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How to make Minecraft Legends feel actually good to play

Well, if you must use a controller...

A key art of Minecraft Legends, showcasing the hero standing in the middle of a battleground, with friendly units on the left and the evil piglins on the right Image: Mojang Studios, Blackbird Interactive/Xbox Game Studios

The controls in Minecraft Legends can be a bit difficult to handle, especially when you’re using a controller. As a real-time strategy game — one that doesn’t shy from the complexity of the genre, at that — there is a ton to keep an eye on simultaneously.

Whether you use the classic keyboard and mouse combination or your trusty Xbox controller, we have some suggestions about the best control options in Minecraft Legends, as well as a few ideas for further tweaks that can improve the overall experience.

Enable Toggle Mode for the banner, sprint, and build views

In the Controller and Keyboard/Mouse menus, under the Controller and Keyboard Features tab, you’ll find three options related to toggled mode. This makes it so actions like sprint, build, and banner no longer require you to hold the designated button, and instead activate them with a simple press.

Activating this option will considerably reduce the strain of having to hold down the designated buttons, as per usual. In Minecraft Legends, it also helps you to focus on the battlefield alone.

If you’re just trying to decide what to deploy or build, it’s best to go for a single button press. You’re already required to do other button prompts on top of this, while also staying on movement and defending yourself from attacks, so it’s best to go for toggle mode as soon as you start. That way, you’ll get used to it from the get-go.

The hero enters banner view in Minecraft Legends, commanding units with the alternate control options suggested below Image: Mojang Studios, Blackbird Interactive/Xbox Game Studios

Best Minecraft Legends controller setup

Playing Minecraft Legends with a controller can be overwhelming at first. While the tutorial is fairly straightforward, you’ll soon find yourself giving orders, rallying units, attacking Piglins, and switching between your tabs to build structures on the go. It’s a lot.

It’s likely that you’ll get used to the natural setup after a few hours. But, if you’re looking for some suggestions and tweaks, you can head over to the Controller menu on settings, and switch the bindings to your liking. If the game displays a prompt saying that the controls aren’t the ones intended, don’t fret — as long as you don’t leave any of them unassigned, it’ll work just fine.

Here are the best controller options for Minecraft Legends that I’ve come across:

Under the Hero & Hud tab...

  • Melee: Switch B for X
  • Lure: Switch X for RS
  • Open Songbook: Switch RS for B

Under the Banner View tab...

  • Charge: Switch B for LB
  • Focus Target: Switch Y for RB

Your hero’s melee attack is fairly standard, but that doesn’t diminish its importance. As your units as focused on specific enemies or structures, it’s key to help them by repelling any reinforcements that might be trying to interrupt their siege. X is a much more natural place for it, too, and you’ll have your finger closer to the right analog stick.

Speaking of which, lure is an action that you’ll perform often to add units under your banner so they can tag alongside you. I found RS to be fine spot for it, as you’ll be moving your camera often. With a single button press, you’ll be able to move the camera and rally any nearby units simultaneously. Note that you can also opt for the Auto Camera Turn option here, too, under the Controller Features tab of the Controller menu, so the right analog can be designated only for rally.

Lastly, you won’t open the songbook that often, so switching it over to B is a nice way of having it on-hand without it being completely intrusive.

As for the Banner View options, using B and Y to give directions can be cumbersome, especially during heated battles. Since you’re already pressing RT to open up the menu, it feels natural to opt for the LB and RB buttons instead.

But mouse-and-keyboard is best for Minecraft Legends

Okay, so, I get the appeal of sitting comfortably on your couch after a long day at work and focusing only on using a controller. That said, Minecraft Legends is far from the likes of Halo Wars. Controls are decently enough for a real-time strategy game on a console. But if you want a better experience, especially for multiplayer, a keyboard and mouse will feel much better.

Right off the bat, the mouse wheel makes a difference when interacting with the hotbar. Using the cursor to build structures and command units to specific points around the map feels natural and straightforward. Overall, it’s the ideal way to play once battles start to get hectic and more convoluted. But if you just want to explore the overworld in the campaign, you might not need to plug a mouse and keyboard into your Xbox.

On a keyboard, get used to the numbers

If you’re not a fan of using the mouse wheel, or you’re just looking for a method with more precision for heated battles at big scales, remember you can use the numbers of your keyboard. When you’re in banner view, you can use them to select between classes (melee, ranged, all, special, firsts) by moving horizontally. To do so vertically, you can either use the mouse wheel or arrow keys.

This is perhaps more useful when you’re using the hotbar, as you can use numbers one to nine on your keyboard to select between all available slots. This is sure to come in handy in multiplayer, where you’ll need a faster reaction. Remember that you can open the songbook and customize the hotbar shortcuts to your liking. Thus, you can memorize a specific number with a unit type, resource, or structure to build, making it easier to strategize.

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