Though the focus of the latest update to slither.iowas the new opportunity to match wits against A.I. snakes instead of human opponents, something else even more important was added to the massively popular game too. Two new control schemes made their debut, giving players a choice of three different ways to wriggle their way to the top of the leaderboard.
After intense testing (re: playing a bunch of slither.io and bugging my children to do the same), I'm come to the conclusion that while everyone is allowed an opinion, there's only one correct answer to which one of the control schemes works best. Let's examine them in turn from best to worst.
To steal a philosophy from the glorious reimagining of Voltron that just hit Netflix in the U.S., in order to get the best possible score in slither.io, you need to bond with your snake and see through its eyes. Arrow mode gives you the best chance to do that.
With the arrow out in front of your snake, there's no confusion about which way your snake is headed next, and with the arrow in tight, you know that you'll be able to turn as quickly as possible when someone inevitably attempts to cut in front of you with a well-timed boost.
All of my highest scores since the update have come in arrow mode. Coincidence? I think not.
There's always room for the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" line of thinking, even if that's horrible English. Quite a few slither.io players will undoubtedly be happy keeping everything just the same, and there's something to be said for the idea that the arrow may distract you from hazards that you can see in classic mode. Maybe.
My take is that there's nothing wrong with classic mode, as it's served me well up to this point. It's just not as good as arrow mode.
Put bluntly, many an otherwise excellent mobile game has been ruined by the poor functionality and/or implementation of a virtual thumbstick. Other titles somehow manage to shine with the faux joystick in charge of your movements. This isn't one of them.
The name of the game in slither.io is being able to turn on a dime when necessary, and to have the fine control neceesary to be able to out-coil snakes in tight spaces. The joystick doesn't trump the other choices in either of those areas.
Conveniently, our ranking of the three control schemes matches the order in which they appear in the game itself from left to right, so there should be no question which one you should choose. Praise be to arrow mode. Long may it help us devour other snakes.
Think our opinion on the slither.io control schemes is pants? Let us know how you racked up a 43,000 score in joystick mode in the comments section, and we'll decide if we believe you or not.