Every Monday in Triggernometry*, Evan writes about FPSes.
Aiming is one of Counter-Strike’s central skills. Good aim can get you out of a bad situation, like a mistimed rush or a weapon disadvantage. Even if you’ve been playing CS for a decade, I’m willing to bet that, like me, you’ve got some bad aiming habits.
I’ll go first: I’m awful with the AK at long range, and I struggle to get kills with the P250 on eco rounds. I’ll probably get better with those guns as I keep putting hours into CS:GO’s competitive matchmaking, but bad habits are easy to lose sight of in the middle of a match, when you’re caught up in the emotion of the situation. CS:GO also hides a ton of its nuances—especially the bullet spray patterns of its weapons.
Aim maps have a way of immediately illuminating what you’ve been doing wrong. Through repetition and drilling, they can teach you a lot about your own bad (and good) aiming behaviors. These are my three favorites.
How to play custom CS:GO maps locally:
- Subscribe to maps on Steam Workshop
- Launch CS:GO
- Click “Play > Offline with bots”
- Click Workshop, search for the map you subscribed to
- Select the map, select “No bots”
training aim csgo 2
This is CS:GO’s best drill map, and it has a ton of customizability. You can tweak it to test almost anything you need to work on, from long-range AWPing to short-range spraying against targets that take multiple hits to break. I particularly like the “sliding” test, which lets you set up static or pop-up targets along different axes, letting you practice the rhythm of strafing, stopping, and shooting outside of a live environment. I also get a lot out of the “Burst Training,” which tracks how many of your shots connect on a full spray.
Training: Bot Aim V4b
You can work on any weapon on this map, but I’ve found it to be best for building pistol skills. It loads a number of bots into a narrow corridor and has a few toggleable obstacles—crates and a pair of doors—that you can bring into the setting to make it feel more practical. Bots can be set to return fire or not. The god mode setting is really helpful if you want to focus on training one weapon for a sustained period.
This rifles-and-pistols map is the best one I’ve found for working on killing enemies who are moving laterally. The bot movements are a little unnatural (you can also set them to move faster than players can in-game, as in the GIF above), but you can set them to mirror different “ADAD” patterns (alternating left and right strafing), which can be a particularly tough maneuver to counter. There’s a good amount of setting customization, too, including boxes and uneven ground. You can also toggle on impact visualization, which will produce a wireframe of the bot hit that lingers in the environment.
*[Hats off to Reiniat, who suggested that we call this column "Triggernometry" instead of its original, inferior label "Shooterology." If you're listening, get in touch with me in the comments below to collect a prize that I have not yet determined. —Evan]