I’ve Learned To Love All The Finicky Things About PC Gaming

I’ve Learned To Love All The Finicky Things About PC Gaming

Last week, I tried to get a game running on my computer. Something was weird. I went to Google and found a very specific list of instructions for how to fix it. A few minutes later, I’d solved the problem.

If you have spent any time with PC gaming, you almost certainly have your own version of this story. Playing video games on a computer means accepting the fact that you will have to spend a fair amount of time troubleshooting, poking and prodding at finicky parts of your machine until everything works.

Being a PC gamer means that sometimes a game will stop running, inexplicably, and then a few days later it will just work again.

Last week, when I tried playing Far Cry 5 with my DualShock 4 plugged in – it’s just so much more comfortable than a mouse and keyboard; stop judging – I realised that the d-pad wasn’t working. The game would tell me to press the “up” button to use my binoculars, but when I did, nothing happened.

My thought process went something like this: Damnit, there’s no in-game way to fix this. Should I just play the whole game without binoculars? It will be kind of a fun challenge. Should I just order a new controller? I wonder if other people have run into this problem. Should I write about this on Kotaku?

A bit of Twitter searching led me to this solution (thanks, BadgerGlue1):

I’ve Learned To Love All The Finicky Things About PC Gaming

Bam. I followed those instructions and now everything is great. Not only is the d-pad working perfectly, the button prompts are now showing up correctly. (Before, in Far Cry 5 and other games, I would see Xbox button prompts even with a PS4 controller.) Fixing this particular problem was rewarding in its own way, sort of like solving a puzzle in a video game.

I’ve Learned To Love All The Finicky Things About PC Gaming

People who play primarily on consoles might read Kotaku articles like this one and wonder just why the hell anyone would use a PC. Why spend so much time on a finicky piece of hardware when you could just plug in an Xbox One and get things working without a hassle?

Here’s one answer: Because the finickiness is part of the fun. Over the past few months, I’ve come to appreciate the weird quirks of high-end PC gaming, and I’ve come to enjoy the puzzle-solving that comes with trying to discern what went wrong.

I might change my mind in a few months, when my computer randomly won’t turn on and I have to waste an entire weekend trying to figure out why, but at least for now, I’ve grown to embrace it all.

Having a super-high-resolution and 60+ frames-per-second is also a good reason to play video games on a PC.

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