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BeeStation Full Controls: Why and How

If you are a brand-new player, you might have stumbled in here by accident. You can see the basic controls if you want to get into a round immediately on the new player tutorial page. Otherwise, this page is meant to be a breakdown of all (probably) relevant controls. It explains the how and more importantly it explains the WHY. Read this page and use the tasks at the bottom for practice and SS13 controls will become second nature in just a round or two. You can also check out the full hotkeys page.

Full Controls: Breakdown

Left Click: The Pickup or “Use On” Key

Left click is used as a “take in hand button” most of the time. If there is something you want to pick up walk up and just click on it (assuming you don’t already have something in that hand). It’s second use is that it can be used to “use on x” items in hand. Use on what?

  • Use some food, drink, or medicine on yourself to eat/drink/take it.
  • Use the above on other people to attempt to force them to eat/drink/take it. Don’t.
  • Use a gun on a person or thing to shoot them.
  • Use the computer console to open the interface.
  • Use your empty hand on someone (with help intent) to hug them. :)
  • If someone is buckled to a chair or something, click on the chair (or whatever) to unbuckle them.

Right click: The Stack Popup

For example, you want something from a locker, but there is a big stack of items in it. You can’t see the thing you want and so you can’t click on it. What do you do? You use Right click to open a popup menu listing every “thing” on that turf (tile). Simply find the item you want and from it’s popup menu use the pick-up or drag option.

“Using” Items with the Z key: Why and How?

This is different from the left click use. You can think of this as “use my hand on this item”. If you are confused a few examples should help:

  • Use it on a can of coke to open it.
  • Use it on a zippo lighter to light it.
  • Use it on an e-gun to swap to lethal mode.
  • Use it on a piece of paper to read it.
  • Use it on a health scanner to toggle into reagent mode.

For example, how would you drink a can of coke? You must first open the can by “using” it in your hand with the Z key. This will “use your hand on it” to open the coke can. Then you click on yourself with the opened can of coke in your hand to “use“ it on yourself which makes your character drink it.

ALT + Click: How and why?

The less common use case of ALT + click is to perform specific, context sensitive actions. Examples are toggling the lock on a locker, split a stack of items, crawling into vents (as something small like a monkey or alien larva)…

It’s most common use case, however, is opening an “inventory”. The way you can think of this hotkey is like a “show/take from inside”. What you might not expect is that a lot of things are technically “inventories”. If something has something inside it and you want to reach it then ALT + click is the answer.

  • Take out your ID from your PDA.
  • Take out your pen from your PDA (if there is no ID in it).
  • Show a toolbelt, backpack or box inventory.
  • Show your coat pockets inventory.
  • Take out the item you put in your heavy boots.

This hotkey can also be used to open “inventories”, like a toolbox on the floor, without having to pick them up or equip them (toolbelts, bags). In the case of an “inventory” that has a single item inside it, it just spits that one item out like in the pen from PDA example or like taking out the ID from your PDA.

Something of note however is that you don’t ALT + click “container” like things such as crates or lockers. They are simply opened by left clicking them and then taking the items directly from them or with the right click if there is big stack on them. If you are a little confused by all this, don’t worry, it will be crystal clear after a round or two.


Press the T key – to talk. Your sentences will be automatically capitalized and end with a period. Unless you use “?” or “!” or even “!!” if you really want to scream something out. The last on is usually used with “;HELP!!” to scream for said help in the global radio chat.

As shown above If you add a semicolon (;) before anything else, you'll transmit your message to the general chat radio. Use the Y key to speak on the radio without typing the semicolon prefix.

You can also speak on a department specific radio channel. The format is the same for each, just with a different letter. To speak on the medical channel, for example, type .m or #m before your message.

Use the T key to talk BUT place a * (asterisk) followed by one of the preset non-verbal actions (emotes) to use them. Most common ones are: *clap, *laugh and *scream. These will make an in-game sound! You can use *help to see all the options. Not all of them have sounds and sounds can be different depending on the species e.g., moth or lizard (stinky).

Use SHIFT + Middle Mouse Button - to point at something. This creates a message in the chat and temporarily displays an arrow over the thing you point at.

Press the U key – to talk in local out of character chat. This is special yellow text with no rune text (text over the head) only visible in the chat window. As a new player you can use this in the game to ask control related questions to the people around you. If you have such questions also try the mentor tab. Global OOC is the O key and is only usable before or after a round.

Click-dragging: Buckling, Searching and Resisting

The B key is used to “resist” things such as any grab type from another person, resisting your butt off the sofa, breaking hands cuffs (this will take a while), resisting the fire on you by stop, drop and rolling, etc.

The word buckle might be confusing here. While you are “buckled” to the sofa you can just instantly resist it. If on the other hand you are handcuffed to said sofa (or in general) the “resist” word becomes more apt.

Click-dragging yourself or a held person onto something else has a lot of uses:

  • Do it with yourself onto a chair to sit on it. A bed to rest on it.
  • Do it with yourself onto a table to climb up onto the table.
  • Do it with a person who is handcuffed to buckle them to a bed or chair.

An important one is click-dragging yourself onto another person to open their character inventory. You can then unequip or equip items from them. Security uses this to take off handcuffs or search convicts.

Throwing Mode: How and Why?

Use the R key to toggle throw mode for one throw. Next time you click somewhere on the screen your character will THROW the item. You can also hold down Space to toggle throw mode on while it is held down.

Why would you want to throw stuff? Because it’s convenient. Why walk 6 tiles to drop that hat on the table when you can just chuck it at it? Why walk to someone to hand them an item when you can just throw it next to them? Do not throw items at people. Unless you want to, in cases where you might try throwing stuff for self-defense, for example.

Will it break or something? Most items are safe to throw. The exception are items made from glass such as cups. Even if they don’t break themselves, they will spill their contents on the floor or hit thing. A common use case is to throw an open bottle of fuel at someone followed by a lit match or something to set them on fire.

Pulling Things with CTRL + Click: How and Why?

CTRL + click is used to pull a thing or person. Your hand must be empty to pull. Halt as in stop pulling with H. Why would I want to pull a thing? You can gently pull people if you want to lead them somewhere. You can pull items such as crates or anything too big to carry in your hands. Most machines can be unwrenched and pulled somewhere else.

Another tip is that you can pull an item with an empty hand. Then you can use said empty hand to pick up another item even though you are “using” it to pull an item. Usually used to transport three bulky items instead of two.

QoL Hotkeys

Press the E key to quick equip items. If an item can be “equipped”, as in placed in any slot including your inventory or any other inventories such as belts or the suit slot, it will be. For example, if you have gloves and press E you will “quick equip” them into your gloves slot. If you already have gloves they will instead go to your backpack or other valid slots. There are too many cases so just experiment with the E key on items and you will figure out the behavior.

Using SHIFT + B and SHIFT + T you can place an item in/on your backpack or toolbelt respectively. If used with an empty hand, then it will instead take the last item you placed inside the backpack/toolbelt into your hand. An engineer might use this to quickly toggle between a wrench and his empty hand when working with pipes.

What is the drop item (Q) key used for?

There are items that you can pick up with your hands, but that are too big to be stored in your backpack or even the suit slot such as the combat shotgun. If you need two hands for some reason you can just drop and item on the ground as a kind of a temporary inventory extension. Don’t worry it won’t get “dirty” and no one will steal it (probably). If you find this a bit confusing don't worry it's not critical that you understand this. Just play the game and you will figure it out what I mean.

Tasks to practice the controls

Here are a few suggestions for things you should do on your first round to effectively learn the controls. After all the best way to learn is by doing. In no particular order:

  • Make a paper airplane and throw it.
  • Smoke a cigarette.
  • Drink a can of coke.
  • Pull a chair into a funny spot and then sit on it.
  • Climb up onto a table.
  • Talk to someone and use a preset emote.
  • Get a drink or a meal from the crew area and tip the server.