Proper Crosshair Placement
I’m sure you’ve heard this multiple times before, but I’ll have to remind you again. Crosshair placement is the most crucial factor in getting headshots in Valorant or any other FPS game.
If you walk around and your crosshair is placed at head level, you reduce the effort and time to move your crosshair on an enemy’s head. If the vertical placement of your crosshair is at head height, you will only need to move your mouse horizontally to aim.
There are multiple ways to improve your crosshair placement in Valorant:
Familiarize yourself with the maps: Every Valorant map has different elevations and terrains. You need to have a good grasp of where an opponent’s head would be if they peeked you.
Tip when holding angles close to walls: Generally, you don’t want to place your crosshair too close to the side of the wall if you hold close to the angle. If your crosshair is too close, you will have difficulty tracking your enemies if they swing wide.
Understanding distance: You need to understand that a head-level crosshair placement differs depending on how far your enemy is from you. If you are holding an angle far away, you must place your crosshair lower.
For a more in-depth explanation, we have an entire article on how to improve your crosshair placement in Valorant!
Pre-aiming angles is a part of crosshair placement and is essential to help you get headshots quickly. When pre-aiming, you are moving your crosshair toward locations where enemies could be. Every map has common angles; it is your job to be familiar with them and have your crosshair pre-aimed at these spots.
If you are pre-aiming correctly, you can decrease the movements of your mouse and give yourself a short distance to flick onto an enemy player’s head. Sometimes, if you are really good at pre-aiming, you might not even need to move your mouse at all. You just need to shoot the bullet, and voila, easy headshots.
Every time you are about to swing and peek at an angle, aim your crosshair on the wall. Envision where the enemy would be standing once you swing out. Once you have pre-aimed the angle, you can swing out, and if done correctly, your crosshair should already be aimed at the enemy player’s head, giving you a massive advantage in the gunfight. You can pair this up with a wide swing, too.
Players who have mastered pre-aiming do not need mechanical aiming skill to flick their crosshairs on an enemy’s head. They have already prepared their shot before even peeking out. I call it passive aim. If you can improve your passive aim with pre-aiming, you can easily hit more headshots.
Take Your Time To Aim, Then Strafe
If you want to focus on your accuracy and improve your headshot rate, taking your time is vital. I see many low-ranked players try to flick as quickly as possible on an enemy’s head and end up messing up their first few bullets, then panicking with a spray that whiffs every bullet or hits body shots.
Let’s be honest, you’re not TenZ. Calm down. Breathe. Move your mouse at a stable pace, and make your way to your opponent’s head. Though moving your crosshair slowly can be disadvantageous, I recommend slowly building up this habit, which will benefit you greatly in the long run. It’s definitely better to take your time than panic and flick your mouse at a speed you’re not comfortable with or capable of doing.
The fundamental trick is to combine this method with good movement. You can move left and right while adjusting your crosshair to head level. This is called strafing. By strafing left and right, you make it harder for your opponent to hit you. While moving, you are buying time to adjust your crosshair to your opponent’s head. Once your crosshair is in place, stop and shoot.
If you want to practice strafing, you can do so in the Range. In your Valorant settings, go to Video, go to Stats, and look for Shooting Error. Click the Graph Only option. You will see a graph on the side of your screen.
Go to Practice mode in the Range, and begin strafing and shooting when your crosshair is aligned. If you are strafing and stopping correctly, the graph will show an orange line, indicating that you were shooting accurate shots without moving. If blue lines appear, this means you are shooting inaccurately.
Burst, Don’t Spray!
In Valorant, it’s definitely better to burst bullets instead of spraying, especially if you’re using the Vandal.
Bursting in Valorant refers to shooting three to six bullets using a rifle, then stopping to reset the recoil. Three to six bullets are the sweet spot when using Phantoms or Vandals because, assuming your shots land, these amounts of bullets will be more than enough to kill an enemy player with a shield. Of course, you’ll only need to land one or two bullets if you hit the head.
Your first three bullets will be very accurate, but if you continue with the fourth to sixth bullets, you’ll have to pull your crosshair down slightly. Still, controlling six bullets is infinitely easier than spraying twenty.
Do not burst when you’re in close Range, but it is almost always best to burst shots in medium to long-range fights. Trust me, bursting will significantly help your accuracy in cross-map duels.
You can combine burst firing with movement tactics:
Jiggle peeking: When jiggle peeking, you are only revealing half of your body to your opponent, then going back to hide behind a wall. Every time you jiggle, you can burst some shots, then hide again when the burst is done. Rinse and repeat, making sure you aim at head level.
Strafing: We’ve discussed strafing, and burst firing goes perfectly with it. In an aim duel, you can move left, stop, burst three bullets, then move right. Keep repeating the process while ensuring your crosshair is placed correctly.
Aim Training Routine
I saved the best for last. I know you guys hate hearing this, but immediate results will not come so easily. Every professional player has good aim training routines. Their success and headshot accuracy come from their hard work.
Your aim training routine can be as intense or light as possible. Whatever intensity you choose, the most important thing is you stick to it, because consistency is key. I promise that maintaining a proper routine and doing it every day will bring you results. Not immediately, but definitely.
You can find many aim training routines, ranging from shooting bots at The Range, playing Deathmatch, or using third-party means like Aim Lab to improve your Valorant aim. However, I think it’s pretty important to focus on specific and important aspects to train for.
For example, to increase your headshot percentage, I think tracking and burst firing are great ways to start:
Tracking is when you move your crosshair to follow a moving target. As discussed earlier, good crosshair placement will eliminate the need for vertical aiming, but horizontal aiming is still needed. Tracking is essential for horizontal aim.
To practice tracking, hop on The Range and summon practice bots. Then, click F3 to open more settings and set the bots to Strafe.
Now, the bots will begin moving left and right. Choose one bot, and keep moving your crosshair to follow its head everywhere it moves and stops.
Do drills of 30 to 60 seconds a few times a day, and you should see some improvements!
Now, you will combine the tracking drill with burst firing, using either a Phantom or a Vandal. With the same Range settings as before, track your chosen bot for two to three seconds, then try to kill the bot in one burst. Keep bursting three to six bullets, aiming at the head. Then, rinse and repeat.