Are you ready to be the one who gets that perfect headshot in COD: Cold War? If you want to learn how to improve aim quickly, it's time to take a look at what kind of thumbsticks you play with.

The best way to improve aim in any game is having the right thumbsticks. Everyone has different hand sizes, thumb lengths, and preferences. That’s why SCUF thumbsticks are interchangeable: to match your unique preference of comfort and playstyle. In this guide, we'll be going over how to play the game better with some easy Call of Duty aiming tips. 

Identify Your Playstyle

Are you someone who likes to plan out a strategy and take their time to take out the enemy? Or do you prefer to take a more direct aggressive approach? Do you like shotguns or sniper rifles more? Whatever your preferred style or weapon, it’s a key part in what thumbsticks will suit you best. 

Understanding Thumbstick Shape and Length

There are two parts to the thumbstick: its shape and its length. 

  • Concave thumbsticks are designed for more movement control. 

  • Domed thumbsticks are designed for more accuracy. 

  • Short thumbsticks are designed for quicker movement speed

  • Tall thumbsticks are designed to have more angle to play with. 

Choosing Thumbsticks

For aggressive players, like SMG players, we recommend a short concave thumbstick on the left and a short domed thumbstick on the right. You’ll be able to move fast and always be ready to quickly aim and fire.

For defensive players, like sniper rifle players, we recommend playing with a short concave thumbstick on the left and a tall domed thumbstick on the right. You can still move and turn quickly, but also be the most accurate when aiming at a moving target. 

Try out different thumbstick types and combinations to find the ones that fit your playstyle, or change it up when you’re in the mood for something different. Whether it is that critical moment in a 1v1, or just trying to dominate on the field, the right thumbsticks will make sure your aim is supreme. 

How to Improve at Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War with the Right Controller

One of the most overlooked Call of Duty aiming tips is to get a pro controller to help you out. But, in many ways, it’s the most obvious advice you can get. After all, better equipment means better performance in games.

Using a pro controller like the SCUF Vantage gives you several benefits when it comes to how to improve at Call of Duty, such as the ability to adjust the thumbsticks and map actions to the back paddles. These features can help you improve your aim tremendously. Plus, it gives you the button combinations that are normally impossible with traditional controllers.

Now before you go out and buy a controller upgrade, let’s clear something up first. Many players, pros and amateurs alike, think of third-party controllers as an unfair advantage. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, they’re widely used in many of the world’s top eSports tournaments. It’s the same as buying the right basketball shoes to help with shock absorption and ankle stability during a big game. You wouldn’t call an NBA player a cheater for picking the best shoes for their performance needs.

You can even make the argument that using a standard controller puts you at a severe disadvantage that can harm your chances. For instance, playing against PC players can be challenging since it’s easier to aim using a mouse. So buy a pro controller if you can. It’s one of the best Call of Duty aiming tips we can give you.

Here are some more pro tips to improve your game. 

Master the paddles

Mastering paddles is one the best Call of Duty aiming tips you can adopt. And it’s also an excellent reason to buy a pro controller. Not familiar with paddles? Let’s explain. Some pro controllers, like the SCUF Vantage, have four paddles on the back. They are essentially additional buttons that you can easily activate with a slight press of your index finger. In addition, you can map any action to these paddles for faster access.

More than just extra buttons, however, these paddles actually give you a considerable edge when playing. One of the biggest problems with using the standard PS4 or Xbox controller is that critical actions, like jumping or switching weapons, are mapped to the face buttons. To press them, you’d need to take your thumb off the right analog stick (used for aiming). This, of course, puts you at a split-second vulnerability where you can’t aim at targets. In addition, it also means you can’t aim while jumping or swapping weapons, a feat that’s easy to do with a keyboard and mouse. 

This is where the paddle buttons come in handy. You can map the face buttons onto them, thus freeing your thumb to focus only on aiming. So you’ll always be ready to aim even when you’re in the middle of doing something else! Plus, pressing the paddle buttons with your index finger is much faster than using your thumb to mash the face buttons. This dramatically increases your response time in-game.

The only problem with using paddles is that it does take some time to get used to them. But with enough training, you’ll also learn to master them in time. And that can help your game performance tremendously.

Use the right thumbsticks

Another advantage of using a pro controller is that you can often swap the thumbsticks out. Beyond having spares on hand, different thumbsticks can affect your aim in dramatic ways. For example, the thumbsticks on SCUF controllers come in two shapes: domed or concave.

Concave thumbsticks allow your thumb to rest more naturally on the center. Thus, it facilitates broader movement, best suited for players who prefer close-quarter combat that require quick turns and fast aiming. Domed thumbsticks, on the other hand, let your thumb rest on the outer edge. That makes it easier to make more refined movements, great for the more accurate aiming demands of snipers. 

In addition, SCUF thumbsticks are also height-adjustable. A taller thumbstick is excellent for more accurate aiming. In contrast, a shorter thumbstick is easier to move, which is preferable for rapid movement and quick turns. SCUF thumbsticks also have a far better grip texture than standard controllers. This helps keep your thumb securely in place, preventing accidental slips during intense gunfights.

However, these recommendations are just rules of thumb (pun intended!). Whether you pick domed or concave, tall or short, really depends on your preference. And the only way to know for sure is to practice and get a feel of the different options you have.


Adjust your sensitivity

All things equal, your controller sensitivity has the most significant impact on your aim than any other setting. The perfect sensitivity allows you to line up your sights much more accurately or turn around to respond to threats more quickly. Thus, as standard practice, your first step when starting any game is to head to the settings screen to adjust your sensitivity.

Now, it’s worthwhile to note that there’s no “perfect” sensitivity for everyone. Instead, it’s a highly personal choice that depends on your playstyle, skill level, and comfort. Traditionally, most pros swear by lower sensitivities because it helps make your aim much more accurate. In addition, there is less twitching, so it’s far easier to line up your shot, especially at long range. Of course, lower sensitivity has a drawback: it’ll be harder for you to turn around and face a rear threat. Pros compensate for this by relying on superior map knowledge and experience to know which way to face to avoid an ambush.

Higher sensitivity is mainly seen with more aggressive players who prefer to charge into a gunfight head-on. Shotgun and SMG players are perfect examples. At close quarters, the ability to quickly aim between targets or swivel around quickly is prized over pinpoint accuracy. Figuring out your ideal sensitivity is one of the most important journeys you need to make. It might take some time, but the improved performance you’ll get from doing this makes it well worth the effort. Start by opting for a sensitivity setting in the middle. For most games, this is around 5 or 6. Then play a few games and watch your performance.

Are you finding it hard to aim or find you’re too twitchy? Try tweaking your sensitivity slightly, then play for a few hours again. Observe if this change improved your gameplay, then adjust as necessary. Once you’ve found your sensitivity sweet spot, stick to it no matter what! You should even remember this setting and try to apply it to every FPS game you play. That way, you can develop your muscle memory, so you’ll get better faster.


Switch to wired controllers

We all know wireless controllers are fantastic for comfortable, laidback gaming. But if you’re trying to play competitively, it might not be the best option. That’s because wireless controllers introduce a tiny amount of lag, creating a delay from the time you press a button until you see the changes on-screen. Unfortunately, this slight discrepancy is often enough to throw your aim completely off. For this reason, it’s best to stick to a wired controller as it has a lower input lag than a wireless option.


More gameplay tips to improve your aim

An essential technique to learn when using a controller is pre-aiming and pre-firing. As the name suggests, this is where you have a high degree of confidence that the enemy will appear in a particular spot that you start aiming or firing before they do. Doing this can give you a head start to win the gunfight. Pre-aiming and pre-firing prove that a proper aim is more than just skill and technique. Good battlefield awareness and map knowledge can give you the intel needed to predict where enemies will appear so that you can aim in advance.

Check back here for some updates for your in game settings.

Check out our other Call of Duty: Cold War Guides:

Getting Started in COD: Black Ops Cold War

Expert Controller Settings in COD: Black Ops Cold War

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, is the latest edition in the COD: Black Ops series by Treyarch and Activision, on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and S, and PC.