Fortnite’s Switch Motion Controls Are Surprisingly Not Terrible


With Fortnite: Battle Royale’s Season 5 update comes one feature that intrigued me a bit more than golf carts and portals. The option to enable motion controls for Switch made me curious to see how a game I’ve grown super familiar with would play. From the bit that I tried, motion controls are more useful than I anticipated.

A good example of motion controls that work well is in Breath of the Wild. Jumping off of my horse, drawing my bow and activating the slow motion aiming made me feel confident in my ability to take down multiple enemies or aim at the center of a Guardian’s eye. A couple of the game’s boss fights also challenge you to break blocks of ice using your Sheikah slate. Motion controls made this task a breeze.

Buried in the controller section of Fortnite’s options now are three meters to raise and lower: general aiming; ADS or aim-down-sight aiming, which activates once you hold up your gun for a more precise shot; and scoped aiming for shots taken from sniper rifles or a scoped assault rifles.

General aiming doesn’t feel as good with motion controls. As Tim points out in our video, it looks like the earlier wiggly attempts at typing things out on Wii or selecting menu options.

Lowering the motion sensitivity for general aiming felt OK, but don’t expect Splatoon-like fluidity. Unlike Splatoon 2, Fortnite runs at 30 frames per second on Switch, which feels most noticeable when using the new motion controls. I can see where motion controls could come in handy during close quarter encounters, though. In one firefight, being able to have those extra milliseconds to aim at an opposing player on a roof would’ve helped me stay alive.

When I aimed down my sights during a firefight, something clicked in my head the same way it did when taking down Guardians in Breath of the Wild. Being able to move around and jump while offloading the final touches on my aiming to the motion controls felt surprisingly good. I’m excited to continue tweaking the settings until I find that sweet spot.

I do think a little stabilisation would go a long way, so that might need some further tinkering with, especially with Fortnite’s Pro Builder control option, which maps building to the shoulder buttons. I look forward to seeing if motion controls catch on for Switch players.


  • Don’t forget to turn of AA! Most games automatically turn it off for gyro controls, and in fortnite it definitely gets in the way.

    With a bit of tweaking the controls should come good, doom runs at 30 and goes pretty well, as does the aforementioned botw.

    But yeah, splatoon 2 is where the gap between gyro and traditional is a huge, yawning chasm:

  • Come on, the Switch gyro controls are fantastic and should be standard fare for every shooter moving forward at this point.

    All next gen controllers will need this or gamers are going to be missing out.

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