Helldivers 2 Logo Game Cover
Helldivers 2 Logo Game Cover

When playing Helldivers 2, your choice between a controller or a keyboard and mouse will significantly impact your gaming experience. The game is a fast-paced third-person shooter that demands quick reflexes and precise controls. It provides customization options in its settings to help you adjust your gameplay, whether you’re using a controller or a keyboard and mouse. These options allow you to modify sensitivities and other control aspects to match your play style. Helldivers 2’s gameplay mechanics are built to be responsive and immersive. It supports most controllers as well as full keyboard and mouse functionalities, giving you the freedom to pick the input method that best suits your strategic deployment. As with many shooter games, the choice of control method often comes down to your preference for aiming, movement, and interacting with the game’s features.

The KBM vs Controller Showdown

Helldivers 2 throws you into intense, top-down combat against hordes of alien foes. Choosing the right input method – keyboard and mouse (KBM) or controller – can have a significant impact on your Super Earth survival skills. Let’s break down the advantages and disadvantages of each control scheme.

FeatureKeyboard & MouseController
Aiming PrecisionGenerally offers superior accuracy and faster target acquisition.Aiming can feel smoother but may require some practice with twin-stick controls.
MovementWASD keys allow for precise movement, but some players find analog sticks more fluid.Movement feels natural with analog sticks, but precision can be slightly lower.
Stratagem InputCan be cumbersome to quickly input stratagem codes while moving.D-pad and face buttons allow for quick and intuitive stratagem use on the fly.
CustomizationFull key rebinding capability for personalized setups.Limited button customization options.
ComfortHighly subjective. Can be more comfortable for long sessions for some players.Offers a more relaxed, gamepad-centric experience for others.

Which is Better?

There is no definitive “best” control method for Helldivers 2. Here’s a quick guide to help you choose:

  • Prioritize Precision: If you heavily value aiming accuracy and fast targeting, KBM offers an advantage.
  • Prefer Smoothness and Comfort: If you enjoy the relaxed feel of controller gameplay or want easier stratagem input, a controller might be ideal.
  • Experiment! The best way to find your preferred control method is to simply try both options. Helldivers 2 lets you easily switch between KBM and controller.

The Verdict

Helldivers 2 is an enjoyable blast regardless of your input choice. The decision comes down to personal preference and what feels most natural to you. People who value precision in movement usually side with keyboards / mice. Those who like the analog sticks would go with a controller.

Key Takeaways

  • Helldivers 2 supports diverse control setups, accommodating personal player preferences.
  • Responsive gameplay mechanics in Helldivers 2 cater to the precise controls of both keyboard and controller users.
  • Customizable settings allow for an optimized gaming experience in the fast-paced environment of a third-person shooter.

Helldivers 2 Gameplay Mechanics

In Helldivers 2, mastering the game’s mechanics is critical for success. This section details how different control schemes affect gameplay, and provides insights on optimizing each for strategic advantage.

Controller vs. KB+M: An Overview

Controllers offer a familiar layout with analog sticks for movement and camera control, triggers for actions like aiming and firing, and dedicated buttons for commands such as sprint, crouch, and emote. Arrowhead Game Studios designed the game to support both controller and keyboard and mouse (KB+M), allowing for varied playstyles.

Keyboard and mouse setups benefit from precise aim due to mouse control, and potentially faster inputs for actions like marking a map or selecting stratagems. However, the lack of analog movement can make subtle positioning adjustments more challenging.

Key Differences in Control Schemes


  • Analog stick: Offers gradual movement control.
  • Sensitivity: Depends on joystick maneuvering, affecting aim.
  • Gamepad advantages: Ergonomic comfort and vibration feedback.

Keyboard + Mouse:

  • Mouse movement: Provides precision, especially for aiming.
  • Keybinds: Customization for quick access to commands like dive and fire.
  • Mouse buttons: Can support weapon switching and using support items faster.

Optimizing Your Play Style

Players on PC may prefer the precision of a mouse, especially for FPS and shooter games where aim is paramount. PS5 users might opt for the tailored experience of a PS5 controller, taking advantage of its advanced haptics.

Those using controllers can gain responsiveness by adjusting their analog stick sensitivity. For KB+M players, finding the right balance of mouse sensitivity and keyboard shortcuts is key for effective stratagem deployment and map navigation.

Advanced Strategies and Techniques

Sophisticated Helldivers 2 strategies involve more than just selecting the right controller or mouse and keyboard setup. It includes mastering stratagem combos for effective support in battle.

Players may program mouse buttons or controller paddles with specific actions to deploy stratagems quickly or perform complex maneuvers, like a tactical retreat paired with simultaneous fire support. This advanced integration streamlines actions in the heat of combat, enhancing a player’s ability to contend with the wave of Terminids and other in-game challenges.

Equipment and Customization

Choosing between a keyboard with a mouse or a controller can significantly impact how players engage with Helldivers 2. This section explores the various aspects of gear selection and loadout customization, along with tips for optimizing sensitivity settings.

Choosing the Right Gear

Players need to decide between using a traditional mouse and keyboard setup or opting for a controller. A mouse allows for precise aiming, particularly in shooters like Helldivers 2 where accuracy is critical. Keyboards offer an array of keybinding options for quick access to commands and stratagems. Controllers like the Azeron Cyborg or a gamepad provide a different experience. They support comfortable hand positioning and can give a player more intuitive movement control. Each device has its advantages for certain gameplay aspects.

Customizing Your Loadout

Helldivers 2 offers players the choice to select their support weapons and equipment to create a personalized loadout. Keyboard users might find it easier to activate complex stratagems rapidly due to the numerous keys available for binding. Controller users benefit from quick toggles and joystick sensitivity when navigating intense in-game situations. It’s essential to tailor your loadout to complement your chosen input method.

Sensitivity Settings and Performance

The right sensitivity settings can enhance a player’s performance in Helldivers 2. Mouse users can adjust DPI settings for pinpoint cursor movement. This level of sensitivity is often vital in fast-paced action and reflex-dependent situations like FPS games. Controller players can also adjust sensitivity levels for both stick movements and triggers, which can influence their response times and overall agility in-game. These settings are crucial for finding a comfortable and effective playstyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

When choosing how to play Helldivers 2, players often have questions about the input methods. This section addresses some of the common inquiries regarding the use of controllers versus keyboard and mouse setups.

What are the advantages of playing Helldivers 2 with a controller?

Controllers may offer a more comfortable grip for extended playing sessions in Helldivers 2. They also provide a familiar layout for players who are used to console gaming. Vibration feedback in controllers can enhance the gameplay experience, giving players a tactile sense of the action.

Can Helldivers 2 be played effectively with a keyboard and mouse setup?

Yes, Helldivers 2 can be played effectively with a keyboard and mouse. This setup allows for precise aiming due to the direct cursor control that a mouse offers. The keyboard layout can be fully customized to suit individual preferences which extends its effectiveness.

How does mouse aiming compare to controller aiming in Helldivers 2?

Mouse aiming offers high precision in Helldivers 2 because it translates hand movements directly onto the screen, providing fast and accurate control over the game’s reticle. Compared to controller thumbsticks, which may require more practice to achieve precision, mouse aiming is generally considered superior for shooting mechanics.

Are there any compatibility issues when using a controller on PC for Helldivers 2?

Most controllers are supported by Helldivers 2 on PC without any significant issues. However, players should ensure that their particular controller model is compatible with their PC setup and that the correct drivers are installed to guarantee optimal performance.

What control method do most Helldivers 2 players on PS4 and PS5 recommend?

Players on the PS4 and PS5 platforms typically recommend using the console’s dedicated controller. It is specifically designed for these consoles, ensuring full compatibility and streamlined gameplay.

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