The keyboard and mouse vs controller debate has been ongoing in gaming for many years.
And now, a battle rages in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War; a battle to the death, with both sides believing in their moral superiority and the righteousness of their cause. We speak, of course, about whether it is better to play using a keyboard and mouse, or a controller.
Both sides on this have some pretty, erm, strong views. So we'll take a look at the strengths of each, and try to offer some advice on which input is more effective, depending on what platform you are using. We'll try not to step on any landmines while we're at it.
The pros and cons of KBM and controller for Black Ops Cold War
Keyboard and mouse have long been held as the optimum way to experience FPS games, for a number of reasons. Perhaps most prominently, with practice, you can become incredibly accurate in terms of aim and target strike. This is also true if you are using weapons that require a high degree of accuracy - sniper rifles, most obviously.
So if you are someone who enjoys sitting in a nest and picking off your targets, having that high degree of precision is critical. And at the opposite end of the spectrum, a gun with high recoil, like an AK-47, can be much easier to manage with a mouse than an analog stick.
Controllers, meanwhile, are no longer the second-class citizens of yesteryear. Call of Duty games now provide high levels of aim assist, negating some of the advantages of mouse users. This is important in a game that is crossplay, as it would not be fair if console gamers were immediately at a tremendous disadvantage due to their controller options.
While a controller may not be as precise as a keyboard and mouse at long range, they do have their advantages when it comes to close-quarter combat. Thanks to aim assist, you can quickly dispatch enemy combatants without having to be totally precise, as the game will make adjustments for you.
So with all that in mind, which is the better option on your platform of choice?
Keyboard & Mouse vs Controller: Which is better for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
That's not such an easy question to answer. A lot will depend on your playing style. The good news is that Xbox, PS4, and PC all give you the option of using a controller or keyboard and mouse. So regardless of which platform you are on, you have the choice over which input type you want to use.
Additionally, factor in what kind of player you are. Do you like to stay well back and pick people off from afar? The high accuracy of a keyboard and mouse might suit you best. Or do you like to get in close and see the whites of your opponents' eyes? In which case a controller may be a better option.
Overall though, the decision about which input to choose will come down to personal preference, just as if you are choosing which weapon you prefer to wield. One of the reasons that your input selection matters less than it used to, is because of crossplay, and the settings within the game.
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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Matchmaking and balancing
In order to make things as fair as possible, there are a number of settings to be aware of. With crossplay, players on PS4, Xbox, and PC can all play against one another. In Modern Warfare, this would also be filtered by the input type, but in Black Ops Cold War, it is by platform.
This means that you will still be able to face off against KBM players in an Xbox-only lobby, although the chances are much lower than in an open, cross-platform lobby.
Before you go turning off cross-play, however, there are a few things to note. First, your matchmaking may take a bit longer, and second, as cross-play is enabled automatically, the other players in Xbox-only lobbies will have also had to make the decision to disable cross-play. However, you might come up against slightly more competitive opponents who care about their K/D more than other players.
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Best settings for Black Ops Cold War
Whether you are using a keyboard and mouse, or a controller, is there such a thing as the 'optimal' setting? Every player will have their own preferences, and for many, the defaults will be fine. But if you are wanting to go for something a little more bespoke, here are some settings we can suggest.
On a controller (with thanks to our friends at Gfinity):
- Horizontal Stick Sensitivity: 5
- Vertical Stick Sensitivity: 5
- ADS Stick Sensitivity (Low Zoom): 1.2
- ADS Stick Sensitivity (High Zoom) 1.0
- Button Layout: Default
- Flip L2+R2 with L1+R1
- LB+RB: Default
- Invert Vertical Look: Disabled
- Controller Vibration: Disabled
- Stick Layout: Default
- Left Stick Min Input Threshold: 5
- Left Stick Max Input Threshold: 100
- Right Stick Min Input Threshold: 4
- Right Stick Max Input Threshold: 100
- Controller Sounds: Disabled
- Auto Move Forward: Disabled
- Auto Sprint: Enabled
- Sprint Behaviour: Go To
- Sprint Cancels Reload: Enabled
- Equipment Behaviour: Hold
On a keyboard and mouse:
- Input Device: Keyboard and Mouse
- Mouse Sensitivity: 9.80
- Vehicle Mouse Sensitivity Multiplier: 1.00
- Invert Vertical Look: Disabled
- ADS Mouse Sensitivity (Low Zoom): .80
- ADS Mouse Sensitivity (High Zoom): .70
- ADS Sensitivity Transition Timing: Gradual
- Vertical Sensitivity Multiplier: 1.00
- ADS Mouse Sensitivity Mode: Legacy
- Monitor Distance Coefficient: Locked
- Mouse Acceleration: 0
- Mouse Smoothing: Disabled
- Mouse Filtering: 0
These offer a good starting point, but bear in mind that if they don't suit you, you can always tweak them to find what works best for you.