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Foebane72

Trying to play with WASD is AGONY! (DEBUNKED)

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Who on Earth decided that the standard FPS control keys with M+K should be WASD??

I've just been playing a game using those particular keys, with Left-Alt as Fire(!), and I could not change them without making the game unplayable (long story).

But after about half an hour, my hand was hurting a lot and I had to quit the game!

This seems to be a major issue with gamers, with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other such injuries that sometimes DO require surgery, so I'm wondering who was the smart-alec who came up with those particular keys in the first place!

I've been playing FPS games with keyboard+mouse for a LOOOONG time now, but I developed my own comfortable keyboard controls long before I even heard of WASD. The configuration goes like this:

A = Forwards
Z = Backwards
LeftCtrl = Strafe Left
LeftAlt = Strafe Right
S = Jump
X = Crouch

I find this configuration much more comfortable for longer play as my wrist is resting on the desk or table, and my fingers are not so hunched over the keys as they would be for WASD, and luckily most PC keyboards in the bottom-left are the same. I wouldn't want to try it on a laptop, however.

Thank GOD that all FPS games are configurable!

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Foebane72 said:

Who on Earth decided that the standard FPS control keys with M+K should be WASD??

People who preffer that configuration.

Just because you find the control scheme not your liking does not mean its objectively wrong.

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Well, this is definitely one of those few areas where left handed people are at an advantage. We can use the cursor keys or the numpad and don't have to resort to crutches! :P

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I use WASD because early indoctrination, but ESDF is objectively the master race option. You get good access to other keys and don't trip yourself on the goddamn capslock. Lefties should use numlock at the very least, tho honestly just move the keyboard and go for PL;' or something, heh.

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Since this is in the Doom General forum, I'll assume you find playing Doom with WASD painful.

My mind has become one with WASD. I find it hard to play without WASD as up, strafe left, down and strafe right. It feels natural combined with the mouse for turning and aiming. For lefties, they could use the number pad as Graf mentioned or the cursor keys themselves. But then again, I'm pretty most of them have gotten used to WASD already.

Hey, if you don't like WASD, then don't. Everyone's got different ways to do their thing. If you think WASD is a pain in the ass, try playing with a touchscreen.

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dew said:

the master race option

here it is:

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Voros said:

I'm pretty most of them have gotten used to WASD already.


That entirely depends on which hand you use your mouse with.

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dew said:

I use WASD because early indoctrination


Then why not just UNdoctrinate yourself and try my config? If you find it comfortable, you'll find mine even more comfortable. Win-Win! :D

Graf Zahl said:

That entirely depends on which hand you use your mouse with.


The right, of course! Who on earth would use the mouse with their left hand? I'm left-handed, and I learnt to use the mouse the common way, on the right. In my first big job, we had a colleague who used the mouse with his left hand, the only person I'd ever met who did that, and it was a pain having to move the mouse back to its right place after he'd used it.

Maybe it's just bad posture that I had? I had my wrist almost right up to the bottom of the keyboard and my fingers were arched over the keys like a Daddy Longlegs. Is that the wrong way? Maybe you play the game with your fingers more flattened over the keys?

I am going to try playing Doom with WASD, just so I can maybe get used to it, and get used to the other game whose controls I couldn't change.

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Foebane72 said:

Then why not just UNdoctrinate yourself and try my config? If you find it comfortable, you'll find mine even more comfortable. Win-Win! :D

Your configuration requires bunching my hand up.

WASD doesn't.

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dew said:

ESDF is objectively the master race option.

Only if you don't mind minimizing your game every time you try to hit Ctrl, because with ESDF you're gonna hit the Win key instead, which, contrary to what one would expect, is going to make you lose.

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Foebane72 said:

Who on earth would use the mouse with their left hand?

Foebane72 said:

In my first big job, we had a colleague who used the mouse with his left hand, the only person I'd ever met who did that, and it was a pain having to move the mouse back to its right place after he'd used it.

I've never seen a post that both that both blatantly answers its own question and shows that the only reason you're asking it is to single out a person you found annoying due to how they were born quite so energetically.

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Gez said:

here it is:

That may be enough for Quake players, but it's a strain for Doom multiplayer, I'm afraid. Using the next/prev weapon keys is unpractical because of the glacial speed of weapon switching, so you need binds for individual weapons. With WASD the RL at '5' is already a strain and PG/BFG are prime candidates for rebinding (V and C in my case). Furthermore if you're like me, your RMB is wasted on strafe... and if you're like the newfangled kiddies, you actually use two more keys for facilitated sr50.

Doom actually gets a bit complex and piano-ish when you start getting bothered by the details. I heard about horrendous setups some of the golden age CN players used, specifically "optimized" for vanilla. My reasoning for ESDF actually being the best is that you get the best reach to as many other keys as possible.

Rathori: Haha, that sounds annoying. Though with crouch on ctrl, this is something I'd only encounter very rarely in Doom, heh.

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Arctangent said:

I've never seen a post that both that both blatantly answers its own question and shows that the only reason you're asking it is to single out a person you found annoying due to how they were born quite so energetically.


We ALL found him annoying, and not the norm. Is it any wonder Microsoft favoured the right hand, making those mice that were especially shaped and contoured so?

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Because out of right-handedness, right-handed on mouse cross-dominance, and ambidexterity, roughly three-fifths of the population would use a right-handed mouse?

I mean, the numbers don't really add up that simply, but the real numbers still basically mean you're asking, "why are MOST mouses made for MOST people!?" And wouldn't you know it, they make mice especially shaped and contoured for either left-handed people or so be comfortable with either hand anyway. But maybe they're just wasting their time and effort, then?

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I think it's just how he learnt to use the mouse, that's all. I could learn to write with my right hand if I wanted to. Heck, I bought a Konix Speedking back in the day (a handheld joystick ONLY designed for right-handers, as far as I know) and I, a left-hander, learnt to use it. Easily the best joystick I ever used on my Amiga.

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dew said:

That may be enough for Quake players, but it's a strain for Doom multiplayer, I'm afraid. Using the next/prev weapon keys is unpractical because of the glacial speed of weapon switching, so you need binds for individual weapons. With WASD the RL at '5' is already a strain and PG/BFG are prime candidates for rebinding (V and C in my case). Furthermore if you're like me, your RMB is wasted on strafe... and if you're like the newfangled kiddies, you actually use two more keys for facilitated sr50.

Doom actually gets a bit complex and piano-ish when you start getting bothered by the details. I heard about horrendous setups some of the golden age CN players used, specifically "optimized" for vanilla. My reasoning for ESDF actually being the best is that you get the best reach to as many other keys as possible.

Rathori: Haha, that sounds annoying. Though with crouch on ctrl, this is something I'd only encounter very rarely in Doom, heh.


Ive heard more and more over the years of people going with ESDF; makes sense in a way, but by the same token, the left shift key is my safety blanket, my brown pants and red shirt; it also serves as a good anchor point, though the "f" key would make for a good anchor as well. Idk, perhaps as games use more and more keys ESDF will become more viable, particularly with games like WoW I could see it being immensely useful, but I don't think it garners too much benefit for Doom. Weapons 6&7, turn left/right, 180 turn, and maybe jump (which bumps around use) on rare occasions is all that really needs remapped, (and most of those are fairly redundant anywayg mouse turns, 180 isn't present in all ports, mousewheel selects weapons, and jumping is rare) aside from inventory controls in HairyTick. But as you said, strafe is already a rmb command, so that mitigates the need for turn left/right anyway, needing only a small few controls remapped to be near WASD. The next/prev weapon switch isn't as bad to use when you know the right count to use, but given how quickly doom DMs go, it's not uncommon to mess up and cost yourself some frags/deaths.

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Foebane72 said:

I think it's just how he learnt to use the mouse, that's all. I could learn to write with my right hand if I wanted to. Heck, I bought a Konix Speedking back in the day (a handheld joystick ONLY designed for right-handers, as far as I know) and I, a left-hander, learnt to use it. Easily the best joystick I ever used on my Amiga.

That's likely a sign that you're cross-dominant, not strictly left-handedness.

I'm cross-dominant and all over the place with my handedness, but it's pretty consistently an utter mess if I don't use the correct hand for something. It's not like I realized it at first, either - I grew up thinking I was left-handed despite, y'know, being right-dominant for some things.

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Foebane72 said:

Is it any wonder Microsoft favoured the right hand, making those mice that were especially shaped and contoured so?

Probably it's because majority of population is right handed.

Who on Earth decided that the standard FPS control keys with M+K should be WASD??

It's a pretty comfortable setup that lets player reach all necessary movement keys (run\walk\sprint and jump keys also should count as movement keys) with ease and with a pretty low risk of accidiently hitting something like Win or Fn key.

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oh, hey, it's the 'doom 64 isn't doom' guy!

alright, look. you wanna know why people use wasd? because it's the standard. it's been a standard for a really, really long time. lots of people have converted to it because they like that setup. personally, i use wasd because i grew up playing games that used wasd as the default setting, and it's the layout that i feel the most comfortable in. i can switch to weapons just fine, i can maneuver just fine, and i can play the game how i want without some dummy telling me that the only way i should play is with some silly layout that i don't prefer. if people want to play with a particular layout, that's fine. use the numpad for all i care. it's your own personal choice, play with whatever you feel is right. but don't try to force what you feel is right onto other people, srsly.

do you get it now?

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Technically, WASD was forced on millions of people who had been previously happy using other control schemes.

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Fonze said:

Technically, WASD was forced on millions of people who had been previously happy using other control schemes.


i mean, you could've just remapped the controls, right?

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I find WASD quite comfortable, as it leaves my thumb well-placed for Alt (which is turn right, for strafe-50 only) and space (use). With ESDF, that would be marginally awkward. Though this all depends on the precise keyboard layout, of course.

If it weren't for strafe-50, then pretty much any configuration would do.

Rathori said:

Only if you don't mind minimizing your game every time you try to hit Ctrl, because with ESDF you're gonna hit the Win key instead

You are strange and different. All your friends have disabled their Windows key.

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Grazza said:

I find WASD quite comfortable


I'm inclined to agree here, I've never found the WASD controls to be awkward or cumbersome at all. I guess EDSF would be fine too but have never bothered to try that control scheme.

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Foebane72 said:

...with M+K should be WASD??

...with Left-Alt as Fire...

There is something wrong with that particular case...

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I started using RFDG (and still use that in all PC fps games today, plus S/X for jumping and crouching) when I was still playing 1v1 a lot semi-seriously. That way, the 7 key for BFG is slightly easier to hit than when using ESDF and the Q key is slightly more difficult to hit accidentally in case you're playing vanilla with demo recording enabled, though on the other hand, RFDG will overlap with the hardcoded private player-to-player chat keys in vanilla and so will not work in vanilla with more than 2 players unless you patch the EXE. Which in this case is easy, you don't even have to read and understand any assembly at all, just search for "gibr" in a hex editor or MS-DOS Edit in binary mode (/##) and overwrite it with something else. :)

(Heretic/Hexen are a bit more difficult to patch however...)

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Ages ago, I had a mini-flamewar with some user here on DW or in a private chat, I don't recall. It was about keyboard layouts, of course, but not necessarily about Doom (probably about beat-em-up games). In any case, the guy defended his oddball (in my view) choice of keys. As I just couldn't believe any anatomically normal human being would use what he did. I then demanded (and obtained) a photo of his hand showing his supposedly "comfortable" configuration on his own keyboard.

Well, long story short, that pic was worth a 1000 words: the guy had some freakishly long and unequal fingers, as well as a weird hand shape. I rested my case O_o

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Arctangent said:

I've never seen a post that both that both blatantly answers its own question and shows that the only reason you're asking it is to single out a person you found annoying due to how they were born quite so energetically.


Hm. Funny. Here I thought I was a leftie and used my computer mouse with my right hand, but I must have been wrong about one of these two facts all these years, seeing as the great Arctangent tells me us dirty left-hand people types are "born a certain way".

Forcing penwriting on the right hand can cause problems for lefties, but computer peripherals are a whole different ballpark. This is one of these things with a much heavier bias towards environment. Certain kids might take the mouse and swap it all over to the other side, other kids will see the right-handed setup and follow suit without a second thought.

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I write left-handed, but learned to use the mouse right-handed as a kid and have never had trouble with it. Trying to use a mouse left-handed is about as clumsy for me as trying to use a pencil right-handed. But not everyone is the same.

Phml said:

Hm. Funny. Here I thought I was a leftie and used my computer mouse with my right hand, but I must have been wrong about one of these two facts all these years, seeing as the great Arctangent tells me us dirty left-hand people types are "born a certain way".

Only you could so effortlessly twist a defense of someone's normalcy into an imagined slight against them.

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Speaking of left-handed mouse users...do they really have to swap the keys too, so that a "left click" becomes a "right click"?

As for WASD favoring lefties...that depends. IMO, in a game like Doom, controlling the player aim/rotation is far more demanding in terms of accuracy AND execution speed compared to the player's position on the map (aka just moving around), so that task should go to the dominant hand.

In classical 2D arcade games, OTOH, usually fine position and motor control was required, so the dominant hand should grasp the joystick, while the less dominant hand was good enough for the task of simply mashing buttons (only possible exception: some fighting games, esp. those with Mortal Kombat style controls). I even went as far as playing in a weird "cross-handed" position, if the joystick was to the left of the buttons (which it usually was).

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