For a large portion of gamers – especially those who primarily use consoles – controllers are the go-to input method. And thankfully, it looks like that’s how things will stay for the foreseeable future. It can be a problem, though. For some games, a mouse and keyboard can offer superior performance.
Controllers are comfortable to hold and can be used without needing a desk or flat surface. They are also user-friendly and have a gentle learning curve. They are ideal for gamers who need to move around the game environment quickly and easily.
They are suitable for games that require high precision, such as fighting and sports. The analog stick on a controller allows nuanced control of speed, while haptic feedback can provide the sensation of going over jumps or changing gear.
Similarly, action RPGs and horror games focusing on melee combat are better suited for controllers. Keyboards are more versatile, with the 104 keys giving developers and players a wide selection of inputs that can be mapped to various gaming functions.
It benefits menu-heavy genres that originated on PC, such as MMORPGs and real-time strategy games. However, keyboards are less comfortable to play on and need a table or other flat surface, which can be difficult for gamers who want to play from the comfort of their sofa or bed.
Additionally, they can be prone to dropped inputs or latency and can sometimes cause the mouse to skip or not register commands. It can be frustrating for gamers trying to play competitively in games that depend on precise aiming.
While a mouse and keyboard are a natural choice for PC gaming, many games work just as well with a computer gaming controller. The decision largely depends on your gaming style and personal preferences. For example, first-person shooters need precision aiming, but racing games can be just as enjoyable with a controller.
Another benefit of a controller is that it allows players to switch between control schemes easily. It can be helpful for gamers transitioning from console to PC or vice versa, as they don’t have to retrain their muscle memory.
For example, some controllers have switches on the back called trigger locks or trigger switches that allow players to toggle between a light press and a full press of each button. It can help race or drive games where a full press of the accelerator pedal is required to get the most out of the vehicle.
In addition, controllers are designed with a comfortable shape that most gamers can adapt to quickly and intuitively. They also require less movement than a mouse and keyboard, making them more accessible for players with mobility or dexterity issues.
Lastly, many controllers are compatible with multiple platforms and can be connected to consoles and PCs. They are, therefore, a fantastic choice for gamers who wish to play their preferred games on many platforms.
You’ll see some Aim Assist in many games that allow controllers. It works by snapping your crosshair to any target close to you, which allows players who don’t have as precise a mouse (or aren’t comfortable with a mouse) to get a shot off more easily.
Whether it’s for convenience or to help with their aiming, many gamers find that using a controller is better for them in these games. That said, if you’re going to play at a competitive level, there’s no way around using a mouse and keyboard.
The difference in precision alone will give you an edge over a controller player. However, even if you’re not competing in an esport, there are still times when a keyboard and mouse setup is preferable. It’s true for first-person shooters, where the sensitivity of a mouse gives you more control over your aiming.
Aim assist is a controversial feature in many of these games, and it’s something that’s debated quite a bit by the professional gaming scene. Some players think that aim assist is cheating, while others believe it’s necessary for specific players. There’s no definitive answer, but there is an ongoing conversation about how to balance it fairly.
For many gamers, a controller is more comfortable to use. A mushy or wobbly button can throw off your gameplay and make the difference between victory and defeat, especially in fast-paced games where every second counts. Likewise, a controller that doesn’t fit your hand comfortably or feel good in your grasp can be uncomfortable after hours of playing.
In contrast, the experience of working with a quality controller is seamless and easy. The ergonomic design of a modern controller is designed to fit perfectly in your hand and offer precise control. The latest controller generation is surprisingly comfortable after hours of play thanks to subtle but brilliant refinements like thinner and lighter construction and more grip options on the handles and triggers.
Despite the comfort advantage, some gamers prefer to use a mouse and keyboard because of the increased input options that come with it. For example, the 104 keys on a full-size keyboard give developers and players a much more excellent selection of inputs than a controller can provide with its limited selection of buttons.
A keyboard and mouse are ideal for game types focusing on menu navigation, such as RTS or MOBA games. While both approaches have pros and cons, it ultimately comes down to your preference and the kind of gaming you enjoy. For some, a controller is perfect for casual games and sitting back on the couch.