Poll: ESDF The OTHER keyboard control system

Hero in a half shell

It's not easy being green
Dec 30, 2009
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So I had an epiphany the other day that if I slid my fingers one key to the right of the keys I usually use to control movement on my keyboard I would have a lot more buttons around the immediate vicinity of my fingers to bind actions to. (using ESDF instead of WASD) I Googled this when I got home and whatda you know, it's already a thing.

It seems to be at the moment like DVORAK Keyboards - Technically superior, but so obscurely against the normal grain of thinking that no one really bothers with it except for a few really enthusiastic individuals (They have handy explanatory graphics and everything:


So I was just wondering, does anyone here ever use this layout, what are your opinions on it, and would you consider changing if it proved to be much more handier?
 

Adam Jensen_v1legacy

I never asked for this
Sep 8, 2011
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Congrats. You discovered hot water. Did you read about the history of WASD? It was basically popular among some professional Quake players and somehow that lead to WASD being accepted as the default gaming control scheme. ESDF is objectively superior. The only reason people prefer WASD is because they never tried ESDF. You have more buttons on the left side to work with and you can reach the rest of the keyboard on the rights side easier. There are literally zero downsides.

Even among the mighty PC gaming master race there are classes. And ESDF nobles are superior to WASD peasants.
 

DrownedAmmet

New member
Apr 13, 2015
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Huh, I'm gonna try this next time I play a PC FPS, doesn't seem like it would be too hard to make the switch.

efdddsesssssssefddddddddseeeeeefffffffffffffffeffffffffffseeeeeeeeeeeeeeseeeeeddc

Yeah, everything checks out, it does seem superior in every way, though I do like the Shift button being big for when I need to crouch...
 

Simskiller

New member
Oct 13, 2010
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*tries it*

feels really weird, and like I could get lost on my keyboard.

so:




I did do szxc for system shock 1 though and while weird, it worked for the bindings.
 

Nazulu

They will not take our Fluids
Jun 5, 2008
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Different strokes for different folks. My hands are small, I prefer reaching for the bigger buttons and I don't go into many technical games, so WASD suits me more.
 

Doom972

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Dec 25, 2008
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Never heard of it, and I don't want to try it. When I install a game I prefer not to have to rebind too many keys, but just the few I really have to. Also, retraining my muscle memory after using WASD for about 17 years would not be practical.

Good find though. Enjoy.
 

wass12

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Apr 2, 2014
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That's not a big difference.
I'm left-handed, so WASD was never an option for me. Early on, I used IJKL, but the need for two button to be holdable by thumb made me move to TFGH. (The right-handed equivalent would be UHJK, I suppose.) Unfortunately, often I have to hack around hard-coded keybinds, because the devs thought everyone gonna use their standard controls.
 

Smooth Operator

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Oct 5, 2010
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Well I did go through a whole lot of set-ups back in the day, started out with arrow keys only because that is what some games were permanently tied to. Then others came with WASD ties so I had to get used to that, did try a whole lot of full rebinds for the middle of the keyboard but eventually the tedium of figuring out all the rebinds and learning several layouts and getting stuck with games that can't be re-bound meant I gave up on the ordeal.
So I'm back to WASD for the sake of simpler use. It is the same for DVORAK, while obviously a statistically superior design the matter of re-learning all that muscle memory for a new system puts it beyond the level of effort I want to spend.
 

FPLOON

Your #1 Source for the Dino Porn
Jul 10, 2013
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#SZXC4LIFE

Other than that, UHJK is such an underrated control system... Too bad I suck at it unless I go two screen and shit...
 

G00N3R7883

New member
Feb 16, 2011
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I still use arrows for movement. The vast majority of games don't need that many keys (I've got ctrl, shift, enter, del, end, pgdn, num4, num1, num0 and 5 mouse buttons in easy reach and I can stretch to home, pgdn, num2 and num5 without much problem) plus the gap around the arrows means I never lose my hand position, so I never have to look away from the screen.
 

Dimitriov

The end is nigh.
May 24, 2010
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This ESDF nonsense is drastically inferior to the mighty WASD. It moves your hand farther from ctrl and shift, and ctrl+ (and shift+) is the best way to drastically increase your key bind options.

Also keeping your hand nearer the edge (and the more shape differentiated keys like ctrl and tab) makes it much simpler for your hand to find the right place to rest on the keyboard.

I see no practical advantages to using ESDF (very few games require that many key binds and every one I can think of that I have played allowed me to bind to ctrl and something else anyway) but it does have the disadvantage of keeping your hand in a more awkward spot on the keyboard.
 

Xeros

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Aug 13, 2008
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This is news to me. Though, while it seems like the superior setup, I'm far too lazy to rebind every key to utilize it, and I don't see a paradigm shift being very likely.

President Bagel said:
WASD is love. WASD is life.
This; this right here. I was born to WASD. I'll die with WASD.

Captcha: Switch Now Go away, Captcha, no one asked you.
 

kasperbbs

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Dec 27, 2009
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Meh.. I can't think of a situation where i wanted to have more keys at my disposal so i'll stick with what i'm used to and what works for me. Besides i find it uncomfortable and i would probably drop out of the game by pressing the windows key way too often and rebinding keys for every game seems like a pain.
 

Darknacht

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May 13, 2009
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What is this the 90's? How many games these days need more keys than you can easily get to from WASD? And in the few games that do you are better off just binding a couple to your mouse.
 

visiblenoise

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Jul 2, 2014
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I did like ESDF more, but I soon got tired of changing all the games' default WASD configurations. Tribes 2 was my first shooter and it worked well in that game.
 

Kross

World Breaker
Sep 27, 2004
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I started using ESDF for MMOs that had way too many keybinds. Opening up W and A, along with being able to hit them with my ring finger (which then freed up my pinky for ctrl and shift + various other buttons) helped quite a bit. The problem was muscle memory where my hand would randomly slide back to WASD (usually mixing up E and W) :(
 

gigastar

Insert one-liner here.
Sep 13, 2010
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Unforunately, most games i play dont have a use for all those extra buttons i can reach.

Interestingly though, i found myself slipping into ESDF on occasion where i wasnt even using it, leading to many utterences of curses as i start switching weapons and meleeing instead of moving right or forward in Warframe.
 

SmugFrog

Ribbit
Sep 4, 2008
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I'm surprised ESDF is such a small percentage. I'm sure if more games used it by default it would be a higher amount - many of my friends don't seem to like to configure their controls. Especially in online games where someone asks "What's the key for ..." - I can never help them because I always set a custom key pattern that makes sense to where my fingers rest.

Adam Jensen said:
The only reason people prefer WASD is because they never tried ESDF. You have more buttons on the left side to work with and you can reach the rest of the keyboard on the rights side easier. There are literally zero downsides.
I was forced into trying ESDF when I played Tribes 2 many years ago and ESDF was the default. I want to say that there was even a disclaimer saying it was a better button setup, and to give it a try. I went through and reconfigured it to WASD, but the amount of keys needed made it a pain (this was also the area before 50 button mice). So I tried ESDF and what do you know - I found it much easier to increase the amount of keys available on the left side by shifting over. I remap crouch or sneak to A, and I never have to deal with reaching my pinky finger down at an awkward angle to hit control (and sometimes clipping that damn windows key).

Honestly, I think anyone that tried it for a month would never go back to WASD. We stick to what we're comfortable - like those people that like to have their mouse inverted. I was one of those people too until a game didn't give me the option and I had to force convert. Now I can't go back.

There's also that ridge right on the F, usually (though some gaming keyboard put one on the W or similar area). That helps orient your fingers when you take them away.

Also - many MANY years ago, games defaulted to the arrow keys and there usually wasn't a custom option for changing the controls. Somehow while playing Duke Nukem 3D against players on the internet, one of the players asked me "are you using the arrow keys? You need to use WASD" I'm not sure how he knew - I guess I was playing that poorly (using the numpad 1 and 0 for jump and duck...) The game didn't have mouse aiming support by default and was one of those that used keystrokes to look up and down.

Adam Jensen said:
And ESDF nobles are superior to WASD peasants.
LOL

Why people still stick with that cramped control scheme of WASD is beyond me. I can only guess it's because of the increasingly availability of buttons for the mouse hand that people don't need to shift over.

Z, X, C, V, B become more available, compared to only Z X C before (to use V, my hand has to come off WASD completely, whereas with ESDF, any finger can slide down easier).