One of the great innovations of the early 2000s era of video games was the introduction of rumble. This groundbreaking tech elevated the immersion of games by allowing us to feel more of the action we see on our screens.
As the years have gone by, rumble has become a staple of the gaming industry and, as a result, has also made its way into PC gaming.
What is Rumble in Video Games?
Rumble refers to physical feedback you feel in your controller. Games that have this coded into them will translate actions happening on screen into vibrations on your gamepad. Typical actions include the following:
- Getting hit, shot, or otherwise damaged by enemies
- Environmental actions such as explosions, energy auras, and earthquakes
- Simulating natural forces such as gravity pulling down and bumps on the road
Rumble technology has only gotten better over the years. Today, it’s more than just simple vibrations. Through small motors, game designers can use controller haptic feedback to simulate the feel of objects in your hands. They can even emulate the feeling of raindrops falling on your character’s body.
Overall, rumble has been a cornerstone of improving immersion in video games. It was initially pioneered on consoles which had controllers designed for the tech. But what about PC games?
Do PC Games Have Rumble?
In short, yes. PC games these days do support rumble and haptic feedback. All you need is a game-controlling device that has the necessary tech and you’re good to go. There isn’t anything extra you need to do to make rumble work on most of your PC games.
If you’re using a controller that supports rumble, but you’re not getting any vibrations, then you’ll need to check your game’s settings. The majority of PC games likely have haptic feedback or rumble switched off. So, go into your options menu, turn that bad boy on and you’ll be ready to enjoy more immersion in your games.
What Controllers Support Rumble in PC Games?
There is a great deal of rumble-enabled controllers that support PC game rumble. A quick rule of thumb is that all first-party console gamepads (ie. Playstation, Xbox, and Switch) have rumble and haptic feedback technology. So, if you own a modern console, you have a vibrating controller.
Here’s a list of console gamepads that support rumble and are compatible with most gaming platforms including Steam:
- DualSense (PS5)
- DualShock 4 (PS4)
- Xbox One controller
- Xbox Series X/S controller
- Joycon (Nintendo Switch)
- Switch Pro Controller
If you don’t own a console, you can still buy any of the above controllers separately. Alternatively, you can look into buying a gamepad from a reputable company such as Logitech, Razer, 8Bitdo, and PowerA.
Do Gaming Mouses Have Rumble?
Rumble and haptic feedback are primarily the domain of controllers and gamepads. Unfortunately, that hasn’t translated as well in the keyboard and mouse department. The reason for that is quite simple. A vibrating mouse is likely going to through you off your game.
Imagine playing an FPS, and while you’re trying to aim, you start getting shot, causing your mouse to vibrate. As you try to aim in retaliation, you’ll be fighting against the rumble to get a solid shot. Before you know it, you’ll have lost the fight.
In other words, moving a mouse requires more accurate movements. Vibrations don’t play well with that. So, there hasn’t been a big appetite for mice with haptic feedback. That being said, SteelSeries does make the Rival 700 which does have forced feedback.