Tobold's Blog
Saturday, April 16, 2016

Once upon a time in the late 70's, teenage Tobold decided that he wanted to learn how to type. That was an unconventional idea at the time, as typing was a skill needed only by secretaries, and "keyboards" were musical instruments. Kudos to my parents to supporting any of my efforts to learn something, and so I learned how to type blind, using all ten fingers, and at a good speed (albeit below that of professional typists). That turned out to be an immensely useful skill in my life, as these days typists are nearly extinct and everybody in a company types his own stuff on a computer.

All that to say that blogging for me is very much an activity that uses both hands. And so is most of my gaming: Many PC games have me using the mouse with my right hand, while the left is controlling for example character movement with WASD. On a console I use a gamepad, which very much needs both hands. The problem with that is that I'll have surgery next week that will temporarily rob me of the use of one hand. So how will I game?

Apart from dirty jokes ("Best one-handed game? Bayonetta!"), advice on how to play games with just one hand isn't all that common on the internet, as it is a problem that affects only few people. But looking at my Steam library and thinking of the games I've played, there are some trends I observe. First of all, action games nearly universally require two hands. Whether it is shooters or action adventures like Shadows over Mordor or racing games or MMORPGs, pretty much anything fast and real-time needs two hands. The chance to find a game that can be played with one hand goes up a lot as soon as you move towards turn-based games: Strategy or tactical games like Civilization or XCOM, point-and-click adventures, as well as board-game simulations or card games usually all need just one hand on the mouse.

As far as platforms go, consoles are nearly useless for the one-handed gamer. On the other side of the spectrum tablets are excellent if you don't have the use of both hands. Many games apparently are designed with the idea that you hold the tablet in one hand and play with the other. So if you manage to balance the tablet on your knees, you only need one hand. PCs are somewhere in the middle: Some games can be controlled with just the mouse, others need mouse and keyboard but not necessarily simultaneously. That is a bit more complicated, but still feasible. Only when the game demands both mouse and keyboard at the same time am I out of luck.

As I mentioned above, I type with both hands and find "eagle finger" typing with one hand tedious. Between that, surgery, the after-surgery pain, and the drugs against the pain, I probably won't be blogging much in the coming months.

If you can use your mouse hand the Shadowrun series by HBS is perfectly playable onehanded. As probably are all point&click adventures. My dad loved Tormentum - Dark Sorrow.
The best one handed game is the TV set. You can one hand that remote no problem, and it requires little interaction as it is.

Focus on healing your hand instead of doing your damnedest to injure the other one.
Hmmmm. I would think it's relatively easy to play some MMOs one-handed. A lot of them allow click-to-move and/or have auto-pathing. Combat in traditional MMOs might be problematic but below the level-cap and end-game content, combat in "action" MMOs often comes down to little more than pressing LMB/RMB over and over. Most non-combat activity that I can think of in MMOs is done with no time constraints and requires either typing (easy to do one-handed) or point-and-clicking (ditto).

I'm pretty sure I could play Black Desert enjoyably with one hand. GW2 would be more of a challenge. Certainly wouldn't be doing any jumping puzzles. I can play Allods on a tablet using only touch controls, even though the game isn't optimized for touch, so that one would definitely be playable one-handed I think. You can enjoy testing it out, anyway, and write some blogs (slowly) about how it goes.

Good luck with your operation. I have one coming up in May that I hope won't affect my gaming too much - might affect my sitting down for extended periods though so I might be blogging about gaming standing up.
When I injured my hand, I played turn-based games a lot. I found it useful to rebind hotkeys using Autohotkey, so all the actions could be done with one hand. It's also possible to play old console tactics (Ps1, SNES, GBA) using an emulator and rebind the keys in a way convenient for one hand.

The best one-handed game (which was also the best game of the year for me) was Crypt of Necrodancer. Be sure to try it out!
Dictation software has gotten a lot better over the last few years. It might serve to make a first draft of blog posts that aren't so bad to edit one-handed.
Get well soon!
Get well soon, and a while ago when I comprehensively broke my right (dominant) arm I found that the only games I was really able to play were those were I could control the pace of the game. It is easier to get around a game with either a mouse or keyboard as long as I had time. So strategy games.
Get well soon, and a while ago when I comprehensively broke my right (dominant) arm I found that the only games I was really able to play were those were I could control the pace of the game. It is easier to get around a game with either a mouse or keyboard as long as I had time. So strategy games.
Kings Bounty the Legend or any of it sequels. Chances are you picked them up at lest one of them in a bundle over the years.
I haven't gamed one-handed before but I do find that using a naga-razor (numpad on side of mouse) I can play most games one handed.
Good luck with your recovery!
Take a look at voice attack, it has been used very successfully in games like Elite Dangerous to replace the multitude of buttons and commands that game contains.
I think your best best is ARPGs. If you can get a gaming mouse with multiple thumb buttons, you can play one handed with 100% functionality.

Actually any click-to-move game could work that way.
Magic Duels -- no problem.
I concure with Magic Duels, but you might blow the dust off of Freelancer and give it a try.
It might also be a good time to check out Joe Ambercrombie's "The First Law" trilogy which is awsome.

Wishing you a speedy recovery!
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