Whether you’re a PC gamer or a console gamer, wanting the absolute best experience with the controls is what all gamers want. That’s why the gaming community often compares the overall experience that gaming pads and keyboards provide.
At this point, you might be wondering, Gamepads vs. Keyboards, which one is the better input controller option? Well, if that’s the case, then you’re in the right place because that’s exactly what I’m here to tell you.
In this article, I will talk about gamepads, their pros and cons, keyboards, their advantages, and disadvantages, buying guides for keyboards and gamepads, and compare the two to find out which control devices contribute to a better overall experience. So, make sure you read this article till the end because it might help you choose the right device for your exact requirements.
Table of Contents
What is Gamepad?
Gamepads are video game controlling input devices that can be held in both hands and have multiple buttons, controls, dials, sticks, and integrations that allow the users to control characters within a video game or even use them for other input and entertainment purposes. Initially, gamepads only used a single 360-degree movement controlling analog stick and a series of buttons for controlling other actions. However, with time gamepads have evolved drastically.
Nowadays, the most commonly used gamepads include Xbox controllers and PS controllers, which are the pinnacle of gamepad technology at this time in the market. Moreover, these particular gamepads and several others have undergone an intense upgrade process since they used USB ports a few years ago, and now they are completely wireless, chargeable, and Bluetooth-connected.
The PS5 controller even features an ability called Haptic Feedback which allows the motor inside the controller to react to the in-game activities to bring an extra sense of immersion. Ultimately, gamepads have become the top dogs of the gaming controller industry without a doubt.
Gamepad Pros and Cons
We learned about gamepads and how they’ve evolved, but what advantages and disadvantages do they bring with their usage? Let’s find out.
|Compatibility – One of the best things about gamepads is that they’re very highly compatible. Modern controller gamepads are compatible with PCs, consoles, TVs, Laptops, Mobiles, and many other platforms, making them a great option to choose from.||Typing is Exhausting – One problem with gamepads is that they’re mostly made for, you guessed it, games. So at times when you have to type with them, you’re going to have to use on-screen keyboards, and that can be pretty exhausting and time taking.|
|Accessibility Options – Another great thing about gamepads is the accessibility option you get in them. If you like wired controllers, you can get those; if you want wireless Bluetooth controllers, then there’s the option to get that one as well.||Might not be ergonomic for everyone – Controllers aren’t made special for everyone. For example, if you have small hands and you’re using the PS5 controller, it is possible that you might not be able to grip the controller well enough. That’s why even though ergonomics is very considerable when making controllers, not everyone can be pleased by a single model.|
|Haptic Feedback – A fairly recent invention in the field of gamepads is Haptic Feedback. With this ability, the controller buttons and triggers react according to the situation in the game or activity you’re using them for, which adds a layer of immersion.||Expensive – Modern-day controllers with all their glitz and glam are usually pretty expensive. Unfortunately, even older controllers with old technology aren’t very inexpensive, which isn’t the best thing.|
|Responsiveness – When we talk about responsiveness, gamepads use the best quality propagation techniques for the commands to pass to the architecture, get registered, and be completed so that you experience no lag whatsoever.|
|Newer Inclusions – With every new gamepad coming out, the challenge of innovation increases. Some gamepads feature screens in themselves, touchpads, RGB lighting, and many other elements that you might have never seen in gamepads before, making them a great product.|
How to Choose the Right Gamepad
If you’re thinking of buying a gamepad for yourself, you need to make sure you know all the elements that a good gamepad should in it. So let’s take a look at some of the major factors to consider so you can buy the right gamepad controller.
Analog Stick Smoothness
If the analog sticks on a gamepad aren’t smooth and seem laggy, too hard, or too soft, the experience of gaming won’t be great, trust me. So make sure the analog sticks are smooth but just enough that you feel good while you’re playing with them.
Almost all gamepads nowadays feature triggers. But the quality of the trigger press isn’t the best at times. So you need to find the right kind of gamepad that offers good quality triggers which feel nice when you press them, and if haptic feedback is an inclusion, then that’s a plus.
At times, bad quality gamepads feature buttons that stick into the gamepad frame when pressed or don’t carry the same weight as good quality buttons. So, it would help if you made sure that the controller you’re getting has a good overall button feel.
We’re all about ergonomics when it comes to controllers. Making sure that a controller feels right when you hold it and doesn’t start causing your hands to feel pain when held for a long time is the right controller for you, and that’s the one you’re going to want to buy.
Price to Value
Gamepads range from low price to super-expensive for the modern AAA console company controllers. You can get custom ones if you want but make sure the features and specs are up to the price mark. A good controller needs to have a good price to value ratio.
What is a Keyboard?
A keyboard is an input device that features many keys that correspond to particular instructions and commands on the computer. It is used to enter data, type words, and even play games. In the early days when keyboards were first created for personal computers, the look and design of the keyboard were very similar to what the rectangular frame of a keyboard has now.
However, the keyboard technology, features, ease of use, accessibility, options, lighting, ergonomics, and many other elements have upgraded over time. So, basically, if you’re thinking of using a computer, you’re going to need a keyboard.
Keyboard Pros and Cons
Keyboards have been a revolutionary invention in the field of the computer industry. However, it is essential to see what pros and cons they come with before buying them. So let’s take a look at them.
|Accessibility Options – First of all, one great thing about keyboards is that they’re very accessible. You have wired keyboards with PS2 ports and USB ports, wireless keyboards with USB connectors, and Bluetooth-connectable keyboards.||No Haptic Feedback – If we’re talking about haptic feedback, then that’s not included in modern keyboards. It is truly a bummer to know because haptic feedback makes the overall experience of using a controller or input device very immersive and better.|
|Compatibility – In the case of compatibility, there are many options in modern keyboards as well. Keyboards are mostly compatible with different software architectures, PCs, Laptops, Consoles, and all the devices in between.||Larger in Size – Keyboards range from numpads to 40%, 60%, to 100%, so there are many size options available in terms of keyboards. However, they’re still much larger than handheld controllers and gamepads, which can be a problem at times if you have a limited amount of space on your desk.|
|Ergonomics – Ergonomics is a fundamental property that all input devices must possess. Luckily, keyboards come in a design that is almost always perfect for all kinds of people, and since it doesn’t need to be gripped, it can be considered ergonomic for all people, which is a great thing.|
|Price – Another great thing about keyboards is that they’re made of very accessible materials. This means that although there are pretty expensive keyboards, there are also many keyboards that can be purchased for quite an affordable price and offer good value.|
|Tactile Feedback – Mechanical keyboards specifically are known for providing amazing tactile feedback. This is something that is specific for keyboards and isn’t seen in other devices. Tactility is what brings a bit of press and feel to a keyboard, and that’s what’s great about modern keyboards.|
|RGB Lighting – In all the peripheral devices that exist today, keyboards are the most upgraded without a doubt. They’ve become so upgraded that RGB is considered normal in them. RGB lightbars, strips, light zones, and fully customizable RGB are all characteristics of a keyboard that immerse the user.|
How to Choose the Right Keyboard?
So, you’re thinking of getting a keyboard for your console or PC. Well, before you do, make sure you learn about the important considerations I’m about to tell you so you can choose the right keyboard for yourself. Let’s take a look at these things.
Whenever you’re buying a keyboard, the first thing you need to think about is the design. Is it ergonomic enough? The reason for this is that you’re going to sitting on your desk and using the keyboard for a long span of time, that’s why you need to make sure that your fingers and palm feels well-rested as you’re using the keyboard.
Not all keyboards offer tactility. Many keyboards have a simple actuation where there is no decent tactile feel or bump when a key is pressed. You need to ensure that the keyboard you’re getting has a certain level of tactile feedback because, ultimately, it makes the keyboarding experience better.
Size matters when it comes to keyboards. Depending upon your key requirements, desk space, and ergonomic requirements, you need to ensure that the keyboard you’re getting is decently sized and isn’t small or too big for your needs. That will be crucial if you want to have a good overall experience.
Keyboards are known to have a bundle of features to make them unique and innovative. There is a lot to choose from multimedia buttons, additional macro keys to RGB lighting, and many other features. You need to find the one that offers the most features for the best price.
Gamepad vs Keyboard: Which is Better?
Finally, the million-dollar question is, which is better between a gamepad and a keyboard? Well, it depends actually on what kind of usage you need the controller for.
As a Typing Device
If we take into account typing, then due to the excessive number of keys on a keyboard, the overall typing experience, speed, and usage become pretty epic, whereas, in a gamepad, you’re going to have to use an on-screen keyboard to deal with your typing requirements.
For Gaming Specifically
Gamepads are basically designed for gaming. That’s why the placement of buttons and keys is specially crafted for a good gaming experience. So, in terms of gaming, they may be better. However, that is all personal preference.
For me, I LOVE a gamepad for racing games, it feels easier to be more accurate with my handling of the vehicle. However, for most other games; shooters, survival, RPG, etc, I definitely prefer keyboard and mouse. Aiming with a mouse is by far easier than aiming with a controller.
A Bit of Both
However, if we consider both typing and gaming together, it is safe to say a keyboard, without a doubt, ranks higher and better than gamepads. That’s another reason why keyboards are overall the better choice for your gaming setup.
Gamepads and keyboards are both amazingly revolutionary input devices. However, if we compare them both, keyboards win the comparison by the margin of a thread. So, if you’re thinking about whether you need to spend money on a keyboard or a gamepad, this post would surely have helped you make an informed decision. There are pros and cons of both devices and it greatly depends on your own requirements and budget to arrive at a decision.
I hope you learned a lot from this particular guide and that you’re going to find the device that you’re looking for. Have great keyboarding OR gamepad experience!