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

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

Here's a game that's simple, but at the same time really fun to play. QWOP is a 4-key running game created by Bennett Foddy. Here's how to play QWOP, along with some tips and tricks to win at it, brought to you by Techspirited.
Vibhav Gaonkar
Q-W-O-P Record
The Guinness World Record is held by Roshan Ramachandra, a resident of Karnataka, India, for doing the fastest 100 m run in QWOP, on April 10, 2013, completing it in just 51 seconds.
QWOP is a flash game which was launched in November 2008. There are also mobile versions which have been launched for Android and iOS platforms, which demand the use of thumbs instead of keys.

The player controls an athlete QWOP, who is the local sporting hero of a prosperous country in the Scandinavian Alps. Due to improper funding, QWOP isn't a really good runner, as seen from the intentionally bad controls. The game is quite tough to play, as it requires perfect coordination of one's fingers. It gets really humorous when one struggles at the controls, making the athlete swing or flail, and at times doing something like a back-flip. The game simply requires 4 buttons, but is 400 times more difficult than real-life running. Let's take a quick look at the basic controls of the game, and also some strategies that will help you play it like an expert.
Basic Controls
The game begins with the instructions screen. Use 'Q', 'W', 'O', and 'P' keys to control the athlete. The easiest way to make a successful run is to understand the controls and the stances involved in a real-life run.
Thigh Movement
Q moves the anterior thigh forward (the one facing the player), and the posterior thigh back.

W moves the posterior thigh forward, and the anterior thigh back (opposite of Q).
Calf Movement
O moves the anterior calf forward, and the posterior one back.

P moves the posterior calf forward and the anterior one back (opposite of O).
Tips To Play
While playing, assume that the upper body is just a piece of dead weight which needs to be balanced by limb movements. Try and visualize the different stances of a sprinter. How does he begin running? You can actually try seeing your stance in a mirror when making a run.

A runner would always lean slightly forward and shift more of his body weight in the direction of his run. When taking the first step, he raises the thigh of one leg and pushes himself forward with his other leg, and repeats this all along his run. Though it sounds easy here, it's tougher when playing QWOP, but it's really important to get the physics right.
Start by tapping O a couple of times so that the athlete slightly leans forward, with his anterior calf moving ahead.
Once his position seems okay, press Q and P to take the first step. The position in this step should be such that his anterior thigh should be parallel to the ground, and the other one at around 60 degrees from the ground. (Refer to the illustration below)
athlete running
Now you'll have to push the anterior leg back and get the posterior one forward. So, basically, you have to repeat the position in the previous step, but inversely. Press W and O to accomplish this.
Keep alternating between PQ and WO to make a proper run, but be careful about timing. If you feel that the athlete is leaning too much backward or forward, use W and P or Q and O, respectively, to prevent him from falling down.
Keep practicing so as to perfect your timing and coordination. You can play QWOP online on a computer for free, or purchase the mobile versions for the same. See you at the finish line!