I have played Half Life and Counter Strike since 2001 and many others since, so I have some years of experience in playing First Person Shooter games on computers, with mouse and keyboard. While I am not very good, I manage to almost always be in top 5 players on my team.

However, when I play on the PS3, FPS games like Wolfenstein, or games that are not FPS but occasionally need some aiming like Uncharted or Fallout 3, I am totally lame, and end up dying even on easy difficulties.

Has someone with the same problem published a guide that I will be able to follow and improve myself?


8 Answers 8


There's really nothing more to it than practice unfortunately. I've been playing PC shooters since the original Doom and thought I would never get into console shooters, but after playing a bit of CoD4, I started getting into it and after a year or so of playing, I felt as in control playing with a controller as I did with the keyboard / mouse combo.

One thing though, you will never be as accurate using a controller, it's just impossible. Whereas using a keyboard and mouse in a shooter could be described as "point and click", with a controller, I've found that it's more like sweeping towards the target and picking the right moment to press fire in that sweep.

It sounds kinda strange, but it can be 90% as effective as keyboard / mouse control once you get used to it.


Here's what I did:

  1. Turned up the sensitivity ALL the way and played through the single-player campaign (on "Easy"; the point is just to get used to all that sensitivity).
  2. I tend to overthink and process things slowly; what you need to do is act instinctively. So I turned down the sensitivity JUST A BIT and played a bunch of free-for-all matches where I never stopped moving except to check behind me, which I did a LOT. This improves your ability to stay oriented and keeps you alert.
  3. Got aggressive. I was playing CoD WaW, so I essentially "chased dots" on the minimap. If you get into a firefight, GO AFTER THEM. The guy who charges around the corner usually has the edge. (Though obviously charging across open ground will get you killed.) There's just something about that aggressive attitude that almost seems to put your sights on target without even thinking.

My scores went from the bottom, where they'd been for months, to respectable in a couple days and I started getting regular killstreaks, even if I'm no rockstar yet. Also, you've heard it before: aim with your feet (i.e., strafe left/right).

  • +1 Tips 2 and 3 are really good advices. As they said in The Matrix, you need to let go of your analytical thinking and leave aiming to your subconscious mind. Commented Dec 1, 2013 at 15:35

Aiming for console and pc games are different as you've found.

Here are some tips that might make it easier to aim:

  1. Adjust your sensitivity. Move it a tad bit higher than normal so you can look around faster, but not too much as to hinder your fine aiming when using scoped weapons. This just takes time and practice to find the right amount.
  2. Learn to use spread weapons first. Spread weapons include shotguns and and assault rifles. As you spray and pray, it gives you the general feeling of the recoil and how much you have to tilt your sticks, so even if you aren't 100% on top of the enemy, you'll still hit.
  3. Learn to quick scope by tapping the target button. When you aim down the sights, as long as you're aiming near the enemy, the game should zero in on them for you (i.e. GTA or CoD).
  4. Learn to tap your sticks after quick scoping. After you've got the hang of quick scoping, you can slowly start tapping your stick upwards slightly. When auto aim targets, it goes for the chest. If you tap upwards slightly, it naturally goes to the head. With time and practice, you'll get head shots pretty easily.
  5. Learn the recoil of your weapon. For most games this isn't needed, but if you're into competitive gaming, this can help. Most weapons follow a certain spread range, and even hit pattern. If you remember it, you can hold down the weapon and guide the recoil so that the next few bullets hit even when the trigger is fully pressed. Think of it like the 2nd or 3rd full auto shot from an AK in Counter-strike, it usually lands in the top left quadrant of the aiming reticle.
  6. Adjust for lag. Just like a sniper adjusts for windage, if you're playing online and you have lag, just aim a slight bit ahead of the opponent and you'll still hit. Often times you can kill them even before their shots register on you.

These are just off the top of my head. So I hope they help whoever reads this.


Different console FPSs do controls differently. A big reason why the Halo series did so well is how they tuned the controls for the game; not every company making a console FPS pays that much attention to it. You're pretty much just going to have to practice each game individually until you get the feel for it, like any game.

Bonus point: I HAVE heard of people playing on a PS3 with mouse and keyboard, so there is that option.

  • The mouse and keyboard on PS3 is only for a few games, a very select few. The option is always there but, most developers don't use it.
    – Corv1nus
    Commented Jul 8, 2010 at 14:10
  • I have heard of some games accepting keyboard and mouse, but have never had one.
    – kurast
    Commented Jul 8, 2010 at 16:47
  • Ironically, my aim in Halo is some of the worst in all console FPS games. :-/
    – ZoogieZork
    Commented Jul 9, 2010 at 14:21

I don't really have a guide but, I had the same problem as you. What I did was buy UT3 for PS3 on the cheap and work on it until I got better. I played a ton of bot matches until I could beat them on more extreme difficulties. At that point I was able to be somewhat successful in the MP and this translated over to other games as well.


I've been playing PC first person shooters for over 5 years and I recently got a PS3. Before I paid for any first person shooters on my PS3 I got a free FPS called 'Dust 514'. I played that for a long time and got quite good at it, then I played other first person shooters and got used to the game in less than an hour. So what I suggest is you just practice, practice, practice. And don't use a mouse on your console because I did that and when I played a game which wouldn't work with a mouse... Lets just say I couldn't do anything.


When you use spread weapons, sprint at the enemy and dive to prone slightly before they are in range, then shoot. Always helps me.


My advice is to practice. But if you are really struggling, try playing a basic shooter on you phone, like Respawnables, Modern Combat, or dead trigger, get used to the controls on your phone, then go back to your console and you will most likely have better aim. If you have an iPhone, you can get a physical controller like the gamevice.

  • Phone controls are not going to mentally condition you like a physical joystick will. The concept is the same, but as long as you have access to an actual controller, US THAT. Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 21:00

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