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Keyboards are still better for shooters, says Carmack

Tuesday, 25th November 2008 11:50 GMT By Patrick Garratt

johncarmack.jpg

John Carmack reckons PCs are still better for FPS. He probably knows what he’s talking about, so it’s best to agree with him.

“The keyboard/mouse interface is definitely still the superior interface for a competitive first-person shooter experience, much better than an analog joypad,” he told PC Gamer.

PCs are better than consoles at other things too, apparently.

“The browser environment is faster—navigating web pages on the console is a really tedious experience… And I do think there’s the whole idea of PCs being everywhere, and having a game that you can play just about anywhere. Anywhere there’s a PC, if you’ve got a few minutes you can download Quake Live content and jump in and play your game,” he said.

And there you have it. Consoles: rubbish.

More through there.

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14 Comments

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  1. Lutz

    Mice in: “We’re really accurate!” Shocker! Full story at 11!

    #1 6 years ago
  2. portaprima

    Couldn’t agree more. But still, I prefer to game from my couch…

    #2 6 years ago
  3. JPickford

    It really is state the obvious day!

    ;)

    #3 6 years ago
  4. portaprima

    Cheers :)

    #4 6 years ago
  5. SWiSS BOSS

    STFU !!
    I mean..of course it is also fun playing games on a PC, but… the shit consoles aren’t rubbish !!
    and if you game on PCs, you’ll need to get a new one all the time.^^

    #5 6 years ago
  6. JonFE

    There’s no doubt that a keyboard/mouse combination is better (or is it just already hot-wired to our brains ;) ) that an analogue joypad for FPS, but what about pointing devices like the Wiimote? Metroid Prime 3 paved the way and, while it certainly needs refinement, it can be done, even for a competitive experience.

    On a side note, playing on the couch using k/m is impractical, so you end up tied to your desk for that.

    #6 6 years ago
  7. Blerk

    I can understand him saying that mouse control is better, but keyboard? Really? Playing games on keyboard is pretty horrible. At best it’s a compromise.

    #7 6 years ago
  8. Esha

    Versatility, Blerk.

    Scenario – I want to access all my weapons.

    Keyboard: At a touch, instantly.

    Gamepad #1: You’ll have to cycle through them slowly.

    Gamepad #2: You’ll have to bind them to the D-pad, and heaven forbid if you have to bind more than four weapons. Don’t even try using diagonals on the shitty D-pads of today, either.

    Scenario – I want to access special abilities/items.

    Keyboard: At a touch, instantly.

    Gamepad #1: Pause game, navigate through a fiddly inventory, use, unpause game.

    Gamepad #2: Cycle through the items.

    Gamepad #3: Items are bound to buttons, and sometimes even button-combinations that require Catlike reflexes to utilise.

    Fair mention should also be given to the fact that unless one is fool enough to use a wireless keyboard, the keyboard transmits at a much faster rate than a wireless gamepad could ever hope to. This is why if one were to pair off a gamepad-user and a keyboard-user of [i]equal skill[/i], the keyboard-user would probably come out on top due to the edge offered by better response times. This is how it usually plays out online too.

    So overall, for FPS games, the keyboard does seem to be the better choice. Unless you’re using some kind of pseudo-gamepad that’s both wired and has a hell of a lot of buttons, similar to the Nostromo n52.

    #8 6 years ago
  9. G1GAHURTZ

    Fair mention should also be given to the fact that unless one is fool enough to use a wireless keyboard, the keyboard transmits at a much faster rate than a wireless gamepad could ever hope to. This is why if one were to pair off a gamepad-user and a keyboard-user of [i]equal skill[/i], the keyboard-user would probably come out on top due to the edge offered by better response times. This is how it usually plays out online too.

    That’s got to be one of the most stupid things I’ve ever read.

    #9 6 years ago
  10. G1GAHURTZ

    Keyboards are simply uncomfortable when it comes to having to keep track of lots of commands.

    I have to keep my middle finger for forward, back, 2 and 3. My index for right, reload, 4, 5 and a few others. My third finger for left and some more keys. My little finger for Shift and CTRL. My thumb for space and ALT, then I have to remember other keys like when I want to type an in-game message (after I’ve decided if it’s a message to my team, or a message to all players). Plus I have to keep re-adjusting my elbow to keep it resting comfortably on the desk etc, etc, etc…

    You can go on about accuracy and speed of mouse movement all day, but when it comes to the keyboard, you’re limited to linear movement.

    One speed for walk, one speed for run.

    On a joypad, you have so many degrees of movement that can make up for the mouse aiming accuracy if you’re any good. So the only real advantage that the PC has over consoles for FPS’s is speed of turning, which it wins with hands down.

    Anyway, at the end of the day I’d much rather pull a trigger to shoot a gun than click a mouse button.

    #10 6 years ago
  11. fj

    Headline should really be “Mice are still better…”. As Blerk says it’s a compromise, but the mouse is still the best pointing device going.

    Using WASD on a keyboard means your hand rests fairly naturally on the corner of it, it’s only when you have a stupid complicated game that requires more than 5 keys (i.e. not Quake) that it starts to fall down.

    #11 6 years ago
  12. Lutz

    fj: I actually find some games are considerably better for using lots of keys. Many RTS, and FreeSpace for example.

    #12 6 years ago
  13. fj

    Games that Carmack wasn’t talking about, you mean?

    #13 6 years ago
  14. Blerk

    A gazillion buttons is obviously an advantage, but it’s just about the only advantage the keyboard actually has.

    I’m surprised nobody’s come up with a keyboard replacement specifically for gaming – something that’d allow analogue control if you wanted it, easier access to all the buttons with a single hand, better-shaped and less-clicky keys, blah de blah.

    #14 6 years ago