Does Playing Battlefield 3 On A PC Make You Twice As Accurate?

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.

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 per cent. On PC I'm still terrible, just not as terrible. Battlelog shows I'm at just over 15 per cent 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.

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.


Comments

    PC is better for Aim,
    Console is better for Walking.

    That's how I feel about it when I compare playing between both.

      PC is better for watching TV at the same time.
      Console is not.

      It's prolly pretty lame, but that's seriously how I decide what to play most nights. haha

        I used to do that too, but eventually came to the conclusion that any game that can't entertain me enough to the extend that it demands my full attention isn't a game worth playing.

        That and I got bored of television.

          i am sort of like that, if i don't feel like putting the sound on and properly playing it i don't bother

      Consoles's better for driving too, but PC always wins in the end..
      You can plug a controller in.

    I'd love to see the global stats for this.

      yeah we need the full comparison between platforms, that would be sick.

    Surely it's not an "argument" but an established fact. Common sense says that a movement of the mouse over a diameter of ~30cms is going going to be more accurate than one of ~2cms for the controller. That range allows a much greater range of sensitivity.
    That's not a knock on console gaming, which is great. But it's not as accurate, and that's a fact just like the graphics "argument" between pc's and consoles.

      30cm? I think you'll find that most players have their mouse set at high dpi settings which in turn require less movement. Probably similar size to how much you mive a joystick. Its just that fact that the mouse is a more direct control and the fact the shoot button is incorporated in the movement that makes it more accurate.

      Try telling that to console players who are obviously in denial. No matter how many facts are thrown at them the continue to insist that a console controller is superior to a mouse and keyboard. First it was Microsoft saying that console players would get killed vs PC players (hence the decision to scrap console PC multiplayer hybrid games) and now this. This is just more evidence, that will hopefully put this issue to rest.

      This is not to say that console controller is inadequate. It can do the job, but compared to M&K it comes of second best.

        I don't see many console gamers arguing that controllers are more accurate, but personally I prefer an inaccurate controller over a keyboard and mouse any day.
        There's just not enough challenge in mouse based aiming. It's not hit or miss with a mouse it's headshot or torso. Console controls demand another level of skill to compensate for the unreliable aiming which I (again, just personally) prefer.

        There's plenty of things right and wrong with each side but unless the specific game butchers the controls on one platform there's no right and wrong side to take.

          Oh god, brain hurts.

            Really?? Have you missed the last few weeks here in Kotaku? Recently someone made a comment along the lines of

            Console Controller > Mouse & Keyboard

            Or something to that effect. So yeah there are people out there that believe in it.

            Secondly, We are not discussing which control method requires more skill, thats a different argument altogether. What we are discussing is which Control Method is more accurate. I maintain M&K > Console controller

            Of course console controllers require more skill to get the same sort of accuracy as a M&K, That merely emphasizes my point. You need more skill to get to the same level as a M&K, but since Console controllers will never have the same accuracy as a Mouse and Keyboard, the best console controller players still have no chance vs the best M&K players. I made this point before. Look at the 4000+dpi mouses available with on the fly dpi setting changes. Thats how accurate Mice can get. Console controllers dont even get a choice. How can a one size fits all control method (console controller) ever compete with that? Like i said lets end this argument once and for all. Mouse and Keyboard is the SUPERIOR control method for FPS (and RTS or any game that requires pointing) compared to console controllers PERIOD.

            +1
            But also the area where I have been facepalming.

          I agree to a certain extent but one fundamental thing that a lot of people miss is the human element. I play on 360 and believe I'm quite proficient with that controller/fps in general. My friend however isn't that good at fps but plays on pc. My accuracy is 44% whilst his is 15%. So overall mouse kb is more accurate? Yes. Does it mean you have an advantage? No!

        A mouse is fine - a keyboard is for typing, trying to move around with WASD and pressing 6 other buttons gives me hand cramps - I'll take a controller anyday thanks.

    Yeah, consoles suck.
    *tries unsuccessfully to hide the fact that he's just bought an Xbox 360*
    :P

    I think you need more than 2hours of gameplay.

    Keep in mind that many shooters have aim assist, whereas PC generally doesn't (or is disabled by the player).

      Thank god for developers who let you turn that stuff off. I hate aim assist, and if I need to turn it on then the developer has done something very wrong to the controls.

    It does depend on the game though. If the developer sets up their controls and engine correctly then PC is much more accurate, especially with some of the mice on the market.
    But I've played some ports to PC were the accuracy was terrible, simply because the game play hadn't been fixed for mouse.
    Things like assisted aim, smoothing, and acceleration resulting in a muddy feeling when targeting.

    A well executed Keyboard and Mouse FPS is a joy to play, getting those pinpoint head shots with the knowledge that there is no CPU power guiding your shot, only neurons.

    PC is sucky at the moment because of rubberbanding lag, it'll be better once all the Braydens go to MW3

    I'm more comfortable with a mouse & keyboard for first person games, but I'd gladly play all my games on console on my 50 inch plasma, if my missus wasn't such a TV hog :(

      Hook your PC to your TV problem solved. Get a good wireless mouse and keyboard and a folding table and your set. With a good PC you get the best graphics and best controls for FPS and RTS all on your big screen TV (Full HD and all the goodies too). Console smonsoles

    "Battlefield 3 is an amazing, bar-setting online shooter."
    Oh God, my sides!

    I'm on a similar boat to the author. I have found however that I win a lot more games on my 360. The beauty on gaming on consoles is, there is less headroom for competitive advantage. As most people will be using similar setups. However on PC, there is so many different peripherals and hardware setups that can lead to other players having the edge.

      I find this one TF2 as well (the only game I play on both platforms) I suck on KBM compared to the hordes of people who play on PC all the time but on 360 I do quite well!

    Umm while your SPM (score per minute) is -just- better on xbox than it is on PC, your W/L ratio is horrendous on the xbox compared to PC. So wouldnt the arguement that working as a team happens more on PC?

    The SPM can change quite dramatically with 2 hours of play, you really need 20 hours or more to say that is what your SPM is.

      Other thing i just noticed is that the author was using recon primarily on the xbox and engineer for the pc, totally different types of play, if it was 2 hours as engie on both then there would be something to compare.

      @Marky Martin - The author doesnt understand ratio's, a 1.25 ratio (PC) is better than the .25 (Xbox) ratio.

    Imagine how much bigger the difference would be if the console version didn't have aiming assist.

      i would imagine the vast majority of console players would simply stop playing FPS if that ever happened lol. ;P

    "In theory I should suck equally on both platforms"

    Well no not really, not when the two platforms have completely different methods of input with one being vastly superior to the other.

    @Woffle - I believe that's the win-loss ratio listed in the picture, not kill-death ratio which the author obviously grabbed from a stat page we are privy to.

    I want to try out a mouse/controller hybrid, I find aiming easier with a mouse but I like having a joystick for movement.

    I prefer sitting on my couch in front of my 50 inch playing xbox over sitting in my computer chair with my arms out front of me for hours on end. I'm not debating the accuracy of controllers and anything here, just saying I prefer the xbox experience. You don't need 3rd party apps to have voice chats, you don't need extra wires and you can sit in comfort, spread out or even lay down on the couch.

    Hook my pc up to my tv? Well, my pc at the moment barely runs bf3 at medium settings so in order to have that better experience I'd have to invest in a better rig, I'd then have to buy *MORE* cables to run through my room for sound and video.

    If I want to play bf3 with 64 players (the only real advantage I see on the pc) then I'll buy a copy of it on pc and give it a quick bash on medium graphics. But that's a terrible waste of money in itself. I'd rather just sit down, with my "6 year old gaming system" and play the game how I like. None of this "OMG PC IS DA BEST, IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT THIS WAY THEN DO IT THIS WAY OMGGG" crap. Let me play my way, I'll let you play yours. We never have to meet each other so why the fuck does anyone care?

      Lol, I'm exactly the opposite.. I hate sitting on a couch and playing consoles on my widescreen TV. (For me personally, having such a wide screen makes me have to focus on more, which ends up in my missing stuff)

      I've got a 21 inch widescreen monitor which I think is just a tad too big, my next monitor will be a little smaller.
      My pc is a crapbox right now and I can only run BF3 on low settings.
      My xbox is a dust collector, last game I played on it was Red Dead Redemption.

      The main Pc vs Console debate I have ran into in RL was from an internet cafe... all the Xbox players would proclaim that controller was better than mouse/keyboard.

      I offered to setup a controller on 10 of the PC's and have the other 10 pc's as mouse and keyboard to settle the debate but they said the controllers for PC are terrible quality.
      So we never got to settle the debate. lol

    my accuracy is 6.1%, but my KD is exactly 1.0 (776 kills - 776 deaths) score per minute is 220odd. First day online caned my KD and accuracy. But once your accuracy is down that is harder to get back up than KD. (it doesnt help when flying a jet/helicopter and missing everything with miniguns either)

    I have PS3. I'm cool with the controller. It takes a bit of getting used to after keyboard and mouse on PC, which I agree is far more accurate, but I use the controller without too much trouble now.

    I reckon the accuracy difference is because you don't shoot as much on PC as you do on a Console. On PC, you line up your shots a lot more accurately before you start firing, whereas on console, you tend to get relatively close and then start firing.

    There's also the major skill difference you get on PC when compared to consoles. Like Marky Martin said, you get so many different peripherals and experience levels with PC that everyone is playing the game differently. On console, the ground is even, with pretty much everyone using the same controllers. This also results in the kill death ratio differences.

    And taking that into consideration, I'd also put forth that the points per minute difference is based on this. Considering the harder aiming and level playing field of the console games, there is a lot more focus on objectives than there is on killing. When you get a group of players together on PC, often all they'll be looking to do is kill a bunch of people, whereas console players have to go for the objectives more often than relying in their greater aiming abilities for points.

    I would like to see this test go on, and more posts in the future when play time increases on both platforms. Two hours isn't enough, but I am quite sure that PC accuracy is far superior than a controller.

    Also, doesn't the console versions have aim assist?

    If you do keep monitoring, please resist random shooting when bored. Or, you know, shooting at friendly vehicles when other people take them first. Unless you do it on both platforms. The same amount.

    This discussion is as old as console gaming exists. Having superiour accuracy is not the only advantage that PC players have.. The main difference is mouselook vs tiny joystick. The ability to look around you in a smooth controlled way affects your whole gameplay in movement, spotting, aiming and tactical advantages that come with those abilities. On consoles you have to look around by using the little joystick. On a PC I have a huge mousemat and I can set my sensitivity to match that.

    I play alot of TF2 and BF3, and console gamers would be annihalated in both games if you would create a hybrid server for console/PC. Consoles are for laidback FPS gaming, PC is for pro FPS gaming. Higher sklill-level overall.

      I agree there's more accuracy, but that doesn't mean console players can't be competitive with each other in a competitive setting where they all use the same equipment.

      A good analogy would be climbing.

      Climbing with a top rope is much easier. So is climbing bolted routes. People who complete the hardest climbs climb on bolted routes.

      But there is a subset of people who climb traditionally, places their own equipment as they climb. It's adds more difficulty to the climb. There are some who do bolted routes, some who only climb traditional. Just because one way enables you to climb 'better' doesn't mean the other one doesn't have competitive value.

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