Apex Legends developers could be looking to make some changes to aim assist for controller players.
According to a post by John "JayBiebs" Larson (@RSPN_JayBiebs), the decision stems from the removal of tap-strafing earlier this week. PC players were concerned over the move, stating that it was one of the only features combating aim assist on controllers. Some suggested removing the ability to have it as a key bind to compromise. However, it seems as though Respawn has spoken.
Apex Legends to Remove Aim Assist?
Larson describes tap-strafing as "what many associate with scroll-wheel strafing," to developers. Therefore, the removal is more targeted at a rapid directional change rather than the physical maneuver. The team also retained the ability to revert their decision on a dime—if necessary.
"Tap-strafing is something I’ve thought about nearly every day since seeing it for the first time. The player in me loves the idea of it for skill expression," he wrote, "However, my designer brain started to churn, and the more I saw, the more I felt this mechanic seemed like forbidden fruit."
He explains that the concern stems—unsurprisingly—from the mouse and keyboard (MnK) versus controller debate. In truth, the data only shows a minute difference between the two configurations. Neither has a sharp advantage over the other when comparing alike skill levels and ranks. Weapons perform the same whether in the hands of a MnK player or a controller player.
Larson said the team will "continue to evaluate whether or not aim assist is 'too good.'" The developer, himself, has a meeting later this week to evaluate the situation in full. He noted that player feedback will be crucial during this time and that all actions will be taken into consideration.
"If I see players converting out of what they think is necessity, I would 100% be concerned," he wrote.
He went on to lament the fact that perfect parity between the inputs is essentially impossible. Larson explained that as long as there's a difference in setup, there will be a difference in how they perform—and that this fact impacts all levels of developer decisions. What MnK players see as catering to controller players may actually be a correction to cut down on controller "FOMO."
For that reason, Larson supports the removal of tap-strafing. According to him, it's "inaccessible" and opaque rather than a maneuver players learn organically. They're also impossible to telegraph, making them entirely unpredictable and therefore difficult to work against. This can prove to be devastating when paired with movement enhancing abilities.
"While many love the freedom that Apex’s movement system affords, constraints are just as important," he wrote, "The game is designed to work well with a finite number of movement possibilities."
As far as aim assist goes, it's unlikely that the tweaks will stop here. According to Rayme Vinson, the developer behind the feature, "Aim assist is for accessibility."
"Using it as a difficulty lever is bad," he said, "And, yes, it's easy for us to accidentally make it ‘too good,’ and where that line is can be up for debate."
Players will have to see whether or not Respawn decides to adjust this feature, as well. Larson's full statement can be found on a TwitLonger post.