This is the fourth post in the Fundamentals of Aim series, covering Tracking, Flicking and why it’s important to learn them both.
Flickshots, Tracking and Hybrid aim
How to get your rounds where you want them to go
Your sensitivity is set up, your hardware is optimised, now, let us finally get into the good parts – Let’s get started on your aim.
We’ve gone through just about everything, from your sensitivity, to your hardware, to your mentality, now, finally, we can start to get to buisness.
Today, we’ll be covering the most basic, yet most important facets of aiming – Tracking, Flicking and what it means to use a Hybrid of the two, and why practicing them both is key to getting the most out of your aim.
Getting started with your aim
No doubt you’ve atleast heard of Flickshots/Tracking before, as most FPS players have, but what do they actually mean, and why would you use them?
Tracking is the simplest form of aim, it is simply following a moving target as closely as possible with your sights/crosshair, and by some rights is considered the most consistent form of aim. This has general applications in almost all games.
Flicking, on the other hand, is a more complex form of aim, and involves moving your crosshair/sights to a target in a very fast and, ideally, accurate manner. This, ofcourse, requires more practice than Tracking in most cases, however, it can offer far faster reaction times, accuracy and effectiveness against rapidly moving targets.
Then, you have some hybrid forms of aim, like RFA, or “Rapid Flick Aiming”. This style can be considered the unholy bastard of Flicking and Tracking, being both the opposite of “Smooth” tracking, and Flicking’s tendancy to only be for a single shot.
RFA requires very rapid, very small flicks to stay on target, ususally at a rate of atleast 5 microflicks per second, however, some professional players using this style (Like Nanohana of New York Excelsior) can manage upwards of 10-15 flicks per second when tracking a fast moving target.
The best way to practice this style is to get comfortable with very, very small flicks to remain on target, without over/underflicking. This way you can often completely negate randomised recoil, with proper practice and reactions.
Speed, Accuracy and Showmanship, all rolled into a neat little bundle
Flicking is the preferred aiming style of those playing games like Counter Strike Source/Global Offensive and Rainbow Six Siege, games in which a single well placed shot can mean life or death.
Flicking, as previously discussed, ususally involves a single shot, ideally to the head or another critical area. Training with this style of aim rewards you with the ability to react to oncoming threats far faster and far more effficiently than with Tracking, a must have for games like CSGO and R6S.
However, flicking has its downsides. The larger your flicks, the more inconsistent they will be, and the more difficult they are to train, aswell as the relatively low freqency of attacks you can perform, due to the flicking process usually being reactive instead of active.
This leads to flicking being ideal for opening a fight, and, if properly executed, closing it all in the same motion.
“I’ve got you in my sights”
Tracking is the prefered aiming style of those playing games with longer TTKs, or time to kill weapons. This would be games like Apex Legends, Overwatch and other games in which enemies can survive quite a few rounds.
The biggest benefit of Tracking is consistency. Even for a beginner the ability to track somewhat consistently comes naturally, as it is a very natural reaction, and training rewards you with even greater consistency, aswell as the option of more easily tracking more distant, smaller or faster moving targets.
However, the downfall of Tracking is one of the strengths of flicking – Inconsistent targets. Targets that spam crouch, spam left and right movements or lean without pattern can be almost impossible to accurately track, no matter how good you are.
When coming up against an enemy like this, you are often at a disadvantage, as they can hit you far easier than you can hit them. Two key things to practice here are counter-strafing, doing your own crouchspam/left and right spam to counter theirs, turning their advantage into a disadvantage while you turn the tide of a fight, and learning to go for centre mass, instead of trying to land a lucky headshot.
If Flicking is the opener to a fight, Tracking makes up the greatest portion of a fight, especially when it comes to open combat.
When Flicking and Tracking come together to create something beautiful.
Learning to aim with a mix of both Flicking and Tracking is generally considered to be one of the hardest styles of aim to master – And the most rewarding.
Through mastering Hybrid aim, you achieve the benefits of both Flicking and Tracking, with each negating the downsides of the other. This is the hardest style to master, even for professional players, but it translates to all games, instead of being better suited to just one or another.
If one is looking to begin learning a hybrid aim style, it is important that one practices both Tracking and Flicking to a point where they are far beyond average, as the fundementals of both styles are imperitive to succeeding with a hybrid style.
First, one should practice the simplest technique of Hybrid aim – Trackflicking. This would involve tracking a moving target closely, then flicking to the head for a quick, accurate and devastating shot. This is the easiest part to learn, provided a player has experience with both Flicking and Tracking, and offsets the potential inconsistencies of flicking by reducing the overall flick distance dramatically. This is especially helpful in games that feature projectiles instead of hitscan weapons, as you can get on target, then flick to compensate for bullet travel time to land a perfect headshot, even at range.
Next, Rapid Tracking Allignment, or RTA.
This is fairly simple in theory, but quite difficult in practice. The idea is to combine long, reactive flicks with tracking in such a way that they blend together seamlessly.
Proper practice and execution of this technique allows one to perform consistent 90/180 degree snaps to a target, then almost instantly switching to precise tracking should the first shot be missed.
This technique is best practiced against moving targets. Flick to them, then, without delay, begin tracking them as accurately as possible. With proper practice, this technique will grant you the consistency of tracking and the raw speed of flicking at the same time.
And finally, the most difficult technique of Hybrid aim – Rapid Flick Tracking, or RFT.
This is the most “Active” aiming style of those available, and involves very, very rapidly flicking onto your target, sometimes up to 10-15 times per second.
The benefits of this style are that there is almost no requirement to learn recoil patterns, it negates randomised recoil and it is excellent at keeping your crosshairs on target. The most obvious downside is the one you will likely encounter first – It is extremely tiring. Most players that utilise RFT cannot maintain its usage for more than 15-20 seconds at a time before they must return back to another style, and gratuitous overusage/poor form in this technique has the potential to cause serious long term damage, such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or RSI.
There are those that will tell you the trick to this technique is to tense your wrist/forearm. These people are what I like to call “Morons”. That will do nothing but encourage Carpal Tunnel Syndrome/RSI while giving you next to no benefit.
RFT is very simple – Flick onto your target. The difference between this and normal flicks is frequency. While a skilled player might be able to perform 1-2 accurate flicks per second, this style requires you to do up to 10x that, while remaining accurate.
The best way to practice this style is simply to bruteforce it. Learn what frequency you can achieve at your base, and build up from there. Over time, you will find yourself able to do it faster and for longer. There is no quick trick to learning RFT, unfortunately, but players, especially in games that have entirely randomised recoil, will find a great benefit in this style of aim.
Closing notes and future plans.
This blog marks my fourth month of working with Statespace and Aimlab. I have enjoyed my time here immensely, and I intend to continue doing the work that I can.
However, I feel as if there is more that I can do, more questions that I can answer and more things that I can teach.
That is why, beginning after this blog, I will be increasing the frequency in which I post, aswell as getting the community itself involved in the creation of these blogs.
The Fundamentals of Aim series will continue on as planned, however, you can expect to read more things about the environment of gaming, upcoming events and interviews, and sneak previews of upcoming updates for Aimlab!
Furthermore – Beginning in June, another bi-weekly series will be brought into production – Community Blogs. The subject of which will be decided by you, the Aimlab community.
On the 1st of every month, you will be able to propose ideas and vote on what you would like to see for the next Community Blog, starting now!
Promote, Vote and Decide Here!
To the readers, players and community members that have helped to make Aimlab what it is today – Thank you.
Next volume –