Why only 5 buttons?

Why only 5 buttons? This does not make any sense…

This has been answered for you about 5 times on the official discord already today. I’ll copy and paste what Kain, an EHG dev, responded to you with on one of those attempts to answer your question:

"The game’s balance drastically changes with the number of skills you have at your disposal, the importance of each skill is reduced for each additional skill you can have at the same time, and there’s fewer decisions being made regarding your skills since the answer is just “everything”, and there’s fewer variations between different builds since they would all just run anything remotely applicable reducing the feeling of making “your” character.

By limiting to five skills, we aim to make each skill more individually interesting, and more meaningful when you interact with it. Instead of having a massive roster of individual skills, instead our skills offer skill trees which can completely change how the skill works, or even give it interactions with other skills, such as triggers which can allow builds to reach past the 5 skill limit to some extent.

The five skill limit is not a technical limitation, but one of intentional design within the game. While some of the examples are a bit outdated, we did a dev post regarding this and the design concepts still apply : Skills to Pay the Bills "

I hope, whether you agree with it or not, this sufficiently answers the question for you as to why EHG has chosen to go with 5 buttons.


Not really, takes movement skills out of the game I can never understand such a thing as to why there is no control+ to activate 5 more skills. Skills to pay the bills i get it but why? It is more of a QOL thing simply allow us to use more if we want to it makes no sense. No one should be forced to 5 buttons, i understand the game mechanics want you using 5 skills. The necro for instance in my eyes is suffering badly as i cannot use its movement skill, i suppose this is your intention so i will have to accept it i suppose if i want to play the game.

I feel like we are being forced to use less buttons than a controller, hotkeys and keyboards have always ruled ARPG yet this game has ZERO hotkeys and only 5 buttons :s

I love the game, was dumbfounded to see 5 buttons :frowning: i really hope this changes but looks like it is not happening only ARPG i ever play in my life with no hotkeys.

Hey there LoTJRAD,

One thing you said really stood out to me:

Why do you cannot use a movement skill on a Neromancer build?
Because you feel like you are missing out on potential damage, when you have a few less summons?

This applies to virtually every build, not only summoner builds.

You can totally use Transplant on a necromancer, which can still give all of your existing minions buffs, summon other minions as well and also give you great defensive capabilities and obviously a movement skill.

Will you do less damage compare to adding another summon skill? Probably yes, but thats ok, that is called decisionmaking.

There are only so many skills that are usefull to a specific archetype and with more skills available the build diversity would suffer greatly.

Less skills means more different builds, because: You simply cannot take everything that would benefit the build in some capacity.

Overall I would say, just try using some things, that you disregard on first glance and see how it feels. Did you already tried playing Necromancer with Transplant? If you did but it didn’t feel good maybe switch around the remaining 4 skills whiel keeping Transplant.

you miss out on nothing, it allows you to move … you do not need to invest into every skill it is simple and makes sense to give an option to use them all if you want to why take that away from everyone? I will never know.

But that is exactly the important thing here:
If you want to use a movement skill (which you are not forced to do).
You have to make a decision and maybe take one less skill that you would like to have

There are a lot of builds that don’t use movementskills because they have other ways to get a lot of %inc. movementspeed for example.
Or some tanky builds completely do not use movementskills in exchange for more defensive skills.
Or you can do a glasscannon build too

It is up to you


Having to mess with X buttons would be horrible for me.
Left click, right click, thumb for potions (keyboard in right hand, mouse in left), one skill per remaining finger.
I don’t want to play piano and move my hand constantly, so this is enough.
And for health reasons (and now comfort) I play these days with a controller, so the current config is OK for me.

I think there is a disconnect here for some people and im not sure if its what op means but ill say that it feels odd that we only have 5 hotkeys.

You dont need to specialize in everything but it feels really dumb that my Abomination necro can use an unspecced transplant but my minion army necromancer who uses skeletons, skeleton mages, wraiths, zombies and bone golem cant. I have to have all of those on my bar at all times. Where as the abomination can spec into skeletons/mages use them to summon the abomination then remove them from the bar.

I feel like simply adding an extra hotkey does not break the idea of limiting the players specialization tools.

If anything this comes down to a problem of many of the movement skills not being worth speccing into, but I atleast feel forced many times to spec into them just so I can fit them on my bar.

Ill chime in as this is interesting to me. I’ve never thought about the limitation of only 5 buttons, but it is definitely limiting. That said, the choice and decision factor is incredible and important imo.

OP Has valid issues with this, and thats fine. As he stated, if he wants to play the game, he’ll have to adhere to the dev’s design choices. This harks me back to the auto cast topic: it all boils down to players wanting to play a certain way, one that makes them enjoy this game the most. This is conflicting with EHG design (sometimes), and thats just natural lol. In the end, the whole game will likely be something amazing for everyone, as EHG has been great with finding good spots to please quite a bit of the players.

Give it some more time OP, things could very well change, as EHG has surprised in the past!


Have you thought about using the mouse/keyboard as God intended instead of the way you are? You’d find it less “horrible”. :wink:

IMO, it’s a slippery slope. If they increased it to 6 sooner or later someone would ask for it to be increased again to 7, then 8, then 9, etc. The actual number doesn’t really matter there needs to be a limit to encourage build diversity and the player’s creativity. People often don’t like restrictions but they often lead to innovation and creativity (in games and real life).

Out of curiosity, how far have you got on one of those builds?

Well, I’m used to both sides. Several years ago, it was one side at job and the other at home. I’m not totally ambidextrous, but rather close for some things.
But I prefer mouse in left hand, and for safety reasons I won’t take instructions from someone who drives on mouse side. Even if I don’t drive. :stuck_out_tongue:


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The number of skills actively used on average is much lower in PoE, despite the possibility of having more slots that you could use.

This is just due to the way these two games are very differently designed in certain aspects.

In PoE you essentially want to use any few active skills as possible and want to automate a lot of situational/defensive skills, so that they trigger.

In last Epoch, for the most part, there are always more skills that you could utilize, but don’t have the space for. This way you have to make deliberate decisions on which skills not to take
Also LE’s skill design room is a lot bigger for the devs, since the pace of combat is much slower and reactionary skills are very good and useful, while basically useless in PoE for the most part.

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I mean sure it could be a slippery slope. I just think that movement skills in particular fill a particularly odd niche.

Also ive farmed quite a few builds to a few hundred corruption, all of which needed to use a movement skill for the most part, If I cant fit in a movement skill the build is just bad for pushing any high level of content imo. There is always exceptions to this for some players, but I think you will find most builds use a movement skill, they are too useful to not have.

But most of the movement skill specs are outlandishly bad or boring. Teleport comes to mind as a mage spell you will find on most bars and its spec options are limited to “get some passive stats when you use this” which is crazy boring.

If I need to fit in a movement skill atleast let me have interesting options. Transport is another one where it gives you some passive defensive stuff that makes using it even more mentally taxing, do I port around just to move? or do I use it as another defensive button? Then it has this cool line that lets you summon minions from it, but they are extremely weak and dont really add much.

Also I feel like there is this narrative in this thread that if you were able to use every skill but could only spec 5, people would be using 10+ skills and I find this sorta outlandish. Most unspecced skills are pretty lackluster, Sure you might get someone using all the utility spells unspecced, but that brings me back to the get go, perhaps we need more interesting options in utility skills so specs in them feel less boring and more just “Well I use this skill on my bar, so it would be stupid to not spec it.”

I actually quite like the limited skill choice for most of the classes tbh, working with 5 skills is interesting and does enrich gameplay, but when it comes to movement skills they just feel so dang lackluster on some of the classes and it makes those classes feel worse because they spend a spec and keybind on an otherwise boring “must have” skill.

I agree with devs philosophy about limiting amount of skills (not in general for every aRPG but imo it fits what Last Epoch aims to be).

However movement skills should be exempt from these rules and limitations.

After having spent few thousands hrs in aRPGs (few hundreads in Last Epoch) - I can guarantee that LE gameplay would benefit and open up more (build diversity wise).

Yes LE is slower paced aRPG especially by todays standards but I would wager that most if not all players take a movement skill for their builds. Or rather the real point is - they would if they could. Simply because ANY build will feel better gameplay wise with a movement skill.

Simple and elegant solution is to perhaps just treat movement skill as a natural mechanic of a class - like in many mmos or action games. Each class would just have their own distinct way of moving around the battlefield ( already the case tbh).

This could take a form of a ‘‘special’’ button designed JUST for movement skill - no other skills could ever be equipped there. Therefore general vision of devs would be preserved.

It works great in every game I have seen this solution. This will never cause any issues in LE since there is a cooldown on movement skills or perhaps a resource limitation of some kind. Either way you cannot stack attack/cast/movement speed to ridicilous amounts with 0 cd on movement skills to zoom zoom over the place - like in PoE for example.

So the core experience and vision that devs got for LE would stay the same.

Players would in turn enjoy having 5 abilities for their actual build PLUS always having movement skill. There literally would NOT be anybody unhappy about this. I have never met a single person that wanted to be slower just for the sake of it.

But you know what? If you insist on being slow - it’s perfectly fine too. You can just never use that special movement button.

Everybody wins.

Balance wise - probably some changes would be required. Maybe more passives, maybe scrap trees for movement skills and just bake in some basic functionality from the tree.

Issues to solve later down the road but idea itself would benefit the game greatly in my opinion.

I believe a special hotkey / slot for unspecialized movment skills would be a good solution. If you want a specialized movement skill you will have to assign a precious skill slot.

Point and counter-point right there.

Of the movement skills in LE currently, some are objectively better than others in terms of mobility. This is “self-balanced” by the limitation of the skill bar and that you have to choose to fit them into your build. If every class could have one of its movement skills as a free extra slot, movement skills would either have to all be homogenized or the rest of the game would have to be completely rebalanced around the effectively new version of all classes. Otherwise, the presence of superior movement skills on one class could single-handedly make entire other classes considered inferior.

There is a significant level of power inherently provided by movement/dash/speed abilities, which in LE is balanced against the opportunity cost of another skill you could have on the bar instead, plus generally less power in their trees. This is a foundational design decision of the game (and not just for movement skills), and, in my opinion, is a major part of the charm that had me interested enough to support it as I have. That EHG is holding their ground on what kind of game they want to make feeds my confidence in my decision.

In which you might consider the game “slow,” I consider methodical. It may be the game overall gets a bit speedier in the future, but the skill choice limitation as designed is too important to what LE is meant to be.

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Adding a designated skill slot for movement skills would homogenize builds even more.

A lot of builds (within the same class) already kinda use the same movement skills, because there are not a lot of choices or alternatives.

With a “unspecialized movement skill slot”, this would become even worse, because some builds at least utilize the skill spec tree slightly differently.

I would suggest going the other way and add more different movemnt skills to all classes, so that all classes have 2-3 different movement skills (with shared cooldown, to not incentivice taking multiple ones)

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I believe movement skills are mainly just for that - moving around.

Yes you can spec into some bonuses or some kind of damage components. But actual abilities do it better. At least that’s been my experience. It’s cool to have some CC or crit buff etc on movement abilities.

But really they could have zero passives in and I would still take them for what they do (assuming they are all equally good and server their purpose in a balanced final release).

If you add 2-3 different movement skills for each class - eventually and rightfuly so - most players will pick the best one just for moving around. Be it the distance, cooldown or something else.

Would rather have 2-3 ‘‘normal’’ abilities added. Especially when you suggest these 2-3 movement skills could not be taken at the same time.

Just homogenize movement skills if anything.

Pretty sure future content will have some time limit elements - taking a movement skill will be a given.

‘‘there’s fewer decisions being made regarding your skills’’ - indeed there is. Since i feel like one slot has to be reserved for movement skill.

‘‘there’s fewer variations between different builds’’ - agreed again. If content will have some kind of timers/rewards for speed then every build will be ‘‘forced’’ to grab movement skill

That’s the problem with other skills - make them more interesting.

I suspect the game will not get to that point given the devs intentions, but if it does, I think it would be considered a design failure.