Party matchmaking restrictions and “heavy aim” fix come to Halo 5

Today’s hot fix released for Halo 5 addresses an issue known as “heavy aim” that has impacted play for a number of players, particularly experienced and professional gamers who are more sensitive to minute changes in input behavior. Heavy aim, in essence, is when aiming suddenly feels sluggish compared to normal as a result of increased input latency. 343 Industries originally issued a smaller fix back in December 2016, but today’s update addresses “a larger underlying issue,” according to an official forum post.

343 was quick to point out that this fix addresses a single, specific cause of the issue. While the company appears confident that it will reduce the occurrence of players being put into a heavy aim state, it made no guarantees that the issue had been eliminated altogether. This is, decidedly, a difficult issue to detect and fix, as most players are likely to not even notice when it’s happening. Only those “sensitive to millisecond changes in input latency” will notice the difference, 343 said.

Additionally, 343 has updated its matchmaking rules so that full parties will only match with other full parties. For those of you (like me) who enter matchmaking as a solo player, this is super good news. Hopefully, this means no more lopsided battles against organized teams where you have no chance of performing well, let alone winning. Such matchups often result in multiple people dropping from the losing team, which only worsens the scenario.

343 calls this a stop-gap measure. “It’s a bit inefficient in that there are plenty of full parties that are terrible and don’t need to match against other parties, and those parties will now wait a little longer and get slightly worse matches.”

The studio is working on a more elegant solution that will come in the future. Until that time, it’s nice that they took this more dramatic step, which should lead to better match-made games for a majority of players.


Also published on Medium.

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