Ever since Quake popularized the use of WASD keys, gamers have taken it for granted as the default bindings for movement. And while WASD is way better than using the Arrow keys, I personally think it’s a subpar setup.
Check out this run-of-the-mill diagram:
Assuming you put your ring finger on A, your middle finger on S, and your index finger on D, there are only seven non-movement keys that you can use to bind other game actions (like using abilities, cancelcasting, summoning your mount, etc).
And none of those keys are pinky-friendly.
Most people reserve their pinkies for holding down Shift or Ctrl, but you aren’t using those modifiers most of the time — and it seems like an awful waste of potential to leave your pinky hanging, so to speak.
That’s why I’ve been using the ESDF setup for the past few years. It took a little while to get used to, but has proven so nice that I would never consider going back to WASD:
Notice how you get access to the same keys that you had with WASD (except shifted over one to the right), but you also get access to three more keys that you can press with your pinky. This gives a total of 10 bindable keys — and Shift and Ctrl are still within easy reach when you need them.
My personal bindings in Battlerite:
- E, S, D, F for movement.
- M1, M2, Space, W, R, T, G for abilities (M1, M2, Space, Q, E, R, F are default).
- A for cancelcast.
- C and V for quick-EXes.
- Q for mount.
Using A for cancelcast was a game-changer for me, but C and V for quick-EXes has been very nice as well. If champions ever get additional EX abilities (hinted at by the four total quick-EX hotkeys you can change with in the settings) then I can eventually bind them to Z and X.
And then you have completely unconventional setups, like the one shared by Xcite:
- Q, W, E, S for movement.
- M1, A, Space, M4, D, F, M3 for abilities (M1, M2, Space, Q, E, R, F are default).
- M2 for cancelcast.
- Alt and M5 for quick-EXes.
- Z for mount.
Is ESDF right for everyone? Not at all. If you’re happy with WASD, stick with it. But if you’ve never tried it before, I suggest giving it a go for about a week. If you still don’t like it, go ahead and change back — but I think you’ll be surprised by how well ESDF plays out. Otherwise, play with whatever setup is most comfortable for you!
What do your keybindings look like? Do you use WASD, ESDF, or something else? Does it really even matter? Let me know what you think.