Game Guides

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – Best Controller Settings

by William Schwartz


Modern Warfare is like other Call of Duty games in that you’ve got some options when it comes to how you want your controller set-up.  You can change things like sensitivity, button layouts, and for the first time in the series there are different aim assist options to choose from.  In this guide we’ll go over the best controller settings for Modern Warfare.

Below we’ll discuss all of the different controller options at your disposal in the controller menu.  Simply press the start button to bring up this menu and you’ll find all of these options under the controller settings.

Button Layouts

There are numerous button layouts for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.  While the buttons themselves are largely the same as in previous year’s games, you definitely should pick a layout and stick to it.  The most important thing that we’ve found in the layouts with Call of Duty games over the years is the difference between a Tactical and Default layout.

The big difference here is in that instead of the melee button being tied to the Right Stick, this is mapped to the face of the controller instead.  This would be a familiar set-up that we see in other shooter games, namely Fortnite.  It can take some getting used to, but, it does have it’s benefits.  This includes not doing as much panic melee or mounting on accident.  However, if you’re not prone to doing either of those, the default control scheme is probably going to be just fine.

Sensitivity – Stick & ADS

Now more than ever, being able to play at higher sensitivities is going to be crucial in Call of Duty.  With PC players being lumped into the console matches through cross play, you’re going to be playing against other people that have the ability to aim more quickly and precisely.  Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet for finding the right sensitivity.  You really have to play the game and try different settings out to find the one that you want.  You will want to pick the highest sensitivity that you are comfortable playing with.  The higher your sensitivity the more capable you’ll be to react quicker than other players as you’ll just be able to aim faster.

You can change your Horizontal and Vertical aiming sensitivity.  The higher you put this the faster your controller can move in either left or right or up and down movements.  Horizontal Stick Sensitivity ranges can be found below:

  • 1 – 2 – Low
  • 3 – 6 – Medium
  • 7 – 12 – High
  • 13 – 19 – Very High
  • 20 – Insane

Our recommendation in changing these settings is to bump them up one notch at a time until you find a setting that works for you.  Just because you bump up your Stick ADS doesn’t necessarily mean you want to keep the ADS Sensitivity at 1.  Setting this, or keeping this set to 1, will increase the ADS Sensitivity as you increase your Horizontal and Vertical Sensitivity.

Our advice here if you start raising the Stick Sensitivity is to decrease the ADS Sensitivity to .75.  This will give the guns a more steady feel when aiming down sights.  You’ll need to change the low and high zoom options here.

Aim Response Curve

You Aim Response Curve and your Aim Assist options are much more detailed than in previous Call of Duty games.  This in itself gives you even more control to fine tune the way the shooting feels in the game.  First let’s talk about the Response Curve.

The Response Curve is basically the response that the controller makes when you go from 0 (Dead Center on the Controller) to the maximum distance of the radius or 100.  There are three changes that you can make here. Standard, Linear, and Dynamic.

The Response Curve basically changes the amount of movement on your screen in response to the stick movement that you input.  So the Standard Curve will basically feel like other Call of Duty games.  When you flick or press the stick in one direction the amount that you press the stick away from 0 will make the actual movement x percent of that number.  While the Linear option is basically not having any variable.  If you move your stick 50% the screen moves 50% the max speed of the sensitivity settings.

Aim Assist

There are actually four options in the Aim Assist category for the controller in Modern Warfare.  There are three different auto aim settings, and I think these definitely cater to your experience level with shooters in general.  If you’re playing on console, aim assist is pretty much a must.  So we do not recommend turning this off as no controller is going to be easy to aim with without aim assist.  While there are people that like it, finding one of the different assistance settings would probably be better.

The other three settings are: Standard, Precision, and Focusing.  If you’ve been playing COD for awhile and you’re just looking to fine tune your settings you’ll probably want to stay focused on either the standard Aim Assist or the Precision Aim Assist.  Focusing is probably only for those that are new with the controller as it has a strong aim slowdown.  Standard is going to be what you’ve come to expect from Call of Duty aim assists in the past, while precision is going to be better for players that are already accurate players as the aim assist doesn’t kick in until you are aiming closer to the target.


The last controller option consideration is going to be vibration.  I can tell you that if you’re talking about competitive Call of Duty most professional players do not use vibration when they play.  Why is that?  Well, there are different reasons.  Some like the lighter controller.  Others think that vibration can throw off your shot.  Whatever the case, going from playing with vibration to playing without it and vice a versa can be hard.  We suggest you pick one way or the other and stick to it.

Our Settings

  • Button Layout – Default
  • Horizontal Stick Sens – 8
  • Vertical Stick Sens – 8
  • ADS Low – .75
  • ADS High – .75
  • Aim Response Curve – Standard
  • Controller Vibration – Off
  • Aim Assist – Precision

If you’re looking for a preset to start with 8 on the Horizontal and Vertical Sens might feel a little high.  Try bumping up from default to 6 with these other settings for a nice snappy feel for aiming and shooting.

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