Destiny 2 Players Are Angry About Aim Assist On PC, Again

Image: Bungie/Destiny 2

When the Destiny 2 PC beta finally kicked off, it inadvertently renewed a debate about aim assist on controllers. The problem wasn't that controller users would get a legup, but that mouse and keyboard users could enable aim assist by using certain adapters.

That was back in August. But wind the clock forward to October, and the aim assist hasn't been changed.

For those confused, here's the general principle. On PC, most users will use a mouse and keyboard and the aim is completely determined by the user. Those using controllers, on PC or console, get a degree of aim assist that can vary depending on the weapon. Bad Juju from Destiny 1, for instance, was notoriously generous; hand cannons, not so much.

Normally, the game would detect whenever you start using a controller versus KB+M. But through the use of specialist adapters, like the XIM4, it's possible to trick the game into thinking you're using a controller - when you're really using a mouse and keyboard. And when the game thinks you're using a controller, that means you get the aim assist that comes with it.

Destiny 2 Fans Are Angry Over Aim Assist For Controllers

Destiny 2 landing on PC has been a godsend for players who missed out the first time around. But it's also sparked a debate over the last couple of days over the strength of aim assist for controllers, not just because it exists, but because it might also inadvertently help out those playing with mouse and keyboard as well.

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Of course, getting such a setup going is easier said than done. For one, XIM4 adapters cost $US125 online exc. shipping, or around $200 locally through eBay right now. On top of that, it's not an immediate plug and play device.

Adapters like these - and I've written about a similar one for getting Xbox pads to work with the PS4 - requires a bit of tweaking to get right. Going through an adapter also adds some input lag, although under 10ms according to tests done by YouTuber Battle(non)sense.

Image: Youtube (Battle(non)sense)

Another thing to note is that the recoil changes for weapons depending on what input you're using. Take the auto rifle, for instance. On console, and when using a controller, the recoil pattern is vertical. But when using a mouse and keyboard, the recoil pattern is more scattershot, more akin to rifles from other PC games (but not as heavy as, say, Counter-Strike).

So it's easy to understand the general arguments against aim assist on PC. That's not helpful for gamers who need controllers for accessibility reasons, or those playing in a living room environment (like those with setups for room-scale VR). But the general gist is that if it means some players don't get to abuse a potential in-built aimbot, everyone is better off.

But in an interview with The Telegraph, Bungie's PC project lead David Shaw confirmed that aim assist wasn't being changed:

"So, we heard feedback on that and we're definitely listening and we'll continue to listen going forward, but right now we are planning to ship the controller similar to how it was in the beta," Shaw said.

"We think our controls on the controller are pretty good, and people seem to like them, and we think that the PC players should have the ability to play that way if that's their choice."

In short: Bungie are aware of the complaints, but don't think it it's quite the issue that some users are making it out to be. And that's understandable: if you want to play on mouse and keyboard, you probably don't want to be plugging your gear into dongles that cost hundreds of dollars just for a brief benefit in raids or Crucible.

Plus, Bungie can always leverage Blizzard's experience with Overwatch to balance the PC version independently from consoles. Whether that results in a hard fix for aim assist down the road, or some kind of detection within the Warden anti-cheat software, only Bungie knows.

But for at least this week, the situation remains exactly as it was in the beta. Expect a lot of salt in the EDZ, in other words.


Comments

    How can we be sure people are angry, there isn't a single tweet!!

      thank you for the best laugh I have had today :)

        I got a chuckle out of that as well. But I've also just come back from being hit in the ribs at soccer so it hurt. :(

      Because Alex has integrity O_O

        He is very consistent in his work, I do enjoy his stuff.

    and it hasn't even been 12 hours. The crazy Destiny community was bad enough now we have a whole new platform, with whole new reasons to tell Bungie what they should be doing and how bad they are doing it

    Disclaimer: yeah I know there are real issues and yes I know some truly are important, but the culture of outrage this week on reddit about the stuff that isnt, is making it hard for me to care about the bigger picture currently *giggle*

      Right there with you. It's gotten to the point where I can't stand visiting the Destiny subreddit any longer. Incredible amounts of entitlement and bitterness there.

      Having said that I think I'm done with Destiny 2 for the moment, it feels like it's become work instead of fun. That's the best time to stop playing I think, at least until new content arrives. No salt from me!

    "PC Community Does a Thing to Prove to Developers That They're More Trouble Than They're Worth. Again."

      Yet Activision keeps releasing Call of Duty on consoles, And we all know what that fan base is like. A small minority of a user base does not represent the whole userbase. Otherwise i could proclaim all console owners are ignorant 12 year olds who love shouting insults about peoples sexuality or another persons mother.

        To be fair there are a lot of ignorant 12 year olds on Xbone these days!

      Was going to downvote but started to think about it and there might be a mild element of truth there. Fact is exploits are always going to be a part of life on the PC, and the "solution" here would effectively render anything other than a KB+M much harder to use - cue howling about how gamepads aren't supported and couch gaming is now impractical on PC.

      I think we're much less tolerant of AAAs on PC than we probably should be - and probably the opposite is true for indies. Be interesting to see if the sales figures of Destiny 2 on PC vs console make it worth the angst.

        Thanks for giving it some more thought and not just jumping on your first impulse.

        I think people should totally hold the AAAs to a high standard. They are asking for the biggest chunk of your money and often overreach in regards to things like micro-transactions. They also have a fear-based risk aversion which leads to only the most homogenised games and genres being green-lit.

        However, I think the PC community is especially toxic for a few reasons:

        1) For all the progress we have made as a society reducing the stigma of playing games, PC gaming is still a niche hobby that still carries the vibe of the socially deficient angsty gamer. This is partially because the barrier for entry is very high. As much as building and maintaining the hardware and software of a gaming PC is easier than it's ever been, it's still far beyond what most people are willing to deal with (myself, as an avid gamer, included).

        2) Being able to type whatever comes to your head to other players makes it a lot easier to be toxic. If you're saying hateful things out loud, it makes them more real. The keyboard dehumanises things (Of course, people still say disgusting things over voice, as @djbear says).

        3) The nature of PC gaming means that it's very easy for people to have wildly different experiences. One player may have major issues even playing a game because of their set up, and most blame the developer for this. Another player may be taking advantage of the open nature of the system to cheat or mod or aimbot their way to wins, making the experience for regular people far more frustrating.

        PC gamers often want a custom tailored experience (it's essentially the great promise of the platform) without understanding that this requires a huge amount of work from developers. Ultimately it comes down to a lack of empathy. The amount of toxicity i've seen without even being a part of the ecosystem is enough to drive all but the most devoted or the most toxic away.

        PC gaming is a lot like America. Constantly telling itself and everyone else it's the greatest on earth while it steadily rots from the inside out.

          PC gamers often want a custom tailored experience (it's essentially the great promise of the platform) without understanding that this requires a huge amount of work from developers. Ultimately it comes down to a lack of empathy. The amount of toxicity i've seen without even being a part of the ecosystem is enough to drive all but the most devoted or the most toxic away.

          It takes absolutely no "huge amount of work" to disable aim assist for the PC version, none at all.

          The only thing toxic here, is screwing over the majority, by enabling people to abuse what amounts to a built in aimbot, for the sake of the very, very few people who actually want to use a gamepad...

          Most of the people using gamepads right now aren't using them because it's their preferred control method, they are using it because it gives them a massive advantage over anyone not using one. THAT is toxic, and the devs are encouraging them to do it.

          They don't even need to entirely disable it in PvP, just making it snap to center mass instead of snap to the head would be enough of a fix (and that's all it should do to begin with, getting headshots should take higher skill in the form of additional manual adjustment, even on console, far as I'm concerned).

          Last edited 30/10/17 6:31 pm

            There's a toxic percentage of the userbase making the aim-assist a toxic thing right now, that's all. The developer's intent is to give people who prefer controllers over mouse and keyboard (myself included) the assistance they need to offset the lower fidelity of the look controls.

            If people are abusing that, then the fault rests with them and not with Bungie. It's Bungie's potential problem to fix, but it doesn't make them responsible for it. If they didn't include aim-assist on controllers people would complain about that too.

            Also you're throwing around phrases like "majority" and "most of the people" without numbers to back those claims up (maybe you have them, but you didn't share them). I personally had my assumptions shattered when I took a look at the tiny percentage of people who had actually completed a Raid / prestige Nightfall on the playstation trophies. It hammered home the difference between "loud" and "numerous".

            Did you read the original post? There's no advantage to people using a gamepad... It's inferior to KB/M. The exploit is people tricking the system into thinking they are using that - with a KB/M and gaining the aim assist they shouldn't have.

            Now there's been people playing Destiny with a KB/M on consoles for a long while doing exactly the same thing for a rather large benefit over regular players.

            That said it costs money and is an exploit in this situation. No point changing the game to remove features in an attempt to stop cheats. They just find another way. And Bungie never took action against obvious cheats who caused massive issues in the original, even when they took massive attention from big streamers encountering them and calling them out. The chances they'll be worrying about this exploit is very very low.

        "the "solution" here would effectively render anything other than a KB+M much harder to use"

        Yes, it would, and that's fine.

        It's the PC version of the game, it's controls should be designed around standard PC controls. If a person wants to use a gamepad on PC, they should accept they will be at a disadvantage... That is a FAR better system than taking what should be a game of skill and throwing a developer sanctioned aimbot into it, because as it stands right now, if you aren't using a gamepad on PC, you lose because everyone using one has OP as hell aim assist...

        It's bad for the health of the game, and it ruins the experience for the majority (people who play with M+KB) for the sake of the minority (people who want to play with a gamepad on PC, not because it's OP but because they just want to)...

      Or, they could just fix it easily by disabling aim assist in PvP.

      It's the PC version, it should be balanced first and foremost for PC controls, people using a gamepad on PC should accept there will be drawbacks, they can still use it, it just isn't designed for it first.

      Having an aimbot in the game is not acceptable, and I'm already wishing I never bought this because of it.

      They don't even need to entirely disable it in PvP, just making it snap to center mass instead of snap to the head would be enough of a fix (and that's all it should do to begin with, getting headshots should take additional adjustment, even on console, far as I'm concerned).

      Last edited 31/10/17 8:30 am

    Does the XIM adapter have any uses other than cheating?

    US$125 seems a lot to pay to cheat at video games!

      i'm glad I'm not the only thinking that seems rather costly just to cheat lol

      then again I suppose we shouldn't underestimate humanity, if it's possible someone somewhere will do it

      It's definitely high, but not all that surprising when you consider that SCUF controllers go for about US$140, and Xbone Elite controllers retail at US$150. I'd guess that that's the market the XIM's aimed at.

        An Xbone elite controller isn't cheating in my mind, it's made by Microsoft! Even a high end PC controller is still a controller.

        It might give you a slight edge over someone with a worse controller, but I personally wouldn't be annoyed or call cheater if someone beat me using one.

        This adapter tricks the game into thinking you're using a controller when you're not, it's pure cheating to me.

        I think there's a difference in spending $200 on a better controller than spending $200 on a cheat/exploit.

          I totally agree - my point wasn't that those controllers were cheating, it was that they also offer a competitive advantage at a similar cost. People will happily pay $200 for a minor advantage in a select set of genres, which means that people with fewer moral inhibitions will see the cheaper and more advantageous XIM as the superior choice.

          I use a paddled PS4 controller and have found the ability to jump/crouch without sacrificing my aim has improved my gameplay in Destiny, but it's just something that's technically possible with a normal controller - it's as much cheating as using a different control scheme or a claw grip, imo (ie. it isn't), except it has none of the steep re-learning curve required for either of those options. That said, they have been banned from quite a few competitive FPS tournaments, to my knowledge.

          Using a M/KB via XIM, tho, changes the way your aim works at a mechanical level, so yes, it's cheating and offers a far greater competitive advantage in a wider range of game genres.

            The paddled controller being banned from tournaments is an interesting one, I guess it completely levels the playing field if everyone's using the same kit, but if you're used to a different feeling controller then you're at a disadvantage using a basic one!

      Aim bots have been more expensive.

      Considering this is a safe cheat option those who are hacking inclined would definitely take it.

    I really dont like the aim assist. Too many times have i experienced multiple enemies on screen and it kinda just travels away from a perfect headshot to track another enemy.

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