Keyboard players - what are your preferred control assignments?

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dr_st
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Keyboard players - what are your preferred control assignments?

Post by dr_st »

Having read some topics on keyboard key assignment, I've realized that it's a topic rarely explored in depth.

We all know that for any game not requiring a great degree of analog precision, a keyboard (a good one) is a fundamentally superior controller than a gamepad. However, a lot depends on what one was used to playing games while growing up.

In particular, preferred key configuration tends to vary. Most PC games allow the keyboard controls to be customized; in the Rayman series, Rayman 2 and Rayman M are the exceptions, and for the former at least there is a hacked DLL patch available.

Having played many PC games growing up, I actually have more than one preferred layout, and use different control schemes even in the Rayman universe.

Standard Scheme
Used in a lot of single-player DOS games, where one player has the entire keyboard to themselves: the arrows are for directional control, and the special keys Ctrl/Alt/Space/Shift are used for actions. With my left hand at the bottom left corner of the keyboard, Ctrl and Alt are easiest to reach, so I typically map them to the primary and secondary actions - in Rayman this usually means Ctrl for jump and Alt for attach; additional actions are mapped to the Shift/Space or neighboring letter keys (Z/X/C/A).

This is the scheme that I use for Rayman 1, Rayman 3 and all versions of Rayman 2 that allow key remapping (those played through emulators).

Rayman 2 Scheme
The inability to change the default controls bothered me at first, but actually the A/Space/Ctrl for jump/shoot/aim turned out to be not so bad, and even Pad0 for look was easilly reachable with the right pinky (but you do need a keyboard with a numeric pad for that). During my first playthrough of Rayman 3, I actually used this scheme, because I was already used to it from Rayman 2.

"Surprising" ESDF Scheme
This is something that most players would find strange, and in fact not many games use this as a default. I picked it up playing the DOS versions of Lost Vikings and Blackthorne, which had these as the unchangeable defaults. Arrows are used for navigation, of course, and up to four actions are mapped to E,S,D,F keys. It's kinda like an early version of 'WASD'. After getting used to, this works surprisingly well - even better than the standard scheme, because the keys are closer together, and if more than 4 action buttons are needed, there are plenty additional ones in vicinity.

The ESDF scheme is what I use for Rayman Origins / Legends - S for sprint, F for jump, D for attack, E for special actions. In Legends, where there are additional special 'Murphy' actions, I assigned Q,W,R to them.

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Re: Keyboard players - what are your preferred control assignments?

Post by Steo »

I personally always use controllers and I feel like for Rayman 2 and 3 they're actually better since they're 3D platformers and utilise the analog precision. I've always played consoles so controllers are just my preference, though I know that the keyboard and mouse is vastly superior when it comes to FPS games. I always just found it awkward to use my right hand for direction and my left for jumping, while with a controller, I've always had it the opposite way around on every single controller I've ever used all my life.
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dr_st
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Re: Keyboard players - what are your preferred control assignments?

Post by dr_st »

Steo wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:01 pm
I always just found it awkward to use my right hand for direction and my left for jumping, while with a controller, I've always had it the opposite way around on every single controller I've ever used all my life.
I get what you're saying; on a keyboard I would feel awkward switching right and left too. However, my brain processes keyboard, keyboard+mouse and gamepad as sufficiently different devices so that the control schemes don't interfere.

When using a keyboard, I expect to move with my right, perform actions with the left; with a gamepad, I expect the opposite. And I am also comfortable with the mouse+keyboard for FPS, where the mouse in the right hand is used for aiming and turning and the left hand is used for moving and strafing (on the WASD).

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Re: Keyboard players - what are your preferred control assignments?

Post by Steo »

I'd probably prefer WASD tbh, but I think I'm just so used to using a controller. I get that with certain games, it's really just down to preference, where keyboard and mouse are actually superior for certain games and vice versa. Maybe if I tried to give it a chance I'd adapt to it for the likes of Rayman Origins, but I'm comfortable using a controller personally.
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StelzenBomber
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Re: Keyboard players - what are your preferred control assignments?

Post by StelzenBomber »

if i use keyboard,id say
WASD move
SHIT strafe
ENTer shoot
SPace JUmp

but realy,controller is the way to go on any non fps pc game

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Re: Keyboard players - what are your preferred control assignments?

Post by Fifo »

StelzenBomber wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:34 pm
SHIT strafe
lmao good one

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Re: Keyboard players - what are your preferred control assignments?

Post by StelzenBomber »

Fifo wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:55 pm
StelzenBomber wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:34 pm
SHIT strafe
lmao good one
im serious

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Re: Keyboard players - what are your preferred control assignments?

Post by Fifo »

StelzenBomber wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:03 pm
Fifo wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:55 pm
StelzenBomber wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:34 pm
SHIT strafe
lmao good one
im serious
wow

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Re: Keyboard players - what are your preferred control assignments?

Post by Steo »

As I said, keyboard and mouse are superior for some games, controllers for others, but it is still a matter of preference, even if the user is putting up with a setback to use their preferred input method.

Anyway I definitely prefer WASD if I have to use a keyboard because I can use my right hand for the actions that way. I'm too used to that and using my left hand for actions would feel weird. I mean, I know there's DPAD and bumpers/triggers etc., but it's not the same as actual action buttons. I think I'm just so used to using my thumb for actions.
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Re: Keyboard players - what are your preferred control assignments?

Post by dr_st »

Steo wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:38 pm
but it is still a matter of preference, even if the user is putting up with a setback to use their preferred input method.
Yes, you have this exactly right; however, careful analysis led me to conclude that there are surprisingly few action games where keyboard only is an actual setback.

These include FPS (must use a mouse), racing/flying (need wheel, joystick or analog stick), and fighting games with crazy diagonals and circular motions, such as most of Capcom's games (better have an arcade stick; a pad / small analog stick won't help you here).

For the rest, it's just people who grew up playing consoles with controllers and have learned to rely mostly on the thumbs instead of the other 8 fingers; since there are many more native console gamers than native PC gamers, most of the community believes that a controller is actually better, where it's really just that they don't know better.

I have to concede one point, which is that it seems that the learning curve for a controller might be easier for a younger child, because of fewer, better labeled buttons. It is in great shame I admit that I am teaching my son to be a controller-oriented gamer and not a keyboard-oriented one, simply because it's easier for the both of us. I hope I am not bringing the end of the world by doing so... :lol:

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Re: Keyboard players - what are your preferred control assignments?

Post by Steo »

FPS games are truly better with a keyboard and mouse, but for games where analog precision comes in like 3D platformers and driving games, controllers are much better for those. Being able to use more buttons is another pro for keyboard, where like you said I'd have to use my thumbs and only have my index and ring finger for the rear buttons. I think it literally comes down to preference for the majority of games, but FPS is by far superior with mouse and keyboard, due to using the mouse for aiming. Controller players have a massive disadvantage while playing against a player who uses a mouse and keyboard.

I seriously think analog sticks make some games a lot better though too. In an FPS, you don't need the analog stick as the mouse has so much precision.

I've played with controllers all my life and I'm not really into competitive gaming anyway, so I like using controllers for platformers and driving games etc. I also have a lot of consoles which I still play including retro ones, so you can't blame me. :D
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Re: Keyboard players - what are your preferred control assignments?

Post by ZelenPixel »

finally dug up the thread wow its a lil old i hope thats ok
anyway. i got a controller for origins specifically but turned out the controller sucked ass so i just stuck with keyboard and it works pretty well!! here i set wasd for the directional stuff, spacebar jump, shift run, and then picked k to attack for some reason. but it stuck!
so i then went with a similar one for r3 (wasd movement, space jump and k attack) with shift to walk, left ctrl to strafe, z to roll iirc its not really usable with wasd but i dont see a point in rolling either way, x for look mode, c for snapshot, and v for grimacing. wow just shoved everything in the bottom left corner for some reason
i didnt know you couldnt remap controls in r2 bruhhh i gotta get that patch then when i get the game. i dont wanna use arrow keys!
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