Radial menu

Software concept

Includes menu(s) where the cursor or selector originates in the center & items are displayed around it.


Alternate names: Pie menu, Ring menu

The first video game about Radial menu was released on August 6, 1993.

Ubisoft, Bethesda Softworks and Atari has published most of these games

Properly designed radial menus can greatly reduce time the player spends using the interface. 4 or 8 items per ring are well suited for digital gamepad directions as well as analog controllers (joysticks, mice, motion control). Once a player learns where an item is in the radial menu, selecting an item, even from multiple sub menus, can be much like a special move in a (Menukey >, Menukey ^ > > v >). This works best when there are a predefined number of slots and each item the player can acquire has a preset place in the menu. This can also mask, somewhat, the inventory spoiler problem. Where as a player can often see empty spots in traditional inventories that are bound to filled with 'something' at some point. The player can wonder about the 20 possible ways to fill or not fill an 8-direction radial menu where each possibility counted does not reveal for certain if there are empty spots left. (the menu may be only 4, 3, or 2 direction)
Apparently constructing a generic radial menu template is so hard that all modern cases of radial menu are custom built.

The most common "generic" radial menus have the pie divided into pre-defined number of slots (commonly 4 or 8) to which any and all actions are assigned with some slots occasionally left empty.