The days of Super Mario Brothers on the Super Nintendo are gone, gaming is now an ultra competitive and sometimes even professional career choice where performance has started to become more and more important. Professional and casual gamers looking for higher return out of their video game play can turn to custom controllers and other peripherals for the extra edge that their game needs. Controller, mouse and keyboards are common equipment that serious gamers will upgrade to improve their performance in game.
After market controllers seek to improve in game performance largely through two things; ergonomics and accessibility. These types of controllers will often have more buttons than a normal factory controller. The extra buttons can be programmed to specific functions, or sometimes to specific combinations of commands so pressing one of the programmed buttons might replace pressing pressing several buttons on a normal controller. Ergonomics is the other common factor, finding a controller that more comfortably fits the hand of the gamer to increase performance.
Variable, on the fly, DPI changes are the highlight of gaming mice. DPI increases the sensitivity of the mouse, meaning it takes smaller movements of the hand to move the mouse pointer the same distance on the screen. For high clicking games like RTS titles this can vastly improve functionality. Often there is a ‘switch’ so teh user can flip between hyper-sensitivity and not depending on the application. These mice are also geared towards ergonomics, striving to give the user as comfortable an experience as they can. Extra buttons, often where the thumb rests, can add functionality to the user as well. These extra buttons can be programmed with different commands.
Custom keyboards are mostly concerned with extra keys with special programmable functions. As many games prefer using the ‘w’, ‘a’, ‘s’ and ‘d’ keys for directional movement because there are more keys in that area of the keyboard than the traditional arrow keys, gaming keyboards will put even more buttons in that area, or spread out the ‘a’, ‘s’, ‘d’, ‘w’ keys to make them easier to use as directional keys. Different shapes and key spacing can improve performance largely depending on the personal preferences of the user.