Sweet Naiveté Triumphs Over ‘Normal’ Mass Effect PC Controls

Sweet Naiveté Triumphs Over ‘Normal’ Mass Effect PC Controls

Just because we’ve conditioned ourselves to play PC games a certain way doesn’t mean everybody else has to follow suit. In today’s charming Speak Up on Kotaku commenter Confirm4Crit tells the inspiring story of what happened when he handed his non-gamer girlfriend his laptop running a copy of the original Mass Effect.

I am very, very, very proud of my girlfriend. I lent her a laptop and she played through Mass Effect. It was her first serious title and I loved it. Hearing her freak out during certain moments, enjoying gunning foes down and making choices that effect the plot line, etc. She had never experienced something like that before and it was neat to see her explore it.

During a random chat about the game, I asked if she was comfortable with using the keyboard and mouse over a controller. Her response; “Yea, the arrow keys were fine.”

I froze for a brief moment, mildly confused. Arrow keys? “She played a third person shooter… with arrow keys?” I mutter to myself, trying to reenact the motion with my hand on my own keyboard, my muscles confused.

She must have overheard me.

“Yea, and? It was more comfortable for me…”

During the rest of the conversation, I found out she used my laptop’s trackpad, not the USB I gave her. WASD was for squad commands, she would reach over to C for ducking, function keys became weapon switching, and other odd things. To me, anyway.

It’s odd. What has become “our” standard control format was completely destroyed by a casual gamer, yet she completely enjoyed the experience. We’re used to a developer telling us the controls. We aren’t told how to read, watch, or listen. But we are constantly told how to control, and normally, we accept it. An adjustment here or there, but we accept it.

I thought there was a universal code for playing games, WASD, Ctrl for crouch, Shift for sprint.

Guess I was mistaken.

About Speak Up on Kotaku: Our readers have a lot to say, and sometimes what they have to say has nothing to do with the stories we run.


  • I’ve never used Ctrl for crouch. “C” all the way… last time I ever bound to Ctrl is when I played Doom… 😛 maybe I’m weird

        • I also bind any ‘action’ key to ‘F’ due to FPS games that had Q-E lean moves. Not all games have that lean but I need consistency across my games.

      • My hands are probably bigger/clumsier than most and my pinky reaches Shift pretty well, but I have to turn it under and extend to get Ctrl, thus throwing off my 3 “WASD” fingers. It’s much easier to just “not go right” for the instant it takes to barely move down and hit “C”… though I like to use ‘crouch toggle’ instead of holding it down. Maybe that’s weird as well.

  • How is this newsworthy? I play all my games using the arrow numb pad keys and have done so for almost 2 decades. Better publish a story about me then.

    • About Speak Up on Kotaku: Our readers have a lot to say, and sometimes what they have to say has nothing to do with the stories we run.

  • I’m right handed and I used to remap to the arrow keys for quite a long time. One day I played a game that forced WASD because it didn’t have remapping and found that it did actually make things a little easier. It also meant that I didn’t have to push my keyboard so far away , or keep remapping the keys every time I played a new game.

    I kind of miss having the extra key above my directionals but getting a Naga has improved the experience dramatically)

  • The great thing about games is that….you can play it whatever way you want, as long as you enjoy it..

    I used to switch between arrow keys and wasd in GTA games depending on when I was on foot or in a vehicle….

  • My CoD controls baffle people, I use WASD, however ctrl is knife, F is prone not use, c is crouch, g is use. It’s the small things in life :3

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