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UI and Xbox Controls


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The people I've played with so far all agree that the controls for this game need a complete overhaul.  There are so many small details that make everything more cumbersome than it needs to be, and this on top of cumbersome building controls (things won't place where you want them or expect them to) makes for a very frustrating experience. It's one of the only major complaints I have with the game so far.

1. Sprint is obnoxious to use on controller. There is toggle sprint and hold sprint. Hold sprint is something that makes sense on keyboard where you just hold down shift with your pinky, but it really isn't much of an option on controller. It's very tiresome to hold down the thumbstick in a forward direction. The toggle sprint in this game is very different from toggle sprint in pretty much any other 1st person game. In any other game, you push the stick forwards while clicking it in to sprint. To stop sprinting (important in a survival game with a stamina meter), most people typically release the stick back to neutral and then push it forwards again to walk. This is such an ingrained, subconscious thing that is punished in Grounded because it seems you need to be stopped for a full second before it decides to "un-sprint" you. This is also problematic because many players also have a tendency to repeatedly mash the sprint click of the thumbstick to make sure they are sprinting. This is especially useful when being chased, to make sure you buffer the sprint properly and don't suffer due to being at a wrong angle or bad geometry to begin a sprint. But in Grounded, this basically keeps you at a walking pace and you kind of need to trust that your one and only click will work properly. I think the way sprint works in Grounded was done to allow you to sprint sideways and backwards, but it would be nice to have the option to do away with that style of sprinting.

2. Hot Pouch is very slow and unwieldy. You know there's a problem when your game is clunkier than Sea of Thieves. Let's compare: In Grounded, you must press LB, then press the stick in the direction of your item, and then press the A button. That's essentially a left finger motion followed by two back-to-back right thumb motions (I play claw so this is way easier on me than the average player, but in my case it's a right thumb followed by right index). In Sea of Thieves' radial menu, you press and hold LB and then push the right stick in the direction of your item. Then you simply let go of both and the item is selected. It ends up being a quick one-two punch feeling of left index and right thumb. It flows very seamlessly.

 

That's one option, another is to make the hot pouch cycle how it looks like it should on the bottom of the screen. This can be done with the D-pad left and right, moving emotes and everything else onto a chain of radial commands on a different button. This brings me to the next point:

3. Buttons are not utilized efficiently. For instance, flavorful things like emotes and stock chat options are on two different D-Pad buttons. You could easily stack radials onto just one button. Pressing one button could open a radial that has a left and right option of Chat<---->Emote. You select there and then it brings up the list of 8 commands on a new radial. The face buttons have very few uses as well. A is jump and X is action, but B is reserved for cancelling builds, which could potentially have another contextual use, and Y is almost never pressed. The option to remove HUD markers seems like something that could be toggled in the menus, the face buttons are should be reserved for the most common button presses usually. I'm not sure if there just aren't that many commands planned for the game, but I'm sure there are some filler commands that could work in that spot, such as a quick resurface button while underwater.

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