Up For Debate - Should Multiplayer PC Games Have Aim Assist For Gamepad Users?

Written by Jon Sutton on Sat, Nov 18, 2017 12:54 PM

We’re all aware that mouse and keyboard are better than gamepads for certain genres in the sense that it offers a competitive advantage. A mouse has superior aiming precision and quicker movements. It’s better in these respects, and that’s the reason why aim assist is even a discussion in the first place.

But while the accuracy and speed of mouse and keyboard is objectively superior, humans are not robots. We are not all the same. We are not all driven by a quest for maximum efficiency. In the same way we don’t all bung every meal in a blender, run everywhere, or have velcro shoes to save tying laces, so too we don’t all prioritise maximum efficiency in a gaming capacity.

To some, the benefits of lying down on a couch outweigh the necessity for aiming accuracy with a mouse and keyboard. I am one such person. Having gone 15 years with a desk and a PC, a combination of total laziness and wanting my cat to lie on me has resulted in a gradual shift to gaming in the front room. It’s not just for these admittedly shallow reasons though - there are millions of people who physically can’t use a mouse and keyboard, and vice versa, due to disabilities. As much as possible needs to be done to accommodate all types of players. After all, the fundamental benefit of PC gaming is choice.

So regardless of your hottest take on whether or not one control method is superior to the other, more people are using gamepads on PC. This is a result of both improved support and the steady stream of console players making the jump to the green and fertile land of PC gaming. It’s led to an increasingly awkward situation wherein developers are leaning into controller support, while simultaneously trying to deliver an experience that excels with the traditional mouse and keyboard.

This comes to a head in competitive multiplayer. Gamepad users want aim assist. Mouse users generally don’t want gamepad users to have it, and are often quick to suggest people should be using mouse and keyboard anyway. As I said previously, there are many reasons why they aren't already doing this.

Without aim assist, controller users get absolutely spanked in the likes of Call of Duty: WWII. Some games do facilitate aim assist though, including Destiny 2. It’s not designed to turn any old pleb into a head-shotting superhuman. Instead, it’s general aim should be to bring gamepad users as close to parity with mouse users as possible. To some, this is to tantamount to cheating, while others see it as levelling the playing field. I fall in the latter camp, although I’m interested to hear the rest of the community’s position on the matter.

But here’s the thing, I do totally get the other point of view. I wouldn’t want a mouse and keyboard user to be given a helping hand in Rocket League. My split in Rocket League is about 50/50 in terms of M&KB v controller, and the former is probably the weaker control method. Even taking that into account, giving me a boost as a M&KB user feels tantamount to cheating. I understand the irony in wanting aim assist with a controller for FPS games, but not a boost to driving games with mouse and keyboard. I think it’s because the gulf in performance in first-person shooters is just absolutely huge between mouse and keyboard and gamepad, while in Rocket League it’s a much closer affair.

Don’t worry, I’m going to bring my rambling thoughts to a close, but I do think this is going to become an increasing discussion point in the years to come. There’s a couple of angles to this one - do you think gamepad users should have aim assist to bring them level with mouse users? And if not, should there be efforts made to have segregated servers for gamepad users on PC, in the interest of providing the best possible options for everyone? Get voting and let us know your thoughts on the matter below!

Should Multiplayer PC Games Have Aim Assist For Gamepad Users?

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10:40 Nov-22-2017

i have a lot of games and most of the time i use a gamepad unless its a fps game, that's when i use mkb

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02:16 Nov-21-2017

There are plenty of games for both camps. Overwatch disabled aim assist for gamepads and other games have too. Destiny 2 has aim assist, even for gamepads. Pick the games with the settings you like and play those game. It's just that easy.

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22:41 Nov-19-2017

I kept using the controller when I switched to PC. Now the games I play have poor controller support so I'm mostly mouse lately. That said, I used a controller in BF4 and was dominating consistently on PC. PC games should simply get better support as support for controllers has historically been really shallow, even on console (The irony). As for the players, git gud or go home.

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02:10 Nov-21-2017

(Comment Moderated: Please don't hurl abuse, keep the discussion civil - Jon)

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09:55 Nov-21-2017

And Jon says I'm an edgelord. XD

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10:59 Nov-21-2017

Don't worry, they're not mutually exclusive

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17:07 Nov-21-2017

Curios, if I'm an edgelord, what does that make him? Cause that was a whole nother level.

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16:21 Nov-23-2017

I can't remember what they said now lol. Your 'git gud' is classic edgelord, their insult I seem to remember was just OTT anger.

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00:56 Nov-24-2017

If telling people to better themselves is edgy then I weep for this doomed generation.

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21:00 Nov-19-2017

Adding to my previous comment, it's like all the time I spent working on my aim using KB+M is just destroyed by someone who just picked up a controller.

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20:59 Nov-19-2017

If you're on PC with keyboard and mouse and go up against someone who's using a controller with aim assist, it's basically aim hacks. If you're unable to play keyboard and mouse due to an injury or you're just not used to it that's just tough luck, we can't accommodate everyone. I can't stand playing a game against someone who is really bad but they're really good because of aim assist.

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02:12 Nov-21-2017

I can't stand playing with someone who's okay but thinks they're awesome because they use KB+M but still can't dominate gamepad players.

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09:08 Nov-21-2017

Got a disability? Tough luck! is an absolutely rank point of view.

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18:02 Nov-19-2017

I rarely play multiplayer games anymore because I like using a controller and it is a death sentence on PC. So I like the idea because I can't play that good anymore due to injuries to my fingers several years ago. K&M hurt my hands so I play with a controller the most, but doing so is a serious disadvantage. A little aim assist isn't going to make me better than anyone else, but it may keep me from being nothing more than cannon fodder all of the time for everyone that is using K&M.

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17:43 Nov-19-2017

aim-assist on a pc using gamepad is not ok...gamepad users can stay on consoles if they don't like keyboard mouse

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18:04 Nov-19-2017

So because my fingers were damaged in a motorcycle wreck, and a controller is more comfortable I shouldn't play games on PC anymore? Really?

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20:51 Nov-19-2017

It's unfortunate that you were hurt, but aim assist is just too similar to aim hacks, it's very annoying to keyboard and mouse users. Especially if you've ever played GTA 5 on PC and get put in an aim assist session.

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21:01 Nov-19-2017

It shouldn't affect K&M. Unless you are saying that K&M users are hacking the setting to be used with a K&M. That would be screwed up. I am talking about having a controller specific setting.

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02:14 Nov-21-2017

I really wouldn't look for sypmathy on this board. Most of the guys are agree with this guy. PC is only true gaming platform. KB+M is the only way to play games. Casuals, console peasants, and gamepad users are all the same and should be banished from playing "real games".

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02:30 Nov-21-2017

That is the most asinine comment that I have read all year, and that is saying a lot considering how crazy politics have been. I have probably been gaming on PCs longer than you have been alive.

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17:02 Nov-21-2017

I only hope that RogueRequest is actually surmising what others think, in which case he should have put the asinine comments in quotation marks (""). If that's the case then this would be a wonderful example of how important proper punctuation is.
If those thoughts are uniquely his.... well not everyone is blessed his common sense or decency.

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15:42 Nov-19-2017

I don't understand why someone can choose to play with gamepad on PC in FPS games. It's the worst experience ever and to be honest starting from PS1, 2 and then XboX 360 i never bought any FPS games on consol, just because they are unplayable without M+KB combo.

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18:06 Nov-19-2017

They are most certainly not unplayable, but definitely a disadvantage. Aim assist for controllers could help level the playing field a bit, but K&M will still have an advantage regardless.

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03:36 Nov-19-2017

For me , Story/Coop mode is okay. PvP mode is not. I think PC should keeping this tradition to differentiate itself from consoles. Actually , I know some people who moved to PC just because M&K on consoles becoming an issue on their side.

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02:29 Nov-19-2017

From personal experience I'd say that aim-assist shouldn't be allowed for pad usage. It's an unfair advantage in an any mode (mp,sp,cp) that cheapens the experience. Rather, pad users should have sensitivity ranges available in the controller menu to allow fine tuning. Will it be as accurate as a mouse? Probably no, but every peripheral has a disadvantage so that's the trade off for the simplicity of thumb sticks.

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01:08 Nov-19-2017

Choice is the operitive word. Do I think there should be games that have it? Yes. Do I think there should be games that cater to those than don't want it? Yes. Do I think all games should go one way or the other? No. Quite frankly if you do then fck you, you fascist cnt. The minute you think all games should be built the way you feel, that's all you are.

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19:17 Nov-18-2017

Multiplayer PVP in any form is a no from me. Single player yes, and Co-op depending on the type of game yes. PC is supposed to be inclusive and diverse but in multiplayer it is an unfair advantage but everything else is fine in my opinion.

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01:12 Nov-19-2017

The ONLY times it's an unfair advantage is when you have some guy using a XIM4 to emulate using a gamepad while they're using KB+M. Only two ways to deal with that. 1) Punish gamepad users. 2) Quit being a baby and realize that people are going to cheat and there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

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18:09 Nov-18-2017

I do NOT think there should be aim-assist on consoles, let alone on PC, but that's just my opinion I guess XD

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01:05 Nov-19-2017

And opinions are like a**holes.

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10:41 Nov-19-2017

absolutely. :)


P.S. welcome to game-debate where a bunch of sensitive pricks downvote everything they deem "offensive" and bad and whatever, without even leaving a comment on why or at least cursing you, in a site called game-DEBATE... oh well. Anti-social pricks be anti-social pricks. :D

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02:05 Nov-21-2017

I've been around a while. Everyone once in a while I have to take a break. The vast majority of people here are the kind of guys that you either agree with them or some kind of shtty console peasant noob. The last time I took a break it was because I was called a cm guzzling f*ggot because I actually suggest console might actually be the better gaming experience for some people.

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23:17 Nov-21-2017

well first your suggestion is absolutely right both objectively and subjectively.


Second of all I'm really sad what GD is becoming, now I'm relatively new here, but when I first made an account people were NOT like this at all(most people anyway), they were ready to debate and discus, which spawned really fun and enjoyable conversations/chats here, nowadays most just hit that like/dislike button and of they go...

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17:05 Nov-18-2017

Just thinking about it makes my head dizzy and hurt. Hell no!

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16:52 Nov-18-2017

No if it's a competitive MP game. However, I think It's completely fine if it's in a CO-OP MP game and it's implemented in a balanced way.


I didn't vote cause there is no, "depends on the type of MP game" option.

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16:49 Nov-18-2017

Since I take aim assist in competitive games as cheating than of course not. They can have aim assist in single player games thou.

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15:47 Nov-18-2017

I believe there should be an option.Whether you like to play with aim assist or not.

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10:42 Nov-19-2017

There is both on PC and on cosnoles(thankfully on consoles, as I hate aim-assist).

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15:45 Nov-18-2017

As you mentioned in the article I think it really depends on the genre of game, and how large the competitive advantage gap is. For FPS games, I'd say sure I don't mind aim assist because there are still more advantages to M&K like turning 360° in an instant and adad spam. For other genres, again, it depends.

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14:56 Nov-18-2017

too be honest, I'd say yes - there should be an option of assistive technologies for disabled gamers,
moreover, for ex. when I first played FarCry or Witcher 3 with automatic path following of the car/horse, it felt ridiculous at first, but then I realized things like that are additional value to enrich/change the gameplay experience - but the feature must be optional to toggle :)
and regarding separate servers, I'd say it's not a cost-effective solution and also kind of restricting if let's say your friends would use various platforms so you couldn't play together on one server..

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13:39 Nov-18-2017

Short answer: No.


Long answer: Just, no.

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