PC games with keyboard only controls

So this is a call for some brainstorming of PC games that have primarily keyboard controls. The background on this request is that my right wrist just got clobbered by Carpal Tunnel so mousing is nigh impossible with the type of movement isolation I need to get the inflammation down. Typing, (thankfully) is unaffected though I’d like to minimize right side keyboard action as well.

Any thoughts? As a side note I can foot mouse well enough to navigate the windows GUI but that’s probably the limit for me, so anything that requires precision on the mouse side is right out.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts,


You could feasibly play lots of FPS shooters with only the keyboard.

Roguelikes, if you’ve got a masochistic streak in you.



Try a gamepad - different set of movements, without much wrist.

Very good call! I’ll have to try it out.

Everyone else so far, thanks for the reminders about ye olde gaming.



I was quite disappointed to find that Mass Effect 2 on PC was going to have no gamepad support. Took it from a buy to a no-buy. I would prefer it on PC over 360 because the graphics are much better, but I’m not playing without a gamepad. Batman was so much better PC due to the graphics and had great gamepad support.

Yeah, that’s a shame. I guess I’ll go with Mass Effect 2 on the 360 too because of that.

I was recently (last night) really disappointed to discover that Bioshock 2 on the PC doesn’t support the gamepad. I just wanted to switch for a few minutes for some reason or another. And the original had such great pad support. And I thought that all GFWL games were required to have 360 controller support. I guess I was wrong.

Mass Effect 2 was annoying in that it left some console UI stuff in like the ‘close report’ button in and didn’t allow easy cancel/back with esc and didn’t use the scroll mouse at all. Therefore, screens were made harder to navigate with mouse and keyboard.

There are a few indies posted here already, so don’t forget Cave Story if you have not already played it…although the right hand is for movement and may get a little frantic at times!

Basically anything from the old Sierra adventure catalog (Quest for Glory, Kings Quest, etc.), and you’ll actually want to use a keyboard for these games, as they are keyword-driven. The Gold Box SSI D&D games and the earlier Ultima games come to mind, as well.

If you’re a retrogamer, the keyboard is your friend. As is DOSBox.

Yeah, just about any pre-Quake shooter, really. Except the Terminator series.

Also, racing games generally suck with a keyboard, but if you’re patient, it’s doable.

And I first played Freespace with a keyboard.

The Little Big Adventure games.

Roguelikes might kill your right wrist moving around on the numpad a million times per minute.

Just about every indie freeware game ever made was designed to work with basic arrow keys and a jump and shoot key. Could try those, and remap if necessary.

Started checking out Dwarf Fortress this evening. Color me somewhat intimidated but intrigued at the same time. It’s going to be a project. Thanks for all of the ideas and keep them coming as they strike you so I can indulge my nasty gaming habit without compromising my health.

Racing games.