Game Lingo – 操作

This is a term that is translated consistently in nearly every video game. 操作(そうさ) means “controls.” It’s a combination of 操る(あやつる) and 作る(つくる). 操る means “to control a device/vehicle/something.” It can be translated flexibly as “pilot,” “drive,” and “operate.” 操作 can be translated this way, too, but only when it refers to an in-game character operating/controlling/piloting something. In most cases, 操作 refers to the actual human player “controlling” the video game with an input device. 操作方法(ほうほう) is a common section of video game manuals and almost without exception should be translated as “Controls.”

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