I've been wanting to lay down some knowledge in this thread for a while, because Halo 1's pistol is fascinating to me and is among my favorite weapons in any game ever.   as for introductions, hi. I'm a Halo modder and I screw around with weapon systems for fun and to learn what's happening behind the scenes. I've released a few (cringey) mods for Halo Custom Edition some years back. I most recently pitched a Halo 3 balance restoration mod for ElDewrito in an effort to make the project less garbage (but you can only polish a turd so much).   First and foremost, and this is a bit of a nitpick, what people call "bullet magnetism" actually refers to "auto-aim." Actual magnetism refers to a completely different system. I will be referring to "bullet magnetism" as "auto aim" in this post.     Halo 1 ABSOLUTELY had auto aim. And lots of it. However, the systems functioned vastly differently, which is what created the game's gigantic skill gap. There are differences between CE and later titles I will get into later in this post.     Here is Halo 1's auto-aim system at work:     ----------     "Aim assist" is divided into two parts: Auto-Aim and Magnetsim. These are cones sent out from the center of the reticule based on a set angle and distance in world units (1 world unit = 10 feet). Here are what these values do:     - Magnetism
This is "sticky aim." This causes the player's camera to shift with enemies. It activates whenever movement or look input is active. This is generally wider than the auto-aim angle, and is inactive when a sniper is not scoped (excluding h4's beam).     -Auto Aim This is the red reticule, and causes bullets to deviate from the center of the reticule toward the target.     -Magnetism Friction and Adhesion These are located in Halo 1's Globals tag. They indicate how strong the player's camera slows and sticks to enemies. I don't know much about how these have changed throughout the franchise.     ----------     You probably won't believe me when I tell you this, buit Halo 1's aim assist angles are far larger than any in the rest of the franchise. Crazy right?!? However there are other factors at work making it far more difficult to land shots in H1 than in any other halo game. They are as follows:   - Auto-aim trajectories Auto-aim tries to shift the projectile trajectory towards the edge of the enemy's collision model. In H1 this is does not always happen, this is most noticeable around the sides of players' heads and torso region. I'm uncertain if it's janky collision models or a broken system. I honestly can't say weather or not this was a "bug," but I can definitely attest it created some of the most interesting high-level game play. You can see that here:       And here:         - Error angle Similar in theory to bloom, but the functionality is vastly different. "Bloom" increases after each shot, and cools down. "Error" in H1 increases as fire is held, and decreases as fire is released. This is what makes tapping so effective. Halo 1's pistol had a minimum error angle of 0.2 degrees, and a maximum of 2 degrees. This means that as long as the player is tapping, the error will never exceed 0.2 degrees. At longer ranges this can create a bit of a random factor, and can (very rarely) interfere with mid-range battles.       I've mocked up CE's error system as 1:1 as I can in Unreal Engine here (green cone indicates error angle) and you can clearly see why tapping works so effectively:       - Projectile velocities Halo 1's projectile travels at 300 world units per second. The math is as follows: 300 world units/30 ticks = 10 world units at tick, or 100 feet a tick. This means below 100 feet, the shot is "hitscan." Past this distance, the shot will not be reliable, and the user must compensate by leading the shot. At 400 feet, the shot must be lead 4 frames.       - Headshot prioritization
This was not in CE. This began in Halo 2, and seems to be in every game after. If the head is within the auto-aim cone, the shot will deviate towards the head.   Halo 1:
  Halo 2:     -----------   The TLDR is: Halo 1's pistol was so difficult to use because of the projectile speeds and the different aim assist. The lack of effectiveness of the aim assist system, the lack of headshot prioritization, and the projectile speed added a layer of difficulty on top.
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