What is a button layout? (Explained by an Expert)

A button layout refers to the arrangement and configuration of buttons on a game controller, arcade stick, or gaming keyboard. The layout is designed to provide an optimal gaming experience by placing the buttons in a way that allows for efficient and comfortable input during gameplay.

Button layouts can vary across different types of controllers and gaming devices, as well as between game genres.

Some common elements of button layouts include:

  1. Action Buttons: These are the primary buttons used to execute in-game actions, such as jumping, shooting, or interacting with objects. Action buttons are typically located on the right side of a game controller or fight stick and may be labeled with letters or symbols, depending on the controller.
  2. Directional Input: This method controls a character’s movement or navigation menus. Directional input can come in various forms, such as a D-pad, analog stick, joystick, or WASD keys on a keyboard.
  3. Shoulder Buttons and Triggers: These are additional buttons on the top or back of a game controller, often used for secondary actions, aiming, or other game-specific functions. Shoulder buttons and triggers can be digital or analog, depending on the controller design.
  4. Start and Select Buttons: These buttons are typically used for accessing in-game menus, pausing the game, or other non-action functions.
  5. Customizable Buttons: Some controllers and gaming devices offer customizable buttons that can be programmed to perform specific actions or macros, allowing users to tailor the button layout to their preferences and playstyles.

Button layouts can vary significantly between gaming devices and game genres, as they are designed to provide the best possible experience for each context.

When choosing a controller or gaming device, it is essential to consider the button layout and how well it suits your preferred games and playstyle.

Illustration of a smiling man with stubble in a black shirt, with colorful digital background resembling a music studio.
Tom "Button Master" O'Neil

Tom fell in love with fight sticks after realizing that mastering the mechanics could give him an edge in competitive gaming. He's since devoted countless hours to perfecting his inputs and understanding the nuances of different fight sticks. As a result, Tom has become a force in both online and local tournaments. Now, he's on a mission to help others unlock their full potential with the right fight stick.