Thumbstick layout improvement/suggestion

#Mechanics #halo-infinite #gameplay-mechanics #gameplay

Hello! The goal of this post is to encourage the design team to make targeting an opponent (aiming) easier and more manageable on controller. As of now, targeting an opponent, especially one at range or in combat feels overwhelming. I have two suggestions.

Suggestion 1) Make thumbstick layout completely customizable. For example, allow players to choose which thumbsticks are bound to Move, Look, Strafe and Rotate respectively.

For example, my desired thumbstick layout: Left thumbstick - Move, Look. Right thumbstick - Strafe, Rotate.

Suggestion 2) Different design considerations to help controller users target more efficiently. Enhanced control mechanics that provide for more purposeful targeting and aiming.

Note: I am not calling for stronger auto aim assistance.

Long term Goals achievable through new design considerations:

  1. Make controller responsiveness comparable to a mouse from mouse and keyboard layout. Controller/ Game design that provides for a complete aiming mechanic.

  2. Reward long distance targeting skill sets and build them into the game. Make medium – long distance combat accessible and an effective and rewarding choice of combat.


I was playing today with the Default thumbstick layout on console. I realized how difficult it is to target someone, especially while they are moving or in combat. I feel that targeting in game and in combat could be improved. I tried adjusting the thumbstick layout and realized that the options are not fully customizable and somewhat limiting. In my opinion, the thumbstick presets are not currently suited for a comprehensive combat style – one that is effective at distance and close range.

A note on Halo Infinite’s movement mechanics. While certain character movements such as strafing are effective tools in combat, i.e. 1v1 BR fights, they are not a substitute for a more complete targeting mechanic. Ideally, one should be able to target an opponent without having to rely on excess character movement, such as strafing, to line up a shot.

With the current state of the game’s aiming design, targeting at distance does not feel organic, meaningful, or complete. Because of this, short distance combat is more manageable for controller players than long distance combat. As a player, I like to know I am not being experientially limited because I use controller. Knowing I can make an impact from distance is important to me. Improving the controller aiming mechanics would create a much more complete gaming experience.

Thanks for your time,


Maybe add a new aiming mechanic:

  • After ‘zooming in’ player can use both thumbsticks to aim versus just one.
    ------> Insight: Only having one thumbstick to aim hinders aiming responsiveness and accuracy
    ------> Consider adding this mechanic without having to use the ‘zoom’ mechanic first. This might require a rework of current controller default mechanics to achieve.

Hello again! While Playing today I realized what I really would like. To be able to use the opposite thumb to aim at an enemy while I am shooting. For example, while using the default thumbstick layout and default button layout, I want to be able to shoot an enemy with the right hand (right trigger) and track/aim at the enemy with the left thumbstick using my left hand.

Other notes on aiming: Once I start shooting at the enemy I do not want to rely on strafing (character movement) to supplement my aim. I want to feel like my character movement and aim are separate.

Hey again, another insight. I realize that it is easier to track a target as they move left of reticle (track left on screen) than a target that moves right of reticle. This is because my thumb finds extending left easier than retracting right. This is probably why and where strafing becomes essential to tracking an opponent. To supplement physical thumb mechanics or lack there of (i.e. flexibility) with timed lateral movement to line up a shot. Note: Using strafing to track a target is useful and helpful in specific circumstances only. Other instances where one must target at far range (sniping) or track a highly mobile enemy make strafing decreasingly useful and the current overall aiming mechanic seem clunky and inconsistent.

Suggestion for possible aiming improvement on controller: The right thumbstick controls aiming to the left (right thumbstick moves left) and the left thumbstick controls aiming to the right. This means both thumbs would be used simultaneously to aim at the target within both thumbs most flexible and responsive movement direction.
→ Insight: Possible new controller thumbstick mechanic (assuming default thumbstick layout preset).
------> Right thumbstick: When moving left of center aim left.
------> Left thumbstick: When moving right of center aim right
—> Inspiration!! - This means that the totality of ones aiming (Look) is not limited to one thumbstick but more that each iteration of Look; Left, Right, Up, and Down, could be programmed to which ever thumbstick AND which ever thumbstick direction the player chooses.

For example,

(Thumbstick), (Thumbstick direction) - (Action):

Left thumb stick, Horizontal right - Look Right
Right thumb stick, Horizontal left - Look Left
Left thumb stick, Verticle up - Move Forward
Left thumb stick, Verticle down - Move Backward
Right thumb stick, Verticle up - Look Up
Right thumb stick, Verticle down - Look Down
(And so on…)

This is how one could achieve full customizability. Total programmability choice for thumbstick, thumbstick direction and action.

Another feature of customizability, would be to add secondary actions and programmable presets that are achieved/activated by pushing a button or engaging a mechanic.
For example, Once your character uses the ‘zoom’ mechanic ‘Look’ presets change from a default thumbstick layout to a customized one that is better suited to targeting enemies at distance or on the move. Like the customized presets provided above.