It’s not easy to play games with just a keyboard and touchpad, whether you’re on the go or waiting for that fancy gaming mouse to arrive. In order to tackle this sad circumstance, we’ve put together a list of the top keyboard-only games.Certain genres, such as fighting games, have to be restricted in some way. However, this list is still designed to showcase the greatest platformers, MMORPGs, fighting games, and yes, even typing games.
1. Dragon Ball FighterZ
Out of all the Dragon Ball video games (there are like seventy), Dragon Ball FighterZ is possibly the greatest. It has never seemed more appropriate to play as your favourite Super Saiyan, thanks to the precise artwork and skillful combat. It features a fresh plot and a new antagonist named Android 21, who was under the direct supervision of Akira Toriyama. Because it’s a 2.5D fighting game, you may also abandon the mouse and use your keyboard to smash buttons in order to effortlessly execute amazing combinations thanks to the auto-combo function and unique move inputs.
One of the best side-scrolling games on PC, Plague of Shadows and Spectre of Torment are just two of the free DLC campaigns available for this Kickstarter sensation turned independent hit (and there are more on the way). This tough-as-nails, 8-bit, 2D platformer broke my heart when I played it on a controller, and it will gladly break yours if you play it on a keyboard.
I love you, Jennkiinnns! 😊 A chance to play one of Blizzard’s most venerable and well-known MMORPGs—who wouldn’t want to? Playing WoW with a controller is nearly difficult with the current patch notes and the Battle for Azaroth expansion. Press the keyboard. You won’t be missing out on questing, dungeon crawling, and raiding with your friends and guild members because it functions as both a controller and a communication tool. Even without a mouse, you can move, attack, and navigate!
This 2D bullet-hell nightmare using a keyboard is much more difficult than receiving your cup with a controller. However, since you may customise all of the key bindings to your preference, for certain players, this might actually be simpler to accomplish. After you get the hang of Cuphead’s controls, you can appreciate the stunning graphics, which are all painstakingly hand-drawn to fit the 1930s cartoon style, as well as the fantastic jazz soundtrack. Prepare for The Delicious Last Course DLC, which includes Ms. Chalice as a new playable character, after defeating the Devil himself on the upgraded keyboard.
With its straightforward, keyboard-friendly control scheme that lets you concentrate on outwitting your opponent rather than wrangling with intricate combos, Fantasy Strike reduces the fighting-game genre to its most basic elements. You can still compete in Fantasy Strike even if all you have to use is a laptop because normal attacks, special moves, and super moves are all limited to single button clicks. But don’t be fooled by Fantasy Strike’s friendly gameplay and vibrant visuals; mastering this game requires the same amount of cunning and strategy as any other elite fighting game.
This notorious House of the Dead spinoff is basically only playable with a keyboard, even if many of the titles on this list function rather well on one. A reimagining of the Wii original House of the Dead: Overkill, Typing of the Dead: Overkill has players typing sentences as fast as they can to fire off shots rather than utilising a Wii Remote or Zapper. Although it’s a ridiculous idea, it managed to win over both critics and players, and in the process, developed a lot of quick typists. Not to mention that the 2009 revival of Sega’s shooting-gallery classic is fundamentally a parody of exploitation flicks, which makes it an amusing diversion from the ridiculously campy previous releases. In addition, the original Typing of the Dead was housed in an arcade cabinet with two keyboards on either side. No, this isn’t an invented story.
The Messenger is a crisp 2D platformer that feels fantastic even if all you have to rely on is your spacebar and WASD keys, just like a lot of the games on this list. With its impeccable platforming, delicious pixel graphics and chiptune music, and unique sense of humour, The Messenger is a love homage to both massive SNES Metroidvanias and vintage NES action romps. Its enigmatic ninja world is a thrill to explore.
Dead Cells was created by Motion Twin with a controller in mind, yet it’s not really necessary. With an infinite supply of disposable bodies at his disposal, you take control of a disembodied head in this side-scrolling Metroidvania as he must escape a dangerous labyrinth. The turn of events? The dungeon’s layout changes completely with every death, offering fresh mysteries to discover and unique adversary combinations to take out. Using a keyboard is not really an obstacle because all you need to play with are the four directional buttons and a few more keys for weaponry and platforming abilities. Dead Cells will test your skills at every procedurally generated turn, so don’t expect the game to get any simpler.
Keyboard puzzle games are a perfect fit, and Puyo Puyo Tetris is now among the greatest available for PC. As the name implies, the game combines the classic action of Tetris with Sega’s color-matching Puyo Puyo series to create an engrossing blend that is simultaneously difficult, familiar, and unique. There are many different solo and multiplayer modes in Puyo Puyo Tetris, and all you really need is your arrow keys and a few buttons to master them.
10. Mega Man X Legacy Collection
Finally, the complete Mega Man X series is available for PC, allowing you to master every character with just a keyboard. (With the possible exception of Mega Man X7, which, let’s face it, you’re definitely better off avoiding.) In this difficult action/platformer series, you take on the roles of battle androids named X and Zero, who look for malicious robots known as Mavericks. All games, with the exception of X7, are side-scrolling, so keyboard controls are ideal for scurrying, shooting, and strategizing your way past the eight monsters in each game with an animal theme. After that, you can add their weapons to your ever-growing collection. A decent ongoing story about friendship, peace, conflict, and other positive things is also included.
Okay, so using a keyboard to play one of the newest and greatest Sonic adventures isn’t the best option, but it will work. And you should play Sonic Mania and its newly released expansion, Sonic Mania Plus, if that’s all you have available. Mania mixes together some of the most iconic zones from Sonic’s 2D past—you know, back when Sonic was enjoyable—with brand-new areas, fresh gameplay components, and the best 16-bit-style graphics the series has ever seen. Many allusions to vintage Sega properties can also be found hidden away; for example, a slot machine with the Club Sega logo and a satellite truck modelled after Daytona USA’s Hornet pay homage to the company’s Japanese arcades. Because of this, Mania is not only the best Sonic side-scrolling game but also the best fan service for fans of Sega.
Keyboard players love the shmup (shoot-em-up) genre since it only requires a few arrow keys and an action button to shoot your way through waves of opponents and projectiles. Additionally, Ikaruga is the best shmup action on the PC if you’re in the mood for some. This eye-catching arcade shooter features five tough stages, multiple difficulty settings, boss fights that take up the entire screen, and local two-player multiplayer. Just don’t hold it against us if you play for hours on end and your fingers hurt.