Is the PC experience not complete without a gamepad?

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#1 Posted by Sjupp (1910 posts) -


#2 Posted by Sjupp (1910 posts) -

Having owned a 360 gamepad for quite some time now I've long since abandoned the thought that mouse and keyboard are the superior controls in every sense. Am I still in the minority or have we moved past that? Have people come to terms with the fact that some games, if not most at this point, are developed for consoles and thus design their controls around them. Do you expect developers to make a game work equally well with an entirely different set of peripherals? And by equally well I also mean redesigning menus and hud elements.

I believe we have spent such a long time with these console controls that I think one is needed for a complete PC experience. I am not talking stereotypical PC games here, I'm talking games in general. If a PC owner don't own a console, I would most certainly recommend him/her to get a 360 gamepad for example.

Thoughts?

#3 Posted by Enigma777 (6071 posts) -

KB+Mouse sucks for most games imo.

#4 Posted by JCTango (1360 posts) -

Some games just control like crap without a gamepad.

For the most part, KB+Mouse will do you fine.

#5 Posted by wemibelec90 (1622 posts) -

My rule usually is: If it's a game where I need some control over analog movement, I use a gamepad. Examples being platformers like Tomb Raider or dual-joystick shooters like Beat Hazard.

#6 Posted by TheSeductiveMoose (3617 posts) -

Prefer M+KB for most games; I pretty much only use my controller for platformers.

#7 Posted by matthias2437 (985 posts) -

I love keyboard and mouse for most games. But some games like Super Meat Boy are pretty shitty with a keyboard and mouse.

#8 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

I'd say you're fine.

#9 Posted by Lobster_Ear (285 posts) -

If I could somehow have the accuracy of a mouse with the comfort of a controller that would be perfect because aiming with a controller suuuucks once you've experienced it with a mouse and that alone makes m+kb better than a controller in most cases.

#10 Posted by Vercinger (48 posts) -

If a game has poor KB+mouse controls, I just uninstall it and move on. I don't see any reason to learn how to operate a new peripheral just because a few game developers are lazy.

#11 Posted by mlarrabee (2920 posts) -

I grew up on M+KB. But now more and more games are primary-platform on consoles, leaving the PC controls with something to be desired. So my vote is for the nonexistent "It's complete, but own one just in case."

#12 Posted by FavoritoBandito (170 posts) -

I use to feel like if a game played bad with mouse and keyboard on PC it wasn't worth playing, but with how simple the Xbox game pad works with most games I feel like it's an invaluable tool in certain situations. I'm not about to play Dirt 3 with a keyboard.

#13 Posted by Branthog (7510 posts) -

Never used a console controller on a computer and don't know why I ever would. If a game needs a console controller to be usable, it should probably just as well be played on a console.

#14 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

More and more games are being developed with controllers in mind, but I can't see how a controller is inherently better. It has less buttons, and a mouse will nearly always be more responsive than an analogue stick if you play shooters. Also, you can actually make use of your ring and pinky fingers.

#15 Posted by Spoonman671 (4595 posts) -

I've been considering buying a controller for my PC, but I usually just figure I'll play it on my PS3 instead.  I might have to pick one up soon though, since I want to play The Witcher 2, and I understand that it's a bit smoother with a controller.

#16 Posted by Korwin (2844 posts) -

I'll switch between them. That's one of the best things about the PC, being able to use the right tool for the right job. If i'm playing a properly put together FPS or an RTS I can use a mouse and keyboard, if i'm playing something like Batman or Darksiders out comes the game pad.

#17 Edited by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

Since I got a wired 360 controller I'd say that I use it between 60 and 70 percent of the time. Most games are now designed to be played this way.

That said, I was very unhappy to find that Singularity feels really bad with a mouse. In cases where MKB makes sense, I don't see that developers have any excuse not to implement it properly.

#18 Posted by GJSmitty (651 posts) -

Since I've primarily used Mouse and Keyboard my whole life, the only times that I think that gamepads are better are in racing games and really bad ports

#19 Posted by canucks23 (1087 posts) -

Eh... Some games control better with a gamepad, but kb/m is usually fine for most of those. It's nice to have, but not essential.

#20 Edited by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

@Vercinger said:

If a game has poor KB+mouse controls, I just uninstall it and move on. I don't see any reason to learn how to operate a new peripheral just because a few game developers are lazy.

As a dude that is working on a project in his spare time that requires a 360 controller, I assure you this isn't a matter of laziness. I have spent nights agonizing over ways of adding KBM support, but there is simply no way to do it without radically altering the game.

The basic problem in my case, and in many other games with poor KBM support, is that I need to give the player instantaneous cartesian analog control over 2 things at once. This is absurdly easy with a controller (it has 2 sticks y'all) but virtually impossible with KBM.

It's kind of silly to expect that an interface designed for general computing will also be practical for all video games. That expectation places some pretty severe restrictions on design that would stop a great many games from ever getting out the door.

#21 Posted by Claude (16255 posts) -

I use a dual analog controller if it feels more comfortable and controls better. Hell, when I played San Andreas on the PC, I used KB+mouse while on foot and a gamepad for driving. The flow worked like a charm and made my gamepad feel like a car. I also enjoyed the gamepad for the Witcher 2. I was surprised how well it was implemented. To me, it's just part of the cool shit PCs can do, so versatile.

#22 Posted by Demoskinos (14753 posts) -

Some games are meant for KB&M FPS games... Strategy games... etc... Some games are enhanced for sure with a controller like Saints Row 3 and Bastion but... honestly I'd rather play KB&M most of the time. I like having a different experience with the PC. The different controls are part of that experience.

#23 Edited by btags (12 posts) -

I find that some games are more immersive with a controller. I have just started playing the witcher 2 and switched to using my wired controller instead of mouse and keyboard because I couldn't stand the sudden shifts in direction when moving with wasd.

#24 Posted by Hunkulese (2695 posts) -

@Branthog said:

Never used a console controller on a computer and don't know why I ever would. If a game needs a console controller to be usable, it should probably just as well be played on a console.

That doesn't make any sense at all and is typical PC elitist bullshit.

#25 Posted by benspyda (2033 posts) -

I'm not much of an MMO player and I tend to play most fps games with a controller these days so yes for sure.

#26 Posted by Rockanomics (1150 posts) -

Absolutely, sure some bad KB+M experiences can be blamed on crappy port jobs but at the same time you can plug in a 360 pad, boot up Arkham City and not only does it work flawlessly and better really, but the buttons automagically take their places in the UI.

And you can say that same story about a ton of games.

I think a lot of it has to do with my opinion that there's just more of those kinds of games available on the PC now that benefit from analog movement.

#27 Posted by CrazyBagMan (839 posts) -

I wouldn't be caught dead playing a racing game with a keyboard, but anything else I can think of works fine.

#28 Edited by fuzzybunny566 (451 posts) -

@Korwin said:

I'll switch between them. That's one of the best things about the PC, being able to use the right tool for the right job. If i'm playing a properly put together FPS or an RTS I can use a mouse and keyboard, if i'm playing something like Batman or Darksiders out comes the game pad.

this.

and what about a joystick? hell, if i still played my Sierra NASCAR games i'd use the joystick every race for comfort and control on the ovals. using a gamepad for stock cars is kinda tough, even when i tried the playstation NASCAR games.

#29 Posted by Vercinger (48 posts) -

@nintendoeats said:

@Vercinger said:

If a game has poor KB+mouse controls, I just uninstall it and move on. I don't see any reason to learn how to operate a new peripheral just because a few game developers are lazy.

As a dude that is working on a project in his spare time that requires a 360 controller, I assure you this isn't a matter of laziness. I have spent nights agonizing over ways of adding KBM support, but there is simply no way to do it without radically altering the game.

The basic problem in my case, and in many other games with poor KBM support, is that I need to give the player instantaneous cartesian analog control over 2 things at once. This is absurdly easy with a controller (it has 2 sticks y'all) but virtually impossible with KBM.

It's kind of silly to expect that an interface designed for general computing will also be practical for all video games. That expectation places some pretty severe restrictions on design that would stop a great many games from ever getting out the door.

Interesting. But I don't recall ever encountering a game that requires such a thing. Can you give me an example?

That aside, the only reason I can think of to have a controller is driving. But only until we get keyboards that measure how far down we've pushed a key.

#30 Edited by ShiftyMagician (2129 posts) -

One of the PC's main strengths is you are not limited in what kind of physical interface you have to use to control any program. So of course the experience isn't complete without some sort of controller peripheral. Depending on your tastes it isn't a must-have item, but it is very useful to play games that were tailor-made to be controlled with a controller instead of the usual Keyboard and Mouse.

As an example, I always prefer racing games with a regular controller to get more precise analogue steering controls (of course a steering wheel is better but I hardly have enough racing games to warrant getting one).

#31 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

@Vercinger: Try any 3D platformer or stealth game. You want analog control of both the camera and your character at all times. There are also dual stick shooters...they have dual stick right in the name. Controlling them with a mouse is a drastically different experience that can be acceptable in some scenarios but is awful in others. On top of that are games like Rise to Honor that have combat systems built around moving with one stick and attacking with the other (props to BatmanAA for adapting such a system to KBM surprisingly well). Then we have games like SMB that require precision that just isn't feasible on less than very expensive keyboards, which ties in to my next point...

Fighting games in particular don't really adapt to nonstandard configurations...and EVERY keyboard is a nonstandard configuration. some are flat, some are curved, some have keys that stick way out, some have a number pad etc etc etc. there is really no way to make a traditional fighting game that will feel right on any keyboard. Would you rather go hunting for a keyboard that feels right for one single game, or just get the standardized controller that was designed with such a thing in mind (360 d-pad shittiness not withstanding)?

#32 Posted by Ubersmake (754 posts) -

I say yes, but it really depends on the game. That said, the greatest strength, and weakness, of the PC platform has been the ability for gamers to play their games however the hell they want. Developers that embrace this are usually praised. Developers that don't usually put out shoddy ports that don't recognize that PC gamers do want to be able to tinker with settings. Accessibility is great, but don't lock that stuff out.

There's a thread around here where some duder got the Old Republic to work with a PS3 controller. Although I'd never play it with a controller, the fact that this is possible is pretty effing awesome, and it's something that would be heavily restricted or quite expensive on a console.

Also, this has gotten me through nearly a decade of gaming, and I still plug it in from time to time: http://www.logitech.com/en-us/441/288

#33 Posted by Branthog (7510 posts) -

@Hunkulese said:

@Branthog said:

Never used a console controller on a computer and don't know why I ever would. If a game needs a console controller to be usable, it should probably just as well be played on a console.

That doesn't make any sense at all and is typical PC elitist bullshit.

How does it not make any sense? If a game needs a console controller to be played well, I just play it on the console. The same way a game that needs a keyboard and mouse to really thrive (some of the more poorly done attempts at RTS and strategy on console, for example) isn't something I would play on a console. I would play it on the PC.

It isn't elitist to use the right tool for the right job and while having a console controller for a game on the PC may make that game playable, it's an unnecessary work around. I'll just buy the game on the console and play it there. Which, in fact, is exactly what I do.

#34 Posted by Landon (4137 posts) -

@Vercinger said:

@nintendoeats said:

@Vercinger said:

If a game has poor KB+mouse controls, I just uninstall it and move on. I don't see any reason to learn how to operate a new peripheral just because a few game developers are lazy.

As a dude that is working on a project in his spare time that requires a 360 controller, I assure you this isn't a matter of laziness. I have spent nights agonizing over ways of adding KBM support, but there is simply no way to do it without radically altering the game.

The basic problem in my case, and in many other games with poor KBM support, is that I need to give the player instantaneous cartesian analog control over 2 things at once. This is absurdly easy with a controller (it has 2 sticks y'all) but virtually impossible with KBM.

It's kind of silly to expect that an interface designed for general computing will also be practical for all video games. That expectation places some pretty severe restrictions on design that would stop a great many games from ever getting out the door.

Interesting. But I don't recall ever encountering a game that requires such a thing. Can you give me an example?

That aside, the only reason I can think of to have a controller is driving. But only until we get keyboards that measure how far down we've pushed a key.

Fast paced action games. Devil May Cry 3, for example, cannot work with KBM in any way.

I played Arkham City on PC and the keyboard setup is equally terrible. I feel sorry for the people who didn't have a gamepad for that.

#35 Posted by Landon (4137 posts) -

@Branthog said:

@Hunkulese said:

@Branthog said:

Never used a console controller on a computer and don't know why I ever would. If a game needs a console controller to be usable, it should probably just as well be played on a console.

That doesn't make any sense at all and is typical PC elitist bullshit.

How does it not make any sense? If a game needs a console controller to be played well, I just play it on the console. The same way a game that needs a keyboard and mouse to really thrive (some of the more poorly done attempts at RTS and strategy on console, for example) isn't something I would play on a console. I would play it on the PC.

It isn't elitist to use the right tool for the right job and while having a console controller for a game on the PC may make that game playable, it's an unnecessary work around. I'll just buy the game on the console and play it there. Which, in fact, is exactly what I do.

What if you want better graphics and better control? Like how Skyrim's interface doesn't really work well for KBM but clearly looks better on PC? Which one do you settle for?

#36 Posted by cinemandrew (711 posts) -

@Vercinger: So, are we to assume you're not paying for these games? It would be preposterous to uninstall a game you payed money for, just because it has "poor" keyboard and mouse controls. Also, it strikes me as lazy that you're unwilling to play a game just because you're unwilling to learn how to use a gamepad. It's not that hard. I'm sure you have more reasons, but that's the one you gave.

@Sjupp: It depends on the game. If I'm playing a game like Saint's Row or Skyrim I'll use my gamepad. If I'm playing something like Bulletstorm or Battlefield, in which precision aiming is important, I'll use mouse/keyboard. I do get annoyed when multiple actions like run/use/vault over an object are condensed to one button on a keyboard. It works fine on a gamepad, but on a keyboard, it's a little awkward at times. Both Bulletstorm and Mass Effect 2 do this, and for some reason, they picked the spacebar as the default binding. Holding the spacebar while moving forward is just not comfortable. Even so, I understand why they do it, and appreciate that they at least let me change the bindings.

#37 Posted by MikkaQ (10283 posts) -

I find gamepads better for most games but the keyboard and mouse lends well to shooters, adventure games and strategy games. Almost everything else is better with a gamepad.

#38 Posted by Dalai (7017 posts) -

With the way games are developed for consoles, a gamepad is needed for more than just specific genres. If it's a multiplatform game, I'll normally go with a gamepad, but there are exceptions to the rule.

#39 Edited by CaptainCody (1505 posts) -

@nintendoeats: I think people forget that kb/m has a massive 8 directional options ( when holding down two buttons for diagonals of course!) I played through Bastion on PC, what a fucking nightmare.

I also think the people implying FPS games are better on PC are people who just like pointing and clicking for kills because it is as pathetically easy as exiting out of a window, like this thread!

#40 Edited by scarace360 (4828 posts) -

wtf is this controller nonsense keyboard and mouse all the way.

#41 Posted by Rowr (5530 posts) -

I have a fairly even split of games better played with one than the other. I can't see any serious pc gamer disagreeing unless they play nothing but strategy and fps games.

#42 Edited by mordukai (7150 posts) -

@Enigma777 said:

KB+Mouse sucks for most games imo.

Good luck playing RTS and MMO's with a gamepad. It's like trying to drive a tank with a flower.

@Vercinger said:

If a game has poor KB+mouse controls, I just uninstall it and move on. I don't see any reason to learn how to operate a new peripheral just because a few game developers are lazy.

It took my 6 year old exactly 1 minute to learn how to operate the gamepad I bought for her.

#43 Posted by JasonR86 (9657 posts) -

There was a time when this notion used to be an oxymoron.

#44 Posted by quirkwood (183 posts) -

It really is a case of using the right tool for the job. Trying to play an RTS with a controller is stupid as is playing Mechwarrior without a joystick.

Of course all this is entirely subjective, what works for one person won't allways work for another.

#45 Posted by YukoAsho (2017 posts) -

@wemibelec90 said:

My rule usually is: If it's a game where I need some control over analog movement, I use a gamepad. Examples being platformers like Tomb Raider or dual-joystick shooters like Beat Hazard.

Oh LORD, I remember getting TR: Anniversary on PC and just fucking HATING it because of the mouse and keyboard controls. Definitely something where you need a gamepad.

FPSes on PC, however, are almost always Mouse & keyboard affairs.

#46 Posted by YukoAsho (2017 posts) -

@CrazyBagMan said:

I wouldn't be caught dead playing a racing game with a keyboard, but anything else I can think of works fine.

I'm sure Super Street Fighter IV AE isn't, er, great with mouse and keyboard...

#47 Posted by Enigma777 (6071 posts) -
@Mordukai You see the part where I said most? As in not all.

Anyways Halo Wars played great with a controller and that was a fantastic RTS.
#48 Posted by jetsetwillie (857 posts) -

i would say having the option and choice to use a controller is better than NOT having the option and choice to use a controller.

having more options and choices is always better than having less options and choices and the beauty of the PC is i can choose to play some games with a keyboard and mouse and some with a controller.

i do know some people though that refuse to use a controller on a PC as they feel that controllers are for those childrens consoles things, but those people are wankers really

#49 Posted by RIDEBIRD (1232 posts) -

Of course. I mostly use kbm, but a gamepad is a necessity.

#50 Edited by Stete (730 posts) -

Well most games these days handle well with both but there are some games that are best suited for a gamepad (much like there are some games which are best suited for a mouse and keyboard like Dragon Age and pretty much every RTS in existence). Assasin's Creed is a prime example considering that there are times where you have to hold two buttons at the same time.

So ye it would be best to get a gamepad to have a complete experience, at least now you can just get a wired 360 controller, plug it in and hey-presto it's ready to go! I remember trying to get a gamepad working in DOS and that was a goddamn gamble with every game.

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