Some of the Best Video Games to Play with One Hand

A couple of weeks ago I broke my arm and had to look for games that can be played with one hand. I used to love the Football Manager franchise but, for some reason, I can’t go back to it since FM17. I thought of finally trying Total War Warhammer but then I remembered what a pain it is to control the camera just with the mouse and how important the keyboard shortcuts are during battles.

I wanted something that I could easily play with one hand but, still engaging enough to be played only with the mouse; and, chilled enough to allow me to occasionally use the keyboard without breaking my other arm. After digging into my games library, I came up with these suggestions.

Best Games to Play with One Hand

  • Disco Elysium
  • Shadowrun
  • Wasteland 2
  • Divinity Original Sin 2
  • XCOM 2
  • Paradox Grand Strategy
  • Civilization
  • Humankind
  • Tropico

Disco Elysium

Disco Elysium Screenshot
Disco Elysium

One or two hands, it doesn’t matter: Disco Elysium is one of the best games you can play. Great story, wonderful dialogues, gorgeous design and good replayability make it a must-have game.

There are keyboard shortcuts but everything can easily be accessed from the UI. Also, you can really play it at your own pace which makes it a perfect choice.

Shadowrun Series

Shadowrun Dragonfall Screenshot
Shadowrun Dragonfall

As I was on my third run of Cyberpunk 2077 before breaking my arm, I thought to continue with another cyberpunk game. Shadowrun was the most obvious choice. Simple graphics notwithstanding, the Shadowrun games are really nice and addictive to play. Also, if you’re a fan of 2077, you’ll find many familiar choices of words and references.

Maps are easy to explore, combat is turn-based and everything (aside from naming your character) can be done with the mouse.

Wasteland 2

Wasteland 2 Screenshot
Wasteland 2

If you’re looking for an easy-going RPG post-apocalyptic game with a pinch of sarcasm then look no further. Wasteland 2 offers turn-based combat in a decently enough written story set in post-apocalyptic Arizona. Though simple, the game also has a nice character and party-building system.

Keyboard shortcuts can be handy (no pun intended) but aren’t necessary to enjoy the game.

Divinity Original Sin 2

Divinity Original Sin 2 Screenshot
Divinity Original Sin 2

If you’re a gamer and you like RPGs, you surely know Divinity 2. If you don’t, go get it! It has a great story, nice dialogues and good humor. Combat is turn-based and strategy is very important since you can use elements to your advantage (and potentially make horrible messes).

It’s fully playable with the mouse only though some keyboard shortcuts are quite useful.

XCOM 2

XCOM 2 Screenshot
XCOM 2

This game became some kind of a cult and it’s easy to see why: great gameplay, nice story and good replayability. In a nutshell, you can think of it as a movie-like Mass Effect kind of game but with turn-based combats and a good dose of strategic management.

The keyboard is somehow important but the game is slow-paced enough to allow using both keyboard and mouse with just one hand.

Paradox Grand Strategy Games

Europa Universalis 4 Screenshot
Europa Universalis 4

Grand strategy usually is a synonym for Paradox Games. From ancient Rome to the Space Era, there’s a Paradox game that lets you control a nation and develop it as you see fit. You’ll be taking care of technology, internal policies, economy, war and diplomacy with a level of detail that you won’t find in any other game.

A mouse and a great passion for strategy are all you need.

Civilization

Civilization 6 Screenshot
Civilization 6

A classic and one of the oldest game franchises in the history of video games. Civilization is perfect if you like strategic games without getting into too many details and can potentially trap you in its turn-based version of history. There are also loads of mods that can change the gameplay and add maps, scenarios and civilizations that make the game quite vast to explore.

Some more or less useful keyboard shortcuts but nothing that would hinder your gaming experience.

Humankind

Humankind Screenshot
Humankind

Humankind is similar to Civilization and it’s nice to try if you overplayed Sid Meyer’s classic. It’s turn-based, easy to learn and, thanks to the A.I. not being top-notch, quite relaxing too. All in all, it’s a very casual game that’s perfect if you want a forgiving strategy game experience.

The U.I. and the camera movement are both very mouse-friendly so no real need for the keyboard.

Tropico

Tropico 6 Screenshot
Tropico 6

Building a city-state on a tropical island, what can go wrong? Well, hurricanes, active volcanos, tsunamis, political revolutions, foreign invasions and generic popular rebellions. Tropico lets you choose whether to be a loved “Presidente” or a fearful dictator; there are loads of role-playing possibilities while building your Utopia.

A few useful keyboard shortcuts but otherwise everything’s doable with the mouse.

Honorable Mentions

  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura
  • Neverwinter Nights
  • Football Manager
  • Cities: Skyline
  • Age of Empires

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