U.S. Patent No. 9,295,912: Game aim assist

Issued March 29, 2016, to Sony Computer Entertainment America
Priority Date July 13, 2008


U.S. Patent No. 9,295,912 (the ‘912 Patent) describes a method for a game’s aim assist in selecting a target when there are multiple targets in view. The target is selected based on the distance between each potential target on screen and the user character’s center of focus. Once a target is selected, the game automatically adjusted the aim towards the chosen target. The player still has the choice about who and where to aim. Aim assist only tries to compensate for the limited range of motion offered by a joystick.

People associate aim assist with shooters, but action RPGs will also use aim assist to help players swing swords or cast spells. It does not matter if a player is attempting to aim a gun or a sword, the method described in the ‘912 Patent is meant to help the player when blindly aiming at a group of enemies. By adjusting the aim to select a target, the player will know which enemy he/she is shooting or hitting. Aim assist can be very helpful in frenetic games where the speed of the gameplay prevents players from carefully aiming.

Methods for game aim assist are provided. In electronic games, a game player may control the actions of a game character within a game environment. The game environment, which includes a focus area, may be displayed from a perspective of or with respect to a game character. During game play, one or more objects may be detected in the focus area. One of the objects may then be selected based on the distance between the object and the center of the focus area. The aim of the game character is then automatically adjusted toward the selected object, which allows the game player to direct an attack action on the object.

Illustrative Claim:
1. A method for game aim assist, the method comprising: executing instructions stored in memory, wherein execution of the instructions by a processor: generates a display of a perspective of a game environment, the generated display for a display device and including a defined focus area having one or more objects available for targeting, wherein the defined focus area has an area that is less than the display of the perspective of the game environment; selects an object from the one or more objects available for targeting in the defined focus area, wherein selection is based at least on a distance between each of the one or more objects and the center of the focus area; and automatically adjusts the aim of a game character, from an initial position in the display to a second position in the display, the second position being directed towards the selected object, wherein the selected object is indicated by a targeting display; and receiving an instruction via controller to activate a weapon of the game character, wherein the weapon is directed in accordance with the automatic aim.