How smooth for you was the switch from controllers to keyboard & mouse?

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#1 Posted by Worlds_Apart (184 posts) -

I've been a console player exclusively since I started gaming and I can't imagine playing a game without a controller. But now that I have a quite powerful PC I'm tempted to start PC gaming, but I sigh at the thought of playing with a keyboard and mouse as I just don't know how this is possible. I'm even contemplating whether to use a controller on the PC. I know the keys W, A, S, D replicate the left stick, but what replicates the right stick? is it the mouse? Also what about the regular buttons?

My question to you guys is did the switch to keyboard and mouse also scare you? and how quick did it take for it to become second nature for you? Was it a long or quick process?

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#2 Posted by Gamerno6666 (6811 posts) -

I had the opposite effect. Going from K+M to controller was very hard for me to adapt in shooters and wish the PS4 had a K+M option for their games. I would for strategy and shooter you can try out keyboard and mouse and for other genres xbox 360/one or ps4 controller would be fine.

As for your questions I feel the mouse is far superior to the right stick and if you want to emulate the mouse control with buttons of the keyboard then its gonna be tedious to play games like that.

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#3 Edited by Vaidream45 (1970 posts) -

I was using mouse, keyboard, and flight stick from a pretty young age. By the time I had an N64 I was already pc gaming. The funny thing is it was harder for me to go from dpad and pc controls to analog sticks. I still struggle with analog sticks.

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#4 Posted by Bond007uk (924 posts) -

I still use both.

For online shooters it's keyboard and mouse, for car games, single player FPS or third person games like Tomb Raider, I use my Xbox One pad. I couldn't play the TR or Assassin's Creed games with keyboard and mouse.

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#5 Edited by BassMan (10393 posts) -

Been using both all my life. I remember playing Quake for the first time and being able to aim with the mouse and look around in a fully polygonal 3D world... It was incredible.

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#6 Posted by osan0 (15442 posts) -

i have always switched between both since i was a kid so its not difficult these days.

however learning new controller setups is tricky for my old brain :(. the steam controller is amazing but it has a steep learning curve for example. you can treat it just like a normal controller but that doesnt get anywhere near the most out of it.

it will take some getting used to but the keyboard and mouse is a very powerful gaming controller.

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#7 Posted by Horgen (120638 posts) -

I find it more relaxing to play with a controller. Recently bought a wireless Xbox 1 controller for PC. Used a wired X360 before. A few things to note though is that I don't place many fast paced shooters and all are single player games. No online multiplayer unless it is co-op of some kind.

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#8 Posted by Grey_Eyed_Elf (6460 posts) -

I started off gaming on a NES and played consoles exclusively till around the tail end of the PS1 era but my transition to gaming on PC was VERY smooth in fact using a mouse on shooters was instantly more responsive for me and I couldn't go back. I never bothered with controllers on PC until the X360 came out and I plugged my wired controller into my PC and it worked flawlessly and was supported by almost every game.

I still using a X1 controller for racing games or when I want to sit back on the couch and enjoy a slower paced game on a big TV.

Most games use WASD to move the character and the mouse to move look around and E,F,Q,R along with left and right click on the mouse along with L/Shift and space-bar are the standard for games but a lot of games let you map the buttons as you desire.

It might take a while to get use to, but when you do things will never be the same again especially when you get use to 60FPS in combination with a mouse for shooters.

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#9 Posted by VagrantSnow (347 posts) -

Have been gaming on computers since the commodore 64 so never really had trouble using keyboard and mouse. I did used to use the arrow keys for movement for the longest time (a lot of older games used the arrow keys as default) but found it less and less comfortable as I got older and eventually switched to WASD.

Don't have a lot of trouble with controllers depending on the type of game but when it comes to shooters I always have to invert the Y axis on the right stick because movement just doesn't feel natural on a controller. Like I'm playing a flight game.

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#10 Edited by xantufrog (11523 posts) -

@worlds_apart said:

I know the keys W, A, S, D replicate the left stick, but what replicates the right stick? is it the mouse? Also what about the regular buttons?

Short answer is yes. The other buttons are typically also the mouse (left click to shoot, right click for alternate fire, etc) and buttons like shift (often walk), ctrl = crouch, E = interact. I = Inventory. M = Map, that kind of thing. All typically intuitive and easy to reach.


1) the defaults vary by game, of course. Not every game is a shooter, for example.

2) it's usually 100% customizable. So you can make the controls be whatever you want them to be.

And, of course, there's nothing stopping you from using a controller still (well, unless the game doesn't support it, but that's rare now except for games where controllers flat out don't make sense - like an RTS) - although I'd be shocked if you didn't wind up where I am: I prefer M&K for basically everything except racing, fighting, and platforming games. It's just too easy to point at something and click on it. Hard to give that up.

But I may be biased since I started on PC before console waaaay back when.

Anyway, don't sweat it - the beauty of PC is you can basically play any way you want. It should take anxiety away, not add it - you're in control

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#11 Posted by npiet1 (2322 posts) -

I've noticed its a lot easier for players to switch from controller to K+M then the other way.

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#12 Edited by mrbojangles25 (44045 posts) -

@npiet1 said:

I've noticed its a lot easier for players to switch from controller to K+M then the other way.


I'm playing on my PS4 and it frustrates the absolute hell out of me because I keep thinking "This is honestly the most inefficient way to play this game. I could have been finished with this fight in five minutes instead of failing twice and then taking 10 minutes".

Now, part of that is because I am still new to console (and therefore controller), but I also feel like I've been using it enough to avoid being terrible, so part of it is the controller's inadequacy to be precise, quick, and accurate relative to mouse and keyboard.

I actually bought one of those mouse-and-keyboard to controller adapter things. But, ummm....don't tell no one, they might accuse me of cheating BWAHAHAHAHHAHAHA

@xantufrog said:

Anyway, don't sweat it - the beauty of PC is you can basically play any way you want. It should take anxiety away, not add it - you're in control

Pretty much this. Controller, mouse and keyboard, eyeball tracker, how you want.

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#13 Edited by with_teeth26 (9559 posts) -

like others here I started gaming on keyboard/mouse then started using controllers later, but still at a pretty young age. kb+m is generally more comfortable to me though I appreciate being able to chill on the couch and use a controller.

nowadays, FPS and RTS i tend to play on my monitor with keyboard and mouse

third person games can go either way, but i'll often play them on the couch with a controller.

since you already have a PC, just try out out! if you can't get used to it, then using a controller on your PC is totally fine, unless you are playing competitive FPS games or RTS games.

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#14 Posted by IMAHAPYHIPPO (3399 posts) -

I've always found certain games to be a chore with a keyboard and mouse, and found others to be superior with keyboard and mouse. In terms of your concerns, the only real solution is you just have to start doing it. The muscle memory will kick in sooner than you realize. My only real advice is to try and not get frustrated and understand there's a learning curve.

PC keybindings (which buttons are assigned which controls) would be a good thing to read. Developers typically design keybindings in two different ways: 1. assign buttons that are closest to WASD. 2. assign controls to buttons that make alphabetical sense: i.e, bringing up your map by pressing "M."

Read the keybindings and just keep playing. You'll get better. At one point, you'd never picked up a controller before. Everything anybody's ever done, they at one point did for the first time. Just give it a shot and try not to get frustrated. It'll click.

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#15 Edited by warmblur (2547 posts) -

I can't remember it's been so long but I'm more comfortable playing GTAV on mouse and keyboard then gamepad that includes driving and flying. I think playing Battlefield 2 back in the day helped me prepare for using the M/KB for vehicles I got into PC gaming back in 05 but gamed on console before that my whole life. I believe it's true that some games help you get better at others. When I got into competitive MP FPS on PC my skill got alot better. I skipped last gen consoles but I got a PS4 a couple of years ago and it feels so awkward to aim with a gamepad even with auto aim on. RDR2 was a nightmare at times but I got through it. I know if it comes on PC I will be so much better at the game wouldn't feel like I'm fighting with the controls.

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#16 Posted by jameswatson12 (14 posts) -

Thanks for sharing this information with us.