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Halo 5's aiming has changed, developer explains how and why

343 confirms that the game's aiming system has changed since the beta and warns that it might take some getting used to.

If you performed well in the Halo 5: Guardians beta but are struggling now, there may be a reason for that. One of the professional gamers who works at 343 Industries has penned a forum post where he reveals that the studio made changes to the aiming system that was in place for the beta.

"During the beta, close-range gameplay felt fluid, mid-range felt decent, and long-range felt flat-out squirrelly," Eric "GH057ayame" Hewitt said in the TeamBeyond forums. "So, our Pro Team went through numerous tests over the course of a few months with our lead sandbox designer, Chris King, and the rest of his team in regards to how our how aim felt leading up to the release. There were some days where our entire team despised it, other days where our team had a split-decision, and finally one day where we all felt extremely comfortable with it."

Hewitt acknowledged that he's had more time than the average player to familiarize himself with the new aiming system. He also says that close-range aiming with the Magnum and other weapons might feel more difficult at first, but says you should stick with it.

"After careful tweaking, constant iteration, and daily discussion, we landed on our favorite fit," he said about redesigning the aiming. "It gave players the perfect blend of sensitivity across all three ranges. Yes, close-range might feel a little bit harder to control at first, but in the long run, you will all learn to adjust to it for the better. Shooting the magnum in this game is very particular, seemingly like how Killer N or StK Tupac shot their pistols in Halo 1. At first, it's going to be tough, but it will get much better with practice. Even to this day, shooting a Halo 1 pistol up-close is extremely challenging though, right?"

In addition, Hewitt said Halo 5's 60fps frame rate might take some getting used to, as this high frame rate affects things like aim adhesion. He added that 343 may make adjustments if players still have trouble with Halo 5's aiming after a few weeks.

"I want to reiterate that everyone of us needs to adjust to how the aim-adhesion will feel for Halo 5," he said. "It's a bit tricky at first--using a single-shot weapon to essentially swipe over an enemy as you pull the trigger feels different than before. Also, in the Halo 5: Guardians beta, a bug slipped through the cracks that had a delayed aim-assist problem. You could swipe your reticle over an opponent, and the game would display Red Reticle, but it was after a 5ms delay. Thankfully, we were able to address that issue and fix it before launch. So now, everything should feel very smooth. Nonetheless, we are actively listening to feedback, and we are always welcome to change. So, if players do feel this strongly about the aim after a few weeks, our teams will without a doubt revisit the sensitivity curves in Halo 5."

A video example of Halo 5's new aiming controls is available on Reddit. Replying to this thread, another 343 developer promised that the studio is looking at the video to determine if any action should be taken.

Halo 5 launched on October 27 exclusively for Xbox One. For more, check out GameSpot's review and what other critics are saying.

What do you make of Halo 5's aiming? Let us know in the comments below.