Apex Legends aim assist nerfs

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Aim Assist Nerfs Are on Respawn’s Radar for Apex Legends

Abhimannu Das
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Highlights
Apex Legends had its tap strafing mechanic nerfed and players have been calling out for nerfs to aim assist to balance the disparity between MnK and controller.
Apex Legends developer, John ‘JayBiebs’ Larson revealed that it is impossible to balance both inputs and maintain parity.
JayBiebs is meeting with CGE, weapons, and analytics teams this week to assess potential changes to aim assist.

Apex Legends’ controller aim assist has been a hot topic within the community for a very long time. After cross-play was introduced earlier this year, many professional players talked about how much of an advantage aim-assist plays in close-range combat. One of the biggest advantages of mouse and keyboard is movement and Respawn nerfed ‘tap strafing’ earlier this week, which allowed players to redirect their movement mid air and have unintended in-air mobility. A part of the community feels that with movement being nerfed on PC, Respawn should nerf aim assist to balance things out. And it looks like it just might happen very soon.

Potential nerfs to aim assist coming very soon

Apex Legends developer John ‘JayBiebs’ Larson, who is a controller player himself, is fully aware of the advantages that aim assist brings to the table. With mechanics like tap strafing being removed from the game, there is a chance that aim assist will be looked at too. He said, “When I see top-level controller players saying they would be alright with nerfing aim assist, I definitely take note. Players should not feel forced to use a specific input type, and if I see players converting out of what they think is necessity, I would 100% be concerned. In fact, I’m meeting with CGE, weapons, and analytics teams this week to take a temperature reading on the situation.

He talked about the input layer differences between MnK and controller and feels that it is not possible to have complete gameplay parity. It is impossible for both inputs to be equally good and with Apex Legends’ Global Series event allowing controller players to compete on PC, the debate between controller and MnK players is only going to heat up over the coming months.

Some of the suggested changes in the community include making aim assist better at longer ranges while reducing its lethality at close range to make it feel more balanced. However, JayBiebs feels that it is not going to be easy to balance the input device as “the asks of increasing aim assist at range or improving the looting flow on controller are not as easy as changing a couple numbers. Some things are deeply engrained in muscle memory where it’s not worth touching. Others require a lot more resources to make sure we get it right”, he mentioned in a TwitLonger post.

It remains to be seen if Respawn implements any substantial changes to aim assist in the near future. But it looks like movement techniques are still on the chopping block as Respawn believes the game is designed to work well with a finite number of movement techniques and it is trying to control “mobility power creep.”

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Abhimannu is a part of the content team at AFK Gaming and a lifelong obsessive gamer. He currently covers esports titles like VALORANT, CS: GO, Call of Duty, Fortnite, PUBG and more.