Ever since the game’s launch, Aim Assist in Halo Infinite has been a hot topic of discussion. Throughout Halo’s lifetime, the franchise had always focused on programming the games specifically for controllers. This allowed all players to be on the same footing.
Since the Master Chief Collection’s launch on PC, all previous Halo titles were introduced to mouse and keyboard for the first time. Since then, Halo Infinite, designed for both platforms upon release, falls short compared to Aim Assist for controller users. This has led many to wonder if the controller is still the superior option or if the keyboard and mouse are competitively equal.
Looking Back at Previous Halo Games
Halo 3 is widely recognized as one of the best Halo games released. It introduced a motherload of welcome changes to the community. Like the first two iterations of the franchise, Halo 3 was made with controllers at the framework of the game’s movement.
This masterpiece had smooth tracking for controller users. As a result, the crosshair would pull itself to the target the player was aiming for. As we will discuss, Halo Infinite didn’t inherit this control scheme for their Aim Assist. Tracking was very consistent in Halo 3 and actively followed targets even when standing still.
This would be seen as a very poor adaptation of Aim Assist into the modern era. Nowadays, people will frequently choose to play with others who prefer different control styles. Aim Assist for Halo Infinite was created with this in mind. So, a lot of what made it good was gutted to attempt to balance the game further.
Different Examples of Aim Assist in Modern Media
Many FPS games include Aim Assist, like Call of Duty and Apex Legends. If a game is designed for a console, you will rarely find a situation where there isn’t some level of Aim Assist. The primary difference between mouse and keyboard is swift movements and precise flicks. These are easily achievable when one is sliding their mouse across the table.
Some games have gone far too overboard trying to give controller players a means of replicating this reflex advantage. A good example of this is the modern Call of Duty games. Making Aim Assist adjustable to the player might eliminate several degrees of skill once people figure out which settings take the least effort.
Aim Assist in Halo Infinite
Halo Infinite is an arena-based shooter, just like previous Halo titles. Map control, objectives, and using the sandbox to your advantage make up the core gameplay of Halo. Maximizing your KDA in Halo is largely the objective. A large portion of your time will be spent in close-quarter fights. In these, players constantly strafe, jump, slide. They generally do their best to outmaneuver their opponent while landing as many shots as possible.
This fighting style is core for all FPS games. Yet, it is set apart for Halo with how often this happens. There is little to no downtime like in Battle Royal games. Moreover, there is rarely any setup like in more traditional team shooters.
When tracking a target using a controller in Halo Infinite, your camera will snap and adjust to keep onto your target. This makes strafe fights much easier than the keyboard. This Aim Assist has always been in Halo games. Though, all previous Halo games were built for controller use solely in mind.
Aim Assist in Halo Infinite for Controller Users vs Mouse and Keyboard Users
If there were no option for keyboard use, this topic would likely have never divided the community. However, now there is a choice in how to play Halo, and this has spawned many heated discussions. Over the last year, there have been several reports, footage, and experiences displaying that the controller has a significant advantage over PC and instances where the Aim Assist is broken.
Players have found that tracking weapons across both forms of play have been inconsistent. Bullet Magnetism and Bloom are primary examples of how Halo Infinite further struggles to balance their dual control schemes.
One type of assistance that both controller and mouse and keyboard share is Bullet Magnetism. Whenever the reticle is just slightly off from hitting an enemy, you might see a few stray bullets seemingly randomly being sucked into the enemy’s hitbox. This is often referred to as Bullet Magnetism and is a widely supported tool in modern FPS games.
Bullet Magnetism often comes into play when hitboxes can be inconsistent or span outside the player model. Bullet Magnetism can become highly apparent if there are gaps in hitboxes, like between the legs. In most cases, Bullet Magnetism is balanced based on the distance of the reticle to the actual player’s hitboxes, calculating somewhat of an area of forgiveness.
If you don’t know what bloom is by chance, bloom is the description for when the reticle grows slightly larger with continuous rapid shots. Weapons with bloom will struggle to hit continuous shots from range unless fired in delayed bursts.
Although weapons share Magnetism as a core gameplay mechanic, a select few in Halo Infinite have bloom. The Battle Rifle, for instance, has none. While the SideKick, Commando, and Assault Rifle struggle to continuously fire without bloom, becoming a severe drawback.
The Problem With Halo Infinite’s Sniper Rifle
The Sniper Rifle, a beloved gun in every single halo game, has, for the first time, fallen out of its spotlight because of aim assist in Halo Infinite. When using a mouse and keyboard, it’s harder to aim with the Sniper Rifle.
Presumably, a bug as of currently in Season One; no-scoping with the Sniper Rifle on mouse and keyboard while an enemy is strafing will force the reticle to slightly push off of the enemy. In this discussion, players often feel that the Stalker Rifle is the better sniper rifle. This is because of this inconsistent drawback.
Jumping And How It Affects Aim Assist in Halo Infinite
Some players report that the tracking on controllers worsens with any gun while jumping. This has caused a new outbreak of players crouch-hopping rather than jumping during fights. Even on a controller where Aim Assist is better, the reticle can stop sticking on a target with too much movement.
Standing still seems to be even less helpful. Aim Assist sometimes doesn’t even work unless you are moving, this being a problem on both forms of control. Although the tracking is broken, the controller still clearly has the upper hand. It appears almost like they did nerf aim assist hard.
Our Advice: Use a Controller for Now
This discussion may have never occurred if the only option was a controller. eSport players, streamers, and anyone with experience can agree that the controller is stronger despite the overall aiming being inconsistent and breaking at times. Keyboard and mouse should be adjusted to fit in line with the controller, lest they fall to the wayside. It would be better to buff the keyboard players than nerf aim assist for controller players.
Implementing a slow build-up to having the reticle stick on the target like Halo 3 would help bring the necessary power that PC players need. Instead of toning down the experience for controller players to balance Aim Assist, Keyboard users should be given some leeway and treated with just as much worth.
Mouse and keyboard pros should have their interface buffed, and target sticking should be more consistent and not break. As a relatively new release, Halo Infinite still has a lot of problems. Yet, if given some time, this game could shape up to be one of the best, just like the original Halo trilogy. This game is a diamond in the rough. It needs more polishing.