We’ve talked about the raging debate between mice and controllers in Fortnite before, but conversations often devolve into shouting matches. Hard evidence and video documentation serve as better methods for parsing this issue.
An unfortunately high number of Fortnite players have taken “sides” in this controller vs. mouse debate. It’s not about sides, but rather about achieving a better understanding of gameplay skill.
Recently, FortniteCompetitive members decided to conduct an experiment on controllers and the results are interesting, but not definitive. Let’s discuss what was found in these tests.
Controllers may have less Fortnite recoil than mice
Ok, let’s get the obvious out of the way. Controllers do have aim assist which helps them stay on target. The purpose of this is to close the gap between a mouse’s accuracy and the thumbstick’s inaccurate nature. Most professionals choose to play with a mouse due to greater potential for precision.
Now, onto the latest in this drama. Aim assist has had problems in the past which have been mostly addressed. Some ‘L2 Spam’ can still occur, but the benefits have been minimized. Recent Reddit research has uncovered another possible advantage for controllers.
u/Elijahyeur posted a lengthy showcase of controllers receiving less recoil as opposed to controllers.
We cannot stress enough how important it is to be skeptical when reviewing such content. The poster could have easily faked the video by controlling for recoil with a controller and not doing so with a mouse. We couldn’t be sure of the validity of the video without preforming our own tests.
The above video does show sizable differences in recoil patterns. The mouse has about 40% more recoil over its controller counterpart. All tests were preformed using the Grey Assault Rifle and no other weapon. Without testing each weapon (or at least a large subset), these tests are not conclusive.
FortniteINTEL Controller vs. Mouse Recoil Test
So, to validate the experiment, we hopped into PC Fortnite ourselves and plugged in a Xbox One Elite Controller.
In order to truly confirm these suspicions, we set up the same experiment as in the Reddit video. You can test this yourself by heading into Creative mode, lining up about 8-10 windowed walls, spawning a Grey AR, and getting to work.
We’ll admit that we honestly thought the video had a good chance of being faked in order to cause more tensions between communities. Our experiment thankfully shutdown those assumptions about the FortniteCompetitive post. You can see our test in the video below.
The results from our tests are nearly identical with the controller giving us less recoil. But, we’re not convinced of a widespread issue. So, what does this mean in the bigger picture?
More Fortnite tests needed for definitive proof
It would be so easy to write this one off as complete, done, and dusted. The videos above do prove something is going on with recoil on mouse or controller. However, saying that controllers have less recoil universally is still a bit of stretch.
The most likely answer to this conundrum is that the whole thing is just another bug. Perhaps controllers get less recoil when shooting near builds or perhaps mice get more recoil during specific situations? There’s also a possibility that this glitch was only recently introduced meaning the effect would have minimal or nonexistent for the World Cup qualifiers.
Furthermore, if Epic has actually put in less recoil for controllers, the true gameplay effect would also be minimal. The tests were preformed while applying no recoil control with the thumbstick or mouse, but as any PC/Console hybrid player knows, mice allow for significantly easier real-time recoil dampening.
Unfortunately, this has fueled some ridiculous speculation and comments from competitive Reddit users calling for the banning of controller players and the like. A single video or experiment proves very little and until Epic Games can speak on the issue, we’ll wait on passing judgement. In any case, it’s not the controller players’ fault.