Video games have been a staple of popular culture for many decades. Today, it is one of, if not the biggest form of entertainment around. It is not surprising to see many AAA releases to breach the billion-dollar mark when it comes to sales. Playing on a console, gaming PC, or laptop will provide you hours of fun, as these serve as homes to thousands of titles. With these devices, you can find different control options. These would intimidate newcomers to video gaming, but it would not be as daunting for the veterans. You might be wondering which is the best one to use. There is actually no end-all and be-all controller. Gaming spans numerous genres, and there are appropriate ones to use for each.
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Keyboard and Mouse
How could a pair of devices designed to navigate a computer’s graphical interface and type out words become tools for game destruction? The answer lies in the two biggest genres on the PC — real-time strategy and the first-person shooter.
A real-time strategy game lets you fulfill your dreams of becoming an armchair general. Its controls carry over some features from an OS GUI, like dragging your mouse to create a rectangle to select your troops. They can get scattered around the map, which is why it is more natural to have your cursor jump from one place to another with just a quick flick of the wrist. You are also meant to control dozens of soldiers and vehicles, and you can use your keyboard keys to assign multiple squads. This will allow you to quickly switch between designated teams even if they are off-screen, and it frees up your mouse hand to do something else.
The first-person shooter or FPS is one of the most bankable genres today. Franchises like Call of Duty are perennial best-sellers. You control this type of game usually by using the WASD keys to move and strafe your character, with the mouse doing aiming and shooting duties. Like any video game, the players with the quickest reflexes are at an advantage. Lining up a crosshair with the quickest of hands is a talent that is honed by countless hours of practice.
The arcades may be all but dead in places outside of Japan, but there are gamers out there who swear by the effectiveness of using an arcade stick to play fighting games. It does hold credence since these brawlers will have you pulling off circular motions constantly to throw fireballs and other spectacular moves. Performing them on a D-pad is fine, but it could cramp up your thumbs after playing for hours. An arcade stick relies on the movement of your left arm and wrist, and your right hand could hit two or more buttons without a problem. It is also built like a tank, made to withstand player abuse. The expected durability and long lifespan make investing in an arcade stick a sound choice.
Super Mario 64 changed the world in 1996 as it ushered in true 3-D gaming to the masses. This would not be possible without the analog stick. While the big N did not invent it, they pretty much defined how games would be controlled from here on out. The eight-day directional pad was the previous standard, but it proved to be limiting for third-person action games. Using the analog stick allows you to move in 360 degrees. Just point it to where your character wants to move, and they will do so. You can also push it lightly to have them walk slowly or all the way to make them run.
Among the control devices mentioned here, the game pad may be the most versatile. While not the best in these genres, it can let you play FPS or fighting games with little fuss.
Just a few decades ago, people wanted to see if it is possible to manipulate their TV screens. And thus, video games were born. Now, there are many ways to control them across multiple devices. This amount of variety just proves that it is an industry that values creativity and innovation.