Testing the Deadzones (results inside)

FINAL UPDATE:
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. "

https://www.halowaypoint.com/en-us/community/blog-posts/november-sneak-peek

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!

Original Post:
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)

The Test:
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.

http://i.imgur.com/H93nDkC.jpg

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.

http://i.imgur.com/GtI4Lmo.jpg

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.

The Data:
I rounded to the nearest quarter centimeter for simplicity’s sake. LDG will be used to abbreviate look drift guard.

Titanfall:
LDG off - 0.75cm
LDG low (default) - 1.25cm
LDG high - 2cm

Halo 5:
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.

Conclusion:
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?
Yes.

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.

UPDATE:

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.

Nice. Thanks for the real info. Hopefully they do something about them. It really sucks.

<mark>Do not flame/attack others.</mark>

Lol @ people blaming their -Yoink- aiming skills on deadzones. Try getting good and stop making up excuses for why you’re bad at the game

> 2533274797233718;3:
> Lol @ people blaming their -Yoink- aiming skills on deadzones. Try getting good and stop making up excuses for why you’re bad at the game

Even when he provides evidence… you sure are something else.

I appreciate your overall approach to asking this question, but your comparison seems flawed.

Why compare Halo 5 to a twitch shooter like Titanfall? (I love Titanfall, but it is an ENTIRELY different style of shooter than Halo). Titanfall is predicated on insane movement speeds and twitch shooting (i.e., the spray and pray, couple shots to kill) that is such a staple of COD-style games. Halo, conversely, is a tactical shooter, it’s always been a little slower, smoother, and promotes prolonged engagements in which shooting skills can overcome time of engagement.
(side note, this is why I laugh whenever people continue to call Halo 5 “COD in space,” it is still a completely different game despite the addition of sprint and faster feel compared to previous Halo installments.

I’d be more interested to see how Halo 5’s deadzone that you analyze compares to a previous Halo installment (what about 1, 2, 3, and 4 in the MCC?)

Additionally, you cannot attribute an observable increase in deadzone to be THE REASON for why “Halo 5’s aiming is garbage.”
First, that is a subjective opinion that I have yet to see borne out with facts (and personally I feel like the aiming feels great, it certainly feels like it requires more skill than in recent Halos (2A, 4).
Second, independent of our own opinions on whether the aiming is garbage or not, a larger deadzone can only be correlated with our subjective opinions. Nothing you presented (or anything I have, or others) has provided evidence of causation.

Please take my post to be positive and constructive, I like where you are going with your investigation and would love to see more in-depth analysis!

Very interesting and impressive. Its a major problem which has me contemplating returning my game. Ive been playing Halo since CE and this game and its mechanics are way off. Thanks

> 2533274983624405;5:
> I appreciate your overall approach to asking this question, but your comparison seems flawed.
>
> Why compare Halo 5 to a twitch shooter like Titanfall? (I love Titanfall, but it is an ENTIRELY different style of shooter than Halo). Titanfall is predicated on insane movement speeds and twitch shooting (i.e., the spray and pray, couple shots to kill) that is such a staple of COD-style games. Halo, conversely, is a tactical shooter, it’s always been a little slower, smoother, and promotes prolonged engagements in which shooting skills can overcome time of engagement.
> (side note, this is why I laugh whenever people continue to call Halo 5 “COD in space,” it is still a completely different game despite the addition of sprint and faster feel compared to previous Halo installments.
>
> I’d be more interested to see how Halo 5’s deadzone that you analyze compares to a previous Halo installment (what about 1, 2, 3, and 4 in the MCC?)

Because I dont have MCC. I have 3, 4 and reach on 360 and could also test them but the results would be similar as they also have very small deadzones… I just didnt want to have to take apart a 360 controller as well. I used titanfall because it had good default deadzones but primarily because its the only game I have that lets you adjust the size of them.

Also I dont know of a 360 game that lets you turn off the deadzones like titanfall, so I wouldnt be able to tell how much of the deadzone is due to my controller.

Good post, 343 needs to open their eyes to this unfinished game.

No one is going to listen to you because 90% of the new community is 12 and ignorant.

I noticed the deadzones were downright insane before you even proved it. I don’t know why the hell they did it this way but I hope they come to their senses and fix it.

Lol how come nobody did this when Halo 3 came out? xD

Excellent post! I can’t understand how 343 thinks this is acceptable and something that we need to get used to.

I’m sure they’ll fix it

Soon

A quote from XIM’s creator Obsiv regarding the look mechanic.

"The Halo community (XIM and controller gamers alike) have been talking about Halo 5’s surprise changes to how it aims. XIM’s Smart Translator system gives us an insight into how every game developer designs their aiming systems. I can tell you after studying the data that 343 has done a great disservice to the Halo community.

343 changed Halo aim by splitting the stick into 2 separate regions: aim and turn. They also chose this point seeming arbitrarily as well before maximum stick deflection. Meaning, any player that accidentally goes beyond this point (such as during the heat of a fire fight) will find their reticle jump. The speed gap between “aim” and “turn” is very large. Instead of moving towards a good example of an aiming system (i.e. CoD and BF), they went completely the other way

.Something as fundamental as aim should be customizable. There is no single solution for everyone (certainly not what they changed here). It is our hope that 343 will realize this mistake and fix their game."

are you sure you measured in cm? or mm?
1.5 cm is quite a large span of movement for a game control stick

> 2533274794409015;14:
> are you sure you measured in cm? or mm?
> 1.5 cm is quite a large span of movement for a game control stick

Its cm, as i mentioned in the post “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 you look at the picture of how I set things up, i think it would make more sense why the numbers themselves are so large.

I am glad you followed through with the test and pics. Those of us that are ultra observant and pick up on little things can appreciate the analysis. Also, to address a previous post about comparing to MCC or other Halos on their original platform it would be helpful. However, those of us with the ability to feel minute details and observe already can tell you without testing the deadzones were different in other releases.

Again the comparison to Titanfall is great because it shows a game that has the options that allow for more people to be comfortable playing. Halo is a “twitch” shooter and requires just as must dexterity and quick/precise reaction as Titanfall.

343i has a seemingly easy fix on their hands so let us hope they are not lazy and ignorant. Give us the options!!! Those that love how it is now can keep it, and those that want tight precise controls that reward fine accuracy can have that too. Everyone or close to everyone can be happy with the aiming system.

> 2533274820563793;13:
> A quote from XIM’s creator Obsiv regarding the look mechanic.
>
> “The Halo community (XIM and controller gamers alike) have been talking about Halo 5’s surprise changes to how it aims. XIM’s Smart Translator system gives us an insight into how every game developer designs their aiming systems. I can tell you after studying the data that 343 has done a great disservice to the Halo community.
>
> 343 changed Halo aim by splitting the stick into 2 separate regions: aim and turn. They also chose this point seeming arbitrarily as well before maximum stick deflection. Meaning, any player that accidentally goes beyond this point (such as during the heat of a fire fight) will find their reticle jump. The speed gap between “aim” and “turn” is very large. Instead of moving towards a good example of an aiming system (i.e. CoD and BF), they went completely the other way
>
> .Something as fundamental as aim should be customizable. There is no single solution for everyone (certainly not what they changed here). It is our hope that 343 will realize this mistake and fix their game.”

This. It’s not the initial deadzones that are the problem even though they do need to be fixed.

> 2747731915509332;16:
> I am glad you followed through with the test and pics. Those of us that are ultra observant and pick up on little things can appreciate the analysis. Also, to address a previous post about comparing to MCC or other Halos on their original platform it would be helpful. However, those of us with the ability to feel minute details and observe already can tell you without testing the deadzones were different in other releases.
>
> Again the comparison to Titanfall is great because it shows a game that has the options that allow for more people to be comfortable playing. Halo is a “twitch” shooter and requires just as must dexterity and quick/precise reaction as Titanfall.
>
> 343i has a seemingly easy fix on their hands so let us hope they are not lazy and ignorant. Give us the options!!! Those that love how it is now can keep it, and those that want tight precise controls that reward fine accuracy can have that too. Everyone or close to everyone can be happy with the aiming system.

I was more just trying to compare halo to a game with good deadzones, to show that they could be better and they arent a figment of people’s imaginations. I didnt think the game I used really mattered.

Ill try to measure the deadzones for the 360 halos tomorrow then, since people seem to be interested.

> 2533274801372706;18:
> > 2747731915509332;16:
> > I am glad you followed through with the test and pics. Those of us that are ultra observant and pick up on little things can appreciate the analysis. Also, to address a previous post about comparing to MCC or other Halos on their original platform it would be helpful. However, those of us with the ability to feel minute details and observe already can tell you without testing the deadzones were different in other releases.
> >
> > Again the comparison to Titanfall is great because it shows a game that has the options that allow for more people to be comfortable playing. Halo is a “twitch” shooter and requires just as must dexterity and quick/precise reaction as Titanfall.
> >
> > 343i has a seemingly easy fix on their hands so let us hope they are not lazy and ignorant. Give us the options!!! Those that love how it is now can keep it, and those that want tight precise controls that reward fine accuracy can have that too. Everyone or close to everyone can be happy with the aiming system.
>
>
> I was more just trying to compare halo to a game with good deadzones, to show that they could be better and they arent a figment of people’s imaginations. I didnt think the game I used really mattered.
>
> Ill try to measure the deadzones for the 360 halos tomorrow then, since people seem to be interested.

That would be so helpful if you can do that. With all of the complaints regarding aim due to difficulty of aiming for the wrong reasons, I wonder how much longer I should wait until I purchase halo 5, and there is even another issue regarding diagonal aiming speed in halo 5.

> 2533274856723140;9:
> No one is going to listen to you because 90% of the new community is 12 and ignorant.
>
> I noticed the deadzones were downright insane before you even proved it. I don’t know why the hell they did it this way but I hope they come to their senses and fix it.

Unless people make a loud statement regarding this issue, 343 may simply just sweep this under the rug, as they have done with tmcc.