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Would you like to try keybinding?

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > New Player Help
Would you like to try keybinding?

jakebflo's Avatar


jakebflo
03.18.2012 , 01:33 PM | #1
This thread is for people who are curious about trying out binding their abilities to keystrokes instead of using their mouse to click abilities on their Quickbar.


Hopefully people will not see this thread as a place to attack the way people play the game. A lot of the time the way this topic is discussed is pretty unhelpful. People can take a very strident stance that everyone who clicks their abilities with the mouse (clickers, keyboard turners, etc) are bad players. I've played with people who were high PVP rank "clickers" and also played with key binders who couldn't Heal if their life depended on it (usually it was my life first).

To everyone that does click their abilities; I'm not saying I'm better than you, my e-stuff is mightier, that I'm a better dancer, or anything else. You might be very successful at PVE or PVP if you click, but what if... Maybe, just maybe, you might perform even better by using some key binds?

MMO players can get pretty competitive and spend a lot of time doing whatever they can to give their character every advantage to win possible. Think of this thread as just a possible way to make your character better, not with loot, but with changing your playstyle.

Part 1: Start Small

I guarantee if you open up your preferences and key bind every single ability you have, when you've never played that way before, you'll feel like you've suddenly started playing the game with your feet.

Try this very easy, very minimal step to see if you might enjoy key binding. You can keep playing the way you have, we're just going to change the binding of 4 keys: Q, E, A, and D. To change key binds hit Escape > Preferences > Key Bindings. For this example you also want to enable Bottom Center Quickbar which is located by going back to Preferences > User Interface > Quickbar.

All of the keys we're changing are movement keys by default. These are under the Movement section of Key Bindings.

Q - Left Strafe
E - Right Strafe
A - Left Turn
D - Right Turn

Don't worry about losing left turn and right turn, strafing and using your right mouse button to turn is going to become second nature very fast to you. Imagine that the mouse is like your characters head, and wherever you point it is the direction they're going to go.

Here's what we're going to change our keys to:

Q - Bottom Center Quickslot 2
E - Bottom Center Quickslot 1
A - Left Strafe
D - Right Strafe

Bottom Center Quickslot 1 and 2 can be found under the Quickslot section. Choose whatever two abilities you feel you use the most or want to hit as fast as possible. Personally, I use E as my basic attack or energy builder and Q is usually a more reactive ability, or an ability that I know I want to use a lot.

Examples for each class:

Jedi Knight/Sith Warrior
Q - Riposte/Retaliation
E - Strike/Assault

Trooper/Bounty Hunter
Q - High Impact Bolt/Rail Shot
E - Hammer Shot/Rapid Shots

Jedi Consular/Sith Inquisitor
Q - Project/Shock
E - Saber Strike/Saber Strike

Smuggler/Imperial Agent
Q - Vital Shot/Corrosive Dart
E - Flurry of Bolts/Rifle Shot

Part 2: Additional Binds and Modifiers

Once you get the hang of moving with your mouse and feel more comfortable being able to fire off abilities with keystrokes you're going to want to consider adding more buttons. I would again consider just adding one or two at a time, that way you can become much more comfortable with remembering where your fingers need to be for what ability. The best keys to start this off are ones that are already set for you: 1, 2, 3, and 4. In these spots I usually make 1 an ability that has limited or no range so that I don't accidentally attack a target by right clicking.

I currently use a 5 button Logitech mouse, but back when I used a regular mouse I used the following 12 keys for key binds: 1, 2, 3, 4, Q, E, R, F, Z, X, C, and `. Notice that I don't use 5 through = and that some of these keys listed have functions by default. R is Reply, C opens Character Pane, etc. However all of them are very close to WASD, as well as the modifier keys of Shift, Ctrl, and Alt that I use. I'm fine picking other binds for these actions. Backspace for Reply, H for Character Pane, etc. One thing that you want to avoid with keybinding is hitting the wrong key, like R and opening chat so that you broadcast to the zone that the last thing your character said before dying was "qqeeeeeqeeeeeqqqeeewwwwww!"

Picking 12 keys and 3 modifiers gives me a total of 48 binds using just these buttons and modifiers. Now I can have an ability bound to 1, Shift + 1, Alt + 1, and Ctrl + 1. Modifiers also work with other keys that we're already using for other things as well like WASD. If you have a mouse with additional buttons, this opens up even more possibilities. It's took me a bit of practice, but eventually I was playing WoW and other games with my UI totally hidden (I don't suggest this on progression raiding).

Part 3: My Layout

This is probably all going to change in 1.2 Legacy when the UI customization is added. Right now though, the layout that I use in SWTOR is pretty simple and I use it the same way on every character. Even though every class has different abilities, I put like abilities in the same spot so that I don't confuse myself. My interrupts are in the same spot, my CC break, my out of combat heal, my Medpac, my Stuns, My Grenades, etc.

Since I'm showing you my layout for my bottom two bars I will be including the fourth and fifth mouse buttons which are called M4 and M5 here. If you feel like you're comfortable with key binds up to this point feel free to use Z, X, C, or ` instead of M4 and M5.

Quickbar 1:

| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | M5 | Shift + M5 | Alt + M5 | Ctrl + M5 | Shift + 1 | Shift + 2 | Shift + 3 | Shift + 4 |

Bottom Center Quickbar:

| Q | E | R | F | M4 | Shift + M4 | Alt + M4 | Ctrl + M4 | Shift + Q | Shift + E | Shift + R | Shift + F |


_________________________________

Ok, well that's all I have to add for now. Hopefully this was helpful to some people who were interested in trying out Key binding, but we'ren't sure where to start.

Raknier's Avatar


Raknier
03.18.2012 , 01:36 PM | #2
It's very nice to see someone do this just to help other players! I approve ^.^
Death comes to all.
I am the perfect assassin. I do not hesitate, I do not miss, and when I pull the trigger you will die.

jakebflo's Avatar


jakebflo
03.18.2012 , 01:41 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Raknier View Post
It's very nice to see someone do this just to help other players! I approve ^.^

Thanks! I'm kind of bummed they moved it to New Player Help so fast though, this is something intended to possibly help players from 1 - 50.

belgarth's Avatar


belgarth
03.18.2012 , 01:46 PM | #4
Great post there bro. I click for most thing but am slowly switching over to key binds.

jedimessiah's Avatar


jedimessiah
03.18.2012 , 02:24 PM | #5
Could you explain moddifiers a little more? Namely how to create them. I just started using key binds and would love to know more about it and how you use them. Also, I just bought a naga which has helped a lot.

Also one thing I did was key bind "target nearest enemy" to my W key in an attempt to only use the mouse when moving forward, which has been a little iffy. Any thoughts on that?

Thanks

jakebflo's Avatar


jakebflo
03.18.2012 , 03:24 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by jedimessiah View Post
Could you explain moddifiers a little more? Namely how to create them. I just started using key binds and would love to know more about it and how you use them. Also, I just bought a naga which has helped a lot.
Sure, no problem.

When you're reassigning keys in the key bind menu it will have the name of the action, let's use Inventory as an example, there are two slots to the left of it that say B and I. If you want to make opening your inventory Shift + B then you would click the spot where B is, hold down Shift and hit the B key on your keyboard. Now to open your bags you would hold down Shift and press B.

Quote: Originally Posted by jedimessiah View Post
Also one thing I did was key bind "target nearest enemy" to my W key in an attempt to only use the mouse when moving forward, which has been a little iffy. Any thoughts on that?
The main thing about Key binding to remember is that all of this is make things easier for yourself. If it feels like it's not working, do something else.

If you'd like a suggestion for "target nearest enemy" maybe try a key that's in the vicinity of what is "target NEXT enemy" which is Tab. Maybe try the ` key.

A lot of what's helped me be successful with remembering all of the different key binds I have for all the characters I play, in all of the games that I've played, is to group like keys with each other and to keep combinations going for each game. For example: On my Jedi Guardian I use R for Force Leap, which is the same key that I used for my Warrior's Charge in WoW.

Quote: Originally Posted by jedimessiah View Post
Thanks
You are very welcome, glad to help.

CJAShadow's Avatar


CJAShadow
03.18.2012 , 04:22 PM | #7
Nice writeup, though I have one suggestion.

If you have certain unique skills that you use rarely, put them on a "shift+letter that it begins with" keybind.

Example:

I use Shift+T as my Tranquilizer Dart that I have to use while Stealthed and not in Combat.

The skills you dont use often should be on easy to remember keys, and the shift+ whatever can give you more options.
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Lock- Master Zhar Lestin
Cyann- Harbinger

MidichIorian's Avatar


MidichIorian
03.18.2012 , 04:53 PM | #8
I'm jealous on the people who can do it because I tried and failed miserably. My main problem is that there's no telling what button I'm on, it's just one big block of buttons. I would constantly have to look to make sure I had my fingers on the right buttons.

So I switched to a 17 button mouse. It's so easy to feel what button I'm having my finger on on a mouse. Now I only have to use a few buttons on the keyboard and I chose the arrows, since they're in a stand-alone block, and 012 on the num pad, easy to reach from arrows. It works for me but if I could choose I'd go without having the entire keyboard at my disposal instead.

CJAShadow's Avatar


CJAShadow
03.18.2012 , 06:48 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by MidichIorian View Post
I'm jealous on the people who can do it because I tried and failed miserably. My main problem is that there's no telling what button I'm on, it's just one big block of buttons. I would constantly have to look to make sure I had my fingers on the right buttons.

So I switched to a 17 button mouse. It's so easy to feel what button I'm having my finger on on a mouse. Now I only have to use a few buttons on the keyboard and I chose the arrows, since they're in a stand-alone block, and 012 on the num pad, easy to reach from arrows. It works for me but if I could choose I'd go without having the entire keyboard at my disposal instead.
I know how you feel about your hand getting lost on the "big button".

What I actually did a long time ago was change my "movement keys" (normally wasd) to "esdf" because I can always feel the indented part of my "f" key and know where my fingers are. Also touching Shift with my pinky helps too.

Play however you want, I use a 2 button mouse with a scroll wheel, haha.
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Lock- Master Zhar Lestin
Cyann- Harbinger

MORTTUUM's Avatar


MORTTUUM
03.19.2012 , 12:50 AM | #10
Just did this because it's a GREAT thread, and I want to be SURE I can find it again when I get home...m
I hate violence. I'm just really, really prepared for Peace.