All game controls are accessed by clicking items on the Main Menu. In addition, many/most of the commands have an equivalent keyboard shortcut.

<updated menus still under construction... old menus are below>

File MenuEdit

Pretty self-explanatory

Command Shortcut
Open Side Ctrl-O
Duplicate Side
Reload Side Ctrl-L
Remove Side Ctrl-K
Remove All Sides
Close Window (Mac Only) Ctrl-W
Exit (Windows Only) Ctrl-Q

Views MenuEdit

Brings up one of several information views

Command Shortcut
World Ctrl-V
Minimap Ctrl-M
Statistics Ctrl-S
Types Ctrl-Y
Debugger Ctrl-D
Tournament Ctrl-E
Shared Memory

Simulation MenuEdit

Controls to affect how the game is played


Shortcut Explanation
Run Ctrl-R Starts the clock again after pause
Single Frame Ctrl-F Advance clock 1 whole frame
Step Brain Ctrl-B Advance selected robot's brain by 1 command
Pause Ctrl-P Halts the clock
Start/Stop Brain Halts execution on the selected robot, but keeps the rest of the simulation going
Slowest Speed Ctrl-0 Sets clock to 2 frames per second (FPS)
Slow Speed Ctrl-1 10 FPS
Normal Speed Ctrl-3 30 FPS
Fast Speed Ctrl-6 60 FPS
Faster Speed Ctrl-9 90 FPS (I think)
Unlimited Speed Ctrl-U Sets the clock as fast as your processor can handle it.
New Round Ctrl-N Stops the round, reseeds all sides, and begins another one
Clear Map Del Stops the round and resets the map (Windows version)
Restart` \ Same as Clear map (Mac version)
Add Seeds

F12 / =

Seeds each side on the board randomly. F12 for Windows, = for Mac
Reseed Dead Sides
Rules Shows a dialog that allows changing of various world parameters (Mac version only)
Tournament Ctrl-T Turns Tournament Mode on or off. In the Mac version, also brings up a dialog to select the number of rounds to run before stopping.
Save Tournament Scores Creates an html output file with the current tournament scoreboard
Reset Tournament Scores Sets all scores to 0

Tools Menu Edit

Makes your mouse do different things to the map when clicked.

Key Tool Explanation
space Scroll/Follow click to follow an object, drag to scroll
M Add Manna add some manna
R Add Robot click to add a cell of the selected type
S Add Seed multiple cells of the selected side
M Move drag individual objects around
P Pull drag to create a forcefield
X Smite creates a large explosion
B Add Blasts fire a bunch of shots in all directions; good for testing cells' response to shots, or just killing them
E Erase delete an individual object
A Erase Area delete multiple objects

Older Versions Edit

Before the menus were revamped in July 2012, keyboard shortcuts were not tied to the menu, and were specific to the view that was most recently clicked. They are still in the code, and in cases where they do not conflict with the newer shortcuts (and haven't been overwritten by menu keys), they still work.


There are keys to change the graphics settings:

Key Meaning
F Toggle whether foods are shown
R Toggle whether robots are shown
S Toggle whether sensor-shots are shown
D Toggle whether decorations are shown
T Toggle whether trails are shown
W Switch between black and white backgrounds. (This feature was an experiment and may go away.)

Any double-buffered windowEdit

In any double-buffered window (the main view or the minimap, currently) you can type '!' to toggle whether the window is actually redrawn, or '@' to toggle whether the back-buffer is actually copied to the screen. These are of interest only for measuring the cost of graphics.