Call of Duty fans want to know whether they should use a mouse and keyboard or a controller in MW3. Read on to see the advantages and disadvantages of both!

It’s an age-old question dating back to early FPS titles. Previously the answer was more clear cut, but as technology has changed over the years, it’s not as obvious as it used to be.

With all the gameplay tweaks and behind-the-scenes adjustments to COD games over the years, fans want to know which control method is the best way to get an edge in Modern Warfare 3’s multiplayer modes.

Below we go through all the pros and cons of using a controller vs a mouse and keyboard to help you make up your mind on which is best for you!

Which Is Better?

When considering everything, we have found that playing using a controller is the better control option for MW3. This is because of its extremely generous aim assist which requires far less skill and input from the player when compared with mouse and keyboard.

Ultimately, its egregious rotational magnetism and aim assist will give the average MW3 player greater advantages in multiplayer. See below for a more detailed comparison of controller vs mouse and keyboard in MW3.

Photoshopped image of Dualsense over MW3 Operator's face aiming at mouse and keyboard image

Even seasoned Call of Duty pros are opting to use controllers. They offer a tantalizing amount of advantages and help players stay competitive at that level.

For a more detailed breakdown of why controllers “dominate” mouse and keyboard in MW3, check out the video from Drift0r below:

With that said, each player will have their preference and should consider that when making their choice.

Even though we feel that the controller edges out over mouse and keyboard, you may still prefer to use what you are more comfortable with!

Controller vs Mouse & Keyboard

Both control methods are perfectly viable in their own right, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages that set them apart.

Here are the pros and cons of each:

Mouse & Keyboard – Pros & Cons

+Incredible movement-No aim assist
+Pinpoint aiming accuracyAim sway effects are worse

Previously mouse and keyboard was the undisputed king when it came to control options in COD games. This was before aggressive aim assist became such a widespread feature in first-person shooters.

For those who have the skill to pull it off, mouse and keyboard offers you an incredible amount of control over your movement.

Players can adjust their mouse sensitivity accordingly to get a greater degree of directional control. They can also move their aiming reticle more freely with an almost pinpoint level of accuracy.

MW3 Operator firing weapon on Rust

Despite the mouse and keyboard’s incredible precision and almost limitless movement potential, it doesn’t hold a candle to controller aim assist. Mouse and keyboard users simply have no room for error.

However, the aim assist and high amount of rotational magnetism on controller is far more forgiving, allowing controller users to aim off-target and then let the game correct their errors.

Showing reticule aim sway from strafing in MW3
Credit: TrueGameData

Additionally, the inherent RNG aim sway when aiming down sights while using a mouse and keyboard feels so much worse than on controller.

Aim sway essentially means that your aiming reticle will move to a random location away from your original target when you aim down sights in MW3. This effect is much worse on mouse and keyboard, as the effect is negated for controller users with powerful aim assist.

Check out TrueGameData’s video below for more info on why aim sway is so bad for mouse and keyboard:

Controller – Pros & Cons

+Aim assist-Less ‘free aim’ accuracy
+Rotational magnetism-Limited movement
+Aim sway is significantly reduced

As things currently stand, playing on controller is the superior option if you’re playing MW3 or Warzone. The effects of the game’s aim assist and rotational magnetism are too prominent to ignore, with many arguing it gives a significant advantage over mouse and keyboard players.

Rotational aim assist demonstration and explainer video in Call of Duty MW2
Credit: Reddit

Both rotational magnetism and aim assist work together to correct the aiming mistakes of controller users, making shots land that would have otherwise missed if they were aiming freely.

In a nutshell, rotational aim assist pulls your crosshair in the direction of your target’s movement. Rotational magnetism is the strength of the ‘pull’ to which it moves towards your target. Check out this excellent breakdown that explains both systems in depth:

Additionally, almost all of the RNG aim sway features mentioned above are eliminated by aim assist while using a controller.

Despite its advantages, there is still less precise aim and freedom of movement when compared to keyboard and mouse users.

However, many players agree that the advantages of aim assist far outweigh the disadvantages of using a controller. It makes it the better choice for most players!

Staff Writer
Passionate gamer and writer, Alpay has been featured on GamingIntel,, and TheGamer. When not writing, he delves into virtual worlds, enjoys high-concept TV shows, and splurges on Steam sales.
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