If you're a longtime Halo fan, you know that a good amount of the weapons in your arsenal would only fire from the hip. That is, compared to most popular first-person shooters, they had no scope system. But in Halo 5, developers 343 are implementing something they call smart-link—which is essentially an aiming-down-the-sights scoping feature—and some players who have early access to trying this new feature out in a multiplayer beta aren't happy with the change.

Studio head on Halo 5: Guardians Josh Holmes tweeted in early November that this system would not bring a penalty to hip-fire. But as some players have tested out, like YouTuber Akki n Nyxi above, the scope system does indeed narrow down the burst spread of automatic weapons, like the assault rifle or SMG that you see in the video. Players over on the Halo Waypoint forums and NeoGAF are interpreting this as a contradiction from what 343 stated and what they're experiencing in the beta.

Asked for comment on this, 343's position is as follows:

I want to clarify the function of the smart-link system. There is no penalty to hip fire while using smart-link. It's really important to us that you maintain freedom of movement, your shots remain accurate, etc. so that we aren't disrupting the natural movement and flow of Halo. In the case of automatic weapons (eg: AR, SMG) there is a slight improvement to shot spread while zoomed in via smart-link. However, the obvious trade-off is that getting shot while using smart-link will de-scope you, disrupting any benefit. As I said in the vidoc that we released earlier, we don't want people to feel like they need to use smart-link to be successful at the game. If you watch our pro team play (and dominate) you'll see them switching back and forth between hip fire and smart-link, depending on the situation and range to target.

A reminder that H5:G is still very much in development and this beta is about getting the game in the hands of fans so that we can use your feedback to improve our multiplayer experience for the game's launch next fall. I appreciate all of the impressions that people have shared so far and look forward to receiving even more feedback once we launch the beta on Dec 29th.


It's important to remember that the nature of a beta is for the developers to iron out any bugs and tinker with any features based on player feedback. So it may very well turn out that this feature will change before the game is released next year.

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