Variety and Plateaus
Your mechanical skills by now are very high level and you will begin to notice drop-off in how much you improve each week or even each month as you progress through these advanced training exercises. You may even notice a plateau in your ability to rank up in comp. The reason for this may be that mechanical skill with a mouse will only get you so far.
At this point you must improve your game sense along with your mechanical accuracy. This will come from experience, watching pro streamers on twitch, YouTube video’s analyzing tournament games, and even YouTube guides on how to use each specific hero. The ability to constantly be asking yourself “why did I do that?”, “what could I have done differently?” instead of raging and blaming others is an extremely valuable asset to have to self improve.
These exercises from here on will depend on your own judgement and ability to intelligently adapt to plateaus. You should be well accustomed to Aim Hero and view it as a valuable tool in your training. You will also be aware of how physical exercise such and stretching, walking and even regularly visiting a gym can greatly increase your fine muscle control and mental attitude when approaching the game.
Some days you may feel your aim on is super on point and also having days where you feel ‘off’. This is because at this level of play, minor issues such as feeling tired, stressed, eating poorly, or even waking up on the wrong side of bed can adversely affect your game-play in many ways.
Variety is the name of game in these advanced exercises. If one day you feel like your flick aiming is off, head into and Aim Hero or the Practice range and work on it through various exercises. Don’t be afraid to adjust the settings in Aim Hero to change up your training, experiment. I can only provide guidelines and suggestions to your training now. It is up to you to adapt it and make it work for you.
Advanced Aim Training
Drill #1: AH Fast Aiming 5 Minutes
Aim Hero is still extremely viable at this level and can be instrumental in breaking through plateaus and self induced limits. Your pre-game warm up exercise is still Aim Hero Fast Aiming. You should start to focus on speed now and fast aiming mode on medium difficulty requires you to shoot each target in less than 0.5 seconds to keep the screen from being over run and end early. May be challenging at first but spend time with it each training session and you will notice you can eliminate more and more targets and before long you will complete medium difficulty. Again, warm up in this mode for 5 minutes or more depending on your judgement of how ‘on’ your aim is that day.
Drill #2: AH Reflex 10-15 Minutes
Reflex… At this point, reflex training is just that, reflex. By now you should have the muscle memory to move your cross-hair exactly where you want it. Moving faster without thinking is the goal here. Open up Reflex mode in Aim Hero and again go straight to custom as per usual. At first I am going to suggest making it easier, but it is up to you to challenge your self intelligently. Set it to custom mode and adjust the settings as so.
You will notice I only slightly decreased the target lifespan and gave you more time to reset back to center. The kicker is, after each two minute drill, I want you to randomly adjust the player distance. Do not attempt the drill at the same distance twice. Vary the distance anywhere from 0-10 each time. This will really test and train your muscle memory. Continue to do this as before maintaining a very high accuracy.
At this point it is up to you to adjust the mode. Try intensifying the mode by decreasing the target delay. Challenge your speed by lowering the the target lifetime and test your accuracy by making the targets smaller and smaller. You will only get out of this what you put into it. Train in this mode for at least 10 minutes but don’t over do it by sitting in this mode for hours on end.
Drill #3: AH Strafing 5-10 Minutes
Strafing mode in Aim Hero is excellent for sharpening your left to right tracking and by now you should be landing multiple shots as you tack the target in medium difficulty. Challenge yourself in High difficulty and adjust the settings in custom mode to suit your training goals. Again do this for 5-10 minutes.
It is up to you if you want to test your skills in the other modes. Simple Mode can be fun at testing your target acquisition speed and reflexes. Classic is good for target priority. For example, only shoot targets that are a certain size and avoid shooting them when they become too large. Vary your training is the key point I am trying to make here.
Drill #4: OW Strafing (ALWAYS)
Once you feel warmed up open up Overwatch and once again head into the practice range. By now you should be continuing your strafe training (by which I mean picking spots on the maps and keeping your cross-hair there as you move around) without even thinking during your matches or when you are bored and waiting around. There is not much to improve this training other that making your movement more and more erratic until your ability to maintain your cross-hair steady on a single spot approaches the point of people thinking you have an aim-bot.
Drill #5: OW Reflex 5-10 Minutes
As you get better with reflex aiming you have to move your cross-hair further and further away from the target to make what I call ‘unnecessary’ flick shots. This a good drill to continue and once you start making nearly 90 degree flicks consistently you know you are doing well. Do flick shots and absurd flick shots in the practice range for 5-10 minutes before each competitive session.
Drill #6: OW Bot Training 25-50 Kills
Lastly we finish our training routine with some advanced bot training. Open up a custom game, leave head-shot only mode off, and give yourself a large health bonus (for instance set McCree’s health to 500%). Add in 2 Ana’s, 2 Lucio’s, and 2 McCree’s. Make this training as realistic as possible, get in close, peak corners, strafe, jump, etc. Practice with as many different heroes as you like and continue to write down your accuracy, and time to kill an X amount of bots if you wish to continue tracking your progress.
Only you can determine how to improve your mechanics at this point. You should be able to spot your strengths and weaknesses by either recording and reviewing your game-play or by dueling equally skilled friends in a custom match critiquing each others plays and abilities. Find your weaknesses and adapt these lessons and exercising to correct or improve them.
There will come a point where your mechanical skills stop improving but your games sense in Overwatch is nearly limitless and it is at this point for you to really need focus on that aspect of your game-play if you haven’t already. Once you realize you have finally plateaued that does not mean you should stop training entirely. You must come up with a routine similar to what I have provided you with that you use before each session of Overwatch to warm up and keep your aim sharp. Short sessions in Fast aiming, Reflex aiming, and strafe training in Aim Hero is highly recommended and you should come up with a plan on how exactly you want to allocate your time to do so. Continuing to warm up afterwards in the practice range with various heroes is also highly advised and you can practice with any of the exercises you learned here.
Good Luck and Happy Hunting to All!