To reword my comment:
Can I use it for simply moving the cursor? Like
5l - or
3w to jump words.
Yes. Every motion command can be prefixed by a count.
Is it good practice at all?
There can be exceptions/personal preferences mitigating what will follow but the general rule is to use the motion corresponding to the amplitude of the move you want to make.
Vim has an enormous amount of motion commands which allows you to travel in your buffer at different speeds: you can have motions to go from the beginning of the buffer to the end or from one character to the next one. I will not make an explicit list here because it's a lot of work and this work has already been done very well in
:h motion.txt. Still here are some common example:
For up-down motions:
Search commands allow you to travel your buffer pretty fast:
? allow you to search for occurrences of a pattern and
N repeat this search forward or backward
Absolute commands like
[count]G allows you to move to first line, last line or line
[count] in your buffer. So does
For large up-down motions marks (like
'') can also be used and
% is useful to go to the matching character (like matching
) when cursor is on
Text objects can also be used for that: use
} to switch to the beginning or end of a paragraph.
For motions within a line you also have a lot of options:
Go to beginning, first character or end of the line with
Target a character with
t and backward with
T. Repeat these motions with
Move word wise with
Move from one character to another with
l. *(Yeah I do recommend to use
l. See my note at the end)
I think that it is important to make a note about
Some Vimmers will tell you to never use them because it's slow and repetitive and yada yada... The whole point of Vim is to use the available motions efficiently if you need to move 3 words forward yeah that's not a good idea to press 20 times on
l when you could use
3w. But when you need a precise motion of two or three letter
l are the way to go, just like
k for moving two or three lines up or down.
That's why I believe that plugins like vim hardmode are
stupid not the correct solution to a problem which might not even exist.
In conclusion read
:h motion.txt, grok it, get used to the motions commands one by one. When you use a motion which feel inefficient, go read the page again and find the correct motion to use.
As I often did on this site I'd also recommend to read the amazing practical vim by Drew Neil which has a very good chapter on motions. And vimcasts probably also has a good reference about that (I'll let you find it ;-) )