5 Tips for Beginners to Play QWOP on a Computer Like a Pro

Introducing a game that offers simplicity and immense enjoyment: QWOP. Crafted by the brilliant mind of Bennett Foddy, this 4-key running game has captured the hearts of many. Now, let’s dive into the exhilarating world of QWOP and discover some invaluable tips and tricks to secure victory.

Play QWOP on a Computer

Q-W-O-P: A Remarkable Achievement

In the annals of the gaming world, a noteworthy accomplishment stands tall. Roshan Ramachandra, a proud resident of Karnataka, India, etched his name in the prestigious Guinness World Records. On April 10, 2013, he set a remarkable feat by completing the fastest 100-meter run in the infamous QWOP game, achieving a jaw-dropping time of a mere 51 seconds.

QWOP, a flash game that debuted in November 2008, has since evolved and expanded its reach. Now available on Android and iOS platforms, the mobile versions require deft thumb control instead of conventional keys.

Within the game, players assume the role of an athlete named QWOP, hailed as the local sporting hero in a prosperous Scandinavian Alpine nation. However, due to a lack of proper funding, QWOP’s running skills are far from extraordinary, a fact that becomes abundantly clear through intentionally challenging controls. 

Mastering this game demands impeccable coordination of one’s fingers and can lead to hilarity when players struggle, causing QWOP to swing, flail, and even attempt improbable backflips. With just four buttons to navigate, the game proves to be a daunting 400 times more challenging than real-life running. 

Now, let’s explore the fundamental controls of the game and discover some expert strategies to help you conquer it with finesse.

Basic Controls

Let’s start with the basics: the controls. As you launch the game, an instructions screen greets you. To maneuver the athlete, simply employ the ‘Q’, ‘W’, ‘O’, and ‘P’ keys on your keyboard. To maximize your chances of a triumphant run, it’s crucial to grasp both the controls and the postures synonymous with real-life running.

Thigh Movement:

  • Pressing ‘Q’ propels the anterior thigh forward (the one facing the player) while simultaneously pushing the posterior thigh backward.
  • On the other hand, pressing ‘W’ initiates forward movement of the posterior thigh, causing the anterior thigh to shift backward (in contrast to the ‘Q’ key).

Calf Movement:

  • Engaging the ‘O’ key drives the anterior calf forward while simultaneously urging the posterior calf backward.
  • Conversely, pressing ‘P’ initiates forward movement of the posterior calf, while the anterior calf moves backward (opposite to the ‘O’ key)

Tips To Play

1. Find Your Balance:

As you immerse yourself in the game, envision your upper body as dead weight that necessitates balance through your limb movements. Take a moment to visualize the various stances adopted by sprinters. How do they initiate their runs? To gain insight, try observing your own stance in a mirror while attempting a run.

A sprinter typically leans slightly forward, shifting the majority of their body weight in the direction of their run. When taking that initial step, they raise the thigh of one leg while propelling themselves forward with the other leg. 

This pattern repeats throughout the run. While it may seem straightforward in theory, executing these movements in QWOP proves to be more challenging. However, mastering the physics behind it is crucial for success.

2. Find Your Starting Point:

To initiate your run, begin by tapping the ‘O’ key a few times. This action will cause the athlete to lean forward slightly, with their anterior calf moving ahead. This initial positioning sets the stage for a successful start and can provide you with a solid foundation for the rest of your run.

3. Taking the First Step:

When you feel that the athlete’s position is suitable, it’s time to take the first step. To do this, simultaneously press the ‘Q’ and ‘P’ keys. As you execute this move, aim to achieve a specific posture. 

In this step, the athlete’s anterior thigh should be parallel to the ground, while the other thigh should be at an approximate angle of 60 degrees from the ground.

4. Achieving Leg Reversal:

To maintain your stride, you’ll need to push the anterior leg back while bringing the posterior leg forward. Essentially, you’ll be replicating the position from the previous step but in reverse. To accomplish this, press the ‘W’ and ‘O’ keys simultaneously. This action will help you establish a rhythm and maintain momentum throughout your run.

5. Mastering Timing and Balance:

To execute a successful run, it’s crucial to alternate between the combinations of ‘PQ’ and ‘WO’ continuously. However, pay close attention to timing. If you notice the athlete leaning too far backward or forward, utilize the keys ‘W’ and ‘P’ or ‘Q’ and ‘O’ respectively to restore balance and prevent any potential falls.

Remember, practice is key to refining your timing and coordination in the game. You can enjoy the QWOP experience for free by playing online on your computer, or you can opt to purchase the mobile versions. I’ll see you at the finish line!

Himangi is passionate about keeping up with the ever-evolving landscape of technology. In her free time, she indulges her interests in neuroscience and art.


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