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Playing HoN with a Trackball

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Posted (edited)

Hi there,

so currently I'm kinda preparing to play HoN at some other place, where I'm not at home and have little space.
So little space in fact, that I can't put a mouse there, so I can't really play HoN (I like touchpads, but come on 😄). So to fix this issue, I've been thinking about buying a Trackball - but I can't decide on one since apparently these are so niche that there are only a handful of them available and reviews just go into completely opposite directions for basically all of them.
For that reason I thought, I'll ask around if anyone has any experience in playing HoN with a trackball - feedback about different trackballs won't hurt, but it'll probably just fit into the totally random reviews anyways 😅.

So, some more details:
I'm playing HoN only with 2 mouse-buttons anyways. No taunt, stop-and-halt, whatever bound on any of my mouse-keys. So I don't profit at all from additional mouse-buttons. Neither do I ever use zoom, so even scroll-wheel is not needed.
In addition to HoN, I'd probably primarily use the mouse for stuff similar to browsing the web. Even a mousepad works fine for that - but scroll-wheel and back/forward buttons would be useful for this (but I can live without those).

Also, I'm most likely a finger-trackball user, since I don't like to do much with my thumbs. It might not hurt to be able to alternate fingers though, but definitely not focusing on thumb-usage. Also I can't really imagine my thumbs not hurting after playing HoN for 6 hours 😄.

Oh and I'll never use a wireless connection (Because why would I, cords don't hurt at all if you don't move the device), so I don't need bluetooth or wireless.
Also, since not a single trackball has official Linux-support, the software doesn't matter at all. I'll have to write my own key-mapping anyways.

My options aren't really limited to these, but I've kinda figured those are the most popular ones:

  • Kensington Expert (~90€) - Apparently the best build quality - few people complained about that
  • Kensington Orbit with Scroll Ring - kinda a cheaper option of the Expert. Because it's still 40€, probably not my solution
  • Kensington Orbit without Scrolling - Because it's 25€, might be worth the money, even if I can't use it for anything but HoN
  • Elecom Huge - Big ball, sounds good. Also the layout is more that what I expected of a trackball. It even has a 2D-scroll wheel. Also rather cheap (55€). But build quality apparently fluctuates a lot, buttons aren't really thought through, people are having issues with the layout in general.
  • Elecom Deft Pro - Newer model than the Huge, but small ball. The layout appears even better and build-quality apparently is (slighly) better as well. But that also increased the price (80€)

So surprisingly most prices kinda fit the impression I got from a lot of reviews. But that doesn't really make the decision easier 😅.

Anyways, let's see if anyone has any experience with HoN on trackballs - maybe it's just not going to happen at all 🤷‍♂️.

Edited by Manu311

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A couple of days after this thread, I bought the cheap Kensington Orbit which I've been using for around 20 games now and I thought I'll share my experience in case someone else also considers this step.

The experience is a lot better than with a touchpad, but as of right now, still worse than a mouse. However the difference isn't big - it's primarily because of the difference in reaction time and accuracy which causes frustration. The experience itself is quite fun.
For normal pc usage, I've configured the two mouse buttons to act as a middleclick and switch (if hold) to use the trackball as a mousewheel - which makes this mouse fine for my daily work. Since it's closer to my keyboard (since I don't need space to move it to the left), I might even be a little bit faster with it.

So about the downsides I experience right now:
The ball is not catching every movement all the time, so especially far movements occasionally don't register correctly. In addition to that, I can't move as far without relocating my fingers as I could with a mouse. This also causes a slight bit of strain on my fingers - and I though that trackballs are used because mouses are bad for your hands 😄 .
I assume a bigger trackball would solve most of those issues, but before I invest money into one of those, I'll first continue to get comfortable with this one.

Oh and guess which of HoNs stats got the biggest impact:


My average APM went from 100 down to 60 🤔


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