Does Playing Battlefield 3 On a PC Make You Twice as Accurate (Or Is It Just Me?)

Illustration for article titled Does Playing Battlefield 3 On a PC Make You Twice as Accurate (Or Is It Just Me?)

Battlefield 3 is an amazing, bar-setting online shooter. It's also one of the first games of its kind that has had me ping-ponging back and forth between computer and console to play.

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Sure, I could blame the game's unstable servers for the reason why I keep moving between computer and Xbox 360 (I don't have a copy of the PS3 version yet) to play the shooter. But that was only the impetus, what kept me shifting back and forth was my growing curiosity about how I play the game differently on the two platforms.

I'm an occasional PC gamer. What that means to me is that most of my strong gaming experiences, the rock upon which my love for gaming was built, came while clattering away on a keyboard and mouse. I was one of those early vocal critics of playing a shooter on a console. But then I adjusted and now that's how I most often game.

But Battlefield 3's promise (and delivery) of spectacular PC-powered graphics drew me back in to playing a shooter on the PC. But I was also reviewing the game on console, so I did both. And then I started looking at my stats and noticed something interesting. According to Battlelog, I am twice as accurate on a computer as I am on a console. Twice!

Granted my console stats are abysmal, showing that my accuracy rate after two hours of play is hovering at just under 7.5 percent. On PC I'm still terrible, just not as terrible. Battlelog shows I'm at just over 15 percent after two hours of play. In theory I should suck equally on both platforms, so these stats have me revisiting a premise I gave up on years ago, one familiar to those of you who still game mostly on PC: The mouse and keyboard is more accurate than the console's controllers.

But what I find surprising is that for me it's twice as accurate. (I played both sort of equally, alternating between them for the most part, so this shouldn't be about my having more experience on the game when I moved to the PC.)

Other interesting things I noted in my stats: Apparently despite being less accurate, I'm better and completing objectives and getting points on the console than I am on the PC. (Maybe because I'm so terrible at hitting what I'm aiming at.) There's also a huge difference between the classes on play, based on the platform I'm on. And my kill to death ratios were also very different, based on platform. The PC ratio was .342, the Xbox 360 ratio was .436.

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This is all based on one person, just me. But it's enough to rekindle my interest in the age-old argument of controller versus mouse and computer. I know plenty of people don't think it's even worth arguing, that the PC set-up will always be far more accurate than the console's. But I'm still astounded that that accuracy could potentially result in double the accuracy.

I'm sure devoted gamers could increase their accuracy on any set-up overtime, this seems to indicate a natural perk for those who stick to keyboard and mouse gaming.

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You can contact Brian Crecente, the author of this post, at brian@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.

DISCUSSION

jesterspawn
jesterspawn

Maybe I'm just weird, but this is precisely why I prefer to play CoD on the 360 instead of the PC.

Don't get me wrong; I'm a diehard PC FPS fan. I've been playing them on the PC since the invention of the genre and 90% of my time with shooters is still on PC. But, for whatever reason, my brain just *loves* the relative lack of precision that the 360 pad represents, because somehow it makes the game feel more realistic.

I think it's because mouse/keyboard is so instinctive that it is almost TOO automatic for me at this point. If I think about shooting something in a PC shooter, I hit it. That's not very realistic for a soldier jogging around with a hefty gun at his shoulder, is it?

So, with the thumbsticks, there's that tiny bit of subconscious panic when I encounter an enemy, because my brain knows I'm going to have to do some delicate thumb-ninjitsu if I want to live. And I guess that tiny bit of panic must really trip my pleasure receptors, because I find CoD games twice as addicting on 360 as I do on PC.

Plus, it is worth noting that the force feedback in the 360 controller also fires some synapses in my brain that sit dormant when I play on PC, so that adds to the cocktail.