Last updated: August 2016
Original Article Date: Late 2014
Everyone who's played a game on their computer knows what "WSAD" is; it's the control scheme that practically everybody uses...but not me! Not since recently, no.
"How come," you may ask. The reason why, is because I use the far-lesser-known "ESDF" control scheme instead, which has several superiority points over the more-common WSAD.
First and foremost, ESDF offers more accessible keys than WSAD does. Because of this, you can have more useful commands nearby your directional keys. One example is that your pinky finger will rest on "A" instead of "Caps Lock", so you can have that finger ready to hit something more intelligent than the certain key notorious for being in good use by people on the Internet shouting across forum topics.
I, personally, use the A key for sprinting, if sprinting is an action in the game. Otherwise, it's probably mapped to nothing. Z is my crouch key, which would be very uncomfortable on WSAD. Additionally, I have the Q key available. All three of these keys I have mentioned so far, are accessible with my pinky finger, while the WSAD people will be annoying themselves with disabling Sticky Keys' shortcut, and stretching for Control.
Things also improve on the right side; compared to WSAD, G is super easy to hit, and H also becomes easier.
Second, ESDF is more comfortable. I already mentioned this in the first reason, but let's cover it a little more, shall we?
The F key has a bump on it, which is satisfying, and helps with positioning, especially in the dark. Like me, you can use A to sprint and Z to crouch, instead of the more awkward Shift and Control. Thus, your pinkie finger becomes more useful and less stressed as a result.
However, there are some unfortunate drawbacks, but these only exist because of its unpopularity. If ESDF was more popular, then these problems would vanish.
The first problem, is that you must remap the keys in order to use ESDF. Now, if you're like me, and you always generally delve through your game settings on your first run, then this doesn't really matter as much, but, regardless, you will have to take the time and effort to reassign the keys. The more complicated the control scheme, the worse it gets, requiring careful thinking of good bindings to take advantage of ESDF.
Additionally, you will have to get used to it but it may seem more daunting than it truly is. It's not like trying to get used to a new keyboard layout like Dvorak; my 5+ years of WSAD experienced vanished within only a few weeks of me using ESDF in May of 2014.
On top of that, your keyboard may pose as a problem. If you truly have a good keyboard, then this won't affect you, but lots of keyboards exhibit a problem known as key blocking. Depending on the severity of it, which is judged specifically by the design of the keyboard's matrix, it could cause certain keys not to register while others are being pressed. Sometimes, keyboards are specifically designed so that WSAD does not have this problem, but ESDF could wind up with it.
The funny thing is, my Microsoft Natural Multimedia keyboard v1.0 seems to be ESDF-optimized; holding all four of those keys down works perfectly, but not so with WSAD.
Join the minority by giving ESDF a chance today. You can surprise your friends with it!