5 ridiculous non-controllers people have used to play Overwatch
Overwatch is a game of many characters and many skills, but several players are taking things to a whole new level by creating completely unique character-specific controllers out of regular household items, some wires, and a whole lot of moxie. So, let's look at some of the best ways to "properly" play Blizzard's most ambitious shooter – from the fruit to the bows to the ridiculous amount of skill these players demonstrate while mastering some of the craziest control schemes we have ever seen.
The bulk of these fan creations come from two popular members of the Overwatch community who also stream and record a pretty hefty portion of their content, so be sure to check out Rudeism and ATwerkingYoshi on their respective channels.
It's not Peanut Butter, it's Bananas
Kicking it off is Rudeism, who's bringing Winston to the battlefield with a cart full of bananas. The setup is plenty complex at face value, utilizing a small circuit board called a Makey Makey with positive wires hooked to a series of the yellow fruit. Each banana corresponds to a specific input, allowing our furry friend to jump, shoot, drop shields, and fly into a rage simply by touching one of Winston's favorite snacks. You can see the system in action in the video below.
What makes each banana function as a button isn't as simple as squeezing them to a mushy bruised paste and has nothing to do with the banana's natural electric charge like an elaborate potato clock. Instead, Rudeism has a small tin foil bracelet around his wrist attached to a ground on his control board – touching a banana completes the circuit, which registers as a button press. The bananas require a decent amount of skin-to-skin contact to conduct enough of a charge to travel from point A to point B, which is why you see Rudeism covering his deliciously healthy buttons with most of his hand rather than simply tapping each with a single finger.
It's a really unique system for playing any game, and for a character like Winston it's a match made in heaven. All in all, the control scheme is actually pretty functional, although much more so when Rudeism hooks the primary fire up to the ground so that Winston's gun just continually spouts rivers of electricity, freeing up an extra hand to manage Winston's movements and aim.
Heavy Lifting with Zarya
This Zarya control scheme comes directly from ATwerkingYoshi, and brings a bit of Arnold to our Russian murder machine courtesy of a set of Wii Fit dumbbells. Our stalwart hero slotted a Wii controller and Nunchuk into Nintendo's somewhat less known Wii peripheral and used a program called Touchmote to bind individual keys to movement, aiming, and, of course, all of Zarya's flashy overcharged abilities.
The catch is that he also configured the controller to only accept inputs while also receiving motion input similar to a bicep curl. Which means that if ATwerkingYoshi wanted to do anything at all besides drag his team through oceans of salt, he had to keep his biceps pumping. It's very entertaining to watch, and once ATwerkingYoshi gets the hang of it he manages to actually contribute a tiny bit of DPS, although Zarya's laser flickering on and off in time to Yoshi's frantic bicep curling is odd enough to make the control scheme questionable for competitive play.
Be a DJ Hero
Nothing screams professional Lucio like a DJ Hero Turntable, and YouTuber WhyBeAre whipped up a control scheme that drops a sick beat the way only Lucio can. Granted, using a DJ Hero Turntable to control an Overwatch character isn't exactly efficient, but it does look really cool and matches perfectly with Lucio's aesthetic.
You can find out exactly how WhyBeAre's control scheme works out in the video above, but the gist of it is a lot less complex than the other methods on this list.
In this case, Lucio's moves are simply remapped to correspond to different inputs from the turntable. Spinning the record on the left moves Lucio forward and back, the turntable on the right moves the camera left and right, and the buttons on the right control Lucio's left and right click as well as his special skill. To activate Lucio's ultimate and to swap between speed and heal mode WhyBeAre takes advantage of the center sliders, which also adds a bit of style and flair when Lucio's movements mirror the motions of activating his abilities.
Unfortunately, there's no way to actively strafe left or right and triggering speed mode causes you to run forward with no way to stop, but compared to the benefit of channeling Lucio at his day job, those pesky movement skills are practically useless.
An Ode To Our Sponsors
Next up is a true blue D. Va original, at least as far as the fan base is concerned. D. Va's status as a professional gamer means that she has to be sponsored and fueled by all things Doritos and Mountain Dew. This prompted ATwerkingYoshi to build himself a control scheme similar to Rudeism's banana build by using a Makey Makey, several bags of Doritos, a two liter bottle of Mountain Dew, and a Wiimote mounted to a D. Va cosplay pistol.
Although the control scheme might not be quite as slick as D. Va would prefer, ATwerkingYoshi does a fantastic job of rigging up a unique scheme to keep to D. Va's snacking standards. Aiming is handled by a Wiimote mounted to the top of a pistol mirroring D. Va's in game model. And thanks to the motion controls and a program called Touchmote, ATwerkingYoshi manages to pull off a pretty decent system to aim and fire, which he uses to win the hearts of Nintendo executives and teammates alike.
Movement, on the other hand, is controlled via four bags of Doritos wired up to respond like actual buttons, with two actual Doritos wired and taped similarly to create a fragile set of buttons to control D. Va's other abilities. To activate D. Va's ultimate, ATwerkingYoshi also wired up a two liter bottle of Mountain Dew so that he has to physically act like he is taking a drink to detonate D. Va's mech. It's a small touch but one that definitely checks out, although ATwerkingYoshi smartly decided to keep the cap screwed down tight to keep from accidentally covering himself in sweet, sweet gamer fuel. Which makes sense, but does open up the potential for him to run dangerously low on thirst quenching energy mid-game.
Bringing a Bow to a Keyboard Fight
Our final scheme once again comes to us from the wonderfully talented Rudeism, who decided to take his Hanzo play to the next level by building a controller using a nerf bow, a Makey Makey control board, plenty of wiring, and a Dance Dance Revolution pad for movement.
Rudeism uses a method similar to his Winston Banana controls for his Hanzo Bow, except that he uses metal washers and bolts for the contacts mounted to different portions of the bow rather than one of Winston's favorite snacks. Thanks to the grounded bracelet around his wrist, when Rudeism touches one of the washers he completes a circuit, which registers as a button press. (Check out some photos of the bow being buit here.)
Panning the camera left and right is controlled by swapping between touching a bolt and a washer mounted to the front of the bow, while panning the camera up and down is accomplished by touching contacts mounted above and below the plastic grip in the center of the bow string.
Firing is accomplished by touching a contact on that same plastic grip. When Rudeism pulls back the bowstring Hanzo primes his bow similarly, but because Hanzo doesn't release an arrow until the player releases the button, Hanzo won't fire until Rudeism releases his hold on the bowstring and the washer alike. Additionally, there are two extra washers mounted to the side of the bow to activate Hanzo's special arrow abilities.
All in all, the system works pretty well. And although Rudeism is not quite up to his own competitive standards with his fancy new controller, he does manage to nail a few kills and even a double, which you can watch in the video below.