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.”
I just learned 操る in my JLPT1 book the other day. This will help me remember it. Thanks! I like this new topic.
Glad to be of service. Good luck with the JLPT! Has nihonhacks shut down?
Nihonhacks is still around, it just got lost in the shuffle of hobby priorities a little bit.