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The Targeting Reticle is an aiming aid for games that use the first-person perspective, particularly notable for its use on consoles.
Starting out in first-person shooter video games as a simple colored dot or cross-hair in the center of the screen, the targeting reticle was later expanded upon in the generations of video games to come.
One of the biggest reasons for having a targeting reticle is to show the player which direction a projectile will travel when fired. Video games began using the targeting reticle as a means to inform the player of various situations within the game; this can be done by changing the targeting reticle color, shape, size, image, or a combination of these factors. These visual cues can include marking targets as friendly, indicating that your weapon is out of ammunition, indicating that you are reloading your weapon and thus cannot shoot, or letting you know an object can be interacted with.
In some cases the targeting reticle can be removed completely to make aiming more difficult for the player. By no means does using the targeting reticle mean a direct hit with a target; projectile velocity and a target's speed can render shooting with aid of a targeting reticle almost useless in some circumstances. The targeting reticle is considered to be one part of the heads-up display.