Wrist Aiming Vs. Arm Aiming: What’s Better For FPS Gaming?

By: Lorenzo  |  Updated: November 9, 2021

When playing any game that requires “aiming,” you have two options; to aim with your wrist or to aim with your arm.

So, which is better for providing consistent and accurate aiming? Wrist aiming vs. arm aiming?

Here’s how you can determine which aim to choose:

If you have a smaller mouse pad with limited space, use a high sensitivity and aim with your wrist. But, if you have a larger extended mouse pad with a ton of space, use a lower sensitivity and aim with your arm.

Your aiming style comes down to personal preference, and in this guide, we will explain the pros and cons for each aim style, how each style affects your aim technique, and which aim style you should choose overall.

Let's dive in!

What Is Wrist Aiming?

A picture of the wrist aiming position. Wrist aiming vs arm aiming.

This is an example of how wrist aiming looks like.

Wrist aiming is when you have your wrist resting on your table and have your arm completely off the edge of your table.

There is a high chance that you are using wrist aiming if you have limited spacing to move around your mouse.

You will subconsciously know the limits of how far you can move around your mouse before moving off your mouse pad, so most people tend to set a higher sensitivity to prevent this from happening.

You are most likely seated like this:

An image of a gamer sitting at the desk, with his hand in the wrist aiming position.

Because your wrist movements are shorter and quicker, if you are a wrist aimer, chances are you have a high sensitivity -- an eDPI (DPI x In-Game Mouse Sensitivity) of >450.

In the pro-FPS world, a higher eDPI is rarer. However, it would be best if you didn’t use this as an indication to change your sensitivity, but instead, find a sensitivity that feels natural and comfy.

You would choose such high sensitivity because all of your mouse movement comes from the limited range of motion in your wrist.

So whether you’re flicking, swiping, or making micro or macro adjustments to your aim, your wrist can only move so far; thus, you would need a higher mouse sensitivity.

Here are the pros and cons of wrist aiming:

Pros:

  • It’s easier for you if you lack coordination since you only need one point of contact to move around your mouse.
  • It allows you to make more refined and accurate adjustments since your mouse movements are smaller.
  • It is perfect for you if you have a small mouse pad or a smaller surface area for your mouse movements since you will need to maximize your spacing.

Cons:

  • Wrist aiming places stress on your wrist. For this reason, it’s good to ensure you warm-up and stretch properly before gaming.
    • ScreaM is a pro-FPS player who has played for many years and has a quick routine that you can copy here (skip to 0:26).
  • You are forced to play on a high sensitivity due to the limited range of motion on your wrist.
  • It takes time to get used to.
  • The difference between a short flick or an enormous mouse swipe is mere centimeters, so without proper aim training, you are prone to making mistakes.

If you are a wrist aimer, ensure you warm up and stretch adequately to prevent long-term health issues.

What Is Arm Aiming?

A picture showing an example of your arm position when you're arm aiming. Wrist aiming vs arm aiming.

This is an example of how arm aiming looks like.

Arm aiming is when you have your wrist, forearm, and elbow on your table, and when you make mouse movements, your entire arm moves, not just your wrist.

You will typically use arm aiming if you have larger desk space with more freedom to move around your mouse.

Arm aiming also helps you gain more control over your mouse movements because instead of having a single point of contact (your wrist), you have three points of contact (your wrist, forearm, and elbow).

With arm aiming, you are seated like this:

With arm aiming, you can choose which part of your arm you will use to adjust to your aim.

If you need to move your aim ever-so-slightly, you will use your wrist, but more prominent flicks will require you to move your forearm or shoulder.

Arm aiming allows you more freedom of movement, so it’s natural for you to game at a lower sensitivity since you have more control over your mouse flicks and swipes.

The typical eDPI for arm aiming gamers is <450 eDPI.

There is a higher number of pro-FPS players who game with an eDPI of <450, but again - don’t take this as an indicator to completely switch your in-game sensitivity.

Here are the pros and cons for arm aiming:

Pros:

  • You have more flexibility on which part of your arm you use to aim.
    • For micro-adjustments, you only need to use your wrist.
    • For more significant flicks and swipes, you can use either your forearm or your whole arm for more control.
  • Arm aiming is healthier long-term since you are now more flexible and versatile with your aiming. It’s still best practice to do wrist stretches before gaming, but the strain on your wrist is not as significant.
  • You can aim for longer without tiring your body since you utilize your forearm and shoulder muscles which are stronger and less susceptible to injury than your wrist.

Cons:

  • It will feel unnatural, especially if you have started with wrist aiming. You will have to go through a learning curve to get used to this type of aiming style and build the muscle memory.
  • It requires a larger surface area for you to move your mouse. Without adequate space, you will find yourself swiping your mouse well past your mouse pad, causing inaccuracies.

What Kind Of Aim Do Pro-Gamers Use?

Both.

There’s no right or wrong answer; it comes down to personal preference and what you find most comfortable.

Pro-VALORANT gamers such as brax and TenZ use arm aiming, with an eDPI of <450.

Other pro-players like Hiko use wrist aiming, with an eDPI of >450.

One outlier to these stats is ScreaM, who has an eDPI of 306 but primarily uses wrist aiming as his primary method of aiming.

Wrist Aiming Vs. Arm Aiming: Which Style Of Aim Should You Use?

Choosing between wrist aiming and arm aiming depends on your gaming setup.

If you have:

  • A limited area to move around your mouse
  • A small mouse pad
  • A shorter table to which you have your arm hanging off your table

Then you will want to choose wrist aiming as your primary aiming technique.

If you have:

  • A large surface area to move around your mouse
  • A large, extended mouse pad
  • A ton of desk space

Then you can choose between wrist and arm aiming.

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For the general population of gamers, arm aiming sounds like the better option on paper.

Arm aiming gives you more control over which part of your arm you will use for the specific type of aim you’re trying to accomplish. It is also healthier and more ergonomic, providing less strain on your wrist, and using larger muscle groups that don’t fatigue as quickly.

So for the reasons listed above, arm aiming wins, but remember - there will always be room for wrist aiming and may be the better option if you feel that wrist aiming is more natural.

If you choose wrist aiming, ensure you warm up and stretch your wrist before every gaming session.

In the pro-FPS scene, no one style is preferred over the other.

The Bottom Line

With the right eDPI, practice, ergonomics, and warm-up, both types of aiming techniques will be suitable to use.

There’s no “one style fits all,” and it comes down to what your personal preference is.

If you’re serious about improving your aim to dominate your competition, you can check out our guide on how to build an aim training routine.

If you enjoyed reading our article, comment below and tell us which aim style you enjoy using the most and how it has affected your aim.

Happy gaming!

Since the age of 6, Lorenzo has enjoyed gaming on computers. Having grown up in the digital age, the technology revolves around him. He enjoyed growing up gaming throughout his high school years and is now a young adult who does most of his work on his computer. Lorenzo's mission is to make buying products and building PC's an easy and fun experience for all.
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