Key Binding Setup, ESDF not WASD

ESDF, WASD what?

If you have no idea what "WASD" or "ESDF" stand for, they're simply a set of keys used to move around in first person shooters. For example, in a "WASD" setup, the "W" represents forward, the "S" backwards, and the "A" and "D" keys represent strafing left or right accordingly. This has been a very common setup since the early days of Quake1, replacing the old Doom standard, the arrow keys.

Why it suffers today?

WASD is outed. The reason? It's lack of available keys. Sure back in the Quake days, it was great. Back then you didn't need to reload, lean around corners; even buttons and doors were opened by simply walking up to them! Games today allow the player much more control, and therefore, require many more keys to play effectively. Being great at first person shooters requires having all your fingers ready to push any important key(s) in the blink of an eye.

Why ESDF is better than WASD

Simple. It allows the user access to more keys resulting in quicker control. By moving slightly over to the right from the "WASD" setup, you gain access to more keys and have the advantage of using the "homerow" bump on the "F" key to regain proper hand positioning.

This next quote was taken directly from the WASD article on Wikipedia..

  • "The ESDF variation is sometimes preferred because it provides access to movement independent keys for the little finger (Z, A, SHIFT) which generally allows for more advanced manual binding. Incidentally, it allows the left hand to remain in homerow with the advantage of the F key homerow marker (available on most standard keyboards) to easily return to position with the index finger. "ESDF" is the default configuration for several games such as Tribes 2. The game Blackthorne used a combination of arrow keys for movement and ESDF for actions."

If "ESDF" is better, why do most games default with a "WASD" setup?

I'm really not sure why, but nearly every new game released on the market seems to come packaged with the old "WASD" control method. I personally found myself running out of keys back in the days of Quake-1, so i really don't understand why games today are being bundled with "WASD".

My Key Bindings

Below you can see my key-binding setup (stripped down of course)-------------------------------------------------------------------

  • // Movementbind "e" "+forward"
    bind "d" "+back"
    bind "s" "+moveleft"
    bind "f" "+moveright"bind "MWHEELUP" "+jump"
    bind "MOUSE1" "+attack"
    bind "MOUSE2" "+attack2"
    bind "SHIFT" "+jump"
    bind "SPACE" "+duck"
    bind "ALT" "+speed" //toggle walk
  • // Miscbind "u" "messagemode2" //Teamchat onlybind "w" "+use" //Activate buttons and doors
    bind "x" "impulse 100" //flashlight
    bind "y" "say" //Chat everyone
    bind "g" "drop" //drops current weapon
    bind "r" "+reload"
    bind "z" "lastinv" //Last weapon, quick-switch|
  • // Buy Aliases (shortcuts for buying weapons/equipment)alias "colt" "buy m4a1"
    alias "ak" "buy ak47"
    alias "mp5" "buy mp5navy"
    alias "deagle" "buy deagle"
    alias "defuse" "buy defuser"
    alias "vest" "buy vest"
    alias "vhelm" "buy vesthelm"
    alias "hegde" "buy hegrenade"
    alias "fbng" "buy flashbang"
    alias "sgnde" "buy smokegrenade"
  • // Quick weapon purchasebind"UPARROW" "vhelm" //Helmet+vest
    bind "DOWNARROW" "vest" //Only vest
    bind "DEL" "fbng" //Flashbang
    bind "PGDN" "hegde" //Grenade
    bind "PGUP" "defuse" //Defuse kit(only CT)
    bind "END" "sgnde" //Smokegrenade



That's all there is to it. As I mentioned earlier, I recommend "ESDF" for your key binding setup as there are way more keys than the default "WASD" control method. That been said, it's all a matter of personal preference and comfort; Don't be disheartened if "ESDF" seems uncomfortable at first, with time it will be a breeze.

Still don't believe me that "ESDF" is superior for gaming? Well this site goes over this argument in much greater detail.
Click Here

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