Forums / Games / Halo 5: Guardians

The aiming is still a problem for some people

OP The CursedLemon

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It's no secret that I don't particularly care for Halo 5 on the whole, I'm sure many of you have seen my pessimistic posts in the past about what I think is wrong with this game's philosophy. However, the most absolutely crucial issue that prevents me from enjoying Halo 5 - as well as many that I know and talk to - is the the aiming mechanics. For myself and others, it simply feels as if the reticule on screen is not responding to what our fingers input into the controller, and this has a massive impact on our enjoyment of the game, even before we get into the nuts and bolts of the game experience itself. I have found that in order to play Halo 5 at an even remotely competent level, I've had to significantly adjust my playing style to avoid gun battles at even footing, at almost any cost; the vast majority of my kills in this game are made from behind, because I know that the vast majority of the time my slip-sliding crosshair is going to prevent me from getting a kill any other way.

343 has at least partially acknowledged the matter when Ghostayame made a post on the TeamBeyond.net forum, however his explanation was entirely unsatisfactory. He claimed that the pro team found long-range aiming in the Halo 5 beta to be "squirrely" (that was the exact word), and so they decided to change it. The problem here is that I don't know of any resource out there that shows people were dissatisfied with the aiming mechanics during the H5 beta. In fact, I myself had absolutely no qualms with it at all, the reticule movement operated just fine in my opinion. But for some odd reason, 343 decided to change the system, and now I as well as many other people feel very disenfranchised by that fact. It's just an awful experience to try to be competitive in this game when I can't point my reticule in the direction that I want to.

What I know is this - this was not a problem in H1, H2, Reach, or H4. It was, however, a problem in Halo 3, which incidentally is also the main reason I cannot stand playing that game. There is also the fact that this aiming discrepancy is present in the Master Chief Collection. It is extremely noticeable when one grinds out H1 or H2, and then plays a game of H3; the reticule just simply does not function in the same way. This phenomenon was apparently preserved in the MCC ports in a perfect way, and disproves the idea that the discrepancy came from different Xbox hardware or different display models. I cannot say whether the problem with Halo 3's aiming is functionally similar to the problem with Halo 5's, but they do seem to feel like the same issue. The aiming is simply much "crisper" in H1 and H2 in particular...but...

...The problem? I don't have the slightest clue as to how I can properly explain what's wrong with the aiming, and this is the central pillar behind why I think nobody is willing to look into this. I'm not a game developer, so I have no idea how to describe the way Halo 5's aiming works at the coding level, nor can I even form a reasonably insightful explanation at the mechanical level. There is also very little that can possibly be done in the way of testing, as the resolution of this problem lies in a very narrow area, likely where even 60FPS display cannot accurately demonstrate the differences between this title and others, even if I were to build some kind of voltage-alternating device attached to a controller that would display the difference in aiming at perfect cadence. It's just not feasible, if even possible, that way. This leaves me extremely helpless when trying to accurately articulate what I don't like about the aiming.

So what don't I like about it? It feels...loose. Like you have reticule "momentum", where the aiming is heavy and doesn't respond instantly. Even then, I can't explain this in cogent terms because I don't know if it's a problem with response time. I end up doing circles with my crosshair often because I'm overcorrecting what the game is doing to my aiming. I also believe it's exacerbated by the large amounts of reticule magnetism in this game, which is why despite the fact that the Halo 5 sniper is a very easy-to-use incarnation of that weapon, I often miss shots with it entirely because I'm fighting against the magnetism and am afraid to make large adjustments to my aiming, whether down range or in close quarters. I simply cannot operate my weapon correctly in Halo 5, even though this was never a problem for me in most other Halo games.

What I also know is that the acceleration and deadzone options gifted to us by 343, while appreciated, have no effect on this issue. Not a single bit, in fact. The problem here is that aim acceleration really only comes into effect on long, 360-degree turns. It does not feasibly come into play for short, twitching movements, which is where I find I cannot operate Halo 5's aiming properly. There is also a study done a while back by a guy named Aggressnyak/Dr. Strangevolt, which you can find here: http://drstrangevolt.blogspot.com/2012/12/aim-acceleration-in-console-shooters-part1.html and here: http://drstrangevolt.blogspot.com/2012/12/aim-acceleration-in-console-shooters-part2.html, that shows the aim acceleration between the first four Halo titles is almost identical, which rules out the idea that aim acceleration is responsible for the way the aiming functions in Halo 3 - an issue that many people have wracked their brains trying to solve.

The developers don't seem to care about addressing or even explaining this issue. I have even emailed a coding engineer at Bungie who worked on Halo 3 to try and decipher what was different about Halo 3's aiming, and was basically stonewalled in that he couldn't reveal anything useful about the design. If this is all NDA nonsense, then I guess I'm defeated, but this is an extreme hindrance in my ability to even enjoy picking up the controller to play Halo 5. If one would've known me during the days of Halo 2, they would remember that I was vehemently against the design principles that had been chosen for that particular game, however I could still grit my teeth and grind through it because at the very least, I was able to aim properly and my shots went where I wanted them to (massive BR aim assist aside).

I cannot enjoy this game until this issue is fixed. Maybe others do not have a problem with it, and that's perfectly fine, but it's entirely possible that their playstyles do not depend primarily on their ability to out-shoot their opponents - or perhaps they simply don't care about this issue, or don't notice it at all. What I find to be incomprehensible is that 343 decided to make a change to the aiming, but not give us the option to change it back if we liked the way that it worked before. Let's assume that 5% of the Halo-playing population have a problem with the aiming system. That's not really a lot, right? Probably not enough to dedicate resources toward appeasing. However, in my estimation, the amount of people who complained about the aiming in Halo 5's beta is hovering around 0%. So why the change?

343, please give us the beta aiming back, or at least explain how this whole thing works so at least we know how to describe the problem for future reference.

EDIT: Added the broken links to the blog posts about aim acceleration

EDIT 2: Here's a link to some work done by the XIM4 guys in their pursuit of doing a M/KB conversion for Halo 5. Some very telling info.

http://xim4.com/community/index.php?topic=42461.0
holy words!
An idea I considered was grab a specialty controller with increased thumbstick tension, for me I've experienced vast improvement. The thumbsticks from xbox360 had almost twice the resistance to move it in any given direction. XB1 thumbsticks feel too loose which lead to easily pegging & other inconsistent movements like reticle momentum as you put it. It's likely this won't be the fix for everyone but it eliminates a possibility.
mastapix wrote:
holy words!
This is a great start for a meaningful, intelligent conversation, but allow me to add some more stock worthless responses so others don't need to waste their time.

"Git gud, bro!"
"Adapt"
"There is no problem."
"It's even better than Halo 3's aiming system!"

Sincerely, Bronze 5 in Grifball.
Finally someone with a good post! I have been complaining about this issue since release, it's beyond frustrating. I would love to see a response from 343 on this.
The aiming is one of the worst problems in the game for me and makes it really hard for me to want to play sometimes. It just feels terrible.

I would love if 343 gave the options to go back to the beta's aiming system. It would make the game so much more enjoyable and less frustrating to not have to fight my controller to aim at someone.
This post has been edited by a moderator. Please refrain from making non-constructive posts.

*Original post. Click at your own discretion.
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One solution to the issue with aiming is this, you see there are 2 thumbsticks on the xbox one controller, both can be used to adjust your aim if you know what you're doing. You can also turn your sensitivity down to like a 3 or a 4 and deal with not being able to change look direction as fast by learning where the enemy is going to come from and be prepared to deal with them ahead of time.
Seriously?!? I have no problem and neither do countless others. Pros, twitch streamers etc.

gimme me a break. The aiming is pretty great imo
I've experienced the same problem since day one as well. The problem not only persists but it is inconsistent. One game, it feels responsive, the next, it feels sluggish and downright unplayable. It even fluctuates within games. Halo 3 did indeed have this problem as well, especially on forged maps. I think the problem has something to do with an individual's connection to their servers. The input lag that occurs when playing off-host online co-op has been well-documented. This is the same feeling I get from their servers.
I don't understand everyone's aiming issues,I play on max sensitivity and have no problem keeping my reticle on an enemy,I guess people just have trouble adjusting or are bad at aiming in general.
God, this is going even better than I thought it would! We've got the people that understand the issue, the "aim better" kids, the "pro players _" and we even have the settings/hardware gurus. You have really outdone yourself Lemon.
I know what you mean. But practice seems like the only solution here.
Top Yellow wrote:
One solution to the issue with aiming is this, you see there are 2 thumbsticks on the xbox one controller, both can be used to adjust your aim if you know what you're doing. You can also turn your sensitivity down to like a 3 or a 4 and deal with not being able to change look direction as fast by learning where the enemy is going to come from and be prepared to deal with them ahead of time.
I play on 2 sensitivity.
The input lag that occurs when playing off-host online co-op has been well-documented.
It is? Could you provide a link to this? Not saying that you're wrong, but I've just played H3 online coop this very weekend, without being host, and I didn't notice any input lag. Actually, I never did since the game released. If anything, the aiming felt smoother than in, say, Reach, especially off-host.
Celestis wrote:
The input lag that occurs when playing off-host online co-op has been well-documented.
It is? Could you provide a link to this? Not saying that you're wrong, but I've just played H3 online coop this very weekend, without being host, and I didn't notice any input lag. Actually, I never did since the game released. If anything, the aiming felt smoother than in, say, Reach, especially off-host.
https://youtu.be/gRVKwu_hEws
Here's a video demonstrating co-op input lag. You can also just Google it and pull up a bunch of other forum posts and whatnot.
You probably play on a big TV. Play on a smaller monitor. The refresh rate is near to instant. No lag. Get a professional controller. You'll be good. Unless you just fail at FPS games
You probably play on a big TV. Play on a smaller monitor. The refresh rate is near to instant. No lag. Get a professional controller. You'll be good. Unless you just fail at FPS games
Yep, I switched to a monitor and Halo 5's aiming feels great :)
OP, can you explain how you have problems aiming when you haven't played the game yet (I checked your stats)
You probably play on a big TV. Play on a smaller monitor. The refresh rate is near to instant. No lag. Get a professional controller. You'll be good. Unless you just fail at FPS games
This is the most hilarious response so far. Bravo. I love it.
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