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present a polling interface and events for keyboard state given a binding object


Expose a polling object and edge-triggered events for (game) keybindings using vkey definitions. Can be configured in a GUI using the kb-bindings-ui module.

Based on @chrisdickinson's kb-controls (should be mostly compatible)

var kb = require('./index')
  , raf = require('raf')
var ctl = kb({
  '<left>': 'strafe_left'
, '<right>': 'strafe_right'
, '<up>': 'forward'
, '<down>': 'backward'
, 'W': 'forward'
, 'A': 'strafe_left'
, 'S': 'backward'
, 'D': 'strafe_right'
, '<mouse 1>': 'fire'
, 'E': 'inventory'
raf(document.body).on('data', function(dt) {

See the demo at

Why both polling and events?

This module provides both a polling object and up/down events for each binding, so you can use which ever is most convenient for your application (level-triggered or edge-triggered), all with a unified shared set of bindings.


kb = require('kb-bindings')

return the kb function.

ctl = kb([DOMElement,] bindings[, augmentObject, opts])

Add event listeners to DOMElement or document.body if not provided.

Bindings is a map of vkey's to desired property names:

// bindings example 
{ 'X': 'do_something'
, '<space>': 'jump'
, '<control>': 'sprint' }
// would yield the following ctl object (sans methods): 
{ 'do_something': 0
, 'jump': 0
, 'sprint': 0 }

If augmentObject is passed, these property names will be attached to it instead of a new object.

If opts is passed, the following options are understood:

  • preventDefaults: if true (default), the default browser action for the DOM events will be prevented

ctl[yourPropertyName] -> Number

If the number is truthy, that means it's actively being pressed. Otherwise it's not. If it's greater than 1, then two different keys may have been bound to the action and are simultaneously being pressed.


Enables the keyup, keydown, mouseup, mousedown, and contextmenu listeners (and makes them preventDefault() if preventDefaults is set.)

ctl.enabled() -> boolean

Returns whether or not the ctl is enabled.


Disables the DOM listeners (without removing them). Keyboard and mouse events should work as normal while the ctl is disabled.


Removes all DOM event listeners and renders the ctl inert.

ctl.down.on(binding, function(){})

Emits when the binding state changes to down. Note this event is only emitted when the state changes (unlike the DOM keydown event it does not continuously emit as the key is held down).

The event name is the binding name, for example:

ctl.down.on('inventory', function() { ... });

ctl.up.on(binding, function(){})

Emits when the binding state changes to up.