Why Call of Duty Players Should Lower Their Sensitivity

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The Traditional Sensitivity Debate 5
Credit: Activision
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Do you play Call of Duty? If you're a gamer, chances are you've probably played Call of Duty before, and chances are you played on a sensitivity that's way too high for you. But why is that? Isn't a high sensitivity just better? Not to worry, because in this article we'll explain why Call of Duty players should lower their sensitivities.

As a note, though, we'll be talking about controller sensitivity below, not mouse and keyboard, sorry PC players!


Related: How Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III Could Be Great

The Traditional Sensitivity Debate

The Traditional Sensitivity Debate
Credit: Activision

Since the dawn of time, people have been arguing about what sensitivity is best in Call of Duty. The traditional thinking is that the highest sensitivity you can remain accurate at is what you ought to play at. The idea is that this will allow you to turn on people in a split second without having to worry.

If you go online and search up crazy Call of Duty sniper montages, well, chances are you'll see people with cracked-out, super high sensitivities doing 360s and quickscoping people behind them who shot first, thanks to that incredibly high sensitivity.

However, almost every professional Call of Duty player on controller plays between sensitivities of 4 and 7, which would generally be considered an extraordinarily slow sensitivity considering those sniper montages mentioned above see gamers using 10, 15, or even 20 (the max) sensitivity.

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The argument against high-sensitivity gaming is that, of course, a lower sensitivity means higher accuracy, and if you position yourself intelligently and pay attention to your minimap you won't have to worry about 360 turning on someone in a split second anyways.

So, who's right?

The Benefits of High Sensitivity

The Traditional Sensitivity Debate 2
Credit: Activision

As mentioned above, a higher sensitivity means that you can turn around faster, as you'd expect. However, it comes at the cost of accuracy. Though, there are scenarios where you still might prefer a higher sensitivity.

When sniping, for example, a higher sensitivity can be extraordinarily useful. You really want to be able to flick when you're scoped in with a sniper, and that's generally best done at higher sensitivities. At least when it comes to quickscoping, that is. If you're holding down an angle with a sniper, well, you don't exactly need particularly high sensitivity.

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However, outside of something like a sniper or a weapon that functions especially close to a sniper, the benefits of a high sensitivity quickly started to be outweighed by the negatives.

The Benefits of Low Sensitivity

The Traditional Sensitivity Debate 3
Credit: Activision

When you've got an automatic weapon, aiming isn't just about putting your crosshair on an enemy character model, it's about making sure you can stick to that enemy while you're firing. This means recoil control and tracking.

Recoil control and tracking are always going to be easier on lower sensitivities. Just watch your killcams or spectates someone after you die in Search, and you'll see. Most people end up overshooting or panicking and spasming their aim all over the place, which is a lot easier to do with a higher sensitivity.

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The reason why pro CoD players use a lower sensitivity is precise because of that added accuracy. The better you get at Call of Duty the more you'll realize that being able to turn around on somebody sneaking up behind you isn't really worth tuning your sensitivity specifically for.


It's better to position yourself in such a way that you aren't expecting someone to come up behind you, maximizing the benefits and accuracy of lower sensitivities without ever really feeling the downsides. Though, of course, if you run around trying to 360 quickscope people, well, you're going to be missing a higher sensitivity if you're on a lower one.

What Sensitivity Should You Use

The Traditional Sensitivity Debate 4
Credit: Activision

Higher sensitivities have benefits, lower sensitivities have benefits, but at the end of the day, sensitivity is a personal choice.

Ultimately, the way to find a sensitivity that works for you is to watch your gameplay back. If you notice you're overshooting and missing your target or trying to make a fine adjustment and seeing your crosshair swing wildly across the screen, you probably ought to lower your sensitivity.

Related: Why Are Snipers Popular in Some Call of Duty Games and Not Others?

If you're flicking your stick as far as it can go but you're not reaching your targets in time or your tracking is too slow, you probably ought to raise your sensitivity. The sensitivity that works best for you is the one that'll see you play the best you possibly can, and that'll be different for everyone.


It's also worth remembering that sensitivity takes time to feel natural. If you've played at a, say, 15 for years and years and try to switch down to a 7, you're inevitably going to feel like it's too slow and that your aim is off unless you spend a good deal of time getting used to the new sensitivity.