Arrowhead cursor shape may offer irrelevant cues that conflict with desired positioning movements. To assist cursor design this study considered how cursor shape can influence the preparation or execution of cursor positioning movements. An experiment varied cursor shape on-line such that its shape cued the required direction of movement or better afforded hitting the target. Twelve participants performed cursor positioning movements with systematic variations in cursor shape affecting preparation (neutral, pre-cuing target direction), cursor flight (arrowhead, comet) and terminal guidance (big, small target). Kinematic analysis determined the effects on phases of cursor placement. Cursor shape primarily affected terminal guidance and implies conventional cursor designs should be reconsidered.