Juggling Multiple Games Isn’t My Strong Suit


Some people can simultaneously juggle multiple games with little issue; I am not one of those people.

As I’ve been writing about lately, I’ve got three games going at the same time: The Last Guardian, Titanfall 2, and Dishonored 2. Not to mention I’ve been replaying the original Borderlands, as well.

None of that would be much of an issue…if it weren’t for the drastically different control schemes for each of those games.

Most shooters have a uniform control scheme. If you’ve played one, you can likely pick up another and play it with little difficulty.


Borderlands is second nature to me. I will always be able to pick it up and play it. Destiny, too. Titanfall 2 is mostly similar, except for the titan controls. Just thinking about it right now, I can’t tell you what the various buttons do differently for my titan as opposed to my pilot when he is on foot.

And, sure, I can figure out the controls fairly quickly again, but there is always that supremely awkward interim where everything feels wrong, or just wrong enough to keep me from (temporarily) enjoying the game.

Add in more drastically varied control schemes and you have me wondering how to get my brain to turn one off and turn the other on.

The Last Guardian already has a somewhat antiquated control scheme. On top of that, the controls themselves are mapped strangely. It feels daunting to hop back in when I know I will be less focused on what’s going on, and more on how to get my character to do what I’m trying to get him to do.

Dishonored 2 is another game with a unique control scheme. It also has the addition of otherworldly powers which throws a bit of a wrench in the mix. I can’t remember which powers I’ve already unlocked, let alone which to use when. Again, I’m sure I’d figure it out in quick time, I’ve just been psyching myself out about hunkering down and doing it.

Next Tuesday, two games are releasing (on the same day!) that I’m incredibly excited to play. If I haven’t wrapped up these other games by then, I will have far too many sets of control schemes floating around in my mind palace and it will become even more of a cluster.

That’s intimidating.

Yakuza 0 is getting a lot of early praise and it looks like just the right amount of weird for me. I’m a huge fan of absurdity in games (both in, or out, of place), and it sounds like Yakuza 0 has it in spades. It already has my attention.

But then I am always down for horror and Resident Evil 7: Biohazard looks atmospheric as hell and plenty tense. That also speaks to me. How will I choose which to play first? Or do I start them both and hope for the best, bouncing between two very likely disparate control schemes?

Do you struggle with varying control schemes if you juggle multiple games simultaneously? Or are there other issues? Or no issues? I’d love to discuss.

Have a safe weekend out there, friends.

14 replies »

  1. I don’t really have much issues remembering the controls for games. Maybe RE7 first since it should be shorter then Yakuza 0.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I too have an issue juggling multiple games at once, and as such I don’t normally end up dividing my attention. As you have described, switching between control schemes can be a bit of an awkward mental exercise. When I’m invested in a game I want to be able to pick it up and play without even thinking about the controls. Then there is also the issue I have with jumping between stories/game worlds. I find that sticking to one game at a time allows me to feel more immersed in a game’s setting and narrative, so that’s ultimately how I tend to play.

    Now that I’m thinking about it, I normally do the same with tv series and books, so I guess that’s just how my brain is wired.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think we are very similar in those ways. I, too, want to immerse myself and not worry about things like, wait, what is punch?

      I feel like trying to play more than one game at a time might work for some people, but it’s not super easy for me. I hope this isn’t about getting old. That would be depressing.


  3. I too feel the same as Colton. I don’t have an issue when playing multiple games/ I can see how that would be an issue especially when you’re changing genres. For example, fps vs. fighting or rpgs.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Juggling multiple games isn’t a problem for me. Unless I haven’t picked up a game in a really long time, or if the game is too complex, I can still retain the control scheme in my memory for a while. I’ve been juggling a lot of RPGs lately, I’m usually playing at least one at a given time.

    I’m real excited for Resident Evil 7 on Tuesday!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree, sometimes when playing multiple games at once, difficulty with the control scheme is what makes it harder to get back into a particular game. For me, it’s more often third person games (Tomb Raider, The Division, Deus Ex etc…). I absolutely love third person games but the control schemes tend to be dense by having multiple actions on a single button by either pressing it or holding it down. For some reason, first person games tend to be easier for me to go back to after a period of time. But yes, it’s a singular video game frustration to try for 20 minutes to remember how a game even works.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you nailed it in your explanation! I, too, have a far easier time in first person, for whatever reason.

      And you are quite right: it is a singular video game frustration! :)


  6. I try to keep my game juggling to around two at most: one console and one handheld. This is mostly due to if someone else is playing one, I have a backup for the other. Controls aren’t as big an issue but it can be tricky for me sometimes if I haven’t played the game in a while. I agree with your feelings about the controls for the Last Guardian. While I haven’t played it, I’ve recently been playing Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. While they’re both great games, the controls definitely show their age and I guess that’s one aspect of the game that wasn’t addressed in the long development cycle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That makes a lot of sense. I am looking forward to having things back down to a manageable number.

      It’s really too bad about the control scheme. I wish someone had done an overhaul on it.


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