Learning curve when moving from controller to keyboard and mouse

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sigurros81

Platinum Member
Nov 30, 2010
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Here's my set up, while I'm sure there may be more efficient ways to bind my keys, I've found that this is generally my best set up for any FPS that I play. I'm also a lefty.

ESDF - movement
Right Mouse - jump
3rd/4th/5th mouse - Voice chat/secondary grenade/whatever else
Space - Crouch
C - Prone
A - quick knife
Shift - aim down sight (toggle)
capslock - sprint/hold breathe for sniping
B - Grenade
Q - Designate target
W - Flashlight/laser
V - quick sidearm switch
Z - firing mode
G - use/enter

With this set up, I still have X, T, Y, H, N keys within reach for me to bind anything else that I need to.
 

Dankk

Diamond Member
Jul 7, 2008
5,558
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OP, just to let you know, buying some "super l33t expert gaming mouse" with tons of extra buttons isn't necessary at all. Don't buy one unless you specifically want more mouse buttons.

When you played Half Life 2, mapping jump to middle-mouse was probably a bad idea because you wouldn't be able to jump and shoot at the same time (assuming you use your index finger for both buttons, you can only click one button at a time).

Honestly, my best advice? Play all the way through Half Life 2 again (or any other singleplayer PC-oriented shooter), and use the DEFAULT keybinds. Don't be tempted to mess around with any of the controls... just leave it alone. Unless your hands are seriously crippled or you have some disability that doesn't allow you to reach the keys properly, you should be perfectly fine.

If you get to the end of HL2 using the default keyboard configuration, then congratulations, you're totally comfortable with KB+M now and you can play just about any other PC shooter in existence, because they all have pretty much the same controls.
 

Nvidiaguy07

Platinum Member
Feb 22, 2008
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Yeah, I recommend changing the movement keys from WASD to ESDF, or IJKL for lefties like me, since it puts your hand in the home keys position. If you're competent at touch typing then you'll already know where all the keys are without having to look, and just have to remember what functions you've bound to each key. Such a configuration also has the added bonus over WASD of giving you more keys in easy reach of the pinky. Granted, you'll have to do a lot of rebinding in every game you play, but I contend the results are worth the effort.

In regard to the issue of crouch-jumping, I'm a proponent of the old-school mouse2 for jump and spacebar for crouch. Of course newer games usually use mouse2 for aiming, but wherever your pinky naturally rests is good replacement postion for that. As for the rest of the commands, I recommend just going with whatever seems logical to you, and switch things around as the need arises.

thanks for the tip. I at the very least will be remapping buttons to caps lock and shift, as cntrl is very difficult. Now that you mention it though, ESDF seems more natural, and is where "homerow" is, so why did they ever decide to go with WASD in the first place doesnt really make much sense to me.

You say you use mouse 2 to jump, i use to click my scroll wheel, and then turn scrolling through weapons off in half-life. Is this a good idea? (yes i know its preference, but i just thought it was a bit amateur when i was doing it before)
 

sigurros81

Platinum Member
Nov 30, 2010
2,371
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OP, just to let you know, buying some "super l33t expert gaming mouse" with tons of extra buttons isn't necessary at all. Don't buy one unless you specifically want more mouse buttons.

I gotta say that's what I thought for a while. I pretty much used a generic 3 button mouse until it died a few months ago. I decided, what the hell, picked up a gaming mouse and I've been in love with it since and wish I would have gotten one sooner. The G500 mouse that I got has very good ergonomics and weight (customizable weight that you can lower or increase with weights that come along with the mouse), and for 60 bucks, it's not a bad price at all for a 'gaming' mouse. I'm sure the more expensive mice are probably even nicer, but I don't think I ever want to spend more then 60 bucks for a mouse :D
 

RPD

Diamond Member
Jul 22, 2009
5,031
534
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thanks for the tip. I at the very least will be remapping buttons to caps lock and shift, as cntrl is very difficult. Now that you mention it though, ESDF seems more natural, and is where "homerow" is, so why did they ever decide to go with WASD in the first place doesnt really make much sense to me.

You say you use mouse 2 to jump, i use to click my scroll wheel, and then turn scrolling through weapons off in half-life. Is this a good idea? (yes i know its preference, but i just thought it was a bit amateur when i was doing it before)
Most games default to WASD due to I forget if it was Thresh or Fatality or someone else using those bindings in Doom (I should know this) and it stuck due their (the player not the actual key locations) popularity.
 

kylebisme

Diamond Member
Mar 25, 2000
9,396
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You say you use mouse 2 to jump, i use to click my scroll wheel, and then turn scrolling through weapons off in half-life. Is this a good idea?
Well if you use your middle finger for the scroll wheel then it's pretty much just as good as using mouse2. However, if you use your forefinger, then as Dan mentioned that's probably not a good idea, as you'll always be choosing between having your finger ready to fire or ready to jump rather than having separate finger for each.
 

Nvidiaguy07

Platinum Member
Feb 22, 2008
2,844
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Well if you use your middle finger for the scroll wheel then it's pretty much just as good as using mouse2. However, if you use your forefinger, then as Dan mentioned that's probably not a good idea, as you'll always be choosing between having your finger ready to fire or ready to jump rather than having separate finger for each.

probably wont be mapping it there then. I think i would prefer ESDF over WASD simply because it seems more natural, but then i would be not doing what the game intended, and would have to switch every game i play to new keys.

Im probably going to play through Half-life 2 WASD, and then part 1 and 2 with ESDF to see which i like better.

Is there a place somewhere where you can download other players key mappings? Or do some games have ESDF controls built in so you can just pick that instead of WASD? Im probably gonna pick up a G500, since my MX518 is getting pretty old.

Has anyone tried the mouse that switches between wireless and wired for gaming? I would like wireless to reduce clutter, but i still would like the option of having a wire when wireless just doesnt cut it.
 

Dankk

Diamond Member
Jul 7, 2008
5,558
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Is there a place somewhere where you can download other players key mappings? Or do some games have ESDF controls built in so you can just pick that instead of WASD?

No, and that's going to be the biggest pain in the ass if you decide to use ESDF. Pretty much the entirety of an FPS game's controls are going to be located around WASD, and on the left area of the keyboard in general. Be prepared to spend ~10-15 minutes reconfiguring your entire control scheme if you decide to go this route. Since WASD is decidedly the standard for PC shooters you won't find any games that have an ESDF preset.

I do see the benefit of ESDF, but it's not great enough to make me switch. I honestly have zero issues with the default WASD. Advocates of ESDF aren't many, but they are quite vocal, and they'll usually never mention that it's a huge pain to change your control scheme for every single new game you buy.

OP, like I said, just play through HL2 entirely with the default controls in order to get a feel for it. If it's an issue of just getting used to PC games over console games, then this would really be the best way to do it. If you're several hours into the game and you're still struggling with the controls, then feel free to start changing things up.
 

RPD

Diamond Member
Jul 22, 2009
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If it takes more than 2-4minutes to change key bindings from WASD to ESDF, I have some shiney things over here for you.
 

Dankk

Diamond Member
Jul 7, 2008
5,558
25
91
If it takes more than 2-4minutes to change key bindings from WASD to ESDF, I have some shiney things over here for you.

It takes only 2-4 minutes to change your keybindings, but it takes much longer to do it well. Controls are a critical part of computer games, and you want to configure them for optimal performance.

When I edit the control options in a new game, I ask myself: Which actions are most common? Which actions are highest-priority, and therefore should be in an easier-to-reach spot? Which functions are less time-sensitive and can be delegated to the right side of the keyboard? And which functions can be moved from the keyboard to my extra mouse buttons to free up keyspace?

Obviously YMMV; it all depends on the game, and the person.
 

sigurros81

Platinum Member
Nov 30, 2010
2,371
0
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If it takes more than 2-4minutes to change key bindings from WASD to ESDF, I have some shiney things over here for you.

LoL yeah, it really doesn't take that long, or at least I have not found a game that requires me to spend more than 5 minutes remapping keys. However, I have gone back and remap as I play the games when I find out that I use certain things more than others. My first couple of weeks of BF3, I went in and tweak my keys around a bit after I get the hang of the game and knowing what I need to use more than others.
 
Feb 6, 2007
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It takes time to learn. I recommend sticking to the tradition WSAD with spacebar as jump and left ctrl as crouch (which is a fairly common base for most FPS). Load up a single-player game with a lot of targets (Left 4 Dead is pretty good), and just focus on moving and aiming. Once you get the basic sense of how it feels to move with your left hand and aim with the right, switch to a multiplayer game where you'll be forced to figure out movement and aiming on an accelerated scale since you'll be killed a lot more by people than AI. Preferably a game with respawning so you don't have to wait long between deaths.
 

RPD

Diamond Member
Jul 22, 2009
5,031
534
126
It takes only 2-4 minutes to change your keybindings, but it takes much longer to do it well. Controls are a critical part of computer games, and you want to configure them for optimal performance.

When I edit the control options in a new game, I ask myself: Which actions are most common? Which actions are highest-priority, and therefore should be in an easier-to-reach spot? Which functions are less time-sensitive and can be delegated to the right side of the keyboard? And which functions can be moved from the keyboard to my extra mouse buttons to free up keyspace?

Obviously YMMV; it all depends on the game, and the person.
Or, you could just take the default WASD and their associated bindings around them and shift them one key to the right, ta-da instant ESDF, which would solve 95% of all binding issues you might come across.
 

Throckmorton

Lifer
Aug 23, 2007
16,830
3
0
Yes this probably will help, im just of the mindset that if im going to learn how to use K+B that i should do it right, and i thought that re-mapping keys and things like that kind of takes away from the games original intentions. I kind of think if they designed it that way, that i should take the time to learn it that way then.

In any case its good to hear that many people customize their layout, which is what ill probably to to help with running/crouching (my biggest problems).

I mean, Im gonna go out on a limb and say that the complete WRONG way to play a game like BF3 or COD would be to get a mouse with a bunch of buttons and program them all to whatever function.

A lot of the conventions only exist because some game designer a long time ago decided arbitrarily to map a certain key. Remap however you want.

Also there's a good reason to get a gaming mouse- the higher precision.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
70,114
5,644
126
I use the Cursor Keys, rather than WASD. Much easier to identify, especially if you are just starting out. Of course that means a lot of remappings for other controls, but if you develop your own standard it's pretty straight forward after awhile.

If you are just starting out, don't jump into Multiplayer right away. Get comfortable using the controls in Single Player first or else you'll just get owned repeatedly.
 

thespyder

Golden Member
Aug 31, 2006
1,979
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Yes this probably will help, im just of the mindset that if im going to learn how to use K+B that i should do it right, and i thought that re-mapping keys and things like that kind of takes away from the games original intentions. I kind of think if they designed it that way, that i should take the time to learn it that way then.

In any case its good to hear that many people customize their layout, which is what ill probably to to help with running/crouching (my biggest problems).

I mean, Im gonna go out on a limb and say that the complete WRONG way to play a game like BF3 or COD would be to get a mouse with a bunch of buttons and program them all to whatever function.

Remember that KB&M control schemes are just as susceptible to Stupid design as anything else. Just because a game developer thought that a certain key was good for something, doesn't mean that they are always 100% right. that is why so many players re-map to different configurations.

And also, not all configurations that even the best use are "The Best" for the way YOU play. Definitely take what others have done, but be open the the possibility that what works for you might be different.

As for the "Wrong" way to play, in this context, "Wrong" is highly subjective. Not saying go out and spend huge amounts of money on a fancy mouse. Merely that a fancy mouse "Might" be something that works for some people. Don't discount the possibility. But definitely try other (less expensive) methods first.
 

exdeath

Lifer
Jan 29, 2004
13,679
10
81
Mouse and keyboard any day. Mouse anyway. I HATE the slow rotation and aiming that occurs using silly console thumb sticks.

Hold and wait... oh crap he moved the other way, hold and wait... swear to god thumb sticks are the same thing as keyboard turning, it drives me insane.
 

RPD

Diamond Member
Jul 22, 2009
5,031
534
126
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nurturedhate

Golden Member
Aug 27, 2011
1,756
733
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A question for you. Do you have small hands and if so have you looked into mini keyboards? My girlfriend has rather small hands and finds it hard to play on any keyboard bigger than the average laptop size.
 

kylebisme

Diamond Member
Mar 25, 2000
9,396
0
0
Has anyone tried the mouse that switches between wireless and wired for gaming? I would like wireless to reduce clutter, but i still would like the option of having a wire when wireless just doesnt cut it.
I've never tried a mouse that switches between wireless and wired, but I used to switch between a wired mouse for gaming and a wireless for everything else until I found the Logitech M510.
 

Nvidiaguy07

Platinum Member
Feb 22, 2008
2,844
4
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I've never tried a mouse that switches between wireless and wired, but I used to switch between a wired mouse for gaming and a wireless for everything else until I found the Logitech M510.

this is the one i was talking about: http://www.amazon.com/Razer-Orochi-E.../dp/B002JTWODG

And as many wireless mice i tried, i never could find one good enough for any type of gaming. Last time i tried was a few years ago, but i literally went through probably 6 different ones, after giving up and getting the mx518.

BT seemed worse than RF for the most part, but both sucked IMO. Maybe ill give it a shot again, and it it doesnt work i can always use it for my living room PC.

EDIT: I guess the mamba has the same functionality, and is an awesome gaming mouse from what im reading: http://store.razerzone.com/store/razerusa/en_US/pd/productID.231103000
DOUBLE EDIT: The mouse has a lot of bad reviews, many problems with the mouse jumping around.
 
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