The Finals drops major nerf on controller aim assist, targets controller spoofing on PC

Embark Studios is clamping down on aim assist in The Finals in a new patch. It’s a rare move for an FPS to make in our crossplay climate, but Embark says the changes were informed by “an in-depth review of how aim assist works—something we’ve only been able to validate with a player base as large as ours.”

The nerfs, which target “zoom snapping” and “camera magnetism” among other factors, arrive after weeks of somewhat loud complaints from The Finals community that controller players have too big of an advantage over mouse and keyboard. Aim assist is a thorny topic in any shooter that brings PC and console players together under one competitive roof. The pleas of mouse users tend to get politely ignored, but this is a rare case in which the developers actually agree, and have done something about it.

Here’s what’s with aim assist as of patch 1.4.1, released today:

Zoom Snapping Angular Velocity now has a max cap, preventing unintended rapid 90-degree turns.Camera Magnetism will be reduced to 35% from 50%, making player aim less sticky and lowering controller accuracy.Zoom Snapping Time will be reduced to 0.25s from 0.3s.Zoom Snapping will be removed from the SR-84 Sniper Rifle, Revolver, LH1, and all Shotguns, as it buffs them more than other weapons.Aim assist will ignore invisible players, fixing a bug with the existing system.Clients running key remapping programs on PC will not have access to aim assist.

The most significant changes on that list, I suspect, will be the ones that weaken zoom snapping. Zoom snapping is the invisible force that guides a controller player’s reticle to an enemy’s head or body when aiming as long as they’re looking in the enemy’s direction, and keeps the aim locked there for a time. Zoom snapping won’t be as sensitive as before, but the bigger deal is that guns that previously benefited greatly from zoom snapping, like the SR-84 Sniper Rifle, Revolver, and shotguns are losing it entirely. That should make controller use of The Final’s precision guns immediately more challenging.

In general, controller “camera magnetism” is also getting a 15% decrease, meaning controller cameras won’t be as good at idly drifting in the direction of nearby enemies. Embark isn’t beating around the bush with this change: it hopes the decrease will “lower controller accuracy.”

The final bullet is also interesting: Embark is targeting a recent rise in players using remapping programs like reWASD to fool their clients into thinking their keyboard and mouse is a controller. This sort of “spoofing” trick, which has long been a problem in console games, allows mouse users to leverage both mouse precision and generous aim assist to secure an edge. Embark says it can now detect if you’re using such software and will disable aim assist.

The Finals is the first shooter to publicly acknowledge controller spoofing on PC, though it’s hardly the only game in which it’s possible. Growing awareness may trigger a snowball effect that puts the practice to rest in 2024.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous post That Portal 64 demake we liked so much has been kiboshed by Valve: ‘They have asked me to take the project down,’ creator says
Next post Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown has a free demo you can play right now