Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Keyboard and Mouse VS Controller

I was having a discussion with my friend the other day about this topic, so I thought I'd write about it. We both agreed that this discussion is based off of a different argument. The argument between PC and console gaming. I don't know why the hate runs so deep in this discussion. But here it goes.

The great gamers debate. I play the Console and Computer alike. I've played games ranging from Atari's (Pong) to World of Warcraft (Vanilla, BC, WotLK), Fallout 3, Street Fighter, Final Fantasy (1-13), Starcraft, Mario, etc... Games ranging from RTS(Real Time Strategy), FPS(First Person Shooter), MMORPG(Massively Multi player Online Role-Playing Game), RPG(Role-Playing Game), Fighters, Racers, Sports.....

So don't get me wrong I have played it all. But I must lay down some facts on both sides of the playing field. Yes I do know this dispute is causing PC and Console gamers to yell in all caps at each other. And I do realize most of these Caps Lock fights are based off of opinion. But I'm here to pull some facts out in the open and let you use your "logic" (if you have any) to replace your opinion.

Mouse/Keyboard Portability/Difficulties: Big clunky keyboard that you either have in your lap or on a desk, and a mouse that you have to have a flat smooth surface to use. Both of these aspects mean you either have to set up a nice little area to play, or have a desk to set at.

Controller Portability/Laziness: With a controller you can pretty much set/lay in any position you would like, even upside down if you can manage to work with that visual. Heck I even play from the kitchen while I'm putting something in the microwave...

Controller FPS: The straight up fact about this style of game, a controller has regulated turn and vertical aiming via joystick. With a controller you would have to start turning/strafing until your cross airs have finally made it to your target, and hope that you don't have to reach over and hit any of your other buttons. By other buttons I mean (X, Square, Triangle, Circle "PS2, 3")(X, Y, A, B "Xbox, 360") which are all utilized by the same thumb you use to turn and aim vertically (of course unless you use a different joystick config) but even then your losing 2 types of mobility to hit a button with your thumb. Yes trigger buttons are utilized, in most cases as Grenade, Fire, Target, Knife/Special Weapon or something along those lines depending on the game. But your losing out on Jump, weapon swap, which I find to be very important.

Mouse/Keyboard FPS: A mouse does not have regulated turning or vertical aiming, I can turn and shoot as fast as I can move my hand. Thus meaning as soon as I find a target I can twitch straight to their head/body and start firing. Other than that I can use my W, A, S, D key's to control and any hot keys I want without hindering any of my targeting or moving. I can also jump while still turning/strafing/looking up or down.

Controller RTS: Pretty much impossible. I've played their sad attempts at RTS on a console, all of which failed. You can't use an interface that is based off of a world map and expect to control multiple units using just joysticks and a few buttons. This entire game style is based off of point and click, its hard to point and click when the speed is regulated and the amount of hot key's is limited.

Mouse/Keyboard RTS: The RTS style was made for Mouse/Keyboard so of course it works just fine. Depending on the interface options you are given of course. Some RTS are just designed terribly.

Controller MMORPG: Once again a very difficult thing to do, almost impossible to be an efficient gamer. Final Fantasy managed to pull it off. But if you look at most MMORPG games (World of Warcraft, Ever Quest 1 and 2, etc..) There are just way too many spells/abilities to try an set your 8 - 12 controller buttons up for.

Mouse/Keyboard MMORPG: Another gaming style that explodes with potential when set up with a Mouse/Keyboard. You have more buttons available than there are spells/abilities to be hot keyed to. And you can utilize Shift + key, Ctrl + key, Alt + key, and so on. And the targeting system is usually point and click if not tab.

And on and on, till you get to the Sports, Racing, and Fighters. Sports were meant to be played with a controller. The simple controller set up is utilized very well in sports and in Fighters, although I and most Fighter fanatics agree that a DPad is better. Racing on the other hand isn't better for Mouse/Keyboard or Controller. You seriously need a wheel and peddles to fully enjoy and be good at racers. You can be efficient with both I'm sure, but Wheel and peddles are meant for racing games.

To round it up. And after a few facts and opinions are on the table. Think what you want. Honest truth and fact, in a game that takes precision and accuracy the Mouse/Keyboard user will stomp the Controller user every time. And the only category that a Controller is better, is at being lazy.

Sources :
An article about the Xbox Adapter for Mouse/Keyboard. What to take from this Source other than the facts he points out in the first Paragraph is that even League environments will not allow people to use Mouse/Keyboard against players using controllers due to the fact that the players using Mouse/Keyboard will have the advantage of accuracy

Another good article covering the diversity of Mouse/Keyboard and Controllers

Video of a competition between Mouse/Keyboard players and Controller players


  1. Controllers are for all but the hardcore FPS and RTS. Some players like to play PS3/360 games if the keyboard and mouse is supported, but the mouse / keyboard combination Joystick VS Gamepad is just unfair to users.

  2. Controller are more good then keyboard and mouse. In that we can easily response and make good communication then keyboard and mouse. I like controller then both keyboard and mouse.

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