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Damn You Muscle Memory: Videogames
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Video Game Examples:

    General 
  • If a game has two menu systems, expect to frequently press the key for one when trying to access the other. Esc for game menu and Tab for HUD menu is a common example.
  • After playing a game where a certain action (such as crouching) is toggle-based, doing the same thing in a game where it's hold-based can be problematic.
  • Sometimes a game will force you outside your usual key-mapping comfort zone in order to compensate for a more complex control scheme. This can sometimes lead to re-mapping the controls of more minimalistically-controlled games to conform to it.
  • Japanese and Western controls for "Accept" and "Cancel" are often reversed. Using the PlayStation, games in Japan generally use O for "Accept" and X for "Cancel". In Western territories, it's flipped.
    • To make things worse, some Japanese games for the PlayStation 3 understand there's some regional setup. Meaning games running on a Japanese console will use O for "Accept" and X for "Cancel", but on a US console it will be flipped. Some Japanese games don't do this. As if this wasn't jarring enough, sometimes the tutorial references the wrong button.
    • Some games for the various PlayStation consoles use a "neutral" setup. For example, in the PS and PS2 Gran Turismo games and the 2 Ridge Racer games for the PSP, both O and X are assigned to "Accept", while Square and Triangle are assigned to "cancel".
    • And Nintendo decided for their consoles to stick with the same layout as the SNES for their face buttons. But they also decided to keep B as Cancel and A as Accept. Back, Accept, makes sense except try being used to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, then go to say, the Wii U.
  • Try being used to the SNES for the face buttons (From left, clockwise it's: Y, X, A, B) and play an Xbox game (where it's X, Y, B, A), and you'll probably be repeatedly pushing the wrong button at first when the game asks you to press something.
    • And it can happen with the X button on PlayStation systems as well, which is at the bottom of the face buttons.
    • Fortunately, most games avoid this by actually taking advantage of muscle memory and assigning controls to buttons based on their location on the gamepad, rather than their label - whether the jump button in your game is A on Xbox or X on PlayStation, either way you're still pressing the lowest of the four face buttons to do it.
  • The whole issue regarding which axis is inverted for camera control. Sometimes you can configure one or both axes, other times you're stuck with what's set. There's reasonable justifications for either setting, but nothing is "best".
  • The switch from classic Nintendo DS to DSi moved the power button from the side of the console to the button area below the lower screen. Those of us who don't have a DSi and/or switch between DSI or 3DS and the classic DS for reasons like Action Replay and Game Boy Advance games keep forgetting where the power switch is on that particular version. The volume switch can be a victim of this too, it moved from the vertical edge of the front to the side of the unit on the 3ds. May be a bit less of an issue now that there is a 3ds compatible AR unit.
  • Many PC games come with a Quick Save/Quick Load feature (or Save State/Load State on emulators). This is generally mapped to two the F# keys, but there's no standard on which keys are actually used. It's not uncommon to get into a bad situation, attempt to quick-load out of it, and accidentally hit the quick-save key instead. Hope you've got a regular save to go back to...
  • During The Seventh Generation Of Console Videogames, Multi-Platform releases would have the controls mapped to suit the Xbox 360. Unfortunately, this meant that certain games (L.A. Noire and Alpha Protocol, for example) mapped L1 to aim and R2 to shoot on the PlayStation 3, making for frustrating experiences.
  • Some games have the 'new game' option selected by default instead of 'continue', which can result in you undoing your progress if you're not paying attention.

    Action 

  • Mirror's Edge on consoles tends to have this effect. 1. When you play the game after having played any platformer ever, it's hard to get used to using the left triggers for jumping and crouching. 2. When you play any platformer after Mirror's Edge, expect lots of deaths from pressing the wrong button and attempting to wall-run when you can't.
  • Devil May Cry has a radically different button arrangement between the first game and all the others. Any player who claims they didn't press Triangle in an attempt to jump at least once in the third game is lying to you.
    • For people who played the second game before the third, they probably didn't hit Triangle. DMC2 may not have been great, but at least Capcom got the jump button right that time.
    • Even worse if you did the opposite, and played three first.
    • Going from almost any game with "jump" and "attack" buttons since the SNES to the first Devil May Cry. It was and is the accepted standard to have the bottom button of the diamond be jump and the left button attack. For some unknown reason, Capcom decided to make the top button jump and the right button attack.
    • Whoever thought it was a good idea to use the Triangle button for jumping, and not give you the chance to customize controls, deserves to die a painful death.
    • Thankfully, Devil May Cry HD Collection changes the first game's control scheme to match the rest of the series.
    • The newest entry in the series, DmC: Devil May Cry, doesn't make things any better. Going from Devil May Cry 3/4 to the new will result in profound sadness as you constantly try and hold a lock-on button that simply does not exist. With the bonus of Devil Trigger now requiring you to click in both analog sticks, and the dodge buttons now dedicated to the old-school lock on and Devil Trigger buttons, and the circle button now being locked solely to the launch button, and the need to hold down L2/R2/LT/RT to switch weapon styles, and the d-pad to switch weapons (gasp for air)... My god. The list just goes on and on...
  • Rampage on the PS3 is a perfect port of the old arcade title. But the Square button is mapped to jump and the X button to punch, a total reversal of the system's conventions.
  • Ninja Gaiden Trilogy, a compilation of all three NES games in the series released for the SNES, had the attack and jump buttons assigned to B and A, just like on the 8-bit NES. However, the button layout of the SNES controller is a bit different from the NES, and since the X and Y are used as alternate buttons to perform the same functions, this results in a counter-intuitive control scheme since most SNES action games used Y for attacks and B for jumping.
  • Go from a Super Smash Bros.. game to any other fighter. Smash Attacks are a fine strategy... in Smash Bros. only. And what do you mean holding the triggers doesn't block like they do in Mortal Kombat?
    • Hell, only going between the three different Super Smash Bros. games themselves is hard! Just try to go back and play the original game after getting used to Brawl and then realize that the original has no side-B special move. Even playing as the same character in all three games, there's very noticeable differences between move sets, timing, and hit boxes between the different installments.
      • Forget side special, the original has no up/down throw, no airdodging, and no C-stick!!
  • The Legend of Zelda Oracle games do this, because their graphics are so similar to those of the earlier The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, but your sword starts out on the opposite button from that of Link's Awakening. The real problem, though, is that the button combination used to save in Link's Awakening is used to reset the game in the Oracle games. A player who started playing the Oracles immediately after just finishing a run of Link's Awakening could end up losing quite a bit of progress...
    • A+B+Start+Select was always the standard "Reset" gesture for Game Boy games (since the GB didn't have an actual reset button); Link's Awakening was the deviant here.
      • In addition, those same players will likely find themselves getting blown up by their own bombs a lot. In Awakening, pressing the bomb button immediately places the bomb in front of you; you have to press the button again to pick it up and move it around. For whatever reason, Oracle does the exact opposite, where pressing the button causes you to hold the bomb over your head, requiring a second press to set it down.
    • Link's Awakening and the Game Boy games also had a problem for some gamers: most of the console Zeldas have a dedicated button for sword attacks, while the portable Zeldas turn the sword into one of the items that can be mapped to the action buttons.
    • While the N64 games and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker had three configurable instant-use item buttons, the GCN version of Twilight Princess hardcoded the "Z" button to the Exposition Fairy, typically resulting in a trip to the item selection screen several times in the same fight to swap out one of the two item slots left.
      • Another major difference between The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and the other GC Zelda games (counting the The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time remake) is that instead of having all of the menu components simply under the Start Button, it was spilt into two: the D-Pad was used for switching equipment and the Start Button only went to a basic menu that allowed for viewing collectables/stats, saving and changing outfits/shields. In Wind Waker and Ocarina Of Time the D-Pad was used for controlling the mini-map.
    • Then there's The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, which used the R button for lift/throw, which had been A in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and wasted the L button on the game's fusion function.
      • Not if you take into account that the GBA port of A Link to the Past (which is the version GBA owners were most likely to have played) mapped it to R, as well. People who played the GBA A Ltt P after playing the original SNES version, on the other hand...
    • There is also the port of A Link To The Past to the GBA, which awkwardly had the inventory mapped to the Select button and the save dialog to the Start button — the inverse of the SNES version.
      • The inverse of most games, in fact, and definitely more than most Zelda games. It's very hard to go from playing this port and then playing the Game Boy Zelda games.
      • Ironically, this change was probably made to avoid the trope, as Four Swords, which came included in the same cartridge, uses Start to bring the menu. The developers probably thought that players would get confused if the menu was mapped to a different button in A Ltt P. Of course, it backfired badly, as most people never played FS (as it requires at least another player with a GBA, a Game Link cable and a A Ltt P/FS cartridge). People were more likely to have played other Zeldas than FS, especially the other GBA Zelda game, The Minish Cap, which more sensibly the function to the (more sensible) Start button.
      • "Save on Start, items on Select" seems to have become the standard for handheld Zelda games: Both DS games also use it, as well as A Link Between Worlds.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword the A-button is not for rolling, but instead for running. Shaking the Nunchuk while running triggers rolling. Almost the same result, but still... Good thing running is more efficient than rolling, once the player has gotten used to it.
      • People who were used to the very basic motion controls of Twilight Princess had some difficulty adjusting the the more precise controls for Skyward Sword.
      • And then difficulty adjusting back to the waggling of Twilight Princess after getting used to Skyward Sword.
    • Zelda's Lullaby in Ocarina Of Time was "left-up-right-left-up-right." Is was this on the N64, the GameCube, and the Wii. For the 3DS version, the song is "X-A-Y-X-A-Y." To put that in terms of the button's positions, the song is now "up-right-left-up-right-left." All the other songs have also changed accordingly.
    • For the 3D Zeldas, you can Z-targeting as either as a click the button to auto-lock or hold the button to lock on. Skyward Sword forces the latter, making it a little annoying for those who prefer the former.
      • Which isn't a completely huge problem, since the Z button does not require much force to press down compared to the other Nintendo controller shoulder buttons.
    • You'd better start getting used to moving with the stylus if you've never played either of the DS Zeldas.
    • A lesser example comes from Kaepora Gaebora, who is the trope image and practical mascot of "Shall I Repeat That?". Sometimes, he'll ask "Do you want to hear what I said again?", but other times, he asks, "Did you get all that?"- two questions, two completely different answers to avoid the dialogue loop. You're never sure which one he'll ask, but you can be sure that the cursor will default to the one you don't want. Click too many times, and you'll have to listen to what he said all over again. Cue the Unstoppable Rage.
    • In Link's Awakening and its successors, when swimming you can mash A to swim faster of press B to dive underwater. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds reversed these buttons.
  • Assassin's Creed I has the exact same problem with its camera stick, being the opposite of what is expected on the X-axis. Adding insult to injury, you can only invert the axises in the "look" mode. They too fixed the problem in the sequel, though it means that once you've started playing the sequel, you can never go back to the first game, not just for the controls, but also for all the fixes that you'll be missing.
    • Revelations compounds the issue by changing the "head" button (previously toggling Eagle Vision, taunting in combat or speaking to NPCs) to the projectile-shooting button (projectiles previously were used with the attack button), the renamed Eagle Sense moved to a left-stick click, and the formerly "off-hand" button (pushing, shoving, dropping or grabbing) also serves as the button for Ezio's new hookblade weapon/tool... which is mounted on his weapon hand.
    • Assassin's Creed III: Blocking is changed to B on the 360 instead of RT. For those who don't play, this is a very major change, surpassing that Revelations made. Countering is done by tapping B instead of holding it down and then pressing X. Pickpocketing is holding down B rather than tapping A, with A now being used to gentle push through crowds.
    • For any of the multiplayer modes the buttons are switch round from single player leading to things like trying to run until you remember to hold down shift.
    • Come into Assassins Creed IV after playing any of the previous games, and instead of drawing your swords, you're likely to find yourself throwing money to the ground.
  • Namco switched two buttons between every Ace Combat game up to AC5 and Ace Combat Zero: the Select button switched weapons and the Square button toggled the minimap in Ace Combat 5 and vice versa in Ace Combat Zero. X does the same as Zero.
    • Try going from Ace Combat 5 to AC 6. For the most part, the controls are the same...except the "change to special weapons" and "display map" buttons are swapped again!
      • How about the Ace Combat 6 default of throttle on LT/RT and rudder on LB/RB, exactly the opposite of the PS entries that have throttle on L1/R1 and rudder on L2/R2? Fortunately, there's an option to reverse it.
      • Try Ace Combat 6 to Tom Clancy's HAWX. In AC6, A is cannon and B is missile. In HAWX, it's the other way around. Countless missiles were wasted.
      • A lot of weapons in HAWX work just slightly differently than their counterparts in Ace Combat, also leading to wasted ammunition when switching between the two.note 
    • Between 04 and 5, down on the D-pad changed camera view for 04, but 5 uses R3. Down on the D-pad for 5 affects the order given to the wingmen, while R3 for 04 turns the camera to be face-on with the plane and thus allow the player to see behind the plane.
  • Going to Air Force Delta games after playing Ace Combat games has this effect until you change the control scheme.
  • In Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, the C button sheaths your sword. In Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, C throws your alternate weapon, and there is no "sheath sword" button.
  • Variation in Bionic Commando Rearmed after just about any other 2D platform game. You will instinctively try to jump, despite the complete lack of a jump button.
    • Same for the original Bionic Commando. Much of the challenge of the game is derived from that very inability to jump, which Rearmed 2 finally does away with.
  • Play Resident Evil 2 or Resident Evil 3: Nemesis on the PS1. Now, play Resident Evil: Code: Veronica X on the PS2. Just so you know, that button you are hitting to open the inventory does the same as the X button. It's Start now, so the only way your are not going to be disoriented is if you JUST came off the very first game.
  • Play Resident Evil 4 a lot using the sniper rifle. Notice how you zoom in using the c-stick and use the y-button to open up your inventory. Now play Killer7 and use the Sniper Pistol. The y-button is used to zoom in a pre-set distance, but that's no problem. Unfortunately the c-stick is used to reload, which is a fairly lengthy process. Not fun when you're in a tough fight, less so when you're zoomed in as said sniper pistol takes even longer to reload when you're aiming.
  • The original Metal Gear Solid has the circle button to confirm decisions and the X button to cancel. This remained true for the sequels until Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, where X became the confirm button and circle was now cancel. This is made worse in the HD versions of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Players of the original PS2 versions are likely going to have a hard time for a few minutes adjusting to that, even if they've played MGS4.
    • Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes is a remake of the first game built on the engine of the second. However, since Metal Gear Solid 2 was originally on the PS2 and Twin Snakes is a GameCube game, the controls were changed to compensate for the GameCube controller's lack of analog buttons. For example, the player has to press the Y button while holding the A button in order to let go of their character's aim in Twin Snakes, whereas in MGS2 this was done by gently releasing the square button.
    • In MGS4, there's a brief dream sequence at the beginning of Act 4 where the player is thrown into the Heliport from MGS1, with the same graphics, engine, controls and everything, and the this can get the player killed if he's not careful.
    • The Windows port of MGS2 has a totally different keyboard layout from the port of the original... and the key customization doesn't quite work.
    • For people who played Metal Gear Solid 3, 4 and the HD version of Peace Walker, playing the HD version of Metal Gear Solid 2 can be extremely disorienting.
    • Go to the first game after playing the 2 or 3 and marvel at the inability to dive roll, peek around walls and first person view being mapped to Triangle instead of R1.
  • Max Payne 1 & 2 on the Xbox: All the same actions, entirely different button layout. The third game, despite more closely resembling Gears of War-style cover shooters, has such a very tiny amount of Regenerating Health - about enough to survive a glancing bullet or two, and only if you already have taken so much damage that a mosquito bite would kill you (completely red health bar) - that until you get this into your head, expect to have much trouble due to being over-reliant on that mechanic.
  • The various Parkour based games, particularly Assassin's Creed, Prince of Persia, inFAMOUS and Prototype, all have separate ways of navigating your way around the city. It can be quite jarring to jump from Assassins Creed, with its semi-realistic approach, to Prototype, where the protagonist can run up walls at will.
    • Conversely, switching from Prototype to Assassins Creed could be just as frustrating, where you are used to sprinting up walls and you suddenly have to tackle the walls like a Badass Normal person.
      • Although it can lead to some unintentional hilarity when you fling Ezio off a building and expect to be able to glide.
    • Switching from Prototype to Crackdown is tricky too. You might want to remember that you can't eat people, X is switch weapons and you can't air dash/wallrun.
    • Going from Assassin's Creed II to Uncharted ended with a lot of platforming sequences ending with the thought "Why didn't Drake automatically jump that gap?"
    • Even going from Assassin's Creed 1 to Assassin's Creed 2 can be a bit annoying; despite how similar their controls are. One difference that comes to mind is the legs button(A). Remember how pressing the legs button would make you slow down to a halt, pretend to be a(heavily armed) scholar, and allow you to brush past paranoid guards? In AC2, trying to pull that move off will end up with you pick-pocketing said guard.
      • Similarly, Assassin's Creed 1's rapidly regenerating health, made fall damage relatively negligible, and faster than finding your way down. Assassin's Creed 2 removed regeneration, so until you learn to gauge fall distance better, you spend a lot of time visiting doctors.
    • Infamous has a parkour system based on jumping - press the jump button to jump up and grab, or to push yourself up a wall. You'll automatically grab any handholds and balance on any ledges you come across. This is a jarring contrast with Prototype's wall running.
    • Worse is going from Prototype to just about any other sandbox. Flinging yourself off an absurdly tall building is usually a last-ditch form of entertainment in games, but in Prototype it's your main method of getting around. This can harm you.
      • Just as bad is going to just about any other sandbox from Just Cause. Watching your character break every bone in his body from a long fall after effectively being immune to gravity, or getting attacked by a helicopter and realizing you can't take it out by grappling up to it and hijacking it for yourself, can be a little jarring.
  • Some Driv3r players found it difficult switching over to Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, as in the former pressing the triangle button applied the brakes, but in San Andreas it made you enter/exit the car - pain ensues for everyone involved if you happen to be driving at top speed when you press it.
  • In Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, try playing as Maria for a while, and then switch to Richter. It can really throw you off, since pressing the jump button in midair makes Maria do a Double Jump, while Richter does a backflip. You will send yourself back into enemies/bottomless pits many times before you'll get used to it.
  • Double Dragon II: The Revenge features directional-based attack buttons where one button causes the player to attack to the left and the other to the right. Thus, one button does a standard punch combo, while the other button does a back-kick, depending on the player's direction. This is a huge contrast from the first game, which featured a more conventional "punch or kick" system. As a result, many players who were used to the controls of the first game and then jumped straight to the sequel had difficulty adjusting to the new control scheme, since the buttons for punching and kicking are switched whenever their character change directions. Technos also used a similar system in their older beat-'em-up Renegade.
  • In God Hand, all the Action Commands are Invulnerable Attacks... except for the Stomp. So it's easy to reflexively hit the QTE and be rudely knocked out of it.
  • Sleeping Dogs in the 360 version uses B to grab an enemy, which is similar to several other games like Prototype and Assassin's Creed. Unfortunately, while those games let you throw the enemy by hitting B again, for Dogs it's... RT.
  • The keyboard controls for Sorcery on the ZX Spectrum used Q and A to move left and right. Most other Spectrum games used the same keys for vertical movement.

    Fighting 
  • The two most prominent Mixed Martial Arts games available, Electronic Arts' MMA and THQ's UFC Undisputed 2010 use completely different control schemes that, oddly, both feel intuitive once you "get" them. The start of the animation to shoot for a takedown looks exactly the same in both games. You'll be flicking the right analog stick backwards futilely in an attempt to stop takedowns for hours, should you make the transition from UFC to EA.
  • Try playing Mortal Kombat on the PS Vita. Now go back to Midway Arcade Classics on the original PSP and play any of the Mortal Kombats. Watch as you do a crouching highkick everytime you try to uppercut someone.
  • Super Smash Bros.. Brawl can do this just within itself. Try playing the Boss Rush mode on Intense so many times in a row that you become an expert at it, then switch over to any easier setting, even Very Hard. All those bosses that can't hit you on Intense will get a lot more hits in.
  • Samurai Shodown 2 on the Wii Virtual Console played on the Classic Controller. It wouldn't be so bad if one could remap the buttons from those old games, but here Samurai Shodown 2 shows two problems. One was the original Street Fighter-like attacks. Six levels, but four buttons - so if you want the heavy shot, you hit both slash or both kick. Well, that's true to the original. But then the kick and punch buttons were reversed, causing..issues.
  • You spent years learning how to play as Voldo in Soul Calibur? You perfected his move set in Soul Calibur 2? Well, good luck with 3 and 4: he's got almost all the same moves, but for no good reason all the inputs are changed.
    • They did the same thing with Ivy!
    • Talim is much slower, and her moves have been reassigned.
    • Taki's original ground spark move change a couple of times. In SC 1, the move made the opponent fall behind her. In SC 2, the opponent fell in front of her for more combo opportunities. In SC 1 and 2, the motion was back+B+K. From SC 3 and on, the motion became back+A+B.
  • Done intentionally with the Punch-Out!! series. All your opponents are right handed save Soda Popinski. As such he marks the point in the games where you need to start relying less on instinct and more on strategy.
  • A number of fighting games have similar control schemes but radically different systems and methods. There's no way in which you can suck at Guilty Gear that cannot be aggravated by having spent a long time playing Bleach: Blade of Fate.
    • Going from Melty Blood's four or five button setup to other, similar games can have similar results, from the merely annoying (Arcana Heart, with extremely different non-attack buttons) to the aggravating (Fate/Unlimited Codes, where the combo system tends to leave one open to counterattack).
  • The Touhou fighting games Immaterial and Missing Power versus Scarlet Weather Rhapsody; the control schemes and sprites are just similar enough for you to be familiar while still being different enough that some controls are forgotten.
  • The Street Fighter series has you hold the opposite direction (backwards) to block. The Mortal Kombat series has a block button.
    • And the same thing goes for two Namco series: Tekken, and Soul Calibur.
    • Back to Street Fighter: the throw commands are all different between titles. In Street Fighter II, tap the stick in the desired direction while pressing HP (Fierce) or HK (Roundhouse). In Street Fighter Alpha 3, it's two punch or two kick buttons. In Street Fighter III and IV, it's LP (Jab) + LK (Short), and two punch or kick buttons is used for EX special moves. That same vertical arrangement would start a custom/variable combo in Alpha 3 if using V-ISM.
    • And when moving to IV, remember that Ultra moves are done with all three punch or kick buttons simultaneously. Same goes for Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age Of Heroes, where some special moves require both punch or kick buttons simultaneously. Alpha and Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark Of The Millennium just use one button for all specials, with the L/M/H distinction determining how strong a super is (and also how much meter it uses).
    • Also try playing any of the SF3 series or the P-Groove in Capcom vs SNK 2. Then try playing SF2, SF4 or another Groove in Capcom vs SNK 2. With no parry (done by tapping forward in time with enemy attacks) to counter the enemy, the character will actually drop their guard and walk forward into attacks!
    • In Street Fighter, Y (button to the left in the + configuration) is light punch, X (top button in + configuration) is medium punch, and L is hi-punch. B, A and R are the same with kicks, respectively. In Killer Instinct, L is light punch, Y is medium punch, and X is high punch, with the kicks switched around similarly. Seriously?
  • Guilty Gear: Pressing all the face buttons at once sets up for an Instant Kill attack.
    • BlazBlue: The system is similar to Guilty Gear, but now pressing all face buttons at once performs a Barrier Burst, which in Calamity Trigger cripples your defense for the remainder of the round. Also, some moves' inputs were changed between Calamity Trigger and Continuum Shift; for example, Tager's Astral Heat is now 720+ D rather than the bizarre hold A+ B+ C and mash D it used to be.
  • In Capcom vs. Whatever games, the Shinkuu Hadouken is performed with Hadouken motion + two Punch buttons. In Street Fighter titles, it's done with two Hadouken motions + one Punch button. Going between the two series can be confusing.
  • Evident between the Dragon Ball Z Budokai and Budokai Tenkaichi series on the PS2. In Budokai, square is punch, triangle is kick, circle is Ki Attack, X blocks/dodges, and 'double tap in a direction' is for dashes. In Budokai Tenkaichi, which is a fully 3D arena fighter unlike Budokai, keeps square as punch, but also adds kicks and other moves in combos, swaps triangle for Ki Attack, circle for blocking, and X is now dash. Many times, you will find yourself getting punched repeatedly in the face as you forgot how to DOOOOODGE!There is also the fact, going from Budokai Tenkaichi to the Raging blast series, where the block button was a face button to the block button being one of the triggers. Along with the fact that down on the D-pad is charge for Raging blast while it's also movement in the Budokai Tenkaichi series. This leads to a lot of moments where players would just move away or just stand there taking a blast thinking they're blocking or charging.

  • In the King of Fighters series, the LP+LK command has changed a few times. In 94 and 95, it was a standing sidestep. In the rest of the series, it became the more popular rolling mechanic. The trope really comes into play in 99 and Capcom Vs SNK series. In 99, backwards rolling popped you forward straight afterward, while accidentally press a button during forward roll brings you back into the line of fire. In the Cv S series, there was no backwards rolling whatsoever, so KOF veterans got messed up by this.
  • WWE '12 Revamped the controls from the previous games, moving grapples from the right stick to the X(PS3) button, run from L1 to L2 and action from X to L1 while the right stick was re-purposed for manipulating the enemy position.
  • In Jojos Bizarre Adventure All Star Battle, the R1 Button is used to charge the HHA meter for Ripple using characters when you hold it down; for Stand Users (whose HHA meter charges as they perform hits), one press of the R1 button turns your Stand On, and one more turns it off. This can cause mistakes at the worst times if you start using another type after using one type too long.
    • Old Joseph has both a Stand and Ripple, with the former taking precedence over the R1 button, while charging Ripple is pressing down twice, then R1, making it even worse.

    Hack-and-Slash 
  • Die by the Sword is played with WASD and the mouse, except "A" and "D" turn, rather than strafe ("Q" and "E" strafe). This ends up being a much better choice for gameplay, since turning is more important to keep your sword pointed the right way, but initially it will throw you off.

    Platformers 
  • Super Meat Boy is a game dedicated to deconstruct this and Player Tics by killing you whenever you fall into this.
  • Super Mario Galaxy players reflexively use their Spin Attack to get an extra jump. Super Mario Galaxy 2 exploits this in several galaxies where doing this will cause you to plummet to your death.
  • In Sonic Unleashed, the Homing Attack was changed from the A button to the X button (going by 360 controls).
    • The X button is also the Boost button. With the Air Boost Shoes you need to be careful executing Homing Attacks, especially if you're traversing over bottomless pits.
    • To add insult to the injury, there's the stomp move. In both versions of Unleashed, you can use it to quickly cancel jumps and land on grind rails, in order to save time. However, the Wii version of Sonic Colors makes you FALL THROUGH THE RAILS should you stomp on them, so, by instinct, you're gonna try to stomp on them and therefore falling to your doom. This is excusable in the DS version, since being a mostly 2D game, sometimes you actually need to get through a rail to go down.
      • And there's the fact that Sonic Colors swapped the Boost and Stomp buttons in relation to the Wii Unleashed version.
      • For extra fun, try going from Unleashed to Generations, or vice versa. Tapping the X button in the air to homing attack in Sonic Generations will cause Sonic (at least, Modern Sonic) to boost through the air and more often than not go hurtling directly into a bottomless pit. Similarly, going from Generations to Unleashed will be frustrating to inexperienced players; the A button does absolutely nothing in the air in Unleashed, so you don't even have a chance of boosting across the gap. You just unceremoniously plummet to your doom.
  • In Sonic Adventure 2, shoulder buttons had controlled the camera. In Shadow the Hedgehog, the C-stick took over this function and the R button allowed the useless function of strafing. Grr... Cosmic Fall.
    • Try playing the Sonic Advance titles after playing Sonic Rush or Sonic Rush Adventure...and NOT continue to attempt trick actions.
    • Sonic Colors on DS pulls a similar kind of control system change, in this situation done to bring it closer to the Wii version's controls. This makes going between Rush and Colors even more jarring because they use the same engine, and one expects consistency.
    • The PC version of Sonic Adventure DX is difficult to get used to, as Z is to spin dash and X is to jump.
    • Sonic Generations seems expressly designed to invoke this trope, with its switching between classic Sonic (who can spin dash, but not do a homing attack) and modern Sonic (vice versa).
  • In Sonic Triple Trouble, Tails hovers when you press the jump button in mid-air. You want to fly? Hold up on the ground and then jump.
  • In most Kirby games, you can rapidly tap A to fly. In Kirby's Adventure, you can only fly by holding Up.
    • Then came Kirby Squeak Squad, which made B use your power, while Y and A made you jump.
      • This was perhaps a worse problem in Kirby Super Star Ultra, a re-release of Kirby Super Star, which flipped the buttons in the same way. This proved to be an effective way of aggravating veteran Super Star players.
  • Psychonauts, to an extent. You learn several Psy Powers as you progress through the game, but you can only bind 3 powers at a time (to either Q, E, or the right mouse button) — thus forcing you to swap them depending on what you're up against.
    • Want to Shield yourself? Whoops, you just wasted a Confusion Grenade.
  • In the Super Mario Bros. series, A is usually used for jump. However, many DS Mario games use B to jump and A to attack/throw fireballs, meaning that someone coming from Super Mario Galaxy to, say, Super Mario 64 DS, or from a past Mario game can seriously end up slightly confused playing a DS port/series game. Then there's the page quote at the top, if you ever find yourself playing Mario Clash on the Virtual Boy.
    • Yoshi's Island is pretty much under this as well. The GBA port used A to jump, B to eat enemies, R to throw eggs, and L to lock the aim. The DS sequel, keeping with the original SNES controls, uses B to jump, A to throw eggs, Y to eat enemies, and X to lock the aim. Particularly problematic if the player forgets and picks a tough level to randomly play in either of said games. However, the player can change Yoshi's Island DS controls to the GBA remake's layout.
    • The exclusion of the long jump in Super Mario Sunshine annoyed many gamers who had to go through the retro stages without the aid of FLUDD.
    • If you know what's good for your DS, you won't play New Super Mario Bros. after the Wii version. Hint: what gimmick are Wii games famous for?Answer . Not only that, but it often saves your life, so you'll be in the habit of doing it after almost every jump. Older Super Mario games will get the same treatment after playing the Wii game, but just controllers in that case. Also, your wall jump attempts won't work on any of the classic games.
    • Old-school gamers may remember when Super Mario World first came out. In all the NES Mario games, A was jump and B was run/shoot fireball/etc., but here A became spin-jump, B became normal jump, and Y became run/shoot fireball/etc. (probably changed because of the way one's hand sits on the SNES controller). Many gamers would reflexively spin-jump everywhere, or accidentally jump because they wanted to start running, causing a lot of deaths because Mario wouldn't jump high enough, or jump into an enemy. Avoiding this trope was the major reason why Super Mario All-Stars for the SNES let you switch between two control methods, where you could have B and A be jump and Y and X be run/pick up, or have B and A for run and jump, simulating the old NES style, with Y and X both used to run. This was also later used in New Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo DS, though X would be a secondary jump instead of run.
    • Some of these control changes aren't nearly as big of a deal as some of these entries imply. The label of the button pressed may change, but their positions remain the same. People don't constantly look down at the controller nor think about what the button they're pressing is labeled as while playing; They instinctively aim for the buttons based on where they're located. On a two button controller the left button has always been to run/grab/shoot/ect. and the right button has always been to jump. On a four button controller, the left button is used to run/grab/shoot/ett. while the bottom is used to jump, with the right button usually being reserved for some other special action and the top button, if it's even used, for either another or the same. The two most commonly used buttons are always right next to eachother and in the same positions.
      • Exactly. The trope is truly invoked, however, if one plays one of the GBA Marios on a DS and then a DS Mario game (or vice versa), as A and B are swapped. To make matters worse, the buttons of the GBA Marios (which are ports of SNES titles) are swapped in relation to the original games, as well, despite the console using the same 4 face buttons layout as the SNES controller (assuming you're playing them on a DS).
  • Cave Story:
    • Many people, after having played this game, will frequently press Z to jump in other games. For example, in MapleStory, Z is the letter for picking up items (by default, at least).
    • As in most other ganes, pressing ESC will pause the game and bring up a menu. However, while in most other games pressing ESC again would close the menu and resume gameplay, in this it quits the game.
  • An infamous example is the GameCube release of Mega Man Anniversary Collection, a compilation of ten classic games from the Mega Man series, all of which had the jump and shoot button positions switched from their original release.
    • Mega Man X Collection fixes this...which makes going from Anniversary to X Collection a new problem because now you're used to the reversed controls.
    • Mega Man 9 has a different problem (on the Xbox 360); they mapped the subscreen (where you select your weapons) to "Select" instead of "Start" like in, oh, every other game. "Start" instead brings up the options menu, which you are far less likely to use while playing. This is a royal pain because shots disappear if you pause for any reason. So if you hit Start, you have to hit it again, then Select to swap weapons.
  • Try going from playing Super Mario World to playing a SNES Mega Man X game, or vice versa. In Mario World, A is spin jump, B is normal jump, and X and Y are both run/attack. In X games, B is jump, A is dash and Y is fire, while X has no function. Have fun spin-jumping while trying to make a run-up to cross a large gap in Mario, or dashing into an enemy when trying to kill it in Mega Man X.
    • At least in X, you can also dash by double-tapping the D-pad in the direction you want to dash, so that takes some of it out. Though, you still need the A button if you're going to super-jump off walls.
    • Although the feature is usually passed over, X actually had customizable controls, averting this somewhat if you notice the "Options" menu on the start screen.
      • There's also the fact that Super Mario World and Mega Man X are so different from each other in gameplay that it'd be pretty difficult to mix up their controls at all.
  • Mega Man ZX and Mega Man Zero. While both games have customizable controls, the default set for ZX maps the attack button from Zero as the jump button and the jump button to the OIS System. Given that the latter uses a gauge, this can get frustrating very quickly.
    • It's not quite so bad when you play ZX on a DS Lite, when A is so frustrating to hit without contorting your hand.
    • Similarly, X has the dash button in the same place as ZX's OIS System.
    • As mentioned in the Super Mario Bros. entry above, it's the placement of the button that matters most, not the label. Controls are used instinctively. The jump button is still to the right of the attack button. See Stock Control Settings.
      • However, the placement of buttons is completely different if going from X to ZX. Thankfully, you can fix this through customizing the controls.
  • Any number of JAMMA platform games, where you have a button for jump and one for fire. Swapping between the two control layouts is frustrating.
  • The C button of the Sega Genesis controller was used as jump button for just about every Genesis platformer. However, every Simpsons game on the system awkwardly used the B button to jump, and none let you change the button assignments.
  • Try swapping between Jak and Daxter and Ratchet & Clank games without tinkering with the controls. It'll cost you a fair amount of Ratchet ammo, because you'll be using the Jak punch button to shoot, and you'll crouch every time you try to fire with R1 if you're up to Jak II.
    • In Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, the rolling long jump is an attack. In Jak II, it is not. Have fun launching yourself headlong into enemies!
    • Even within the Ratchet & Clank games. The later ones had optional, or sometimes default, lock-strafe mode. Then you go back to the first one, and that option no longer exists.
    • Ratchet is an interesting case though. After getting used to the rather unusual "lock-strafe mode" that became the default in Deadlocked, you realize it is actually far more adapted for combat: since the shoot and jump buttons are not under the same finger as the right analog stick you can move and aim a lot more freely while shooting. And thus you will likely start to use it back in the second and third game, where it was optional but you wouldn't use it before because it was too disorienting.
    • Using the Plasma Striker in A Crack In Time takes a little getting used to for those used to the previous games' sniper rifles. In 2 and 3, R1 zooms in, R2 zooms out, the right stick aims and O fires. In Crack, the right stick zooms, the left stick aims and R1 fires. Be prepared to waste a lot of ammo trying to zoom.
    • In the classic series, R1 has always been a secondary fire button, but most players used O instead. In All 4 One, R1 is the only fire button, and O is now mapped to the Vac-U. Hilarity Ensues if playing multiplayer and you keep sucking up your teammates when trying to fire.
  • Spyro the Dragon. It used to be that Square was Charge and Circle was Breath ability. They change it almost every game. In Legend of Spyro, R1 is charge, Square is breath and Circle is Melee combat.
    • In A Hero's Tail, they didn't even give you the nice fancy extra things to take the place of these buttons and give a reason for moving them - they just switched the charge and breath. For no freakin' reason.
  • One of the major complaints of Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness was the fact that not only were the roll and jump controls completely reversed (Jump was Square and Roll was Circle in the previous games), but the huge problem that there was, unlike the previous games, NO WAY TO CHANGE THE CONTROLS.
    • Although no immediate examples come to mind, several of the controls swap between Legend and Underworld.
      • On PC, the default Jump key changed between right-click, and the Space bar.
  • If you have a GameCube, and you enjoy action-adventure games of a persuasion similar to The Legend Of Zelda, heed this advice: playing Star Fox Adventures and then going straight to playing Beyond Good & Evil (or vice versa) is very unwise. Why?
    • Both games feature staff-based combat. However, the "Attack" button (as well as the "break crates" button) in Beyond Good and Evil is "A." It's "B" in Star Fox Adventures. The "dodge" command is similarly swapped. Also, both games use entirely different styles of combos.
    • The action-adventure-game-standard forward roll is X in SFA. In BG&E, X is mapped to item use, and B is a forward roll.
    • The Z-button enters first-person view in both games. However, to fire a projectile attack in first-person, you press B in BG&E. In SFA, you press Y.
    • In BG&E, R is "run." In SFA, R is "stop dead in your tracks (to shield)."
    • You select items and change the one you have set with the C stick in SFA. In BG&E, you use the D-pad.
    • Finally? In SFA, your NPC partner controls are mapped to a menu. In BG&E, they're hard-coded to the Y button and context-sensitive. While you can set a partner command to the Y button in SFA, it remains the same, regardless of context. The Y button in SFA can also be used for items (which are always set to X in BG&E).
      • So do yourself a favor—either put some time between each of these games, or don't play the 'Cube version of BG&E if you've been playing SFA, or else your fingers will hate you.
    • Many cross-platform platformers are this. A classic example would be the the movie tie-in game The Lion King. On the Genesis, Roar is mapped to the A button, which is the leftmost button on the controller. Jump is mapped to C which is the rightmost button. On the SNES, Roar is also mapped to A... which happens to be the rightmost button instead. And there is no C- jump is mapped to B instead. On the Genesis, B performs a paw swipe, which is mapped to Y (which so happens to be the leftmost button on an SNES controller) on an SNES. Switching from one platform to another results in hilarity, and perhaps copious amounts of the name of this trope being dropped. And you're completely messed over if you're playing the PC version with a keyboard. Yes, the controls can be reconfigured (and in the PC's case, a Gravis 4-button pad can be added, which makes the control no different from the SNES version instead), but most people jump straight into the game, thinking "I can handle change!", only to have this trope served to them.
  • Alex Kidd in Miracle World, the Sega Master System's answer to Super Mario Bros., used Button 1 (on the left) to jump and Button 2 (on the right) to attack, the reverse of the order they're laid out in Nintendo's legendary platformer. This was done on purpose by the Miracle World's designer, Ossale Kohta, in a misguided attempt to set his game apart from Nintendo's. Zillion, another Master System game he designed, also used the same button layout. Ghost House also did this, but not Wonder Boy (despite what the manual said). This was fixed with the Wii Virtual Console release, where on the Wii Remote, 1 is used to punch and 2 is used to jump.
  • When underwater in The Legendary Starfy, Y is spin and B is dash, but when out of water, Y is both spin and dash, while B is jump.
  • Maze Of Galious and Vampire Killer on the MSX used up to jump (and climb ladders/stairs), which might surprise players used to consoles like the NES; indeed, the NES counterparts of those two games used A to jump.
  • The Arcade Game Pac-Land had a wholly anomalous control scheme with no joystick and all movement handled by three buttons. When ported to consoles with two-button controllers, jumping was accordingly mapped to the D-pad. Fortunately, the TurboGrafx-16 version offered standard platformer controls as an alternative.
  • Castelian uses the A button for both shooting and jumping; you can't shoot on the move, and you can't jump when standing still. This is because the game was originally designed for computers with one-button joysticks.
  • The platforming stages of Hudson Soft's Famicom game Challenger used A to attack and B to jump, which confused Arino at first.
  • Cat Poke uses the WASD keys, but rather than for movement like usualnote  they correspond respectively to opening the menu, jumping, performing actions (such as poking the cats) and using items. Expect to get confused the first time you play!

    Rhythm 
  • The Guitar Hero series and Rock Band have similar "guitars", but totally different timing. In particular, Guitar Hero III has a larger timing window and a completely different hammer-on system than Rock Band. In GH3, there was no limit to how early you could hit a hammer-on or pull-off as long as it came after the previous note.
    • However, in Rock Band, taking the GH3 course of action would result in the loss of your note streak as, rather predictably, you're hammering on/pulling off to a note that isn't there yet.
    • There's also different timing windows between the various Guitar Hero games themselves. Switching from Guitar Hero III, with its relatively large timing window, back to GH2 or forward to one of the more recent titles can cause some frustration.
    • That's just the guitar parts. The drum controllers for Rock Band and Guitar Hero have different layouts for the pads (Rock Band has 4 pads, Guitar Hero 3 pads and 2 raised cymbals), so switching between them can be a lot of trouble.
      • In Rock Band while drumming, the noteboard shakes every time you successfully hit a bass kick. In Guitar Hero, the noteboard shaking means that you missed a beat. That can really mess you up.
    • When Guitar Hero and Rock Band share a song, due to differences in note charts, players can be royally screwed over if they're used to playing the song in one game but not the other. A severe example of this is Motörhead's re-recorded version of "Ace of Spades", which appears on both Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero: Metallica; the note charts for it have absolutely nothing in common.
    • It gets worse when you mix Guitar Hero/Rock Band Guitars and ACTUAL Guitars.
      • Reversed when you consider Rock Band 3, for which you can choose to use an actual guitar for a controller. After heavy playing in the game, the sudden realization that you can play guitar away from the game is some serious Fuck Yeah Muscle Memory.
    • In a much less aggravating example, in Rock Band 2, when you browsed the song list, hitting the yellow button scrolls you to the next section of songs. In Rock Band 3, it's the orange button that does that, and the yellow one brings up the online leaderboard for the song.
  • Another Guitar Hero example: After getting decent at riffs of songs like "Cliffs of Dover" on Expert, it becomes impossible to play them on Hard.
  • The version of "The Spirit of Radio" in Guitar Hero 5 is in a different key than the album version. Lots of luck singing it right the first time.
  • Dance Dance Revolution and Pump It Up are two Rhythm Games which are played by stepping in arrows, but the disposition and quantity of arrows in each one for songs of seemingly similar levels can be very different. And Pump It Up introduces mines and hand plays much earlier.
    • Pump It Up's arrows are on the dance-pad equivalent locations of the 1-3-5-7-9 keys of a standard keypad. Dance Dance Revolution's arrows are where the 2, 4, 6, and 8 would be.
    • Making things even worse, sometimes a song is used on multiple games between different game series. These songs can be essentially the same but have drastically different steps. Sometimes this happens even with the same song in a series as the company "tinkers" with the song steps to make things harder or easier. Orion.78, for example, has totally different timing in later Dance Dance Revolution games than it did in earlier versions.
  • Dance Dance Revolution in particular has multiple menu control schemes for different platforms. For examples:
    • Arcade (SuperNOVA 2 and older): Left triangular button to go up or left, right button to go down or right, square button to confirm. Hold both left and right buttons then press square button to sort songs (some versions only require left + right) or go back at options menu. Down arrow twice to increase difficulty, up arrow twice to decrease difficulty. Right arrow twice to switch to edit data for currently highlighted song, left arrow twice to back out of edit data selection. To access options menu, hold square button when confirming a song selection; exiting the options menu starts the song.
      • DDR X now has a new cabinet with added vertical triangular buttons for menus, meaning Left+ Right+ Start is still sort at the song selection menu, but no longer works for the options menu because it's been replaced by the up button.
    • PS2 (Japan, DDR EXTREME and older): Left to go up or left, right to go down or right, O or Start to confirm, X to go back or toggle in and out of edit data selection, hold X to quit. Up twice to decrease difficulty, down twice to increase difficulty. Hold O or Start when confirming song to access options menu, and exiting the options menu starts the song.
    • PS2 (Japan, DDR SuperNOVA and newer): Same as above, but to access the options menu, move difficulty selection past the bottom of the list and hit confirm while difficulty is on "Options". Exiting the options menu kicks you back to the Song Select menu. Edit data is usually in its own folder.
    • PS2 (US): Same as PS2, Japan, SuperNOVA and newer, except X or Start to confirm, triangle to go back.
  • DJ Max Portable 2 is a rhythm game; in 4 button mode, the middle columns use the 'upmost' buttons on both sides of the PSP, and in 6 button mode the middle columns use the right button on the d-pad and the left button on the right.
  • A typical beatmania IIDX cabinet has the turntable on the left side of the keys for player 1, and on the right for player 2. Now, play on one side for a few weeks, then try playing on the other.
    • Thankfully, the official home version controller has its keys on a detachable faceplate that can flip 180 degrees, emulating either the left or right side of the arcade version. Players with two controllers can leave one controller as is while flipping the faceplate of the other to experience the joy that is 14-key.
    • If you're adept at turntable-left style, going from IIDX to beatmania III, where both players are in turntable-right setup, can be jarring, though the "Center" option allows one to play with the keys on the right and turntable on the left. Those making the transition in the other direction can at least specifically choose Player 2 side.
    • Finally getting to play beatmania IIDX 20 tricoro? Have fun with:
      • The mod select screen, which starts off with the "beginner" mod screen ("assist" mods only) and requries a button press to switch to the more traditional mod screen.
      • Said traditional mod screen shuffling around the placement of button assignments for mods (for example, chart options get moved from key 2 to keys 3 and 4). On the plus side this means you can move up and down a particular mod sub-menu instead of only being able to move through the options in one direction.
      • Hi-speed no longer being adjustable on the song select screen—you can only do this in-song now.
      • Hi-speed numbers behaving differently. At least they correspond to direct multipliers unlike in previous versions.
  • Going between Guitar Hero and Rock Band, particularly with the drums. For Rock Band, there are four drum pads laid out in an arc. For Guitar Hero, there are 3 drums and 2 cymbals positioned above the drums. And even if you use one drum set for both, it'll really mess with you because the drums are charted differently (in Rock Band', pretty much each drum other than the red can be a tom or a cymbal, while in Guitar Hero each will only be a tom or a cymbal, meaning that using the Guitar Hero set while playing Rock Band can require you to play a tom roll on a cymbal, which just seems completely wrong), meaning that a song will have a completely different feel from one game to another.
    • And god forbid you have a chart almost memorized in one game and you try to play the same song in another game — the charts are different even if the songs are the exact same, meaning that some songs where you almost need to memorize the chart to get a high score on (such as Through the Fire and Flames in Guitar Hero 3 and Guitar Hero: Smash Hits), going from one to the other will take a few runs through the song before your hands stop playing the wrong chart. The problem is even worse on drums, for reasons noted above.
  • Auditory example in DS Rhythm Game Rhythm Heaven. Some songs feature Suspiciously Similar Song versions of real life songs - specifically, Shoot 'Em Up is Hotel California, Frog Hop is I Feel Good (more noticeable in the sax arrangement from tier 7) - which screws up people who automatically try and follow those songs, instead of the actual beat.
    • Similarly, in Elite Beat Agents, one of the levels is the song "Rock This Town". What can catch a player off-guard is that it's based on the Brian Setzer Orchestra version of the song, not the original Stray Cats version. The two have similar rhythms, being the same song, but the former is swing and the latter is rock, making them just different enough to wreck you if you get confused.
  • This trope is why you don't buy third-party rhythm game controllers that strongly deviate from the first-party controller. Examples include the "Rave Discman" controller for IIDX and the first-edition MadCatz dance pad for Dance Dance Revolution. The latter, by the way, puts Select and Start directly above the Up tile, rather than above the much-less-used X and O tiles. Most DDR games assign Select+Start to Soft Reset. Guess what might happen every time you try to hit Up?
  • Music game simulators may have different timing windows or methods than the actual game. For instance, in StepMania the window for getting a Perfect is slightly late, whereas in Dance Dance Revolution it's slightly early. Lunatic Rave 2, a popular beatmania IIDX simulator, uses absolute time based timing windows that either grow or shrink depending on the judge difficulty of the BMS file. IIDX uses timing based on the monitor's refresh rate and the timing window is based on how many frames before or after the note has passed the marker when the button was pressed.
  • pop'n music has two difficulty scales: The classic 1-43 scale used up until pop'n music 19 Tune Street, and the current 1-50 scale used in pop'n music Sunny Park. Preexisting charts are, by default, increased 6 levels; levels 1-6 are Easier Than Easy charts. A player trying to transition from an older game to Sunny Park may play easier charts by accident due to not being familiar with the new rating scale and forgetting to add 6, which is a little annoying but not so bad. However, someone going from Sunny Park to an older game seriously needs to make sure they are choosing the correct difficulties, as a six-level increase in difficulty is not to be taken lightly at all. Remember, level 43 on the older scale does not mean "fairly advanced chart" like in Sunny Park, it means "one of the hardest in the series!"

    Racing 
  • For the Gran Turismo series specifically, the fact that reversing in the GT series requires you to hold square to brake until you stop, then hold triangle to actually reverse, in contrast to just about every other driving game ever, where you just hold square.
    • Keep in mind, that is a sim. Remember the first license test that involves braking? Using a "hold square to reverse" scheme wouldn't be a good idea.
  • The PlayStation installments of the Wipeout series seems to change it's mind over control layout between games. It's egenrally accepted that X is accelerate but beyond that the remaining buttons move about a lot. Fusion was the worse, when it took fire from one of the face buttons (it's traditional place) to a shoulder button for some reason.
  • Although not messing with the interface, Mario Kart takes full advantage of this by including "Mirror Mode". It's the hardest difficulty level, and the only difference between it and the next one down is that all the tracks are flipped horizontally; forcing the player to relearn the courses and make left turns where they previously took rights, and vice-versa.
  • Speaking of kart racers, try and play Sonic And Sega All Stars Racing on the PC, Xbox360, or PlayStation 3. It's a faithful Mario Kart clone with a completely different button layout note  and no option to change the settings (even when playing with a keyboard on the PC). The Wii version averts this, though: its button layout is identical to Mario Kart Wii's.
  • An example within a game: Trackmania United Forever has 7 environments with 7 cars with completely different handling. Most Trackmania servers have a playlist of tracks on all environments in random order. Going from Desert to Stadium or from Snow to Bay will cause you to overshoot the first turn. Going from Coast (100 kph average speed) to Island (many tracks are pegged at 999 kph all the way) is worse.
    • Today there exist hex edited tracks that have the cars from one environment in another environment, and even if you get the speed intuitively right, the gravity is different between car types. Cue repeatedly faceplanting the landing ramp of 'easy' jumps with a Snow car in Stadium because it dropped like a brick - before the server switches over to another Stadium track, this time featuring the Coast car and its moon gravity.
    • The track editor in Trackmania has two distinct modes. The one where you place track pieces, which uses the arrow keys or mouse to move around, Pg Up and Pg Down to change the elevation of your cursor, right click to rotate the piece and the scroll wheel zooms in and out. And the one where you place SFX blocks ("Mediatracker"), which uses the arrow keys to move and strafe in some sort of primitive flight sim approximation (+ and - control movement speed), right click and hold to rotate the camera, and the scroll wheel changes the elevation of your cursor. Yet in both modes you do the exact same thing: select a location in three-dimensional space and place something there. GRRRRRRR.
  • Play some kind of arcadey racer with drifting and whatnot, and then try to play a very realistic sim racer like Forza Motorsport or Gran Turismo.
    • For that matter, try switching between a Forza Motorsport title (Which uses the Xbox's triggers for accelerating and braking) and a Gran Turismo title (Which, by default, uses X and Square for accelerating and braking).
  • Try migrating over from Hot Pursuit to Shift 2: Unleashed, particularly with the nitro boost/handbrake being switched from A/B to B/A on an Xbox controller. Even more annoying is that the drifting model is completely different if you play the drift events in the latter title. (Atleast you get that Police Reventon and Cinque Roadster).
  • Play early 1997's Mario Kart 64 for several days. Then, quickly switch over to late 1997's Diddy Kong Racing. Cry.
  • Similar to the "driving on the left/right side of the road" example below: If you play Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune in Western countries, you usually play on the version of the cabinet that has the shifter on the right, just like in countries such as the United States. In Asian countries, you will most likely come across a different variation of the cabinet where shifter is on the left, which is how it's done in Japan where the game takes place.
  • Initial D Arcade Stage. Versions 1 through 3 in both the international and Japanese vrsion, as well as Japanese cabinets for Initial D Arcade Stage 4 and above, have the shifter on the left. The English version of IDAS4. The shifter is on the right.

    Roguelikes 
  • Moving between Roguelikes is always a harrowing experience because all the monsters and classes are different, but this trope makes it even worse. As an example, some of the more crippling differences between ADOM and NetHack, two of the more popular roguelikes:
    • Most Roguelikes assign 'q' to "quaff" (for using a potion). ADOM uses 'D' for "drink" instead, with 'q' being "display quest status."
    • In NetHack, you can use yuhjklbn to move. In ADOM, you have to use the numpad.
    • In ADOM, all equipment management is done on the [i]nventory screen. In NetHack, you have to [W]ear and [T]ake off armor, [P]ut on and [R]emove jewelry, and [w]ield weapons. But in, ADOM, T changes tactics, P, W, and R display different kinds of statistics, and w turns a subsequent move into a long walk.
    • Perhaps the worst: In NetHack, you can to [Q]uiver your missiles to make shooting them easier...but in ADOM, Q is Quit.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • A fun part of RPG mechanics. Roll your first character as a melee tank, for example, then roll a second that's a ranged healer. Watch chaos ensue for a while when you have to swap between the two.
  • Many fans of the Golden Sun series will find themselves playing through Golden Sun: Dark Dawn holding down B to run, even though your character is now always running.
  • In Dragon Quest V, the X will do many things, including talk to people, open doors, and searching; it's convenient compared to the menu, so you'll probably use it a lot. Dragon Quest VI remaps this to the Y button; you'll accidentally be remembering a lot of conversations instead if you're used to the X button.
  • Going from Monster Hunter Freedom Unite to any other third person game on the PSP will cause much confusion. The camera is controled with the D-pad, the shoulders control running and camera reset, and the joystick controls movement. This a setup unique to the one game, and attempting to play Renegade Squadron or Valkyria Chronicles II afterwards is very confusing.
    • Going from the Monster Hunter Freedom games on the PSP to Monster Hunter Tri on the Wii or backwards can be very frustrating at first. While the actual controls in battle are more or less exactly the same, the confirm (A on Wii, X on PSP) and cancel (B on Wii, Circle on PSP) are shifted around. Also, bringing up the menu (done by pressing the Start button on the PSP) is done on the Wii by hitting the Minus button. The Plus button is another attack button.
  • Valkyria Chronicles II has enough control differences from Valkyria Chronicles to cause more than a little frustration (and unnecessary character deaths). The aim button, for example, moved from R1 to X, which used to trigger several important map actions. X's hold function is now on Circle, which used to be the all-purpose cancel button.
    • If you've played a game where you fire a gun/bow/whatever on the Wii, you're pretty well used to using the B trigger for that. Guess what it does in Monster Hunter Tri? It has you roll forward, which has lead to many very dumb deaths.
  • In Star Ocean 3, the Item Creation system was completely changed. Instead of consuming special items and waiting a few seconds for the result, in this game you instead pile in several people to make the items. The muscle memory comes in with a vengeance when you realize that certain items can only be created with a certain creator at a certain price range, sometimes single digit differences between what you want and something else.
  • The US release of Final Fantasy Tactics uses O for confirm and X for cancel, while the other PlayStation Final Fantasy games use the reverse (in Japan, they all work like Tactics). This is more or less endemic; most US games default to X to confirm and O to cancel, and most Japanese games do the reverse.
    • The PSP remake of the original game reversed the reversal, making X confirm and O cancel leading to some problems for fans of the original since actions can not be canceled after being selected.
    • Final Fantasy VII had the same problem as Tactics, making the set controls the Japanese version. Unfortunately, though you can change the control scheme, the chocobo menu wasn't coded properly for the changed controls, meaning that you can't navigate it if you switched X and O as a fan of a later Final Fantasy would almost certainly do.
  • In 99% of PS2 games, the right joystick controls the camera. This is almost true in Final Fantasy XII, where it controls the view. In other words, to pan the view to the right, you push the joystick to the right. Sounds intuitive to you? WRONG! In many third person action games, pushing the joystick to the right moves the camera to the right, thus the field of view is expanded on the left. Same goes for up/down controls.
    • The same complaint goes to Skies of Arcadia, at least the GameCube port.
    • Fortunately, many, MANY games now allow players to select how they want that axis to function. Which is really standard and which is really inverted, however, is yet to be decided, leading to guessing before starting a game.
  • The battle system has little to no changes between Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2, except for the fact that the Ravager's spells are arranged by power in the former (i.e. Fire, Thunder, Blizzard...), and by element in the latter (i.e. Fire, Fira, Firaga...), leading to awkward situations where you may accidentally make your characters use high-level magic of the wrong element. The only saving grace is that you have to confirm an action queue before it is executed (but it still wastes time).
  • In Final Fantasy X, Triangle causes you to guard. In Persona 4, Triangle puts your party in Rush Mode (an auto-Attack! Attack! Attack! mode). This is even better if you're playing P4 on Expert difficulty.
  • For years, Start in the Pokémon games opened the menu, and an inventory item could be assigned to the Select button as a shortcut. Diamond and Pearl changed this completely; Start and Select are not used, the X button opens the menu, and the Y is the shortcut button. Damn You, Muscle Memory will inevitably occur when switching between Diamond and Pearl and any previous-generation Pokémon game on a Nintendo DS.
    • There is at least an option to reenable Start as a menu button...but not in Pokémon Black and White. Although there, the menu is always on the bottom screen, so it's not so much of an issue.
    • Worse still, Pokémon Conquest reverted to using Start for the menu... and X ends your turn! (fortunately it asks for confirmation first, but still...)
    • Diamond and Pearl also messed with the battle screen so that you no longer pressed left + down to run, adding hours to the time spent getting away from Zubat.
      • The battle options are on the touch screen and can be quickly accessed by tapping them, so it's no big deal. Heck, it's actually faster now, as all what you have to do is tap the "Run" button your finger (it's pretty big, so don't need the accuracy of the stylus). In previous games, you had to press 3 buttons in consecutive order to run away.
      • Speaking of messing with the battle screen, in Pokémon Gold and Silver and earlier, you press left for Pokemon and down for your bag. But in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, they switched it to down for Pokemon and right for your bag.
    • Another example is your bag. Once upon a time, you could scroll quickly through your items using the arrow buttons. Now the arrow buttons move as quickly as a fat kid playing in mud and you have to use the touch screen to rotate a Poké Ball. And it takes FOREVER when you need something from the bottom of your bag and you have an snot-ton of items. And frequently you'll miss using the touch-screen, which becomes gradually more irritating.
      • This was avoided in the old games by having a cap of how many items you could keep in your bag. Any others could be stored on the player's section of the PC. Now, if you want to store items so the scroll list isn't as daunting, you have to attach them to Pokémon, which can make finding a stored item difficult and irritating.
      • If you press Select to move an item, you can scroll much faster through the list, even faster than you can spin the Poké Ball. If you press B when you arrive where you wanted to go in the list, you'll stay where you are and the item won't be moved. Sadly, TMs and berries, being numbered, can't be moved this way.
      • HeartGold and SoulSilver fix this problem by partitioning the bag into blocks of six items per screen. You only have to scroll on the touch screen a few times to get to the item you want. Also, you can scroll backwards from the first screen to reach the last set of items in your bag quickly.
      • This of course is infuriating when coming from Diamond, Pearl, or Platinum to HeartGold and SoulSilver, or vice versa. The bag, the menu, even the storage!
    • Gameplay related example. Pokémon X and Y introduced the Fairy type, which, among other things, resists Fighting. Several old Pokemon were re-typed to Fairy, among them Clefable and Granbull, which were pure Normal types before. This means they went from being weak to Fighting to being resistant to Fighting. Vetaran players probably instinctively used Fighting moves on them a few times.
      • A similar thing happened with Mr Mime and Gardevoir, adding Fairy type on top of their Psychic type means they are no longer weak to Dark and Bug.
      • The game even managed to do this with an old type, Steel. It got Nerfed so it no longer resists Ghost and Dark. Pokemon like Metagross, Jirachi and Bronzong can no longer feel safe against those types like they could before.
    • In X and Y, you can rearrange your party by holding and dragging with the stylus, similar to rearranging Pokémon in the PC. Try going back to a Generation IV or V game, and you'll find yourself wondering why the touch screen isn't working properly.
  • A rare example of muscle memory failure within a game: in Achaea, there are multiple worldwide chat channels. Each message typed is directed according to the prefix at the start. This can lead to players getting used to automatically rattling off their favourite channel's prefix - which is fine...until they're trying to say something private, and forget not to do it.
    • This is true for most any MUD, MUSH, or MUCK that has worldwide channels, and it's frequently hilarious.
  • Tales of Innocence looks and handles not unlike Tales of Symphonia in battle, but Innocence takes a page from Abyss's book and allows the player character to free-run by holding R.
  • Final Fantasy VIII, (unlike almost every other game with a save function) defaults to the last save slot that you saved to, not to the one you loaded from. This makes it ridiculously easy to save in the wrong slot, especially if you're sharing a memory card with someone else.
  • The most irritating thing about the PSP game Legend of Heroes IV: A Tear of Vermillion is saving. The confirm button in-game is the cancel button when saving, and vice versa.
    • This problem crops up a lot in PSP games, as they use a standard save/load API built into the firmware- if the game and XMB disagree over which button is accept and which is cancel, the controls will normally switch here.
  • A few RPGs between the late 90's, early 2000, decided to be different and totally screw up the button mapping for no real reason. Examples:
    • Final Fantasy VIII's default mapping was as follows: X - Accept, O - Menu, Triangle - Cancel/Run. Funny when it's predecessor used the Japanese default controls and the successor used the US default controls.
      • Not only does this put the Accept button in the wrong place compared to the last game (even though this is the standard from this point forward), it also places the Menu button in a strange place. Pretty much every other Final Fantasy uses the upper button, even the SNES ones, which makes this a confusing change. Luckily you can rebind the keys to be more familiar.
    • All of the Breath of Fire games past 2 use something like: X - Accept, O - Run, Square - Menu, Triangle - Cancel/Special Action. A few of Capcom's other games followed this pattern too.
  • For some strange reasons PC version of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind has E for jumping and Space for using things in default controls. Those who played that way always have a good time jumping before the doors and NPC's in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
  • Go play The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion on the 360. Now go play Fable II. Try to open your menu screen in the middle of a crowded town square. Lemme know what happens. If people aren't running away from you scared, and the menu screen pops up... you did it right.
    • Nevermind the differences between Fable II and the predecessor. Sprint became magic, and one button got at least three more functionalities, depending on context (which are easy to miss...how many times did you accidentally jump over, jump off, or dive into something?)
  • Switching between normal and arcade modes on Dissidia: Final Fantasy can invoke this within the same game, since the characters available in arcade mode have fixed moves and button placements while normally both of these are available for customization. Protip: Either don't use the same character for each mode or match your moveset to the fixed one ahead of time and practice with it.
    • In Dissidia: Final Fantasy, the Chase system allows you to follow an enemy after using certain attacks that knock them in the air. In the Prequel, Dissidia 012 Duodecim, the timing is drastically different, making dodging while being chased incredibly awkward for players of the first game.
  • Most games use the X button to confirm, the O button to back out of a given screen; Xenosaga flips the two, resulting not only in moments of confusion while playing but also similarly irritating mixups while playing other games. Also, the Save Points and Menu? Reached with the Triangle button. To make matters worse, its predecessor, Xenogears also had this standard X-Confirm O-Back setup (although Square was the menu as Triangle was jump). Going from Xenogears to Xenosaga, in terms of control, can be rough.
    • The fact that this particular problem (the standard functions of X and O are swapped in the East and West) is mentioned four times on this page should tell you something about how annoying it is.
  • Jade Empire's controls reset whenever the player runs the game. This is incredibly annoying since any custom scheme has to be remapped every time, and because the game is so old, it will never be patched.
  • Kingdom Hearts manages to use three different camera control schemes in all three PS2 games that have been released to date, as well as three different battle schemes (although KH1 and KH2's are relatively similar).
    • The final boss of Kingdom Hearts II has a final attack you must alternate pressing X and Triangle to defend against. Everything else in the game uses Triangle.
    • On top of that, when Kingdom Hearts came out, the only other real Squaresoft action-RPG (not counting the RPG minigame in Ehrgeiz) was Vagrant Story. The movement controls are the same. The camera controls are exactly flipped.
    • Not to mention using "X" to attack and "O" to jump is exactly opposite of...nearly every other PS2 game with a jump function.
    • Try having Aerial Recovery equipped for most of KH2, then switching to its more offensive clone assigned to the square button. Completely opposite of Aerial Recovery's circle assignment. Have fun wondering why you aren't attacking or at least recovering from a hit.
    • 358/2 Days manages to switch the attack and jump button from its console counterparts. Cue frustration and deaths. Then, after mastering Days and feeling proud, try going back to the console games. Go on.
    • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep has controls pretty similar to KH2's yet everything that was done with the Triangle button, opening chests, activating Save Points and talking to NC Ps, is now relegated to the X button, with triangle being what you use commands in your command deck, making it really easy to waste a potion.
      • And then Re: coded came along, using a variant of Birth By Sleep's Command Deck system. The DS use 4 buttons on its right side, arranged in a cross, much like the PSP. However, Birth By Sleep uses X (the bottom button) to perform basic attacks, and Circle (the right button) to jump. coded uses A (the right button) to jump, and B (the bottom button) to attack, inverting this, which can trip up people coming directly from Birth By Sleep. Also, the Air Dash has changed from hitting "dodge" in the air to hitting "jump" in the air.
      • And after that we have KH3D confusing things even MORE. Being on the 3DS, it has the attack and jump buttons in the same positions as Re:coded, but has the air dash on the dodge button like Birth By Sleep does.
      • Try going back to KH1 after playing KH3D. You'll find yourself trying to Flowmotion off the walls.
  • The controls in the PC port of Mass Effect 1 were as follows: E activates objects, L-Shift lets you sprint (or "Storm," as it is called in game), and holding Space brings up the power wheel. Mass Effect 2 completely reverses this, making the leap from 1 to 2 quite jarring: Space is now both the activate and sprint key, while holding L-Shift brings up the power wheel. E is then used to command one of your squad members. Fortunately, the keys are re-mappable.
    • In a similar vein, the PC port for Mass Effect 1 had R as the default key for... throwing grenades, the key that EVERY. SINGLE. OTHER. FPS uses for reloading! Granted, Mass Effect 1 doesn't require you to reload, but muscle memory for FPS players will make you hit R every time you have a break in the action, meaning usually you've just wasted a grenade, or are going to have to run for your life.
    • In Mass Effect 1, the B button would take you out of the galaxy map entirely, however muscle memory from other games indicates that this should have zoomed out a level instead. Mass Effect 2 switched this around, but it was too late for those who had managed to train themselves on the original control scheme. Once suitably unlearned, though, it made Mass Effect 1's galaxy even worse.
    • The console version of ME1 has an in-game example: during normal mode, the right bumper brings up the "powers" menu, pausing the game. During vehicle sections, the right bumper fires the cannon. Players with a biotic Shepard could easily train themselves to hit the right bumper whenever combat started, only to find that in vehicle sections that instinct made them waste cannon shots firing into the side of a mountain...
    • Mass Effect 3 multiplayer can have this effect when switching between classes (or even characters of the same class). This is due to the fact that each class+race combination has its own active skills, which are mapped to the hotkeys (1 through 3 on PC) in a fixed order and cannot be re-mapped. So, if you are playing Asari Adept and you run out of ammo, you can zap the enemy with a weak but fast Throw attack ("3") before taking cover. If you then switch to Geth Infiltrator, you soon find yourself pointlessly switching Hunter Mode on and off again, while the enemy blasts you away.
  • Considering the work gone into importing save games in Mass Effect 2, it's surprising that pause and run are now on opposite keys. In fact, pause is now on a completely different key to every other recent BioWare game. Going from ME2 to ME1/Dragon Age/KOTOR results in pressing the Shift key repeatedly, until you realise you should be pressing Space. Also: going back to ME1? Don't press R... in ME2 it's reload, in ME1... grenade.
    • Also, grenades only exist as powers in ME2. See that cluster of enemies that have grouped up in one convenient blast radius? I hope you like reloading.
    • Similarly, when going back to ME1, players who where fond of melee attacks in ME2 will find themselves holstering their gun of the middle of the fight. A lot.
    • Hold X to change guns? When most shooters use Y instead?
    • In the PS3 versions of the Mass Effect series there several changes. For the first game L1 brings up the weapon menu and R1 brings up the powers while L2 zooms in and R2 shoots. In the second game it's the opposite and presumably a good number of people going between the two accidentally fired off a shot while trying to hack an enemy mech (and cursed at wasting a thermal clip). In the third game it keeps the configuration from the second, but now the Renegade/Paragon interrupts at L1 and R1 while in the second they were L2 and R2.
    • In the Xbox 360 versions of the Mass Effect games, the back button's function (or lack thereof) is different in each game:
      • Mass Effect 1: Pressing Back throws/detonates a grenade.
      • Mass Effect 2: Pressing Back puts away your weaponsnote .
      • Mass Effect 3: Pressing Back does nothing whatsoever. BioWare removed the ability to manually put away your weapons, probably because the function is admittedly pretty useless. (Doesn't stop people from complaining about it.)
      • In conclusion: Going from ME1 to ME2 results in a lot of pointless gun-sheathing as you attempt to throw nonexistent grenades. Going from ME2 to ME1 results in a lot of wasted grenades (which you have a limited number of) as you attempt to sheathe your gunsnote . Going from either game to ME3 results in a lot of wasted button presses that don't do anything. Going from ME3 to either of the first two games results in completely overlooking the grenade/sheathe functions.
  • Speaking of BioWare, switching between Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect on the Xbox360 is a pain.
    • Dragon Age: Start = Pause menu (save/load/options/etc); Select Back = Game menu (inventory/equipment/quests/etc)
    • Mass Effect: Start = Menu (save/load/options/etc AND inventory/equip/missions/etc); Back = throw a grenade.
    • In Mass Effect 2, Start pulls up the menu, and Back holsters your weapon. In ME1, you holster your weapon by pressing B. In ME2, B is the melee attack. (Which, in ME1, you automatically do when you press RT while standing directly in front of an enemy. Now, in ME2, RT always fires your equipped weapon, no matter how close you are to an enemy.)
  • Heck, Dragon Age does this between its own games. While the controls remain mostly the same, the radial menu that handles most tactics has had its layout strongly altered between games. Strangely, most of the 8 items haven't changed, but only one of them (Talents/spells) is in the same place in both games. Most irritatingly, "Quick Heal's" spot in Origins is "Quick Mana/Stamina" in the sequel, so you may wind up burning your Lyrium potions/Stamina draughts as you die messily.
  • And yet another from BioWare (but fairly minor): In Star Wars: The Old Republic, the Imperial and Republic space stations are mirror-image flipped from one another. Switching from a character from one faction to an alt of the other often leads to going the wrong way to get to things like trainers and mission terminals.
  • In Metal Walker, throughout the game you've been bouncing your partner off of walls to make bank shots and inflict the most damage. In the last dungeon, however, the walls are electrified and will hurt you. It's easy to forget this.
  • A series that can do this within itself is the Mario & Luigi series. In the first game, the Start button switches leaders from Mario to Luigi, and Select opens the menu. In the second game, you can't switch leaders, and Start merely pauses the game - however, you can separate from the babies, and you switch between them by pressing one of their buttons (A or B for the adults, X or Y for the babies). I guarantee you you will try to switch from babies to adults or vice versa by pressing Start. The second game also has the added confusion of having the hammer in battle mapped to X and Y, rather than A and B like all the other games. Even worse, later on in the third game Bowser gains the ability to jump... by pressing Y.
    • Enemies can do it too. Just get used to dodging attacks from endgame enemies, which usually require inhuman reflexes, and then try to fight ordinary Goombas. You will try to dodge MUCH earlier than you actually need to.
      • Speaking of dodging, many attacks are dodged by jumping. Other attacks are dodged by...not jumping. Even if you work out whether or not you actually need to jump, it'll be hard to beat your reflexes and stay still, especially if the enemy changes back and forth between the two methods.
  • Dwarf Fortress did this to itself. In versions 40D and previous, Space pauses and unpauses. Space exits most menus. F9 exits menus with text entry. In versions 31.X (the numbering scheme was changed after 40d) Space pauses/unpauses, Escape exits all menus. The idea was to simplify the interface and allow menus to stay up while you toggle pause. It was recieved poorly.
  • Eternal Sonata attempts to do this within itself. For most of the game, using the Xbox 360 controls, B is for defense when attacked, A is for attacking, as well as counterattacking in special defense circumstances, and Y is for Special Attacks. Achieve Party Level 6 and opt to use it, however, and these three buttons are subject to what's known as the Moving Command: every time you use a Special Attack, including at each point in a Harmony Chain, the functions are randomly reassigned. (All other buttons, including X for item use, retain their functions.) Why would you put yourself through Party Level 6? Well, that gives you the ability to chain 6 Special Attacks (usually both attacks for the appropriate light level for each character) together, as opposed to only 3. Players are thereby encouraged to check the onscreen control scheme each time they activate one.
    • Gaining the ability to (for Xbox 360) press A to counterattack after training your thumb to press B to block for over two-thirds of the game can be frustrating.
  • The original Mount & Blade default controls used 1 to select everyone, 2 for infantry, 3 for archers", 4 for cavalry and 5 for "Others", i.e. those who aren't selected at that moment. The expansions added depth and changed the tactical interface, and thus, the controls: 1 is to selct Group 1 (normally, infantry), 2 for Group 2 (archers), 3 for Group 3 (cavalry), etc., with 4-9 being customizable groups, which means that when you would have wanted your archers to hold ground while cavalry and infantry charged, your archers and an empty group are charging, your cavalry is holding ground and your infantry is given no new orders. Of course, it is editable, but still.
  • The vast majority of MMORPGs use a fairly standard control scheme, with WASD reserved for normal movement while Q and E are for strafing. For reasons unknown, City of Heroes uses a default scheme wherein Q and E 'turn' rather than strafe, thus leading to infinite frustration if you're accustomed to other MMO schemes. It doesn't help that the game's right-click mouselook locks the camera into place after you release the key.
  • Play any modern first person games, then go back in time to Ultima Underworld. W is run forward, A is turn left, D is turn right, so far so good. S is walk forward, X is walk backward, E and Q are fly up and down, and J is Jump. Conventions hadn't really solidified yet at the point that this was released, and now it can be really difficult to get the hang of.
  • Tales of Symphonia has a couple, one with a contemporary game, one with a later game on a different system:
    • The battle system in Symphonia handles very similarly to Super Smash Bros. Melee in the most basic respects: you angle the control stick and press A for normal attacks, B for special attacks. But in Symphonia, guard is mapped to X by default, while in Melee, X causes you to jump, and guard is mapped to the right shoulder button...which in Symphonia causes you to switch targets. Going from one to the other becomes frustrating very quickly.
    • In Tales of the Abyss, which is on PS2 instead of GameCube, the special button is O, while the guard button is the square. The positioning of these buttons on the controller is more or less exactly reversed from the GameCube controller's B (special) and X (guard) buttons. Fortunately, they can be swapped around by the player.
  • In Final Fantasy VI, Sabin's Blitz command is used by inputting button combos as in a fighting game, but the input is always the same regardless of which way Sabin's facing. If you're used to actual fighting games you'll likely instinctively flip the combos when Sabin faces the other direction, which causes the command to fail.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei IV, the X button, the topmost button which is traditionally used as the menu button for many other RPGs, attacks enemies on the map. The Y button, the left-hand button usually used as an action button in most other games, opens the menu. This is backwards in RPG standards for seemingly no good reason and there's no way to change this.
    • Going between Shin Megami Tensei IV and either Persona 3 or 4 is just as bad. In Persona 3 and 4 in dungeons, pressing X, the bottommost button on a PlayStation controller, attacks enemies while exploring dungeons.
    • Similarly in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, the Triangle button is used to bring up the map, as opposed to say Start. Menu is Square.
    • Some demons will change elemental affinities between games. What is considered a weakness for a demon in one game may be considered a resistance in another.
  • Some very deranged individual on the Dark Souls dev team thought it would be a good idea to assign both blocking with your shield and aiming the bow and arrow in first person to the same button, in a game where your character can be adept with both melee and ranged weapons and benefit from such. What this means is that the same button that will protect you from death in close quarter combat becomes the one that will result in your death should you follow your usual combative emergency instincts.
  • Brandish for the SNES has a default control scheme that gave many unsuspecting players a nasty shock when they found out that pressing left and right on the D-pad rotates the game window 90 degrees instead of moving sideways (which is mapped to the shoulder buttons by default).
  • Some of the controls for player spells between TaskMaker and its sequel, The Tomb of the TaskMaker were changed:
    • "Determine" (lowercase D) and "Examine" (lowercase E) in the original were merged into "Examine".
    • "Attack Multiple" (uppercase A in the original) was removed entirely.
    • "Heal/Cure" (uppercase C in the original) was changed to uppercase H. In the original game, uppercase H was "Haste", a spell not present in the sequel.
    • "Blast" (capital B) became "Strike" (capital S), and can now only be used by magicians.
    • "Grasp" (capital G) became "Steal" (lowercase S), and can now only be used by thieves.
    • All of the hidden spells were renamed, and many helpful ones were removed.
  • Present in the Neptunia series. In Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2, the Square button is used for Symbol Attacksnote  while Circle is used for searching items on the map. In Hyperdimension Neptunia V, the Square button is used for searching, X is used for Symbol Attacks, and Circle is used for jumping. This can lead to players who try to symbol attack monsters find themselves searching for an item in the map.

    First-Person and Third-Person Shooters 
  • PC FPS games have this in the spades depending on what you grew up with.
    • Early FPS games, like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and Duke Nukem 3D were built around the idea that some players wouldn't have a mouse. As such, much of the navigation is done on the right side of the keyboard, using the arrow keys to move forward/backwards and look left/right. Sidestepping? You had to hold down a key to do that. Looking up or down? Page Up/Down usually. If a mouse was available, it was just to replace the arrow keys.
      • Let's not get started with how complicated early FPS RPG or adventure games like Ultima Underworld and System Shock were.
    • Later FPS games, like Half-Life and Unreal used the now familiar WASD for planar navigation and the mouse to look up and down. But other basic actions, like crouch and use, get mapped in various spots all the time. It didn't help that since Half-Life was so moddable that its original key commands were kept, expected, and used in many mods.
  • If you are a game developer who uses an 'aim down sight' mechanic, and don't allow the player to decide if they have to click and hold to aim down the sights, or can use a one-push toggle, you deserve 0/100 metacritic scores.
  • Magic Carpet uses mouselook to control your facing...however, the up/down angle is backwards from every single other game that uses mouselook. Expect to spend 5 or 6 levels just getting used to this, and spending most of your time looking at the sky or the dirt.
  • The vast majority of shooters on the Xbox 360 use either X or the right bumper to reload. While this makes switching between Gears of War/Halo and Call of Duty minorly irritating, it doesn't compare with the handful of games (Red Dead Redemption, Grand Theft Auto IV, Left 4 Dead) that insist on making B the reload button. Worse yet, the games that use B typically lack a control scheme option that puts reload on X or RB.
    • As if to add insult to injury, pressing X or Square in Rockstar games makes you vault out from behind your cover, so trying to reload could cause you to jump out into the open and get shot full of lead.
  • Also, shooters on the Xbox and PS3 tend to use completely different control schemes. The Xbox uses the trigger buttons for shooting/punching and the shoulder buttons for secondary actions, which on the PS3 it's the other way around.
  • A particularly infuriating example is BioShock 2; in the first game, when dealing with one of the game's Little Sisters you could choose to either save (for a good ending) or harvest (for a bad ending) her, which was done by hitting one of two buttons. The feature returns in the sequel, but for an inexplicable reason, the buttons are switched...
    • The Bioshock series in general uses a completely reversed control scheme compared to 90% of other console shooters. The use button and jump button are swapped, etc.
  • Playing any of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games after playing a modern FPS. The first time you get into a firefight, you're going to be in trouble. Many shooters bind the "throw grenade" button to the G key. Grenades are by default selected (but not thrown) with the 4 key in any STALKER game. What does the G key do? Oh, it makes you drop the weapon you have out. The keys can be remapped, but anyone who doesn't think to check on this is going to be mighty embarrassed the first few times it happens. Also bad is going from the second or third game back to the first if you didn't standardize the controls by hand as you went through the games - the M key opens the map on your PDA (one of the many functions it has) in the first game, but from then on, H opens your PDA, and the map is really the only screen that you'll use with any frequency. The H key opens up a list of nearby stalkers in the original.
    • Another in-series example is the quicksave and quickload keys. In the first game they default to F6 and F7, whereas in later games it was F5 and F9 (presumably to avoid hitting the wrong one by mistake).
  • Start up Half-Life (on the PS2) for the first time (ever) after playing any other game in history. If you've just been playing 360 nonstop for the past few days, remembering that the Left-Stick and the Keypad are in completely different places can be tricky, but you'll get used to it. But the fucking jump button? It's L1 (or as the 360 people call it, "LB"). What the heck kind of configuration?! Hope you like re-mapping it (thank God you can!) or just flailing about confusedly as you run about, since Gordon apparently lacks the ability to walk.
  • In a lot of First Person Shooters (all Valve shooters, for example), on the PC, the Q key switches weapons between the current weapon and the last weapon used. In Far Cry 2, the Q button throws a grenade. In all Call of Duty games, the Q button makes you lean to the left (except later Modern Warfare games, where it instead throws a special grenade).
    • On the same note, players who play Garry's Mod may find themselves bringing up the spawn menu when they wanted their previous weapon.
      • Pressing Q in Minecraft drops whatever the player is holding. So a player attempting to switch between items in their inventory might instead toss their diamond pick into lava.
      • And let's not get started with the difficulties encountered in certain First Person Shooters on the PC when your preference is for the arrow keys instead of the age-old WASD/ESDF layout. While some allow you to rebind the keys with no issue, some - such as Combat Arms - could only be played by arrow key players after they delved into the game's config file.
    • Tribes 2 defaults to ESDF for movement, not WASD like damn near every other modern FPS, mostly because of all the dedicated binds for important things like throwing grenades, land mines, and beacons that need to be within easy reach. There is a stock WASD configuration, but players will have to set it manually. What makes this really egregious is that Starsiege: Tribes, Tribes: Vengeance, and Tribes: Ascend default to WASD, and the latter has a voice command menu and loadout shortcut menu that can't be rebound to ESDF.
    • In addition, Vengeance and Ascend have dedicated skiing keys and merged jump and jet key options, while skiing in Tribes 1 and Tribes 2 consists solely of holding down the jump key. This is partly because the skiing mechanic is an Ascended Glitch, one that was just mentioned in the manual in Tribes 2 before becoming a more distinct mechanic in later games.
    • Playing the Starsiege: Tribes series and then playing its spiritual successor Legions: Overdrive can screw you up indefinitely.
      • First of all, Legions has omnidirectional jetting and jetting on the ground. In Tribes, you can only jet upwards. Combine this with the faster gamplay, different button controls, and downjetting, and you get a totally confusing experience.
  • A common problem with console FPS, in particular in relation to aiming and inverted controls. The "normal" controls are generally tilting the the joystick up to aim up and to aim down you tilt the stick down. Simple right? Meanwhile, the "inverted" option treats "forward on the stick as "aim downward" and "back" on the stick to aim upward, much like the flight stick in a plane (indeed, this is usually default for flight simulators). While it comes down to personal preference which set-up is the "better" option, it's INCREDIBLY jarring when the game doesn't give you the chance to choose between the two.
    • Even worse is switching back and forth between two people who play with opposite controls. Prepare to spend the first 30 seconds every time your turn comes up navigating menus to switch everything back to your play style.
    • The same problem appears in PC FPS with mouse control. A player who's used to flight simulators will probably choose the inverted mouse.
      • The worst part of all? Not everyone agrees on what "inverted" aim is! Build engine FPSs (Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior, Blood, etc.) consider "push up, aim up, and vice versa" to be inverted!
      • This is specially jarring in games in which, for whatever reason, you can switch from third-person perspective to first-person. Or, more specifically, from moving-mode to aiming-mode. Many gamers prefer the moving camera and the aiming camera to have a different configuration while playing with gamepads, as it feels more natural, but some games force the same one. It's specially bad when a game's idea of "inverted" camera is only inverting one axis while other games consider "inverted" camera to invert both.
  • Most PC shooters that feature Secondary Fire for their weapons map primary fire to the left mouse button, and secondary fire to the right. The PC version of Clive Barker's Jericho has it the other way around. Left click shoots the grenade launcher, the shotgun, and throws grenades; right click does the standard actions.
  • Very bad idea: try going from Sniper Elite to any FPS or TPS. Not that you will face big problems... Until you get your hand on a sniper rifle. You'll never hit anyone, because you'll try to aim above their heads! (Sniper Elite features realistic sniping, and at long range you have to compensate for gravity, and aim a little above their heads. Very few other shooters simulate bullet drop at long ranges, with the possible exception of S.T.A.L.K.E.R., ARMA and Battlefield: Bad Company.)
  • Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4 came out roughly at the same time. The controls are similar with the very important change that Halo's "pick up weapon / reload" button became "drop grenade" in Call of Duty. This led to multiple instances of one blowing oneself up, or other players.
    • Additionally, attempting to aim down the sights makes you go prone in every non-Call of Duty FPS.
      • Subverted by almost every FPS with iron sights released in the wake of Call of Duty 4. The default controls are almost exactly the same as Call of Duty 4s, with Circle/B as crouch and L1/LT is sights. In addition, many games that did not have Iron Sights in previous installments added them in.
      • The L Trigger, which is used to aim down the sights in Call of Duty, is used to throw a grenade in Halo 3. Ouch.
    • A similar "blow yourself up" bit appears when switching between Halo 3 and Rainbow Six: Vegas 2.
      • Or even between Halo 3 and the rest of the series.
    • Crysis 2 and the Call of Duty games both use L1/LT for sights and R1/RT for firing, Crysis 2 uses LB/L2 for armor and RB/R2 for cloak. What are L2/LB and R2/RB. for the latter? Throw 'nades. Oh dear. Also, go from the former to any other recent game. Sprint and then crouch. Wonder why you aren't sliding.
    • In addition, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 on the PC moved "melee attack" from V to E. When pounced on by a dog in either game, there is a quicktime-like event where the player must hit the melee attack key with a specific timing to prevent death. It's very easy to hit V, miss the window, and get one's throat torn out. (Not that the dogs ever played fair with the timing anyway.)
      • Try going from Call of Duty 4 back to the first two games. Hit the Shift key when your allies get too far ahead and end up smacking one of them across the face with your rifle, because Shift is now your melee key and sprinting is not a thing outside of the first game's expansion.
    • And now we have Halo: Reach's default controls, which are quite a bit different from the default controls in any other Halo game. While the default controls place reload/action on X like it was in Halo 1 & 2, which can be easy to adjust to if you still play those two regularly, the biggest change is the placement of melee on RB and grenade toggle on B. Melee had previously always been on B by default, while RB was the default reload/action button in Halo 3. If you've been playing Halo 3 exclusively, you might find yourself meleeing when trying to reload or switching between grenade types when trying to melee. Fortunately, there's the "Recon" control layout, which is very close to Halo 3's default layout, with RB being reload/action and B being melee. However, even it differs from Halo 3's default controls, as grenade type toggle is on X instead of LB, while LB now activates armor abilities (in Halo 3, LB toggled grenades while X deployed equipment). Confused yet?
      • Not to mention if, while playing Reach, you get used to being able to zoom in with a pistol, or use night-vision—because you may find yourself stupidly trying to activate the latter in Halo 3, or wondering "where's the little crosshairs?" for the former. And don't even start with the differences between Reach's and any other Halo's Assault Rifle. What is this box-like thing I'm wielding?! (However, in its defense, the H3 pistol is insanely powerful.)
    • Also, Resistance: Fall of Man. Resistance was already hard. Stop making me go back over a section because you put 'throw grenade' where 'whack enemy across face until dead' used to be!
      • Especially aggravating because the player has seconds to sit and realize just how badly they screwed up before the grenade goes off. In an ironic twist, Resistance's grenades have decent and realistic splash damage as compared to other games' 'bunny fart' grenades. There's no way in hell you're getting away in time even with the three second delay; have fun with that, especially since you want to toss one specific type of grenade (Backlash) near yourself to make the best use of it.
      • Even worse with Killzone 2, where Resistance's grenade button becomes 'use'.
  • The Orange Box includes Portal and Half-Life 2, where pressing E picks up objects and opens doors, and Team Fortress 2, where it calls for a medic. Though, to be fair, TF2 doesn't have pick-uppable objects or non-automatic doors, and the other two games don't have medics.
    • Also, in The Orange Box on consoles, Snipers have a Medic addiction—because clicking the right stick calls for Medic rather than scoping in.
    • Try playing Portal, where both mouse buttons fire different portals, and then try playing the Flash game, in which Q and E fire one color each of the portals, the left mouse button fires alternating portals, and right click opens the useless Flash menu (which to be fair, they couldn't deactivate no matter what they tried).
    • Or go from HL2 to the first Half-Life (even the rehashed Source version). You're being machine gunned, you want to sprint into shotgun range, you press shift... and start walking very slowly.
    • Play a Valve shooter, any Valve shooter, after playing Left 4 Dead. Whoops! You just blew yourself up with a grenade while trying to punch a Combine soldier with your MP7! Putting "bash zombie-skull with weapon" on the right mouse button was enough to cause this effect when moving from Left 4 Dead to any other PC shooter in existence, it seems (except maybe F.E.A.R.).
    • Portal 2's controls include zooming in (on PC/Mac, it's set to the mouse wheel), something that doesn't exist in the first one - if you want to get a close look at something that isn't near a wall you can place a portal on, tough luck.
    • Switch weapons in Half-Life 2 or another Valve shooter, then try to switch weapons in Codename Gordon using the mouse wheel. In the latter, scrolling up chooses the next weapon down, and vice versa.
  • The Metal Slug titles use the 'Fire' button to confirm all selections on menus. In the PS2 ports, this is the 'Square' button. Nearly every other game on the system uses the X.
  • The Xbox Live Arcade version of Ikaruga alters some enemy placements and bullet patterns. Not a big deal if you're just casually romping through the game, but when you're trying to go for those S++ ranks...
  • The 3rd Person Shooter Dirge of Cerberus decided to invert the camera control. When you push the right joystick right, the camera pans right and you get a view of the left, this is the exact opposite of the majority of TPS and is one of the main complaints of the game.
  • NES Shoot Em Ups Sky Shark and 1943. The former uses B for bomb and A for fire, and the latter flips them around.
  • Try playing this Flash version of Doom if you've ever played the original. I promise you, you'll be shooting at doors and trying to open enemies...repeatedly.
    • In the original game, it is possible to make doors that open automatically when a player approaches them rather than having to be opened. There are some mods that do this, but also continue to allow the doors to be opened with the use key. These usually result in long-time players accidentally closing any doors which try to be nice and open themselves.
  • Battlefield is rife with this.
    • Battlefield 1942, Battlefield: Vietnam, and Battlefield 2 have the parachute on a separate key from jump. Battlefield 2142 onward merge jump and parachute into one bind.
    • Battlefield: Bad Company 2 does not allow you to go prone, unlike all the other games in the series. Also, you pick up kits with the same key used to enter vehicles, whereas BF1942 through BF2142 used a dedicated key for picking up kits.
    • BF1942 and BF: Vietnam use number keys 1 through 6 for switching seats in vehicles. BF2 and BF2142 use F1 through F6, because those seats that allow use of hand weapons use the number keys for weapon switching.
    • The worst offender? The number keys used for weapon switching. BF1942 through BF2 are pretty consistent, but then BF2142 puts the hand grenades on 7 and the medkit on 4 (along with defibrillator on 5), whereas the grenades always used to be on 4! This also messes up the order when scrolling through with the mouse wheel. With Bad Company 2, it's even worse now that hand grenades and the knife are not selectable items, so they moved secondary and primary weapons to 1 and 2, along with class extras like the medkit and defibrillator to 3 and 4! Trying to grab the right weapon by using those keys will now be an exercise in frustration if you don't remember to remap them first!
    • Bad Company 2 and BF: 1943 use the exact same control scheme except that the melee and switch weapon buttons have been reversed. Going to stab someone and accidentally pulling out a bazooka can end unpleasantly for everyone.
    • The gadget buttons have been switched between Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3, leading to instances where you pull out your defibrillator when you meant to drop a medkit.
    • Console players got royally screwed after Battlefield 4 decided to use a COD-like scheme, a result of the Commo-Rose being introduced to consoles. The "Veteran" scheme didn't help much.
  • Two common actions in PC FPS games tend to be swapped around for some reason. For example, the "Use" command tends to be either E or F. (If you were playing Thief: The Dark Project, System Shock 2, or Deus Ex, it'd be right-mouse-click, which will likely prompt an immediate remap.) The other is crouch, which is mapped to Ctrl or C. Another common action, if you're a multiplayer nut, that gets moved around is the chat command and the scoreboard command. For example, in Quake-engine based games, it's normally Y. However, in Unreal-engine games, it's T. For scoreboards, it's Tab in Quake and F1 in Unreal - Tab in Unreal brings up the quick console.
  • Just about everyone who went from Turok: Dinosaur Hunter to GoldenEye on Nintendo 64 switched the controls to 1.2 Solitaire. This lets you move with the Control Pad or C buttons and aim with the Control Stick like in a modern shooter.
    • A lot of people do the opposite, remapping modern shooters to play like GoldenEye's default setting, which like older shooters puts walking forward and back and turning on the Control Stick and aim up, aim down, and walking sideways on the Control Pad or C buttons. There seems to be two distinct camps on this, with neither one understanding how the hell the other can possibly play like that.
    • It can be particularly aggravating for anyone proficient in the Turok/Solitaire control scheme to move onto contemporary console FPSs. With the Solitaire scheme, the left thumb directs the player's view while the right thumb moves your character using the C-pad. Nowadays, the left thumb handles movement, and the right thumb directs the view.
      • You didn't put your left thumb on the D-Pad and the right on the analog stick with that control scheme? Problem solved if you can't get used to southpaw controls. Sure, it's a bit of a reach to the B and A buttons, but nothing too unmanageable.
    • This may happen in some old time PC gamers who were used to FPS games without mouse look, which used the arrow keys by default. Even with mouse look, some may use the arrow keys to move around.
      • The most recent Doom and Quake games still keep old style controls, like CTRL for firing.
  • More of a 'Damn you ingrained response' situation, but it turns out going straight from SWAT 4 to Call of Duty 4 is a bad idea, regardless of the identical numbering. Having your default response to a hostile be 'Shout compliance, shoot to scare' rather than 'kill em' doesn't work too well when F is now use and enemies don't surrender.
    • Similarly: Call of Duty 4 does not give civilians a weaponless running animation. Hence, in the mission "Death From Above" where you see everything as a thermal image, there's a pair of civilians the SAS team carjacks who on your first play through you'll probably end up shooting and getting sent back to the last checkpoint, simply because you were expected to realize that a pair of featureless white/black humanoid shapes running as though they have assault rifles without the SAS team's IR strobes are not actually enemiesnote .
  • Ladies and gentlemen, Vanquish. Try going from your typical CoD/BF shooter to this in the same gaming session and immediately regret it. On the PS3, L1 aims down the sights and R1 shoots. And that's where the similarities end. X is dodge, Circle is melee, Square ducks you under cover, The D-pad changes your weapons and grenades, L2 boosts you around the place and R2 reloads. L3 and R3 do nothingnote . With the ridiculous pace of Vanquish, you need to learn the differences quickly before you're bumrushed by robots as early as the first chapter of the game.
  • Between two of the Splinter Cell games, they decided to change the "hanging from a pipe" controls. Everywhere else, jump was still jump and crouch was still crouch. When hanging from a pipe, where you once had to press crouch to jump down, or jump to pull your legs up, you now had the choices to crouch against the pipe or jump off... to your inevitable doom, as you shout "Don't jump in the sea! Why would I want you to jump in the sea!?"
  • For a devoted player of TimeSplitters 1 and 2, picking up Mercenaries 1 or 2 is especially painful. TimeSplitters uses R2 for main fire, while Mercenaries uses R1 to fire and R2 is change weapon. TimeSplitters is an FPS, and Mercenaries is a TPS, so there's no problem... Until the first Sniping Mission, because using the rifle switches to a first-person camera.
    • Let's not forget TimeSplitters 2 and TimeSplitters: Future Perfect for the GameCube, in which Future Perfect decided to swap many of the controls in the map editor, even though they function nearly exactly the same, feature-wise. They really didn't even add any new controls, just moved them around.
      • They also removed the secondary fire button (making you actually have to switch to secondary mode on weapons) and replaced it with grenade throw...
      • It's hell for anyone who picked up TSFP first, and then tried to play TS2. The C-Stick is used to aim, sure, but it won't stop moving back to the center of the screen! The option for a crosshair doesn't normally have a zoom-in feature, and melee just isn't possible (which made those damn zombies a hell of a lot harder to kill while reloading).
  • Hopefully you didn't play through Resident Evil 4 just before 5 came out. Your shoot and reload keys have been swapped.
    • Oh, its even worse than that. The standard control set (type D!) has you aim with left trigger, shoot with right trigger, and you STRAFE if you hit left or right.
  • The default controls in the PC version of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon put sprinting on the right mouse button. The Shift key, which is usually how you sprint in any other FPS, brings up the command map.
  • Fallout 3 and Left 4 Dead came out within a couple months of one another. Woe to anyone who went straight from one to the other, for in Fallout 3, the right bumper pauses the action and zooms in on the enemy for a quick kill, while in Left 4 Dead, the same button does a quick 180 degree turn.
  • System Shock (the classic original) came out shortly before WASD became the standard, and as a result, uses ASDX instead (well, that and arrow keys). It doesn't have remappable controls.
  • Dead Space 2 has several differences to Dead Space: Reloading is now X/Square instead of Lt/L1+A/X, Quick Heal is now B/Circle instead of X/Square, Stasis is now Lt/L1+Y/Triangle instead of Lt/L1+X/Square and the inventory is now accessed by pressing Back/Select instead of Y/Triangle. This can lead to situations where the player tries to stasis an enemy, only to reload his weapon while said enemy proceeds to chew off his face. The layout can not be changed either.
  • Bodycount: R1/RB is throw grenade. L1/LB is lay mines. Melee isn't R3 like pretty much every other current FPS, it's O/B. R3 is Crouch.
  • Fur Fighters: the PS2 version had a control scheme that flew in the face of most if not all other shooters on the platform.
  • Xbox 360 shooters use Left Trigger and Right Trigger, the analog shoulder buttons. PS3 shooters default to L1 and R1, the digital shoulder buttons. Red Dead Redemption used the 360 defaults, even on the PS3, and Rockstar later released a patch to allow players to use L1 and R1. Also, X is jump, B is reload, A is run/sprint. You can see why this might be a problem.
  • In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the B / Circle button is the hand-to-hand takedown button. The problem is that it is also the "Back out of a conversation" button in nearly every other game in existence. So, a common occurrence is for a player to totalk to an NPC they didn't intend to, hit B to back out, and wind up accidentally cold-cocking the poor sap.
  • Call of Duty: World at War's tank controls. In the earlier games, the tank controlled like, well, a tank (strafe keys turned the tank's body, turret would turn with the body). In World at War, the tank controls were overhauled to work more like the on-foot controls (strafe only turns the tank until the body faces the direction you're holding, at which point it moves forward, and the turret stays oriented where you're aiming regardless of what direction you drive).
  • Serious Sam 3: BFE has an achievement for completing the campaign once through without sprinting, aiming down iron sights or manually reloading. Problem is, if you've played pretty much any recent shooter, you might easily slip up.
  • Not so much in the actual video game of Half-Life, but when watching the Machinima Freeman's Mind the creator is filming with godmode on, so it can be jarring to a person who has their own system of play when he skips medpacks, batteries and even weapons.
  • Players trying to interact with the environment in Rage may find themselves inadvertently reloading, since "use" and "reload" are assigned to different buttons. It doesn't help that the "use" button, X/A, is normally used for jumping, which in turn is mapped to Triangle/Y, normally used for switching weapons.
  • The remake of Syndicate has enough similarities with fellow EA-published Crysis, including the sprint-into-slide and automatic ledgegrabbing, that you might be confused when it isn't. L2/LB is Breach, not Maximum Armour; R2/RB is DART Overlay rather than Cloak. The real kicker, though, is when you double-tap Y/Triangle to get your 'nades out and wonder why they don't show up. It's hold Y/Triangle here.
  • In Unreal I, The Automag reloads automatically after a clip runs out. However, since it gives a click when starting to run out, there can be a reflex to try to reload. The standard button for that (R) opens a chat. Which immobilizes you.
  • In Receiver, the way in which One Bullet Clips is averted is by altering the interface to assign keys to each component of the firearm. Someone used to pressing "R" after every fight, therefore, will find themselves accidentally racking the slide and ejecting an unfired bullet every time they do so.
  • Borderlands 2: Gaige's Ordered Chaos tree relies on a mechanic called Anarchy, which gains stacks every time you kill an enemy or fully empty your magazine in combat. If you reload prematurely, all the stacks will vanish. This can lead to some... frustration among veteran first person shooter players who are used to reloading their weapons at every opportunity.
    • On a similar note, Tediore weapons are reloaded by throwing the weapon, which explodes like a grenade, and then a new one warps to your hands. The problem is that if there's any ammo left in the clip, you lose it (and get a bigger explosion), meaning players who forget they're using a Tediore at the moment will chew through their ammo supply pretty quickly.
  • Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain, despite being a third-person shooter, defaults to the first three games' tank controls on the left thumbstick, meaning your first few attempts to strafe will probably end up with you running in a slow circle. Strafing is on L2 and R2.
  • ARMA veterans may be feeling this too as they start to play the ARMA 3 alpha. One of the mechanics changes was to make grenade use its own distinct key (basically what most shooters have been doing since Call of Duty 2). While the choice of default key for this makes sense for those new to the series (G), in all of the previous ARMA games this key has been used for accessing one's inventory. Dslyecxi demonstrates the issue here with the noble sacrifice of fellow ShackTac members.
  • In first-person puzzle game Antichamber, pressing the escape key at any time will return you to the map room, resetting the puzzles so you can try again. This is great, except when you are deep into puzzle solving and need to pause the game - you slap "ESC" (The menu/pause button in most games with a similar control system) because you are needed in Real Life and *poof* all your recent progress is gone!
  • FEAR 2: Project Origin reassigns the first game's Switch Weapons button as the Throw Grenade button, the former Grenade button/trigger as Iron Sights, the Use Medkit button for Bullet Time, and the Bullet Time button for selecting weapons.

    Sports Games 
  • Several straight iterations of the PlayStation 2 and 3 versions of football games FIFA and Winning Eleven have had identical default control schemes...EXCEPT that the "shoot" and "cross" buttons are reversed. Cue a patient 20-pass move to get your player through on goal, and then facepalm when he crosses instead of shooting.
    • FIFA 12 takes this to whole new extremes by completely changing the style in which you have to defend. So players, having used the same simple button set for years, have to learn (what might be) new terminology just to avoid conceding.
  • Very confusing for the Gretzky NHL (2005) port on the PSP at least, in which in-game menu navigation uses X for enter and triangle for back, while the system menus (which do pop up in-game when loading or saving stuff) are X and O.
  • A fairly annoying occurrence in Madden '05 for the PS2 when the R1 and L1 buttons that were traditionally used for jukes were changed to the right analog stick. At first you were allowed to revert to the old system, in '06 however. They removed being able to change it to pre '05.
    • Also another occurrence from a few years later in Madden '09 would be replacing the kicking meter that used to work by pressing X 3 times in succession, to a brand new one that, yep, used the right analog stick again. Leading players to bring up the help screen whenever they pressed X. While fairly less annoying or damaging than the above example. It still took a while to get used to.
    • One earlier example (2003 to 2004 or earlier), that was an incredibly stupid idea if thought about for more than 5 seconds, was that on PC, the control used in the earlier version to have the quarterback run the ball was changed in the newer version to having the quarterback throw the ball out of the field automatically. For anyone who relied heavily on QB runs, like someone who used Mc Nabb or Vick as their primary QB, this was a game breaker.
  • Who here has played Yooyuball on Neopets for any of the past five Altador Cups? Of those people, who are scoring a lot less this year than those past years?
  • Played the SmackDown vs. Raw series of games for a while? FINALLY gotten used to the "Ultimate Control" grappling system they've had in the last 5 installments? Well here comes WWE '12 which throws all that out the window and introduces an even newer grappling system. Good Luck making that transition!
  • For NBA 2K13, the developers changed the right analog shot stick to the control stick. Now you pull a fancy move to get open, have a free lane to the basket, but where as flicking the stick one way or the other would make you try a layup, now it makes you do another dribble move. To initiate a shot you have to hold down the left trigger/bumper. A hard tendency to unlearn. Fortunately the dev team was savvy enough to allow you to default the right stick to the shot stick like before and left trigger/bumper to activate dribble moves.

    Strategy 
  • In general either left mouse selects/deselects your units and right mouse tells them to move and attack (Warcraft style), or left mouse selects and orders units while right mouse simply deselects (Command & Conquer style). For example: playing Supreme Commander then finding Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun at a thrift store, playing it and losing your Mammoth Mk. II because you were trying to tell it to move out of danger and instead kept deselecting it.
  • The Total War series never settled on one set of controls for all of its games. Most aggravating are the camera controls, which for some God-forsaken reason in Napoleon (the newest one) went from the standard commands in Medieval II and Empire to Rome's (the earliest 3D game.)
  • In Famicom Wars / Advance Wars, you hit the primary key on an empty square to get the end-turn menu, because the series started on button-limited consoles (NES). Disgaea, on the other hand, started on the PlayStation, so it has a dedicated menu button. Going from playing Advance Wars: Dual Strike on the DS to playing Disgaea on the PSP is nice and confusing. Thankfully, they're both turn-based games, so you don't get killed because you're hitting the wrong button.
    • The Disgaea remakes fix this; you can open the menu whichever way you prefer.
  • Similarly, going between Disgaea and Final Fantasy Tactics, which are both isometric-perspective-based, is difficult, because the default d-pad layout is set up differently. In one, pressing "up" moves you up and to the left, in the other, pressing "up" is up and to the right. Forunately, you can change this on an options menu in both.
  • As another Strategy example, after playing X-COM, much difficulty will be had in other games of similar design, like the UFO After Blank series, Rebel Star Alliance and UFO: Alien Invasion due to the similar weapons names, differences in stats and AI, and the subtly different controls and mechanics involved. Expect much cursing as a soldier who'd normally survive in X-Com somehow gets picked off in UFO.
    • This gets amplified if an old-era X-Com veteran picks up the 2012 XCOM: Enemy Unknown - they now have to break a lot of old habits just to get to grips with the revised Strategic and Tactical gameplay.
  • Most RTS games have a technique that lets you save a selected group of units with Ctrl-1 (etc.) and then just hit 1 to call them up again. Total Annihilation had this, except that you have to hit Alt-1 to call them up again, which is an awkward and scarcely used combination. So many people complained about pressing numbers out of habit and getting nothing that Cavedog changed it in the last patch before the company went bust.
    • TA uses Left Mouse Button= Move, attack, reclaim, what have you. Right Mouse Button= Deselect current unit or group. Spring, the 3D remake, reverses this.
      • Similarly, Command & Conquer games traditionally used the first scheme and Blizzard's (Warcraft and Starcraft) used the second...until Tiberium Wars, when EA inexplicably switched to something reminiscent of the Blizzard scheme...with some small differences like the "attack in this zone" command. Thankfully, starting in Kane's Wrath and Red Alert 3, there is an option for classic C&C controls. Glorious!
  • The first two Age of Empires could be played with one mouse button (C&C Style), or two (Warcraft/Starcraft style). Age of Mythology had only the two-button option.
  • Compare trying to make units do something in Starcraft/Warcraft and Age of Empires to accidentally deselecting them in C&C Red Alert 2 — the left mouse button and right mouse button got switched.
  • The changes between Homeworld and Homeworld 2 can be very irritating. Homeworld uses the left mouse button for selection and actions. Homeworld 2 uses left for selection and right for commands. It's also frustrating to forget that you can't pan in Homeworld, where you could in Homeworld 2.
    • Not to mention starting to play Homeworld 1 after being used to 2. In the second game, the "S" key orders your currently selected ships to stop, while Shift+Ctrl+X orders them to scuttle (instantly destroying the selected ships). In the first game, the S key..... issues a scuttle order. Cue my entire combat fleet self-destructing during mission 1. Not good.
  • In Command & Conquer, the "S" key is "Stop". In the first two Homeworld games, double-tapping the "S" key is "Scuttle".
  • Civilization 4 has an annoying example. In earlier versions of the game, if a unit in a city was active, the "enter" key would open the city screen. This was changed to the little-used "insert" key, which is not very convenient to reach, whether playing with both hands on the keyboard or with one on the mouse.
    • Civilization 5 has one before getting into the game. In Civilization 4, "Play Now" was used to set-up a standard game; you would choose the map type, size, difficulty, etc. In Civilization 5, a single click of "Play Now" starts a new game with the last options picked, into a long loading screen which cannot be cancelled out of.
  • Sword of the Stars II's interface is so different from the first that veterans may be even more confused than those new to the series.
  • Star Ruler mouse-based camera controls are... different.
  • At least in Shogun 2 Total War, some of the RTS commands aren't what you'd normally expect. For instance, the command to tell your units to stop what they're doing? Backspace, whereas other games usually use S to tell a unit to stop what they're doing.

    Wide-Open Sandbox 
  • In Prototype, if you wanted to do a Stealth Consume on someone, you needed to hold the right shoulder button and press B (on the 360 controller). In Prototype 2, they now just have you do the same motion that you would for an in-battle consume, and pressing the right shoulder button results in dropping your disguise and using your shield. If you're used to the first game's stealth consume mechanic too much, be prepared to accidentally cause a few alerts as you demonstrate powers in front of military personnel in the sequel. Also, P2 uses Back/Select for the menu and Start for the map whereas many other games do the opposite.
    • Another frustration-inducing change is the swap between glide and air-dash. Even for PC users, rebinding keys do not help. P1 used a Sprint/Air-dash and Jump/Glide setup, where as P2 uses a Sprint/Glide and Jump/Air-dash setup. P1 veterans are going to find their enjoyment levels nose-diving as they attempt for a gold medal in events such as Incineration and Recovery.
  • Pressing Start in The Godfather II doesn't pause the game, Select/Back does. Start brings up the Don's View map.
  • Minecraft:
    • Do not try to play Minecraft after playing the similar yet 2D Terraria. In Terraria, you use the left mouse button to place items. In Minecraft, this is used to attack things. You will also get into the habit of pressing Esc to open your inventory. A lot.
    • Even worse; in Minecraft, opening a chest and then shift-clicking an item or stack in your inventory will place that item/stack in the chest. The same action is used in Terraria to PERMANENTLY DELETE items.
    • Also, do not try to play Minecraft after playing any game where multiple attacks on a single object require multiple presses of the attack button. At least, not if you want to actually collect wood.
    • Many multiplayer servers have commands you can use to teleport, which are often used to warp away from trouble. Have fun going back to an unmodded single player world and trying to type /home when you're being mobbed by Creepers.
  • Terraria:
    • Some players might have changed the default controls to move the up function elsewhere, freeing W for jumping, since up is normally only used in a few special situations. Cue the 1.2 update adding rope, a very common and useful item that relies on the up function to climb...
    • If you play Terraria after playing games where you push T for in-game chat, you'll find yourself throwing your items on the ground every time you want to talk to someone.
  • In Star Made, you use left click to place blocks and right click to remove them, which is the exact opposite of its inspiration and similar-styled game, Minecraft.
  • The control layouts for Grand Theft Auto IV and Grand Theft Auto V are mostly similar with some exceptions, with taxi cab mechanics being the most notable. In GTA IV, tapping the "enter vehicle" button carjacks the driver while holding it allows the player to enter as a passenger; in GTA V, the opposite is true.

  • Saints Row 2's Xbox 360 gamepad default is to have sprint on RB. Try using that same button to sprint in Saints Row: The Third and you'll throw a grenade, because sprint is on LB. Then you go back to Saints Row 2, wonder why you're not sprinting at all when mashing LB, and then realize it's the "grab human shield/throw" button. Same goes for Crysis and Crysis Warhead, for anyone that would play them on PC with the gamepad.
    • On top of this, Saints Row 2 has melee on LT, zoom on RS, reload on A, and jump on X. Saints Row the Third is much more Call of Duty-like with melee on RS, zoom on LT, jump on A, and reload on X. Taking human shields is now mapped to Y, since they needed to free a bumper for a dedicated grenade throw bind.
    • Car/bike controls have also changed. Saints Row 2 follows the older Grand Theft Auto convention of using A to accelerate and X to brake, leaving the triggers free for shooting. Saints Row the Third instead opts for the Grand Theft Auto IV approach of using RT to accelerate and LT to brake, moving the shoot button to LB.
      • The worst part? As much of a Porting Disaster as it was on PC, Saints Row 2 at least lets you customize the gamepad controls to help mitigate this effect. The Third forces you to use the defaults, like a lot of PC ports with Xbox 360 gamepad support these days.
  • Grand Theft Auto IV presents a doubly-frustrating example: on foot, if you've grown acclimated to typical FPS/TPS controls a la Call of Duty, your instincts will get you killed. (Jump! Nope, that's a melee attack. Reload! Oh, hang on, that's jump. Fire, goddamn it, fire! Oops, that's take cover.) Then, to compound the aggravation, the driving controls place the handbrake in a very counterintuitive spot for anyone who's grown used to Burnout-or-Need for Speed-style controls; get ready to fail a lot of car chase missions and police escapes. And there are a whopping two controller layout options, both equally unimpressive. What the hell happened to letting players assign button layouts?
    • On PC, this is even worse as GTA IV no long allows to customize the controls like you could in GTA III, VC and SA every PC game of the post-DOS era and many before it.
    • And when GTA came out for the Xbox, first in the double pack with III, Vice City and then San Andreas separately they had completely different controls. When driving, what was attack in San Andreas was now handbrake in III/Vice City... so imagine coming up on a motorbike at top speed, about to fire your Uzi and instead hitting the handbrake and spinning out of control.
    • Grand Theft Auto IV on PS3 also causes major problems for players weaned on GTA III-era games (especially San Andreas) on the PS2. Primarily, the driving controls are completely different and use the PS3 controller's triggers for acceleration and braking (as opposed to the buttons in the earlier games). Which pretty much guarantees you'll run someone over and get the police after you the first time you attempt to do a chase. Or you'll find yourself shooting out the window when you don't want to. Or bailing from the vehicle...
    • Saints Row 2 has closer controls to the PS2 GTA games, except moving around the controls for attacking, weapon switching, running, looking behind, handbrake, and entering missions is the same button as entering/leaving vehicles. It's not so bad, but it does make for confusion, and frustration for the final placement.
      • Just Cause 2 is an equal offender. The driving controls are pretty much identical to Grand Theft Auto IV, with one difference. The button or key for the handbrake in GTA IV is the same as the command to deploy the player's parachute in Just Cause 2, which can be problematic when you are driving someone somewhere and instead of stylishy doing a handbrake turn you jump out of the car and watch it spiral into a wall.
      • Speaking of handbreaks, in most modern Sandbox games, the button to get into a car is almost always the top button (Y or Triangle), and the triggers control acceleration and breaking, but the button to pull the handbreak is always different. Is it the bottom button? The Left one? Or maybe the one on the right? It's always different.
      • Helicopter controls among the three games, especially the PC versions, will also vary enough that you will have trouble flying one of these things in another game for a while.

    Other Games 
  • In The Sims and its sequels, you can speed up game time by pressing 3. If you've been playing quite a lot (and since the game is a black hole into which many weekends disappear), don't be surprised to find yourself reflexively reaching for the 3 key to speed up slow processes on your computer - including the loading screen of the game.
  • In most PC games, pressing the "Esc" key will pause and pressing it again will un-pause. In Cave Story, pressing "Esc" once will pause and pressing it again will exit the game.
    • That's nothing. Earlier versions of MAME (the original one, not any of the spinoffs) quit immediately if you hit escape, unless you're in a tab menu. In that case, it goes back one menu. On the main tab menu, it closes the menu. Careful not to hit that key too many times, especially because most arcade games do not have any form of game saving aside from save states and high scores, so you're SOL if you quit without making a save state. For those curious, the P key pauses, but it's not absolutely clear without checking the default binds.
    • Even worse combination: From the pause menu, Cave Story uses F1 to go back to the main game and Esc to quit. Spelunky uses Esc to go back to the main game and uses F1 for the SUICIDE COMMAND.
    • A lot of Japanese PC games do this. So if you ever play a Japanese PC game, never press the Esc key unless you intend to quit! Thankfully, some games will bring up a menu and ask if you actually want to quit the game.
    • Games made with 2D Fighter Maker 2002 has Esc key pausing and unpausing a game in progress, much to the initial confusion of gamers who are used to Esc key=quit game function of other Japanese PC games.
  • In the independently-developed Ace of Spades, where Mine Craft meets WWI, the "Exit Game" function is the ESC key, which, in most PC games brings up the menu screen. Often times resulting in accidental quitting.
  • The pause button is usually the Start button, right? Well, some games have pause on the Select button, like Turtles in Time on the SNES and any Neo Geo game in home mode.
  • The Sega Saturn has a light variation. A and C are always "accept/confirm" buttons, while B is always "back". The problem is that games don't always agree on whether A or C should be the confirm button. Guardian Heroes is one particularly notorious case; A works fine in the menus, as does C, but scrolling through dialogue ONLY reacts to C. And if you use an Action Replay 4M Plus cart, only A accepts, never C. Hitting C on the Start Game screen sends you to the CD player menu instead.
  • Most Nintendo platformers copy Mario games in having the A button be the "jump" button and the B button be attack. The occasional game that switches things, such as the Metroid series and Mario Clash of all things, can be jarring, to say the least.
  • Any 3D game with camera control, because both X and Y axes can either be inverted or not - and many games don't allow you to change this setting, while others only allow you to change one axis.
    • This is confounded further as different games differ on what they consider to be 'normal' and 'inverted'.
  • Some early games that used isometric views had trouble getting the keyboard (or, I suppose, joystick) control straight. It is somewhat weird to press "up" only to have the character move to the top right direction. Examples include Q-Bert and Cadaver.
    • Q*bert strongly advises players to rotate the joystick so the fire button is at the top, so that the direction you moved the joystick corresponded with the direction the protagonist moves, at least on the Atari 2600 version.
  • The controllers for Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft consoles all have an X button. It is in a different position on each controller.
    • To make this simple to understand, the SNES, Nintendo DS and WiiU buttons reading clockwise from top are X A B Y, while Xbox and Dreamcast are Y B A X.
      • Try using one, then going back to the other. Unless you know the game, you'll probably find yourself pressing the wrong button when prompted by the game.
    • Taken to the extreme by the GameCube: not only are all of the buttons in a different place, but they are irregularly sized and placed in an irregular arrangement. Y and X are pushed over as the no-longer-circular top and right buttons, B is the smaller round button to the bottom left, and A is the bigger round button in the middle.
      • To make things worse, if you try and play a Super Nintendo game on the Wii Virtual Console with a GameCube controller, the buttons are the same for each letter, not button placement. The SNES X becomes the GCN X, which makes certain games completely impossible. Take Contra 3 for example where Y shoots, B jumps, and A uses bombs... yeah just try jumping and shooting with that big bomb button in the way. The controls have no customization options at all, so you better own a Classic Controller.
      • Though games with custom controls like Super Metroid made the GCN controller more bearable.
      • The default controls though, were insanely hard to adjust to, requiring uncomfortable thumb-twisting and finger maneuvering.
      • The Donkey Kong Country series is basically impossible to play without a Classic Controller; the configuration on a GameCube controller goes beyond muscle memory and into sheer insanity. Y rolls and runs, B jumps, and the giant button in between them switches characters and gets off animal buddies.
    • Brental Floss even made a video ranting about this.
  • In Japan, the standard for Playstation game menus and PS3 and PSP XMB menus is O to select or confirm, and X to go back or cancel. In North America, the standard is X for select/confirm and O (or triangle in older games) for back/cancel. Even some games like Sonic Heroes got released here with the menu scheme. Makes sense when these symbols have a meaning in Japanese culture. O (maru) means yes and X (batsu) means no.
    • Just try to play Japanese version of any Playstation game, and then switch to English version of exact same game. You'll be screwed.
      • Forget games. If you have a North American PS3 and a Japanese PSP (or vice-versa), you will spend a lot of time trying to remember which button does what.
    • Also, in the XMB menu, Triangle opens a menu with extra options.
  • Space sims don't all use the "like an airplane In Space" model of Wing Commander, X-Wing, and the like. In more realistic games that have at least make a passing nod to Real Life physics. For those who use both methods, depending on the game, it can be confusing to attempt a maneuver in one Game Engine physics model, while actually using the other model.
    • A particularly good example is Freespace 2, specifically the fan-built Source Code Project engine upgrade. One release implemented Newtonian physics as an option, essentially just to prove they could (It's since been used by a couple of mods). Switching this on in the main campaign would result in hilarity, as the AI pilots no longer had any idea how to fly their ships.
    • An even better example is Elite. It and its sequels use full-on realistic Newtonian physics for controlling a ship, and it can be a pain to get used to. If you decide to decelerate your ship down to zero, it's going to take a LONG while before it comes to a full stop and vice versa, and if you come near a planet or station while you're still at high enough speeds, you'll get splatted all over the vicinity. Making any sudden turns? Don't expect any arcade-ish mechanics like unrealistically turning on a dime. Your ship WILL turn painfully slowly, especially if you're at break-neck speeds.
  • Switching between Animal Crossing: Wild World and the DS game Magicians Quest: Mysterious Times can cause some serious awkwardness in the An Interior Designer Is You segments. In Animal Crossing, the A button moves and flips furniture, as well as activates certain items. Others (like chairs and beds) can be used simply by walking into them. The B button picks up furniture. In Magician's Quest, though, the A button picks up furniture, while the B button is the one used to move and flip it. To make it more confusing, the Y button is used to activate it (such as opening dressers), and to sit in chairs or lie down on beds.
  • A good way to start an argument on an indie game design forum is to put the jump/shoot functions on 'Z' and 'X' "backwards". Which way is considered backwards? Whichever way you're using. Do yourself a favor and just make the controls remappable.
  • You can edit the control scheme for the original PS1 version of Tales of Destiny, but its default setting has O as select/attack and X as cancel/special skill- the opposite of every other Tales game released in America on a Sony console.
  • The Xbox controllers have two buttons, black and white, and every controller has them in radically different places. My personal favourite was they were over the triggers, on either side. For this reason, someone using this will use triggers with their middle fingers, and use their index fingers for the black and white buttons. However, on other controller designs, they can be on the lower left, lower right, upper right, or possibly elsewhere.
    • Many fighting games with six attack buttons were obviously designed with the original (giant) Duke controllers in mind. Quite a nuisance on other controllers, where you have to reach all over the place for those extra two attack keys.
  • This was endemic enough among the DOS Side Scrollers that games assigned jump to up, space, Z, X, control, and shift, and shoot to any of those except up.
  • This trope can cause Fatal Frame players to panic when switching from the first game to the second (or vice-versa), especially when the ghosts manage to come right up to you as you try to figure out just which button is for raising the camera.
    • Additionally, the developers also screwed players for the sequels, since they removed the "quick-turn" function while in viewfinder mode. The function disappeared completely for some reason and the button for it is used for whatever it's mapped for in subsequent games.
  • Besides the points above, the Nintendo DS is almost a whole game system that's guilty of this trope. Again, the system has the exact button layout as the SNES. However, most Nintendo-published games for the system have elected to make the A button the main/jump button for each game, even though back in the SNES era, B button was your main/jump button and Y was your second most used action button. Nintendo has a bad habit of not giving you any way to remap the controls, either, since Viewers Are Morons. It's most glaring in the above mentioned Kirby examples, especially in Super Star Ultra, which is an Updated Re-release of an SNES game that use the B/Y controller style and forcing you to use Nintendo's now preferred A/B style. It's also very annoying when you play a Game Boy Advance game on the system, since they have to saddle you with the A/B style since some players might get confused if they had the option to remap the controls to B and Y, so it's partially justified.
    • Not to mention the trouble switching from GBA to the DS Phat layout. On the GBA, you can mash the D-Pad's "Up" button with wild abandon (tends to be when walking/running somewhere in a game). Move your finger a little too high on the DS Phat, and congratulations! You've just shut your DS off! (often times, without saving what you just did). At least this is rectified on the DS Lite model, where the Power button is now conveniently moved to the side as a switch instead.
    • Note, however, that third-party titles tend to avert this, as their developers are either clearly fans of the old SNES B/Y style, have options to remap your controls, or both; such as the DS Castlevanias or the Mega Man ZX games.
      • Unfortunately, the ability to remap your controls in Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow only works during the regular gameplay. When playing in Julius Mode your controls cannot be changed. This is annoying when you've played through the original twice with the controls in a particular way, then you decide to play as Julius.
    • NES Virtual Console games on the 3DS have the same problem as GBA games on the DS: forced A/B scheme and no way to change it.
  • The Looking Glass Studios sneak-em-up games Thief: The Dark Project and Thief II: The Metal Age allowed the player to save their key bindings under a specific name. It also came with several popular sets already pre-installed. These had names such as "Quake" and "Half-Life", mimicking the controls in those games.
  • Any PC game that assigned particular meanings to CTRL and ALT (such as many FPS including Wolfenstein 3D and Doom using them for "fire" and "strafe") was subject to this when the "Windows" key first appeared between CTRL and ALT on new keyboards. Depending on what OS you were running, accidentally hitting the Windows key instead of CTRL or ALT would at best do nothing, and at worst switch you out of the game entirely (such as when running a DOS-based game under Windows 95).
    • Running Windows on a dual-boot Mac with a Mac keyboard also causes this. Since the Windows key is mapped to Command, it ends up on the right of the ALT key instead of the left.
    • Also, press Shift 5 times in a row, and be ready to leave your game due to a window warning you of StickyKeys... Fortunately, said window also gives you the option of disabling StickyKeys entirely.
  • Tetris The Grand Master 3:
    • Classic Rule: Pieces spawn horizonally pointing down. First button rotates counterclockwise, second rotates clockwise, third rotates counterclockwise.
    • World Rule: Pieces spawn horizontally pointing up. Four of the seven tetrominoes have their colors shuffled around. First button rotates clockwise, second rotates counterclockwise, third rotates clockwise. And the first and second parts also apply to any "official" modern Tetris game.
      • This isn't Arika's fault, notably. The guideline requires that the rightmost rotation button be CW. Before Arika was simply following their established convention, and kept it with the classic rotation rule.
    • Tetris: The Grand Master 4 is slated to replace the third rotation button, used by some players to achieve a quick 180-degree rotation, with an instant autoshift button. This Is Gonna Suck.
  • Shooting games, notably First Person Shooters, tend to mush up button assignments for commonly used actions.
    • Between PlayStation 3 games and Xbox 360 games, the button to shoot is typically on the same side, but swapped. On PlayStation 3, it's normally the shoulder button that shoots. On the Xbox 360, it's normally the trigger button that shoots. There are some PlayStation 3 games (First Encounter Assault Recon, BioShock, Sleeping Dogs) that use the trigger to shoot though. More than a few strategy guides for multiplatform games have mixed up the functions for the L1/L2 and and R1/R2 buttons.
      • To add to the confusion, a few games that use the triggers to aim and attack switch to the shoulder buttons in the sequel.
      • This has changed with the PS 4-so far all shooters released for the platform use the shoulder buttons for aiming and shooting.
    • Similarly, grenades and secondary firing.
    • As a video game specific example, Third Person Shooters usually uses the R2/RB button to reload, while most First Person Shooters use Square/X.
  • Switching from Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Crystal Bearers to Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers leads to some confusion. They're both 3rd person adventure games, but the position of the camera adjust and the menu have changed. The camera adjust is the d-pad in FFCC (which serve as taunts and other things) while it's -/+ in BZS. Menu is 1 in FFCC (special in BZS) while it's 2 in BZS (which is the camera function in FFCC). I'm sure most people probably don't have that issue since BZS is a pretty obscure game, and all the reviewers have a thing against it...
  • Try switching from an RPG on the Nintendo DS, where the confirm button is on the right and the cancel button is on the bottom, to one on the PSP, where confirm is on the bottom and cancel is on the right. Or, better yet, don't.
  • Visual Novels vary in keyboard controls. The most common control scheme has down advance to the next line, up scrolls back to the previous line, and spacebar hides/shows the dialogue window. However, some games (Type-Moon games in particular) use spacebar to advance to the next line, and only use down to scroll down through the lines you've previously read. Whether page up and page down function the same as the up and down arrows or have their own unique function also varies from game to game.
  • The Nintendo Wii's Classic Controller. Unlike the GameCube controller (with the analog stick in the upper left and the D-pad below it and to the right), it has the D-pad in the upper left and the analog stick below it and to the right.
    • One other issue, if you try to switch between the Classic Controller and a GameCube controller, is that the Z button is in front of the R button on the GameCube controller, but the Z button(s) is to the left of the R button on the classic, and at the middle. As an example, even if the other button placement issues are worked around, someone experienced with using the GameCube controller in Super Smash Bros. Brawl will continually block when trying to throw and vice-versa. There is a Classic Controller Plus, however, which is slightly bigger and easier to hold, and moves the Z buttons to be more like the left & right bumper/L1 and R1 on the other consoles' controllers.
    • Also, the way the Classic Controller's handles angle out instead being in a straight line like every other freaking Nintendo controller in existence! It's not much of difference, but it's just of enough of a change to make you have to relearn how to move the control stick for classic games.
  • Don't download any Super Nintendo games on the Wii Virtual Console unless you're prepared to buy a Classic Controller, because the button configuration on the GameCube controller is so different that the controls may as well have been given a triple swap. For example, it's nearly impossible to jump and run at the same time in the Donkey Kong Country games. It's tempting to save the money and just tough it out, but seriously, it's not worth it. This could very well go beyond Damn You, Muscle Memory and into full-blown Idiot Programming.
  • Who here wants to bet that, at least once, they'll shut their 3DS down instead of pressing 'start'? Putting the power button where 'start' and 'select' used to be might not have been such a great idea...
    • Not even a bet. To make matters worse, it takes you to a screen where you have the option of either shutting it off or putting it into Sleep Mode. Since it then instructs you to do what most people do when they want to enter Sleep mode (for example, closing the system) this is not only redundant, but unlike closing the system, you're booted out of the game with no way to get back but to restart it.
      • How about someone admit that at least once s/he scratched the side of the console only to remember that stylus is behind it?
    • If you switch directly from a DS Lite to a 3DS, you may find yourself occasionally trying to turn on/off Wi-Fi when attempting to turn on the 3DS, as the power switch on the DS Lite and the Wi-Fi switch on the 3DS are in the same exact place.
    • What's really annoying at times is where the stylus is. From the DS Lite and on, the stylus is on the right side. With the 3DS, the stylus is near the cartridge slot. And just for fun, the 3DS XL is back on the right side.
  • After Atari's buy-out on Humongous Entertainment, they tried to recreate Pajama Sam and Putt-Putt. Not only did they fail, but they changed the key for skipping cut scenes from Escape to Enter (with Escape now functioning as an additional way to access the Main Menu). This left many under the impression you could not skip cut scenes.
  • In Touhou, go play Fairy Wars for a a while and then go back to the main series. Then die a dozen times before remembering that you can't freeze enemy bullets in the main games.
    • Going from the photography games to the others is the most 'fun'. You don't directly attack enemies in the photo games, which can really screw up your dodging reflexes, and the way it handles focusnote  can lead to forgetting to fire.
    • In the photograph games, the correspondence between the buttons in game and in the menu are inconsistent with the rest of the games:
      • Shoot the Bullet has Shot, Slow and Cancel (no bomb button). In game, Cancel pauses, being the only game where this happens. Slow also cancels in menu, the rest of the games cancel with Bomb.
      • Double Spoiler, like Shoot the Bullet, let's you cancel with Slow, as well as a with the new Rotate button. Unlike Shoot the Bullet, neither of them pauses the game, just in case you were getting used to that.
    • How about going between Touhou and CAVE games? In the former, you use a separate button for "focus" mode. In the latter, you instead hold down the shot button to do that.
      • Alternatively, Bullet Hell to non-Bullet Hell shmups. No, that wasn't an invisible bullet, your hitbox is actually the size of your sprite rather than a few pixels in the center.
    • To take a picture with the camera in Shoot the Bullet (and Double Spoiler), you press Z. There's a camera in Impossible Spell Card too, but now you take pictures with X. If you go from one to the other, you'll jump right in front of a bunch of bullets to delete as many as possible with a picture, but you'll never get to delete any because you'll use the wrong button and die before you realize your mistake.
  • Bullet-Proof Software's version of Tetris for the Famicom used the down button to rotate (counterclockwise rotation only, of course). A dubious choice, even considering that this was the first console version of Tetris ever.
    • Similarly, some Tetris clones map sideways movement to left and right keys, soft drop to down, and the only rotation key to...up.
  • Bomberman usually isn't too bad with this, but try going from Bomberman 64 or The Second Attack!, where double-tapping A drops a bomb and then Bomb Kicks it from a stationary position, without having to move off of the bomb and back into it, to Saturn Bomberman or Bomberman Generation's Battle Mode, where that does Line Bomb instead! (And speaking of Saturn Bomberman, all control configurations use C as the bomb button, not A.)
  • Players switching from MechWarrior 4 to MechWarrior Living Legends will have problems in that they will be ejecting every time they overheat and try to flush coolant. In MW4, the Flush Coolant key is set to "F". In MWLL, Eject is set to "F", with coolant set to "C" (which was Crouch/Stand Up in MW4).
  • Star Fox 64. Going back from the Bluemarine in Aquas back to the Arwing in Zoness, the following stage? If you've been abusing the "barrel roll + shoot + torpedo" tactic in Aquas, expect to waste a bomb or two by accident when Zoness begins.
    • If you've played the 3DS remake of SF 64 after playing the SNES original with the default controls, then you'll instinctively press Y to boost and X to bomb and find that they've been switched around. While the game features two control schemes, neither of them are identical to the SNES default and it'll be hard to get used to it, which begs the question of why they didn't just include that control scheme in the first place.
  • Euro Truck Simulator features the Real Life example of crossing national borders (most notably the English Channel) and thus having to drive on the "wrong" side of the road. Because of this, American players are advised to start in mainland Europe, while European and British players would do well to start in their home country. In addition, if you are going to be spending a significant amount of time driving in the UK, it would be wise to reconfigure your truck's interior to UK style, with the steering wheel on the right hand.
  • In Wii Fit Plus, the Tilt City game on Advanced mode has the player use the Wii remote to control the board on the top and lean back and forth to control the two boards on the bottom. Switching to Expert mode reverses the controls: lean back and forth to control the board on the top, tilt the remote to control the boards on the bottom.
  • Going back and forth between Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon can be very tricky, especially when it comes to actions that can be performed in both games such as fishing or harvesting fruit trees. Despite having some gameplay similarities, their control schemes are generally completely different. Additionally, controls from one Harvest Moon to the next are usually also completely different.
    • Magical Melody and the original Animal Crossing are probably the best examples. They're both Super-Deformed Gamecube titles in similar styles, when it comes to fishing it can be a drag going between them. In Animal Crossing you have to wait for fish to nibble while in Harvest Moon you can get it right when it bites. This leads to more than a few missed fish in AC.
  • Play Silent Hill 2 then immediately go to Silent Hill 3 and accidentally pause the game all the time trying to open the inventory. All the other controls are exactly the same, except those two are switched. Heather also turns at an odd pace compared to James, but that's not as bad. For added fun, go from those two to Silent Hill 4 and equip a weapon when you want to run, or reset the camera trying to use look mode.
  • Switching between MOBA games can cause some hefty doses of this, as they tend to lull you in with a fair amount of overlap, only to remind you painfully that the similarities can only go so far. The DotA duo and LoL have some scathing differences, from minion and tower behavior to how quickly you can change directions. Topping anything from that pair, however, is interchanging the previous games with Smite; now you're juggling ability keys being either based around "qwer" or "1234" with extras scattered about in different places and either having cursor targeting or no cursor whatsoever. That's not even getting into the possibility of inadvertently using the wrong ability after momentarily confusing one hero/champion/god for another, mixing up items or build strategies, or getting lost after you remember the base map of one game does not equate flawlessly to the map in another.
  • The two Pokémon Trozei! games have different methods by which you move Pokémon around the board. In the original, you move them in any of the four cardinal directions and try to line up matches, while Battle Trozei! has you swap their positions instead. Getting the two movement systems confused is not only likely, but it's doomed to end in failure if you don't adapt quickly.
  • Dota 2 has different hotkey assignments from the first one, which tends to throw veterans making the switch off.
Damn You, Muscle MemoryVideo Game CultureDefault Setting Syndrome
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