Configure Controls

Basic Controls

Controls in Outwars are unlike nearly any other game, aside from perhaps MechWarrior in complexity and configuration.  And just like in MechWarrior, despite there being so many things you don't really use many.

Movement and Aiming

Outwars is by no means a modern shooter but it certainly is, and was 20 years ago, best controlled with the typical 'twin stick' setup:

WASD - Strafe Left/Rright, Run Forward/Back

Mouse - Aim Up/Down, Turn Left/right

Firing Weapons

Firing weapons is where things go off the deep end.  Most games you fire one weapon at a time.  Perhaps one weapon and one grenade.  In Outwars you can carry up to six weapons and you can fire each individually, provided you set a fire key for each weapon.  This leads to a pretty busy bunch of key whacking when you're in the thick of it.  It also leads to some of the unique multiplayer combat mechanics you find in this game that you will never see anywhere else. 

The Rollover Problem

If you push a bunch of keys at the same time on most keyboards you will not actually register all those key presses.  For typing up a document that's fine, but for gaming in general and Outwars in particular this isn't going to work. Test your keyboard here:

Solution: N-key rollover

If you buy a fancy enough keyboard, typically most medium and high end gaming keyboards certainly Razer ones, this does not affect you because your keyboard is capable of n-key rollover.  That is a fancy term that says your keyboard can register as many keys at the same time as you can find ways to push. 

Non n-key rollover workaround #1: Arrow keys

Most keyboards can do like three, so, if you were to put all six Fire Weapon commands on buttons surrounding WASD guess what? You will either not be firing weapons when pushing them, or not moving. 

So, instead, back in the day I would use the Arrow keys with rCtrl rShift Enter + Num0 Num1 Num 3 to fire my six weapons.  This works great because none of those keys roll over each other and you can mash them all at once just fine.  With this knowledge, you can choose to put your Fire Weapon keys where you like knowing the limitation you face.  Or, do as I suggested and just move the damn keyboard to the left so your left hand can be on the arrow keys.

On my fancy weirdo custom gaming keyboard i just use WASD because it does 6-key rollover.  But I can't type sentences properly on it sooo there's that. Whatever.

Non n-key rollover workaround #2: PS/2 Keyboard

The old fashioned PS/2 keyboard interface allows for N-key rollover.  Not every PS/2 keyboard has n-key! But, odds are you can come across one for cheap or free. You need a PS/2 port on the back of your computer, connecting a PS/2 keyboard through an adapter to USB just imposes the standard USB limit of 6-key rollover.

The Mouse Problem

Oh you're just going to map some weapons to middle click or the fourth or fifth buttons on your mouse, are ya? WRONG.  Outwars only deals with mouse 1 and 2.

Mouse Workaround:

If you have a gaming mouse that comes with remapping software (e.g. Razer Synapse), you can just bind keyboard keys to your >2 mouse buttons then configure those in Outwars.  Alternately, you could seek out third part software that accomplishes the same thing.


Green: ground movement

Blue: glider wing

Dark green: aiming (I only find this useful while flying in the glider wing, and only on occasion).

Purple: camera selection, Dark purple: drop camera controls

Gray: seldom used

Gray with yellow text: things you cannot reconfigure

Pink: chat

Magenta: score

Yellow, Orange, Red: individual weapon fire keys

Outwars WASD

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Outwars Arrow keys

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Outwars Controls and the Windows Registry

Outwars stores your Controls and all other settings in the registry, here is the registry path:


Backup Controls

There is something unknown that happens causing all controls to be rebound to defaults. So, it is recommended to backup your controls after you have spent the time getting them right, here is a powershell tool to do this: outwars-registry-backup-maker.ps1 This script will export the above registry key to a file on your desktop called outwars-registry-backup.reg

Unbind all controls

Changing Outwars controls takes a while.  To speed this up, I have made a registry file that unbinds all keyboard, mouse, and joystick controls so you can start with a blank slate: outwars-unbind-all-keys.reg


An examination of all the keybinding possibilities

The above section focused really on what you need to be effective in multiplayer matches.  This section will look at all the random shit you can actually do in the game controls wise, it is novel and interesting!