If you play games, you probably move your character by pressing the WASD keys on your keyboard. No matter what kind of game you play, these keys are always used to control a character when you use the keyboard. This article will explain why this is the case and why the keys for most games are usually the same.
At first, keyboards were made so that people could talk to computers and type commands and text. If you wanted to play a game, you had to connect a controller or gamepad most of the time. But with the rise of PC games over the past few decades, keyboards are also used to play games, and the WASD keys have been used to move characters in games almost from the start.
What are the WASD Keys on the Keyboard, and How Are They Used in Gaming?
WASD are four keys on a keyboard that can be used instead of “Arrow Keys” or a controller to play video games. W means “go forward,” A means “go left,” S means “go backward,” and D means “go right.” There are a lot of games that use this set of keys.
These keys are the only ones that can be used to control a video game character. They have been in the gaming business for a long time. Other keys, such as Q, E, F, X, Spacebar, and Shift, can also be used to do special things. Companies are making different kinds of keyboards, especially for gamers.
Their backlighting makes the W, A, S, and D stand out so that you can find them quickly. It would help if you remembered that you could use dozens of other key combinations instead of WASD. But why do most games make WASD the standard?
When gaming wasn’t very popular a few decades ago, there were no classic combinations like these. Also, the controls for every game had been made public. Let’s talk about Need for Speed II, which came out in 2002.
Most players used the “Arrow Keys” to move the cars, and the “Space Bar” was thought to be the best way to use the handbrake. There were also many other keys, like H for Horn and more. But as Multiplayer Functionality goes up, players start to control the vehicle with WASD and do other things with the Arrow Keys.
Instead of WASD, some left-handed players set their movement keys to IJKL, Arrows, or other combinations. Many players can’t use this because the CTRL and ALT keys are too far away.
Why do you have to switch from the Arrow Keys to the WASD Keys?
Many players find it awkward to use the Arrow Keys because they have to use their second hand to press extra keys. Because of this, using the WASD keys is good for everyone because it gives you a wider range of other keys and makes it easy to use keys like Q, E, Tab, Shift, Alt, and CTRL.
When Windows users want to switch from using the Arrow Keys to using WASD, it’s hard for them to do. If you like to play simple games like Battle Royale, Rocket League, and others, you don’t need to change your arrow keys. However, using WASD would help you if you like to play more complicated games.
How do I enable WASD Keys?
First, you should recollect that most video games have a built-in customization feature contrary to previous mechanical keyboard settings to suit their needs. Second, under Options/Settings in many games, you can change how the key works. As we’ve already said, the main reason for using the WASD keys instead of the “Arrow Keys” is that you don’t have to move as much to use the extra keys.
For example, if you are playing a First-Person Shooter (FPS) game, you can move your character forward by pressing the default key. You can also hold down the shift key to walk and the R key to reload your weapon without doing anything extra.
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Why do we use the WASD keys so much in video games?
As we’ve said before, if you’re a gamer, you’ll use these keys in your games without even thinking about why. When you start a new game, you put your hand on these keys to move your character without anyone telling you to. And it makes sense that the game designers chose these keys instead of others because of how we put our hands on the keyboard.
Even though left-handed people won’t agree with this, the most natural way to use a PC with a keyboard and mouse is to have your left hand and your right hand on the mouse. Even when we’re just typing, the left hand is on the left side of the keyboard, as is obvious. The developers could have used a different set of keys, like 2QWE, instead of WASD.
But “more or less” everyone’s hands are about the same size, and if the controls were on those keys, we wouldn’t be able to use the rest of the keys that help us do other things in games besides the move, like using space to jump, shift to run, control to crouch, or the number keys to change weapons or throw skills.
So, the WASD keys are used to move the character by default in all games where the character needs to be moved. This is because the hands are naturally placed on the keyboard and mouse, and also because it’s convenient to have keys like space, shift, tab, and control close by so the user doesn’t have to move their hands.
What about left-handed users?
These keys have been used for a long time, and it is hard to change, even though “inheritance.” But left-handed users have trouble because if they move the mouse with their left hand and put their right hand on the WASD buttons, they are in an awkward position to press the other special keys.
Many of these users have managed to control the mouse with their right hand, but most of what they do is change the keys to ones to the right. This way, they can keep pushing the spacebar with their thumb and have the right SHIFT and CTRL at hand.
Most PC games let you switch around the keys so that left-handed people can use the keyboard the way they want to. Still, even the ones that don’t let you do that let you play with a controller, so that’s another option.