You may be wondering if you could benefit from a gamepad. Does it really make a difference? That is all dependant on what type of game you like to play. PC game controllers are of greatest use when you have to control a character, not just point and click. These products are good for games like Madden NFL and Half-Life but not as useful for turn-based strategy games like Civilization or Heroes.
RPG and MMORPG
Role playing games, like The Elder Scrolls, Final Fantasy and World of Warcraft, are games where you control one character at a time. Most of the time these are in first or third person where the buttons you push dictate every movement your character makes. These games don't often have you moving a cursor around the screen but will give options in lists which utilize the D-pad. The triggers and action buttons are for changing weapons, opening menus, talking to people or even using items. All are easily accessible at your fingertips. The biggest advantage is the two mini joysticks which give you the ability to control the movements and the camera angle. You can walk and change your point of view easily using a gamepad.
First-person shooter games, like Half-Life, Halo and Resident Evil, are based on guns and projectile weapons. Once again, having the two mini joysticks really gives you an advantage you don't get with a mouse and keyboard. Having the ability to control your movements separately from your camera angle can mean the difference between shooting the enemy before they get you and meeting an early demise. The other buttons on the PC game controller let you cycle through your weapons, use items and open menus rapidly.
Sports and Racing
These two types of games aren't found as much on the PC, but having a gamepad really makes the difference. When controlling your car or character, having a joystick can be more reliable with small adjustments. We also like having the triggers and action buttons for those extra boosts of speed or tricks. With sports games like Madden Football you can easily switch between the players with the D-Pad and control them using the joystick.
Perhaps you are more interested in playing games with your friends. Most of the gamepads have a microphone jack built directly into the unit. This way you can plug in your headset to your PC game controller. You don't have to worry about having a short cord length on your headset. This is really useful when considering the wireless option on some of the gamepads.
Though not every game can be improved by using a gamepad, there are several styles out there that really do make gameplay easier. If you want to have more control over your camera angles while you are moving, if you want to have a microphone jack closer to you or if you don't want to deal with one hand on the keyboard and another on the mouse, you may find that gamepads will improve your playing ability.
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