Button press

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Button controls consist of three events: press, hold, and release. Several challenges involve minimizing the number of times specific buttons are pressed.

Half press

A half press is just a notational convention. It is a way to count button presses in challenges.

It indicates that the first "press" only requires the button to be held. This can be held from a press in an earlier segment.

For example, if a mission is notated as "2.5x A", it requires holding the A button, then pressing it twice. On its own, this would require 3 presses. When a previous press can be held through the start of the mission, it only adds 2 new presses.

The notation is halfway between the numbers, to show both ways of counting the situation.

In terms of game mechanics, there is no such thing as a half press. It's just a term for a hold that can connect to an earlier press.

Frequently proposed workarounds

What if you start the game, or connect a controller, with a button already held?
The game still registers the first frame of input as a press.
What if you remap a button, or use a controller with different inputs or labels?
The game still registers it as the original button. Besides, the spirit of the challenge isn't concerned with the buttons per se, but the functionality mapped onto them.

Button functionalities

Buttons do the following things when pressed or held.

Button Press Hold
D-pad Debug only
Start Start game (from title to file select)
Pause, unpause
C-pad Rotate camera, zoom
First-person view
R Switch camera mode