Online Gaming with ControllersBy: Zevri posted at Sep 10, 2010 1:14 am
So you have a controller for your pc, but you’re tired of playing console ported games and the occasional emulation. What do you do? Well why not play a mmo or two with it? You may not think of it, but there are a lot of games in which you can play using your controller. While not all of them support it natively, you can still get it to work using other methods.
There may be some of you who don't own a controller(Shame on you) and wonder why you should, especially for mmos when the first thing you think of using is your mouse and keyboard. Well how comfortable are you when playing a mmo? Can you sit back and relax? Or do you hunch over your desk mashing on your keyboard and mouse while playing? Well when you play with a controller you can easily sit back, away from your computer and kick up your feet and relax while playing. There is also some other...perks as well such as "rapid fire" on some buttons while may be considered cheating but it is an added perk. Luckily for the non controller players some games do have a limitation on click speed that it will register.
Now that I got you curious, what do you do to play a game that doesn't natively support a controller? That's easy, you get a third party mapping software. What is it? Well it's a program that will map your mouse and keyboard strokes and movements to your controller so when you play, you are essentially using your controller with your keyboard/mouse buttons. As for what software I recommend, well that's easy, JoyToKey www.electracode.com/4/joy2key/JoyToKey%20English%20Version.htm . You may have heard of it from other gamers, or maybe you haven't. But this is one of the best, if not the best software to use for these sorts of things. Why? Well beyond being free it does offer some nice options. You can map all your buttons and analog sticks using this program with little trouble. It also allows you to save profiles as well. Profiles can be game or character specific, whatever you want. But there is no doubt that it's a great program to have. Now there are other programs out there like Xpadder and such, but this is one of the best "free" solutions out there.
Now you have some knowledge, have a program to map things out, well what's next? Well some games of course. I will be listing some of the games I've played that work well with a controller, native support or not. Now there may be other ones, but without being able to test them myself I cannot say how well or bad they are. So let's kick off the list shall we?
Unless you've been Amish most of your life, you've heard of Maplestory. Whether you love it, hate it, or couldn't care less about it, the fact remains. This is a good game to play when using a controller. Now while the community there may be.....well...eh...ahem, "lovely" in their own aspect, the game itself can be quite fun, even when playing alone. Due to how the game is set up, it works great with a controller and is easy to map out. The game itself is an action 2d side scroller. All of which scream wonderful to controller mapping. No messy mouse movements needed, and an easy to use interface. All of this makes it a great game to just kick back and play. Go on, kill some cute critters and fungi while relaxing.
Maybe beating down cute creatures isn't your thing, and you want a bit more blood in your action. Or maybe something a bit more action intense. Well Dungeon Fighter Online may be just up your alley. The good? A great mix of 2d arcade fighting action that has both pve and pvp with a cash shop that has most of its items being traded by players. The bad? Well Nexon hasn't ported the game in English to anywhere but NA and the game is region locked. So if you want to play it you either need to go on an Asian server, or get a VPN that will allow you to play on the NA server. Either way the game is a blast with a controller and you will have a lot of fun pulling combos and going through dungeons with your friends. I still actually play this game from time to time on my monk. (Same name as my nick here)
Now the developers of Drift City did something I love them for, they made the game native with controller support! That's right no need to use your third party software, just go into the controller options and map out your keys. I myself am not much of a racing fan, in fact if you labeled me I'm more of a RPG gamer. But I do like racing games that don't take themselves too seriously and Drift City is such a game. It's fun, easy to get into, and a blast to play even when not racing. Since it lets you drive around their huge maps to your hearts content. Speed around just goofing off around the city with other players or do some quests between races, either way you will have some fun with this game. Especially if you're like me and playing it using your controller. I am also trying to get back into the game on my new account/character. So if anyone is new to the game and wants to play with me, send me a pm.
More of a brawler than a racer, and DFO isn't quite what you're looking for? Well why not give Rumble Fighter a shot? The game maps well with a controller being a fighting game and it's easy to play and get into. The game itself features several modes and a few classes. One nice thing is, though a bit limiting, is the customization. On character creation and in the avatar shop you have the ability to customize your avatar to your liking. Overall a decent game especially for brawlers out there.
The US version of the game, which I listed above is actually at the time of this blog post, in a transaction phase to new owners. So you can't play the NA version now, but it doesn't hurt to list it. This is another action mmo that actually works great with a controller. I got into this during the closed beta and had a blast with my archer while using my usb controller. The pve and pvp in this game is quite fun, if you get past all the cute graphics. It's definitely worth checking out if you have a controller, some time, and want to play good action mmorpg. Just got to wait a bit if your are in NA.
The only game in my list without a English release is Street Gears. This is a fun racing mmo using you guessed it, roller blades. The game itself is fun mix of racing, stunts, and social interaction. Beyond racing you can explore and have fun around the city. Practicing tricks and just hanging out with friends. Despite the game being in German, the game is easy to get into. Luckily for us there is a friendly community of people who are willing to help people understand what they are suppose to do in their quests. If you like games like Jet Set Radio or liked anime like Air Gear, give this a shot and check it out. Don't let the non English site scare you from this fun mmo.
So as you all have seen, there are a lot of good mmos out there for people who wish to play using their controllers. While not all of them are in English, or available to everyone, there is plenty of options out there. While I may have only listed a few, there are still a lot more out there waiting to be found. So my question to you all is this: What other mmos have you played that worked great with a controller?
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