Playing a video game with a graphics tablet as a controller can be considered as a heresy for many gamers. But in some cases, and with a little practice, it can become a real asset to be always faster, more efficient, and have a much more comfortable and intuitive playing posture. But which graphics tablet to choose, and for which games will it be suitable? We provide you with all the tips to discover the best games to be used with a graphics tablet.
What kind of video games to play with your graphics tablet?
Rhythm video games
If there is one type of video game that is compatible with the use of a graphics tablet, it is rhythm games. Indeed, the principle being generally to move and click in rhythm with the mouse or the keyboard, the graphic tablet can easily replace these tools. One of the best-known video games to be used with a graphics tablet is OSU, a free rhythm video game for Windows and MacOS, strongly inspired by a Nintendo DS video game, whose goal is to click on disks or perform any action in rhythm with the music. With the graphic tablet, the player has two solutions. They can hover over the tablet with their stylus to move the cursor, and either click on the shortcut button on the stylus or the graphics tablet to right-click, or press the drawing area directly with their digital pen. The graphics tablet makes the video game much more interactive and will offer you more speed of action.
MMORPGs and real-time strategy games
Some MMORPGs, or massively multiplayer online role-playing games, as well as real-time strategy games, often played online, allow, thanks to their isometric 3D presentation, to easily replace the mouse with a graphics tablet. Clicking on the elements of the map and performing actions become faster and more precise, especially when it comes to making numerous moves from one end of the map to the other. While with a mouse you will have to make many movements to bring the cursor to the other side of the map, sometimes just to make a simple movement of your character, thanks to its absolute position, the graphics tablet will allow you to perform the same action in a single movement and with a single click on the pen button or on a shortcut placed on the body of the tablet. Many video game licenses can be adapted to this graphic device, such as Command and Conquer, Starcraft, World of Warcraft, Wakfu,...
Point And Click video games
With a graphics tablet, retrogaming fans will also be able to enjoy video games released many years ago, with a style a little outdated, but coming back in fashion: the "Point And Click". With these games, the idea is simple. No need for a keyboard, just the mouse to click on elements presented on the screen, which will cause a whole series of actions allowing you to progress in the game. The graphic tablet is therefore in its place, allowing you to navigate on the screen much faster than with the mouse, and to replace the click of the latter with the pen button or the graphic tablet button for example. Baldur's Gate, or the Monkey Island series, are video games that will use the best of the graphics tablet to play games on PC.
Hack'n slash video games
If we had to talk about a video game that is particularly well suited to the use of a graphics tablet, we could mention the Diablo series. These Hack'n Slash games, with their 3rd person character control system, on an isometric 3D map, a bit like a classic MMORPG, are completely at ease with the use of a graphic tablet, which allows you to click from one end of the map to the other in record time. The essence of this video game is to evolve in the virtual world and to frantically click on the numerous enemies that come your way during the adventure. The possibility of quickly pressing on the touch surface of the tablet, or on one of the shortcut buttons placed on the tablet or on the stylus, offers a very efficient way to handle your character with ease.
FPS video games: First Person Shooter
The case of using a graphics tablet as a controller for a FPS is nowadays widely debated. These PC games are by nature made to be used with the keyboard and mouse. Movements are adapted to the relative position of the mouse to the computer screen, and it can be complicated to change habits. But there have been precedents for this with video game consoles, which over the years have increasingly offered FPS games that can be played with traditional controllers. In fact, some games have become a specialty and are mostly sold on consoles. Now, some people (still rare) even use a USB controller to feel more comfortable on PC. If to date the use of the graphics tablet is still not widely adopted, we start to see some players having good results with this tool, on games like Counter Strike, Halo, Call of Duty or Apex Legends for example. The future will tell, but with the democratization of graphics tablets, a generation of gamers could show the precision and speed of movement that can be obtained by training with a device like this to play FPS.
Other video games
There is still a large catalog of video games where the graphics tablet can also be used properly. These include puzzle games such as World of Goo, or management and simulation games such as SimCity or Farming Simulator, and of course online drawing games based on the concept of Pictionnary, where the graphics tablet will be the ideal ally for winning. Why not also try console games, via emulators, the virtual console allowing you to assign buttons to shortcuts on your graphics device.
Which hardware to choose to play video games?
Graphics tablet with or without screen?
In order to find the right graphics tablet for playing games on a gaming PC, whether it has a screen or not, you first need to look at its features and options. An entry-level tablet will not be a good choice in any case, as these tablets often only offer a few shortcut buttons, and a latency in the transfer of the signal sent by your pen, due to the low-end processor. You should not forget that playing a video game requires a quick response on the screen when you perform an action by clicking a button. This is also why, if your graphics tablet uses a Bluetooth connection, it is advisable to opt for the latest versions, with Bluetooth 4.0 as a minimum, like the Repaper by ISKN for example. However, using the USB ports with a wired connection is still the best choice to avoid any connection problems. Finally, the shortcuts will also be an element of choice, the number of buttons determining the actions you can perform quickly during your games, improving the gameplay when you play with your tablet. When it comes to choosing a graphics tablet with a Full-HD touch screen or not, if the one with a screen allows you to have a reproduction of your computer screen on your tablet, their cost does not make them a profitable investment when you want to have a graphics tablet to play your favorite video games. And at the end of the day, who really looks at their mouse or gamepad when they are in the middle of a game? This just goes to show that with a tablet that offers a screen-free mode, like the Repaper, it is possible to play effectively if you have a little practice.
And the stylus?
For the stylus, few things are to be taken into account. However, you must be careful to have a fine nib, in order to gain as much precision as possible during your game actions, but also that it has one, or better, two buttons on its edge, in order to assign a right click and a left click for example. Your stylus will act as a mouse, offering exactly the same options as the latter, with the added advantage of speed in your movements. Finally, don't forget that the connection with the tablet must be smooth, in order to avoid latency which can be detrimental, especially in online video games.
The graphics tablet, a definite advantage for playing certain types of video games
When we think about video games, several types of media come to mind. Nowadays, home consoles such as the Sony Playstation, the Microsoft Xbox One, or the Nintendo Switch (which is a mix between a portable and a home console), are the most used by casual and regular gamers. The more passionate gamers will turn to the use of a PC gamer. Finally, nomads often enjoy portable consoles such as the Nintendo 3DS or even their cell phone. Gaming habits have therefore adapted to these different media, and gamers particularly enjoy playing with a gamepad, a keyboard and a mouse, or even directly on their smartphone screen. Almost all video games are designed by developers to be played with these peripherals, but if it remains impossible to override this on a portable video game console or on home consoles, using a graphics tablet to play on the computer is not necessarily meaningless. Thanks to its absolute mode and a more natural wrist position, it can easily replace the mouse and keyboard of the computer, or even the touchpad for those using laptops for certain types of games. Their speed of movements and precision, subject to training to get used to this new control, as well as the shortcut buttons placed on the tablet or the pen, bring a more interactive game experience and totally different from what we can usually have. While some types of games, such as those using virtual reality, or games requiring specific accessories such as a joystick or steering wheel, will not be suitable for use with a graphics tablet, e-sports has shown that it is now possible to make a plethora of video games compatible with the use of a graphics tablet. Some experienced gamers are not mistaken, and even if a majority still uses classic tools, we can see more and more video game professionals using graphics tablets to improve their performance.However, you have to keep in mind that this requires a change of habits, a good configuration of your peripheral, and a certain training before being able to master your graphics tablet to play your favorite video games on a computer screen
So we could see that many video games can be adapted to a use with a graphic tablet. If the developers don't necessarily think of organizing the gameplay around this tool, diverting it from its original use, which is drawing, allows you to have a completely different game feeling, making you more efficient for certain licenses, and giving you the impression of playing on a brand new video game console. Why not bring out all the video games of your childhood with an emulator, and try games like Super Mario or Pokémon, directly with a graphics tablet? All you have to do is play!