Quick-Time events are an integral part of video games. Although they are sometimes reviled, there is no doubt that they have come to stay. A prompt flashes on the screen and the player must quickly tap it to perform a context-specific action. Usually they are timed, which contributes to their controversial reputation.
Quick-Time events occur in virtually every genre today. Some games even give up traditional gameplay and have only fast-paced events. So players have developed habits to help them deal with them. Unfortunately, not all of these events are fast-paced.
Press the button too much
When a prompt appears, players will struggle to fulfill it. Sometimes they can smash the button too many times. Quick-Time events usually play a small intermediate sequence between prompts, but not always. Therefore, the second press may cause the player to enter a new prompt incorrectly.
The prompt may appear immediately. In that case, masking or spamming one button may just ruin the other prompt. Players must break this habit and only press the button once. As stressful as it is to miss out on input, make sure you do not enter incorrectly either.
Panic and missing the button
This habit is definitely more common among slightly startled players. Any unexpected pop-ups may surprise the player and prompt them to start pressing buttons at random. Or even pressing the wrong button accidentally. This is understandable, but a habit that needs to be broken.
A good way to avoid this is to maintain a strong grip on the controller with both hands. Always place your thumb in the center of the button diamond. Rest it there so you always know if you are on more than one button or not. This is a good way to break this gambling habit.
Mixture of triggers and bumpers
Another button problem that is a little more typical is the mix of bumpers and triggers. While the shoulder buttons have been on controllers for years, the dual layer of such buttons still confuses some games. Also which is the trigger and which is the bumper is also not wildly known. So when quick events ask for these buttons, it’s hard.
The ring finger is a little more jerky than the index, so you can press the trigger when you want to hit the bumper. Shoulder, trigger and bumper used to be used interchangeably to refer to a single button. The error is understandable, but the four shoulder buttons are standard now. This habit is one that would best be broken.
Problems with multiple controllers
If you own multiple game consoles over the course of your life, this is a common habit. Different controllers have different button layouts, even when using third-party controllers and gamepads. Yes, they are usually all in diamond shape, but the function of the buttons may be different. This can cause players to press the wrong button completely by accident.
But that’s not the only problem when it comes to games on multiple consoles. If you rarely play on a particular platform, you may not know which button it is. This brings the player’s eyes to the controller where they are not looking at the screen. It could certainly be a bad habit not to pay attention.
Waiting too long for dialogue
In some games, mainly the work in the TellTale Games studio, even dialogue trees are timed. Many dialog options will be presented, but not waiting too long will automatically select a blank one. Players can think about which choice to make and reread the choices. But that timer continues to turn down.
While the player considers their options, the game decides for them. That decision was usually silence. What was originally supposed to be a well-worded complex thought are now ellipses. Players need to break this habit and be more determined!
Control Stick Troubles
Most often, fast events will only emit button prompts. These are typically the face buttons and triggers. But control stick prompts are not unheard of. However, the buttons are far more common, so a stick command is going to interrupt a rhythm.
Unfortunately, it is much easier to enter the wrong direction on a stick than with a button. Diagonal directions will definitely be a pain. So players do well to remember that the D-Pad exists. The D-Pad makes it easy to enter annoying stick input if the game allows it.
Put the controller down during the cutscene
Some games have really long intervals; this is nothing new. But some games like Metal Gear Solid has ridiculously long intermediate sequences made entirely in the engine. This makes it difficult to realize when the game should resume action. If you put the controller down, you may be open to a sudden rapid event.
Although it is a bad habit to put the controller down during intermediate sequences, it can be unavoidable. If you are multitasking, or the cutscene is particularly long, it may be better to put the controller down. So players should take a good habit instead. Being able to recognize intermediate sequences in the engine would be a good place to start so players are not dazzled by QTEs.
This is the direct opposite of the earliest habit. Instead of pressing the button, these players hit it once. But there is also a problem with this. What about times when the prompt requires button mashing?
Although less common than single input prompts, it still exists. It is very common in mini-games. It may look like the prompt for single tap. So players need to pay close attention to which one is really on the screen so they are not wasting time.
Missing the rhythm
Sometimes fast events require a certain rhythm to their button press. Whether it is on 1/4 time or 1/2 time, rhythm can be crucial. But unless the game is a Rhythm game, it can be hard to know if there is a rhythm. Some players let their habits take over and just try to mask through the rhythm anyway.
There may be an indicator on the screen, such as a metronome, to indicate the rhythm. Or the controller may rumble to set the rhythm you need to press. Sometimes messages may not be so obvious. This is why it is important to pay attention during self-study, even during self-explanatory things like fast-paced events!
Missing on purpose
Games are about experimenting. They give players worlds to explore and countless things to experience. Even QTE, with its apparent dichotomy, is still loaded with input. Input that can lead to more content even if it is not properly met.
Sometimes players will purposefully fail QTEs to watch animations or achieve achievements. Failing QTEs can sometimes be their own reward, it seems. But it’s never good to get used to this kind of thing, as the dreaded instant death event could set your head in the air. Players must use discretion or be sure when it is safe to fail QTEs, otherwise they may get their progress. And at the end of the day, fast-paced events are part of the game, and the game should be fun.
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