ESDF instead of WASD: our gaming control quirks
Inverted mouse for shooter games? ESDF instead of WASD? «Call of Duty» control for all online shooter games? I’ve asked my co-workers about their special wishes when it comes to character control in gaming. Turns out I work with quite a few freaks.
Game controls are something very personal. Only very few go with the default keys and layout. Oh the outcry if the configurations can't be adjusted to your own needs. A mate of mine, for example, doesn't play with WASD like normal people, but with ESDF. He insists in having more keys near him that he can use – the bastard.
But that’s nothing compared to another mate of mine at PC Gamer who uses the WASD keys but positions his fingers as you do when you’re typing. As if this wasn’t shocking enough, he’s spent all his life thinking everyone else does the same. This story inspired the idea of talking to my office colleagues and finding out if they have any weird gaming quirks and habits. Trust me, they do.
Of mice and men
Tobias Stamm, Senior Software Engineer
I almost always reverse the vertical alignment of the mouse. And I massively reduce the sensitivity. The A-B button control that comes from Nintendo controllers gives me a lot of trouble. The keys are never in the same place. With Minecraft, my sword is always on key 4 and not on key 1 as with many others. Why? Because all I need to do is stretch my index finger to get at the button quickly.
Call centre colleague who’d rather stay anonymous
When I play shooter games, I invert the mouse: Moving the mouse down is looking up; moving the mouse up is looking down. A «Flight Simulator» from the 2000s is to blame for this misery. I've been playing all first-person shooter games and flight simulation games this way for over 15 years. For strategy games and Windows, I don't invert the mouse.
Chris Margadant, Head of Engineering
I often have to change the controls for helicopters and planes. Apparently, it's normal to control pitching and rolling via the mouse, but I prefer pitching and gearing (vertical control) via the mouse.
Special layout requests
Ludwig Antilli, Senior Frontend Engineer
For whatever reason, game developers can never agree on one control system. Would you like some examples?
- Interacting with the environment: E or F (F is better, because E is often used to look around corners).
- Ducking: Ctrl or C (I don't even remember; it confuses me every time).
- Getting to the menu: Esc or Tab. But which menu? The one with the settings or the character's?
- In «Dishonored» games (fantastic), I have to swap the left and right mouse button to trigger the action of the corresponding hand. Left click for left hand, right click for right hand. How come developers get that wrong?
My last point: The weapon selection belongs on mouse buttons 4 and 5; the clickable scroll wheel was a terrible idea.
Christian Seeholzer, Category Planning Specialist
I use the «Call of Duty» layout for all multiplayer shooter games. This is the game I play most often and I'm so used to the controls that I can't play with any others. My special requests are as follows: Aiming with the right mouse button – permanent and not key pressed – crouching with C, lying down with Ctrl or directly on the mouse, close combat with V and on the mouse, tactical grenade with E and normal grenade with G or clicking the scroll wheel.
Christoph Lauper, Junior Software Engineer
I need to have crouching on 5, set the sensitivity to over 2600 and adjust this in-game.
Simon Balissat, Editor
A mate of mine has this urge to change the controls in every game – we're talking every single key. With new games, it takes him about four hours until he's adjusted the layout exactly to how it was in the last game. What a fool.
Never mind the lefties
Quentin Aellen, Category Marketing Specialist
When I play games, the mouse is to the left of my keyboard, which is why I need to invert the keys. I use the arrow keys on the numeric keypad as controls, Enter for reloading (darned MMOs with the chat function on Enter force me to use DEL for reloading), Num 0 for jumping, Num Del for a grenade, Num 1 for lying down and so on. Last but not least, I use the space bar for using. 😁 The rest remains the same.
It takes quite some finger yoga to hit and reach all the buttons, but I'm proud of my individual yet stubborn gaming style. And I've driven a few of my friends crazy by setting my controls on their PCs.
What about you? What are your gaming quirks? What’s up with your controls?