PC gamers, do you often use a controller instead of KB+M?

I pretty much always use a controller at this point, save for the games that are kinda impossible with a controller (Civ, Stellaris, etc).

I even play Overwatch on PC with a controller, much to the surprise of my friends who say I’m going to get slaughtered that way which…

  1. I don’t play competitive mode
  2. I’m expecting to die a lot regardless
  3. Its a video game, whatever :V

I used to be a hardline KB/M person on PC games but I’ve honestly come around hugely in the last few years to the controller life. I think movement on a controller is generally smoother and more natural feeling so it provides for a more cinematic experience in singleplayer games.

For a competitive shooter though I have to be on a KB/M or I’ll get roasted. I have friends who play Overwatch on PC and I don’t know how they’re able to keep up with people.

For the most part, I stick to keyboard/mouse. This might be blasphemy, but I got a Steam Link and controller for Christmas a year or two ago and I really enjoy playing games on it. The controller has it’s issues, for sure, but I beat the first Dishonored using just that controller and I had a really good time.

I also sometimes go with the 360 controller when I jumping into games like the Batman Arkham series.

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Controller whenever possible, I don’t have full dexterity of my fingers so KB/M is an unwieldy set up in any game that is not turn based.


The only time I’m reaching for the KBaM is for WoW or FPS that requires some amount of twitch reflex. It’s DS4 for everything else.

Some games really feel like they’re built for controllers and playing them any other way is a pain. Especially in an era of smart-buttons, long-press actions, and hold-menus in console versions, if those options are all just bound to keys and the menus are taken out then I can find the keyboard a real pain (even with a few mouse buttons to balance the load). I definitely think the controller mods that re-enable the full controller support for the Mass Effect PC titles are essential.

Shooters using a controller take a very different skill than mouse but I’ve been doing the former since Halo 1 and the latter since Quake 1 but at this point I find both are fine as long as they’re implemented correctly (it’s easier to implement it badly with a controller [you do need to play with curves and the deadzones to get a good feel - I have certainly done tiny tweaks to controller code in projects that have hugely improved the feel so I totally get how something like competent Uncharted 2 controls can be broken by minor tweaks into Uncharted 3 and require them to get fans into the studio to explain how to tweak it back to being good] vs just not using mouse acceleration and leaving a sensitivity slider for me to define).

So, having said it’s very much a game-by-game question, there is also the big divide: mouse and keyboard means I walk or run and can toggle a different speed (sprint or walk modifiers) but a stick means I’ve got analogue movement control for not only speed but also direction. That’s huge and in some games I really want to focus on how fast I’m moving, how much noise I’ll make, and exactly what direction I’m going relative to where I’m looking. In other games, I really want to be able to be precise and quick about where I’m looking and even the best controller configuration (and a generous auto-aim) can’t beat a decent mouse. That compromise means I’ll be on a mouse in any competitive shooter mode (and if I play that mode with the mouse then I’ll play the solo campaign or co-op the same way) because it almost always works out that that is the key factor to competitive shooting.

They’re both great (a 360 pad or DS4 are both not that expensive, neither is a decent gaming mouse like a mid-range Logitech and they’re all so well built to feel good) and a lot of games are totally playable with either. I really wish some more effort went into porting controller design (with limited keys) onto keyboards so we could choose between various efficiency options (short tap vs long press combo of two actions on a single key) and just splitting everything onto a separate key.

I wish some console shooters would imitate that feel of control like TimeSplitters 2 does. Move the right stick and you shoot your gun a little off center. Its aiming behaves like the way you move a controller stick.


I pretty much always prefer a controller. If I could play everything with a controller, that would be ideal.

Only if a game specifically recommends I do, so usually just platformers or Dark Souls. Until I was gifted a PS4, I hadn’t played a console since the original XBox because they were super expensive and games for them were too, so I didn’t really know how to work a controller off muscle memory. I still get buttons mixed up sometimes. I still prefer KB+M for a lot of games I play. I find they usually work better for me.

I use a controller whenever possible because I find it more comfortable, and it’s a good switchup from all the keyboarding I do during the day to help prevent carpal tunnel. Sadly it doesn’t work quite as well as I’d like in Overwatch, but playing D.Va with a controller actually works decently well with her huge forgiving spray.


My halcyon days on PC were Quake 3 and Unreal tournament, so I feel like a bit of a turncoat to say that I don’t really KBM at all much anymore. Part of the reason is that I hooked up my PC to my TV, so am no longer bunched over a desk (although the coffee table has come into use during C&C games - yes, C&C…)
I do have a steam controller that I’m slowly getting attuned to, and I also have an Xbox One pad which I use. I was thinking about getting into PUBG this week but given everyone will be on KBM I’d reckon I will get utterly decimated…

Pretty much only use a controller on PC for the Souls games. Otherwise, I will inevitably have the patience to figure out how to play it on kbm - I find mouse pointing way more precise than thumbsticks

I do wish KBM were a bit more ergonomically friendly, though (or rather, that ergonomic mice were a bit better for gaming) - wrist pain sucks

A big point of contention between me and a pal of mine that I play games with often is this: Risk of Rain - KB/M or controller?

I fall hard on the side of controller, which I think RoR feels better with, but which has the downside of not being able to use two abilities at once. He vastly prefers KB/M because you can be way more flexible and do power interrupts (where you, for example, are holding ability 1 down and then press ability 2 when it’s off of cooldown without interrupting your first ability).

quick side tangent - how the hell is anyone supposed to be good at RoR? that shit is impossible in single player and I could never finagle a multiplayer session together

Depends on the game really. Some games were very clearly made for a controller and trying to play them with M&K is just not optimal.

Practice! And you gotta get a good run, of course - items make the game. I now can finish a solo run with about 60% reliability. Deffo once you start unlocking more characters, though, you’ll feel the game really open up. Getting Acrid is a definite guarantee of easy runs.

EDIT: hell, now I wanna play a few rounds, heck

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I tried to love the Steam Controller, but I just couldn’t. Plus, I play a lot of non-Steam games as well.

I play everything I can with a gamepad on PC, and there’s a long list of games I never got far in because the gamepad support either wasn’t there or wasn’t good (I use a $20 gamestop-brand ps3 controller).

A big reason that FFXIV is The MMO That Finally Got Me is the gamepad support, i’ve played 550 hours and I stil don’t even know how to play it with KB+M

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Never, but mostly just because of the types of games I usually play, and just because I dont have one. Are Xbox 360 controllers decent if I get a new one? There are a few games I have that would definitely work better with a controller.

If I can’t fall asleep, I’ll use my Dualshock instead of KB+M to play games since I have a mechanical keyboard and a fairly clicky mouse and I’d probably wake my husband up killing a dragon in Skyrim at 3 AM.

Otherwise, I only really use a controller when I’m playing on console.