Keyboards and computer mouse controls have come a long ways since those early days when every set looked like a reject out of a cubicle farm equipment allocation center.
Today’s keyboards come in multiple varieties, and the advanced computer mouse doesn’t even look or operate like a clicky palm shaped tool anymore.
Instead, the two most frequently used computer input tools have been dramatically redesigned and improved, which takes some learning to get used in the gaming world.
How to Get used to the Mouse and Keyboard for Gaming
First, accept the fact that computer gaming is going to be very different from console gaming, such as what people did on the Atari years ago and on the Xbox and Playstation today.
The equipment for those devices are compacted, dummy-down interface devices designed for the fastest adoption of game control possible.
Keyboard and mouse gaming requires far more thinking because the possibilities of key and mouse configurations are far greater. So, the first real step in getting used to the approach is to accept it’s going to be more complicated.
Learning to Use Mouse and Keyboard for Gaming
The second step is focusing on methods of brain-training, generally starting with memorization.
Memorizing the keyboard finger positions helps you build muscle memory. Believe it or not, muscle memory is far faster and more responsive than any kind of intentional, planned action.
This is why police and firefighters train so much going over procedures and practices. In the thick of things, they don’t have time to think very much.
Muscle memory takes over and your body just knows what to do as soon as your mind recognizes the situation.
So, practicing with a keyboard and doing it a lot helps build up your brain’s ability to know where the W key is versus the S key and the spacebar.
Tips for Gaming with Mouse and Keyboard
As you are working on memorizing the keyboard, you brain will begin to recognize and remember different feelings of what the specific letters should be.
Some letter configurations will just feel right, such as the WASD combination, a common one for moving forward and to the sides.
Then, other feelings like the edge of the other keys will combine to tell your brain if your fingers are in the right position or not.
This adaption happens pretty fast, but it can get fuddled up again when one switches keyboards, especially boards with different sizes. So, stick with a given keyboard and build up by practicing.
Tips for Beginner Keyboard and Mouse Players
Starting off, it’s good to pick your keyboard early so that as you build up knowledge and skill, you’re already comfortable with the board you want to be using regularly for gaming.
It can be irritating to have to redo your muscle memory again, changing to a better board after your skills with a particular feeling have been developing for a while.
The change can happen, but for a few days you will make a lot of mistakes.
Another trick that works really well if you play multiple games is to configure the game setting for the keyboard to the pattern you already know.
Most PC games have an option for user configuration of the keyboard and mouse.
It’s a lot easier to use the same configuration from one game to the next than switching around different mixes and really giving your brain a hard workout.
That would be like trying to speak three different languages from one day to the next.
How Can I Improve my Gaming Keyboard and Mouse?
Practice, practice, and more practice. But there are shortcuts that can help you improve faster. With the mouse, most people keep their arm perfectly still and use their fingers and wrist to do all the directional movement of the device.
However, this approach limits the movement range.
Instead, gaming players use a bigger mouse pad or area, and they pivot with the elbow versus the wrist. It’s faster, more accurate, and provides one single move in the game versus chopping smaller moves together.
How Do I Get Better at Keyboard and Mouse?
Another big feature people don’t take advantage of as much as they should is adjusting the sensitivity and speed of the mouse. Even the most basic mouse has adjustments within the operating system settings for a faster moving cursor or a slower one.
It makes a big difference in a game performance. Testing and finding the right level of speed and feel for your gaming experience is key. And, combining this testing with elbow pivot or “moving with the elbow” will often times produce improvement in game play.
Skip the mouse acceleration feature. This will throw off your game perception and cause inaccurate performance. Your movement should be 100 percent 1:1 match to the mouse’s movement on the computer screen.
Is Gaming with a Keyboard and Mouse Better?
Keyboard and mouse gaming can be a huge boost in your experience and interaction with the game environment, far more than anything possible with the console approach, but it takes work.
Practice a lot and steadily, as well as understanding how your equipment works will be the fastest path to real performance improvement and results.