Assuming direct control: CCP is experimenting with manual controls for EVE Online | PCGamesN

Assuming direct control: CCP is experimenting with manual controls for EVE Online

EVE Online manual controls

The very first time I played EVE Online, in 2004, I was immediately bamboozled by the controls. Not because they were obtuse - though they were - but because I expected to be able to control my ship just like I could in Freespace or countless other space and flight sims, which EVE Valkyrie now employs. 

CCP has observed that this is a common experience among new players, who are surprised to find that EVE’s control scheme is more tactical and automated. This has led to the designers donning their lab coats and starting up an experiment: keyboard flight controls. An opt-in beta version will hit the MMO in the Rhea mini expansion, next month. 

The regular control scheme is dramatically different from a traditional WSAD one, so the impact is sure to be a big one. I can certainly see how there would be some benefits for new players, though I’d hazard that in combat, pitting the control schemes against each other, automated controls might have an edge. That said, keyboard controls might be stronger when it comes to being reactive.

At the moment, this is just an experiment, with CCP wanting to see if it hurts or hinders the game. It might not be a permanent fixture. 

The new controls will be available on Singularity, the public test server, tomorrow, while a mass test is being planned for next week. 

Fancy taking them for a spin?

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QDP2 avatarAethelric avatar
QDP2 Avatar
3 Years ago

I got into a month's gameplay for free, and whilst it seemed like it could get very fun, the controls shy'd me away from the subscription, not really finding it as much fun at the time. With this it would probably end up fairly unbalanced though, having a less efficient way of targeting and managing your ship. PvP standards it will most likely be a disadvantage, at which point it would just be a gimmick, not much will change

Aethelric Avatar
3 Years ago

The issue is that you can already manually control your ship in EVE to a certain extent by double-clicking a point in space—the "art" of manual piloting is considered a pretty large advantage in, at least, frigate PvP. Talented duelists will cut orbits with sudden manual changes, which can upset your opponent's tactics and weaponry.

That said, you're right in saying that this will overall be an inefficient way to pilot compared to automated controls. I'm afraid that people who learn on the new WASD controls will face a really ugly learning curve (besides EVE's normal one..) learning to use EVE's automated controls in PvP.