One of the most challenging aspects of video-games culture for a newcomer, especially for a busy parent, is trying to learn and understand the many, many acronyms and specialised terms. GameHub HQ entries are jargon-free, so you can get the information you need as easily and painlessly as possible, but there are still some words worth knowing. Every Monday, we break down one Word Worth Knowing from the world of gaming.

What the hell is a WASD? How do you even pronounce it? What does it mean? In this week’s Words Worth Knowing, we give the answer to that eternal question – what’s a wasd?

What It Is: WASD – Keyboard Buttons W, A, S, D {pron: “Wasda/Wosda/Wasdar”}

What It Means: WASD is a control scheme for games, indicating the player is using a keyboard and mouse setup, rather than a controller or gamepad.

Why You Care: The WASD control scheme is unique to PC gaming. A seasoned PC-gamer will, when presented with a keyboard, automatically move their hands into a WASD configuration for gaming. It refers to the use of the W, A, S & D keys in the top left of the keyboard for movement. W corresponds to upward movement, A left, D right  and S downwards. With it, there come some additional assumptions: Spacebar is always jump, CTRL or C usually crouch, E or F for Use/Interact, ESC will pause the game, and the other keys within close reach of the left hand will take the remaining important controls. The right hand sits on the mouse.  The majority of games  using keyboard input (though not all) will allow the player to reassign the controls to their preference, including the mouse, but the WASD configuration is the usual default. The process of reassigning keys is called remapping. This information is particularly relevant as accessibility info for players of limited physical movement, who may wish to remap a traditional WASD control scheme to better suit their needs, though players may have any number of comfort, convenience or control-based reasons to change away from the traditional WASD set-up. WASD can be reversed for left-handed players, with the left hand on the keys and the less dexterous right hand assigned to the mouse. GameHub HQ covers control schemes on a game by game basis – pick the game you want to know more about and navigate to the Accessbility section to find out how to play.

WASD hand forms
The world revolves around WASD.

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