The Big Question: Inverted Or Regular?

Okay, we've done this question before. But every now and then I like to do a census. To see how many of you are playing video games the right way.

The right way being — of course — inverted. Because um... that's what I play.

If I recall, the last two times I did this poll the dirty, filthy regulars won out. The good news however is this: the gap is shortening. I feel like more and more people are moving to the light side. This is good.

What do you play? Inverted or regular?


    Play it as it lies, can generally adapt to whatever.

    Forward looks down, back looks up!

      Only in flight simulators :-)

        And everything else, forever.

        Actually come to think of it, moving a mouse across a desk is literally forward backward left and right. Yet I don't think it's ever been framed that way in my mind.

        Only in flight simulators :-)

        And your own head - tip forwards, look down, tip backwards, looks up.

        Last edited 28/01/16 2:58 pm

      It's probably because of many years of wing commander in my formative years but if I'm using a stick down always looks up, my brain can't process it any other way.

    I'm just going to repeat my answer; I use both depending on the default setting of the particular game, and I'll change the setting sometimes if the camera's mechanics feel off with the default.

      I've been doing that on consoles. It's always disconcerting when you decide, "Yeah, this feels pretty weird and a little bit 'off', I guess I'll switch to see how that feels," and then you're like, "WOAH THAT WAS ACTUALLY WORSE WHAT THE HELL," and you quickly switch back to 'just weird'.

        This is me; the moment I'm given a choice I become super self conscious of the setting and can't play the game for the next 20 minutes.

    I play regular because I'm an actual human being.

      Please don't ever try to fly an aircraft.

        There's nothing regular about a floating hunk of metal.

        ...I hope you don't fly with that attitude (pun intended).

        To be fair, the "forward is down, back is up" thing is actually correct for aircraft, not inverted.

        Or try to look up in real-life.

    Inverted all the way...i mean seriously, who pressed up to look up? What kind of backwards logic is that? ...wait

    I only play inverted for games with flight. Otherwise regular.

      me too. Regular for FPS and walking games. Inverted for flight. Default mode on controls for all games anyway - just look at Battlefront: regular for the FPS and inverted for the flying controls. People who like the opposite are wrong. WRONG!

        I'm much the same, it depends on the game really.

        FPS games I play non-inverted. Third person games though for some reason I prefer inverted. Just feels more natural to control the camera in a third person game inverted.

    Grew up on flight sims and simply kept it inverted when FPS games moved to mouse and keyboard.

    And with that statement I feel old!

      Totally with you on this. It's only natural really. You don't lean your body backwards to look down or forwards to look up!

        You don't have a neck?

          same still applies.. do you lean your neck forward to look up?

            Do you tilt your head down to look up?

              ok.. now you're just being pedantic ;)
              I'm sick.. I'm allowed to be a little.. off ;)

              Last edited 27/01/16 12:00 pm

              but my head is moving forward to look down which would map to the forward on the controller.
              similarly I pull my head backwards to look up which is similar to pressing backwards to look up.
              I don't understand.

                He was just being picky about my wording I think. Either that or I'm more sick than I thought!

                  well see tilting my head down, to me means face down to the ground.. so inverted is still right, no matter which way you look at it ;)

    Inverted if I'm controlling a vehicle's attitude (l.e. flight sims), normal if I'm controlling a camera.

    Inverted... Still waiting for it to be offered as a menu change when first booting up a game

      There are a fair number of games that build it into the tutorial steps. You've probably played a few games where the first thing your character is asked to do is look up (or down) at something, then turn to look at something to the side.

      The game then configures the controls based on how you respond. It tends to work okay provided you aren't trying to guess how the controls work at this point.

        One of the Xbox 360s unsung features was that you could set look inversion as a global default. It is glorious.

        Really? Never come across it... At least not on consoles.

        Which games are you talking about?

          I've seen it in a fair number of games. One that comes to mind is inFamous, which you can see in this early section of the game: -- the player is asked to look up at the helicopter, and then over to the left. How you perform those actions adjusts the control scheme (which can still be tweaked in the options afterwards).

          It's the kind of thing you could easily miss if you didn't realise that's what the game was doing.

          Last edited 28/01/16 1:18 pm

    Regular (except for flight controls). Never understood the argument that the left analogue stick represents the head. Tilting your head forward makes you look down, backwards makes you look up.... I get it. But what about left and right? By that logic left on the analogue should make you TILT your head left, not TURN left. I look at the analogue sticks as D-Pad buttons in the sense that they represent directions not a replication of the head's movement. I think I've overanalysed a bit here.....

    Last edited 27/01/16 11:29 am

      The inverted left-right thing is what Super Mario Sunshine did, without the option to change it, and holy crap did it get confusing.

        Beyond Good & Evil did it too. :/

        I got used to it eventually, but man it was a struggle.

        FF12 did it too, only they didn't give you separate options for the X and Y controls so if you wanted inverted Y you had to put up with inverted X as well! Holy crap that did my head in! The good news is I got it playing on the PC using PCSX2 with a bit of remastering and was able to 'fix' that travesty by reversing the left and right on the right analogue stick.

        I'm an inverted person, though only on the Y axis and only when using a controller, if I play with a keyboard and mouse it's normal for me.

      The problem with horizontal movement is that it's not standardised. Most FPS do it like normal (left/left right/right) But a lot of third person games can't agree, (is it left like looking left or is it left like camera swings left?)

      Arguably I believe FPS controls are perfect for all movements: Inverted vertical and normal horizontal - always keep my eyes/camera facing through a characters head.

      It think it's more to do with rotation of the head being the focus for a lot of people, whether they explain it that way or not, and not that you're tilting from a point like the neck.

      That and left and right really has nothing to do with it anyway... The only thing most inverters and non-inverters actually seem to agree on is that left/right control inversion is the true evil.

      Last edited 27/01/16 3:14 pm

        My point is that this argument, to me, doesn't prove that use of inverted controls is the natural way to play. I've tried many times to try and play with inverted controls and the left/right thing is always what throws me off. Maybe i'm just uncoordinated AF.

          What you wont hear a lot in these conversations... There's simply no wrong/unnatural way to play. Use what works for you and forget about everyone else. Normal simply feels more natural for a lot of people, where inverted is more natural to others.

          I truly suspect that a great many inverted players are generally older than the majority of those who play normal. Ones like myself who came from older PC games, flight sims, and especially console games like Goldeneye where inverted was the normal/default setting.

          Either way there are exceptions in both groups.

          Last edited 28/01/16 5:19 pm

            Exactly! Who cares what your preferred method of input is?

    Listen, you invert because the stick reflects the lean of your character. You pull back to lean back, therefore looking up. You push forward to lean forward, therefore looking down. If you don't invert it's because you're some cursor-moving animal.

      From my point of view sitting out the couch though all I'm doing is moving a crosshair. It's first person, I don't see a character, just what I'm aiming at. Therefore if I want the crosshair to go up I move the stick up, simple.

        It's ok to be a cursor moving animal, as long as you're able to admit it. :P

        From my point of view it's the uninverters that are evil!

    I have always chosen regular but I grew up playing nothing but PC games where if you pushed the mouse forward it was always up and pulling back was always down, when I play on console it feels weird doing it the other way unless I'm playing a flight simulator.

    Inverted, you heathens! It's the only way.

    Last edited 27/01/16 11:31 am

    Regular because, well...that's normal and logical. Press up, look up, go figure. Inverted for flight of course.

    For you inverted argument people I'd love to see you apply that to using a mouse on a computer. Do that and then tell me it makes sense and works without difficulty.

      If you mean using a mouse pointer, doesn't really apply as you're not moving a head / viewport.

      I've not tried using inverted mouse for an FPS, etc. Maybe I'll try one day for craps and giggles. I mostly just use a controller on PC.

        Mouse on computer whether it's a pointer or a crosshair makes no difference. Same for me on a console, still moving a crosshair around the screen so up should be up.

          It does make a difference, as there are 2 schools of thought; moving the crosshair (like you) or moving the characters head. It's all just a matter of perspective.

            The perspective is just how people justify their view on it though.

            I still remember when as teenagers my friend switched from normal to inverted over the space of a week. I asked him why the hell he had suddenly gone insane and he just said it felt more to each his own.

              I think it's just one of those things... Where the way of thinking about how something works can fundamentally change how you see and interact with it.

              I've played mostly inverted all my life, almost entirely because of games like Goldeneye on N64 where inverted was actually the 'normal'. As such, games like that where it was the default is why you'll get people telling you that inverters are actually the normal ones ;)

              I can play both, just takes a little bit to get used to the switch either way.

              On the mouse cursor on a computer thing, think of it like this... With typical mouse/keyboard control setup you're not physically moving the cursor on screen up or down. You are however physically moving the mouse in a space where there is no up or down in play. It's forward or backward.

              You might be looking at the screen in front of you thinking you're moving an arrow up/down, yet I see mine as a representation of how I'm physically moving the mouse in hand. So in shooters the move mouse forward to look down, or move mouse back to look up is really not a stretch at all. Same with analog sticks on controls.

              As thiakil said, you're playing from the cursor perspective while people like myself are playing from the perspective of the viewpoint/head and it rotating back, forward, etc.

              Just because people who play games like shooters inverted don't play minesweeper or browse the web on their computer with an inverted mouse cursor means nothing. At the absolute most it says they're simply capable of operating different things, with different perspectives, using different controls schemes.

              Last edited 27/01/16 4:29 pm

      But what does using a mouse on a computer have to do with playing games :P

        Considering I'm pretty much a PC only gamer now...pretty much everything. There's a few games I plug a controller in for but those aren't FPS.

          As a console heathen I can't imagine using a mouse for anything other than cursor-based games like Red Alert or FTL.

            I grew out of using a console once I got old enough to get a job and buy a PC.

            Guess that's one for the next debate. Console Vs PC preference for gaming....but that one is played out in most YouTube comment sections.

              Non-inverted controls? Mouse for games? Growing out of consoles? You are brimming with bizarre concepts :P

      A very good Quake player I know uses inverted mouse. Boggles my mind.

    Inverted for me.

    Probably partly because that's what the first games I played had by default I think.

    How I think of it? Think of what muscles you use when moving your head; when you look up you tense the muscles in the back of your neck. Then at the front for looking down (or a lack of back muscles).
    Works for left and right too; right side for turning right and left side for turning left.

    Such a struggle to adapt to non-inverted, had to do it on a game mod where the setting was broken :(

    Inverted for life. I've had to take a few games back because they had no option to invert the controls.

      I've never encountered this problem (except with Beyond Good & Evil where "inverted" referred to both axes instead of just Y). My wife keeps telling me that one day there will be a game where I can't invert Y and I'll be forced to adapt. I'll defect to the PC master race before that happens!

        I think it was the Splinter Cell remasters, Wind Waker HD remake and Test Drive Unlimited?

        Ewww. Linking inverted settings to both axis... for the person who just wants to hold their controller upside.

        I don't remember having trouble with BGE. So is it left on the stick makes the camera look to the player's right? And forward on the stick makes it look down? To me that makes sense, having only one of those and the opposite of the other would be weird for a third person camera.

          Yeah, I'm used to right being to rotate the camera clockwise to pan the view right but in BGE it rotates the view left. There's no option to invert X and Y separately.

            Ohhhh. Gross.

            That said, I noticed I couldn't figure out how to make the camera feel right when I picked up Xenoblade again late last year. I found that it seemed to depend if I was focusing more on the character or the area ahead of the character, as to which polarity of the X-axis felt best.

    Vertical axis is always inverted on sticks, horizontal is whatever feels best (Some games just don't seem to work well with inverted horizontal for some weird reason). On mouse it's always regular though basically because analogue sticks are like a camera on the end of a rod while using a mouse is like controlling a puppet head with your hand inside.

    This is just for camera movement correct?

    It depends on the game type. If it's a first person game, regular all the way because the camera is acting as their head, if it's third person than the vertical gets inverted so push up = camera going down. But seeing as that's the standard for most third person games, that would be regular right?

    Last edited 27/01/16 11:44 am

    Regular makes sense from an interface perspective since it remains consistent with cursor movement on any GUI aspects of the game. Also you're not tilting your avatars entire body you're directing the field of vision (thus the left right to turn). It's different for vehicles because you're dealing with a projectile that's effectively one solid object. Pulling back, not pointing down, pulls the front of the vehicle up which makes sense. In that case you're steering not directing.

    Last edited 27/01/16 12:01 pm

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