The Witcher 3: Keyboard and Mouse or Controller – Which Is Better?

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Witcher 3 is an action role-playing game, and much of the player base prefers those types of games to be played with a controller. On the other side, we have the fact that Witcher has numerous menus, maps, and signs which are more easily navigated with a keyboard and mouse combo. This is what started the debate in the community about whether a controller is superior to a keyboard and mouse when it comes to Witcher 3. In today’s post, we’re going to settle the debate and give you the definite answer to this ever-burning question.

  • Article Breakdown:
  • The choice between controller and keyboard and mouse in Witcher comes down completely to personal preferences and what you’re used to playing with.
  • However, the controller has a slight advantage due to Witcher 3 being a third-person game and more of a “console port” than any other game in the series.
  • The community at large agrees that playing Witcher 3 with a controller feels more natural despite the numerous drawbacks. 

Keyboard and mouse vs controller: perspective & movement

Witcher 3 is a third-person perspective game, which means that it feels more natural on a controller. Your movement likewise feels more natural if you are controlling the character via the controller. Players playing with a keyboard and mouse combo reported sluggish movements and difficulties in combat due to sometimes “unnatural” camera angles they can get stuck in. 

controller scheme

However, this is not to say that Witcher 3 doesn’t have problems with controllers as well, especially when it comes to combat as sometimes you can find yourself being attacked from behind without an option to turn around instantly. But this is however the only downside that I’ve experienced.


With a keyboard and mouse, you can control and instant cast your signs without the need to open up the menu every time you want to select a new sign to cast. You can simply scroll using your mouse wheel and press the corresponding button in order to cast the signs. 

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Every sign and consumable that you bind to a specific key is used instantly, this greatly differs from the controller

It’s not as simple on a controller, with limited buttons at your disposal, you need to open up the signs menu every time you want to cast the signs. It’s important to note that there are mods that “fix” this issue. For example, this mod called “No More Sign Selection” will allow you to cast signs instantly with B, X, Y, RT, and RB while holding LT.


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Menus, maps, and shortcuts 

This is one aspect of the game where keyboard and mouse are far more superior as menus and map navigation is extremely easier while you’re trying to navigate them with a mouse. The keyboard has numerous bound shortcuts that open up specific menus easily, such as crafting, alchemy, and codex. This is not possible on controllers and you need to navigate to the specific menus manually.

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Using maps and menus is far easier on keyboard

Dealing with inventory is more difficult on controllers as well, just about anything that requires you to leave the game temporarily and focus on menus is more difficult on a controller. 


Consumables as well as signs, are easier to deal with when you’re using a keyboard and a mouse combo. This is due to the consumables bind being placed on d-pad on the left side and this can be inconvenient during combat.  

There are no such issues with the keyboard and mouse as every consumable that you can “hotkey” has its own specific key that is easily accessible. You can easily press “R” and “F” keys during combat to use your bound consumables, and the consumable keys are one stroke away from “Q” which casts your signs.


When it comes to the combat aspect of the game, it relies on preferences heavily. Some players that prefer the mouse and keyboard combo report far superior control of Geralt when it comes to combat. Since Geralt auto-locks on a target, In my experience, this type of “lock” is better suited for controllers.

I’ve already mentioned that sometimes Geralt has difficulty turning around when you’re using the controller, this is true and it’s especially important during combat. However, by using the controller you easily replace several of my keystrokes with a single movement of your thumb. It makes combat more natural, more flowing, and overall more action-oriented. 


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Keyboard and mouse combo have many advantages compared to a controller. For starters, you are able to navigate through the menus, consumables, and signs easily. This is something that cannot be done with a controller if you’re not using mods. It’s perfectly reasonable to expect that the controller has much fewer keybinds at your disposal due to having much fewer buttons when compared to the keyboard. So players deciding to play with the controller ought to expect that everything related to crafting, navigating the map, and the menus will take up much more time. 

Where the controller however excels is camera, movement, and combat as it feels much more natural to play a third-person action RPG this way. Witcher 3 feels like a console port and this fact alone gives a huge advantage to controllers as players report an overall smoother experience when it comes to controlling Geralt during combat. 

Have something to add? Let us know in the comments below!

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