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Add WSAD controls to Wolf3D mods (without ECWolf!)

One of the features that make ECWolf so popular is it’s control scheme; by default games run through the zDoom-inspired engine have dedicated strafe-left and strafe-right keys, a standard of modern gaming.

As it happens though, Wolf4SDL -the main engine for Wolf3D mods- actually has dedicated strafe buttons programmed into it already.

Thanks to Nexion, we have a simple 4 step system to unlock WSAD controls, along with a few handy extras!

Remember: Editing files this way can cause damage if you aren't careful. Be sure to keep backups in case anything happens to them!

Step 1: The programs you need

First, you’ll need to download (and install) a Hex Editing program, like HxD. Go to their page and download the program in your preferred language. Install it wherever you’d like.

Pick your game. For this guide, we’ll just be using the default Wolfenstein 3D files, but this will work with most mods that use an SDL exe.

Wolfenstein 3D

Run the Wolf4SDL game of your choice at least once in order to generate a CONFIG file.
This file has all your settings and controls contained in it, and will be the target of this guide.

Important: This process does not work with DOS mods [citation needed] as the strafe-left and strafe-right controls are only built into Wolf4SDL. 
The config file can sometimes be named slightly differently (Majik Monkee's mods, for instance, tend to be named 'cfgsdl'), or have a different extension type (Default game extensions are WL6, WL1, and SOD) depending on the game.

Step 2: Opening the CONFIG file

Open HxD, or your preferred Hex Editor.


Go to File->Open as shown above, and navigate to your game folder. Select the CONFIG file the game generated.

You should see something similar to the following screen

Step 3: Finding the controls

The Hex Editor is broken into multiple columns. We want to look at the final column, called “Decoded Text”. Scroll down until you locate numbers “1…2…3…4”.
These sequential numbers are most likely going to be the weapon-select buttons which means when we find them, we’ve found the controls!

Step 4: Adding the strafe keys to the game

There are multiple controls we can edit from within this file. Below is a full list of what we can do, though for this guide we are just focusing on strafe left and strafe right.

  • n – next weapon
  • l – previous weapon
  • e – exit to menu
  • p – pause
  • a – strafe left
  • d – strafe right

So, to add dedicated strafing buttons, you would need to put an ‘a’ and ‘d’ (or whatever keys you’d like them to be) in the appropriate places of your file.

Make sure you only overwrite/replace the spaces, otherwise you might accidentally move the rest of the data around.
Use the ‘ÿ’ symbols as a reference point; they should be in the same place as before you edited the file.

Many Wolf4SDL games might have more weapons in them, which will result in more numbers in the config file. Just remember, the pattern of keys are generally the same, so you only need remember how many spaces after the weapons to edit.
In a game with a single additional weapon, it would look like the following.

Provided you’ve followed the instructions above, you should be able to save the CONFIG file and run your game.
Change forward to ‘w’ and backwards to ‘s’ within the in-game control options, and you should have functioning proper WSAD controls.

If it worked, well done!

A note about games with extra inputs, and exceptions

Some Wolf4SDL mods have features, such as portable medkits. These often take up an extra input, which can shift where the dedicated strafe buttons are.
For mods like these, it’s down to trial and error. Remember to back up your file, and try changing inputs in other places, and see what they do. What happens if you put ‘a’ and ‘d’ in the 7th and 8th spaces instead?

If your game still doesn’t add the strafing controls, comment below! We can either work it out, or add the game to the exceptions listed below.

Mods with known control differences
  • Krucible – Next/Previous weapon keys removed
Mods that may not work with this method

  • End of Destiny SDL (May have been removed in development)
Mods that have dedicated strafing enabled by default
  • Beyond The Grave
  • Klooni
  • Witching Hour
  • The Golden Parrot

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