Playing Skyrim with a Mouse vs Controller

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Updated December 2, 2022

If you’re looking for a premium computer mouse, you may wonder about the Skyrim controller vs. mouse and keyboard debate. Using a top-end gaming mouse setup seems like common sense for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, but some players prefer a controller layout. So, before diving into Tamriel’s world, read about the difference between playing Skyrim with a mouse vs. a controller.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • A mouse and keyboard setup is your best choice for Skyrim on PC due to the number of inputs and the steadiness of movement.
  • Mouse and keyboard players have a wide variety of button mapping and custom layout options compared to the console gaming community.
  • Some players find console controllers more comfortable than a mouse and keyboard.

Since Skyrim isn’t a competitive online title, the choice isn’t as critical as the For Honor mouse vs. controller discussion. Additionally, considering whether playing Star Citizen with a joystick vs. mouse can help you find a comfortable input method across different hardware.

Insider Tip

You can use a USB keyboard to communicate and trade on Elder Scrolls Online, but you cannot use it for normal gameplay.

While gaming accessories cannot automatically upgrade your skills, considering a gaming mouse pad vs. a regular model might improve your movement in complex games.

Should You Play Skyrim with a Controller vs Mouse and Keyboard?

Skyrim is a single-player open-world RPG that offers countless opportunities for action and exploration. That said, users are split on the best control layout between a controller or a mouse and keyboard setup. The debate deserves a closer look, thanks to controller mapping across PC and console.

Movement

Using a controller for movement isn’t as efficient as a mouse and keyboard layout. With basic controls, mouse users have ready access to more inputs than a controller player. Mouse controls allow for character rotation and continuous movement, even while pressing attack buttons. Controller players have to stop moving to perform in-game tasks.

Efficiency

A mouse and keyboard setup offers more button inputs than a standard gamepad. Additionally, a mouse cursor is much more efficient during menu navigation, like the item, skill, and dialogue menus.

Comfort

Controllers are generally more ergonomic than the traditional mouse and keyboard setups. While keyboards allow for near-endless customization, users with small hands may struggle to reach all of the keys. Additionally, some controllers feature customizable buttons for increased comfort.

Warning

Update the firmware on first-party controllers from console game manufacturers, or you may encounter compatibility issues on some PC games.

Accuracy

Since Skyrim isn’t dependent on high-accuracy gameplay, you shouldn’t notice a meaningful difference between mouse and controller inputs.

STAT: A 2018 Pew Research Center survey showed that 39% of American gamers prefer RPG titles. (source)

Skyrim Mouse vs Controller FAQs

Does the console version of Skyrim Special Edition support mouse controls?

Unfortunately, console players cannot use a mouse and keyboard control scheme on Xbox, PlayStation, or Switch. That said, modern consoles support custom button maps, so controller players can find a comfortable layout.

Does Modern Warfare 2 have aim assist on PC?

Similar to MW1, controller players enjoy auto-aim assist across the console and PC versions of MW2. That said, the level of aim assist is identical across both versions, so neither has a distinct advantage in crossplay multiplayer.

Are wired keyboards better than wireless models?

A wireless keyboard and mouse setup provides a cleaner desk and freedom of movement, but wired models have less input lag. While modern wireless gaming mice have faster-than-ever response times, they still lag behind wired hardware.
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