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Splatoon 2: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Motion Controls



Splatoon 2 Motion Controls

The Good, The Bad, The Motion Controls

Motion controls have become an important aspect of the most recent Nintendo consoles, beginning with its success on the Wii. This is important in its future strategy to differentiate from the competition, a recognition of the changing times. With the recent release of Splatoon 2, the motion controls have once again played an important part in the gameplay experience, harboring the best and the worst the feature has to offer.

The concept of motion controls itself is fantastic, and overall, the Nintendo Switch benefits greatly from it. Splatoon 2 itself definitely needs the feature to enhance the gameplay, and with a lot of practice, the motion controls help to alleviate the awkwardness an analog stick has to offer. The reason is simple, Splatoon as a franchise is a rather fast-paced experience, and reflexes and reaction speed is vital to your overall success in the game. Motion controls allow for much greater reflexes, allowing the player to shoot their opponents with grace. The game loses a lot of its personality without the motion controls, and it certainly becomes much more difficult to navigate past some of the more clustered foes, seemingly preferring each others company as the game progresses. This isn’t to say Splatoon 2 is unplayable without the motion controls, it just dampens the experience.

The motion controls help to make Splatoon 2 more enjoyable.

The problem becomes one of posture. For those of us that like to move around and change our sitting positions, Splatoon 2 doesn’t accommodate for that. To reset the camera angle it will tell you to press ‘Y’ but with varying success, leaving you in a less than encouraging position. If Splatoon 2 was designed to correct everybody’s posture, then the motion controls would be deemed completely flawless, providing the population with a sturdy set of shoulders. Unfortunately, people often don’t like to relax like they’re out for dinner with the grandparents, and as such, the camera angle can become frustrating. The issue lies with the ineffectiveness of the ‘Y’ button, which often fails to reset the camera angle.

There is a fix to this problem, at least until you next change your sitting position. When you turn off the motion controls and adjust the camera angle with the analog stick, turning the motion controls back on and your set up will be just how you need to be. It’s a bit of a nuisance, but as a solution, it at least solves the issue momentarily.

Pressing ‘Y’ doesn’t always correct this problem.

The reliance of motion controls makes it difficult to escape the complexities of the feature. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild used motion controls flawlessly, only using them in certain situations such as firing an arrow. Unfortunately, for Splatoon 2, the use of a ranged weapon isn’t an occasional feature. This leaves the motion controls with a much heavier burden, allowing its flaws to boil to the surface. This lays out the groundwork for future games to be released. How will Super Mario Odyssey utilize the motion controls? What’s in store for Pokken Tournament DX when it releases in September? There will be no hesitation that motion controls will feature to some extent in both of these titles, but to what extent we will have to wait and see.

As a concept, motion controls remain one of Nintendo’s greatest achievements. Smoothing the bumps remains a minor issue, however, and whilst it doesn’t ruin Splatoon 2, it certainly provides some minor frustrations. Splatoon 2 remains a fantastic game, particularly in multiplayer, and if the motion controls don’t quite work for you then they can be turned off. However, to get the most out of the game, you might just have to bear through its occasional awkwardness and make full use of the function.

Lost his ticket on the 'Number 9' Luxury Express Train to the Ninth Underworld. Has been left to write articles and reviews about games to write off his debt until the 'powers that be' feel it is sufficiently paid.



  1. Marty Allen

    July 26, 2017 at 7:51 am

    This is interesting, James. I’ve actually had a surprisingly positive experience with Splatoon 2’s motion controls. I hear what you’re saying, but I tend to find the Y-button re-adjust sufficient enough to get my splat-work done. We should get some online matches going!

    • James Baker

      July 27, 2017 at 9:40 am

      I believe we will be doing a Goomba tournament soon!

  2. heavenshitman1

    July 27, 2017 at 1:20 am

    If you were to compare Splatoons motion controls to that of the benchmark PC ‘mouse n keys’ setup, it compares well.
    The only major difference is, with a mouse , when no movement is intended, a mouse can stick on the spot or be lifted off the surface
    The Switch controller kinda has you permanently managing the controller every split second.

    Maybe they need to apply a trigger button to activate the motion only when required, or conversly offer a trigger button to ‘brake’ the motion controls when ur not fussed about fine aiming

    • James Baker

      July 27, 2017 at 9:41 am

      The issue I’ve had has largely been with how motion control sets up the screen itself. You change your posture, the motion control naturally goes with it, and the Y button doesn’t quite correct it so you’re still looking at the sky!

      • Patrick

        July 28, 2017 at 8:57 pm

        Interesting that your Y button isn’t correcting right. I’ve never had that issue, so for me it’s just been about tweaking the sensitivity until it feels natural, which I think I’ve finally achieved. Other than that, my only request would be to allow for vertical movement with the right analog stick, even with motion controls on. They’re great for refining aim, but I’d like to make broad movements without twisting my controller.

        • James Baker

          July 29, 2017 at 9:43 am

          I’m curious if it’s a handheld issue, which way have you been playing Splatoon 2?

          • Patrick

            July 29, 2017 at 10:41 am

            I went out and finally got a pro controller for this game, so that’s the only way I’ve been playing it. Like you though, I had almost exclusively played my Switch in handheld up until now.

  3. Brent Middleton

    July 29, 2017 at 1:22 am

    Wow congrats James, this really blew up!

    Regarding the Y reset, I haven’t had any problems with it. It always seems to work well for me. Playing in handheld can be a bit tougher with motion, but aside from that no issues

    • James Baker

      July 29, 2017 at 9:42 am

      Must be a handheld issue, as I only every play the Nintendo Switch in handheld.

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