Talk:Arrow keys

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About this article[edit]

Merged talk pages[edit]

Article mergeds: See old talk-pages for WASD keys, IJKL keys, and HJKL keys. —Preceding unsigned comment added by MuZemike 2008-08-12 01:28 (UTC)


Why is this page a seperate page from Computer Keyboard? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Reub2000 2005-04-04 20:37 (UTC)

Same reason that the other computer keys are sepearted. Each of the articles describes individual keys in detail, while computer keyboard is an overview article. N-Mantalk 21:37, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Misleading intro?[edit]

Hmmm, the intro is a bit misleading. As far as I know, I think the mouse existed before arrow keys were added to computer keyboards. (The "prevalant" makes it a little more correct, but you still get the wrong impression.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kim Bruning 2006-01-21 18:18 (UTC)

Apple keyboards[edit]

As far as Mac keyboard trivia is concerned, it might be worth pointing out that the Apple Keyboard II (as well as the keyboards on laptops such as the 540c and quite possibly other computers) did not have "inverted T" arrow keys but rather "left, right, down, up" arrow keys in a horizontal row, as in the first few pictures at . This saved the extra width that would otherwise be occupied by a separate arrow key cluster, as with the "Apple Extended" keyboard or most conventional keyboards. Today, inverted-T arrow keys are sometimes fit in the same space as the Apple Keyboard II's arrows by using "half height" arrow keys; this can be seen on current Apple laptops as well as the USB keyboard that accompanied the original generation of iMacs. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 2006-02-24 02:23 (UTC)

Cursor keys[edit]

Surely the correct name (or at least one of the correct names, and the traditional name) for these keys is "cursor keys" - though Wikipedia bizarrely redirects "cursor keys" to "mouse keys"! - 11:12, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Made some fixes and merges, that's all the time I will allocate to this for now. dr.ef.tymac (talk) 14:07, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

Please fix! WASD is not right, WSAD sounds right. Forward-backward-left-right, the way actions are bound to buttons in the games.


The 5678 system in Sinclair ZX80, ZX81 and ZX Spectrum was like HJKL moved to those keys, but in Jupiter ACE 6 and 7 switched roles. I think that the system in Jupiter Ace is easier to remember when using emulators because then a lower number moves the cursor to a lower address in video memory. The system in the ZX-computers might have been inspired by vi in Unix, because vi existed at the time. The company that developed Jupiter Ace had some important people from Sinclair, and it is therefore a bit strange that they changed the keyboard layout for the cursor keys. ZX81 was my only home computer from late 1981 to early 1988, when I bought an Amstrad PC1512. In 1990 I started to use vi on HP-UX and since my ZX81 experience I had no problems remembering how HJKL moved the cursor.

The article says "Due to the unusual programming technique adapted by Sinclair, these keys were accessed either by using the shift key in conjunction with a numeric key or by the numeric key alone depending on program in use." I don't think this has anything to do with the unusual programming technique but the OS in ROM (Sinclair BASIC) used shift because otherwise you couldn't type numbers. In programs that didn't require typing numbers one used them without shift since that is easier and the arrows are printed on the keys. The same applies to Jupiter Ace. Games for ZX computers often also uses the other cursor key schemes in this article. Mikael4u (talk) 07:07, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

WASDQE movement system[edit]

I've been using the WoW default keyboard system (Q+E strafe left/right, A+D turn left/right, W+S forward/back) for FPSes, and I find it really great for maneuvering while I shoot up.. well.. whatever's in my path.

Just thought I'd put that out there, maybe some of you should try it out! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Blasterman 95 (talkcontribs) 02:41, 5 September 2008 (UTC)


This section contains an apparent contradiction. How can a person be the first to use the WASD key configuration in 1996, when a game was released in 1992 with this configuration as default? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:37, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

[edit: Yep, I think that's all wrong! I've played the original Ultima Underworld games (I and II) and they had (awkward) mouse control movement schemes and no WASD key block at all.] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:01, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

IIRC it was Dennis "Thresh" Fong who popularized WASD in Quakeworld. The closest thing I can find to a source of this is here: where he introduces it as novel. There were many interviews in which he cited his use of WASD as an advantage in competition, but most of the gaming sites from the time have disappeared or reformatted, and I haven't been able to find any. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:38, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

WASD was originally popularized in Doom multiplayer. My friends and I were using WASD before Quake was even on the rader. Although some people back then used ESDF. The main rationale for WASD, which seems to have been forgotten, was easy access to the number keys. In those days you didn't have a wheel, and you needed quick access to the number keys, especially in Doom which auto-switched to new weapons. (talk) 22:11, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Romero Key Controls?[edit]

A quick google search of this term returned only pages that inluded this article, clearly the term is not widespread —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:55, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

Num keys arent for only left handed peeps[edit]

i am right handed and since Descent/DukeNukem3D i ve been using the NK4,NK5,NK6,NK2 for every game, not only FPS's. NK7 Open/Use, NK8 change fire mode/aim down the sight, NK1&NK3 prev/next weapon(in WoW and MMORPG's for next friendly/next hostile target), NK0 alt fire, NKDel Crouch(Jump in WoW), NKEnter prone, Right Mouse is for Jump. with this layout i can make use of my lil finger and Ins,Del,Home,End,PgUp,PgDown(Reload) and arrow keys. In wow i use all of them for different spells, in FPS's for statements/requests/voice messages. Yes, u need a wide table for this, and the keyboard lays a bit rotated clockwise(9:30 or 10o'clock instead of 9)

moreover i am using inverted Y axis. otherway i get dizzy after a few seconds. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:51, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

I believe what has been written about ergonomics and access to the numerical row. But perhaps because I have not played multiplayer, I still think that the arrow keys have an advantage over WASD. The easy to locate key cluster is surrounded by several grouped function keys that differ in size. The corners of the Insert-Page Down block, as well as those of the numpad are easy to locate. Right Control and Shift remain accessible for crouching and sprinting, in addition to Return and Backspace to activate inventory and either reload the gun or look behind. There are several logically paired keys nearby (square brackets, Page Up, Down, for things like scrolling through a list or zooming in and out with a scope).

My first games were Duke Nukem 3D and Quake, both I played with a mouse, and have used the arrow keys since. I also use the Right-mouse-button for jumping, because early shooters until Unreal didn't have essential secondary fire for most guns. Now that they do, I map the secondary fire to the clickable mouse wheel. I use Mouse2 for Jump, and Space for the Use key "instinctively".

It is difficult to locate the WASD keys by touch in darkness, even considering the bump on the "F" next to that group. The same can be said about the numerical row. If my intention is to activate weapon 5, I have a high chance of hitting 6 or maybe both 4 and 5, after I strike in the general direction of 5. The six keys above the arrows as well as "Num 0" and "Num ." are much more useful keys for quick weapons. Rarelly used guns could be bound to "Num /" and "Num *". This is what I use in the Half-Life family of games (/ - crossbow, * - .357, notice the symbols), where the numerical keys activate weapon groups.

The left-hand side of the keyboard contains keys that could be used to shift gears or adjust some other equipment while in a car when mouselook is unavailable or not crucial. Old games like Grand Prix Circuit had gear shifting under "A,Z".

I also use reversed vertical axis for shooting. This only ever becomes a problem if the game requires me to draw some kind of curved shape with the reticle, instead of purely following targets horizontally and looking straight up and down. I feel that using the arrows within the numpad (numlock off) presents the same problem as WASD, because the numpad has a uniform structure (all keys same size). The only game I know of, where the numpad had to be used, was Wild Metal Country. That game mapped acceleration and steering to the separate speeds of both tracks of the player's tank, and logically required four keys arranged in a square.

My arm usually rests on the table in front of the keyboard while I use the arrows with the left hand. J7n (talk) 05:33, 6 August 2015 (UTC)

WASD problems[edit]

i can somtimes press and hold wasd for a few seconds then it returns to the last page that i was at what do you think is causing the problem (talk) 17:43, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

Apple picture[edit]

Early Apples didn't have arrow keys--who cares? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:39, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

too many alternatives[edit]

The list of alternative key combinations is way longer than the main article! I can play minecraft with the keys QPM\ if I wanted to, or Y^+S, the combinations are endless! the list should be deleted, or at least moved to another page ("alternatives to arrow keys").21:13, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

actually, there's too less AKC in the articles(just like AERG, aka RAGE combinations) anyway, i agree to make other sub-article if thats become too long.--Hong620 (talk) 01:21, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

more is clearly better, according to the guards of this article.