Layout for movement buttons in a RPG mobile game


I am designing the HUD for a RPG game to the mobile which uses a tilemap. Im thinking about where the “movement buttons” shall be placed. In the tiledmap the hero is walking to the nearest object using a pathfinding algorithm as long as no button is pressed.

If the user presses any of the direction buttons, the hero shall be walking to the edge of the tiledmap of the desired direction, before a new tiledmap is loaded. E.g pressing the right arrow button, shall make the hero stop walking against the closest object, and instead walking to the right edge of the tiledmap which is shown, and then a new tiledmap shall be loaded (like the camera in the first Legend of Zelda to the NES)

I also have two other buttons for managing weapons as well.
What placement of the movement arrow buttons would be preferrable in the HUD? I have three alternatives.

You’ve got a touchscreen, you should use it to your advantage.
Rather than emulating a traditional d-pad, why not have the hero move towards where ever the user presses on the tilemap?

Of course this might not be suitable for your game design, nor might it be precise enough for the scale of your tilemap.
Still, it’d be a real difference in UI design, rather than the 3 rather superficial alternatives you’ve presented in the OP.

Yes thats also an alternative. But I want the game to be simple with limited choices for the user and intuitive. The user shall learn pretty fast how to move the hero towards different maps.

In my opinion the secon one is the worst of the 3 options.
The direction buttons here are split and seem to be to near to the weapon buttons.
Usually you use 1 hand for movement and one for special buttons, so I would go with option 1.
However, as @Abuse said, you could also use take advantage of the touchscreen itself, so the 3rd option isn’t bad either.
However that really depends on your game…
You could even make it configurable in the settings, many games with (optional) on-screen-controlls do that nowadays.
For some of them you can even switch between on-screen-controlls and accelerometer-controlls.

Good opinions. I think I will choose alternative 3 with the possibility to configure to use alternative 1.