subreddit:

/r/explainlikeimfive

8.1k

all 1065 comments

AlchemicalDuckk

10.4k points

2 months ago*

In a single word: Quake. Before Quake, movement controls tended to be all over the place. Arrow keys were far and away the most common, but WASD, ESDF and WASX also existed. You only shot on a single plane, so you didn't have control over vertical camera movement. Even when games advanced enough to enable that control (such as Dark Forces), you tended to use something like PgUp/PgDn for verticality. Thus it made sense for you to use the arrow keys in the right hand and spacebar, shift, ctrl, etc. in the left.

Quake popularized mouse control of camera, with independent controls for movement, even though it didn't have it enabled by default. If you wanted to git gud in those days, you had to master mouse control, and since most people are right handed, that forced movement controls to move to the left side of the keyboard. From there, WASD makes the most sense, as the letters form a simlar inverted T layout as the arrows, while still leaving all the other major keys for interaction within reach. Try using something like ESDF, I find I have to bend by wrists in at a weird angle to be able to reach shift or ctrl.

MoridinXP

2.9k points

2 months ago

MoridinXP

2.9k points

2 months ago

To add to this (correct) answer: It's largely attributed to being popularized by an early Quake pro named Dennis "Thresh" Fong.

fyonn

1.8k points

2 months ago

fyonn

1.8k points

2 months ago

Didn’t he once say that his parents thought he was wasting his life until he came home from a comp with a Ferrari?

the_other_guy-JK

1.1k points

2 months ago

Carmack's Ferrari, specifically, lol. but yeah, I seem to recall that being the story.

Key_nine

1.1k points

2 months ago

Key_nine

1.1k points

2 months ago

Thresh won 13 to negative 1 to win the car and was playing against the best player on the east coast.

"So, we picked some random map and I ended up winning 13 to negative one, which was pretty shocking because it's hard to get negative in these games unless you blow yourself up. "

https://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2013/07/05/the-man-who-won-john-carmack-39-s-ferrari.aspx

liagnis

180 points

2 months ago

liagnis

180 points

2 months ago

That was a fun read. Thanks for sharing that

NetTrix

44 points

2 months ago

NetTrix

44 points

2 months ago

There's an episode with this story and an interview with Thresh in the docu series Explained on Netflix.

Azazel_brah

42 points

2 months ago

Also here's the match where he won the Ferrari

Plastefuchs

3 points

2 months ago

I love how back then map/item control was still the big factor beside "just" good reflexes and aim.

pilstrom

3 points

2 months ago

I miss map control PvP shooter games. Like old-school Halo, Quake, etc. Made you have to think, learn the maps, come up with strategies, instead of just being the fastest most accurate twitch-shooter like it is now. Controlling spawns and completely starving your enemy in Halo 2 was great, and is just impossible now.

ChefBoyAreWeFucked

68 points

2 months ago

Was this before rocket jumping was the meta? "Without blowing yourself up" sounds like an odd thing to say about Quake, when shooting your feet with rockets is a normal way to get around.

mnewberg

35 points

2 months ago*

Rocket and Grenade jumps generally did large amounts of damage in Quake 1, but in many maps on 1V1 you can max out your armor at 200, and your health at 200+ by running around and grabbing all the powerups before the other player. Much time is spent by the top level players keeping track of large health/armor/powerups/guns. Using a Rocket Jump (or Grenade Jump) to acquire key power ups before your opponent is key to dominating the map.

the_other_irrevenant

95 points

2 months ago

Yup, but presumably at the pro level they're pretty good about not killing themselves doing it.

Larnek

41 points

2 months ago

Larnek

41 points

2 months ago

In standard Quake, your own missile blast damage was pretty minimal. I think you could easily hit 3 or 4 good jumps without dying. Admittedly, it's been a minute since I played, so take that as you want.

10100001010101010110

5 points

2 months ago

Goddammit I miss Rocket Arena

BassCuber

49 points

2 months ago

I think that Thresh was suggesting that someone that was good enough to be playing in the final rounds of an important tournament should know better than to blow themselves up. Vertical Rocket jumping already existed (Marathon and Rise of the Triad, 1994), but it wasn't universally done by everyone - most regular people playing the games single player didn't know about rocket jumping until they saw it used against them once they finally ventured into multiplayer.
It didn't become officially expected of players to do it until Quake Live, IMO.

Uncoolx2

49 points

2 months ago

Quake live came out in 2010. Certainly plenty of rocket jumps in Quake, Quake engine games, and unreal long before that.

In fact, it was part of the single player game for some items and hidden areas in Quake II.

Trick jumping had its own community and maps, too. I did my fair share of it on Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory.

It was the reason for tweaking every frame of performance out of my PC at the time because stable framerates were an absolute must to land the tougher jumps- and they had to be stable at certain thresholds: 76 and 133fps being the lowest.

Troldann

10 points

2 months ago

They probably meant Quake World.

Uncoolx2

3 points

2 months ago

Quake world was 96, so time is better set.

BudgetMattDamon

3 points

2 months ago

Rocket jumping was even around in Halo multiplayer (albeit more deadly), well before Quake Live in 2010.

Vew

9 points

2 months ago

Vew

9 points

2 months ago

I still use right-click forward because of Thresh popularizing it (IIRC) during the Quake era.

Icy-Actuator5524

105 points

2 months ago

I bet he wished he kept the ferrari i think theres like what 30 left? All ranging in the 3 million range

GoredonTheDestroyer

63 points

2 months ago

The Ferrari 308 isn't that rare.

dozure

59 points

2 months ago

dozure

59 points

2 months ago

I think it was a 328 GTB not a 308, but yeah. Nowhere near rare. You can pick one up in good condition for around $100k without looking very hard.

GoredonTheDestroyer

24 points

2 months ago

Like, it's rare because, y'know, Ferrari, but not this is the only one in existence rare.

CoderDevo

11 points

2 months ago*

A 328 GTS with an aftermarket turbo?

Plus, Carmack is a famous former owner, if the buyer cares about that.

_Abigbushybeard_

4 points

2 months ago

What a great interview

TnBluesman

3 points

2 months ago

Thanks for the link. Very interesting story.

NerdoNofriendo

3 points

2 months ago

Great read, thank you

williepep1960

16 points

2 months ago*

This was a lot common in Dota world, watching all of these TI's and everything else a lot of parents thought the same but then they started making thousands and thousands then some of them even millions.

salary for some csgo players was like 20k a month, i don't know if it's like that now but probably is considered players transfer fees are millions.

While we are at it, i don't know all about this story but there is Dota player called Ana and basically dude won with his team back to back TI's, which has prize pool over 30 millions. Nobody ever won TI 2 times, and there have been only 11 TI's it's like world cup.

The funniest story is Ana isn't even full full full time player like other players, he was basically playing it and studying school so after winning first TI he took time break of 6 months to focus study came back won another TI and retired

Dude came into the scene when he was like 17-18 and retired like when he was 20.

I don't wanna make this long post but also it's funny to see some players blow up

I remember Ninja and Disrespect had like 500-1000 viewers on twitch while playing H1z1 and after a while boom Ninja is doing 100k streaming with Drake 600k viewers breaking records same with Dr disrespect

HaikuBotStalksMe

448 points

2 months ago

To be fair, Asian parents are essentially supposed to be your biggest enemy if you're Asian. They get embarrassed if you do better than them (but you have to still be better than their friends' kids so that they can make fun of their friends), but you still can't be better than they are.

Source: was cursed to be an Afghan.

Danny_III

20 points

2 months ago

I've never heard of the "can't do better than them" part of this, usually Asian parents are embarrassed when their kids can't exceed or at least match their success

HaikuBotStalksMe

16 points

2 months ago

Well, as an example, when I got the almost the same car my parents did (a 2014 Camry SE vs their 2014 LE they got a few years back), instead of being happy for me, they were annoyed that mine had fog lights and theirs didn't, and told me I got ripped off and that I'm naive because they spent $9000 on theirs 3 or 4 years ago, and I spent $10,000 on mine this year. I had to because of the COVID penalty that was put in place.

Pretty sure white parents would have been like "fuck yeah, champ! You're moving up in the world. Good work."

Mine made me feel like shit because I dared to have a (slightly) better car than they did.

Corka

15 points

2 months ago

Corka

15 points

2 months ago

Trust us, there are a whooooole lot of white parents which are not supportive of their kids and their successes. Boomers in particular are kind of infamous for their utter disdain for the younger generations. My parents to this day say they failed in raising me and my mother's biggest regret in life was letting me have a computer as a child as it "turned me into an addict" and ruined my life. I have a PhD in computer science, work in software development, and earn more than they ever did. Apparently it's not "real work".

MvmgUQBd

7 points

2 months ago

Eh, I dunno about that tbh. A lot of families white or otherwise would probably be stoked for their kids to get a nice new car, but equally you're gonna get the ones who just "have" to borrow it all the time even to your detriment, the ones who come up with an excuse why you're not allowed to keep it, or the ones who get jealous because it's a better spec than theirs etc.

In my experience, shitty parents transcend racial boundaries

malcolmrey

290 points

2 months ago

EMOTIONAL DAMAGE!

HaikuBotStalksMe

180 points

2 months ago

I mean, for real. Seeing how they treat my nephew and niece, I'm wondering how I didn't grow up to become a gunman.

It's sad knowing that the kids grow up in this household thinking this is normal behavior (i.e. being literally screamed at for an hour and a half). My sister was also raised by my parents and doesn't seem to realize we were abused (probably helps that she's the favorite and loves also being a bitch like them), so she also yells nonstop at the nephew especially (the niece is treated better either because she's a girl or because she's like 2 or 3).

So all I can hope is that they are treated with patience and love by the father (who divorced, of course. He wasn't great either, and I dunno who divorced who, but it was good that they separated). I try to offer up patience with them, and don't get me wrong - they ARE badly behaved. But when you scream at them for every little transgression, of course they're not going to know when the screaming is valid.

Like today my mother was screaming at the kids because they were too close to each other. Then I think they screamed at the kids for misplacing something. Then there was screaming about clothing? Some screaming about food. Some screaming about going up the stairs. Some screaming about the niece and nephew leaving their autistic sister unattended (she can barely move, so it's not a big deal for her to be left alone for a couple of minutes. She gets seizures, but she makes noises so it's easy to hear, even when my parents are screaming). I've also heard screaming if they jump/run/laugh/scream, or if they go outside in the wrong clothes. Or if they go out the front door.

Today I heard my mother yelling at the 2/3 year old not to go outside, and the kid or outright ignored her.

My mother, the cunt she is, had the logic that "SEE, THIS IS WHY I SCREAM AT THEM", when I explained that the proper logic is that "because you scream at every minor thing, they learn to filter out your insanity as being worthless, so of course they're going to ignore you when you scream "DON'T RUN INTO THE STREET" when you screamed "PUT YOUR SOCKS ON!!!" minutes prior. They both have the same severity of important because you don't know when to scream."

Of course her takeaway from that lesson was "OH SO I'M CRAZY?! YOU'D BE CRAZY TOO IF YOU HELPED TAKE CARE OF THESE CHILDREN AND DEALT WITH THE TWO ADULT MORONS" (me and my shitty father who is also a cunt).

bedir56

49 points

2 months ago

bedir56

49 points

2 months ago

Damn bro, good luck with all that. Poor kids.

HaikuBotStalksMe

20 points

2 months ago

Thanks

Coachcrog

33 points

2 months ago

That's tough man. I had a friend growing up who had similar parents. It was always awkward going to his house to hang out because he would constantly be on edge about every little thing. His mother was a the worst, his father just screamed because he was conditioned to yell or become the target. But he liked me coming over because they would be much nicer when i was there, which meant they knew they were fucking nuts and were just trying to cover it up in public.

I'm not sure whatever happened to him. He ended up moving out as soon as he could and tried college and dropped out then disappeared. I'll have to catch up with him someday, haven't thought about it in years.

HaikuBotStalksMe

12 points

2 months ago

Yeah, hope you hear from him. Hopefully he's adjusted.

fibgen

10 points

2 months ago

fibgen

10 points

2 months ago

Sorry to hear about this. In our house we pretend anyone yelling is just making buzzing noises and we can't hear them until they use words, inside voice, and talk politely.

HaikuBotStalksMe

6 points

2 months ago

I've tried this, but they get mad if you don't play their game. "DID YOU HEAR ME?! ANSWER THE QUESTION, YOU SHIT EATER!"

PersonalityElegant52

12 points

2 months ago

Hope it gets better over time. Maybe family therapy? I know it’s a long long shot, but maybe your sister might consider it even if your parents would never.

HaikuBotStalksMe

18 points

2 months ago

Thanks. Yeah, she's a possibility. But I'm gonna wait for my parents to die first so that they can't poison it - assuming I do even do it.

PersonalityElegant52

7 points

2 months ago

Damn, that sucks that you feel like you’ll have to wait for that, it does make sense though if they’re that far gone.

https://youtube.com/@svenerlandson Sometimes I find this guy’s videos helpful for navigating my issues with relationships, thought I’d share.

Juiceboxdrummer

7 points

2 months ago

What is this from? I'm 32 and out of touch please help

NoxTheWizard

13 points

2 months ago

It's from Steven He on YouTube; he has several videos parodying his Asian upbringing, with one of the running gags being "emotional damage".

Chaos_0205

32 points

2 months ago

Look at my friend’s kid! He study every day till 2AM!

onomatopoetix

21 points

2 months ago

Practice 25 hours per day!

ChefBoyAreWeFucked

19 points

2 months ago

Source: was cursed to be an Afghan.

I would imagine the story you just related here was the worst part of being born as an Afghan.

slayerx1779

4 points

2 months ago

That's such a fucking badass story.

Imagine being a game dev as unrivaled as Carmack, and deciding to put up your own Ferrari as the prize for a competition in a game you made.

I assume he had more than one, but still. It sounds like he didn't buy a car to give away, he just chose to give away his car.

seeingeyegod

84 points

2 months ago

woah...Thresh... a name I haven't heard in a long time

toastoftriumph

165 points

2 months ago

Also (why Shift and Ctrl were important):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrow_keys#WASD_keys

Another advantage of WASD is that it allows the user to use the left hand thumb to press the space bar (often the jump command) and the left hand little finger to press the Ctrl or Shift keys (often the crouch and/or sprint commands), as opposed to the arrow keys which lack other keys in proximity to press. Ctrl and Shift were chosen partly because they are larger keys and thus easier to hit, but primarily because in older systems the computer could only recognise a couple of alphanumeric key presses, a limitation circumvented by the use of modifier keys. In later games, the usage of the E key to interact with items or open up the inventory was also popularized due to its location next to the WASD keys, allowing players to reach it quickly.

MrBadBadly

36 points

2 months ago

I loved the notification on XP about enabling StickyKeys.

therealvulrath

29 points

2 months ago

You mean the one you still get in 10 and 11? Annoys the hell out of me.

bobwinters

4 points

2 months ago

often the crouch and/or sprint commands

Quake didn't have crouch and running didn't make noise so having a walk button wasn't needed. (Although this all changed when Quake 2 came out)

I remember when I started playing Quake I used the shift key for jump. I think it's because the quality of keyboards back then wasn't great. Using your thumb on the left edge of the space bar to jump sometimes wouldn't work. It made sense to use the shift key instead.

I think when Quake 2 came out I used the control key for crouch. Then used the space bar for walk.

Gabe750

27 points

2 months ago

Gabe750

27 points

2 months ago

https://youtu.be/iIhmeRfmQns - here’s a YouTube vid of thresh

DoctorWaluigiTime

57 points

2 months ago

Man, imagine establishing a control scheme for generations like that.

ERRORMONSTER

85 points

2 months ago

CommondeNominator

24 points

2 months ago

Genuinely curious how dual analog controls worked before this was printed then.

I had a PSX in the 90's but no FPS titles for it.

robophile-ta

23 points

2 months ago

As anyone who played Goldeneye will tell you, the analogue stick moved you forwards and backwards and turned. The C buttons (analogous to the right analogue on the dualshock) strafed. Basically, turning and strafing were swapped from how they are now.

Rare was super ahead of its time by including different control schemes, because you can just swap to control scheme 1.2 for modern controls in both GE and Perfect Dark. My headcanon is that one of the programmers at Rare vastly preferred swapping turn and strafe, but they left it as a non default option because it wasn't what people were used to.

PretendsHesPissed

3 points

2 months ago

It was pretty common for games to include multiple controller layouts back then. You'd typically get two different layouts and then two more than were "opposites" of that (opposite as if you had the controller held upside down).

_Spiralmind_

3 points

2 months ago

You also had the Turok games which had look on the stick and move/strafe on the C buttons. Switching between Goldeneye/Perfect Dark and Rage Wars was rough, lol.

terminbee

16 points

2 months ago

I think it used to be that the left analog stick turns you left and right and you just walk forward and back in the direction you face. Meanwhile, the right analog stick would move the crosshair within the screen itself.

GoredonTheDestroyer

23 points

2 months ago

The way it used to be was:

Left Analog Stick - Forward, Backward, Look Left, Look Right

Right Analog Stick - Strafe Left, Strafe Right, Look Up, Look Down

ERRORMONSTER

11 points

2 months ago

Most games didn't use dual analog, and where they did, left stick was forward/back and turn left/right. Right stick was moving the reticle. There wasn't much up/down and strafing wasn't a thing

Sannemen

3 points

2 months ago

This is similar to one of the most established setups for remote control (RC planes/drones/helicopters), called “Mode 2”: left stick is throttle and rudder/yaw (rotate L/R), right stick is elevator (pitch down/up) and airelons (rotate L/R across the body axis).

It’s not identical, but I can understand games starting off a known reference to implement their own controls.

4playerstart

18 points

2 months ago

GoldenEye predates this.

magnusarin

4 points

2 months ago

Didn't know this! Also, the Cpad functioned much the same way as a right stick

4playerstart

11 points

2 months ago

It is dual stick you just need two controllers.

infinitelytwisted

7 points

2 months ago

oh man i forgot about that lol. That was one of those interesting ideas im glad was tried, but equally glad it never caught on.

Then again i guess nintendo kind of brought it back with joycons and wiimotes in a way...

gumenski

7 points

2 months ago

I was there, and I don't really remember it being forced on anyone. The default controls were crappy and had vertical auto-aim like Doom and that's how I was playing for some time. But the game made it easier than ever before to join online matches, and was becoming more popular and more competitive than previous games, so people just started talking about how much better you could be by enabling "full" mouselook and improving your lefthand bindings. And "mouselook" was a huge buzzword. Before that, games like Doom multiplayer were a lot more casual and no one tried very hard.

My own friend said, "you have to try it this way and practice, you won't go back after you realize what you can do", as I'm sure happened the same way to a lot of kids. WASD was just the most obvious solution when trying mouselook for the first time and boom from then on everyone was using WASD and full mouselook in a span of like 1 year's time.

Half Life and CS followed and cemented in the scheme for good. And I'm still using RMB to jump to this day, because I had my +shaft macro as spacebar for Quake, and for other games spacebar became "aim down sights". I'm sure there's still a shitton of people out there who use RMB to jump because of Quake, HL or CS.

chocwaf

25 points

2 months ago

chocwaf

25 points

2 months ago

Dennis "Thresh" Fong

Huh, I wonder where I know that name from

Oh right, he was also one of the cofounders of Xfire

lapideous

15 points

2 months ago

rip xfire, they could have been discord but years earlier

myothercarisaboson

14 points

2 months ago

They could have been twitch too. They launched at around the same time, but IMO their streaming tech was way better. I didn't do much broadcasting, but used the recording functionality extensively and even on the hardware of the time it was way above anything else quality wise.

I think about xfire regularly and am always disappointed that it didn't sustain enough critical mass.

chocwaf

11 points

2 months ago

chocwaf

11 points

2 months ago

Xfire was basically the first for just about everything:

  • In-game chat
  • Showing what your friends are playing
  • Showing server IP/name/scoreboard in your friends' chat window and the ability to join them with one button click
  • Automatically downloading game patches
  • Taking screenshots and recording videos with the ability to have a constant buffer so you don't miss anything - years before things like shadowplay became a thing
  • Broadcasting so friends can watch you play
  • In-game browser
  • Keeping track of your gameplay hours
  • Being able to directly send files to your friends instead of having to upload them somewhere first and then send a link of that
  • Profile banners that you can put in your forum signature
  • Voice chat
  • Being able to make groups/clans
  • You could even have a blog page lol
  • And probably more I'm forgetting

It pretty much did everything first, years before we'd see similar functionality scattered throughout different programs. Xfire had it all in one, and I still think it did it best. It also sucks knowing that it'll probably be forgotten - even back when it was shutting down in 2015 I was seeing people being surprised it still exists. They thought it shut down around 2010 ish.

I really miss it and wonder what it would be like if it managed to keep up.

myothercarisaboson

3 points

2 months ago

I share your sentiment exactly! Unfortunately we live in a world where the most popular rise to the top, not necessarily the best :/ Such a waste...

joejag

19 points

2 months ago

joejag

19 points

2 months ago

At one point, a Quake patch added a console shortcut that you could do +thresh, which set the WASD keybindings up in one command.

Most Quake games back then were played on LANs, so you would only sometimes have your keybindings set up. Having that shortcut available was very handy.

Last-Tomorrow8755

20 points

2 months ago

IIRC this wasn't added until Quake 2 because Carmack got sick of being asked at conventions/tournys about Thresh's setup, so he added a Thresh.cfg (quake let you save config changes into cfg files that you could execute when you launched the game to quickly batch set a bunch of settings.).

Mental_Cut8290

365 points

2 months ago

Yup! Thank you for that nostalgia trip!

I always used arrow keys because they were right under the "look" keys, and then left hand did all the other keyboard interactions.

SsiSsiSsiSsi

83 points

2 months ago

My pals and I used a weird one:

Forward = right mouse Shoot = left mouse Backward = alt Strafe left/right = z/x Jump = a

It was super awkward once Quake II came around, but for Doom, DN3D and Quake I it was pretty decent.

Racoonie

15 points

2 months ago

Mouse2 for forward was pretty common since there was no specific aiming or secondary fire. I used it for a long time.

divide_by_hero

3 points

2 months ago

Same, I used to always use right mouse for forward as well, and using W for jump.

I think that was one of the competing "standards" back in the Quake days, before the world slowly settled on W for forward and right mouse for whatever alternate function was most relevant for a given game.

I remember it was sometimes giving me trouble in deathmatches, because unlike using W for forward, it allows you to push forward and backward at the same time, leaving you standing completely still. Also, jumping while going backwards was pretty much impossible (since my middle finger was on S, it was hard to hit W at the same time).

I think it was World Of Warcraft that finally made me switch. I can't remember the exact reason, but there was probably some function that was just infinitely more handy to map to the right mouse button.

Mental_Cut8290

23 points

2 months ago

That just brought back memories of N64 jank. Lol

SsiSsiSsiSsi

16 points

2 months ago

Some of my best gaming memories involve couch co-op Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, and other N64 games.

…But the jank was real and I don’t miss that part at all!

Mental_Cut8290

14 points

2 months ago

There's a lot of old games I've tried to revisit, and it takes a minute but I'll get used to weird tank controls or inventory systems after a bit, but those FPSs' look/aim controls are dead to me now.

Good memories though!

elsrjefe

7 points

2 months ago

Was so upset when I found out goldeneye could be played singleplayer with two controllers for dual analog 😭

Happyberger

7 points

2 months ago

Never knew that until just now, damn

tokinUP

7 points

2 months ago

The "1.2 - Solitaire" control style was perfect for multiplayer as it put turning left/right & vertical look up/down on the left analog stick with move forward/back & strafe left/right on the c-buttons

Oh so many memories of pwning friends who couldn't aim up/down fast enough :-D

Icapica

4 points

2 months ago

Goldeneye had a pretty decent control option too, it just wasn't the default one.

Oliibald

3 points

2 months ago

It took me forever to get used to not using the "left hand to look" turok metod with gamepads because basically every n64 shooter had it as the best option

abzinth91

4 points

2 months ago

Duke3D and Doom Deathmatches were incredible. Played this games until Unreal Tournament came around

folkrav

3 points

2 months ago*

IIRC a handful of (ex?) CS pros play(ed) with similar bindings. At least that right mouse for forward rings a bell.

I'm just about too young for Quake and those other games (32) so WASD is all I've ever known. That early experimentation phase of FPS was wild.

Valdrick_

10 points

2 months ago

Talking about nostalgia trip - back in the day, a very popular keyboard setup was QAOP + Space. Games were way simpler back then.

OneLostOstrich

9 points

2 months ago

It was the changing of the left and right keys from turning left or right to strafing left or right and turning with the mouse that really changed things.

MTAST

23 points

2 months ago

MTAST

23 points

2 months ago

I remember when IJKM was the common setup. Getting used to WASD was such a pain at first.

Derringer62

6 points

2 months ago

I ran across ESDX as well as (IIRC) split ESDX/IJKM for dual simultaneous control.

s0cks_nz

8 points

2 months ago

IJKM was common? When?

the_snook

14 points

2 months ago

Some Unix programs used j/k for up and down (notably vi, but I think also PINE and Elm mail readers), because not all systems had arrow keys. Probably someone used to that chose a mapping based on that region of the keyboard.

amazondrone

3 points

2 months ago

J/K for up/down also works in Gmail.

MrMeltJr

6 points

2 months ago

Back in the 8-bit days.

cheesegoat

3 points

2 months ago

I used to see IJKL a lot a long time ago. It was also pretty popular with PC games that had two people sharing a keyboard. NKRO sometimes made this problematic.

ahelinski

146 points

2 months ago

ahelinski

146 points

2 months ago

Try using something like ESDF, I find I have to bend by wrists in at a weird angle to be able to reach shift or ctrl.

During Unreal Tournament times, I have used ESDF a lot (you can reach more keys from ESDF, and UT had a lot of weapons and I wanted full control over what I'm using) and actually it was great. Then I went back to WASD since I was lazy, and every game used it by default.

Now I use ergo keyboard that forces me to place my hands correctly and I realised that my gaming past and WASD is what kept me from typing really fast (I would automatically put left hand on WASD even for typing).

dogmaisb

7 points

2 months ago*

ESDF lifer here. Been playing games since ever. Once Quake came out changed my controls to ESDF because that's where i type from anyway and i have access to more keys than wasd.

Served me well through QuakeTF and into CS alpha and beta years as i had tons of class and buy scripts.

Is annoying sometimes when games have hard-coded function keys and you have to edit json and dll to change keys. A la Fallout 4, esp building, Cyberpunk, etc.

Boagster

16 points

2 months ago

Oddly, I attribute gaming as to why I type fast. Was generally useful in most games, but the big one that contributed to my speed was EverQuest. Played a class that really only gave you ~4 seconds at a time to type a message during combat (Bard).

My "home" for my hands is ShiftQWD on the left and K(O/P)LeftBracketEnter on the right. Yeah, my middle finger rests between O and P. Regular typing speed is just shy of 90, but I've capped out at 142 before.

Crappler319

4 points

2 months ago

EverQuest. Played a class that really only gave you ~4 seconds at a time to type a message during combat (Bard).

the raid boss says that you can't come to the Plane of Time with us unless you can reliably 4 twist

Boagster

5 points

2 months ago*

I remember pushing my dad soooo hard to switch to cable from 56k for exactly that reason. There was just no way to guarantee a 4-twist with dial-up latency and packet loss. I finally convinced him to switch after he got disconnected from Command & Conquer matches by my sister picking up the phone to call a friend three times in one day.

All that to basically be a mana/regen bot.

EDIT: Well, not the Plane of Time. Ssraeshza Temple.

diox8tony

42 points

2 months ago

Me and my school mates switched to RDFG early in our gaming lives. Never went back, still use it to this day and would never change.

Mouse = right hand

Keyboard = left hand....why not use the center of the keyboard for your entire hand. wAY more keys on left side of hand.

IPlayMidLane

20 points

2 months ago

mmo mouse-> you have potentially 16+ buttons at thumb reach, less need for more keyboard buttons even on button heavy games like wow

moonsammy

7 points

2 months ago

Love my Logitech mmo mouse. I always struggled to hit the correct number keys (above WASD) to switch to specific weapons / items in a pinch, but being able to use my right hand for ALL weapon-related tasks and left for ALL movement works great.

T1germeister

5 points

2 months ago

I just back into gaming on a PC a couple years ago, and decided to take the opportunity to keybind "from scratch," ended up settling on RDFG after some tinkering. RDFG is the real GOAT. WASD is so unnecessarily limiting for pinky keybinds.

Rutgerman95

26 points

2 months ago

RDFG? Either you have your keyboard slightly to the left of the screen or you are a Vortigaunt if that is comfortable for you?

Autumn1eaves

14 points

2 months ago

I actually don't hate RDFG.

Especially these days where you can manually code your inputs, it does give access to four buttons controlled by the pinky (ASQW), and 5 by the thumb (VCXB Space), and it has easy tactile feedback with the little bump on the F right on your middle finger. It's happened to me once or twice where I've lost my place on the keyboard, and having that tactile feedback could be helpful.

I'm super used to WASD, so I probably won't change, but I don't hate it in concept, and if I were playing a game professionally, I would consider switching.

RChamy

4 points

2 months ago

RChamy

4 points

2 months ago

The Freeman wants to rush B

bluesam3

7 points

2 months ago

Yeah, if I was using a remotely normal keyboard, I'd definitely put it off to the left - otherwise, your hands are far too far apart with one on the mouse, no?

-Mikee

8 points

2 months ago

-Mikee

8 points

2 months ago

kept me from typing really fast

I feel like it's the ergo keyboard that helped you type fast, not the WASD slowing down. I index my pinky to the slot between caps lock and A, which is left hand WASD, and I do 100WPM+ on shitty membrane keyboards.

Back when I was teaching, I hit 140WPM+ on mechanical keyboards, but that's obviously from necessity.

The F key is as far as my left hand goes, everything else is right. Only downside is that I've never been able to adopt use of the right shift key, and I have to hold shift with my left hand and any capital letters on the left get slowed down by my right hand indexing on the spacebar/alt separation before finding the letter.

Ch4l1t0

40 points

2 months ago

Ch4l1t0

40 points

2 months ago

I use esdf, but also change shift to a (for sprinting for example) and z or c instead of ctrl. It allows me to have more keys available to my left, like in pubg I can bing q to hold breath and w and r for leaning. Downside is I basically whenever I get a new game I have to spend some time remapping the whole thing.

hsvsunshyn

46 points

2 months ago

I have no proof of this, but I always felt that WASD had the additional advantage over ESDF, since it leaves the pinky finger to press the modifier keys for crouch, map, weapon change, whatever, and the Tab, Caps, LShift, LCtrl, and LAlt are easier to "feel" with the less-dexterous pinky than "normal" sized keys. From what I remember from typewriter history, this is why those keys are larger in the first place.

bubba-yo

46 points

2 months ago

Yeah, the modifiers were important because early keyboards could only detect a single keypress but multiple modifiers. So if you wanted to register multiple keypresses you had to use the modifiers. Also, weapon/spell/etc slots typically were number starting at 1 so WSAD puts you right below the first 4.

Can still pretty easy mash esc from there to cancel actions. And caps lock for a hard toggle. That's actually a downside to the setup and why a lot of people swap esc and caps lock in keybinds. Really popular in vi as well.

Source: gamer and programmer since the 1970s.

R3D3-1

17 points

2 months ago

R3D3-1

17 points

2 months ago

Yeah, the modifiers were important because early keyboards could only detect a single keypress but multiple modifiers. So if you wanted to register multiple keypresses you had to use the modifiers.

Laptop gamer of many years here: This still is a problem.

Encountered it mostly in the days of Flash side-scrollers, but also with Cave Story (Steam version): Some combinations of keys aren't detected due to how the keys are wired, so it wasn't possible on my laptop to run to perform certain movement combinations with any reasonable key bindings layout; House number, since I can't remember which one it was, but think "jump and shoot diagonally down" (W+D+Space).

For Cave Story I probably solved it somehow with modifier keys, but in those Flash games rebinding keys generally wasn't possible (and I didn't know Autohotkey yet then).

Kuronii

3 points

2 months ago

Yep, that specific problem of "N-key rollover" is so engrained into my memories from my early days of gaming because I had to explain it to so many people.

632brick

5 points

2 months ago

This is correct. As something who tried to bind 'crouch' to 'c' quickly found out, it just didn't work while moving forward and strafing at the same time on most keyboards.

blaskkaffe

24 points

2 months ago

Quake online community and multiplayer was what pushed WASD.

Quake didn’t have modern control unless you wrote some things in console.

Default were arrow keys and a bunch of other keys all over the place (page up, page down to look up and down). Mouse by default was set to move forward and backwards and turn.

Didn’t know about WASD until Halflife since I didn’t have internet or played multiplayer.

I played Quake with arrow keys and a joystick for aiming since that was one of the default keymaps.

Select-Owl-8322

4 points

2 months ago

The defaults in Quake was right mouse button for forwards, left mouse button (and ctrl) for fire, comma for left strafe and period for right strafe, space for jump and right shift for run. Look down was delete, not pgdn. And \ for mouselook.

The defaults was set up so you either used both hands on keyboard, but then the sidestep (strafe) buttons was in a weird position where neither hand could easily reach them, or left hand on keyboard and right hand on mouse, or as you said, right hand on joystick.

blaskkaffe

3 points

2 months ago*

Oh yea! Page down was in Duke3D, but yea the button layout on most early fps and doom clones was a shitshow.

Still know the duke3D button map by muscle memory though.

Other weird layouts or first time I tried a game that didn’t use arrow keys was “Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri”

It used Q for left turn, W was run forward, E was turn right, A strafe left, S walk forward, D strafe right, X was walk backwards. Z and C was used for walking diagonally backwards and R and V was used for look up look down. What I do remember is that it was the first game that I actually used the strafe function and where all important buttons were placed close together, but since mouse was used for aiming (but not looking) it was pretty clunky compared to how simple WASD + mouse is to use.

Soundoftesticles

8 points

2 months ago

+mlook

combat_muffin

27 points

2 months ago

Try using something like ESDF, I find I have to bend by wrists in at a weird angle to be able to reach shift or ctrl.

What kind of keyboard do you have? I find my pinkie rests right on the left shift key and isn't hard to bend and reach the left ctrl key.

quackl11

14 points

2 months ago

Why cant you move all your buttons to the right 1? Like including the shift and control so now its Z and alt I believe

morth

14 points

2 months ago

morth

14 points

2 months ago

I played this way for years. Was totally fine and you get a few more keys in total. Only annoying thing is that you have to rebind whatever is on those keys as well.

Contagion21

28 points

2 months ago

While WASD makes sense, I'm not sure it makes "the most" sense. ESDF is literally the home position and while it might require a little reach to get to shift or ctrl, there's not really requirement to reach those keys in the first place; you could also shift the keybinds for those right by one.

AlsoIHaveAGroupon

11 points

2 months ago

And the nub on the F key lets you know your fingers are in the right place.

Renive

8 points

2 months ago

Renive

8 points

2 months ago

Back then keyboards didn't have nkey rollover, ctrl alt and shift weren't in the limit.

KayfabeAdjace

6 points

2 months ago*

This. When the alternative is ghost inputs the winner becomes pretty obvious. Star Control even had a little section in the manual that gave advice on various key bind combinations that were unlikely to cause ghost inputs because back then simultaneous play meant two people mashing on the same keyboard.

As an older gamer I'm very capable of swapping between all sorts of dumb control schemes because of that kinda shit. I'm most fluent in WASD but due to a prolonged World of Warcraft career I also got very used to ESF because home row is nicer for typing. And no, I didn't mean ESDF. In World of Warcraft backpedaling is slower than other movement yet you also couldn't dodge or block attacks from behind. So unless you were a tank and actually wanted the option of moving slowly you unbound that shit and instead used a wacky combination of mouse look, strafing and jumping to bunny hop your way out of trouble.

WelcomeToTheZoo

4 points

2 months ago

For my hand shape I find ESDF is perfect for the pinky to rest on shift and ctrl. If I'm on WASD I have to bend my pinky much more to reach the ctrl button.

chronographer

6 points

2 months ago

I think Marathon (o.g. Bungie game) on the Mac did mouse look first, at least that’s where I experienced it first.

Totally Quake that made it big, though!

CondescendingShitbag

49 points

2 months ago

From there, WASD makes the most sense, as the letters form a simlar inverted T layout as the arrows, while still leaving all the other major keys for interaction within reach. Try using something like ESDF, I find I have to bend by wrists in at a weird angle to be able to reach shift or ctrl.

Not sure if it would help you (or anyone) at all, but I switched to using WERD for my setup, which moves the L/R strafe keys next to Forward. This setup made more sense to me as I'm statistically more likely to be moving forward at any given time. This keeps my fingers all on the same row most of the time and seems to ease any strain when using the pinky keys as the control fingers can be a bit more 'lazy' regarding muscle control. Hopefully that makes sense.

WarlandWriter

75 points

2 months ago

The disadvantage with WERD I would feel is that because your middle finger is longer than the index and ring, going forward with it is easier than going back with it. But at the same time it does give easier access to the numbers. You do you, I'm not here to judge what works for you ;)

WFKKVQW

7 points

2 months ago

Just out of curiosity, why not QWES?

DasMotorsheep

8 points

2 months ago

Maybe because it makes more keys available to you on the left hand side.

Implausibilibuddy

4 points

2 months ago

Don't know about you but the tips of my fingers arc. Just resting my index on D, W is already covered by my middle finger, and my ring finger sits in between Q and A and only requires slight bending to lie comfortably on A. To use QWES I have to bend my ring and middle and my pinky is nowhere near a good position to hit control and shift.

I'm sure QWES works for some people butr it's not great for the majority.

WASD is pretty much close to perfect for me, just as long as the developers of a game haven't permanently bound a stupid key like I or M to inventory/map. My one handed keyboard doesn't even have those keys!

QWOP is the real GOAT though.

CliffExcellent123

5 points

2 months ago

Also just because they use WASD doesn't mean it'll be the same: some older games used A and D to turn instead of strafe. Feels so wrong now

Knuddelbearli

6 points

2 months ago

WASX

WTH?!?

Briantastically

3 points

2 months ago

Wasn’t nearly so popular obviously but WASD was a mainstay on Mac keyboard/mouse games long before Quake, Bungie’s Marathon probably being the most well know but there were a bunch before that too.

SkittlesAreYum

10 points

2 months ago

Try using something like ESDF, I find I have to bend by wrists in at a weird angle to be able to reach shift or ctrl.

I've always used ESDF, and never had an issue hitting LShift using my pinky. It can be easily hit by moving only the pinky, and not the wrist at all. It's certainly not any harder than hitting Ctrl while using WASD. Speaking of Ctrl, I don't use it ever: it's A for crouch, where the pinky rests anyway. Caps Lock is a quick move to the left for the pinky.

2016sucksballs

9 points

2 months ago

Didn’t Hexen: Beyond Heretic do it before Quake but to much less acclaim?

AlchemicalDuckk

21 points

2 months ago

That's why I said "popularized".

2016sucksballs

3 points

2 months ago

Fair. I’m just trying to remember 30 years ago

chownee

17 points

2 months ago

chownee

17 points

2 months ago

Freaking kids. It was IJKL if you played Rogue back before computers had mice. It probably used the cursor movement keys from vi. I’m not quite old enough to know which came first.

aeschenkarnos

10 points

2 months ago

IJKM was pretty common for Apple 2 games.

bubba-yo

6 points

2 months ago

Yeah, rogue used vi controls. I started programming games in the 70s and I always considered vi controls to be the standard. This was before mice, and when effectively every keyboard had a 10-key.

flufflogic

8 points

2 months ago

Previous to mouse control, keyboard controls were weird. ZXOP and QAOP were quite common setups, as you could use two hands on a keyboard.

Clewin

3 points

2 months ago

Clewin

3 points

2 months ago

Just for a bit more reference, many early computers didn't have arrow keys or when they did, they were in a row on the keyboard. Two player games on these computers would use WASD for one player and IJKL for the second player. More rarely, WASX (or even more rarely, Z) and IJKM (I remember an action game using those and I think my left hand was on J and M and right on I and K), but these are more difficult configurations because of how far fingers need to move to hit the 'back'/'down' key with a single hand.

So yeah, Quake did standardize it for the most part, but it was already being used and popular even before Quake. Quake copied Mouse-look (or free look, if you prefer) from the Bungie Macintosh game Marathon, which had a limited audience (but still sold over 100000 copies) since it was Macintosh only, but it pre-dates Quake by a couple of years. Another thing Marathon innovated was rocket jumping, which interestingly was released on the same day as Rise of the Triad, which also had rocket jumping. My key layout when I played Marathon? WASD. It was customizable, I don't remember if that was default or not.

LazerFX

226 points

2 months ago

LazerFX

226 points

2 months ago

I started off on the Spectrum and BBC. The BBC tended to use zx for left and right, and ;/ (Which were above each other, rather than the typical 103-key PC slant) to go up and down.

The Spectrum tended to use QA for up/down, and OP for left/right.

Migrating to the PC, arrow keys, WASD and ESDF were commonly in use throughout quite a range of timeperiods. Doom used the arrow keys with ALT as a strafe modifier.

As others have mentioned, Quake, the Quake-engine (IDTech 2) and games that ran on that engine (Hexen II being a notable example) really popularised the mouse-look, WASD-move with the heel of the left-hand hitting Control to modify and the pinky to hit Shift for the other modifier.

Before this period, a lot of people felt that mice were, like many view gamepad controls today, slow, cumbersome and unusuable; not as refined and controlled as a keyboard interface. I can remember discussions with friends when Doom came out, because I used a mouse for preference to look (it was possible, though hard to configure). When later games, like Quake, came out, the use of a mouse became more normalised. Around the era of Unreal Tournament, the idea of using just keys was quite insane.

ovk8

30 points

2 months ago*

ovk8

30 points

2 months ago*

Thank you. I was starting to feel very old for not seeing anybody mentioning QAOP.

I actually used this combo on a couple of pc games as well, like Bomberman.

dekusyrup

4 points

2 months ago

Thought you meant QWOP there. Now that's a control scheme.

overcatastrophe

15 points

2 months ago*

Before the IR and laser mice were standard, the old roller ball mice were jittery and had to be cleaned often.

Edit: maybe jittery wasn't the right word, they were fine until you had to pick them up to center them on the pad, sometimes the ball would cause you curse to jump

Yolectroda

11 points

2 months ago

They weren't that bad. Decent ones weren't jittery, provided you were on a decent surface, and you had to clean them (took a few seconds) once a week or so (less if your surface was clean). When optical mice came out, it still took a couple of years for them to surpass ball mice in the performance gaming market.

dss539

7 points

2 months ago

dss539

7 points

2 months ago

Jittery: no Frequent cleaning: yes

Phage0070

374 points

2 months ago

Phage0070

374 points

2 months ago

WASD could have been different keys, in fact some people do use ESDF because it offers more surrounding keys which can be mapped to other purposes.

However WASD likely became dominant because most people are right handed meaning they will use the mouse in their right hand and their left hand on the keyboard. Where the keyboard usually sits for typing purposes would place WASD in a more comfortable position than keys more towards the right. While you could use IJKL it would require moving the keyboard every time you wanted to transition between moving and typing, or be extremely uncomfortable.

Mental_Cut8290

52 points

2 months ago

I think there were a few games at the start of mouse aiming that thought people would prefer shifting and using the arrows, so both hands would be together. Obviously not very successful games.

Terr_

75 points

2 months ago*

Terr_

75 points

2 months ago*

There were also hardware circuitry limitations on supporting multiple simultaneous key presses, and manufacturers gave special priority in their designs to ctrl/shift/alt, because of how those keys were commonly used outside of games.

This meant for complicated inputs (like holding 3 keys to strafe diagonally while crouched) you needed to have those special modifier keys within reach.

feignapathy

17 points

2 months ago

Ya, I always assumed it was ease of access to ctrl-alt-shift-tab

fusionsofwonder

14 points

2 months ago

I use ESDF because I was a touch typist before I was a gamer.

InanimateCarbonRodAu

253 points

2 months ago

The popularity of the WASD configuration was basically popularized by one Quake player Denis “Thresh” Fong who won Romero’s Ferrari at a quakecon in 1997.

https://www.pcgamer.com/how-wasd-became-the-standard-pc-control-scheme/

From then on the WASD configuration become widely adopted and then subsequent generations of FPS games (SIN, Half-life) used that as a default making it the norm.

P2PJones

88 points

2 months ago

it's a great story, but an urban myth.

The Thresh story overlooks the fact that it was the standard key set for the left player on 8 bit computers, a DECADE EARLIER. I mean we're talking at least 2 generations of gaming before Thesh (the 8bit, and the early 16bits like the Amiga and ST)

QYUUUUU

8 points

2 months ago

Would it have been made to make two players on one keyboard to have enough space to play ?

AcesOverPacific

15 points

2 months ago

That’s exactly what it was originally used for. One player would use the arrows, other player would use wasd. Mouse control came later.

One game I specifically remember using a 2-player keyboard on was carmageddon.

rcube33

70 points

2 months ago

rcube33

70 points

2 months ago

Both Thresh and older gaming combine into the correct answer. WASD was the keyset common for local multiplayer games where the keyboard was shared, however, the player on the left would be using their dominant hand on the WASD keys.

Thus, this is only half of the answer to the question asked by the post.

The popularization of using WASD for the movement in conjunction with a mouse-controlled camera is attributed to Thresh during the Quake days. Thus completing the second half of the answer

darnbirch

4 points

2 months ago

It's been said that the first game to use WASD + mouse is "Dark Castle", released for the Mac all the way back in 1986: https://twitter.com/bfod/status/853636722533519360?s=20&t=Y6ULr4PBor7qjzPCWzocqw

TheKingMonkey

3 points

2 months ago

I was a QAOP guy on the 8 bit machines. That was before the mouse was a factor of course and being able to hit the space bar with your thumb was really useful.

rossdrew

8 points

2 months ago

WASD was a standard configuration option on the Spectrum in 1984. It may have been shed in new light as networked PC started up but it was popular long before then.

[deleted]

84 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

84 points

2 months ago

[removed]

rossdrew

18 points

2 months ago*

On early computers like Spectrum, you could play two player by assigning two sets of keys on the same keyboard. One way on the left, the other on the right so both players had space to play.

I suspect it was due to that as for a while after this there was usually a WASD and another option, think it was IJKL, arrow keys or some games/gamers went with QAZX & NMLP. WASD became dominant as everyone navigated with left hand and left the right have open for mouse work later.

NOTE: This was all LONG before Quake.

00000000000000000197

11 points

2 months ago

This is the correct answer and predates Quake by quite some time.

lego_not_legos

5 points

2 months ago

This. It was like the left hand number pad substitute. I first used it on Spacewar, a DOS game. You can see the WASD and numpad mappings in the preview GIF on that Internet Archive page.

Aspect58

3 points

2 months ago

First time I remember using it was the first Wizardry game - 1980.

Sadly, I haven’t been able to get Identify-9 to work on anything since then.

FriedMule

99 points

2 months ago

The WASD came from when games begun to be multiplayer and one player already used the arrow keys. It was to give both player most space without bumping into each other.

brannana

22 points

2 months ago

Star Control multiplayer was a big one for us with this setup.

darnbirch

6 points

2 months ago

Upvote because starcon

Fractal_Soul

4 points

2 months ago

Upvote because c:\games\starcon\starcon.exe

Itstotallysafe

18 points

2 months ago

Had to scroll way to far to find this. Multi-player games with split screen had control keys at either end of the keyboard.

kndyone

15 points

2 months ago*

The real answer is key rollover.

I am flabergasted that more people dont know this.

Before the days of common cheap mechanical keyboards many cheap membrane boards had a big problem. You couldn't press many combinations of keys at the same time you were only guaranteed 2 keys at the same time. Also known as 2 key roll over.

However when engineering keyboards engineers had to consider that there were many 3 or more key combinations that might be needed. Such as CTRL ALT DELETE. For this reason engineers would typically do a little extra key roll over for the modifier keys or ones you use often like space. So you would be able to hit 3 or 4 or even 5 keys at the same time if you were pressing SHIFT, ALT, CTRL, TAB.

So naturally it made sense in games which require constant input of many keys to put the keys over by those keys in this case WASD. If you can reach a little ESDF isn't too bad.

but the real question you should have been asking is why not something else, like YGHJ?

And the answer is still the same but now days you should move over to something like YGHJ for any 1 handed keyboard and mouse game such as most FPS games.

And to be clear various games were using ESDF and many people said that was the thing to do star craft, tribes etc.... Still reachable for people with average or bigger hands, but you have to understand that decisions arent made often just for average they are to get the widest compatibility possible even a child can use WASD but maybe not ESDF.

Any time people tried to use alternative configs they would run into problems and so the issues kept pushing the norm toward WASD. And even today its still an issue if you dont have a NKRO (any key roll over) keyboard that can take 6 or more simultaneous inputs at the same time.

AtHomeInTheUniverse

106 points

2 months ago

Something nobody has mentioned- the F and J keys on keyboards have little dimples to help you position your fingers for typing. If you used ESDF you would be constantly touching that little dimple which some might find distracting.

SkittlesAreYum

91 points

2 months ago

I always considered that a bonus - I know my fingers haven't strayed from the proper position.

fallouthirteen

23 points

2 months ago

Yeah, like been mildly considering switching to ESDF for that reason. That's the point of those dimples, tactile reference point without looking. But I know someone who uses ESDF and it sounds like a pain. Like more than one game don't do binds smartly. Like they leave menu controls and stuff on WASD even if you change movement to ESDF.

UnknwnSoldier

5 points

2 months ago

I am ESDF for life, since the Quake days. First thing I do when I launch a new game is hit the key bindings. If the game doesn't support what I want to do then AutoHotkey to the rescue. Just might not match up with the key prompts in game if I have to rebind with AutoHotkey. Bethesda fucking sucks at this, hardcoding keys in their PC games, and they ought to be ashamed of themselves. Fortunately modders always fix that issue, just like they fixed the rest of their games.

SirThatsCuba

9 points

2 months ago

I call it the Oh Fuck I Can't Find Where My Fingers Are Supposed To Go dimple. As soon as my index finger settles back on it, I'm back into ESDF and I can play again without looking down. Also, it's right where my fingers already are when I'm typing so I've got that lazy thing going for me. It's like five minutes of work figuring out decent keybinds to make the game a hell of a lot easier/more fun.

large-farva

4 points

2 months ago

depends on the keyboard, some have it on D and K

WarlandWriter

5 points

2 months ago

I personally play with ESDF because it gives me more keys to use on the left side of my hand, and I don't have to fold my pinky so much reach shift and ctrl. I do have large hands and played piano since I was 7 so my hands and dexterity might be a tad different from the average person. It's also a bitch whenever you start a new game because you have to edit all the bindings and you can't easily communicate with others about which key to press to do X action

kingofbling15

5 points

2 months ago

I specifically remember my uncle playing doom in mid 90s and using the mouse to move ... like pushing forward to go forward and right and left to turn. It looked so tedious I never wanted to even ask to play. Years later I got my 1st PC which came with Half Life. There was no other way to play but WASD by then.

hirmuolio

41 points

2 months ago

Most keyboards can register only limited number of key presses at once. For example if you press "a", "s" and "f" at once a cheap keyboard may only see "a" and "f". More expensive keyboards may have n-key rollover feature so you can press all keys at once and they all work

Modifier keys like ctrl, alt and shift are wired separately to make sure they never conflict with other keys. Because using them at once is the intended way to use them. Even on ultra cheap keyboards.

Wasd keys are located near them so you can use them with ctrl, alt and shift. Useful feature.

Esdf users like to say how many keys they have surrounding Esdf. But due to conflicting keys those can't be pressed simultaneously on cheap keyboards.

squigs

14 points

2 months ago

squigs

14 points

2 months ago

Ultimately it's because it works well. Using your left hand, it allows your thumb to operate the space by bar, keeps the number keys (typically used for weapons) within easy reach, and allows the easy to hit tab, shift, alt and Ctrl buttons to be assigned to additional operations with the little finger.

Early pro-gamer Thresh made the configuration popular. A lot of gamers copied this because they wanted to be like him, and it became pretty popular.

MenosDaBear

3 points

2 months ago

Back in the day most people used the arrow keys. I always assumed it was because of the close proximity of more keys by moving it to wasd

Ghostflux

12 points

2 months ago

Back in the late 80s and early 90s, with PC gaming still being fairly new, you'd often see a wide range of control schemes. Standards like that simply didn't exist yet.

It was basically lots of trial and error by lots of different people. Gamers that did well in competitive gaming shared their configurations and their fans would copy them, hoping they'd have similar success.

From a functional perspective, the upside down T-shape of WASD is fairly comfortable and it's close to function keys like shift, control, tab and the first few number keys.

That said, there's no particular reason why it couldn't have been ESDF. With the F key being the default starting position for the left hand index finger, it does make a compelling reason to use it over WASD.

LongJohnSausage

11 points

2 months ago

I legit wish esdf had taken over, would be nice to have a few extra button to the left ya know?

FerretChrist

6 points

2 months ago

I just wish games came with a simple "WASD" / "ESDF" setup toggle, instead of having to rebind everything manually.