The mouse and keyboard. The sword and shield, sniper and shotgun, shampoo, and conditioner of gaming. They go together. They are synonymous with PC gaming, and for a good reason. Keyboard and mouse provide unparalleled utility and precision control which are vital when gaming. But what if those two were unavailable? What else could you use as a substitute?
Generally speaking, almost anything can be used as a substitute for a mouse and keyboard. Console controllers, joysticks, and even unorthodox options like guitar hero controllers can be used to play PC games.
So long as there is a way for it to plug into a USB port, most devices will work.
While absolutely perfect for flight simulator games, the joystick should probably stay in your bin labeled ’90s stuff.’ While it might be workable for shooters, I can’t even begin to imagine what playing an RPG or strategy game would be like using one.
Any modern console controller such as Xbox, Playstation, or even a generic one like the MSI Force* can work. While they don’t have the precision of a mouse or the number of button options as a keyboard, there’s something that feels so right about playing sports games with a controller in hand. Driving games also feel more natural to me using a controller rather than a keyboard and mouse.
However, I don’t recommend them for shooters. Once you get used to a mouse, it is simply untouchable by a controller analog stick in terms of precision and speed. Those two aspects are obviously vital to have in shooters.
Additionally, strategy games like the Total War series would be nigh impossible to play using a controller as there aren’t enough buttons available! For MMORPGs, keyboard and mouse are also still the go-to option as the need for several hotkeys means that console controllers will be limited.
So if your keyboard and mouse have gone missing or gotten slightly damaged because you maybe threw them in anger, fear not! There are several alternative options that you can use to get you back into the game.
However, the keyboard and mouse are kings for a reason. They are still the superior control option for PC gaming and look to be for the foreseeable future.