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Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War – Keyboard & Mouse or Controller? Which one is better?

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Ever since Crossplay made it into Call of Duty the playerbase has been discussing which input method is better: Keyboard & Mouse or Controller?

Many PC players are convinced that a mouse’s better precision cannot be matched by a controller. But the automatic aim assist could make the difference. Which method is actually superior? Here are the strengths and weaknesses of each input method in Call of Duty.

Advantages of mouse & keyboard

Crosshair placement

Disregarding each person’s habit and individual preference, a mouse will always be more precise in crosshair placement than a controller. It is significantly easier to keep the correct position of your crosshair as you can use your entire arm and the full size of your mousepad.

Reaction speed

Another aspect in which mouse & keyboard win out is speed. If you properly set up the sensitivity of your mouse you can easily spin around 180 degrees at breakneck speed to react to ambushes.

Muscle memory

Muscle memory is also an important aspect. A player that gets used to his mouse speed through countless situations unconsciously memorizes his movements. Although that process also happens on controller, many players claim that it is easier to get back into the game on keyboard & mouse even after months of inactivity. In contrast controller players often need a while to regain their aim.

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Advantages of controllers

The biggest advantage of controllers is without a doubt aim assist. The automatic system helps players to keep their aim locked on their target of choice.

The sticky effect

A good example can be seen in the following video. As soon as you aim near an opponent the sensitivity of your controller is lowered to produce a sticky effect that helps you to stay on target.
The radius for that effect adjusts to the range you are aiming across.

Rotational aim assist

But that is not the only advantage. Around the 3:21 timestamp Ab Minute 3:21 of the embedded video you can see another assist system in Call of Duty. The rotational aim assist helps you during sideways movement in a firefight. However this does not really constitue an unfair advantage it is much more akin to balancing out a downside of controllers.


In contrast to mouse & keyboard it is much easier to control your recoil on a controller. Mouse & keyboard users need to have a broad understanding of each and every weapon to properly control their aim. While controller players need to do so as well, their movement does not have to be as crisp as on mouse.


As you can see both input methods have their strengths and weaknesses, but that exactly leads to the debate in regards to Crossplay in Call of Duty. Especially considering the different scenarios and situations in which they need to perform.

The element of surprise

One scenario in which mouse & keyboard often lose out to controllers is sudden close quarter combat when moving around corners. While the controller user can rely on aim assist to lock on to their opponent easily, mouse users might not recover in time to reset their aim.

Detecting players on accident

Another situation in which controller users thrive is detecting players. The reduced controller sensitivity in the above mentioned sticky effect can tell you beforehand if an enemy is hiding in the bushes. Sometimes you can even find players in positions that you had checked already.

In the end you cannot rely on the aim assist systems entirely, but mouse & keyboard are not automatically better than controllers in Call of Duty. On average mouse users perform better than controller users as aim assist can be finicky and not always work the same. The more players use their mouse & keyboard setup, the more they can improve and get used to their input method, which results in better chances to take down controller users.

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Image Credits: Activision