Science may figure out why weirdos play with inverted controls

I play inverted, both in FP and in third person. But… it’s pure inertia, I know I could make myself play non-inverted for a pair of days I could get accustomed to it and make it my new normal.

I grew up on flight sims and even I don’t get inverted controls. Handling a joystick is way different from a mouse or controller and the muscle memory didn’t carry over at all.

I get used to one or the other in the latest game I spend a LOT of time with, and then feel extremely thrown off if I load into a game that does the opposite, but somehow, I’m dumb and never think to check if I can change it, so then I just get used to the new game’s way of doing things, only to cause whiplash the next time I change games/schemes. . .

. . . I am not a smart man :)

Someone needs to make a flight sim with the option to turn off inverted controls.

“Echo Seven, your altitude is dropping rapidly! Push up! PUSH UP!!!”

The problem with the “it’s flight sims stupid” explanation is that it doesn’t account for inverted X-axis controls. The “moving reticle vs moving camera” explanation does.

There’s probably more than one explanation.

I’ll say.

between the ages of 18 and 35, (sorry old-timers)

I feel discriminated

What will be more effect and more fun is to reverse the real life aircraft control to force everyone to use “normal” Y axis. lol

i like the cut of your jib sir

Some arcade rats play crosshanded because they want their dominant hand on the stick and not the buttons.

The “weirdos”, are the people that ‘don’t’ invert controls. Not only is it from real world applications such as how a stick works on a plane, but it’s also tied to in game motion…moving your stick forward, moves your head forward, which is the motion you make to look down. Pulling back on a stick to look down, is the inverse of what your character is doing onscreen, it’s un-natural, it’s wrong, and it should be abolished and punished by law.

Exactly. In real life, you tip your head forward to look at your feet. Thusly, I move my mouse forward to look down. And you tip your head back to look at the sky. Thus, pull the mouse back to look up.

I admit that I did play flight sims before any FPS games that had mouse look. I will also admit that when I played my first flight sim, my first instinct was to move the stick up to point the plane’s nose up.

But once I learned to treat the plane controls as the natural movement of the head, the adjustment was easy.

Okay, here’s a better question then: Why is it that plane controls work the way they do? i.e. ‘inverted’. Surely there must be a good reason for this. And I postulate that it is because of the head-tipping example, and that human reflexes work more quickly with ‘inverted’ controls.

A hundred years of pilots can’t be wrong!

You ‘pull up’ the joystick to ‘pull up’ the entire plane. It’s intuitive.

It’s only not intuitive when you are thinking of how the joystick or mouse interacts with the view on a screen.

Now I don’t have a real answer for this but postulate two possible reasons.

First, gravity. A plane entering a climb will naturally push you back on your seat. So pulling back on the stick is moving the stick in the same direction that gravity will be acting on your body. Likewise pushing forward, as entering a dive will have you falling forward in your seat.

Second, mechanical. It is possible, however I have no direct evidence of this, that the mechanical linkages connecting the wing surfaces to the controls were easier to design with the stick movement as they are.

My hypothesis on why all the controls are standardised in aircraft - basic survival in the dark ages before the invention of flight sims. If you don’t follow the convention, you have dead pilots and crashed aircraft so you very quickly have only one choice.

Although now that I think about it - it might be more convention like QWERTY keyboards, where there’s no advantage except the huge one that 99% of the controls are wired a particular way. I wonder if it’s just plain aircraft law that you can’t invert the controls in the aircraft for safety?

Thinking about it more, I have another idea.

If you attach a plane (as in the geometric concept, not the aircraft) to the base of the stick, such that it is perpendicular to the axis of the stick itself, you can intuit what is going on. Pushing the stick forward would tilt the plane at the base of the stick forward, sloping downwards to the ground. Similarly pulling back on the stick would slope it upwards away from the ground.

Honestly it doesn’t even need to be a conceptual plane, you could literally attach a model airplane to the stick oriented the same way the actual plane is, and pulling and pushing the stick would change the model’s orientation the same way that the real plane would from the same movements. Where if you pushed forward to go up, the model plane would be angled downward, contra the actual movement.

Honestly that probably is closer to the truth than anything.

Dudes. It’s not hard. Stick left, left go down. Stick right, right go down. Stick forward, forward go down. Stick back, back go down. No explanation needed.

What would need explaining, would be if stick forward and back did the opposite thing stick left and right did. That would be weird.

Correct. And the same would be true for mouse movement. If you can then imagine the flight stick itself as a human being, reversing the mouse Y-axis also makes sense.