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I am making a game in which the player can have a primary and secondary weapon (like an ability). These are my current planned key bindings:

 Action | Effect
 Click  | Shoot primary weapon
 WASD   | Move
 Space  | Use ability (secondary weapon)
 Q      | Previous primary weapon
 E      | Next primary weapon
 ???    | Previous/Next ability (secondary weapon)

I am trying to think of a way to switch the secondary weapon. Here are some options I have thought of and why I have rejected them:

  • scroll wheel
    • some mice don't have scroll wheels
  • R / F
    • awkward, also primary weapon switch is horizontal and this is vertical
  • shift / ???
    • cannot think of another key

So, what is a good key binding for switching a secondary attack?

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Scroll wheel or (Shift|Alt|Ctrl)+Q/(Shift|Alt|Ctrl)+E or TAB (just cycle to next if you don't have too many abilities) or Forward/Back buttons on mouse (not universal) or Right click with on screen "command rose" – Byte56 May 13 '13 at 21:06
@Byte56 Scroll wheel explained in question, the modifiers might work, tab is only one key and there might be many abilities, forward/back buttons are very rare, right click not usable because then you can't shoot simultaneously. – Doorknob May 13 '13 at 21:08
@Byte56 space is also just one key. I don't want to rely on scroll wheels because laptops and stuff. – Doorknob May 13 '13 at 21:10
Space/Tab to cycle. Also, if someone is playing this on a laptop, they're likely using an external mouse. – Byte56 May 13 '13 at 21:11
@Byte56 That might work! (but probably space/shift instead because when fingers are on WASD shift is more accessible.) – Doorknob May 13 '13 at 21:12
up vote 2 down vote accepted
  • Scroll wheel
  • (Shift|Alt|Ctrl)+Q/(Shift|Alt|Ctrl)+E
  • TAB (just cycle to next if you don't have too many abilities)
  • Forward/Back buttons on mouse (not universal)
  • Right click with on screen "command rose"
  • Space/Tab to cycle
  • TAB to switch modes, Q/E switches weapons in mode 0, Q/E switches abilities in mode 1
  • Shift/Tab to cycle
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