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How to Set Up Your Desk for Improved Aim: FPS Gamer's Guide

Tomas Sedurskas June 13, 2023 11 min read

Precise aim is crucial when battling enemies in popular first-person shooter games like CS: GO, Valorant, Fortnite, or the brand-new Counter-Strike 2.

While practice and skill development are vital, the FPS desk setup plays a significant role in your precision. For this post, we have researched professional FPS gamers and our own years of competitive experience, to bring you the tips and tricks to optimize your desk setup for improved aim, allowing you to perform at your best and achieve more victories.


Here’s a TL:DR list with the main points:

Cable ManagementLow
Lighting and AmbianceLow
Mouse BungeeLow
Quality Mouse PadModerate
Proper Monitor SetupModerate
Optimal Keyboard PlacementModerate
Extended Mouse MatModerate
Audio Cues and Sound OptimizationHigh
Choose the Right Gaming MouseHigh
Arm Positioning and Desk SpaceHigh
Experiment with Sensitivity and DPIHigh

Remember: While optimizing your desk setup is important, regular practice is crucial to refine your aiming skills and game knowledge.

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Ergonomics First

Before diving into specific gaming peripherals, it’s essential to understand the importance of ergonomics. Maintaining a healthy posture reduces fatigue and promotes focus during extended gaming sessions. Here are a few key considerations:

  • Chair:Invest in a supportive, adjustable gaming chair that promotes proper posture and provides lumbar support.
  • Desk Height: Adjust your desk height so that your forearms rest parallel to the ground, allowing for comfortable mouse movement.
  • Monitor Placement: Position your monitor at eye level to avoid straining your neck and maintain a neutral head position.

Choose the Right Gaming Mouse

Your gaming mouse is the primary tool for precise aim. Selecting the right mouse that suits your grip style will significantly impact your accuracy. Here are the most beneficial features to look for:

  • Adjustable DPI (dots per inch)
  • Customizable buttons
  • Ergonomic design.
  • Lightweight
  • Satisfying click response

Experiment with different mouse grips (palm, claw, fingertip) to find the most comfortable and natural grip for you.

Note: Avoid ambidextrous mice. They are generally less comfortable. Pick a mouse based on your dominant hand.

Wired vs Wireless

Wired mice typically offer a more stable and instantaneous connection, which can be advantageous in competitive gaming.

However, wireless mice have improved in recent years, offering low-latency performance and freedom of movement. The latency difference is undetectable by the human eye.

Here is a quick reference table to showcase the differences:

AspectWired MouseWireless Mouse
Freedom of Movement✔️

The checkmark (✔️) indicates the better option per attribute.

Keep in mind that the decision ultimately depends on your specific preferences and requirements for your gaming setup.

The general tip here is that for Competitive Gaming a wired mouse is the better option, but for casual players, the wireless mouse provides a more enjoyable experience as long as you don’t mind charging the mouse every once in a while.

If you are looking for the top mid-range wired gaming mouse, this is one of the best options:

Razer DeathAdder Elite See at Amazon

The same mouse comes in a wireless variant:

Razer DeathAdder V2 Pro Wireless See at Amazon

Consider Using a Mouse Bungee

A mouse bungee might be beneficial if you are going with a wired mouse. It holds your cable suspended in the air, reducing cable drag and providing consistent mouse movement.

It prevents the cord from getting caught or tangled, allowing smooth mouse glides.

Experiment with Mouse Sensitivity and DPI

Finding the optimal mouse sensitivity and DPI settings for your gameplay style is essential. Start with a sensitivity that allows you to make precise movements without sacrificing speed.

Experiment and gradually adjust the sensitivity to find the perfect balance. It must feel comfortable and allow for accurate aim.

Lower DPI settings generally provide more control, while higher DPI settings offer quicker movements with less precision.

Invest in a Quality Mouse Pad

A mouse pad with a smooth and consistent surface offers optimal tracking for your gaming mouse. It reduces friction and provides a reliable base for precise movements.

Choose a mouse pad that fits your desk size, offers ample space for mouse movement, and has an anti-slip base to prevent unwanted slippage.

Consider Using an Extended Mouse Mat

An extended mouse mat provides a larger surface area for hand movement, allowing you to perform wide-ranging swipes and maintain consistent aim. It is a requirement for classes and roles in games like The Sniper.

Note: With an extended mouse mat, you can forget about the limitations of a smaller pad.

Extended mouse pad

Arm Positioning and Desk Space

  1. Ensure ample desk space for uninterrupted arm movement while aiming.

  2. Avoid clutter or unnecessary objects that may restrict your range of motion.

  3. Position your arm comfortably and avoid resting it on the edge of the desk, as it can cause tension and affect your aim.

  4. Utilize the available space to find a position that allows you to move your arm smoothly.

Optimal Keyboard Placement

While the keyboard is not directly related to aim, its positioning affects your overall comfort and hand coordination. Place your keyboard in a way that allows your arms to rest naturally and comfortably on the desk. Consider using a wrist rest to reduce strain during long gaming sessions.

Here are a few different placements you can experiment with:

Standard Placement: The traditional keyboard placement is centered right in front of the user, aligned with the monitor. It is a straightforward and widely used configuration by casual players.

Offset Placement: In this setup, the keyboard is slightly off-center to the left or right of the user, allowing for a more comfortable alignment with the dominant hand. It can help reduce strain on the shoulders and promote a more natural hand position. In addition, it gives more space for mouse movement.

Angled Placement: With this setup, you angle the top of the keyboard towards your monitor. It will give your fingers more reach over the keys. The angled placement is the most popular configuration between the competitive players.

Vertical (90°) Placement: The most extreme setup, reserved only for specific individuals. The idea here is to set your keyboard sideways. This should give you access to keys that you could never reach with other setups without lifting your fingers.

If you are interested in this topic, you can find out more in this great YouTube video by theScore esports .

Monitor Setup

A well-configured monitor setup enhances your visual perception and tracking abilities. Follow these guidelines:

  • Refresh Rate: Aim for a monitor with a high refresh rate (144Hz or higher) to reduce motion blur and provide a smoother visual experience.
  • Display Settings: Optimize monitor brightness, contrast, and color calibration for optimal visibility. Adjusting these settings to suit your gaming environment can help you spot enemies and objects more effectively.
  • Multiple Monitors: If you use multiple monitors, ensure they are aligned to prevent interruptions in your aim. Make sure to use one main screen for the game. Please DO NOT use two monitors for FPS games. Also, shut off the second screen during play to eliminate any distractions.

Lighting and Ambiance

Lighting can affect your visual focus and overall gaming experience. Consider the following:

  • Room Lighting: Avoid excessive glare or dim lighting that can strain your eyes or hinder visibility. Opt for indirect lighting or a desk lamp with adjustable brightness for a well-lit gaming area.
  • Monitor Backlighting: Some gaming monitors offer customizable backlighting options. Experiment with different colors and intensity levels to find what suits you best. A subtle, non-distracting backlight can help reduce eye fatigue and enhance focus.

Cable Management

Tangled cables can be distracting and impede your mouse movements. Keep your desk clutter-free with cable clips, sleeves, or cable management solutions to organize your wires. The organization not only improves the aesthetics, but also ensures smooth and uninterrupted mouse glides.

Consider cable management solutions like cable holder clips to keep cords organized and prevent them from tangling or cluttering your gaming space. By having cable held within arm’s reach, you can quickly plug in any device, whether it be your mouse, keyboard, or headset.

Cable Holder Clips See at Amazon

Audio Cues and Sound Optimization

Note: Playing without headphones immediately puts you at a competitive disadvantage.

Audio cues play a significant role in gaming, especially in FPS games where being aware of your surroundings is crucial. Optimize your audio settings to ensure you can hear enemy footsteps, gunfire, and other relevant in-game sounds. Invest in good headphones that provide accurate and immersive audio, helping you react faster and improving your overall performance. Speakers might underperform in such a use case.

Gradually Upgrading the Setup

Your setup is not set in stone. Consider making gradual upgrades to your gaming setup instead of completely overhauling it. This approach allows you to test and assess each new addition, ensuring improvements in aim and comfort. Experiment with one component at a time, such as a new mouse or mouse pad, and evaluate its impact on your gameplay. This iterative process helps you refine your setup based on your personal preferences.

How do I Know If My Setup has improved?

Two things are important here.

The improvements in comfort and convenience should be instantly noticeable, but your in-game performance, that’s a bit different.

The only way to know for sure is to test it.

  1. Choose an aim training tool or a map for your favorite FPS game. Hopefully, you already have some benchmark, otherwise set one.
  2. Give yourself some time to adjust to your new upgrades.
  3. Repeat the aim test and see if you notice any improvements.
  4. Compare the results

Note: Make sure to run the test multiple times for consistent results.


It is crucial to optimize your desk setup and practice regularly to refine your aiming skills. Combine these desk setup tips with dedicated training and gameplay sessions to see substantial improvements in your aim.

Happy gaming, and good luck on your path to becoming a sharpshooter!