Comic: “Who Does That?”

November 19, 2009
Comic:  “Who Does That?”

About this comic

It honestly blows my mind that people can play with inverted controls. Old flight sim habits or something?

140 Responses to Comic: “Who Does That?”

  1. Asterix says:

    Good point. There is no way that I could play anything with the inverted controls.

    • Craig says:

      You know what, stop all comments here! This guy has a picture of himself INSIDE A REAL PLANE and he hates inverted controls like a sane human…

      Inverted controls = -1
      NORMAL = WIN!


      Can anyone else tell I’m board at work on my lunch? Cause I can.

      Obey Henry! Play normal!

  2. nilus says:

    I am an inverter, just feels more natural to me. My problem with it is when I go over to someone place and play split screen and all the non-inverters groan when I ask to pause and change my profile to inverted. Like its so hard to wait 2 seconds for me to play the game in the way I like to do it.

  3. Koopa says:

    I Invert. It is a must. Yes, I played lots and lots of flight sims as a kid. I was in love with aircraft as a child and played as much as possible.

  4. Kristofer says:

    I guess one of the first games I played as a kid had inverted controls on by default and I got used to it. I have tried to switch to the “normal” way a couple of times, but I could only get halfway there and reverted back to inverted because I just couldn’t aim properly. I guess inverted has been hardwired in my brain.

  5. Kajinerk says:

    I’m an inverter too! (not the electric gadget) but I definitely trace this back to the old flight sim! Pull back and your noggin goes up…it’s just right! I’m completely retarded the other way around!

  6. Haydi says:

    I don’t think it’s the flight simulators. Since the games are 3d so it’s natural to think in 3d -> When you pull your head back, you look up.

  7. nilus says:

    Yeah I think its more natural. I don’t hold the controller in front of me with it parellel with the TV. So I am not pushing up and down to look up and down, I am pushing forward or back to look up or down. So Pushing forward seems like putting my head down and pushing back feels like looking up.

  8. ilRadd says:

    I am an Inverter!

    Scott, for the 360 you can set it up in your profile to auto invert – when you take your memory unit to a different location – no need to change anything.

  9. Jerund says:

    I play inverted as well. I think of it as if a giant hand were on top of the persons head and when you push forward the hand pushes the front of the head forward and vice versa. Also I did play some flight sims when I was younger but mostly the old Star Wars X-Wing fighter series.

  10. Darrell says:

    You can invert? Why didn’t someone tell me before now. I might actually enjoy gaming! Every time I grab the controls from someone I end up going upside down & backwards. Sheesh who knew. Everyone but me I guess. 🙂

  11. voltage says:

    People that are trying to explain why they are playing with inverted are just attempting to justify the fact that they were stupid and didnt learn the RIGHT way

  12. Gndwyn says:

    inverted controls = oldschool gamer
    non-inverted controls = newbie lamer

    • Bah! I’ve been playing video games since 1976. I never invert.

    • Craig says:

      No, inverted = WTFBBQ

      Seriously, why would you want the opposite of what you natural see and how you naturally move while playing an FPS? It makes zero sense to me.

      It would remove all realism for me as a gamer in any FPS and any game for that matter. Even in flight sims I make it so when I aim down… I GO DOWN!

      Why is that so strange to a small minority of gamers?

      Old school? No, old school would be if we were all still using joy sticks and trackballs with two rounded buttons. Not just being the nut-job that enjoys aiming upwards to take a shot at someone below them, IT MAKES NO SENSE! LOL.

      /salute for this comic Scott. Big fan.

      • sneeka2 says:

        The problem is, it’s not DOWN, it’s BACK. The mouse *moves* on the Z axis, but the screen *tilts* on the Y axis. It’s anyones preference how to map that in ones head.

    • FluffyPanda says:

      Got to agree with that. I started my first person shooter life playing inverted and then changed to non-inverted later on. So somewhere between quake 2 and half life I made the switch. I think I just couldn’t be bothered to swap the controls around for every game after a while.

      But having used both, I can’t say that either ever felt wrong. Inverted is like controlling a camera on a tripod. Non-inverted is like controlling the crosshair. You just need to think from a different perspective.

      • Lucid says:

        I suppose it’s all about where you think with. I’m mildly offended people believe there is a right/wrong way, but meh, not worth getting trolled for. I think about the back of my head/neck, so I pull down on my neck to look down and vice versa. The people with normal controls I think tend to think with their nose/crosshair/gun/hand. With that many more options, I think that why normal has the appeal of most gamers.

        The odd thing though is the mouse: I never invert that because then I think with the gun. I play L4D normal on PC, and inverted on 360 when I play with friends. I think what is more weird than plain inverted versus plain normal is simply someone who can do both on a whim.

      • Thain says:

        Absolutly dude, it’s just like life; It’s all in how you look at it!

  13. Direphoenix says:

    Oddly enough I only do this with SOME games. Like games I’m playing on a PC with a mouse, trackball or a flight stick. I think HALO has gotten me used to “normal” controls for most FPS’es with a gamepad. Otherwise, it’s like imagining your control surface (mouse/trackball or the top of the joystick) is like the top of the camera man’s head… push it forward and it looks down, pull it back to look up.

  14. I don’t invert on mice, but I do on joysticks. It’s more of a preference to me than a must—I come from the dark ages when there weren’t choices, and I’m still pretty good at fighting using the aft view on Star Raiders where both axes are reversed!

  15. Will says:

    Inverter here. It just feels natural for me. Do you believe that everyone should be right handed?

  16. Shaymus22 says:

    No, of course not! What am I, a plane?

  17. Craig says:

    II couldn’t agree more… boggles my mind every time.

  18. Maleldil says:

    Top Gun for the NES ruined me. As a plane game, it had inverted controls, and when I came to FPSes later in life it just stuck. I literally cannot play games without using an inverted y-axis.

  19. Crossfc says:

    I use to be an inverter. Flight sim habits. Now I’ve trained my brain to not invert when playing shooters. Brain still knows down is up and up is down on flight sims though. So I need to use invert settings when flying planes in games like battlefield and whatnot. Thankfully all those games have separate vehicle controls.

  20. TheKeck says:

    Inverted people are broken! :p

  21. Cavebabble says:

    I play inverted. I also don’t like rutabagas. It’s just a matter of preference, not an abnormality! If there wasn’t a sizeable group of gamers who played this way, the option to invert wouldn’t be included in games. It’s just fun to be a gamer in an era when everyone seems to play.

  22. Yeebo says:

    Turok on the N64 had inverted controls by default. Been wired up to play my 3D console shooters that way ever since.

  23. Rane2k says:

    Wow, so many people play inverted, didn´t really expect that.

    For me it´s non-inverted, in my mind pushing the mouse away from me is linked to “up”, and pulling it towards me is “down”.

  24. Koracas says:

    I’ve always played FPS games on the PC with inverted controls, I find non inverted controls weird.

  25. Sam Bambino says:

    I’ve been an inverter pre-flight sim. When playing the NES version of Ski or Die, I inverted controls on anything I could. In fact, I could not finish the downhill ski mode NOT on inverted.

  26. Frank says:

    You have a joystick, put it on the back of somebody’s head. When you push up on the joystick, which way does the person’s face look? It looks down. That’s how I thought of it when I first started playing first person shooters on consoles. Now I have to play pc games inverted or it feels weird.

  27. Haydi says:

    Judging from the comments, Scott is on the losing team here…

    I can play both, but invert makes my gaming a whole lot easier. And I haven´t played flight simulators or Golden Eye, Just think 3d!

    • Naw…just part of the quiet majority. 🙂

      • TheKeck says:

        Yeah, most of the normal people saw the comic, laughed, and moved on. All you WEIRDOS felt compelled to come in and defend yourselves. 😉

      • Garamis says:

        Quiet majority? Coming from the guy who created the comic and hence speaking first.

        If you were just moving the cross hairs, up = up would be natural, but because your actually changing the camera angle, inverted is the natural way to play.

  28. I’m an inverter. It just feels more natural to me. I actually get motion sickness if I don’t because my brain expects to go up when my hand moves the mouse down.

    • Michael says:

      Yes Angie – these do look very addictive! They reinmd me of a cookie I used to eat as a kid – in the Philippines, during the summer holidays – I would always look forward to them. Now I can enjoy them anytime.

  29. Mad Medicine says:

    In my case, it’s the fact that i learned to handle a rifle before i ever played a 1st person shooter:

    To move the barrel up you have to lower your trigger hand. Why shold it be diffrent in 3D games?

    • Rene says:

      Back in high school, I was afriad to ride this roller coaster in Star City. But I tried, even if I was really scared. And you know what, I got hooked! I rode the roller coaster for about 4 more times that day.. Haha!

  30. Graham says:

    I’m an inverter, but I never gave it much thought before now, it just seemed natural.

    This website gave me some food for thought on the matter:

  31. Frans says:

    I play inverted and I for one cannot understand how non-inverted people think… Controlling the crosshair someone said above, but when I play, I control the character. How do non-inverters explain that forward push results in moving head backward?

  32. Ishtuk says:

    I invert but it’s from playing Star Fox as a kid

  33. Zyxthior says:

    I don’t invert for normal FPS…but in games like Battlefield, I have to invert for Aircraft (Helos and Planes)….otherwise I’m all screwed up…..

  34. Triantha says:

    I invert my controls – I think it has to do with the fact I never attempted to play a shooter till Halo 3, most of the old platformers I’d played had inverted controls. Most 3rd person games have Inverted controls 🙂

  35. Diego S. says:

    depends really, i prefer FPS with non inverted and everything that requires to control a flying device, on inverted

  36. Traitorfish says:

    I invert on consoles, but not on PC. I’m not entirely sure why, but I’ve always assumed something along the lines of the thumbstick-on-the-back-of-a-head rationale. After all, I can already accept that A makes me jump and a shoulder button makes me shoot; what’s one more non-literalism?

  37. Juddson S. Ivines says:

    One of my best friends not only inverts the Y-axis, but he also absolutely has to switch the left and right joysticks. If a shooter won’t let him do it, he never plays it to begin with. All my other friends are straight.

  38. Sam Coulson says:

    I’m an Inverter on consoles, probably an old habit from a long time ago, but at this point I’m so used to it I can’t go back to “Normal”. If you think about it, it makes more sense. Since you’re using a stick to manipulate a character’s head, it only makes sense that by “pulling it back”, the camera would tilt upwards.

    On a PC I can’t stand Inverted controls, cause again, you’re pulling back to look up.

  39. DoggySpew says:

    Back in the day, I used joysticks, and usually with flight sims. So it is natural for me to have the Y-axis inverted on all 3d games.

  40. Fluffums says:

    Old habits die hard. I play inverted due to the fact that most old 3d games (flight sims, shooters, arcade games) used an inverted y-axis. I’d say that it has to do with the use of analog sticks. Whereas with the d-pad or mouse, it feels naturally to hit up and look up, an analog stick mirrors a joystick or yoke, in that pulling back looks up and pushing forward looks down. Nothing “weird” about it, just what we learned and are comfortable with.

  41. Nam-Ereh-Won says:

    If i’m using a mouse I use normal controls. If i’m using a stick, dpad, or thumbstick I use inverted. I find most people that I know that use inverted started playing games on the PC.

  42. Wookievomit says:

    WIth a joypad I have to have the Y-axis inverted. I think this goes back to my starfox 64 days. Whats weird to me is people that play with the mouse inverted I tried that once and it was just too weird.

  43. Wednesday says:

    What do you mean by “one of those people”? haha

    • Sun says:

      right click on the sidebar area, cohose “properties”. you can probably figure out the rest yourself. assuming you’re not on crack. thats usually what i relegate to my mondays when the stress hits.

  44. Agusan says:

    I play inverted entirely because aiming the bow in Ocarina of Time was inverted… from what I remember.

    What I don’t get is why people feel superior over the other simply because they learned to point a stick a different way. It’s kinda sad how, even though it doesn’t affect anything other than the individual player’s thumb/mouse movements, people still seem to get worked up about it.

    So really, how is it possible to even care?

  45. Jones says:

    Inverted on consoles, non-inverted on pc. Inverted feels more natural. What happens when you do a wheelie with a bike? You pull BACK and the front tire goes up. I understand the logics on non-inverted controls too, nothing wrong with that. It’s all about how you acknowledge space.

  46. masda says:

    I do. It’s the only true way of playing 🙂
    Honestly, I just feel it’s more natural this way. Like some already said, it’s like you control a giant hand that pushed or pulls the alter egos head.

    But I think that is some basic thing – you have it inverted or non-inverted… you can’t really switch between these two.

  47. SentientAlex says:

    “inverted controls = oldschool gamer
    non-inverted controls = newbie lamer”


    Well, maybe not the lamer part, but definitely people who haven’t played as many FPS as I have. I think I picked it up from Goldeneye, but I can’t be sure. Could have been Star Fox. All of my friends who played games with me since we were ten years old play inverted, but all of my friends who are new to gaming can’t stand it.

  48. Kevin says:

    I’m another inverter. I invert on both PC and Console. I don’t know what game trained me this way, but it’s just what feels natural. I concur with all the other inverter’s comments with regards to why it feels natural (push forward to look down). Especially on an FPS, from my perspective pushing forward should cause me to look down. Every game allows me to invert so I haven’t gone to the trouble to learn otherwise.

    It also makes for funny stories when I play on friend’s PCs/Consoles and then hear them complain about how next time they went to play their controls were all messed up and it took awhile for them to realize they had to un-invert the Y axis…

  49. Arrr Ess Eye says:

    Playing FPS games with mouse controls set to inverted is adhering to your bodies’ natural movement.

    Take the human neck for example; for a person to look up, the mussels on the back of ones neck must contract (which causes a tilting motion to pull your neck back). To look down, the mussels on the front of your neck must contract (Tilting your head down).

    There are clear benefits too one of them being the fact you’re more likely to be required to look up in an fps game then down, therefore playing with inverted controls allows for greater accuracy due to the increase stability you have as your hand is closer to your bodies centre of gravity. Just like, if you hold anything away from your body it will have less stability and balance then if you were to hold it close to your chest.

    Your body tilts back in order for you to look up…playing with inverted controls follows the basic movement principle.

    The question is what logic is there playing without inverted controls?

  50. invertatron9000 says:

    star fox 64 ruined it for me forever. since that game i have never been able to play any FPS / flight sims without look inversion

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