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First post, by DamienC

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I have copies of both Descent 1 and 2 and I want to get into them. What's a good control scheme to use for this game?

I've tried just KB+M with WASD for vertical and horizontal movement. It's somewhat usable but the mouse isn't sensitive enough for my liking even with the sensitivity cranked. I've heard people say that using KB + a joystick is a great way to play.

Do any of you have a recommendation for a good control setup? I'm playing on real hardware, not DOSBox if that matters. I have a couple joysticks and a Gravis Gamepad.

Reply 2 of 13, by AirIntake

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I use a "KB+J" control scheme for Descent where I used WASD like in a normal FPS for forward/backward/slideleft/slideright but instead of the mouse I use a SideWinder 3D Pro joystick to control "look" of yaw, pitch, and roll. I use inverted Y axis so it's normal aircraft controls and the hatswitch controls up/down/left/right sliding (though left/right is redundant because that's what A/D also do).

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Reply 3 of 13, by Pierre32

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AirIntake wrote on 2022-02-06, 20:35:

I use a "KB+J" control scheme for Descent where I used WASD like in a normal FPS for forward/backward/slideleft/slideright but instead of the mouse I use a SideWinder 3D Pro joystick to control "look" of yaw, pitch, and roll. I use inverted Y axis so it's normal aircraft controls and the hatswitch controls up/down/left/right sliding (though left/right is redundant because that's what A/D also do).

This is my optimal setup too. Basically standard KB+M FPS scheme with the joystick replacing the mouse. Q+E for roll. Bonus if the Joystick has a couple of extra buttons for slide up/down, but otherwise I have those mapped to left shift & ctrl.

I also have my arrow keys mapped to pitch & yaw as a stand-in for the joystick if it's not connected. I actually play this way a lot.

Reply 4 of 13, by AirIntake

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Pierre32 wrote on 2022-02-06, 20:55:

I also have my arrow keys mapped to pitch & yaw as a stand-in for the joystick if it's not connected. I actually play this way a lot.

Ha ha yeah I do this as well. Mostly for testing but it does feel good enough for extended play.

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Reply 5 of 13, by dr_st

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38Marvin38 is a keyboard-only player that can beat the game on Insane difficulty. He posted his control setup here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tk_EKluatPM&l … NWps7-Jjweg4x9Q

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Reply 6 of 13, by Pierre32

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dr_st wrote on 2022-02-06, 21:46:

38Marvin38 is a keyboard-only player that can beat the game on Insane difficulty. He posted his control setup here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tk_EKluatPM&l … NWps7-Jjweg4x9Q

A few interesting differences to my mapping. I might give that a go.

slide up: num1 slide down: num0 drop bomb: right control fire primary: left shift fire secondary: space flare: x automap: tab re […]
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slide up: num1
slide down: num0
drop bomb: right control
fire primary: left shift
fire secondary: space
flare: x
automap: tab
rear view: r

Reply 7 of 13, by The Serpent Rider

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Never understood flight-sim joysticks in Descent-like games. They are poorly optimized for those, due to lack of constant velocity and twitch-shooter nature of gameplay.

It's somewhat usable but the mouse isn't sensitive enough for my liking even with the sensitivity cranked

That's because it was intended design, similar to how Dead Space 1 controls were "floaty". Joystick won't help it in any way and may do more harm to controls, due to added physical limitations of such device. I think some source port probably "fixed" that already, by adding instant FPS-like input.

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Reply 8 of 13, by Pierre32

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The problem I have with a mouse in this game is the lack of absolute positioning. If you want to turn 180 degrees it's a few drags of the mouse, vs just holding the stick in one position - like you would do with a flying craft.

But I'll concede that a big stick can be pretty unweildy for Descent. For that reason I've always wanted a compact one, maybe even something you could cup your hand over like a big trackball (but it tilts on axes, doesn't spin). I've never come across anything like that. [edit] Well, there's the Spaceball if you can find the right model and get it working.

Reply 9 of 13, by The Serpent Rider

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For that reason I've always wanted a compact one, maybe even something you could cup your hand over like a big trackball (but it tilts on axes, doesn't spin). I've never come across anything like that.

Modern Xbox/PS gamepad works quite well with Descent.

Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me

Reply 11 of 13, by maxtherabbit

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The Serpent Rider wrote on 2022-02-07, 04:23:

For that reason I've always wanted a compact one, maybe even something you could cup your hand over like a big trackball (but it tilts on axes, doesn't spin). I've never come across anything like that.

Modern Xbox/PS gamepad works quite well with Descent.

this, after playing the original xbox source port nothing else compares

Reply 13 of 13, by Ringding

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I used the 6-key block on a PC keyboard with the left hand as the cursor cross + 2 keys for up/down. For looking, I used an analog joystick. And for rolling, I extended the left hand’s thumb and used the 0 key on the numeric block for rolling right and the right cursor key for rolling left.