How do you feel about weapon wheels?

Avatar image for isomeri
isomeri

3370

Forum Posts

296

Wiki Points

20

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 20

Poll How do you feel about weapon wheels? (268 votes)

They're great! 21%
I have no real issues with them 45%
Indifferent 13%
They're not the best way to handle weapon selection 17%
They're the worst! 4%

As I've been playing through Wolfenstein: Old Blood during the last few days, I've become increasingly frustrated, not only at the way that weapon selection is handled in that game with radial menu but with the concept of weapon wheels in general.

I feel like there should be a better way by now

I'm generally fine with using radial menus in games for item or power selection in cases where the player is not forced into making quick choices. Using the radial menu as a weapon wheel in FPS games however seems to more often than not lead to situations where I'm making mistakes when selecting weapons or just have to take a lot of time (and damage) while carefully making my choices.

In the case of Wolfenstein, the situation is made even worse by having the grenade button be the same as weapon select.

So are my hands and reflexes just getting worse by age, or have more of you duders faced similar problems with weapon wheels in the past? What games are the worst aggressors in this regard? Or are there games out there which implement weapon wheels very well? I remember some games activating a slowdown when pulling up a weapon wheel, which feels like a relatively OK solution.

 • 
Avatar image for babychoochoo
BabyChooChoo

7106

Forum Posts

2094

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 2

I wouldn't necessarily say I love them, but I don't recall any instances where they've give me any trouble. They're quite nice actually. GTAV is probably one of the best examples of how to implement them thanks to the fact the game slows down when you bring it up.

Avatar image for bollard
Bollard

8279

Forum Posts

118

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 3

User Lists: 11

GTAV is probably one of the best examples of how to implement them thanks to the fact the game slows down when you bring it up.

It's funny, I was just about to use GTA:V on PC to point out how not to do it. Using a radial menu with a mouse makes me feel ill.

Avatar image for hayt
Hayt

1798

Forum Posts

548

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 2

You can use the number keys in Wolfenstein though.

Avatar image for vextroid
Vextroid

1594

Forum Posts

1219

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 6

While a hotbar will always be preferable and arguably better, weapon wheels are fine for consoles/controllers. Better then having controllers come with a numpad ala the Atari Jaguar.

As for Wolfenstein my major issue was having the Dual-Wield version of the weapons on separate slices of the wheel, which meant having a bigger wheel and scrolling through a lot more. Also when trying to pick a specific weapon you my end up getting the dual-wield variant of the weapon you want or the weapon next to it on the wheel.

I think Saints Row does it better than GTA V because it pauses the game if I remember right...

Maybe Rockstar should bring back to most forgotten/ignored/didn't-even-know-it-existed feature of GTA IV, weapon shortcuts. If you held LB and pressed Up on the D-pad you would equip the pistol, Left was SMG's, Right was AR's and Down was Shotguns If I recall correctly.

Avatar image for bladededge
BladedEdge

1422

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

The very best possible weapon selection system is 1 weapon assigned to each button..or 1-0 on the keyboard basically, with 'hold shift then press a number" for any other weapons, or etc For controllers though? The weapon wheel is the best alternative to this.

The other options, where your limited to a single extra weapon, I always found "remove fun for the sake of realism". Like no, of course you can't carry more then 2 weapons at once (if that) in r/l usually..but a game is a game. Options beat limitations almost always.

Avatar image for l44
L44

638

Forum Posts

33

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 7

More games need a Hard Reset-ish approach.

Avatar image for humanity
Humanity

21372

Forum Posts

5738

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 40

User Lists: 15

I think weapon wheels are great BUT only when the game pauses when you bring them up, or at least slows down time in the background.

Avatar image for probablytuna
probablytuna

5010

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

#8  Edited By probablytuna

Edit: Basically what Humanity said^

Radial wheels work well on a controller, but only if it lets you change items/weapons/powers by slowing time or pausing the game completely. In a game like Wolfenstein where changing weapons while enemies are shooting at you is not very fun.

Avatar image for dudeglove
dudeglove

13990

Forum Posts

1166

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 2

The only beef I had with Wolfenstein was altering weapon modes while in the weapon wheel (I think). Weapon wheels are a decent solution to a problem where screens were getting terribly cluttered in FPSes.

Avatar image for sinusoidal
Sinusoidal

3608

Forum Posts

20

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I can't think of a better way to switch between 4 or more weapons using a controller. They're a pretty elegant solution.

Avatar image for jesus_phish
Jesus_Phish

4095

Forum Posts

3307

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

When using a controller there's no better method than a weapon wheel. On a keyboard you can usually press the number keys to bring up whatever weapon it is you want, as long as you remember what button is mapped to Flak Cannon and what one is mapped to Shock Gun.

But without a weapon wheel on a controller, you'd just have to cycle through each weapon until you got the one you wanted.

Having the grenade and weapon wheel button be the same button is just bad design on Wolfensteins part though. That's on them.

Avatar image for getz
Getz

3764

Forum Posts

1003

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 4

Wolfenstein's sin is not pausing the game while you're selecting your weapon. It gets just a bit too hectic when you run out of ammo and want to switch your weapons out. I'm fine with a radial in general though, at least on consoles.

Avatar image for meatball
MEATBALL

4235

Forum Posts

790

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 10

#13  Edited By MEATBALL

I kind of love weapon wheels, I don't know why, but it's just something that I really like. It's just one of those videogamey things that gives me happy videogame feels. It does suck when the action around you continues whilst you're selecting your weapon, though.

Avatar image for tobbrobb
TobbRobb

6616

Forum Posts

49

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 13

Good for controllers, crap for mouse. I rarely play shooters at all, and even more rarely with a pad. So fuck weapon wheels more or less.

Avatar image for shortbreadtom
Shortbreadtom

1009

Forum Posts

2

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

In Ratchet and Clank 2 onward time stopped when you opened the radial menu since there were like 3 pages of weapons. That's really apropos of nothing, it was just fucking sick.

I like weapon wheels. It's better than cycling through a bunch or stuff or opening a separate menu. If you're playing on PC, then the number keys should select weapons, obviously. Radial menus suck with a mouse.

Avatar image for y2ken
Y2Ken

3222

Forum Posts

82

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 25

#16  Edited By Y2Ken
@humanity said:

I think weapon wheels are great BUT only when the game pauses when you bring them up, or at least slows down time in the background.

Totally with this. Weapon wheels make me think specifically of Ratchet & Clank as well, when they had so many things that you ended up with three pages of weapon wheel (and just about everything you could cram into there felt useful too, what a masterclass in weapon design those games have been over the years).

I do also like the option to map the weapons to the number keys when playing on PC, and will usually favour that if it's an option. Far Cry 4 is a good example: it has both and I use the number keys when selecting weapons or equipment, the scroll wheel to change thrown weapons (grenades, molotovs, knives, meat), and the wheel for syringes.

Avatar image for cyborgx7
cyborgx7

216

Forum Posts

21

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

They are fine as a concept, but for some reason I'm starting to get tired of them.

The ones that take a noticeble amount of time to come up almost as if there is a load associated with them are infuriating though. Menues and maps in modern games already take to long to come up, don't screw up the quick select as well. Looking at you Assassin's Creed.

Avatar image for spoonman671
Spoonman671

5874

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

They're best when time is slowed down while using them. Stopping time is ok, too. I don't care for two-weapon systems.

Avatar image for ajamafalous
ajamafalous

13948

Forum Posts

905

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 8

They're fine for controllers (I think the Ratchet games handle them well, for example, with time stopping and the wheels being fully customizable), but I prefer numbers on a keyboard.

Avatar image for brendan
Brendan

9335

Forum Posts

533

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 7

#20  Edited By Brendan

If you're on KB+M, then nothing is better than having a separate key mapped to every weapon. On a controller there is no better system for managing a lot of options quickly that doesn't use too many buttons that could be used for something else. I don't have a problem with accidentally selecting the wrong weapon often so I don't share your frustrations.

Avatar image for kasaioni
kasaioni

2397

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I think they're good when you've got access to a lot of weapons. And usually, as is the case with GTAV, there's also a quick switch button if you want to access a weapon quickly. But, as everybody has been saying, there are better ways for keyboard and mouse players. Personally, when playing HL2, I like to use the quick switch option where pressing any of the numbers on the keyboard switches to a weapon.

I remember in TimeSplitters the way you switched weapons was cycling through your weapon selection by pressing left and right on the d-pad. Not exactly a comfortable way to do it. So when you have a lot of weapons, while using a controller, the weapon wheel is great. I think MGSV has a good take on the weapon wheel, where you press the d-pad in any direction, or hold it, to switch to the weapon you want. I think GTA IV did something like that as well, where you pressed a face button and then a d-pad button to the corresponding weapon type.

Avatar image for veektarius
veektarius

6420

Forum Posts

45

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 11

User Lists: 1

#22  Edited By veektarius

I don't have an alternative to weapon wheels, but they should be more of a backup option and less of a mainstay in action games than they are today. Selecting items from a menu takes you out of the moment in a game. Additionally, I don't likeany menu that doesn't require a button press to make a selection because I can't be sure that one was made. This was an issue for me in Mass Effect. I'd sooner have a 3 weapon system like Destiny than a 10 weapon system like Wolfenstein if a radial menu is the only way to make the latter work.

Avatar image for fisk0
fisk0

7278

Forum Posts

69553

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 74

#23 fisk0  Moderator

For consoles, I think they're the best option. I really hate the two weapon limitation of most console FPSes these days.

Avatar image for reverendk
reverendk

222

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@bollard said:
@babychoochoo said:

GTAV is probably one of the best examples of how to implement them thanks to the fact the game slows down when you bring it up.

It's funny, I was just about to use GTA:V on PC to point out how not to do it. Using a radial menu with a mouse makes me feel ill.

The default bindings for weapons on the number line are also really lame on top of the way you have to cycle through the different weapons of a particular type. Want your silenced 1911 with all the upgrades? Why would you when you have the vintage pistol? It's just as good. We promise.

Avatar image for monetarydread
monetarydread

2898

Forum Posts

92

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 2

#25  Edited By monetarydread

It's the best option we have right now. Think about the alternatives, you have to cycle through them one-by-one, or you have to use a halo-style limit on what you can carry.

Now, I don't play shooters with a controller, so your frustrations are a bit alien to me. I remember playing Crysis, on PC, and I remember that the best way to control the radial menu was to start the movement with your mouse before you hit the button for a radial menu. If you want to enable super strength, you mouse up, then quickly press then depress the power selection button. This allows you to select what you want without even having to see the menu.

@reverendk: Use the scroll wheel to cycle through pistols or the number keys.

Avatar image for devoureroftime
DevourerOfTime

745

Forum Posts

6584

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 54

Helluva lot better than we had to press 0-9 to change weapons.

Avatar image for justin258
Justin258

16281

Forum Posts

26

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 11

User Lists: 8

#27  Edited By Justin258

They are, in my opinion, the best way to pick anything as long as they follow two rules:

  • Make sure it controls well. GTA V gets the slowdown right but sometimes I have problems picking the right thing with a mouse, especially when "the right thing" is something in a diagonal corner.
  • Always, always, always, always, ALWAYS, ALWAYS significantly slow the game down or pause it when the player pulls up a weapon wheel. GTA V gets this right. So does The Witcher 2. Wolfenstein, as much as I love it, does not, and that can lead to some frustrating moments where you feel like you should be able to pick a gun faster, but can't because the game doesn't slow down. This is a rule that should have no exception in any case whatsoever. It's an absolute. If you're going to include a radial menu for weapon or item selection, slow the fucking game down while letting players pick something.
    • Let's make a side note, here. You can pick the gun you want with the number keys in the PC version. That was all right back when Doom and Wolfenstein 3D did it, but I don't think it is these days. It feels extremely awkward to twist my hand so that my index finger can reach 5 or 6 and those are the easiest to reach without letting go of W. My fingers should have to leave WASD as few times as possible, so no, that's not an acceptable solution. It's uncomfortable and sluggish, and I feel like it's something longtime PC gamers argue for (and PC developers implement) only because they've been doing it that way for twenty five plus years.

But then, I also feel like the XMB is one of the best UI's ever so maybe I'm just strange. Here's a category, here are its subcategories, there's the option you're looking for, easy as pie, and it looks great too.

Avatar image for facelessvixen
FacelessVixen

3419

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

As someone that is currently weaning himself from using controllers after using them for almost 20 years, I can't say that using numbers/hot keys to switch weapons, specifically having the muscle memory to remember which key is bound to which weapon, is second nature to me at the moment compared to using a weapon wheel and seeing where the weapon is on the wheel. So I can't say that I'm completely comfortable with playing a Saints Row or a more recent Far Cry with mouse and keyboard compared to a controller because I still want the wheel to fall back on.

So in other words, I'm pro wheel.

Avatar image for slag
Slag

8285

Forum Posts

15965

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 8

User Lists: 45

Well like a lot of things, depends on how it is done. In general I like them.

In the case of Wolfenstein, the situation is made even worse by having the grenade button be the same as weapon select.

In general I dislike when a game has a button that serves conflicting dual purposes like this. I think the Farcry games do this. So I'm with you on this one.

Avatar image for thunderslash
ThunderSlash

2606

Forum Posts

630

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 2

I liked it in the Ratchet and Clank games.

Avatar image for gundamguru
GundamGuru

786

Forum Posts

391

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

I think weapon wheels are probably one of the better compromises for selection on a controller with many weapon choices, but I prefer a keyboard hotkey for each gun in FPS games. I can quickly and precisely select the weapon I want without a break in the action from bringing up a menu or having to scroll linearly through the weapon list with the mouse wheel. D-pad select is good for this when the number of weapons is < 4 (like Mass Effect).

Avatar image for bribo
Bribo

737

Forum Posts

2

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 2

@vextroid said:

While a hotbar will always be preferable and arguably better, weapon wheels are fine for consoles/controllers. Better then having controllers come with a numpad ala the Atari Jaguar.

They should totally bring back numpads with those cardboard/plastic overlays for each individual game.

Also, paddles. They should bring back paddles.

Avatar image for geraltitude
GERALTITUDE

5991

Forum Posts

8638

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 17

User Lists: 2

The weapon wheel isn't mechanically the most superior, at least not insofar as Speed is concerned, but the side effect of SLOW MOTION is really awesome. When I really think about it, I fucking love slow motion, and the fact that pulling up the weapon wheel in some games Slows Down Time actually is far more important to me that switching to a gun quickly. That shit matters in CS or some other competitive shooter. For a single player experience that isn't Serious Sam, Time Splitters, etc, I'll take a slow motion effect to swapping guns quickly.

Avatar image for thelastgogeta
thelastgogeta

7

Forum Posts

11151

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#34  Edited By thelastgogeta

Weapon switching isn't something that I've really dealt with much on PC, so I'm just detailing console and portable experiences here and it ranges quite a bit.

On the PERFECT end: Astral Chain on the Switch

No Caption Provided

I have some problems with the game in other ways, but the radial menu for your five Legions slows time if you hold the button but you can also tap the button multiple times or hold it a buffer a selection IIRC to do a quick-select which doesn't affect the flow or pace of the game. Besides this, there are three main weapons to flip through on the d-pad (two directions dedicated to this) and it only takes one press for a different weapon.

On the GOOD ENOUGH end: Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition on the Switch

No Caption Provided

Devil May Cry 3's Switch port doesn't break new ground completely since PC mods like DDMK by serpentiem added a bunch of things, but to stick to the official stuff. Last year's port was the ambitious one yet by a mile and brought in not one but TWO WEAPON WHEELS as a series first.

Dante w/o StatuesDevil ArmsGunsStyles

DMC3(SE), 2005-2019

221
DMC3SE, Modded/Switch556

For most of the game's existence, Devil Arms, Guns and Styles could only be changed at statues in fixed locations during missions or before a mission. On one hand, it meant that weapon synergy could be exploited with ease as it only takes one tap to get to what you want but on the other, you can't use three gun types or two styles in a boss fight.

With the Switch release, you can flip through all ten weapons after you get them in a linear order with only a few guns being skippable. There is also a radial option for Arms + Guns if you hold the Change Arm + Gun buttons and tilt the right stick, fortunately, you can change both at once so you can point up to switch to Dante's default kit with both buttons held. It doesn't feel responsive enough for me to use it alone but I can use it in addition to the regular cycling. Styles work fine as they have been assigned to separate D-Pad buttons, that said you need to double-tap fast to access two of the six since 4 D-Pad directions aren't enough.

For comparison, DMC3SE with the DDMK mod allows you to change a ton of attributes (like your weapon loadout, how many air dashes you can do or the song that's playing). If you want more details on the official controls, but you can follow this online manual (4th page is where the Switch exclusive mode's controls are detailed)

---

To put it briefly, the wheel isn't the problem but how functionally it is built and what other things the game expects us to do. It is a great solution even without slowing time but another option is to make slower access to weapons a selling point like fighting game commands.

No Caption Provided

I won't spoil all of the weapons in The Wonderful 101, but it lets you can make a larger hand, sword or gun with bigger shapes with your heroes in the mix which multiplies the potential variants that can be accessed at will without pausing.

It has some faults as RNG can play against your attempts to be optimal in using a specific hero/weapon with over 100 of them to manage, but it's wonderful that it allows enables people to go wild with the right analog (drawing option), touch-screen/touchpad (drawing option), second screen (menu-selection in real-time for heroes - usually not intended for combat) and holding the morph button (enlarges morph/weapon on your selected hero when using the right upgrade).

The act of drawing the morphs out slows time on most difficulties (removed on highest difficulty unless you use Hero Time dodges - sorta like Bayonetta), so there is a crutch to help out but most importantly, the game wouldn't really benefit from a Weapon Wheel. It would need multi-layer weapon wheel to choose between a ton of weapons and the possible sizes which wouldn't account for how the act of drawing the liner slows time usually and can be used offensively.

P.S. I wanted to mention Shulk's Monado Art's Wheel in Smash Ultimate too but this post is running on and it is functionally very close to Devil Arm/Gun switching on DMC3SE's Freestyle mode on Switch besides how it is for modes that expire over time and cooldown. It is interesting how people buffer charging it for invincibility frames and to eliminate landing lag though.

The Ratchet and Clank handled wheels great and I didn't mind Goldeneye's cycling but I wasn't playing the games too seriously. Jak 3 had 12 guns split across 4 directions, three apiece which was neat even if you might need to press a direction twice on rare occasion.

Avatar image for nodima
Nodima

3241

Forum Posts

24

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 13

User Lists: 0

Accepting that I haven't played an FPS with a keyboard and mouse since Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, I can't imagine preferring having to remember what key does what to having a visual signifier on screen. But KB+M controls have often come across as black magic to me anyway. Who's got time to fish for the I key when the triangle button/touchpad/options button is right there?

Avatar image for panfoot
Panfoot

581

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Fine or probably even idea if your playing on a controller, terrible on keyboard/mouse. Give me 0-9 any day of the week, personally the best version that comes to mind is HL2 with everything categorized(IE pressing 2 gets you the pistol, pressing 2 twice gets you the revolver) and having a quick switch to previous weapon on Q.

Avatar image for damodar
damodar

2249

Forum Posts

1248

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 2

I play on PC most of the time, so I don't really use them as often as some, but I think they're about as good as it gets on a gamepad for quickly selecting from more than four options. I also don't really have a problem with games that don't slow down when you bring up the wheel, unless it's something like Ratchet and Clank and you've literally got two or three completely full wheels of stuff to worry about. If you've only got a single wheel, it's a really good way for being able to pick stuff quickly and so I've got no problem with a game incentivising picking stuff quickly.

Number keys are my go-to preferred method overall, but honestly, I even kind of liked using the mouse for the radial menu for selecting the suit powers in the original Crysis. With a bit of practice, it became a surprisingly useful method for switching quickly between modes to combo the effects.

Avatar image for dsjwetrwete
dsjwetrwete

122

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Just let me hotkey the weapons to the d-pad, at least as an option.

Avatar image for justin258
Justin258

16281

Forum Posts

26

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 11

User Lists: 8

#40  Edited By Justin258

@nodima said:

Accepting that I haven't played an FPS with a keyboard and mouse since Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, I can't imagine preferring having to remember what key does what to having a visual signifier on screen. But KB+M controls have often come across as black magic to me anyway. Who's got time to fish for the I key when the triangle button/touchpad/options button is right there?

At this point my fingers mash buttons on the keyboard in the same way my fingers used to know where A/B/X/Y/X/O/□/△ were without even thinking about it. As long as I generally rebind generic functions to the same place, it's no different. Typing has helped out a lot with this - I type pretty fast and almost never have to look at the keyboard.

As far as whether I prefer using 1-9 or a weapon wheel these days? I'm in complete disagreement with my statement from however many years ago. I'm at the point where I play most things with a keyboard and mouse instead of a controller so I've gotten used to twisting my hand over to reach those higher numbers. If it really becomes a problem, I'll bind 6-9 to Z/X/C/V or something of the sort. And, of course, sometimes I'm completely lazy and just scroll through things with a mouse wheel. If a game doesn't let me rebind quick select keys, it's probably something that should be played on a controller anyway.

That's not to say that I never use weapon wheels anymore. I certainly do find myself pulling them up sometimes, occasionally because old habits die hard, sometimes because I just don't feel like contorting my hand. But the less I see them, the better.

...all of this said, they're still way better for quick-selecting things on controllers than anything else. On an input device where buttons are limited, tying weapon selection to one button is certainly still the best thing to do.