Director Jeff Kaplan has a message for Overwatch players on console who use a mouse and keyboard as their controller of choice: Don’t do it. In a post on the Battle.net forum, he spoke on behalf of Blizzard Entertainment to explain why the developer “objects” to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners going out of their to use mice and keyboards.
“The Overwatch team objects to the use of mouse and keyboard on console,” Kaplan wrote. “We have contacted both first-party console manufacturers and expressed our concern about the use of mouse and keyboard and input conversion devices.”
Neither the PS4 nor Xbox One natively support mouse-and-keyboard setups. That means people who want to use them go out of their way to buy convertors to hook them up to their consoles.
As Overwatch players on PC know, using a mouse allows for much more precise aiming than a control stick does. Since not everyone has access to a mouse on console because of the lack of native support, it creates an unfair advantage for those who cough up the bucks for a convertor.
The controller dichotomy on consoles has generated some controversy in the Overwatch community in the past. Last June, Blizzard released a patch to weaken Torbjorn, a character who gained particular popularity on console. The reason for this was that he was one of the few heroes who didn’t require good aim to deal massive damage; his turrets did all the work.
Nerfing Torbjorn was an important step toward keeping the console game balanced just as well as the PC version, but the larger issue remains gamepads’ more imprecise aiming.
“To make precise movements, you need to move your stick a ridiculously small amount,” a user explained in a popular Battle.net thread last September, calling out the development team for not addressing the aiming issue. “If you move it [20 percent], which is not much at all, you're already at half or more of your maximum sensitivity. This leaves you with an incredibly small range to make precise movements. This is the main reason that aiming on consoles feels clunky, odd, and imprecise.”
Aiming remains a sticking point for Overwatch fans who prefer consoles to PC. For their part, the folks at Blizzard said they’ll change their tune about keyboards if console makers ever introduce support for them out of the box.
“I encourage you to reach out to the hardware manufacturers and express your concerns (but please do so in a productive and respectful way),” Kaplan said.