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Kris's GW2 ergonomic control / keyboard and mouse mapping


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Friends have complained about the standard GW2 Keyboard layout and asked me to describe the layout that i am using. So, here it is.

GW2 provides a rich spectrum of diverse options allowing you a precise control of your character. There is a standard GW2 Keyboard layout available - https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Controls. However, the standard layout provides access only to a limited subset of functions that is neither sufficient nor ergonomic for your fingers. Here is my attempt to optimize it that is used by me and my friends for around five years. Originally developed for PvP this layout was found useful in all other GW2 Environments as well. This layout may be not the best optimal for a particular profession, but a kind of a playable compromise suitable for all professions.

The control split between the keyboard and the mouse. The mouse takes the most control on the movement and camera where the keyboard is responsible for skills and for some advanced movements.

Mouse (movement and camera):

Assume to have a standard gaming mouse that has three keys on the top (left button, a wheel, right button) and two additional keys on the side. The right (left) hand is positioned on the mouse so that the thumb finger can press buttons on the side, the first and the second fingers are placed on the top left and right mouse buttons. Your char has the fastest movement speed only if it is moving forwards. Thus, normally you should want to move it only forwards. "Mouse 3" is mapped to "Move Forward", the movement will be achieved by keeping pressed the both top mouse buttons (left and right). You can change the direction turning left or right with a light movement of the mouse in the respective direction. The arrows on the keyboard are following the default standard mapping. Thus, in a special case if you really need to move backwards, just move your right hand to arrows and use the key “Arrow Down”.

Additionally, the "Autorun" function is assigned to a front side button "Mouse 5". This allows to lock the movement so that you do not need to keep the both top mouse buttons pressed for along ride. Locking the movement gives you also two additional options: to control the direction of the movement with a pressed right top mouse button or to control the camera with a pressed left top mouse button. It is very important feature, becaue you are able to run forwards and in the same time look around or behind of you. Sometimes it is essential very quickly to change the direction to an opposite, e.g. in PvP if you are running away. Therefore, the back side button "Mouse 4" is assigned to "About Face".

Keyboard (skills and advanced movement):

Assume to have a standard 105 keys PC keyboard like this one - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keyboard_layout#/media/File:Qwerty.svg

This keyboard layout was made for right-handled people, but can be adopted easily also for left handled people. The layout has a central location on the keyboard and can be mirrored using a general symmetric design of the keyboard. The left (right) hand will be placed in the middle of the keyboard slightly rotated to the right side (left side) so that the first finger is placed on a key "J", the second on "H", the third on "G", the forth on "F" and the thumb is positioned in the middle between of the space and "Alt" keys. Keys "F" and "J" on normal keyboards have small pins on the top that you can feel with your fingers. This helps you to keep the position of your fingers blindly without looking on the keyboard.

Keys in the "default" position are mapped to the most often used functions:

"F" - "Interact", fourth finger"G" - Strafe left, third finger"H" - Strafe right, second finger"J" - Weapon Skill, first finger"Space" - Jump, thumb finger"Alt" - Dodge, thumb finger

The other often used functions are mapped to keys around of the "default" position so that you can keep your hand in this position for the most of time. Keys on the left of "F" can be pressed with the forth finger, on the top and bottom from "G" and "H" with the third and second fingers and on the right side with the first finger, respectively. Let’s go through them individually.

First finger takes keys on the right side mapped mainly to profession and weapon skills:

"U", "I", "8", "9", "O" - Profession Skills 1-5, respectively"0" - Special Action"J", "K", "L", "N", "M" - Weapon skills 1-5, respectively"N" - Mount Ability 1"M" - Mount Ability 2"," - Swap Weapons"." - Mount / Dismount"/" - Stow / Draw Weapons 

Second and third fingers are taking the targeting keys on top and bottom:

"5" - Alert Target "6" - Call Target"7" - Take Target"T" - Next Enemy"Y" - Nearest Enemy"B" - Swin Down / About Face 

Forth finger is taking keys on the left side with mounts and utility skills:

"1", "2", "3", "4" - Mounts : Raptor, Springer, Skimmer Jackal"W", "E" - Mounts : Warclar, Beetle"A", "S" - Mounts : Griffon, Skyscale"R" - Elite Skill"D" - Healing Skill"X", "C", "V" - Utility Skills 1-3, respectively"Z" - Pet dialog"P" - Ranger Pet Combat Toggle (toggles from Avoid Combat to Guard)

Communication functions are positioned around of "Enter":

"Backspace" - Chat Reply"Enter" - Chat Message""\" - Squad Broadcast Message"'" - Chat Command

Diverse dialogs are mapped to function keys:

"F1" - Trade Post"F2" - Guild Dialog"F3" - Contacts Dialog"F4" - Map Open / Close"F5" - Inventory Dialog"F6" - Hero Dialog"F7" - Equip / Unequip Novelty"F8" - Activate Chair"F9" - Log Out"F10" - Options Dialog"F11" - Information Dialog"F12" - ScoreboardPrint Screen - Screenshot, Normal

Native keyboards may deviate from the standard US layout. Thus, some adjustments of the mapping to a concrete layout are required. Here is an example of such modification required for German "QUERTZ" Keyboard - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QWERTZ#/media/File:German-Keyboard-Layout-T2-Version1-large.png.

"-" - Stow / Draw Weapons "Z" - Nearest Enemy"Y" - Pet dialog"+" - Squad Broadcast Message   "#" - Chat Command

A tip for all GW2 fans with some native keyboards that are playing GW2 using a better operating system, e.g. Linux Manjaro with WINE staging. There the game is fully playable and has almost the same performance as on Windows. Internally the game cannot change the layout and always expects to see an original US layout. In Windows this layout will be brutally activated by the game independent on your system settings. Therefore, on Linux for a proper mapping of keys between the game, WINE and the OS you need to do the same manually and switch your keyboard layout from a native, e.g. DE to US before starting the game. It is important especially for a proper mapping of the right "Alt" key.

How to make a printable image for these layouts:

  1. Open web site "http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/#/".
  2. Click there on tab "Raw data" and replace the text there with the text of a required layout that is given below.
  3. Press "Download" button and get an image in the required format.Here are the layouts mentioned in the post.

For US keyboard:

["Esc",{x:1},"F1\nTrade","F2\nGuild","F3\nContact","F4\nMap",{x:0.5},"F5\nInv","F6\nHero","F7\nNovelty","F8\nChair ",{x:0.5},"F9\nLog out","F10\nOptions","F11\nInfo","F12\nScore",{x:0.25},"PrtSc\nScreen-shot","Scroll Lock","Pause\nBreak"],[{y:0.5},"\n","1\nRaptor","2\nSpringer","3\nSkimmer","4\nJackal","5\nAlert Target","6\nCall Target","7\nTake Target","8\nProf 3","9\nProf 4","0\nSpec action","\n","",{w:2},"Backspace\nChat Reply",{x:0.25},"Insert","Home","PgUp",{x:0.25},"Num Lock","/","*","-"],[{w:1.5},"Tab\n","Q\n","W\nWar-claw","E\nBeetle","R\nU4 Elite","T\nTarget next","Y\nTarget near","U\nProf 1","I\nProf 2","O\nProf 5","P\nPet Combat Toggle","[\n","]\n",{w:1.5},"\\\nSquad Message",{x:0.25},"Delete","End","PgDn",{x:0.25},"7\nHome","8\n","9\nPgUp",{h:2},"+"],[{w:1.75},"Caps Lock","A\nGriffon","S\nSky-scale","D\nS6 Heal","F\nInteract","G\nStrafe left ","H\nStrafe right","J\nS1","K\nS2","L\nS3",";\n","'\nChat Com",{w:2.25},"Enter\nChat Message",{x:3.5},"4\n","5","6\n?"],[{w:2.25},"Shift","Z\nPet Dialog","X\nU1","C\nU2","V\nU3","B\nBack Down","N\nS4 MoA1","M\nS5 MoA2",",\nWeapon Swap",".\nMount Swap","/\nWeapon Stow",{w:2.75},"Shift",{x:1.25},"Move Forward",{x:1.25},"1\nEnd","2\n","3\nPgDn",{h:2},"Enter"],[{w:1.25},"Ctrl",{w:1.25},"Win",{w:1.25},"Alt",{w:6.25},"\nJump, Swim Up",{w:1.25},"AltGr\nDodge",{w:1.25},"Win",{w:1.25},"Menu",{w:1.25},"Ctrl",{x:0.25},"Turn Left","Move Backward","Turn Right",{x:0.25,w:2},"0\nIns",".\nDel"]

For DE keyboard:

["Esc",{x:1},"F1\nTrade","F2\nGuild","F3\nContact","F4\nMap",{x:0.5},"F5\nInv","F6\nHero","F7\nNovelty","F8\nChair ",{x:0.5},"F9\nLog out","F10\nOptions","F11\nInfo","F12\nScore",{x:0.25},"PrtSc\nScreen-shot","Scroll Lock","Pause\nBreak"],[{y:0.5},"^\n","1\nRaptor","2\nSpringer","3\nSkimmer","4\nJackal","5\nAlert Target","6\nCall Target","7\nTake Target","8\nProf 3","9\nProf 4","0\nSpec action","ß\n","´",{w:2},"Backspace\nChat Reply",{x:0.25},"Insert","Home","PgUp",{x:0.25},"Num Lock","/","*","-"],[{w:1.5},"Tab\n","Q\n","W\nWar-claw","E\nBeetle","R\nU4 Elite","T\nTarget next","Z\nTarget near","U\nProf 1","I\nProf 2","O\nProf 5","P\nPet Combat Toggle","Ü\n","+\nSquad Mes",{x:0.25,w:1.25,h:2,w2:1.5,h2:1,x2:-0.25},"Enter\nChat Mes",{x:0.25},"Delete","End","PgDn",{x:0.25},"7\nHome","8\n","9\nPgUp",{h:2},"+"],[{w:1.75},"Caps Lock","A\nGriffon","S\nSky-scale","D\nS6 Heal","F\nInteract","G\nStrafe left ","H\nStrafe right","J\nS1","K\nS2","L\nS3","Ö\n","Ä\n","#\nChat Com",{x:4.75},"4\n","5","6\n?"],[{w:1.25},"Shift","<\n","Y\nPet Dialog","X\nU1","C\nU2","V\nU3","B\nBack Down","N\nS4 MoA1","M\nS5 MoA2",",\nWeapon Swap",".\nMount Swap","-\nWeapon Stow",{w:2.75},"Shift",{x:1.25},"Move Forward",{x:1.25},"1\nEnd","2\n","3\nPgDn",{h:2},"Enter"],[{w:1.25},"Ctrl",{w:1.25},"Win",{w:1.25},"Alt",{w:6.25},"\nJump, Swim Up",{w:1.25},"AltGr\nDodge",{w:1.25},"Win",{w:1.25},"Menu",{w:1.25},"Ctrl",{x:0.25},"Turn Left","Move Backward","Turn Right",{x:0.25,w:2},"0\nIns",".\nDel"]
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