Apex Legends

Apex Legends' Ace explains why controller players have higher skill floor

by Alan Bernal

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NRG Apex Legends pro player Brandon ‘Ace’ Winn explained the inherent pitfalls that come with using a keyboard and mouse as well as a controller, comparing the skill ceilings and floors that the peripherals provide for players.

FPS and battle royale players have a long-standing debate on the pros and cons of using keyboard and mouse as opposed to a controller; some people consider both as viable options while others outright bash on the one they don’t use.

With the upcoming launch of the Apex Global Series (AGS), controller players like Jack ‘NiceWigg’ Martin and others are making the switch to keyboard and mouse since the league will be played on PC.

Bangalore aiming down a Devotion in Apex Legends
Respawn Entertainment
Both Controllers as well as keyboard and mouse have their pros and cons in BRs like Apex Legends.

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But pros still get asked by casual fans on which peripheral would be better for aiming, improving as a player, and the like. There’s ample room for discussion of the topic, but Ace gave a good summary of what opinions generally boil down to.

When asked if it's easier to aim with keyboard and mouse on his Jan 21 stream, the pro gave a certain context to the limitations and allowances that both offer.

“Keyboard and mouse has a higher skill ceiling but a lower skill floor,” Ace explained. “You’re going to be worse, if you’re really bad but you can be very, very f***king sick.”

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It’s true that keyboard and mouse gives players a certain freedom with their aim and micro-movements that can lend itself to finding a style of play that suits them.

That allowance gives good players unlimited potential to approach the game, but keyboard and mouse can be unforgiving for someone who’s struggling to grasp the basic concepts.

“While on a controller, the skill floor is higher because you have aim assist, but the skill ceiling is lower because you’re restricted via your movement,” Ace said.

Pathfinder looking down the sights in Apex Legends
Respawn Entertainment
Even though keyboard and mouse gives players better control of their character, it could be damning for lower-skilled players.

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The NRG star touched on aim assist’s effect on the skill floor; it lets players perfect other facets of their game like their positioning and rotations in a fight since the actual shooting is partially covered with the built-in system.

While that could be beneficial in firefights, when it comes to looting and on-the-fly decisions, the limitations of a controller are going to hold players back.

NiceWigg expressed similar sentiments on December 18 when controller players were making the switch to PC shortly after the AGS announcement, saying that while aim assist does “help you in close range gunfights” there are hurdles that PC players don’t have to contend with.

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“[Controller players] have to overcome so many disadvantages — we can’t move while looting, we can’t choose our heals while moving, our creativity is hindered by our movement,” he said.

Keyboard and mouse are going to be used with all AGS players soon, but that could bring up more insight from the pros on the difference between controllers and KBM.