Up For Debate - Controllers Of Choice

Written by Sam Welch on Mon, Dec 29, 2014 10:00 AM

For everyday use at least, surfing the web and the like, I’ve preferred a trackpad for quite a while now. There are two main reasons for this: First, multi-touch gestures mean I much more rarely resort to keyboard shortcuts now - and they’ve been good friends for many years, being far from cumbersome themselves. Second, whether it has a ball or a laser, sooner or later the tracking mechanism in a mouse gets gunked up with something and it’s just… eugh. It’s so dull to have to regularly tease wads of grunge out of the thing just so it’ll work. Dull.

It’s a different matter entirely when gaming, though. I found the limit of my beloved trackpad recently when I tried to play a favourite old click-and-scroll adventure and certain combinations of moving the cursor and clicking were completely impractical. [N.B. - Lucasarts’ Full Throttle is one of the best games of all time, whether or not it’s hard to play with a trackpad.] So I found myself wanting a mouse again.

This made me wonder why my instinct was to look backward to my mouse as the solution, despite it still having the problems that put me off it to begin with, rather than to look for a new solution outside of that narrow binary? As you might have guessed, nostalgic looking backwards is very in character for me, but apart from that there’s not much excuse, especially since a potentially brilliant solution has already made a polite little cough and introduction. The steam controller combines dual trackpads under the user’s thumbs in a role akin to that usually occupied by sticks, on a gamepad specifically designed to fundamentally rethink mouse-based PC gaming.

What's more - it's far from alone. As well as the huge number of existing other pad controllers, joysticks, and plasticky steering wheels, motion controls are starting to break into PC use and gaming. The Razer Hydra let us play Portal 2's Sixense In Motion DLC Pack, while Leap Motion wants our hands to let go of interaction tech entirely.

What's your favourite all-rounder? Do you have an ingenious idea for a new kind of control that you need to get out? Are you that lone eccentric who's adamant you'll never be happy steering your web browser with anything but a hefty plastic wheel that came with a decade-old racing game, and you'd like to tell us why? Friends, the floor is open.

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10:26 Dec-30-2014

Tried playing dark souls witha keyboard and mouse but the insane mouse sensitivity made it impossible to play, plugged in a controller but couldnt sprint, so basically i couldnt play at all.

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17:25 Dec-30-2014

Play with keyboard only, that's what i did

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09:56 Dec-30-2014

Logitech G27 for SimCade/simulation Racing and Driving games.
Xbox Controller for arcade racers/most 3rd person games
Razer Deathadder + Razer Blackwidow Ultimate Stealth 2014 for all shooters/1st person games

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00:25 Dec-30-2014

controllers for me differ, if I want to play a 3rd person or racing game I will use my 360 wired controller, If i want to play shooters I will use keyboard and mouse, When I use aircrafts in games like Arma 3 then I use a joystick. All make the games feel different.
Coming from a guy whom playing batman, sleeping dogs with a keyboard and mouse

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22:21 Dec-29-2014

for shooters keyboard and mouse but for games such as Gta I like using the xbox one controller it fits good in my hands and it is my favorite controller.

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21:58 Dec-29-2014

i use a 360 controller for cod and racing games

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20:01 Dec-29-2014

Keyboard or keyboard+mouse for me, i've always played like that, i played Metal Gear rising with KB+M, i played Dark souls 1 and 2 only with a keyboard, even AC II with KB+M, also fps games with KB+M...i'm a no-controller guy

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20:01 Dec-29-2014

In the past, anything for me that couldn't hit 60 fps would be played with a controller. Input lag with keyboard+mouse was horrible for me, especially in 30 fps.

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16:19 Dec-29-2014

I use keyboard & mouse to all fps games, where aiming must be perfect, and when playing third person games and racing / plattform and other kind of games on pc, i connect my xbox-360 controller.

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15:58 Dec-29-2014

Controller for racing, fighting, flying, some TP games like Assassin's creed (which I can still easily play with a mouse and keyboard). M&K for everything else though. Statistics show that using a mouse and keyboard in FPS games gives you wayy better accuracy.

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15:14 Dec-29-2014

I used to despise KB+M for gaming back when I was a kid. But about 3-4 years later, I can proudly say that I love it. I owe much of this to Skyrim. I mean seriously, without the f@#$ing awesome mods. The game was just unplayable for me on a console. Since then I find KB+M a lot better.
#masterracecontrolschemeforlife!

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12:35 Dec-31-2014

I played my first 300 hours of Skyrim on the PS3. Those save bloats and the 2 sticks of RAM issue was a killer, but I pushed through, because I loved it so much. Got my second 300 hours on PC with some pretty sweet mods. I have it stored on my SSD with two 8GB sticks of RAM, so the PS3 issues never touch me now.
I love that game so much.

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15:11 Dec-29-2014

I like any controller that has good build quality was designed for the hands of a human and not a spider monkey...

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13:53 Dec-29-2014

I'm a keyboard and mouse guy and have been since I started PC gaming back in the early 90's. But If I had to pick a controller the best controller hands down is the Wii U Pro controller with it's 60+ hour game time charge!

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13:49 Dec-29-2014

For the games i play i use K&M for about 85% of them.

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13:37 Dec-29-2014

KBM for just about everything, then I use a DS3 for driving/racing games and crappy ports.

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13:16 Dec-29-2014

How dirty is your mouse pad? I've never cleaned any of the lasers on the mice I've had, as they stay clean as is.
Anyhow, I use the Xbox360 controller (since PC doesn't support PS3 by standard, and it's too much trouble getting it to work) for action games, and a lot of third person games that are melee based like AC, DmC and even DA:I. Everything else, M+K.

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13:32 Dec-29-2014

Got my PS3 controller working easier than the Xbox controller :/ use something called SCP DS3 and it's a lot less hassle xD

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13:14 Dec-29-2014

xbox 360 wired and wireless controller ftw ;)

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11:45 Dec-29-2014

I use the DS4 to play basically anything that isn't competitive(Mostly FPS) when I feel like relaxing back in my recliner. When not well M&K is the way to go. Tho I like how FarCry 4 has the option to use PS buttons layout instead of xbox.

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11:37 Dec-29-2014

I don't have a favorite all-rounder, but I do prefer the Xbox360/ XBOne controller for FIFA, racing games and third person games that don't require aiming, such as DMC. Call me a heretic or whatever, but it just fits my hands way better than the PS3, 4 or any other controller out there.

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12:04 Jan-01-2015

my hands fit better the ps3 controller as well and it fits my hands better :D
And the PS4 controller is better than the xbox 360 and xbox one controller, IMO
Also the Xbox one controller is just uncomftrable for me, the 360 is better IMO.

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11:28 Dec-29-2014

Wow.. another "Up for Debate" :D

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11:21 Dec-29-2014

I only use controllers for sports games,everything else mouse and keyboard..

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