I have been trying arm aiming for the past month and there is definitely a lot to it, so I thought I should create a blog post to help people who want to learn the right arm aiming posture.

Arm aiming is usually a correction of the body to use your arm instead of your wrist to aim if you have a low sensitivity. Mainly because a lower sensitivity requires more surface area to be covered, so it is more efficient to use the arm instead of the wrist.

Ideal arm aiming posture is to place either your forearm or elbow at the edge of the desk to use as a pivot point. This pivot point is completely up to preference and can be chosen based on comfort, irritation or better aiming.

A lot of people just put their whole arm on the desk and begin arm aiming, only to realise that there is a lot more to it. Arm aiming is arguably more difficult than wrist aiming, so there are many techniques to perfect arm aiming. Read the 10 Reasons Why Your Aim Is Not Improving.

How to sit properly

Arm aiming requires you to have a stable posture with your aiming arm nearly fully on the desk. Pick a chair and desk height that allows for comfortable resting of the forearms on the desk. If the height is too low you will have to lean in to compensate and this will promote poor posture. Being too high will cause your arms to hang above the desk and you will be forced to use your wrist more. Arm rests can be taken advantage of too, by having your elbow pivot on the armrest and the rest of your arm on the desk.

Checklist

  • Elbow or forearm placed on the desk
  • Center your mouse in the middle of your mousepad
  • Sit upright and allow your arms to rest on the desk
  • Place your arms more than shoulder width apart
  • Don’t place your arms too wide apart
sitting posture

How To Arm Aim Properly

The best arm aimer in the world is Niko from CS:GO. Niko displays one of the most vital skills when it comes to arm aiming, that is crosshair placement. Crosshair placement is the ability to preaim where your enemy will be standing just before you peek, so when you peek into him you have your crosshair on his head already. Since the fundamental weakness of arm aiming is fine adjustment, it is crucial to have pinpoint accurate crosshair placement if you want to be a successful arm aimer.

Mousepad For Arm Aiming

You are not going to be able to arm aim with a small mousepad, you need a large one roughly around 40cm x 40cm. This will allow the freedom of movement for your hand to swipe across the desk. A good mousepad test is to see if you can do a 360 by swiping from one end of your mousepad to the other. If you can do a 360 then you have an adequate sized mousepad, if not then it’s time to change. The Zowie GSR in my experience can be bought in large sizes and provides really good consistency with aiming. Some people prefer a lower friction pad to balance out their lower arm aiming sensitivities. In this case try a Zowie GSR-SE which is the faster version and can be bought in a large size too.

Arm Aim Mousepad

Good Sensitivity For Arm Aiming

Between 35cm/360 and 80cm/360 is a good place to find an arm aiming sensitivity. These sensitivity require a lot of surface area to be covered and incorporates your arm a lot. A low sensitivity is great for arm aiming since you can move your mouse greater distances and you can abuse consistent aim. Lower sensitivities are more consistent and accurate than higher sensitivities, if you are able to aim with your arm, then definitely take advantage of a low sensitivity.

Is Arm Aiming Better Than Wrist Aiming?

Each one is better for different situations and most people are using both. However, predominantly wrist aiming in the long run is more accurate than arm aiming because you are using finer tendons to accurately adjust the mouse. Constrastingly, arm aiming is easier to learn because it is very slow and accurate. If you have not used a high sensitivity for longer than 6 months, you most likely will need to train your aim a lot if you decide to mainly wrist aim. Arm aiming is easier to pick up, but can have a lower skill ceiling. In CS:GO the best aimers in the world consist of both predominantly wrist and arm aimers. At the end of the day it comes down to what you are most comfortable on the most.

arm vs wrist aim

Switching From Wrist To Arm Aiming

Be prepared to feel like you are doing an arm workout if you switch from wrist to arm aiming. I think that switching from wrist to arm aiming is easier than the opposite, because arm aiming is slow and accurate. In fact, moving from arm aiming to mainly wrist aiming is more of a challenge and you will not be used to not activating your arm muscles to move the mouse. When I tried switching from arm to wrist aiming, it felt so weird only relying on my wrist to move the mouse. Getting used to that sort of change takes a really long time. When switching from wrist to arm, make sure to get a bigger mousepad and be prepared to change your sitting position to allow for arms to rest on the desk.

Conclusion

Although it may be easier to aim in game, aiming with your arm is not an easy task. This type of aiming is less lenient on what posture you can use and your arm placements. It also restricts you to a lower sensitivity and a larger mousepad. However, arm aiming can be much easier to switch to than wrist aiming. Remember to have correct crosshair placement to reduce the amount of times you have to do small micro adjustments, because doing small adjustments on a low sensitivity can be a challenge.

Related questions

Arm aiming hurts
Arm aiming usually hurts on the area where your arms contact the desk. Use a cloth under your forearms to add extra padding to the sharp edge of the desk.

Can’t arm aim
Arm aiming isn’t for everyone and may require a lot of time to get used to. If your sensitivity is 35cm/360 or under, maybe think about using wrist aiming instead.

Arm aim friction
Having your arm fully on the mousepad can cause some friction and drag. Use a long sleeved shirt made with a low friction material such as polyester to prevent friction.