- Wondering if third-party cables will work?
- We list 4 solutions to play Rocksmith without an official cable
- Complete with suggestions and cheaper cable alternatives
- Also, check out Is Rocksmith Good For Learning Guitar?
Unlike Guitar Hero and Rockband, Rocksmith is played with a real guitar instead of a toy guitar controller.
To play the game, you need to connect your guitar to your PC or gaming console, which can be done with the real tone cable included with the game.
It is a cable with a standard ¼-inch jack on one side and a USB cable on the other, meaning you can connect your electric, electro-acoustic, or bass guitar directly to your video game console or PC.
Alas, an issue one might be presented with is not owning the Rocksmith Real Tone Cable. Perhaps you borrowed the game from a friend or purchased a used copy, or maybe the cable was damaged or lost.
Whatever the reason, in this article we will be looking at several options for how you can play Rocksmith without the official Real Tone cable.
How To Play Rocksmith Without A Real Tone Cable?
There are four ways to play Rocksmith without a Real Tone cable:
- With a Third-Party USB-To-Guitar Cable
- With An Audio Interface
- With An Acoustic Guitar And a Microphone
- In ‘Disconnected Mode’
1. With A Third-Party USB To Guitar Cable
Although the real tone cable is advertised as a unique cable that can not be replaced with another cable, there are actually some USB-to-guitar cables that you can use for the game.
You can use any of them to connect your guitar to Rocksmith and play the game immediately.
The Yespure USB guitar cable supports both 44.1 kHz and 48 kHz sample rates and is designed to transmit an electric guitar or bass signal into your computer.
The Yespure USB Guitar Cable is one of the most affordable ways to replace the real tone cable. Its price is almost half of the Ubisoft Real Tone cable and delivers the same performance.
The only drawback of this alternative cable is that you will have to download a program called Nocablelauncher to your computer or Mac to use the cable with Rocksmith. Unfortunately, this cable does not work with game consoles.
The Roland RCC-10-US14 Black Series 1/4-inch TS male to USB cable lets you connect a line-level or instrument-level audio device directly into your computer.
The Roland RCC-10-US14 Black Series is considered one of the best USB-to-guitar cables on the market today and is a great option if you are after a durable, high-performance alternative to the Rocksmith cable.
When connecting your guitar with this cable, Roland recommends placing a buffered-bypass pedal in line since the cable is passive, and relies on your gaming console or PC’s native USB audio support for operation.
This audio interface was made specifically for guitar and bass, and it offers plug-and-play compatibility with most DAWs or Mac or Windows PCs at sample rates up to 48kHz.
The Behringer Guitar2USB cable comes in a little cheaper than the official Tone Cable. While not regarded as highly as the Roland RCC, it is still a favorable option for playing Rocksmith.
GUITAR2USB is very easy to use with Windows PC and Mac OS and is ideal for use with low latency ASIO drivers like ASIO4ALL for PC and the onboard Core Audio drivers for Mac.
2. With An Audio Interface
When you think about how to connect your guitar to your PC or Mac, the logical solution that most likely comes to mind is to use an audio interface.
This is a simple process, involving connecting your Real Tone cable alternative between your guitar’s output and an instrument-level input on your audio interface.
As expected, you can only play the game on a computer with an audio interface. You cannot use it to connect your guitar to video consoles like Playstation or Xbox.
Some affordable and popular audio interfaces for this task can be found below:
The third-generation Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 advances the state-of-the-art in USB audio interfaces with two upgraded Scarlett mic preamps, high-performance 24-bit/192kHz AD/DA converters, optimized preamp gain structure, vanishingly low latency, and instrument inputs that handle scorching hot pickups.
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface is undoubtedly the most popular entry-level audio interface that delivers excellent performance for the price. The USB 2.0 audio interface has a 2-in/2-out design with 2 Mic/Line/Instrument inputs.
The successor to IK Multimedia's popular iRig HD, the iRig HD 2 guitar interface demonstrates all the capabilities of its predecessor, along with powerful additional features.
Another great option is to use IK Multimedia iRig HD 2 Guitar Interface for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and PC.
The portable USB guitar interface is cost-effective and highly versatile with its 24-bit/96kHz A/D conversion, preamp gain control, a dual-mode operation switch, and compatibility with Macs, PCs, and iOS devices.
Plus, it comes with AmpliTube SE Software if you want to use some effects for your projects.
3. With An Acoustic Guitar And A Microphone
Rocksmith 2014 allows users to play the game using Microphone Mode to transmit audio signals to computers or gaming consoles.
This means you can use your acoustic or classical guitars to play the game without the need for any Real Tone cable alternatives.
It should go without saying that the connection quality, latency, and sound quality are much higher quality when the connection is made with a cable, but you can still use Microphone Mode as a viable solution to playing Rocksmith without a Real Tone cable.
For this connection, we would advocate using a USB microphone that can directly connect to your computer. Some cost-effective, high-quality USB mics are Blue Yeti USB Microphone or Shure MV5.
With advanced Blue VO!CE software, Yeti makes it easier than ever to achieve professional on-stream sound quality with enhanced broadcast vocal effects, advanced voice modulation, and HD audio samples.
Engineered for quick and easy portable use, the MV5 Digital condenser microphone delivers convenient, high-quality plug-and-play audio capture for Mac, PC, iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Android devices
4. In Disconnected Mode
The last option is to use Disconnected Mode.
When you play the game in Disconnected Mode it does not detect your playing, and therefore does not match it up in real-time with the game. Effectively, you are reading the tabs from the game and playing along by yourself.
Disconnected Mode can be good for you if you are using Rocksmith as more of a practice tool than actually playing the game in story mode with the objective of advancing through levels.
Rocksmith Real Tone Guitar Cable Drawbacks
Real Tone guitar cables are the official Ubisoft cables that realize the connection between the guitar and the computer or video game consoles.
While they are generic ¼’’-to-USB cables, they are quite well-known for having the issues of being rather fragile and being high latency (not something you would expect from an official product of the game). Plus – they are relatively expensive for what you get.
A more sturdy and lower latency cable such as the Roland RCC-10-US14 Black Series is our pick in this scenario.
Further exploring the latency issues, the Rocksmith Real Tone cable also experiences connectivity issues. The computer or gaming console sometimes does not recognize the guitar even though the USB cable is plugged into it.
Although this problem is often rectified by hot-swapping available USB ports, it shows the poor build quality of these cables.
Can you play Rocksmith with a controller?
You can only play Rocksmith with a real guitar. You can not play the game with a controller, keyboard, or toy guitar.
Will a regular USB guitar cable work for Rocksmith?
Most regular USB guitar cables work for Rocksmith either directly or with the help of a program. However, you can not be sure of that until you try the cable. Plus, if the cable requires a program, that means you can only use the cable with a computer to play Rocksmith.
Since the program can’t work on Playstation or Xbox, the cable will not work with video game consoles.
Up Next: Rocksmith+ vs Yousician (Differences & Which Is Best).