Is it cheating to use a keyboard and mouse on console Overwatch?

The Overwatch team at Blizzard objects to the use of a keyboard and mouse.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Using a keyboard and mouse in Overwatch on console is a contentious topic.

It’s often considered a disadvantage to controller players, given the precision a keyboard and mouse lends to aiming. Some say it’s just a comfort thing—that a keyboard and mouse have to work within the constraints of consoles, lessening the advantage. Others say that with aim assist—which, as you may have guessed, assists with aim on consoles by helping controller users connect to a target—using a keyboard and mouse could be considered cheating.

Players will likely never agree, but Blizzard has an answer. “The Overwatch team objects to the use of mouse and keyboard on console,” Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan said on the game’s forum.

The use of mouse and keyboard through input conversion devices has been of concern for Blizzard, but the team hasn’t confirmed whether it’s considered cheating. “We have lobbied and will continue to lobby for first-party console manufacturers to either disallow mouse and keyboard and input conversion devices,” Kaplan said, “or openly and easily support mouse and keyboard for all players.”

It sounds like the need to purchase an extra, third-party device to use a mouse and keyboard is Blizzard’s big problem. If everyone was able to hook up a keyboard and mouse with ease, the developer wouldn’t have a problem with it. And because neither Xbox One nor PlayStation 4 support a keyboard and mouse setup for most games, a secondary device is required to use these peripherals.

The general concern for controller Overwatch players is that reportedly many top tier players use the keyboard and mouse setup—and that apparent advantage is enough to keep controller users out of those levels. So to keep up, controller users need to switch to a keyboard and mouse, even if they would rather stick to a controller. That means buying extra devices to be able to keep up, too.

“I encourage you to reach out to the hardware manufacturers and express your concerns (but please do so in a productive and respectful way),” Kaplan said.