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Joystick or Mouse.......... Preferences???


 Anonymous
Joined: 53 years ago
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Hello Folks

I've been reading some of the posts on the board in the last few days and I have noticed a couple of comments on the pro/cons of Joystick vs Mouse Control in Space Sims. While I have leaned towards Joystick Control for years clearly there have been some Great Games that people like (I didn't say me) which could only be controlled by a mouse.

So I have a question. Is there a game you liked that could have been controlled (and controlled well) by the other option. In other words take Freelancer; could it have just as well been a Joystick game from the get go. I loved Freespace and I just don't think I would have gotten the same rush if it had been Mouse Controlled. Mine you don't ask me about the lack of a cockpit; that took some getting used to. I also felt the same way when they took cockpits out of Wing Commander (I was real happy when they brought them back).

DarKenK


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Bullwinkle
(@bullwinkle)
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DarKenK wrote:
Hello Folks

... pro/cons of Joystick vs Mouse Control in Space Sims. ...

Is there a game you liked that could have been controlled (and controlled well) by the other option.

There may be exceptions, but my experience is that most games are made with one primary type of controller in mind, and they usually kind of "fake" the interface for other controllers.

Buttons are easily mapped.. so I am not talking about that. I mean Joystick vs keyboard/mouse:

Older joysticks, like your original Thrustmaster, are analog devices that connect to a MIDI port (aka "game port"). Most modern PCs don't even have one of those ports anymore! However, newer joysticks have USB connectors, which are better than the old game ports.

Ironically, USB is a digital kind of connection, but Windows can convert it to a signal that your game will (probably) understand.

Keyboards behave similarly to mice, from the computer's point of view, but many games do a decent job of supporting either a keyboard or a mouse for the right hand.

So the question really boils down to whether the game is made for a joystick or for keyboard/mouse.

And, no, I have not come across a game that works equally well both ways. So just use the controller that works best with the game.

Looking forward, Shant is a big promoter of a game pad with some software that does nifty tricks with the inputs. He can mimic a joystick, keyboard, mouse, macro, or combination with his game pad. I have not (yet) gotten used to game pads, but they are definitely the way of the future. They are smaller, cheaper, and more flexible than joysticks and other controllers. Also they are somewhat standardized (a little) which helps the game makers tremendously (and which might help the player a little).

Does that help?


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Pinback
(@pinback)
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Theres a poll about it here.

surveys-and-polls-f9/keyboard-mouse-joystick-t450-15.html


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SpacePilot
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DarKenK wrote:

Is there a game you liked that could have been controlled (and controlled well) by the other option.

I think that in general Bullwinkle is right and it really depends on whether a game was developed to be used with a mouse or a joystick.

However, I do have an exception to this rule and that’s my all times favorite: Free Allegiance.

Among the most successful pilots who play the game there are just as many who use the mouse as those who use the joystick. From time to time a debate goes on in the game forums about which one is best and it always boils down to personal preference. So yeah, for Allegiance keyboard+mouse = keyboard+joystick.


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SolCommand
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I'm a mouse die-hard fan. Personally I really dislike joysticks ... for anything.


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Geraldine
(@geraldine)
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SolCommand wrote:
I'm a mouse die-hard fan. Personally I really dislike joysticks ... for anything.

Well you do get gaming mice these days with extra on board buttons. So you do have a case there SolCommand, however I agree with Bullwinkle, its down to how the actal game feels, then take it from there. Elite 2 or 3 with a joystick or game pad was awful. (I had the Amiga CD32 version of Frontier and always resorted back to the mouse), but X-Wing or the X games felt alot better with the stick. I think most games these days should have it as an option to have both. Afterall, even FSX brought back mouse control.


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GUNSMIF
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a very simplistic view on it but... use the right tool for the right job!!! question solved 😉


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Taymar
(@taymar)
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Like GUNSMIF it's all about the right tools for the job.

Freelancer was a great game and I can't knock the use of mouse control for that game, it was designed to be mouse only and it worked. Other titles however, would have been terrible with mouse only controls, X Wing Alliance for example was all about the turning circle and balancing the power to get the best results against your opponent, that would have been a nightmare with mouse and keyboard. Freespace series is another example of a great Joystick game, there was just too much going on for you to glance down and make sure you're pressing the specific target key and not the friendly target key.

I look at it this way -

First/Third person shooter - First/Third person MMO - Mouse/keyboard

Flight Sim/Space Combat Sim - Joystick (Games like the Battlefield series where you get to fly also require a stick in my opinion).

Driving/Platform games - Game pad

It's all about what you want to get out of the game, if you want to be involved in flying then what else would you have other than a stick in front of you.


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Grimloon
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As Taymar said, I agree with GUNSMIF - if you play X3 then you'll know that a stick simply doesn't work that well with a cap ship turret. That one's definitely a mouse job. I still fly the ship with the stick though.

However, where there are no turrets or similar I'll use a stick. A HOTAS setup helps, I doubt that I'd be able to go back to a single stick now. Thrustmaster (that name always sounds dubious to me) make some very nice setups from reasonable budget to "I need to remortgage my house to afford that!" Saitek are my favourite though - I had an X52 for a number of years and replaced it with an X52 Pro. Lovely sticks, well built and with enough buttons to cover every possibility in game - as long as you can remember what you mapped to them!

BTW - it is possible to play Freelancer with a stick but only if you can remap mouse axes to the joystick axes. It's definitely not the best control system I've ever used owing to the complete lack of auto return (i.e. you have to move the gunsight back to centre yourself, it doesn't return when you centre the stick) but it was definitely playable. A steep learning curve but doable, even though it was designed for mouse and keyboard only.


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ViolentAJ
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Joystick all the way for me. I prefer to use the joystick in all flight games and in FPS. The mouse might be useful for turrets (the same way I use the mouse for mouselook in FPS; I use the joystick to replace WASD and many of the other buttons) and certain portions of the interface, however.


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Taymar
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Many years ago I used my Joystick for F.P.S. games like Dark Forces and Jedi Knight but that was simply down to the number of buttons you needed for the various controls and at that time the only mice available had only 3 buttons max and no scroll wheel.

As technology advanced I swapped over to Mouse and Keyboard for shooters, I did find reaction times and small movements are easier to do with the keyboard rather than a stick.


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BladeRunner
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I used to like the joystick for flight sims.

I played Battlefield Vietnam and kicked ass ass flying choppers.

I migrated to BF2 and then I found that using the mouse in inverted Y axis (forward-back) worked far better than a joystick as there was simply MORE control over the craft, especially when hovering next to a building etc.

Mouse control kicks ass for sensitivity and range of movement, I use it and a sinlge-hand gaming mini-pad (24ish keys).


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DarkOne
(@sscadmin)
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BladeRunner wrote:
Mouse control kicks ass for sensitivity and range of movement

This is a good point. Once you get above a 1600dpi mouse your accuracy is very good and sensitivity as well. Joysticks just cannot match the control in most games sometimes. After playing with the mouse for so long and go to the joystick I actually have a hard time being accurate because I keep over shooting the target.


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