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Halo Wars 2 Controls – Choose your Platform Wisely

Halo Wars 2 will be launching soon on both the PC and the Xbox One, and our review of the games content should be live soon. The issue with Halo Wars is that it launching on two platforms: one that is great for RTS style games, and one that really isn’t. We spent a lot of time with the Xbox One version of the game, and thought instead of dragging the title down in our review with critical controller comments, we would talk about it separately.


First things first, if you enjoy Halo, Halo Wars, or even RTS games and an Xbox One is the only option for you, go ahead and grab the game. I’ll openly admit off the top that controlling everything with an Xbox One controller is difficult, but not impossible. Is a mouse a better option? Obviously. But the controller does work, if you are willing to work with it.

I’ve used the above image to paint a picture for you. Think about what might be easier: maneuvering the battle scene pictured above with a mouse, or doing it with a controller. I’ll give you a few seconds…

…the obvious answer here is that it would be WAY easier with the mouse. When things get hectic in Halo Wars 2, the controls become much more frustrating. As you attempt to use RB to control units, or a double tap of RB to control all units, or whether you opt to hold down A and highlight specific units, it all quickly jumbles together. Yes, you can tag certain units together to form larger squads, and this works when initially moving into a battle. However, when the crap hits the fan, your clean squad arrangements probably won’t work for you anymore, which ultimately left me grabbing everyone, and focusing on one thing.

Like most RTS games, Halo Wars 2 utilizes a strength-weakness protocol for all the units on the battle field. When using a mouse, it’s easy to identify which units you want to attack which buildings/units, but on the Xbox One, that becomes a bigger problem. This is somewhat mitigated by you the player having the ability to double click A on a single unit to grab all the same units of that type, but it’s not crisp and clean, and will ultimately lead to more deaths for your army than it should.

It’s not impossible on the Xbox One folks, but it is substantially harder. If you are not willing to put in the time, or don’t think you have the patience, grab this on the PC or forget to play the game at all. There is a steep curve on the Xbox One, and even when it is mastered, it won’t be the same as the PC. Did I enjoy the game? Yes. Did I work through the controls? Yes.

I love this title, but you need to put in work to get there.


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blank Adam Roffel has only been writing about video games for a short time, but has honed his skills completing a Master's Degree. He loves Nintendo, and almost anything they have released...even Tomodachi Life.

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