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TheNoob_Gamer

How to 'git gud' at playing Doom with a keyboard-only setup?

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Apparently, my wireless mouse is eating up a lot of my battery, so I have to switch to my shitty and older integrated mouse comes with my laptop. Therefore, I could only play games with keyboard/controller only.
But then again, I hate playing games with a controller, and Doom is no different. 
My current control scheme is WSAD for movement (duh), Up Arrow for firing and Left/Right arrow for turning.
How do I get better with this?
And also, some good wads for practicing with the new setup?

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That's almost identical to how I play classic Doom anyway, though I use Down Arrow for use. Personally, I got good by playing the original episodes of Doom. I've climbed my way up from I Don't Want to Die, have beaten the entire game on Hurt Me Plenty, and am only 5 levels away from beating "Inferno" on UV.

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Posted (edited)

Do you have a numpad on your keyboard? When I'm stuck with the keyboard I use the same setup as you but using numpad for turning and firing. My right hand rests better like this. Numpad 0 is there for "easy" str50 since Ctrl is very far away (and you have to lift your hand when using arrows anyway). Alternatively, down or right arrow should be even better for that because you don't have to move you thumb depending on the design of your keyboard.

 

Otherwise and out of scope for the thread, but I'd recommend finding a cheap wired mouse until you find a solution you like more.

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Posted (edited)

Right hand: Arrow keys (forward, backwards, turn left and right)

 

Left hand: Everything else. That is Shift (Run), Ctrl (Shoot), Alt (strafe), Space (use) and numbers for changing weapons.

 

I have and always will use this setup. Never disappointed me thus far and I recommend it to anyone looking into playing keyboard only.

 

Might seem like a lot of load on the left hand but I find it important to have one hand fully dedicated to movement. I have no trouble playing this way and have been playing this way since I started playing Doom.

 

EDIT:

About the git gud part, it is just practice, practice, practice. I feel no limitations compared to if I were using a mouse. On the contrary, I would play a lot worse with a mouse (until I got used to it), but I feel absolutely no reason to.

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1 hour ago, Kira said:

Do you have a numpad on your keyboard?

My integrated and my primary plug-in keyboard, yes. The other IBM one, no.

1 hour ago, Kira said:

I'd recommend finding a cheap wired mouse until you find a solution you like more.

I had many, many bad experience with wired mouses in the past. Maybe I will give them one more shot.
Thanks for the suggestion anyway.

 

17 minutes ago, idbeholdME said:

Right hand: Arrow keys (forward, backwards, turn left and right)

 

Left hand: Everything else. That is Shift (Run), Ctrl (Shoot), Alt (strafe), Space (use) and numbers for changing weapons.

A dilemma I have and will have about vanilla Doom's control scheme is how confusing and how clunky it is. Some of my fingers are also unable to do stuffs properly.
I should probably add more about my current control scheme. Click the spoiler if you really give a damn.
 

Spoiler

WASD for movement (strafing and moving forward/backward)
E for interacting with stuffs (open/close door, activating switches,etc.)
Space/C for jumping/crounching, respectively (Z-based source ports only)
Up arrow is for firing. Down arrow is for altfire. (Altfire for Z-based source ports, just in case)
Left/Right arrow for turning.

 

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10 minutes ago, TheNoob_Gamer said:

A dilemma I have and will have about vanilla Doom's control scheme is how confusing and how clunky it is. Some of my fingers are also unable to do stuffs properly.
I should probably add more about my current control scheme. Click the spoiler if you really give a damn.
 

  Reveal hidden contents

WASD for movement (strafing and moving forward/backward)
E for interacting with stuffs (open/close door, activating switches,etc.)
Space/C for jumping/crounching, respectively (Z-based source ports only)
Up arrow is for firing. Down arrow is for altfire. (Altfire for Z-based source ports, just in case)
Left/Right arrow for turning.

 

As with everything, it stops being clunky once you get used to it. Yes, if you never played this way, it might seem weird at first, especially if you never played any games on keyboard only before. I play all old school FPSes with this scheme. Blood, Duke 3D, Shadow Warrior, Powerslave, you name it. I think I even played Quake 1 this way.

 

I can't even imagine trying to play with your current control scheme. It would take some serious getting used to for me to be able to play that way.

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1 hour ago, idbeholdME said:

As with everything, it stops being clunky once you get used to it. Yes, if you never played this way, it might seem weird at first, especially if you never played any games on keyboard only before. I play all old school FPSes with this scheme. Blood, Duke 3D, Shadow Warrior, Powerslave, you name it. I think I even played Quake 1 this way.

 

I can't even imagine trying to play with your current control scheme. It would take some serious getting used to for me to be able to play that way.

When I said the control scheme is confusing, that doesn't mean I've ever played with it before. In fact, I've beaten 2 out of 3 Doom 1 episodes using it, but I completed E3 and E4 on ZDoom, so lol.
I just find this control scheme fits me. Maybe I'll go back to vanilla Doom's clunky control scheme one day.

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When I played with only keyboard, I used WASD, arrows to look(left/right), crtl to fire and space to use. This spreads out your hands a bit. I think you just have to get used to it.

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At some point, I played exclusively with a keyboard because my mid 90s PC required mouse drivers for DOS that I just did not have. I was good enough to make it through Doom 1 and Doom 2 on Ultra Violence, because I believed Ultra Violence was the only way to play. Also take note that saving wherever is awesome so Ultra Violence difficulty might get skewed.

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So how "gud" are you talking, here? You seem to have implied you cannot yet beat Inferno or Thy Flesh Consumed (on Ultra-Violence?); is that right? I think it's just a matter of practice. I remember using the original default controls and being frustratingly bad. I thought it was a win to beat Doom on I'm Too Young to Die with only IDDQD for cheats. So I think there's a reason there are generally only a handful of setups that players use with some variations. You seem to have chosen one, so it's just a matter of getting used to it and practicing. As for finite suggestions, I have a few. (1) Use pistol starts. Most maps will be harder this way but are designed with it in mind. (2) Replay tough encounters. Save before the big fight and beat it multiple times. Don't continue until you can do it x times in a row without dying or maybe even without getting hurt. (3) Practice specific things. Load up Grosse or Tower of Babel, give yourself a BFG, and practice two-shotting. Find a map (or create one) that will allow you to practice avoiding tons of revenant rockets flying at you. Practice punching barons without getting hit. Make a wide open map with arch-viles and nothing but a few tiny pillars for cover. Etc.

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@Pegleg I am flattered, but I don't play keyboard only. I only did it in September.

 

As for how I play, I use audio cues much more than with mouse only, to be aware what I'm walking into so I can turn quicker. Also, I rely on strafing. A lot. A real lot. I nearly always move diagonally to avoid a bullet... It's about as much as I am aware. It's been half a year since I did it last time, so I don't remember as much. 

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3 hours ago, Pegleg said:

Since all of you have had success with keyboard-only play, any thoughts to help TheNoob_Gamer?

 

I played keyboard only for a long time, but it is debatable how much 'success' I had with it :)

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Posted (edited)

@Pegleg I don't know why would you summon me since I'm not the best player to take advice from.

My setup is:

-WASD for movement;

-shift is used to walk/slow down turning speed;

-ctrl is used to shoot;

-alt is used to strafe (for straferun50);

-spacebar is "use" key;

-left/right arrows are used for turning.

13 hours ago, TheNoob_Gamer said:

How do I get better with this?
And also, some good wads for practicing with the new setup?

It depends on what you mean by "get better". If it's getting accustomed to your setup, then just play whatever however you want with your setup. If you're talking about getting better in general then you could try playing challenge wads or something. Your scheme seems OK, especially if it fits you as you've said.

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4 hours ago, HAK3180 said:

So how "gud" are you talking, here? You seem to have implied you cannot yet beat Inferno or Thy Flesh Consumed (on Ultra-Violence?); is that right?

Yeah, I haven't YET beat "Inferno" or "Thy Flesh Consumed" on Ultra-Violence yet, but that's simply because I'm currently working on it. I only beat "The Shores on Hell" keyboard-only on UV two or three days ago and I'm not constantly playing.

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Posted (edited)

I rarely play keyboard only, but when I do I use WASD, left/right arrow for turning and down arrow for firing. Hitting ctrl with the pinky to fire feels really weird to me.

 

I don't think you can ever be as good with keyboard only as you can be with a mouse, but I've seen a guy beat Doom 2 on NM with keyboard only so it's clear you can still develop serious skill. Doom doesn't require the most precise/quick aiming anyway (unless you're playing Deathmatch).

Edited by UNERXAi

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Keyboard-only is always limited because turn speed is fixed. One somewhat useful tip:

Fake strafe by turning while backing up. Sounds simple (and it is), but it can work. Of course it's better to really strafe, but that can get confusing with all the buttons you have to work.

 

Another tip: Combine open door and strafe key. Again, this lets you use, and have to find/remember less keys, and usually doesn't cause a conflict.

 

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3 minutes ago, kb1 said:

Keyboard-only is always limited because turn speed is fixed. One somewhat useful tip:

Fake strafe by turning while backing up. Sounds simple (and it is), but it can work. Of course it's better to really strafe, but that can get confusing with all the buttons you have to work.

 

Another tip: Combine open door and strafe key. Again, this lets you use, and have to find/remember less keys, and usually doesn't cause a conflict.

 

Why would he need a strafe key? He is still using the normal WASD and is just replacing the mouse with the arrow keys.

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17 hours ago, HAK3180 said:

So how "gud" are you talking, here? You seem to have implied you cannot yet beat Inferno or Thy Flesh Consumed (on Ultra-Violence?); is that right?

Kind of yes. I beaten E3/E4 on ZDoom using mouselook + resurrect x10 each map. (Casual, right?) But that was from a very long time ago.
Also, I partially mastered berserk.
I want to 'git gud' enough to the point I could freely roam around Doom like I did while playing with mouse.

So thanks.

4 hours ago, kb1 said:

Keyboard-only is always limited because turn speed is fixed. One somewhat useful tip:

Fake strafe by turning while backing up. Sounds simple (and it is), but it can work. Of course it's better to really strafe, but that can get confusing with all the buttons you have to work.

 

Another tip: Combine open door and strafe key. Again, this lets you use, and have to find/remember less keys, and usually doesn't cause a conflict.

 

Combine these 2 keys seems pretty much impractical to me. Why would I need strafe when I need opening a door/interacting with a switch anyway?
And thanks for the fake strafing tip, I am still trying to master it since day one but can't figured the name of this technique.

 

10 hours ago, UNERXAi said:

I don't think you can ever be as good with keyboard only as you can be with a mouse, but I've seen a guy beat Doom 2 on NM with keyboard only so it's clear you can still develop serious skill. Doom doesn't require the most precise/quick aiming anyway (unless you're playing Deathmatch).

With a hell of a lot of practice, yes I can. The only reason I switched to mouse was because ZDoom and its mods, many of them require mouselook to work properly (no hate on them btw.)
Thanks for replies people! More suggestions are still welcome :)
 

 

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On 4/8/2019 at 11:01 AM, LadyVader1138 said:

I've climbed my way up from I'm Too Young to Die

 

FTFY.

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21 hours ago, LadyVader1138 said:

Why would he need a strafe key? He is still using the normal WASD and is just replacing the mouse with the arrow keys.

A strafe key changes "turn left/turn right" actions into "strafe left/strafe right". In addition, you can have dedicated "strafe left" and "strafe right" keys. Strafing is, of course, the easiest way to dodge missiles.

 

16 hours ago, TheNoob_Gamer said:

Combine these 2 keys seems pretty much impractical to me. Why would I need strafe when I need opening a door/interacting with a switch anyway?

And thanks for the fake strafing tip, I am still trying to master it since day one but can't figured the name of this technique.

You normally don't need to strafe when opening doors - that's the point. The 2 actions tend to be mutually-exclusive. This setup lets you get away with defining/having to use one less key.

 

This is how I used to setup Doom when I used a 2-button joystick: Button 1 = fire, button 2 = strafe/open doors. This worked pretty good, and let me do everything except switching weapons and invoking the automap, with just 2 joystick buttons.

 

Regarding the fake strafe (turn while backing up): It's easy to invoke, especially if the buttons are adjacent. I used to use the arrow keys, so I could just mash the 2 buttons with one finger.

 

But, no controller is a good substitute for a mouse/trackball, which lets you turn at variable speed. You simply can't do the things you can do with a mouse, on the keyboard. Does your laptop have one of those touchpad deals? I always wondered how good those would work with Doom.

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, kb1 said:

A strafe key changes "turn left/turn right" actions into "strafe left/strafe right". In addition, you can have dedicated "strafe left" and "strafe right" keys. Strafing is, of course, the easiest way to dodge missiles.

 

I know this. But my point is that he already said that he's using WASD for forward/backwards/strafe. He doesn't need a strafe key (baring SR50).

Edited by LadyVader1138

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19 hours ago, LadyVader1138 said:

I know this. But my point is that he already said that he's using WASD for forward/backwards/strafe. He doesn't need a strafe key (baring SR50).

Ah - he said WSAD and arrow keys. Now I know what you meant.

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Posted (edited)

Since the conversation is still going, I will add some datails on how I play.

 

Left shift is always pressed as I rest either my ring finger on it or both the ring and middle fingers (depending on they keyboard layout) and only lift them when I need to walk. From there, you can easily reach Ctrl (pinky) and Alt (index) and thumb for Spacebar. Wepon swapping is done by middle finger (weapons 1-3) and index finger (weapons 4-7).

 

Automap is usually not needed in battle but I think I usually use middle finger for Tab to open it.

 

In gameplay itself, you basically want to always be strafing. Once you master it, you can easily circle strafe anything without issues while always being locked on target, navigate levels without issues, and do strafe jumps without thinking.

 

A few things help:

1) For europeans, not having a keyboard with a german layout (small left shift) helps.

 

2) Getting a mechanical keyboard, because the cheap plastic rubber dome keyboards will not allow you to strafe run diagonally to the left and shoot simultaneously due to key overflow problems they have. Once I got one, being able to circle strafe to the left was like an entire new dimension opened to me.

 

 

But I admit, I have large hands, so not sure if people with small hands will find this as comfortable as I do.

 

Playing everything on UV-fast without issues.

Edited by idbeholdME

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Use both hands. You can set the numpad to rotate and use AD to strafe.

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8 minutes ago, Thedoctor989 said:

you want to see clunky? try Freedoom android port

I have already played it since I began searching of a Doom source port on Android, and I agree.

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