Keyboard & Mouse players generally dislike controller players because of aim assist and some of the advantages it has. That’s understandable, but we’re not really here to talk about that. Right now I want to talk about the difference between console aim assist and PC aim assist, and why it needs to be the same.
I have been playing Apex Legends since Day 0. While I wasn’t super active in the first few seasons, I never completely stopped playing the game and have finished every single Battle Pass from Season 4 onward. While I was hyper competitive at Gears of War, I wasn’t so much for Apex Legends and thus I only played casual matches with my friends and did not touch Ranked until recently. Moreover, I only played Ranked enough to reach Gold II (which I did fairly easily), but I did have plans to reach Platinum.
Recently I was following a twitch streamer named AsamaYomi who’s pretty cool; they play fighting games, Apex Legends, and have a dedication and commitment to being good. The only streamer I follow who actively plays Apex is ShinKensou and I play with him from time-to-time, which generally is only a handful of games before I need to go do something else. However…this time was very different.
This streamer refused to play with me because I was a console player (for context, we did play Dragon Ball FighterZ a few times, so it’s not a “me” issue). Despite having a gaming PC, my main system is Playstation 4. I had no idea why I was being exiled, and originally thought it was because I used controller rather than Mouse and Keyboard. True, she doesn’t particularly care for controller but it’s more so because playing with a console player throws the entire party into a mixed queue, and the aim assist for console is a lot higher than it is on PC by about 50%.
I also did research, and apparently there was a mistake on November 3rd (the day after my birthday), to which Respawn had accidentally shifted console players aim assist values to PC (from 0.6 → 0.4). This decreased it and a lot of console players said things felt off; which prompted Respawn to look into it and put it back.
To be honest, this hit me rather hard when I found out about it. It was enough to question whether-or-not I was good. It began to have that same feeling I get when playing Dragon Ball FighterZ on console as opposed to PC, a feeling that my skills are fabricated. That they are good within that specific version of the game, but not something you can take with you on the world stage. For many people this may do nothing, but for me it was a blow to my pride and ego, and with that, my gaming confidence.
One of the things I hate is being underestimated, and more so than that, coddled to. If the issue was simply being a controller player, I could have completely blamed this on Yomi for being biased…but it’s not. Console players are given training wheels on their bike while PC controller players are given the minimum amount of aim assist that Respawn believes they need to be able to keep up with their Mouse and Keyboard counterparts. Sure, I think even with aim assist that Mouse and Keyboard offers better advantages than controller, but it’s difficult to defend the handholding values we are given on console. So what did I do? I went into my settings and set my Playstation 4’s controller to PC aim assist values. I am hyper competitive, and the idea of needing extra assistance enrages me.
It took some getting used to.
The aim assist isn’t as strong which means when you begin to put your reticle towards a player, it feels different. It was the same feeling I had where my aim was completely sucking randomly and I had no idea why, the same week I took off for work due to my birthday and Respawn posted up that tweet. I was being hand held, and I didn’t like it in the least.
I played, I adjusted and I moved to Apex Legends PC. I play with the same settings on both and I am doing my best to make myself good enough to climb on Ranked PC. I am grinding on both systems and dealing with everyone else using console aim assist settings while I’m using PC, and in the end I’ll be better for it because my skill will transfer over and be seamless. However, there is still an issue with this.
As we go further into the future, PC gaming is becoming the norm due to having things like better refresh rate, lower input lag, and eSports being supported by sponsors like Intel or AMD. Fighting games have showed a preference for them, and shooting games have always seemed to lean more heavily towards PC play. Having differences between console and PC aim assist just causes another unnecessary divide, especially when everyone can adapt if given enough time. It also can completely invalidate the feeling that your skill means anything.
I hate being coddled like I need more help, but I also hate the fact I can only nod my head when someone doesn’t want to play with me due to an unfair difference which Respawn themselves have implemented. I will always say controller does need some type of aim assist, and that will never change because of limited range of motion. At the same time, if 0.4 is good enough for controller players and you have some good enough to go toe-to-toe with Apex Legends best Keyboard and Mouse players, then obviously you should make it the same strength for controller no matter where they choose to play.