Learning curve when moving from controller to keyboard and mouse

Nvidiaguy07

Platinum Member
Feb 22, 2008
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I have played many games on PC, but for the most part, i play everything on my 360, or just use a controller with a PC. I have heard it from numerious people on here to just suck it up and learn how to use a keyboard and mouse, and that a controller will never compare.

The games I have played with keyboard and mouse have been very basic, so my skills arent the best. Im usually fine with WASD, and can move around fine, but when it comes to putting moves together i start to suck. (jumping and crouching through windows in half-life, sprinting and hiding behind walls, executing commands. I basically dont like to let my fingers off the same spots.

Any tips or advice you would give to a noob like myself?

I also considered buying a gaming mouse with a bunch of buttons on it, but would this be considered kind of cheap? Would hardcore gamers scoff at the idea of having a bunch of actions tied to mouse buttons?

For example, i remember mapping jump to middle-click when i first played HL2 a long time ago. I guess it helped a little, but am i just better off getting used to using spacebar? since its universally jump in almost every PC game?

How long until I can expect to really get used to K+B? I would like eventually get good enough where i can play multiplayer and be competitive, but right now I get dominated pretty bad whenever i play any PC game online. (im decent at nexuiz, but i might be playing against people even worse than myself - so who knows)
 
Oct 25, 2006
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It's a video game, not some sort of exam to be studied for.

Is it so hard to, you know, play the damn game and figure it out yourself?
 

VulgarDisplay

Diamond Member
Apr 3, 2009
6,193
2
76
Just learn by playing. I always keep spacebar as my jump key.

The main advice I can give to someone struggling with mouse and keyboard is to just play the game until it becomes second nature.

Also, the majority of great FPS players use a low mouse sensitivity. There are exceptions to this rule of course, but when I first started getting competitive and hanging around a crowd of better players I got a config file from one of the better cod 1 players and it was an epiphany seeing how low his sensitivity was. Ever since then I've played at low sensitivity and have become a great FPS player.

I think it's easier to build muscle memory for mouse movements at lower sensitivity. I'm averaging 23% accuracy in BF3 which is just below the cutoff of about 25% where people start calling hacks.
 

sigurros81

Platinum Member
Nov 30, 2010
2,371
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It's a video game, not some sort of exam to be studied for.

Is it so hard to, you know, play the damn game and figure it out yourself?

Unlike this douche, I'll try and be at least helpful.

My recommendation is to get a few great FPS with good single player campaigns and play that with mouse and keyboard, it'll help curb your frustration from getting killed online. Steam always have great sales for older FPS games.

As for gaming mouse, there are a lot out there that I don't know much about, but my mouse that I use that I absolutely love is the Logitech G500, it's only 60 bucks on Amazon.com and it's by far the best mouse I've ever used. It's good to have a lot of buttons, because some games I play, I actually have to resort to a lot of those buttons.

One recommendation that I think is pretty important that most gamers don't consider is that WASD is not as practical as using ESDF. The reason being that scooting to the right allows for more keys to be bound that you can utilize with your left pinky finger, so before you get too comfortable with WASD, I'd suggest using ESDF.

As far as key bindings go, I think it comes down to personal preference. Me personally, I have my right mouse as jump and spacebar as crouch for most of my games.

It probably won't take you long to get used to the setup, after beating a campaign in a game is probably when you'll get the hang of it. I believe Crysis 2 is on sale right now.

I wouldn't write off your controller either, some games still work better with a controller than mouse and keyboard, especially 3rd person games like Assassin's Creed.
 
Oct 25, 2006
11,036
11
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Unlike this douche, I'll try and be at least helpful.

My recommendation is to get a few great FPS with good single player campaigns and play that with mouse and keyboard, it'll help curb your frustration from getting killed online. Steam always have great sales for older FPS games.

As for gaming mouse, there are a lot out there that I don't know much about, but my mouse that I use that I absolutely love is the Logitech G500, it's only 60 bucks on Amazon.com and it's by far the best mouse I've ever used. It's good to have a lot of buttons, because some games I play, I actually have to resort to a lot of those buttons.

One recommendation that I think is pretty important that most gamers don't consider is that WASD is not as practical as using ESDF. The reason being that scooting to the right allows for more keys to be bound that you can utilize with your left pinky finger, so before you get too comfortable with WASD, I'd suggest using ESDF.

As far as key bindings go, I think it comes down to personal preference. Me personally, I have my right mouse as jump and spacebar as crouch for most of my games.

It probably won't take you long to get used to the setup, after beating a campaign in a game is probably when you'll get the hang of it. I believe Crysis 2 is on sale right now.

I wouldn't write off your controller either, some games still work better with a controller than mouse and keyboard, especially 3rd person games like Assassin's Creed.

Sometimes, telling the truth requires you to be a douche because there is no other way to get the across the inanity of the question.

Also, I answered the damn question. You play the game and play to your personal preference. If I could roll heads in CS 1.6 as a kid, I'm pretty sure that anyone older than 8 can figure out a keyboard pretty quickly.
 

Nvidiaguy07

Platinum Member
Feb 22, 2008
2,844
4
81
Just learn by playing. I always keep spacebar as my jump key.

The main advice I can give to someone struggling with mouse and keyboard is to just play the game until it becomes second nature.

Also, the majority of great FPS players use a low mouse sensitivity. There are exceptions to this rule of course, but when I first started getting competitive and hanging around a crowd of better players I got a config file from one of the better cod 1 players and it was an epiphany seeing how low his sensitivity was. Ever since then I've played at low sensitivity and have become a great FPS player.

I think it's easier to build muscle memory for mouse movements at lower sensitivity. I'm averaging 23% accuracy in BF3 which is just below the cutoff of about 25% where people start calling hacks.

I think as far as aiming and all that, im decent, and i know ill get better the more i play. My biggest problem is learning extra key combos, and things like running/jumping/crouching/lying prone.

Right now it just seems so unnatural to reach all the way down for shift or control, when im used to just left joystick clicking, or holding a button on a controller.

Even just playing a game like 40K: space marine, i tried playing with the keyboard and had a hell of a time moving around, alternating between sprinting, rolling, slashing, and all that.

Something that is just running around and shooting like Nexuiz is about all i can handle right now. Im just worried that because I have so much experience on the gamepad vs K+B that Ill never get good enough to be competitive online in multiplayer = no fun, and a waste of time to learn in the first place.

Im pretty competitive in COD on 360, and my K/D at worst is 1:1. Anything worse than that i can see myself just getting frustrated and not wanting to play anymore.

Even a game like Mass Effect seemed pretty tough with K+B with sprinting, crouching, hiding against walls, and all that. Which made me want to consider a mouse with 6+buttons on it.
 

sigurros81

Platinum Member
Nov 30, 2010
2,371
0
0
Sometimes, telling the truth requires you to be a douche because there is no other way to get the across the inanity of the question.

Also, I answered the damn question. You play the game and play to your personal preference. If I could roll heads in CS 1.6 as a kid, I'm pretty sure that anyone older than 8 can figure out a keyboard pretty quickly.

While you think you're being helpful, you come off as being a complete jackass, but that's what the internet is about right, people with bad social skills are able to fully express themselves without repercussions.

And to say anyone older than 8 can figure out mouse and keyboard only shows how little you know. It's much harder for an adult to sharpen their motor skills compared to a developing preteen/teen.
 

Nvidiaguy07

Platinum Member
Feb 22, 2008
2,844
4
81
Unlike this douche, I'll try and be at least helpful.

My recommendation is to get a few great FPS with good single player campaigns and play that with mouse and keyboard, it'll help curb your frustration from getting killed online. Steam always have great sales for older FPS games.

As for gaming mouse, there are a lot out there that I don't know much about, but my mouse that I use that I absolutely love is the Logitech G500, it's only 60 bucks on Amazon.com and it's by far the best mouse I've ever used. It's good to have a lot of buttons, because some games I play, I actually have to resort to a lot of those buttons.

One recommendation that I think is pretty important that most gamers don't consider is that WASD is not as practical as using ESDF. The reason being that scooting to the right allows for more keys to be bound that you can utilize with your left pinky finger, so before you get too comfortable with WASD, I'd suggest using ESDF.

As far as key bindings go, I think it comes down to personal preference. Me personally, I have my right mouse as jump and spacebar as crouch for most of my games.

It probably won't take you long to get used to the setup, after beating a campaign in a game is probably when you'll get the hang of it. I believe Crysis 2 is on sale right now.

I wouldn't write off your controller either, some games still work better with a controller than mouse and keyboard, especially 3rd person games like Assassin's Creed.

I have a MX518 right now, which im happy with, but maybe ill try out the G500 for the buttons. How common is it for people to use this ESDF setup? Just by quickly trying it, it seems more natural if im trying to reach the bottom left of my keyboard with my pinky.

If you have right mouse as jump, then what do you use to aim?

I have been using a controller for PC games until now, but it kinda sucks because i can never play online with it. Im trying to ween myself off of always using controller.

Sometimes, telling the truth requires you to be a douche because there is no other way to get the across the inanity of the question.

Also, I answered the damn question. You play the game and play to your personal preference. If I could roll heads in CS 1.6 as a kid, I'm pretty sure that anyone older than 8 can figure out a keyboard pretty quickly.

Maybe some tips or advice from a community or gamers might help? I have played a few games with K+B, and i suck, so im looking for tips or advice to help.

And you mentioning your skills at 6 only makes my point more valid. You grew up with K+B, i grew up with a controller. Teach a 40 year old how to play video games and a 6 year old, which one do you think will eventually be better?

I learned how to speak english when i was just a few years old, how fucking hard could it be for an adult who speaks spanish to learn english? :rolleyes:
 

thespyder

Golden Member
Aug 31, 2006
1,979
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In my experience, it depends on the game and the player. For instance, when I tried playing KoA:R with KB&M, it was horrible for me. Figuring how to run or duck or block or dodge, it was just clunky on the KB&M. then I booted up my Xbox Controller and it was night and day difference. On the other hand, Skyrim was natural and intuitive with KB&M (for me).

But it comes down to four things.

First is it is a game. If you aren't having fun with it then (either it's a crap game or) you aren't doing something right. Don't play some way that someone else says if that way doesn't give you as much fun as your way.

Second, not every KB&M/Controller scheme is perfectly executed. Some games are designed around the Controller (consolized) and that is where the finesse was done. other require a lot of extra abilities and the KB&M scheme is just all around better.

Third, you get MUCH finer control with KB&M. But then console games have auto target assist. Personally, I find games like Crysis 2 horrible on the console because my ranged target shot is just so much easier on the KB&M.

Finally, who cares if the scheme that works for you is the same one that other players use? If it works for you, go with it. Don't feel that you have to have "A true gamer's approval" on the scheme that you use. Just use what works for you. If that means a complex mouse go for it. Personally I swear by Trackball. I am in the minority in that regard. But it works best for me.

Just my two cents.
 

Childs

Lifer
Jul 9, 2000
11,450
7
81
I think as far as aiming and all that, im decent, and i know ill get better the more i play. My biggest problem is learning extra key combos, and things like running/jumping/crouching/lying prone.

Right now it just seems so unnatural to reach all the way down for shift or control, when im used to just left joystick clicking, or holding a button on a controller.

Shift and control should be hit with the pinky. Space bar with your thumb. c or x with index finger, and I use my middle finger for z or x. You should get one of the CODs that have an obstacle course and just do it for a bit until it feels good. Or just play the COD games. Pretty soon you wont even think about it. hehe...I had look to see what my fingers do to write this. Whats messed up is when you put your hands on a keyboard to type something and they go into WASD mode by default.
 

irishScott

Lifer
Oct 10, 2006
21,568
3
0
This isn't some complicated art, you're not learning how to play the piano. If you can type, you can play a keyboard/mouse video game.

The coordination will come with time. Speaking as a PC gamer who was never allowed a console as a kid, I always sucked with analog finger-joysticks until I got to college and spent about a month playing Halo on my roomate's 360. I didn't whine and bitch on internet forums about how I was afraid that some number on some server that supposedly represents how good I am at a game would suffer. I played Halo, got killed a lot, and eventually was rocking headshots with those analog fuckers.

Have you ever had to adapt to a new controller when upgrading to a new console? This is no different, it's just the most powerful controller available. Too much for you to handle? I mastered it playing Starcraft and various shooters in 6th grade.
 
Oct 25, 2006
11,036
11
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I have a MX518 right now, which im happy with, but maybe ill try out the G500 for the buttons. How common is it for people to use this ESDF setup? Just by quickly trying it, it seems more natural if im trying to reach the bottom left of my keyboard with my pinky.

If you have right mouse as jump, then what do you use to aim?

I have been using a controller for PC games until now, but it kinda sucks because i can never play online with it. Im trying to ween myself off of always using controller.



Maybe some tips or advice from a community or gamers might help? I have played a few games with K+B, and i suck, so im looking for tips or advice to help.

And you mentioning your skills at 6 only makes my point more valid. You grew up with K+B, i grew up with a controller. Teach a 40 year old how to play video games and a 6 year old, which one do you think will eventually be better?

I learned how to speak english when i was just a few years old, how fucking hard could it be for an adult who speaks spanish to learn english? :rolleyes:

There are no tips that are worth talking about. That's like asking, what tips do you have for learning how to drive a car? Sure there are little details and stuff you can say, but its an inane question. You learn to drive a car by driving the damn car, there is no point in "tips" when you don't have the basic skills ingrained in the first place.

In the same line of thought, you learn to play with a Kb/M by playing with the KB/M. Play some counterstrike, play Starcraft, just play games. It's not an exam to be practiced for. You play,have fun, get better, Simple.

Everyone has difference preferences for their setup so find yours.

While you think you're being helpful, you come off as being a complete jackass, but that's what the internet is about right, people with bad social skills are able to fully express themselves without repercussions.

And to say anyone older than 8 can figure out mouse and keyboard only shows how little you know. It's much harder for an adult to sharpen their motor skills compared to a developing preteen/teen.

Your self righteousness bores me.
 
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Nvidiaguy07

Platinum Member
Feb 22, 2008
2,844
4
81
This isn't some complicated art, you're not learning how to play the piano. If you can type, you can play a keyboard/mouse video game.

The coordination will come with time. Speaking as a PC gamer who was never allowed a console as a kid, I always sucked with analog finger-joysticks until I got to college and spent about a month playing Halo on my roomate's 360. I didn't whine and bitch on internet forums about how I was afraid that some number on some server that supposedly represents how good I am at a game would suffer. I played Halo, got killed a lot, and eventually got competitive.

Have you ever had to adapt to a new controller when upgrading to a new console? This is no different, it's just the most powerful controller available. Too much for you to handle? I mastered it playing Starcraft and various shooters in 6th grade.

No offense, but a gamepad is pretty straightforward, no customizing, no different setups, just grab it and play. I started the thread because theres different ways to use the keyboard and mouse.

Like i said before, the 6th grade argument is completely irrelevant. Im sure if I started using K+B to game with, i would be fine with it, and would probably have something of use to contribute to this thread instead of just saying how easy K+B is.

On a separate point. Why are PC gamers such elitists when it comes to K+B? Tell them you like gamepad, there offended. ask for advice - its simple just do it. Sorry I didn't grow up playing PC games, and none of my friends play PC games, so i have no point of reference, and no one to emulate.
 

Nvidiaguy07

Platinum Member
Feb 22, 2008
2,844
4
81
There are no tips that are worth talking about. That's like asking, what tips do you have for learning how to drive a car? Sure there are little details and stuff you can say, but its an inane question. You learn to drive a car by driving the damn car, there is no point in "tips" when you don't have the basic skills ingrained in the first place.

In the same line of thought, you learn to play with a Kb/M by playing with the KB/M. Play some counterstrike, play Starcraft, just play games. It's not an exam to be practiced for. You play,have fun, get better, Simple.

Everyone has difference preferences for their setup so find yours.

There have already been some mentioned, so clearly there are. And yes i do have to basic skills, just kinda suck with other commands - like i mentioned.

I asked if its a good idea to get a mouse with buttons, or would that be kind of missing the point.
 

Childs

Lifer
Jul 9, 2000
11,450
7
81
A mouse with two larger buttons on the side would be useful. I use the closest button for melee, but dont use the farthest one because of the way I grip the mouse. I use a claw grip (use finger tip and thumb to hold the mouse, and two fingers for the buttons. Hunting for buttons makes the mouse move more than I want it to. Any more than one button might be more hassle than its worth depending on your grip. For and RTS or MMO more buttons might make sense.
 
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irishScott

Lifer
Oct 10, 2006
21,568
3
0
No offense, but a gamepad is pretty straightforward, no customizing, no different setups, just grab it and play. I started the thread because theres different ways to use the keyboard and mouse.

Like i said before, the 6th grade argument is completely irrelevant. Im sure if I started using K+B to game with, i would be fine with it, and would probably have something of use to contribute to this thread instead of just saying how easy K+B is.

On a separate point. Why are PC gamers such elitists when it comes to K+B? Tell them you like gamepad, there offended. ask for advice - its simple just do it. Sorry I didn't grow up playing PC games, and none of my friends play PC games, so i have no point of reference, and no one to emulate.

Huh? There are multiple configurations for gamepads, and multiple controllers. You can flip to southpaw among others and mods sometimes allow for even more. Also analog joysticks inherent to most controllers require far more fine motor skills than a mouse/keyboard (unless you have your mouse sensitivity/DPI sky-high).

The only advantage to controllers is that they're simple enough to just mash random buttons and play the game on a basic level. KB/M often requires looking up commands in game, and remembering them. The latter usually isn't a problem after playing a game for a few hours, cause if it's even a minor function you'll have used it 100 times or more.

You learned to type. Same concepts apply to playing KB/M games, only about 100x simpler. Push this button, it does that. Push this button, it does something else. Move the mouse this much, the targeting reticle moves that much on-screen. Do it enough and it becomes second nature. Figure out what works for your hands. Do I really have to suggest using the middle 3 fingers for WASD as opposed to tapping your left index finger on one key at a time? Because that's essentially what you're asking for.


Bottom line is you're seriously over-thinking this. There is no standardized keyboard technique. There are commonalities between games (ie: WASD for movement) but it usually falls to you to figure out what works best for your hands. So play the game and give it 5 minutes of thought. Some finger combo feel weird? Go re-map the keys to something more natural. It may be entirely unique to you, but that's great!

Also, the keyboard/mouse is simply is the most powerful controller by virtue of having the most available functions. It's also the primary reason there are no effective RTS games on consoles, and no console-PC tournaments (because the KB/M guys would own).
 
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Throckmorton

Lifer
Aug 23, 2007
16,830
3
0
Remap the keys. I find the normal ones inconvenient. How the hell are you supposed to reach ctrl to crouch? I use caps lock for crouch, alt for prone. That way your fingers stay on WASD
 

Nvidiaguy07

Platinum Member
Feb 22, 2008
2,844
4
81
Remap the keys. I find the normal ones inconvenient. How the hell are you supposed to reach ctrl to crouch? I use caps lock for crouch, alt for prone. That way your fingers stay on WASD

Yes this probably will help, im just of the mindset that if im going to learn how to use K+B that i should do it right, and i thought that re-mapping keys and things like that kind of takes away from the games original intentions. I kind of think if they designed it that way, that i should take the time to learn it that way then.

In any case its good to hear that many people customize their layout, which is what ill probably to to help with running/crouching (my biggest problems).

I mean, Im gonna go out on a limb and say that the complete WRONG way to play a game like BF3 or COD would be to get a mouse with a bunch of buttons and program them all to whatever function.
 

Childs

Lifer
Jul 9, 2000
11,450
7
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I mean, Im gonna go out on a limb and say that the complete WRONG way to play a game like BF3 or COD would be to get a mouse with a bunch of buttons and program them all to whatever function.

Theres no wrong way, using the default layouts means you can move from game to game with little to no thought. I know people who spend an hour setting up their configuration, then have to refer to the customization screen to see what is set to what. If you can keep it straight in your head and dont mind spending the time to customize, it shouldnt be an issue.
 

kylebisme

Diamond Member
Mar 25, 2000
9,396
0
0
Yeah, I recommend changing the movement keys from WASD to ESDF, or IJKL for lefties like me, since it puts your hand in the home keys position. If you're competent at touch typing then you'll already know where all the keys are without having to look, and just have to remember what functions you've bound to each key. Such a configuration also has the added bonus over WASD of giving you more keys in easy reach of the pinky. Granted, you'll have to do a lot of rebinding in every game you play, but I contend the results are worth the effort.

In regard to the issue of crouch-jumping, I'm a proponent of the old-school mouse2 for jump and spacebar for crouch. Of course newer games usually use mouse2 for aiming, but wherever your pinky naturally rests is good replacement postion for that. As for the rest of the commands, I recommend just going with whatever seems logical to you, and switch things around as the need arises.