Spiral Knights

Spiral Knights

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Double Switching Guide
By Crease
Everything you need to know about double switching and more.
Some notes before starting. ( Edit, New Video Guide ! )
Edit : Few months after I posted this guide, I've turned it into a video, made it a bit easier to follow and clearer to understand. Includes everything in there ( and more ) but different keybindings and settings are still on this page if you'd like to try different ones !

You may use parts of this guide in your guides or link this page somewhere (e.g, One sword slaying guide) I don't care if you credit me or a monkey, just share the guide.
I use English spelling, not American-English spelling. Colour = Color, s takes the place of z in "cise" rather than "cize" and Programme instead of program so my spelling isn't wrong, it's just a different language - ish.
Huuuuge thanks to these people,
For the extra content and sharing their keybindings !

If you would like to read the guide on the spiral knights forums instead, it's right here [forums.spiralknights.com]

Also, Double switching / Cancelling goes by many names, single switching, double switching, dual switch, one weapon switch, and some others that are a bit less popular such as poorguywhocantafford2properweaponsnoobscrubinsult
Whether it's Double switching ( which is the one I'll be using throughout this guide ) or poorguywhocantafford2properweaponsnoobscrubcrappyinsult, it means that you will be switching twice, so that you attack with the same weapon without having to wait for the animation on the full combo to finish.
A little bit about me ( Pssshhhh, No one cares ! HAHAHAH .. Oh wait D: )
My first guide I've ever made so you know, don't expect something like the mona lisa. I've played for SK for a very long time but I've only recently found out how to double switch through hours of testing different key bindings and settings. I've soaked a lot of time into learning how to do this because I wanted to be a gunner / hybrid but because I'm a cheapskate and at first I didn't want to buy another alchemer but now, I have more than thirty 5* guns at level 10 heat. It's really only 2, but it's less impressive now, isn't it? Oh, and it saves you some money if you're going to farm FSC. You don't need to buy another slot for a blitz if you gun. You can go Alch + Blitz and save 250ce. Also, when you have two different types of damage, say elemental and shadow damage, one being shadowtech alch and the other being prismatech alch. You can kill slimes faster by just double switching the shadowtech rather than normal switching between the two, so it makes killing this faster.
Explanation to canceling
If you've already got a grip on normal switching, you can skip this segment. If you're new to weapon switching, it's when you cancel an attack with the shield, switch weapons and then attack, shield switch and so on. Attack > Switch > Shield > Repeat, shielding cancels the animation and therefore you can attack with rapid succession, one right after the other with the first hits. To gun, being able to do this is essential because for the price of healthy fingers, you do not need to reload at all ! Wow ! Double switching is when you Attack, switch to another weapon, and then switch back to your weapon you attacked with and then shield cancelling the animation. Attack > Switch > Switch Back > Shield > Repeat. This is actually very difficult when trying to do this and aim.
The spiral knights wiki does a good explanation about single switching and says that double switching is the same concept but it doesn't really go too much in depth about how to do it. You can read about it here, [wiki.spiralknights.com] just skip down to advanced techniques. Here's what double switching looks like with swords :
Keybindings and settings
C3 Settings and control scheme
Here's where we're actually starting do stuff - ish. First thing's first, weapon wheel off ! This is super dooper annoying, it's like an image that just stays on your screen when you're double switching.

I have made these keybindings so that it is easier to use when switching. Not because it's strange or cool or dum, but because it works. I will not change my keybindings unless you offer a way to double switch without developing arthritis. So please do not criticise it because I will cry.

C3.1 - Movement for dummies.
W - Move North
S - Move South
A - Move Weast ( If you got that reference, I love you )
D - Move East

C3.2 - Important stuff
Space Bar - Shield
LEFT mouse click - Weapon slot 1
RIGHT mouse click - Weapon slot 2
Middle mouse click - Attack

I know, Middle mouse click for--- WAIT !!! Before you guys throw your gran faust's at m--- OUCH ! Who did that ?! I bruise easily !
This is because when double switching, you just click the buttons from right to left for weapon 2 double switching and left to right for weap 1 double switch.
This makes it a lot easier to learn and it puts less stress on your fingers, rather than scrolling up and down, as the default puts it on. The reason I use specific weapon slots is because you do not have to change the rotation for each weapon whenever you stop switching, and that gets annoying and confusing as heck.

C3.3 - Extra notes
You can see that I don't have weapon 3 or 4 slots. I put them on Q and E but I did not include them as I don't use them and this guide is aimed towards players that can't quite afford 3 or 4 slots yet. I'm also saying this because I'm still practicing 3rd and 4th weapon slot switching and I have yet to make an easier way to double switch with all 4 slots.
These keybindings are not the only way of going about with double switching ! Other people have there own way and some have even shared them with us.

Seiran's keybindings :

Knightofheaven's keybindings :
Movement: WASD and Mouse left click
Shield: X
Attack: Mouse right click and Z
Weapon 1: Mouse wheel down
Weapon 2: Mouse wheel up
Weapon 3: Spacebar
Weapon 4: Left shift (I never really have enough slots to use this)
Boost: Q

Nottheanswer's keybindings :
Movement = WASD
Attack = RMouse
Shield = LMouse
Weapon 1 = Spacebar, previously LAlt
Weapon 2 = LShift
Next weapon = mouse-thumb-button

Golfdinger's keybindings :
thumb for weapons. The keyboard I use has normal key sizes for these bottom-row keys, but these keys on other keyboards may be too large to easily reach them all
movement: YGHJ
slot 1: spacebar
slot 2: right alt
slot 3: apps/menu key
slot 4: right ctrl
attack: left-click (mouse1)
shield: right-click (mouse2)
Putting it together - How it works
Seiran does a way better job at explaining this so I'll leave it to him:

The goal is this: Weapon timers reset when you switch weapons. This includes slash1 prevention, gun reloading. Using a switch technique is essentially doing a manual reload.
You can double-switch to chain unlimited slash1-slash2s, use guns without reloading, or (most importantly!) to have a variety of weapons without filling your loadout with unnecessary weapons and money investment.

Two parts here: Switching and Timing.

The main thing that all of these alternatives have in common is that you switch off your attacking weapon then back to it whenever you want to do a "manual reload".

To is a switch input to your attacking weapon
Away is a switch input going away from your attacking weapon
... repeat point
, short wait
- Input quickly (almost at the same time, but make sure you hit the left input first)

1.[Attack], [Away]-[To] ...
2. [To]-[Attack], [Away] ...

As you can see, with each iteration, there are two switches between attacks. These do kind of look the same, but here's where I see a difference:
Spiral Knights doesn't read two consecutive [Next/Prev] inputs in a short time, which means people who use [Next/Prev] to switch weapons will have trouble doing (1).

Why? Think about it: default controls have Next/Prev mapped to scroll wheel, so it means you can do a careless scroll up/down and only move 1 weapon slot.

This leads us to...

Timing: Attacking
To get around the Next/Prev problem, I recommend method (2) for people who use [Next/Prev]. You sandwich an attack input between your switch inputs. For example, you can do something like this:

[Next]-[Attack], [Prev]...

Timing: Repeating (and speeding up)
First: This technique does NOT make you physically attack faster. It only lets you attack more consistently, which means the gains will come over a long period of time attacking.

So how do you speed this up?

Input Queueing: You can queue [Switch] inputs during your attack animation. So for method (2), you can almost do a [Next]-[Attack]-[Prev]... input, and your character will switch off your attacking weapon as soon as possible. If you don't believe, try doing an [Attack]-[Switch] input and wait: your character should switch weapons eventually.
Shield Cancel: You can hold [Shield] right after you start your attack until shield comes up. This ends your attack animation earlier, which means you switch away and can repeat earlier as well.
Shield Shorter: If you have shield cancelling down, your speed will come from wasting less time in shield. Visually, with perfect timing, you can do it right before the circle base of the shield shows up.
Weapon Wheel: If you have the weapon wheel on, the biggest signifier that your old 'attack' is finished and you can start your next repetition is when the weapon wheel UI starts to switch to a different weapon.
UI Sound: Probably paired with weapon wheel, but there's a beeping sound when it switches, so you can use this as an aural cue. If you can't hear it, try turning up your UI sound volume.
Attack Speed increase: And of course, you're limited by how fast your animations go, so faster weapons = earlier switching = 'faster' repetitions.

When I gave lessons in-game, I would always stress that you do NOT have to copy my control scheme. I know a lot of people have issues controlling their pinky finger, so I don't suggest you use something like that if you can't do it. At the same time, I've run into people who try to do this with pure default controls (attack+shield+switch on mouse hand). Your mouse hand will be very busy if you do that. I prefer to tell people to try to split responsibility: Have your left hand in control of your shield rhythm some how (ex: you can use your thumb to shield if you want, and that leaves your left index+middle+ring fingers to control your movement) and your right hand in control of your aim, attack, and switches.
Woah, so you've made it so far, it's good to have you with me. Assuming you used my keys in the previous section, You click from Right to left or left to right, starting with either space bar or right mouse click. This means that you can double switch with two different weapons at any given time. We will be going from Right to left first because it's easier to learn that way. And as Seiran said, you do not have to use these keybindings, I'll use them for this guide for simplicity but you do not have to use the keybindings I gave you. ( Input queing : Switch > Attack > Switch > Shield )

Right Mouse Click = RMC
Middle Mouse Click = MMC
Left Mouse Click = LMC
Space bar = SB

Weapon 2 Slot Switch
Right Mouse Click > Middle Mouse Click > Left Mouse Click > Space bar > Repeat
RMC > MMC > LMC > SB > Repeat
(Tip. Go down to C6 to see what it looks like)

Then, you swap the other way for the 1st slot weapon.
Left mouse click > Middle Mouse Click > Right Mouse Click > Space Bar > Repeat
LMC > MMC > RMC > SB > Repeat

This is what it should look like :

And this is Seiran's switching - In game :
< >
exepire Dec 2, 2014 @ 4:29pm 
Crease  [author] Nov 29, 2014 @ 10:10pm 
@ exepire, You can only do that a few times ( about 3 ) before you get a few seconds of vulnerability, it also doesn't work with guns. With double switching, you can do it an unlimited number of times without being left open and you do not need to reload with the gun.
exepire Nov 29, 2014 @ 10:09pm 
why do that lame stuff that involves changing the 3 default control settings? why not just hold shield down for a moment right after u attack to cancel some of the extra animation instead?
Jorin Oct 12, 2014 @ 2:33am 
Something else you might want to write about is the usage of the terms double/single switch shooting. Personally, I refer to switch attacking with just one weapon as single switching because you use a single weapon and the same with two weapons as double switching. You, on the other hand use the opposite, and there's no real agreed upon standard in the SK community.

Lastly, how about suggesting some more control schemes for people who play with keyboard only, mouse movement, gamepad, etc.? I play with a gamepad and could suggest some schemes for those if you'd like me to :cat:
Jorin Oct 12, 2014 @ 2:33am 
Good guide! I think you should probably remove the sentence saying that you can skip the "Explanation to canceling" section if you know single switching, as the next section merely covers keybindings and the explanation to canceling sectino does cover double switching.

You should also elaborate more on terminology to avoid confusion, so that pepople don't mix up stuff like your idea of canceling and shield canceling, regular weapon switching and switch shooting. May I also suggest that you disucss shield canceling more in-depth? I believe a lot of people reading the guide might not know what that is, really.
🍅Rubiruby🍅 Oct 3, 2014 @ 7:11am 
Shen-Ra = The master of Weapon Switching