Aim Drills are NOT the fastest way to improve

Hey, ioStux here.

Overwatch is a First Person Shooter, but is it? I mean, technically speaking it is played in a first-person perspective, and it does include shooting people, so if we want to get technical, you could say it’s a First Person Shooter, but if you talk with some high-level players or follow the scene in general, Overwatch is generally not seen as a true FPS. And the main reason for that is how unrewarding mechanical skill is in Overwatch compared to other shooters. Just look at “true” FPS games, like Quake or Unreal Tournament. In those games having good movement and aim is incredibly important, and even games like Counter-Strike are very much rewarding mechanics. I am not saying that those games don’t have strategical elements, pick up control in Quake and concepts like nades and rotations in CS make the game super complex, but at it's hard those games are true FPS. Why? Because their main focus is on gunplay. How each gun plays, how they need to be used differently, and how players who have good mechanics will do relatively well.

Now let’s take Overwatch as an example. One of the biggest complaints in the game was about D.vas Defense Matrix and Mercies Rez. Why? Because those are so-called “Anti Skill” abilities. They are abilities that can counteract an enemy's skill. Even Players like Taimou couldn’t get past a Defense Matrix, and Sinatraa could hit the sickest pulse bomb flick in the history of the game, but a Mercy would just fly over and rez it. Matchups are also not really that mechanically demanding. Playing Counter-Strike, Unreal or Quake is really a lot about gunfighting, as every single matchup is fair. Both players have the same chances. If you die in Quake, it’s because the enemy is better than you. But in Overwatch? Certain characters are just cut out for dueling, while other characters are better at supporting the team. If you are playing Tracer and find yourself in a room with Orisa, the chances heavily favor you.

Now, this doesn’t make Overwatch a bad game, in my opinion, this is the main reason why I love the game so much! It rewards smart thinking and outstanding mechanics can’t carry you super far. So let’s get into the title of this video. With this knowledge, I want to convince you that aim is really not something you should prioritize. Working on aim is rarely the most rewarding thing to do. Since game sense and positioning are rewarded so much more than accuracy in this game, you are much better off investing your time just playing the game and improving your decisionmaking, not your execution. IDDQD actually did a bronze to GM stream and was asking for challenges. Someone suggested he should play a game using nothing but Fan the Hammer in diamond, and he replied: “Nah that’s boring, it would still be too easy”. If he thinks playing exclusively with FTH is easy, then clearly missing your left clicks is not really whats holding you back!

Aim is the only skill in the game that will develop naturally as you play the game. It doesn’t matter who you play against, or what you play, your aim will improve. Now you might be saying that playing a lot will eventually teach you how to position yourself or how to think as well, right? No! Every skill but aim only develops when you are being CHALLENGED. If you aren’t being challenged, if you don’t try as hard as you can, you won’t get any better in those departments! But aim? You literally can’t play Overwatch without training your aim, no matter how little you care about improving, your aim will get naturally better, even if you play against 6-year-olds all day. 6-year-olds won’t push you to think about your positioning or your game sense or anything about the game to be honest, but your aim? It doesn’t matter who is controlling the enemy. Even the most simple movement will challenge you enough to improve your aim. Obviously, aim improves at a faster rate if you play against players that know how to move properly but nonetheless aim still improves. You obviously need the fundamentals down, aka you shouldn’t use a Trackpad and having a million eDPI is not so great either, but past that it doesn’t really matter.


Want proof? Look at the highest level players in the game! Recently someone made it to level 4000! And I have actually met Tazzerk (At least that's what I think he is called?) in Quick Play matches a while ago when he was #1 with a level of around 1200. All of those super high-level players are dumb as shit. They have absolutely no Idea how the game actually works. They waste ults, get caught in dumb positions, don’t even know when to use their abilities, and all that even though they must've played thousands of games by now!

But their aim? Holy Shit. They aim is ridiculous. If you see a Gold Border Widowmaker on the enemy team, you know that you are in for a rough treatment. The precision that these players have is absolutely outstanding! But still, most of them chill around in the average ratings of Overwatch! Gold to Diamond, and that with at least Grandmaster level aim? Why is that? Because they didn’t play to improve! They never questioned their positioning, they never questioned the decisions they made, they never asked themselves why they are dying, and they sure as heck aren’t investing any time to fix those mistakes because that's not why they play the game. They don’t play the game to get better, they just want to have fun and reach a high level! If you want to, you can check out some of the other videos on my channel where I do go more into topics like game sense and positioning.

So those players invest so much time into the game, and the only skill that really develops is their Aim!

Aim is kind of like an instrument. When you play the piano, for example, you don’t process every single note you play. A good pianist is someone who can play it without thinking about it! It's the same with aiming. You don’t think about every single mouse movement you do. Like playing an instrument, you just need to get into the flow while actively thinking about something else! Think about hitting the shot, not how you are going to get your crosshair on the target.

Getting better at Overwatch consists of 2 parts. Improving your mechanical abilities, and improving other aspects like Gamesense and Positioning. Positioning determines how many opportunities you get, Gamesense determines how many opportunities you recognize, and Mechanics determine how many opportunities you can capitalize on.

So let's use an example. Say we have a player whose Positioning is relatively bad, which means that he only spends 40% of the match actually alive. Since he can’t really get any opportunities while he is respawning, he also only gets 40% of all opportunities. So let's say there are 20 opportunities in that particular round that he could theoretically capitalize on. The fact that he is only alive 40% of the time, means that out of those 20 opportunities, he will only be alive during 8 of them.

Next comes game sense, and this defines how many of those opportunities you actually recognize. Maybe your game sense is pretty bad, so you only recognize 25% of given opportunities. So out of those 8 opportunities that occurred while you were alive, you’ll only recognize 2 of them. Your game sense is too bad to see the other 6.

And lastly your aim. Now that you got the opportunity and recognized it, you need to actually execute! Let’s say that your aim is at a level where you can execute on half of your opportunities. So in this case, 1 opportunity would lead to a kill because you hit your shots, the other opportunity wouldn’t because you missed your shots.

Now, what should you ideally improve on? Let’s say you have 3 hours to practice per day. Let’s say you put those hours into practicing your aim! No matter how much better your aim gets, you will only execute one more opportunity. Let’s say your aim improves to 80%, meaning that in 80% of the cases where you need to land a shot, you hit it. This means that you can execute both opportunities more often than not, instead of just the one.

But let’s say you would instead improve your Positioning and game sense? Let’s say you would put in all that time into improving those? Maybe you’ll be alive 60% of the time now, which gives you 12 potential opportunities instead of just 8, and let's say you also improve your game sense, which means that instead of recognizing only 25% of opportunities, you now recognize 50%! This means that out of the 12 opportunities, you would recognize 6! But you didn’t work on your aim, so your aim is still at a level where you only hit 50% of your crucial shots.

This means that in total you will now capitalize on 3 out of 20 opportunities, instead of just 1, sometimes 2. And keep in mind that the better your aim gets, the more you’ll face diminishing returns! If your aim is at 80%, but your positioning at 20%, which it more likely than not is, then squeezing out a few more percent out of your aim won't help you as much as halving the amount of time you spend respawning! Focussing on game sense and positioning is going to allow you to both experience and recognize more opportunities, which in the long run is much more worth it than simply working on your execution. If you don’t get any opportunities, your aim is worthless because you’ll be dead most of the time or shoot shields!

But Stux, why are players like Effect warming up for 4 hours a day then?

Warming up is completely fine, if it's just for a few minutes, maybe 15 minutes at a time. I am mainly talking about Practice.

I am not saying that Aim in Overwatch is irrelevant! I am saying that it’s not something you should think about! Let me give you an example.

Let’s say we have you going to some car retailer, getting this cheap ass broken car. Bird shit all over it, the motor is broken, the steering wheel feels stickier than a prepubescent boys keyboard.

So you tell yourself “I want this car to be like that of the high tier race car drivers! Let’s see what they do!”.

So you go to one of those race tracks and you see some racecar dude polish his car for 4 hours a day. And you just think to yourself “That’s it, this dude is polishing his car for 4 hours a day, that's how he got his car to be so great!”

So you go back home and you start polishing your car. But in reality, all you are doing is smearing bird shit all over the hood.

The reason players like Effect are investing so much time into warming up is because they already have the fundamentals! They already have a car with a good motor, their gears shift smoothly, their seats are cushioned and their exhaust is clean! So all that is left to do in order to improve it is polishing it! Pro Players like Effect are arguably the main reason why EnVyUs is such a force to be reckoned with (sorry taimou I still love you bb) since he already has most skills down to a T, so he works on the last thing that there is that he can invest time in, and that's keeping his aim sharp.

But you? Fuck me, man, don’t polish your car if it can’t even drive! Aim doesn’t do shit for you if you die every 5 seconds because you stand in the middle of the teamfight! And if you don’t even know how to kill people with McCree's Flashbang Rightclick combo, why are you trying to master hitting headshots? And fixing these things is worth it! Sure, maybe replacing the engine is a lot harder than polishing the outside, but it’s also going to make a much bigger difference! Practicing your aim is easy! You just copy effects aim hero and custom game settings and go at it! But understanding positioning? game sense? That takes effort! And effort pays off!

So in conclusion, stop smearing shit all over yourself, work on the stuff that actually matters. And take a fucking shower.

My name is ioStux, and I’d like to thank you for learning.