Newbie Guide: Keyboard and Mouse Combination
This is a total beginners guide to using the mouse and keyboard together to play games. Around 99.9% of gamers online will be using the mouse + keyboard combination to play their games. Unlike consoles where you only have 1 control pad to use, or maybe you’ve played single player games at home and have just used the keyboard only to do all your movement by, when playing online, against real people you have to learn to use the mouse along side the keyboard. It may sound odd if your totally new to gaming, and it takes a while to get the hang of it, but believe me once you have mastered this combination you’ll wonder how you could have ever managed without it .
Why use this combination?
Put it this way. If you only use the keyboard you will need all these keys to be able to move about the game: Move forward, Move back, Move/strafe left, Move/strafe right, Move up, Move down, Look up, Look down, centre view. = 9 keys!
With the mouse you can use it to look around your surroundings, which leaves you with only “Move forward, Move back, Move/strafe left, Move/strafe right” to worry about. That means 4 keys, instead of 9, which is easy to manage.
Also every gamer out there is using the mouse and keyboard combo, and the reason is it’s the best tried and tested setup for online gaming.
The first step
Ok you have a mouse, the keyboard and a FPS (First-person shoot them-up) game like Quake3, Unreal Tournament or one of the other thousand FPS games out there to buy. For the sake of it I will assume you have installed the game and looked around the options.
The jobs of the mouse and keyboard
Mouse: Always used to ‘look’ around the game world. The mouse will not be used to make you ‘move’ around the game world. Only to ‘look’. Think of the mouse as your head. On screen now (as you read this) you should see the arrow/cursor. Place this in the middle of your screen. Now move your mouse slowly forwards across the mouse matt. The arrow/cursor also moves up. Now this simulates in real life the movement of your head upwards to look up. Generally the way you move your mouse is the direction you would look at in the game.
The mouse buttons will be used to fire weapons, and do other functions like reload, or change to next weapon. This will depend on the game and what you want on your mouse since some mice have more than 3 buttons. Every button on a mouse can be assigned to a game function.
Keyboard: Now the keyboard will be used to actually make you move in the games world. There are 4 keys you’ll use in every game. KEYS: Move forward, Move back, Strafe Left, Strafe Right.
Moving back and forwards is easy to understand, but strafing maybe new to you. If you press your strafe left key say in a game then you would sidestep to the left. This is a lot better than in the middle of a firefight moving your mouse to face left then walk forwards .
The keyboard will also hold all the functions available to you in the game your playing, like selecting weapons.
Getting used to using the mouse and keyboard together
The only way to get used to it is by practice. To start with it will feel very odd, and some people will even feel a bit sick. This is due to motion sickness. The problems is some people cannot equate hand movement with world (in the game) movement, and you may feel the same. If you do, stop playing and look around the room or even take a break. The motion sickness will pass and after a few days or practicing you won’t even notice it because your body will be used to your hand movement controlling the ‘world movement’ in the game. By that time you won’t really think about how to get to a point. You’ll move the mouse via instinct and it will feel natural. (also by this time you should be doing well on the game servers )
If your mouse movement makes you look around the screen to fast/slow check in the games options for mouse ‘sensitivity’ and lower/raise it until you feel more happy with the speed of the motion you get in the game world, from moving the mouse on the mouse matt.
Now how to practice…
1) The Pillar – Load up a map from the game you have. Then find a pillar or an object in the game which you can walk right around.
Quake3: Map dm0 = enter the outside area and with the machine gun circle around one of the pillars.
Once you’ve found a pillar or object to run around, selected a weapon and fire at it. Now circle around it, and keep firing at the target. This will seem hard if your new to using the mouse BUT stick with it. After a few attempts you’ll be running around the pillar/object and firing dead on target as you circle right around (The object of this practice is to train your mind to get used to using the mouse + keyboard and to stop motion sickness some players may feel when playing FPS games).
2) Target Practice – Load a map and find a spot on it like a light or mark on a wall high up. Now run around below it, in a circle, or around something, jump about, just keep moving, and keep swinging back every so often to fire one shot at your target spot. Keep trying and soon you’ll hit it every time… This helps because when your in a full game the enemy could fire at you from anywhere. you need to be able to judge (your mind does) how far to turn/move on the spot to bring your gun to bare.
Try all the above for a few days, and don’t be afraid to try to play online, but make sure you are at leased used to use using the mouse first .