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I'm currently wondering if there's really a reasonable use that would justify making the effort of implementing secondary key bindings?

If you don't know what they are: They allow multiple controls (keys, mouse clicks, ..) to be mapped to the same action (running forward, opening a chest, ..).

enter image description here

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I think the best argument for secondary controls is probably for when you're already using all "maxing out" the input on one of your hands. For instance, in a FPS, you might want to move diagonally, while sprinting, jumping into a crouch, and then doing a quick melee attack. In this instance, it might be easier to use MOUSE3 than V. The opposite goes if you were already steadily aiming a sniper (with a button to zoom, adjust zoom level, hold breath, etc), it might be easier to use V to melee someone who suddenly comes into vision, rather than a mouse button.

Someone with a Razer Naga or similar might also appreciate having lots of additional configurations, just because they CAN. PC players are big on their customizations, which I'm sure you know.

I personally like to use the "Secondary" bindings to keep from overwriting the defaults when I can.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I think a decent game should support setting the controls (or any settings) back to default. Although if it doesn't, I understand why you don't want to overwrite the defaults. \$\endgroup\$ – Joschua Jan 23 '15 at 19:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, I definitely agree. I think I've only seen it on older games. I wanted to mention it because the screenshot you posted didn't manage to have a "reset" button. \$\endgroup\$ – lase Jan 23 '15 at 21:06
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These help in situations where a certain control scheme is easier to use than another. It's especially useful if you can map some action to a key and a mouse button at the same time. You can map movement and jumping in an FPS to the extra mouse buttons and use the other hand to eat pizza!

It's even more useful if you can map both to the keyboard/mouse AND a gamepad. See the games coming with native gamepad support on Windows. Some of them require you to explicitly enable/disable the gamepad (Fallout New Vegas), which is not very nice, especially if they default to the gamepad, while others let you switch between keyboard/mouse and the gamepad seamlessly while playing (LA Noire).

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It can be useful for driving/simulation games where walking and driving controls may be different.

I.e. Battlefield games.

When walking on foot you may use a keyboard. When flying you may use a joystick.

And like someone else has mentioned, if you have alternative input devices, you don't want to remap or reload your configuration, you want to have flexibility to use both whenever you feel like it.

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