Fighting game developers need to pay attention to MultiVersus and its innovative control and customization options


Fighting game developers need to pay attention to MultiVersus and its innovative control and customization options

A common aspect of fighting games is that mechanics like inputs and frame storage are consistent no matter who you’re playing or what you’re playing on, but maybe it doesn’t have to be that way anymore.

Having played a decent chunk of MultiVersus’ closed alpha test, we’re impressed with the title’s controller and customization options, and other fighting game developers have to pay attention to what Player First Games is doing.

MultiVersus’ default control scheme is admittedly atypical of what we generally see in the genre, in that attacks are mapped to triggers on the pad, but these can obviously be remapped for what feels most comfortable.

This is obviously nothing new, but it’s nice that players can assign inputs to up to 2 buttons for those who want 2 jumps like Super Smash Bros. or a way to quickly switch between normal attacks and special attacks without the move thumb.

However, what really started to impress me is the ability to swap your neutral and side attack options, which might be something you should check out, especially if you’re coming from Smash.

I spent most of my playing time with Harley Quinn and kept messing up which aerials I used because I felt her big hammer swing would work better as a side attack.

A simple click of an option and I was able to change that and improve my game instantly. However, I would like to warn you that I encountered an error after selecting the options that reset my controls to default, but restarting the game fixed this issue.

It’s an absolute breath of fresh air that the control of how the game feels is being put into the hands of the players themselves, and that’s not even the most interesting part.

Ultimately, what struck us the most was the more nuanced and technical options that we haven’t really seen in this genre before.

Players can adjust the deadzone on their sticks both vertically and horizontally if directions feel too loose or too tight to their liking and potentially messing up your inputs.

The ability to change input buffer frames and make buffered input only appear in the queue is possibly the most intriguing customization option we’ve seen in a fighter in years.

For years we’ve seen players complain about excessively long input buffers in games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Guilty Gear Strive, which can lead to unwanted attacks or dodges after being hit or performing certain actions.

MultiVersus allows users to make the game feel more accurate in every way imaginable, and it shakes up what we know and expect from fighters.

These types of control specs have been available in other competitive genres like shooters for years, so why shouldn’t fighting games offer the same?

Obviously not everything that MultiVersus offers would apply to more traditional fighters like Street Fighter and Tekken, but there are still lessons to be learned and how they could allow players to input and move in slightly different ways.

The concern here would be that while none of the MultiVersus adjustments seem to offer an inherent advantage over another, a particular option might be objectively better suited for serious gaming.

In an age where fighting gamers play on a variety of controller options, from official pads like the DualShock 4 or GameCube to arcade sticks and Hit Box-type controllers, the actual controls between them can feel vastly different.

MultiVersus’ deadzone and input buffer customizations open the doors to an age where the experience can be customized to your own preferences up to a point, rather than being forced to fight in the default bubble.

However, that also raises the issue of playing on different setups like an offline tournament where you can’t easily change those aspects of a game for everyone else, so you might want to try sticking with the default settings anyway if you do ever intend to do that.

However, it would be nice if we could see these types of options for individual player profiles, and that shouldn’t be too difficult to achieve either.

A free to play fighting game that hasn’t even been officially released yet, but offers better controls and innovation than basically any other title currently available, and developers really need to take notes if they want to keep up with where things are going.

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