This paper examines the interplay between longwall support design/geometry features, operational controls and geological features on ground response. Experience from several investigations is used to demonstrate the influence of factors such as longwall support capacity and geometry, setting pressure, coal seam strength and stiffness, tip-to-face distance and hydraulic supply and control system parameters on longwall ground response. These factors are then used to outline the requirements on key controls such as retreat rate and cutting height and their influence on allowable roof convergence. The ground response curve concept as a means to provide graphical representation of longwall support and strata interaction processes is presented. The approach was developed to address the requirement for a practical longwall support evaluation and selection tool that can take account of support load influences such as changes in roof geology or cover depth. An example of the comparison between single pass longwall and top coal caving in a thick seam environment is given to demonstrate the influence of the various factors discussed.