How to Make the Runner Run in "QWOP"

By James Holloway ; Updated September 15, 2017

Making the runner run in "QWOP" appears to be simple, but it can actually be frustratingly difficult. Although the controls are basic, successfully running the length of the game's 100-meter track requires practice, timing and a little luck.

Basic Controls

There are only four controls in "QWOP." The "Q" key moves the right thigh forward and the left thigh back, while the "W" key moves the left thigh forward and the right thigh back. The "O" key moves the right calf forward and the left calf back; the "P" key moves the left calf forward and the right calf back. In practice, these keys are used to perform two distinct motions: Perform a left stride by pressing "Q" and "P" together and holding them, then perform a right stride by pressing "W" and "O" together.

Reaching the Finish Line

Just knowing how to stride isn't enough to make it to the end of the course. The key to successful running in "QWOP" is timing. While your runner performs a left stride, his right leg will come up. Press "W" and "O" together at the right time so that the right foot will strike the ground below the hips. Don't hold down the controls until you're ready for the next stride. Stride and release, then stride with the opposite leg. If the runner's foot is hitting the ground too far forward, try pressing the thigh button slightly before the calf button.

About the Author

Dr James Holloway has been writing about games, geek culture and whisky since 1995. A former editor of "Archaeological Review from Cambridge," he has also written for Fortean Times, Fantasy Flight Games and The Unspeakable Oath. A graduate of Cambridge University, Holloway runs the blog Gonzo History Gaming.