View Full Version : PC Gaming Peripherals

19-06-2011, 02:40 PM
Hi, this is my first post on the RPS forums and I'm wondering whether you fine folks could answer a few of my questions.

1) I think the Super Meat Boy ad at the start of the game (basically, "Use a controller, or else!") has finally taken hold of me, and I'm wondering whether to finally buy a Gamepad or something similar.

My general impression is that everybody recommends a XBox 360 Controller. I have noticed that Amazon sells tons of these (differing in looks, year, etc.). Is there a specific model that you could recommend?
(Something like this (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Xbox-360-Wired-Controller-WINDOWS/dp/B000BK4C80/)?)

What kind of games really benefit from a controller? Does Super Meat Boy benefit from it?
Is a controller even worth it in general for a PC gamer?

2) A similar question to the above, this time about keyboards. I have a horrible, cheap keyboard that makes writing long text a pain. Is there any specific model that is universally recommended, or are there at least some general rules, i.e. what to look for?
(Something like this (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Logitech-G15-Gaming-Keyboard-English/dp/B000UHE8YM/)?)

(I have linked to amazon.co.uk, but I'm German. So general recommendations are enough; I probably won't go to the UK just to buy gaming hardware at your local hardware store :).)

19-06-2011, 02:54 PM
I think it's hugely difficult to recommend this sort of stuff. Many of the higher end peripherals are not cheap and whether you like them or not is hugely subjective. Take a look at the thread regarding X-box like controllers for those with larger hands, for example. My best advice would be to go to your local game shop or PC shop and play around with as many things as you can.

Gaming keyboards always look horrific to me and most of them feel very clumsy to use. I haven't tried this monster (http://steelseries.com/products/keyboards/steelseries-7g) yet which I imagine could change my mind. I have difficulty believing it provides value for money though.

19-06-2011, 04:02 PM
It depends on the games, really. There's types that really call for a controller, like fighting games (the few released on PC's :P ), arcade-styled games, and some action games. I preferred using the Xbox controller for X-Men Origins:Wolverine, and for Darksiders.

As for gaming keyboards, I use the Logitech G15 with an LED display. I can monitor my FPS, Core and GPU temps while playing, assign macros, and it lights up. I even use it to play and shuffle various songs when I get tired of a game's soundtrack.

19-06-2011, 05:55 PM
I use a G15 as well (the newer orange one, not the old blue one) and it's great. The LCD screen is really useful, even just for displaying a clock. It's also quite comfy for typing, the keys are a nice shape and are fairly low-resistance. The wrist rest isn't very long though, only about 4cm, but my keyboard is right on the edge of the desk so that doesn't matter. I thoroughly recommend the G15.
Don't bother with the more expensive G19 - the colour LCD screen might look nice, but you can get all the information you need from a monochrome display.

19-06-2011, 06:08 PM
Gaming keyboards always look horrific to me and most of them feel very clumsy to use. I haven't tried this monster (http://steelseries.com/products/keyboards/steelseries-7g) yet which I imagine could change my mind. I have difficulty believing it provides value for money though.
For those too young to have used mechanical keyboards - they are awful, and they cost about $5 at the time.

I heartily recommend the Logitech G19. It surprises me every month or so with something new. Plus having a row of 12 extra keyboard buttons that re-assign to each game is pretty awesome. That's called a physical inventory right there.
EDIT: Would like to point out that I got a $50 off deal on the G19. Wouldn't recommend buying it full price.

The JG Man
19-06-2011, 06:12 PM
I can't help on the keyboard front because mine cost a fiver and it does the job very nicely, but controller wise I like having the 360 controller. Good for a lot of games if you don't want to get more hardcore stuff, such as fighting sticks or racing wheels.

I cannot imagine playing SMB using the keyboard. I played it on the 360 and despite the 360's pretty dire D-pad, it is otherwise the best controller I've used. I 100%'d the game with the analogue stick and I'm by far not the best gamer, so it's definitely possible using that. Assuming you are in the UK, based on the amazon link, you can get this 360 controller (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wired-Gamepad-Black-Xbox-360/dp/B003VD56KW/ref=sr_1_1?s=videogames&ie=UTF8&qid=1308503095&sr=1-1) which is 18. Also, if you have Windows 7, it's automatically detected so it becomes plug-in and play. Not sure about Vista, but I think it may be supported. Otherwise for that and XP you can definitely get software to allow you to use one. If you end up getting a 360 controller, it has to be a wired one unless you get the wireless set-up which, in my opinion, is not worth it. So far, I've used it for Sonic 2 and 3 in the Sega Collection on Steam, DiRT 3, Trackmania and Spiral Knights. I've given it a whirl in Audiosurf, but I didn't like it's implementation. I think if you play a lot of action/adventure/racing/platform games, it probably can become very useful.

19-06-2011, 07:40 PM
360 pad is useful for almost anything with a vehicle in it, and certain action games, such as Batman. I wouldn't be without it.

I also use a cheapo keyboard and an expensive mouse. This is how it should be.

19-06-2011, 07:53 PM
The keyboard question is a tougb one as people like different things. Most cheap keyboards have fairly low resistance for the keys and also no clear point for when the key is pressed. I still use an IBM Model-M because I have trouble typing on almost anything else (I tried a G-15 once and it was horrible for me). I would strongly recommend trying a keyboard before you buy it or at least buying where you can easily return it (Saturn/Media Markt come to mind in Germany/Austria, even if they have a limited selection on peripherals and aren't the cheapest; obviously Amazon as well) if you plan on typing a lot. For pure gaming I can see why a programmable keyboard like the G-15 is useful.

19-06-2011, 08:32 PM
Thanks a lot for all the great and thoughtful responses! I'm planning to buy a new PC in two months' time, so I will probably buy both a new controller and a new keyboard then. I probably shouldn't buy them before then - games and related things are great tools for procrastinating horribly on my studies.

I do own Super Meat Boy, Darksiders and a Wii with a few Zelda games, so I guess I like the kinds of games that benefit from a video game controller.
(Incidentally, I will rage and/or weep horribly if I find out that SMB actually is measurably easier with a gamepad than with a/my keyboard.)

19-06-2011, 11:00 PM
(Incidentally, I will rage and/or weep horribly if I find out that SMB actually is measurably easier with a gamepad than with a/my keyboard.)

I got SMB in The Potato Sack, tried the first level with a keyboard and gave up. They weren't kidding when they said you should use a gamepad. I haven't touched it since as I haven't got a gamepad, I should probably get round to buying one.

20-06-2011, 12:18 PM
I use a MS Sidewinder X6 keyboard - it's really small and the numpad detaches to make it even smaller. I like being able to put the numpad on the left side and out of the way as well. It has programmable thingies too and is inexpensive comparatively.