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Should You Play Skyrim With Controller or Keyboard?

Should You Play Skyrim With Controller or Keyboard?

There aren’t many joys in life than plugging in Skyrim after an arduous day at work. The game can be run on almost every platform. However, certain limitations need to be catered to for it to run flawlessly. 

It’s been a long time since we’ve been blessed with the bliss of Skyrim. While it is extremely entertaining to date, the game has been modified so much that the inner workings have become more and more ambiguous.

Finding your weapon of choice can be tough. Luckily, the game works well with both. Therefore, it ultimately boils down to your personal preference. However, certain advantages can come with playing Skyrim on your Keyboard. 

Needless to say, the ultimate goal is to have fun while being good at it. Therefore, we recommend you explore both options to make an informed decision. 

Is Skyrim Generally a Difficult Game to Play?

Catering more to the Console gaming community, Skyrim isn’t a particularly hard game. Instead, it is fairly easy to breeze through the early missions and levels. The pacing is quite natural, therefore, you would have to actively seek challenges to be dying in Skyrim. 

While the overall aspect of the game is relatively streamlined, it still doesn’t account for pathetically easy gameplay. Therefore, choosing between a Controller or a Keyboard is quite necessary. With that said, you still hold the option to adjust the in-game difficulty. 

Keyboard Versus Controllers: Which Setup is Better? 

While it is possible to play Skyrim with both Keyboard and Controllers, a clear victor can only be decided after comparing multiple in-game factors. With that said, being able to use the auto-aim assist sure sounds appealing. 

Needless to say, there is more to it than just aiming. Therefore, we have compared the most relevant use-cases below:


Skyrim features a wide variety of key controls. Using multiple key inputs to achieve a certain goal can feel costly, especially when such keys are placed so far away. Unlike Keyboards, however, a Controller has strategically placed L and R keys that are specifically designed to cater to gaming sessions.

Therefore, it is much easier to rock a Controller for your Skyrim sessions. Needless to say, Controllers do have their key limitations when it comes to certain games. However, this issue is virtually non-existent in Skyrim. 


While the number of performable actions is virtually the same, certain additional features make a Keyboard better than Controllers. For example, Toggle actions like Walking and Auto moving are only available to be pressed on the Keyboard. 

Similarly, you cannot quick-open the Map, Inventory, and Skill tree in the Controller. With that said, having so many options readily available is a huge plus. However, one might prefer a Controller over Keyboard due to less but to-the-point controls.


As mentioned, more controls come with better flexibility in terms of in-game options. You get to choose between different playstyles based on your control options. Therefore, it might not feel much, but it’s a major portion of the Skyrim gameplay experience. 

Needless to say, key mapping is a key mechanic needed to mold the controls according to your preferences. Therefore, the more the merrier is a great approach here. 


Being able to control your aim with a Mouse can be much easier than with a Controller’s analog stick. It is fast, effective, and quite simple to use, which makes it great for ranged combat. While Skyrim features a decent amount of ranged combat, the uses of a Mouse are not restrained to just that.

For example, rotating your Mouse to get a better grasp of your surroundings is always an appreciated mechanic in Skyrim. While a Controller can do that much, it is still impossible to perform quick and dynamic movements as accurately. Therefore, using a Mouse is much more efficient in this case. 

Should You Play Skyrim on a Controller?

It ultimately depends on what you feel comfortable with. While the Skyrim experience on a Controller can only be considered subpar at best, it is still a dynamic game that won’t cause any major repercussions even if you choose otherwise.
However, it is still recommended to use a Keyboard and Mouse for proper aiming and accuracy. It can go south really quickly, so make sure to level up accordingly. With that said, using a Controller your entire life just to make a sudden switch for a single game might not be very worth it. 

Related: 3 Reasons Why Your Character is Walking Slow in Skyrim

Needless to say, we have mentioned a few major pros and cons of using a Controller below:

Better ergonomics for casual and lengthy gaming sessions.Tough to aim and control. 
Easier to use for an avid console player.Limited movements and controls.
The steadiness of movement and continuous motion.No availability of macros.

Tips for Keyboard and Mouse Users

If you’re trying Skyrim for the very first time, then you should try adjusting the overall game settings to match your game style. While the default ones can do the job, they might not be as fine-tuned as you might want. 

With that said, we have mentioned a few tips for you, given you are planning to use a Keyboard and Mouse as your main weapon:

  • Reset Your Mouse Sensitivity: By default, the game does not cater well to certain Mouse sensitivities. Which might make Skyrim perform random 360s if you try to move your camera even by a little. 
  • Dabble With the Default Controls: While the game has a lot of controls, you’re probably not gonna use most of them until you get better. So make sure to adjust your controls accordingly with the game progression. 
  • Abuse Quicksave: This mechanic can come in handy before making major slip-ups. Whether they are intentional or accidental, you will have the power to go back in time. Therefore, don’t forget to quicksave wherever possible!

All in all, there is no superiority between a Controller and a Keyboard in general. However, Skyrim is known to provide a better experience on a Keyboard and Mouse. Needless to say, the perks don’t warrant a brand new migration to the Keyboard eco-space.

Therefore, play with whatever you deem fit. Just make sure to enjoy every moment while you can. Skyrim has high replay value, but the first experience is still the best journey!