Gaming with a Controller vs. Mouse and Keyboard

Xbox controller and PC Keyboard

For many years, avid gamers have turned this debate back and forth trying to find the winning answer to the million-dollar question.

Which one is better: Gaming with a controller, or mouse and keyboard?

Of course, many users have their reasons why they prefer one to the other, and everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

However, if you’re looking to make a switch from any of the two options to another, then you NEED answers. What we’ll present to you in this article are facts. Facts that will help you make informed decisions and remain at the top of your gaming charts.

We will answer questions like: How does each of them fare when you pit them against the other? How will your performance be affected? Will you have to make any huge changes to your gaming experience?

You can figure all that out and more through this article. Hold on to your controller or mouse and keyboard until then.

Why a Keyboard and Mouse Provides a Better Gaming Experience

About a decade ago, a fun and harmless experiment between Microsoft gamers and Xbox gamers went wrong. The console gamers engaged in a face-off with the PC gamers, and can you guess what happened?

PC gamers played better and won more games than Xbox gamers during almost all the sessions. This was not only humiliating for the players, but Xbox also pulled out of the project too, and it came to an end quickly.

There are many reasons why PC gamers kept topping the leaderboard when matched against controller gamers. See some of them below:

  1. Precision aiming: Pro gamers know there’s a huge difference when it comes to using a mouse and keyboard for precision-aiming than a controller. Doubt it? Try to aim at a small point with a controller, then try doing the same with a mouse. It is more precise, it is faster, and when it comes to gaming, timing is everything.
  2. Hotkeys/Key binds: This is one of the sweetest benefits of using a keyboard to play games. You can choose your preferred action keys as it suits you or you are comfortable with. For instance, many players love to use the WASD keys to move characters during gaming sessions. Others prefer the ESDF keys; whatever is more accessible to them. Using a keyboard allows you to modify the keys in whichever way is convenient for you.
  3. Macros: Although this takes a little time to get it set up, the benefits are worth it in the end. Macros function like hotkeys, but this time, you can program more than one command or action per hotkey. So, instead of carrying out one simple task, you can get in a lot more action just by tapping one key.

Setting up your macro key to perform many actions in a particular order, for instance, actions you would carry out when fighting can save you time and give you the upper hand during gaming. It is important to keep in mind that using macros in most cases may be categorized as cheating, if you’re competing online.

A Keyboard & Mouse is Better, But Harder to Master

One of the key aspects of gaming is inputs. Typically, controllers have about 20 inputs, while keyboards have 80-100. However, the ergonomics of controllers make it difficult to input the 20 available for use.

This makes carrying out major, complex gaming actions become difficult to carry out and fast too. On the other hand, the keyboard is easy and allows you to perform more competitively on top, fast-paced games. 

Getting all actions carried out on the controller takes more time and effort. Meanwhile, a single key on the keyboard can do numerous tasks in quick succession (if allowed). A mouse still offers more freedom and control over movement than a controller when it comes to aiming.

It allows you to move freely, wherever without restrictions. However, on a controller, you may need to adjust your angle or push in a certain direction to get a good aim. Controller players, however, prefer to stick with their knowledge of playing with the controller than learn new methods like the mouse and keyboard.

They require more skill and more hours of practice, and many controllers cannot simply risk playing poorly while learning to aim with a mouse. So, they stick to their controller method, which they are used to.

Pros and Cons of Controller

Using a controller has its advantages and disadvantages. Check them out below:


  • Controllers, especially wireless controllers, are portable and easier to move around than a mouse and keyboard. They can go anywhere.
  • They are more comfortable and designed for playing games.
  • Depending on the type of gameplay, they may give you an added advantage. Sometimes the analog buttons and joysticks give you better precision for specific games.
  • Changing camera angles is easy.
  • Controllers allow for continuous motion


  • It is difficult to select specific units as fast as a mouse
  • Not all games support joystick
  • It may cause wrist pain

Pros and Cons of Mouse and Keyboard

Here are the benefits and challenges with using a mouse and keyboard


  • The mouse offers you speed and better precision.
  • You can select units faster to carry out attacks during a battle.
  • Gaming with a mouse is more intuitive than with a controller
  • Using a mouse and keyboard allows you to perform more actions in one go with hotkeys and macro


  • To get a good camera angle, you may need to move the mouse around a lot.
  • It is a lot slower to zoom in and out.
  • You cannot turn from a particular distance when you are at one point of the monitor.
  • They often confine you to a desk and a table, unlike with a controller where you can play from your couch.

Comparing the Controls of Both

The most common argument in terms of control is that controllers are better suited for gaming than mouse and keyboard. You can play for hours on a controller with its simple ergonomic build, unlike the other option.

Also, players think that the accuracy of controller inputs is better than mouse and keyboard binary input. Although analog controllers may lack the speed and precision of the mouse, they are more consistent and allow for continuous gameplay.

Deciding by Game Type

Different gamers have specific control preferences when it comes to the game to be played. Gamers who enjoy vehicle-based games like Rocket League or precise movement games like Dark Souls find themselves reaching for their controllers.

On the other hand, games that require precision aiming, first-person shooter, role-playing, and turn-based simulations perform best when playing with a mouse and keyboard.

Final Thoughts

Based on the facts presented, we conclude that there is no definite winner among both options. However, your proficiency with them can become more improved if you take enough time to learn, especially with the mouse and keyboard.

You need time and commitment to become better at your game, regardless of any of the options you choose. If you’d like to make a switch, be patient with yourself and remember that learning is not a day’s job. Look for specific areas of gameplay you’d love to improve on and keep working at it till you’re excellent at your game.

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