There are two types of games, those who prefer keyboard and mouse, and those who prefer controllers. Honestly, both have pros and cons; I like controllers for racing games and keyboard and mouse for first-person shooting games.
Let’s face it, aiming and flicking are better with a mouse and driving a car is better with an analogue stick. Generally, all MMOs with controller support are usually a cross-platform release, but some games are better on a controller than a keyboard.
That said, though, sometimes I enjoy playing on controllers because it allows for your typical lazy Sunday couch plays, all laid back and cosy in a blanket. Opposed to the sweat nature of mouse and keyboard gameplay, grinding away in Rainbow Six or CS: GO.
Moreover, some titles like Dark Souls are very challenging, if not outright impossible, to play on a keyboard; they are designed to be played on a controller and use the analogue stick for better movement.
Other games like, say, Batman: Arkham series can be enjoyed on a keyboard or controller but are way more accessible with a controller.
Well without further ado, here are some MMORPGs with controller support.
1. Final Fantasy XIV
Final Fantasy is an MMORPG developed by Square Enix and released in 2013. The game features a persistent world where players can get together to complete quests and grind the game.
Of course, the game emphasizes hack and slash combat and is best enjoyed on a controller (though keyboard support is extensive); the game switches its UI when a controller is connected to allow easier access and improve the flow of combat.
Furthermore, players can remap their controls and change the on-screen HUD for maximum comfort and efficiency.
2. Black Desert Online
Black Desert Online is a Korean MMORPG developed by Peral Abyss and released in 2015. The game offers sandbox-type gameplay allowing players to explore the world, progress the story at their own pace, and discover unique playstyles suitable to their character.
The game does support controllers natively. However, there are some adjustments to be done before the game feels okay.
For instance, the default camera speeds are very clunky and might feel sluggish. Usually, I don’t mind that in a third-person (Vampyr, for example, doesn’t have the best camera controls but works just fine), but manual aiming is a big part of the game’s core gameplay loop.
Thus, I’d advise players to experiment with the camera settings to make it more comfortable; fortunately, all other aspects of the game work just fine with a controller, including pulling off sick combos.
3. The Elder Scrolls Online
The Elder Scrolls Online is an MMORPG developed by ZeniMax Online and released in 2014. The game is set in the same world as other Elder Scrolls and allows players to explore Tamriel’s entire continent freely.
Being a console game, the game also natively supports controllers for PC.
It’s slightly tricky, though, to get the controller working. Firstly, ensure that the controller is connected before launching the game.
Next, players will have to log in (using keyboard and mouse), navigate to settings, select the gameplay tab, and find the gamepad mode option. Turn that on, and you should be good to go.
This has to be done only once, but in my experience, this process has to be repeated every time the player fails to connect the controller before launching the game—a slight inconvenience depending on your setup.
4. The Exiled Realm of Arborea (TERA)
TERA is an MMORPG developed by Bluehole Studio and released in 2011, and although the game plays on both PC and consoles, they feature differing content. In 2020, the developers announced to keep this intentional split in content.
Again, being a console game, the game does natively feature controller support, and it works without hiccups, for the most part, not requiring additional tinkering like ESO.
However, I wouldn’t recommend this game to be played on the controller due to the nature of its gameplay and the need to use several abilities repeatedly to win in combat.
Also, unless you’re comfortable with the button mapping of Dragonball games, I wouldn’t recommend moving away from a keyboard, as it is much more advantageous.
5. Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2 is another third-person MMORPG developed by ArenaNet and released in 2012. It’s considered one of the biggest MMORPGs and features riveting gameplay with many skills to master and content to explore.
The game doesn’t offer native controller support; however, the community is more than creative; using Steam’s controller configuration, it is entirely possible and viable to play the game on a controller.
The best advice I could give is to use the action cam for the best possible experience, utilize the ability to map controller buttons to combinations of keys (like ctrl+1, shift+q, etc.) and lastly to activate auto-targeting.
These settings tinkered to perfection can give an excellent experience for Guild Wars 2; not only is it on par with the keyboard scheme, but it’s also much more comfortable.
6. WoW ConsolePort add-on
World of Warcraft is a fantasy MMORPG developed by Blizzard Entertainment and released in 2004. Like Guild Wars 2, WoW has an excellent reputation in the MMO circles.
Also, like Guild Wars 2, WoW has no console port or native controller support. However, unlike GW 2, WoW has an excellent modding scene; if you’re looking to enjoy WoW on a controller, you’ll need the ConsolePort add-on, and while it doesn’t offer any support for the Steam controller, Ps and Xbox controllers work just fine.
Thankfully, they require little to no changes to perform flawlessly, no going around in settings and moving sliders, so the gameplay feels natural, no stir. Just install, and you’re good to go.
The add-on also features many key mappings and bindings pre-installed, so players just need to install a template, and the add-on does the rest for them. Pretty neat, huh?
7. Destiny 2
Destiny 2 is a first-person MMO, developed by Bungie and released in 2017. Like ESO, the game is cross-platform and thus features native controller support.
Although I do not prefer playing first-person shooters on the controller at all (just look at how different Doom Eternal plays on console and PC), I don’t find the controller support to be half bad.
I prefer playing most of the game with a controller. However, it all comes crashing down in PvP segments. As I said, controllers don’t stand a chance against the mouse and keyboard, and it shows.
Dauntless is another MMO ARPG developed by Pheonix Labs and released in 2019. Like other titles before, Dauntless is a cross-platform experience, and this features native controller support.
It’s preferable to play this game on a controller due to its third-person perspective coupled with the hack-and-slash combo fueled combat a la DMC.
Interestingly, although the game encourages co-op gameplay, players can easily beat the game in a single-player mode. So take from that what you will.
9. DC Universe Online
DC Universe Online is an MMORPG developed by Dimensional Ink Games and released in 2011; this superhero title allows players to fight alongside their favourite DC heroes and villains in an attempt to stop Brainiac from consuming the world.
Again, this title was released for consoles and features native controller support that doesn’t need the user to edit files or install patches to function appropriately.
Like Dauntless, the game plays in the third person, making controllers more viable if not necessary. Unfortunately, the combat is simple and nowhere as robust as Dauntless or Final Fantasy.
Still, flying around the city and knocking bad guys feels more natural on the controller than a keyboard. Unless your build includes manual aiming, I’d say players can enjoy the better part of the game on a controller.
Neverwinter is another free-to-play MMORPG developed by Cryptic Studios and released in 2013. Weirdly even though Cryptic launched the game on consoles, it doesn’t feature any native controller support.
The best way to play this game on a controller is to use Steam controller configuration and mapping keys onto your controller.
Another way to enjoy the game on a controller (and other unsupported titles) is to use REWASD. This software works very much like Xbox360CE but incorporates profile export and import, making the entire process much less tedious.
The community has been able to use the following profile to great success and is a sure-fire way to enjoy the game without any hiccups. Click here to visit.
I don’t play favorites when it comes to PC vs console, I think it’s a rather stupid debate, and players should be able to play whatever they want however they enjoy it.
That said, I’d like to see more developers incorporating controllers natively, with the release of Steam Deck on the horizon.
Now’s a good time as any to allow universal gamepad controls so PC players can enjoy games they want without worrying if it’s compatible with a controller or not.