Why Do Controllers Need Aim Assist Anyway?

Until recently, crossplay wasn’t a thing. People who played on Xbox played against other Xbox players, and the same can be said for Playstation players, they played against and with other PlayStation players. That is until games like Fortnite pushed for crossplay. That changed everything for players who used controllers. This brings up the question, why do we need aim assist?

Aim assist is used in most cases where the user is using a controller. It is meant to give a better feel and experience to controller players. Without aim assist, controllers lack the precision and control required for smooth gameplay. Because a controller lacks the same accuracy as a mouse, aim assist is necessary for controller players.

Ever since crossplay started becoming the new normal, the topic of aim assist has become more talked about. With Twitch streamers like DR disrespect highlighting the problems and differences between controller aim assist and mouse. In this article, I want to discuss everything you need to know about aim assist, so keep reading.

What is aim assist

Because the analog sticks on a controller are not precise enough, developers implement a bit of software to counter the clunkiness and inaccuracy of the controller. This software is called aim assist.

A few years ago, the aim assist used to be much stronger. It is called “Legacy AA” and was overpowered. As soon as you would aim your weapon to an opponent, your gun would snap onto your opponent. Because controllers have developed, aim assist has become less overpowered, but it is still there. 


To understand why aim assist (AA) is such a big deal, we first need to understand why. I know, we have been talking about AA since before crossplay. I remember playing clan matches in Battlefield 4 on PS4, and we hated aim assist. In the server settings for multiplayer, you could toggle the aim assist setting on or off.

In my experience, the setting only made AA weaker when turned off instead of switching it off entirely. When turned on, though, it never felt right to have that level of assist on. When teams used it against us, it used to be annoying. So yes, we have been talking about AA for a long time, but with crossplay, the topic has garnered some serious attention.

The problem with aim assist in crossplay between console and PC is actually a pretty serious one. Even though you have more precision and control with a mouse, aim assist is seen as an advantage in games like Call Of Duty modern warfare and Warzone. There is a bit of controversy happening right now in Fortnite.

Controller players were underrepresented at Fortnite tournaments—only 10% of players who qualified for the Fortnite world cup used controllers. Fortnite then decided to modify the aim assist more in favor of controllers. Epic games added legacy AA to Fortnite. As we discussed, Legacy AA is overpowered.

Now, the ratio has changed, and we are seeing more controller players than mouse and keyboard players qualifying for the Fortnite world cup. A few professional players, most notably Tfue, has been vocal about this as he sees it as unfair for mouse and keyboard players.

Epic Games has stated that they will remove legacy AA from Fortnite, but it is still unclear whether or not they have done so.

Is aim crossplay a bad idea because of aim assist?

In my experience, no, aim assist does not make crossplay between PC and console a bad thing. Developers, in my opinion, need to find a good balance. They can do this by tweaking the amount of AA given to controllers. Without aim assist, controller players might struggle to keep up with mouse and keyboard players.

The precision and control of a mouse are unbeatable in first-person and third-person shooter games.

The best solution, in my opinion, is to matchmake depending on input. There are a lot of players who use mouse and keyboard on their console. There are also a lot of PC players who use a controller. If you matchmake depending on input, it will eliminate the aim assist controversy.

Is aim assist unfair?

The answer to this isn’t as straightforward as it seems. There are a few things to consider like, what game is being played and how strong is the aim assist? We also need to take into account the precision that a controller offers compared to a controller if there was no aim assist.

If developers implement aim assist properly, it wouldn’t be unfair. As we have seen with Fortnite, the stronger the AA, the more unfair it gets. Devs should be working on tweaking this, and they should be optimizing theory matchmaking.

Is aim assist aimbot

Fortnite professionals like Tfue, Ninja, and others have compared AA to aimbot. Is this true?

What is aimbot?

Aimbot is a PC mod that is illegal to use in most games. It is called a hack, and hacking is basically cheating. You get different levels of this. At the highest level, you don’t even have to aim at anything; you can stand still and just shoot. The aimbot will acquire targets automatically.

Aim assist is not cheating; it is software that is implemented by the developer. AA still requires you to aim at your target, it just “assists” you when your aim is close enough to the target. There is a very big difference between aimbot and aim assist.

Is aimbot possible on console?

I have actually already covered this topic in a previous article. While you cannot install hacking software onto a console, there is a way to use hacks and cheats.

The CronusMax and CronusZen are devices that plug into your console and controller. Before using it on a console, you plug it into a PC and download hacks. The hacks include things like buffed aim assist and anti-recoil. If caught using this, you could get banned.

So, yes, it is possible to use a version of aimbot on your console. I do not recommend using it, though. Developers are quick to counter these hacks, and it is not worth getting banned over.

Aim assist on PC

PC does have AA if you are using a controller. This is why I say that crossplay is a good thing if implemented properly. If matchmaking is done dependent on input, It not only makes things better for mouse and keyboard players. It also allows more people to choose their input without fear of being called a cheat or anything like that.

If you are using mouse and keyboard, you will not have aim assist. This is because you already have better precision and more control over your aim. So, you don’t need aim assist when using this input.


The purpose of aim assist is to make playing on a controller feel less clunky and more precise. It smooths out the feel of a shooter game. Controllers are not very accurate, so without AA, playing a shooter game online won’t be as much fun. It might actually be frustrating without AA.

In my opinion, AA is not unfair. Developers need to find a good balance if they want to allow crossplay across different inputs. The best solution, though, is to matchmake controller players with controller players across different platforms. Also, do the same thing for mouse and keyboard. Aim assist is not the same as aimbot. AA is software implemented by developers while aimbot is a third party cheating software.

David Sacks

I have worked in the IT industry since 2011 and have been an avid gamer my whole life. My first consoles were the sega genesis and the Nintendo SNES. I play both console and PC games, I love both. I decided to become combine my passion for gaming with my passion for writing.

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