There’s a debate raging among The Finals‘ community that many PC FPS fans will be intimately familiar with. It’s a brand new rager pitting controller aim assist versus good ol’ keyboard and mouse. By stepping up to the stage as a popular FPS while the genre titans aren’t doing so swell, it seems like The Finals is inheriting the genre’s universal issues.
But for those of you out there who aren’t familar, what’s the deal with aim assist frustration? To sum it up succintly: when a first person shooter is crossplatform between PC and consoles, players using controllers obviously are matched up against keyboard and mouse users. Without adjustments from the devs, mouse and keyboard players outperform controller players for the most part when it comes to accuracy, individual skill not taken into account of course. Even PC players can be trash, y’know.
To combat this, aim assist is added to the mix! This makes it easier for controller users to keep shots on target, with the hope being that this can bridge the gap between the two input methods. This comes in the form of a degree of auto-tracking, some auto aim rotation, etc. When done well, everyone smiles and has a good time. When applied heavy-handedly, you get angry PC players, their argument being that it’s unfair that controller users get an advantage that lets lesser-skilled players win firefights. That’s a simplified explainer, but you get the gist of it.
In the mind of many PC players in The Finals, the balance is currently tipped heavily in controller-users’ favour. To give The Finals’ community some credit, they’ve been quite meticulous in showcasing their issues. Take Reddit user Thwoc, who has been cataloguing visual examples of aim assist in-aciton in short and digestable videos. Following a patch to The Finals that adjusted the aim assist, they compared the pre and post patch changes and highlighted the intense impact rotational changes made.
They’d later release a short video showcasing “aim snapping” – a term that refers to your aim-down-sight scope snapping to an enemy near your reticle – and the absurd limits of its power in The Finals. Aim snapping in The Finals can allow for a near 180 degree turn in some cases, which can prove a tad unfair.
This isn’t the sole factor that players believe make aim assist in The Finals a touch busted right now. Recoil Smoothing is also a pain point. Put simply, it lowers verticle recoil while you’re strafing. All together, you’ve got an implementation of aim assit that certainly looks wild. Clips a-plenty are out there for your viewing pleasure.
So, what’s the result of all this conversation? A recent post on The Finals’ subreddit shows a response from the game’s devs to a question regarding whether they monitor these ongoing debates. They basically confirmed that they’ve recieved feedback and are looking into it, but there’s no word on what the community can expect in terms of changes when it comes to aim assit at this time.
On the developer side, the game’s creators almost certainly have access to more data showing how aim assist is effecting it across various skill levels. Reddit users, or anyone invested in the community and matters including aim assist’s impact on the game, are likely more skillful than the 45 year old dad slapping on his console after work and getting a game or two in. It’s this writer’s opinion that the aim assist certainly looks a touch strong in the hands of competant players, but maybe it’s going down great for the super casuals.
That’s the thing with the aim assist conversation, regardless of the game. It takes ages for things to settle in a place that makes everyone happy. Often, it never reaches that point, and people remain forever fuming. That’s just the way it is folks! If The Finals has anywhere near the staying power of a modern Call of Duty or Apex Legends, then you can expect this to be a continuous battle that never ends. Hopefully Embark Studios can strike a nice balance. Otherwise, expect to see this come up again in the future!