Recently, I accidently broke my PC controller and I was forced to play Skullgirls using the keyboard. Needless to say, it sucked. Fighting games are the kind of games where a controller is (almost objectively) better to use than a keyboard, just like how keyboard + mouse is better to use for FPS games than a controller. Keyboards just don't allow the same freedom a controller offers for fighting games, especially because of the analog stick.

So while I was getting my *** kicked and (of course) blaming only my keyboard instead of myself, I had an idea: why don't fighting games use the mouse, too? Couldn't the mouse movements be used as the directional input for the special moves instead of the arrow keys? Examples:

  • Hadouken - quick flick with the mouse into the direction you're facing
  • Shoryuken - a steep upward curve towards the direction you're facing
  • Roundhouse kick - a quick circle motion

What are the advantages and limitations using the mouse in such a way? Are there any examples out there? Maybe there are some limitations I'm not seeing right now? To me, this looks like a way to give players the same freedom in fighting games with keyboard + mouse as a controller would provide, so I'm surprised I don't see more fighting games with that control option.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Speculating on reasons why this might not be a widespread control scheme is not this site's strength. Have you tried prototyping your idea to see how it feels to play? Have you run into any trouble with the design or implementation that we might be able to help with? \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Commented Mar 7, 2018 at 12:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ what do you refer to as a controller? xbox/ps or a arcade stick? because keyboard is definitely not objectively worse than a xbox/ps controller. wasd allows for way quicker movement inputs... hell, the mixbox exists for a reason. \$\endgroup\$
    – Brian H.
    Commented Mar 7, 2018 at 12:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Might be possible to rephrase this into a better fit for the site as "What are the advantages / limitations of mouse as input mechanism over gamepad?" \$\endgroup\$
    – MrCranky
    Commented Apr 13, 2018 at 8:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MrCranky Reworded it a bit, although I don't think it will do much. \$\endgroup\$
    – user97936
    Commented Apr 13, 2018 at 10:00

1 Answer 1


When you use the controller's analog stick, you use your fingers. Your fingers are very fast and they don't have to move that much. Combine that with the fact, that there's a maximum angle the joysticks can bend, which allows for fast stops and you get something with a high precision, speed and the ability to change direction very fast.

Since you use your wrists or arms when you move a mouse, you can't get the same combination.

Most fighting games also use the left joystick and the right (non-directional) buttons. Most PC users on the other hand use their right hand for 2D movement (mouse) and their left for buttons (WASD). Ask any professional fighting game player about what getting the second player feels like (most arcade machines put the joystick and the buttons on different sides for the second player and it's disorienting).


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