mouse keyboard on console overwatch

Are Mouse-Keyboard Players On Overwatch Console Cheaters? Blizzard Speaks Up

Ever wondered how top-rank Overwatch players aim so well with a controller? They might be holding a mouse-keyboard advantage—and Blizzard does not approve, Polygon reports.

First person shooters are largely accuracy, accuracy, and accuracy. Whether you are on the PC, or on the Xbox One or PlayStation 4, how you aim generally dictates how you’ll fare in the game. And this is especially crucial with online FPS games such Overwatch, where you pit your aiming prowess against other gamers. Will you emerge victorious or will you get your pride trampled on?

If you’ve been playing FPS games like Gears of War, Halo, or Battlefield to name a few, on the Xbox One or PlayStation, you’ll be accustomed to aiming with a regular controller. Of course, an Xbox One Elite controller still has its perks, but generally, you’ll find that spending hours with that handy controller will give you a level of comfort and accuracy with your aiming.

And then you purchase Overwatch, and try to make your way up the ranks. But you find that no matter how hard you try, no matter how well you think you aim, there’s always that Hanzo or Widowmaker that will snipe you again and again, square at the head, with no sweat shed. And then you find out, ah, they’re playing with a mouse and keyboard setup on their consoles.

Hanzo is so much easier to use with a keyboard and a mouse [Image by Blizzard]
Hanzo is so much easier to use with a keyboard and a mouse. [Image by Blizzard]

The issue of players using mouse and keyboards on consoles has been creating quite a buzz for some time now, especially with more peripherals and ways to circumvent the normal gaming setup being available to more gamers. This week, one Overwatch gamer just had enough, and has decided to seek out answers from the Overwatch makers over at the Blizzard forums:

I would appreciate some clarity/ statement on the use of a mouse and keyboard on console editions of your game.

Having played many hours on console (over 1000 hours) it is evident that the majority of high level players are using mouse and keyboard on console. I know this as I have discussed this with many of these players.

I believe this is unfair, however I wish to ask your official stance on the matter.

Naturally, this gained mixed reactions from many Overwatch players. Some would agree that they have given up on trying for masters when clearly, a lot of the top-tier Overwatch players on the console are using mouse and keyboard setups instead of the recommended controllers. Some, however, would argue that it’s all a matter of preference for the gamers, just like how some gamers would prefer to purchase arcade joysticks to play Street Fighter V or Logitech driving gears to play Forza.

In fact, XIM4, one of the most notorious mouse and keyboard adapter for consoles, is one of the most popular courses of action for many Overwatch players on the Xbox One and PS4. Get yourself an XIM4 adapter, plug in your favorite gaming mouse and keyboard, and you’ll be playing like a pro against controller users.

A mouse and keyboard setup always aims better [Image by beersonic/Shutterstock]
A mouse and keyboard setup always aims better. [Image by beersonic/Shutterstock]

In response to the Overwatch query about the mouse and keyboard setup, one user noted that discussions about Overwatch settings on XIM4 forums have an overwhelming 100,000 reads and over 10,000 replies. This goes to show how keyboard and mouse setups have been overwhelmingly popular, even on console gaming such as Overwatch.

After opinions and reactions have been thrown around in response to the query if Overwatch players using a mouse and keyboard setup should be considered be cheaters, Vice President of Blizzard Entertainment and Overwatch Game Director Jeff Kaplan has finally made the Overwatch team’s stand on mouse and keyboard setups on the console known.

In a reply to the original post, Kaplan says:

The Overwatch team objects to the use of mouse and keyboard on console.

We have contacted both first-party console manufacturers and expressed our concern about the use of mouse and keyboard and input conversion devices.

We have lobbied and will continue to lobby for first-party console manufacturers to either:

Disallow mouse and keyboard and input conversion devices OR Openly and easily support mouse and keyboard for ALL players

I encourage you to reach out to the hardware manufacturers and express your concerns (but please do so in a productive and respectful way).

So as of this moment, let the Overwatch makers be heard, that they are unhappy about Overwatch players using a mouse and keyboard on the consoles. They don’t like you doing it, but no, you won’t get banned.

The problem then is, outside XIM4, even Sony creates and supports mouse and keyboard inputs for the PlayStation 4. You can purchase a TAC Pro for the PS4, which is an officially licensed mechanical keyboard and mouse duo to work seamlessly with the PS4 system and all games.

This brings us back to Kaplan’s suggestion for console manufacturers to “openly and easily support mouse and keyboard for all players.” Yes, he’s talking to you, Microsoft.

Are you using a mouse and keyboard setup for your Overwatch gaming on the Xbox One or PS4? Or have you, too, given up and just switched over to PC?

[Featured Image Dario Lo Presti/Shutterstock]