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Using a Controller vs. Mouse and Keyboard in MHW: Iceborne

While Monster Hunter World is originally a console title, is it viable to use a mouse and keyboard to play? Here's some pros and cons to help you decide.


Monster Hunter World has a great and simple premise: hunt down innocent animals, slowly beat them to death, then craft their corpses into weapons and armor that you will use to murder their remaining friends and family.

The gameplay requires a fair amount planning, strategy, and teamwork. Wearing the wrong equipment and spamming one button won't get you very far (unless you use sword and shield, amirite?) Similar to Dark Souls, if you don't learn to dodge and take advantage of gameplay mechanics, you will die...a lot.

Aside from in-game planning, the IRL gear that you choose to use can drastically affect your quality of life and playstyle:

Control

Originally a console title, Monster Hunter World was designed to be played on a controller. Unsurprisingly, most people use a controller to play it.

Pros of controller:

  • Controls feel natural
  • Easy to sit back and play

Cons of controller:

  • Slower aiming with joysticks
  • Not everyone has a PC controller

Monster Hunter World was designed to be played on a controller.

You want to make sure your controller has clickable right/left analog sticks. I reccommend either an Xbox Controller or a Stratus Duo.

Mouse and Keyboard

I play exclusively using bows and guns, so I opted to use mouse and keyboard. Similar to any first-person shooter, aiming with a mouse just feels right.

Pros of mouse and keyboard:

  • Move with WASD and aim quickly with mouse
  • Easier to type or multitask on your PC

Cons of mouse and keyboard:

  • Literally everything else

Many of the default keyboard hotkeys are wild. For example, here's the random assortment of keys I press to craft ammo outside of battle:

  1. Press F to open crafting
  2. Press R to open craft multiple
  3. Spam DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD to input amount, 10 at a time (or click to type an amount)
  4. Press F to finally craft

Of course I have radial menus to quickcraft in battle. But outside of combat, crafting ammo is like playing a mind-numbing cookie clicker. (PS, if anyone knows a faster way to do this, please @ me).

Despite updates and fixes, navigating menus basically means staring at the key prompts, as they change unreliably through various use cases. "Accept" or "interact" can mean F, E, left click, or spacebar. It's kind of a crapshoot, and results in mistakes quite often.

I've also noticed that my cursor softly "snaps" into my item boxes, which makes mouse navigation feel jumpy or laggy.

Without a major UI overhaul, playing MHW on keyboard feels like a bit of a handicap. My right hand is often swapping between using my mouse and keyboard, just to deal with the weird controls. You'll spend a lot of time customizing keybinds, and I'm not sure they'll ever make total sense.

TL;DR: you basically need 3 hands or a lot of preparation and patience to play on mouse and keyboard.

So, which way to play is best?

Unless you're playing strictly ranged weapons or feel strongly attached to gaming with a mouse (and can deal with some truly rough keyboard controls), Monster Hunter World is best played on a controller.

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