What are all the keys used in The Binding of Isaac?

I'm going to configure my joystick using one of the tools suggested at How to setup the joypad for Binding of Isaac? (Xpadder, JoyToKey, QJoyPad, etc.), and for this reason I wish to know beforehand what are all the keys used in this game, so I can configure them before playing and won't need to configure more keys mid-game.

I know the first in-game level shows the controls, but that screen is not complete. There are at least two more keys (Q and P) that are not listed there. This is the reason I'm asking this question: I want to know the complete list of all controls.

  • Do they, uh, change the quality and pause the game respectively? Q in particular doesn't seem to do anything for me.
    – badp
    Commented Nov 7, 2011 at 13:59
  • 1
    @badp Q activates pills or tarot cards - if you have any (see this screenshot)
    – Zommuter
    Commented Nov 7, 2011 at 15:26
  • @TobiasKienzler Oh, right. I forgot.
    – badp
    Commented Nov 7, 2011 at 15:29

1 Answer 1


Here are all the keys you need to control the game:

  • w, a, s, d - Move up, left, down or right, respectively.

  • , , , - Shoot up, left, down or right, respectively.

  • Mouse clicks - Shoot up, left, down or right.

  • space - Use current activated item (such as Lemon Mishap, Teleport!, etc.).

  • shift, e - Place bomb.

  • q - Use single use item, either a tarot card or a pill.

  • p, esc - Pause the game. Note that when paused, p resumes while esc offers to quit.

  • m - Turn off the music.

  • f - Toggle fullscreen (only works while paused or in the main menu)

  • tab - Holding will expand the mini-map. Tapping will toggle it's corner size.

  • holding r restart the run

  • Left CTRL drop the equiped trinket

This is all I personally require to control the game properly, though I admit there may be some additional obscure keys I am unaware of.

  • 2
    I belive that P and Esc behave slightly different. Upon pausing, P unpauses, while Esc tries to exit to the main menu. Also, it seems F toggles fullscreen mode, but only works in the options menu. Am I correct? Commented Nov 7, 2011 at 14:24
  • Good point on the distinction between P and Esc. I can't really check regarding the F key at the moment, but I'll have a peek later.
    – Aubergine
    Commented Nov 7, 2011 at 14:33
  • @DenilsonSá correct, but it also works while pausing (i.e. during the game, hit P,F,P)
    – Zommuter
    Commented Nov 7, 2011 at 15:23
  • Also... Does M only turn off music, or it also turns off the sound effects? (I can't check right now) In the second case, the wording in the answer could be improved. Commented Nov 7, 2011 at 15:41
  • 1
    ctrl to switch between items when you are allowed to have multiple at once.
    – Mattis
    Commented Nov 27, 2015 at 23:21

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