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Flipping controls for left-handed players?

03-19-2013, 03:56 AM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 67
Flipping controls for left-handed players?

I was wondering whether it was common for D-Pad games to offer a flipped control layout for left handed players. Do they expect it? Or are they so used to having the pad on the left side and A/B buttons on the right, that they wouldn't use the option?
03-19-2013, 06:11 AM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 744
It would not really be needed. You don't really need the complex motions like writing when playing a game. A left handed person does not require a left hand drive car. All the old NES games used a fixed game pad layout. It's not really an issue. Being able to customise size and position and sensitivity of controls would be more inportant.

03-19-2013, 07:56 AM
As a southpaw I've always thought d-pad on the left was actually a benefit to me as my primary hand had the tricky control function while the right thumb just mashed at action buttons.

So even as a full leftie gaming-wise, I'd never want a dpad on the right and I'd be surprised if anyone would want that (except maybe someone right-handed ironically). As ThreeCubes points out the dpad on the left is a universal gamepad standard that seems to suit everyone.

I wonder if Shigeru Miyamoto being left-handed had anything to do with early Nintendo hardware like Game'n'Watch and the GameBoy putting the dpad on the left.. because I'm sure if a right-handed person pioneered the gaming dpad they'd have put it on the right (most other things seems to have the dpad on the right such as RC cars). Now back to my crusade to get PC FPS game devs to include a standard southpaw version of WASD controls in the default configs (ideally IJKL) to save me lengthy remapping on every game

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03-19-2013, 08:32 AM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 67
That makes sense. Thanks for the input, both of you!
03-19-2013, 09:06 AM
Joined: May 2010
Location: Lincoln, UK
Posts: 343
I agree with DemonJim. As a left-hander, I think D-pads are better for us. The left hand is doing the most complex tasks.

But for many other games I would suggest including a left-handed version of the controls if appropriate. In ShootStorm I included a left-handed option for a game with single finger control as the dial is offset to one side of the screen, so that the player does not have to reach over.
03-20-2013, 12:52 AM

A bit off topic, but if you are interested in making your games more accessible here are some good suggestions.
03-20-2013, 12:54 AM
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: London, UK
Posts: 3,740
This topic has made me want to attempt Super Mario Bros with a modified controller to see how well my right hand can handle the d-pad.

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03-20-2013, 03:09 AM
Joined: May 2012
Location: In the Chatroom
Posts: 15,520
I like having left handed controls, cause a lot of times I play with a stylus with shmups, and with relative touch games, I like to hold my stylus with my right hand and use buttons with my left hand. A so called left handed control scheme.
03-20-2013, 01:42 PM
Joined: Feb 2013
Location: UK
Posts: 180
This was also an option that crossed my mind also, but in the end, it is not something i am planning on implementing.

I guess after release, only if you receive a lot of user feedback to add this in then you could consider it in an update.