10 Worst Quick-Time Event Gaming Habits Most Players Have


Quick-Time Events are a staple in video gaming. While they are sometimes maligned, there’s no doubt that they’re here to stay. A prompt flashes on screen, and the player must quickly press it to accomplish a context specific action. Usually they’re timed, which contributes to their controversial reputation.

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Quick-Time Events appear in pretty much every genre nowadays. Some games even forgo traditional gameplay and have only quick-time events. So players have developed habits to help them deal with them. Unfortunately, not all of them result in these events being quick.


Hitting The Button Too Much

A woman is about to strike a man in Resident Evil 5.

When a prompt appears, players will scramble to fulfill it. Sometimes they may smash the button too many times. Quick-Time Events usually play a small cutscene between prompts, but not always. Therefore, that second press could cause the player to misinput a new prompt.

The prompt may appear immediately. In that case, mashing or spamming a button may just ruin the second prompt. Players need to break this habit and just press the button once. As stressful as it is to miss inputs, make sure you don’t misinput either.

Panicking And Missing The Button

QTE from Tomb Raider

This habit is definitely more common among easily startled gamers. Any unexpected pop-ups could startle the player and prompt them to start pressing buttons randomly. Or even press the wrong button by accident. It’s understandable, but a habit that must be broken.

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A good way around it is to maintain a strong grip on the controller with both hands. Always position your thumb in the middle of the button’s diamond. Rest it there so you always know if you’re on more than one button or not. This is a good way to break this gaming habit.

Mixing Up Triggers And Bumpers

A QTE from Sonic 06 with the shoulder button

Another button problem that is a little more typical is the mixing up of bumpers and triggers. While the shoulder buttons have been on controllers for years, the dual layering of such buttons still confuses some games. Also, which one is the trigger and which is the bumper is also still not wildly known. So, when quick-time events ask for these buttons, it’s tough.

The ring finger is a little twitchier than the index, so you may hit the trigger when you mean to hit the bumper. Shoulder, Trigger, and Bumper used to be used interchangeably to refer to a single button. The mistake is understandable, but the four shoulder buttons are standard-issue now. This habit is one that would best be broken.

Multiple Controller Trouble

A PlayStation 5 controller and a Nintendo Switch.

If you own multiple gaming consoles during your life, this is a common habit. Different controllers have different button layouts, even when using third-party controllers and gamepads. Yes, they’re all usually in a diamond shape, but the function of the buttons can be different. This could cause players to push the wrong button by complete accident.

But it’s not the only problem when it comes to multi-console play. If you play on a certain platform rarely enough, you may not know what button is which. This brings the player’s eyes to the controller, where they are not looking at the screen. Could certainly be bad habit to not be paying attention.

Waiting Too Long For Dialogue

Walking Dead Telltale Complete

In some games, chiefly the work of TellTale Games studio, even dialogue trees are timed. Many dialogue choices will be presented, but not waiting too long will automatically pick a blank one. Players may meander over what choice to take, re-reading the choices. But that timer continues to wind down.

While the player is contemplating their options, the game decides for them. That decision was usually silence. What was originally going to be a well-worded complex thought is now ellipses. Players need to break this habit and be more decisive!

Control Stick Troubles

A directional QTE from Shenmue

Most of the times quick time events will only issue button prompts. This is typically the face buttons and the triggers. But control stick prompts aren’t unheard of. The buttons are far more common though, so a stick command is going to throw off a rhythm.

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Unfortunately, it’s much easier to input the wrong direction on a stick than with a button. Diagonal directions are sure to be a pain. So players would do well to remember that the D-Pad exists. The D-Pad makes it easy to input pesky stick inputs if the game allows it.

Put Controller Down During Cutscene

Some games have really long cutscenes; that’s nothing new. But some games like Metal Gear Solid have ridiculously long cutscenes done entirely in-engine. That makes it tough to realize when the game is going to pick up the action again. Putting down the controller can leave you open to a sudden quick-time event.

While putting the controller down during cutscenes is a bad habit, it might be unavoidable. If you’re multitasking or the cutscene is especially long, it may be better to put the controller down. So players should pick up a good habit instead. Being able to recognize in-engine cutscenes would be a good place to start, so players don’t get blindsided by QTEs.

Not Mashing

Marvel's Avengers Ms. Marvel MODOK Final Boss QTE

This one is the direct opposite to the earliest habit. Instead of mashing the button, these players do hit it once. But there is a problem with this as well. What about times where the prompt requires button mashing?

While less common than single input prompts, this one still exists. It’s very common in mini-games. It may look very similar to the prompt for the single press. So players must pay close attention to which one is truly on screen so they don’t waste time.

Missing the Rhythm

Taiko no Tatsujin for switch promotional image, featuring Don-chan.

Sometimes quick-time events will require a certain rhythm to their button press. Whether it’s on 1/4th time or 1/2th time, rhythm can be essential. But unless the game is a Rhythm game, it can be difficult to know if there is a rhythm. Some players let their habits take over and just try to mash through the rhythm anyway.

There may be an onscreen indicator, like some kind of metronome, to show the rhythm. Or the controller may rumble to indicate the rhythm on which you need to press. Sometimes prompts may not be this obvious though. That’s why it’s important to pay attention during tutorials, even during self-explanatory stuff like quick-time events!

Missing On Purpose

An infamous QTE in Resident Evil 4.

Gaming is all about experimentation. They’re giving players worlds to explore and countless things to experience. Even the QTE, with it’s seeming dichotomy, is still rife with input. Input that could lead to more content even if not properly met.

Sometimes players will purposefully fail QTEs to see animations or gain achievements. Failing QTE’s can sometimes be there own reward, it seems. But it’s never good to get into the habit of this kind of thing, as the dreaded instant death event could rear it’s head. Players have to use discretion or be certain when it’s safe to fail QTE’s, or they might tank their progress. And at the end of the day, quick-time events are part of the game, and the game is supposed to be fun.

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