you missed your shots you can still consider this while you are dead and walking back.

"Splitting the Difference" Aiming System

Every facet of your play can be self-critiqued and corrected if you utilise death timers, walks back, queue times, post game etc to learn what went wrong and how you might improve next time. You can also speed up your schematic growth by looking at other players. Try to predict what the player will do next, this can range from positioning, targeting, ability and ultimate usage and much more.

If you considered doing something different than they did, use that opportunity to learn and add to your schematic. They won't always make the right choices, but as a top tier player you can assume it's right or at least good the majority of the time. Learn from your team and the enemy team too, not everything about your growth is on a personal level. Why did your team have such a great defensive hold?

Science & the Scientific Method: A Definition

What did you do right? What did the enemy do wrong? An interesting phenomenon in gaming is the way in which people unknowingly play games on autopilot. It may sound exhausting but it becomes seamless when you get the hang of it. Fair warning though, it may not be sustainable for long sessions. In the brief moments before you click, you can see the enemy, how far away they are, the direction they are moving or the pattern of their strafing. If you are Focusing you can then make an educated decision on where to aim before firing. Projectile-based heroes are an easy example, but the same goes for all weapon types and personally I can notice huge differences in my ability to track as Soldier 76 when I am focusing.

If you are a player that regularly clutches out games, you should be aware of what focus feels like by clutch I mean performing very well individually against all odds, such as being the last person alive and winning. What if these players always played at their clutch level? That might all seem quite obvious, and in reality it kind of is, as our brains are making these calculations even when on autopilot.

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The difference is in the effectiveness between subconsciously aiming and actually thinking about it. A driver focusing and in the moment is going to perform far better than someone on autopilot. The same goes for playing Overwatch.

If your competitive match suddenly paused and your monitor was turned off, could you tell me what 6 heroes the enemy team are running, their probable ultimate percentages and their position on the map? Players with great awareness have an incredible advantage over the average player. They can know exactly where the enemies are, when they will ultimate, who they will target and much more. It almost sounds like cheating, and if you master this skill it will certainly feel like it. If an enemy Zarya has gone two unsuccessful pushes into your team without ulting, but she was doing decent damage, you can safely assume she now has her ultimate or is very close to it.

Now you know not to group up, or instead to trade a Lucio Sound Barrier or a Zenyatta Transcendance with it. In the image below we had lead several unsuccessful pushes on the point which meant we could safely assume their Zarya had her ultimate ready. Reflecting an ultimate isn't always a reliable way to plan a fight, but with good awareness it was made possible and we easily took over the point with the massive swing in ultimate advantage. How can I learn awareness? The best method is to work your way up to commanding knowledge of both teams by starting small and tracking only a few important things in your game.


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I recommend finding a hero you are comfortable with and only play that hero for learning awareness at first in Quick Play. If you are versing ridiculous team comps on Quick Play try queuing it in a group or simply playing Competitive. You need to play out your game as you normally would, but you must track the Reinhardt ultimate and the position of the Reaper.

Even if he kills your team with it, as long as you knew it was coming at that moment we'll count it as a success. Tracking the flanking Reaper is surprisingly easy and very satisfying to do. If the Reaper is forced to engage the flank from mid-range, you can counter him or avoid him while taking very little damage. Once you are comfortable tracking the info of two heroes, ramp it up to tracking the ultimates of the enemy support heroes too. Following the flankers quickly becomes second nature and as long as you check the enemy team composition every now and then, you can always know what flanker s they are running and watch out for them.

Every time you become comfortable with the information you are tracking, increase the difficulty slightly by adding extra players to the mix, or including your own team.

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You simply need to be aware of player positioning and ultimates to greatly increase the potency of your decisions. Smaller things like following respawn timers and enemy hero swaps will come naturally as you become more comfortable with your awareness skills. Once you get more comfortable with the idea, you can then move onto the steps above to master your awareness. Overwatch has incredible in-game sound that allows you to monitor and react to just about everything that happens.


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  4. Turn on the Dolby Atmos setting in Sound Settings. This allows you to pinpoint where sounds are coming from without proper surround sound. Your emotional state when gaming can have a significant impact on both your team's and your own performance. Morale Definition: the confidence, enthusiasm, and discipline of a person or group at a particular time. Everyone has been on teams with great or terrible morale and we all know which was more enjoyable and which had the best chance of winning.

    Imagine a bar that when full equals ideal morale and when empty equals toxic and poor morale. If you find that bar hitting dangerous levels and your team is busy arguing, the best course of action is to encourage any reasonable teammates to mute the troublesome player if they aren't able to calm down, or to simply leave team chat yourself so you can focus on your game without wasting time arguing, which will get you nowhere. If you find yourself getting upset or angry when you die or your team wipes, rather than lashing out at your team which only lowers the morale further - take this chance to add these scenarios to your schematic.

    Blaming others is a slippery slope to unfocused and autopilot play, where you enter a zone where you can do no wrong and every bad play or death was unavoidable because of some external force.

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    There is a hard truth that every player has to accept. If losing outweighs the fun of winning, it's something you need to work on. If you are performing above the average level for your current rating, you will climb if you play enough games. Imagine every player in a game can play at a level we'll call it skill score between Let's assume everyone else in the game plays at a 5, but you are playing quite well at a 7.