We did it!
"One thing that has become clear in absorbing all your feedback is that Halo players want choice when it comes to controls. And with that in mind, we are also working on another little pet project that will allow even more precise tuning. This update will offer more custom fine-tuned control over controller settings (hint: independent vertical/horizontal sensitivities, the ability to calibrate your own dead zones, more granularity in sensitivity, and more). We hope to have that out for you in December and we will follow up with more details later. "
I have no idea if this thread had anything to do with it, but if it did… thanks to everyone that supported it and kept it alive! I almost didnt bother making it, figuring it would just get lost in the heap of others posts following the game’s launch. But whether you agree/disagree you guys kept it going and gave the topic a tremendous amount of visibility. And tons of credit to 343 for listening to the community and working to enable a great feature I think all halo fans can enjoy!
So one of the major issues with the game is the deadzones. It was obvious from the moment I started playing Halo 5, however I decided to come up with a makeshift way to measure them in order to have some hard evidence. (Sorry about the crappy cell phone pictures, I wanted to make a video but the webcam on my laptop was even more horrendous. Either way it should at least give you an idea of what I did)
I removed the faceplate from my controller, and popped the thumbstick off. I then cut a wood shim down to size and drilled a small hole in the bottom so I could attach it the peg on the joystick module.
I attached the stick to the controller, printed out a ruler and set it up in front of my monitor. The idea is now I can slowly move the shim across the ruler and find out how far the stick needs to be moved before the game begins to register input.
I decided to compare halo 5 to titanfall, since titanfall has nice tight deadzones by default… but in addition has the ability to adjust the deadzones in the controller options under “Look Drift Guard” with the options off/low/high.
I rounded to the nearest quarter centimeter for simplicity’s sake. LDG will be used to abbreviate look drift guard.
LDG off - 0.75cm
LDG low (default) - 1.25cm
LDG high - 2cm
Default (no options) - 2cm
Making sense of the numbers:
The numbers themselves dont mean much since they are being greatly exaggerated due to the long lever being used in order to get the measurements, however they allow us to compare the relative size of the deadzones.
if we subtract the natural deadzone of the controller itself (LDG off) from the results we can obtain the amount of deadzone being imposed by the game software. Which is .5cm for titanfall’s default setting and 1.25cm for halo 5’s default setting. What this shows us is that the default setting for halo 5’s software imposed deadzones are 250% larger than titanfall’s.
Halo 5 has massive crappy deadzones.
General information about deadzones:
This section will give you some general information deadzones, what they are, why they exist, and how they effect gameplay.
What are deadzones?
Deadzones represent the distance between an analog stick’s resting neutral position and when it begins to register input.
How do they impact gameplay?
The larger deadzone the farther the stick must travel before the game registers input. Large deadzones manifest themselves in the form of laggy and imprecise controls. Small precise movements of the stick may not register within the game at all, and you may often find yourself over adjusting and aiming past your target as you are forced to exaggerate your stick movement in order to get a response from the game. Fine tuning your aim, such as lining up a headshot with the pistol or aiming at a distant target can prove to be exceedingly difficult and unreliable.
Are deadzones the reason Halo 5’s aiming is garbage?
Why do deadzones exist?
Hardware deadzones exist due to imperfections in the controller itself. Software deadzones are imposed by the game in order to help prevent analog drift.
What is analog drift and what causes it?
Analog drift is when the control stick fails to return to a completely neutral position after the user lets go of it and continues to register input. In a game this may cause your camera to slowly pan, or your character to slowly walk, even when you arent touching the controller. This can be caused by poor calibration at the factory, or by wear and tear due to dirt/dust buildup or the springs losing tension.
So what size should the deadzones be?
There is no good answer for this. The more precision a game requires, the smaller the deadzones it needs to give players. FPS titles require a great amount of precision and thus require the smallest deadzones. However Halo 5 requires more aim precision than virtually any other shooter due to the importance of headshots, yet has some of the biggest deadzones on the system, with no ability to adjust them. This is obviously a huge problem.
Can the terrible aiming in Halo 5 be fixed?
Yes, 343 should very easily be able to patch this. But people need to speak up and bring it to their attention. Currently people seem to be confused on what is causing the poor aiming often believing its aim assist, or look acceleration, or that there are no problems whatsoever and scrubs just need to “git gud”. While some of those things are certainly contributing factors, the core underlying problem with the aim is these huge sloppy deadzones. And whether you love or hate the aiming, smaller deadzones is only going to make it better by giving everyone quicker and more precise aim.
So people were curious about other halos, and I dont have the MCC, so I tested Halo 3, reach and 4 on xbox 360… All were 1.5cm.
But I dont know of a 360 game that lets me turn off the deadzones, so I have no method to account for variation in the controller itself. However its probably a reasonably safe assumption that the software based deadzones are smaller in the 360 games.
And apologies in advance but I think im gonna retire my ghetto little deadzone testing setup for the time being. As this is not something im looking to do on a daily basis, my initial goal was simply to show there is definitely some slop in halo 5’s deadzones and offer some evidence to support that… which I think I have accomplished.