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Keybinding Tips for new MMO players

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > New Player Help
Keybinding Tips for new MMO players

imanujakku's Avatar

01.08.2012 , 02:35 AM | #1
Here are some keybinding tips that have helped me. i play with a 5 button mouse Steelseries XAI laser mouse on a bootcamped macbook pro.

Quickslot Bars

Turn on all the extra quick slot bars available in the user interface options. Eventually you will have so many abilities these bars are all going to be full and in some cases you will wish you had more.


i rebind :

Move Foward: E
Strafe Left: S
Strafe Right F

by rebinding movement to E, S, F the tab and 1 key becomes slighty harder to reach but 6 is now easier to reach and Y,H and N are also in play as well. I do not rebind Turn Left or Turn Right. Instead when i wish to turn i keep the right button on my mouse down and turn the camera with the mouse.

I do not rebind move backward either. If you pay attention to your characters movement speed you backpedal slower than you strafe or move forward. If you plan on participating in Player Vs Player combat you want to cover ground as quickly as possible and this setup forces you to strafe away instead of backpedaling away. This has the benefit of moving as fast as possible out of a bad situation while being able to keep your guns/ eyes on what is going on.

So now what ?

i rebind the bottom quickslot bar to :

1. Q
2. w
3. R
4. T
5. A
6. D
7. G
8. Z
9. X
10. C
11. V
12. B

the abilities i put in this bar are almost always instant abilities that can be performed while moving. The most important abilities have are almost always bound to Q,W,R and T. if my class has a stun and an interrupt ability these are almost always one of these 4 keys. If my character can heal. his best heal is going to be one of these keys.

Since im not doing any backpedaling the D key is now open too. I prefer this bind to always be the crowd control break ability. Each class gets one and you dont want to be searchng around for this button. In star wars ive found i like moving the crowd control break down to the X button and make the D an AoE knock back.

The Main Quickslot Bar

1-6 are all still 1-6. You should find with this setup 6 is more reachable now.

7. Y
8. H
9. N
10. Mouse button 3 (clicking the scroll wheel)
11. Mouse button 4 (the first side button)
12. Mouse button 5 (the second side button)

1-6 are all my characters staple damage dealing abilities.
Y, H and N are usually medpacs and relics. still close by but no so close im likely to use any med packs or trinkets before i want to.

10, 11, 12.

10. is almost always a grenade/shock or similar ability
11. is almost always the free spammable attack
12. is almost always my characters staple damage ability (snipe, impale, clairvoyant strike)

The Right and Left Quickslot Bars

Now here is where i put all my shift click and alt click abilities.

Right Quickslot Bar

1. Shift Z
2. Shift X
3. Shift C
4. Shift Q
5. Shift D
6. Shift A
7. Alt Z
8. Alt X
9. Alt C
10. Alt Q
11. Alt A
12. Alt D

Some people are super ninja and hotkey instants to the shift and alt clicks. i have trouble doing this and still moving unless its forward so i make these all abilities that have to lower priority abilities that have cast times or are channeled.

Left Action Bar.

1. Shift 1
2. Shift 2
3. Shift 3
4. Alt 1
5. Alt 2
6. Alt 3
7.-10 out of bindings i feel comfortable reaching so i click these abilties with the mouse. Fast travel or emergency fleet pass are ok to mouse click.
11. Mouse Wheel Up
12. Mouse Wheel Down

what you bind here is up to you. If you can easily shift and alt click while in the heat of battle then by all means feel free to bind important abilities to these keys. im not that good so these are usually low priority abilities for me like changing cells on my trooper which are not a huge priority and cannot be done on the run anyways.

TAB - i change to target closest enemy. Again this is a pvp preference. Cycling through targets can cost you time you dont have so get in the habit of click targeting (i know very hard to do in lightsaber/force lightning soup) but if you get good at it will help you establish a target as fast as possible.

Space - JUMP - its tempting to rebind the space bar. Its this huge button that seems like it would be better served as your characters most important ability but for me it just feels better as jump. Amandakun reminded me you can keep space jump and bind ablities to Alt Space and Shift Space.

We are almost done..except for Mouse Scroll Up and Mouse Scroll Down in slots 11 and 12 of the left quickslot bar.

i left these for last because binding these is a matter of taste but if you have looking for a good place to bind take cover in place and take cover this works well. Since the agent or smuggler takes cover rolling forward it feels fairly natural to flick the scroll wheel up to roll into place or back to take cover in place. If my class can stealth i will often bind scroll down to be stealth. Classes without stealth or cover can use these two bind for anything they'd like like another commonly used attack...the one bind i'd avoid is force leap since an unwanted force leap can have comical or disastrous consequences depending on the situation.

You may notice i do not change the Fn keys or use Ctrl either. The Function keys default to target yourself of your party members which i am used to from other games. The control key is bound to companion actions which also works well enough so i left that alone too.

Final thoughts : Bind similar abilities near each other on the keyboard. For example and if you are healer bind 1-3 and QWA to be your heals and you be come to associate that part of the keyboard with healing. Bind Taunt to T and Guard to G if you are a tank etc. if you play alts ( a dozen characters and counting for me) keep the ability groupings consistent across all your characters. Dont put your bounty hunter heals in 1-3 but make your sages heals TG and H. Speaking from prior experience you will start to hit the wrong buttons and it will cost you.

i hope this helps people just getting started. Its by no means the only way or the best way to bind you keys its just what ive found works for me after 7 years of mmo play. The hardest thing to get use to rebinding the movement keys especially if you are used to the WASD configuration but it shouldnt take more than a couple play sessions

im hoping bioware will at some point give us the option to have universal key binds for all characters...having to rebind all these keys for each alt i make is no fun

danfritz's Avatar

01.08.2012 , 03:40 AM | #2
Don't use alt if you plan on using tab for target select.

amandakun's Avatar

01.08.2012 , 04:45 AM | #3
I think you forgot to mention you can keybind function-spacebar.

So Shift-Spacebar, Ctrl-Space bR, etc. I also went ahead, back when i actually used a keyboard, and bound Shift-W because in the end you aren't always moving forward BUT its a very easy and 'quick' keybind to access if necessary.

Personally i went ahead and got a G13 gamepad. Yes its a bit 'difficult' to adjust to at first.... but i love it especially when combined with a good 5-7 button gaming mouse.

ATM i am effectively using 1-9, shift+1-9, T, G, F, shift T, G, F, shift+spacebar and i will probably start using Shift+ WASD once i get used to using the little analogue stick for movement a bit more.

Best thing i've found about the G13 is that because you can customize which buttons mean what you can be VERY flexible on how you set it up and ergo you can effectively re0-arrange your keyboard to how YOU want it to be..... 27 hotkeys is enough for me at the moment, 31 once i get the shift-WASD involved

Oh yeah, other best thing about G13, the profiling... so i have one profile i use for 'normal' char movement, and another i use for spacebattles, where i;ve set the keys up instead to mimic a more traditional WASD set up for easier use. God dammit i love that gamepad....

A bit more on topic though, the BEST piece of advice i have for newb is actually do NOT to go nuts on the keybinds... choose some basic ones at first such as some additional keys like f, g, t... then once you get more abilities start bringing in the shift-modifiers, etc because otherwise you'll just overload your brain and forget which are where and what they do....
Red or Blue... such a hard decision to make!

imanujakku's Avatar

01.08.2012 , 05:16 AM | #4
good point on the shift space and alt space. i added that.

yeah the gamepad or naga both seem like good options if you are into competitive pvp or raiding. im a casual. any hardcore i have in me is from WoW pvp. i dont love pvp but i hate losing even more so i forced myself to break some of pvp mistakes of backpedaling, tab cycle targeting and keyboard turning.

Jonuts's Avatar

01.08.2012 , 05:27 AM | #5
I find keyboard turning occasionally useful, along with back pedal. These aren't really in combat situations though, mostly just while walking around, so I can navigate effectively while browings windows or screwing around. My basic keybinds are...

W: Forward
S: Back
A: Strafe Left
Shift-A: Turn Left
D: Strafe Right
Shift-D: Turn Right

After that, I rebind 1-6 on the Bottom Action bar 1-6
Shift-1 through Shift-6 on Top Action bar 1-6
Q: Bottom 7
E: Bottom 8
Shift-Q: Top 7
Shift-E: Bottom 9
Ctrl-Q: Top 8
Ctrl-E: Top 9

And by god, if I ever get a powerful heal button, I'm binding that sucker to H on Bottom-10.

Generally speaking, I use the Q and E's for utilities (Snare break, defensive CD's). Just remember though, using someone else's keybindings blindly won't be very good for you. You have to play with it a bit, to figure out what you're comfortable with, and what buttons you can consistently hit.

Adnams's Avatar

01.08.2012 , 05:51 AM | #6
Thanks for posting this - I have a feeling I'll be referring to it a lot over the coming weeks!

I was looking for some suggestions as I currently have got lots of keys at my disposal, but no idea exactly how to sensibly set them up - Christmas 2010 I bought a Razer Naga and this Christmas just gone I added a Razer Anansi keyboard to that - I love getting Amazon vouchers at Christmas!

BlasterCat's Avatar

01.08.2012 , 07:24 AM | #7
Good post. Timely too. I just reached level 15 and that just about filled my action buttons on screen. I wonder whats going to happen at level 17? I remember the good 'ol days when all I had to reach for was jump (spacebar), crouch (C), and secondary fire (Z).

What I was wondering, since I'm not very good at finding my hand back to home once it strays two keys away (say the H key), would I be better off not making a healing character here in SW:TOR. I fear the workload of the healing class is going to be too much for me. The result I fear is I won't be effective in PVP or even Flash Points for that matter.

I play on my ASUS Republic of Gaming laptop and that's what I'm stuck with for the year or so to come while in college. There is no room nor extra monies to even think about getting expensive mouses / keyboards.

Can anyone tell me if the Tank Class roll is less workload intensive then a Healer?
"This Star Wars game is not the one you are looking for. Move along! Move along!"

SharpieFiend's Avatar

01.08.2012 , 09:37 AM | #8
Try the Logitech G13 if you're having problems using the keyboard - it's far easier to use once you get it set up.

BossALike's Avatar

01.08.2012 , 09:57 AM | #9
Good post! Thanks.

goneawayting's Avatar

01.09.2012 , 12:27 AM | #10
Wow op and replies are very indepth and informative. This helped a lot thanks!!
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