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PC gaming: what kind of controller do you use?


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Poll: PC gaming: what kind of controller do you use? (64 member(s) have cast votes)

What's your preferred controller for a PC game?

  1. Classic Keyboard & Mouse combo! (49 votes [76.56%])

    Percentage of vote: 76.56%

  2. An XBOX 360 or PS3 controller, or some equivalent with the exact same layout (10 votes [15.62%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.62%

  3. Other (please specify below). (5 votes [7.81%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.81%

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#21 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 18279

Posted 27 February 2013 - 10:45 PM

Keyboard and Mouse normally, but also a Logitech Rumblepad 2 for split-screen gaming.

(contrary to the Amazon pricing, it cost around $25 when I bought it)

 

About the controller:

One thumbstick is always active, the other one you hit a button to select between the D-pad use or the thumbstick. The D-pad just maps to the thumbstick.

 

The controller has 12 game-usable buttons:

  • 4 opposite the D-pad (Button ID's 1-4)
  • Four triggers (5-8)
  • Two above the joysticks (9 and 10) (Where the typical 'menu' and 'start' buttons are on consoles)
  • And both joysticks can be pressed down (11 and 12)

 

It also has rumble support, which can be toggled off.

 

It's fairly comfortable in the hand, but I have rather large hands so I'm just slightly cramped.

I've had it for at least five years now - it's worked perfectly fine, never the slightest of problems. But I don't use it actively, so it doesn't see much wear and tear.

 

I prefer the keyboard and mouse, but when playing cooperative split screen games (of which there are too few, but Dungeon Defenders and Shadowgrounds rocks), then one of us uses the gamepad.

 

It's very very annoying when a game claims to support "controllers", but only supports Microsoft's XBox controller, requiring me to use a controller emulator to trick the game into thinking I'm using a Xbox controller. rolleyes.gif

 

Let me not just invert the Y-axis, but remap every axis. Some games expect one axis to mean one thing, and another axis to mean another thing, resulting in my joystick input to be rotated 90 degrees! And Microsoft's Xbox controller implements it's pressure-sensitive triggers as a joysticks (or rather, as 'a joystick', seeing that both triggers map to the same axis, but one is positive and the other is negative).


Edited by Servant of the Lord, 27 February 2013 - 10:48 PM.

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#22 Sik_the_hedgehog   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1549

Posted 28 February 2013 - 08:01 AM

Let me not just invert the Y-axis, but remap every axis. Some games expect one axis to mean one thing, and another axis to mean another thing, resulting in my joystick input to be rotated 90 degrees!

And allow different axes to map to the same action (much like how you can map multiple keys to the same action).

 

There's a game where when I didn't feel like using a mouse I'd use WASD and 8546 (numpad) for moving. The main difference is that A/D would strafe and 4/6 would turn around, but both W/S and 8/5 would move forwards and backwards. When I thought of trying it with a controller I had the idea of mapping the two sticks the same way, but I couldn't map forwards and backwards to both the Y and RZ axes, meaning I had to ditch the idea :/

 

And Microsoft's Xbox controller implements it's pressure-sensitive triggers as a joysticks (or rather, as 'a joystick', seeing that both triggers map to the same axis, but one is positive and the other is negative).

Yeah, this one is stupid, I seriously believe the only reason for this was to get developers to move away from DirectInput and into XInput (which, surprise, only supports 360 controllers, at least by normal means). In fact if I recall correctly somebody made a replacement driver that mapped both triggers to separate axes under DirectInput, proving it wasn't an issue after all.

 

If I recall correctly, the excuse Microsoft had given was that many games weren't programmed to handle axes that went from 0 to 1 instead of -1 to 1 and thereby would end up with lots of bugs. Erm, yeah... (I think that the triggers not appearing as buttons would be a bigger compatibility issue)


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#23 TheChubu   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3991

Posted 28 February 2013 - 08:21 AM

I use keyboard+mouse. The only things that I enjoyed playing with a controller are racing games and Pro Evolution Soccer. Neither of them I play anymore.


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#24 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 9765

Posted 28 February 2013 - 10:22 AM

(I think that the triggers not appearing as buttons would be a bigger compatibility issue)

On the other hand, why would you want your triggers to be on/off buttons, when they could report the full range of motion?

 

It makes them much better throttles for driving games, and a not-terrible rudder control for flying games...


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#25 Sik_the_hedgehog   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1549

Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:10 PM

Those triggers are like analog buttons, you probably want to be able to use them as both a button and an axis, depending on the game.

 

Note that comment had more to do with Microsoft's worries about compatibility issues with older games. Hopefully a newer game would let you use both buttons and axes for any action making this a non-issue.


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#26 Anri   Members   -  Reputation: 597

Posted 02 March 2013 - 04:05 PM

It depends on the game.  If its a FPS or RTS then it has to be a keyboard'n'mouse setup.  Anything that is usually found on a console then I whip out my 360 controller.

 

 



#27 KingPrawn22   Members   -  Reputation: 130

Posted 07 March 2013 - 08:33 AM

Keyboard and mouse for almost everything, and a PS3 controller for others such as Fifa and when I use a PS1 emulator.



#28 Khatharr   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2939

Posted 07 March 2013 - 09:20 AM

I have a really crappy sort of PS style controller that's yet another member in a long line of extremely crappy devices that look good in the box and then 5 minutes later you find out the direction hat is a plus drawn on a giant plastic brick such that indicating a cardinal direction is not-really-a-feature-here, and the analog sticks are actually just Satan's erect nipples, still attached and just as functional.

 

The one I have now is about done, and I'm not going to buy these things any more. Next time I get a game that would go with with a controller I'm going to get a PS2 controller and a USB adapter and finally have a decent piece of hardware to game with.

 

Oh, and as far as controller compatibility, do the best you can with it, but please make it fully customizable. Trying to make sense of the APIs for handling anything but a 360 controller is insane. (You can get it to work for a controller you have on hand to test, but how the hell are you supposed to get the data layout for every controller in the world?)


Edited by Khatharr, 07 March 2013 - 09:25 AM.

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#29 AniMerrill   Members   -  Reputation: 203

Posted 07 March 2013 - 12:42 PM

You can get it to work for a controller you have on hand to test, but how the hell are you supposed to get the data layout for every controller in the world?

 

My plan is less to have the game predict one of thousands of controller layouts and moreso just make sure it will allow the player to easily configure the game's controls to their favorite device. Like you plug it in, and it will let you assign each game function one by one in rapid succession, and then you can save the profile and load it up next time you plug in that device.


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#30 Khatharr   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2939

Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:41 PM

Perfect. :)


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#31 boolean   Members   -  Reputation: 1710

Posted 25 March 2013 - 04:12 PM

With Steam Big Picture being pretty easy to get running, I've been contemplating getting a good controller for the TV. I was watching the Giant Bomb guys play through Miasmata last night and it seems like a great fit for the TV, especially as it will allow a second person to watch. The game moves slow enough I won't mind the lack of mouse and keyboard. I also picked up "They bleed pixels" last night (DAMN YOU STEAM SALES) which seems to just demand a controller.
 
While I use mouse and keyboard for all my games on the PC, with all the good platformers and arcady games coming out on Steam it seems like getting a controller is more and more worthwhile. It seems like more people have their PC connected to their TV these days, but I might just be bias. Anyone have any idea on where data on this would be? I wonder if Steam tracks it.

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#32 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 9765

Posted 25 March 2013 - 04:17 PM

I wonder if Steam tracks it

They didn't in the last version of the hardware survey, but I'm guessing that with the advent of Big Picture, they will in the next.


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#33 AniMerrill   Members   -  Reputation: 203

Posted 27 March 2013 - 12:40 PM

With Steam Big Picture being pretty easy to get running, I've been contemplating getting a good controller for the TV. I was watching the Giant Bomb guys play through Miasmata last night and it seems like a great fit for the TV, especially as it will allow a second person to watch. The game moves slow enough I won't mind the lack of mouse and keyboard. I also picked up "They bleed pixels" last night (DAMN YOU STEAM SALES) which seems to just demand a controller.
 
While I use mouse and keyboard for all my games on the PC, with all the good platformers and arcady games coming out on Steam it seems like getting a controller is more and more worthwhile. It seems like more people have their PC connected to their TV these days, but I might just be bias. Anyone have any idea on where data on this would be? I wonder if Steam tracks it.

 

Since the likelihood of getting a license to produce for a console is pretty slim, this is pretty much my biggest hope and also one of the reasons I'm trying to pay attention to what people have for PC gaming. Also can't wait to see what Steam Box can offer for my game, that should be pretty sweet.


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#34 blueshogun96   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 859

Posted 28 March 2013 - 01:09 AM

I use my 360 gamepad when possible, but still use my keyboard and mouse when I feel it's most suitable.

 

One game that I absolutely cannot play without both is Sinistar: Unleashed.  Using the keyboard/mouse to steer the ship is painfully uncomfortable.  Plugged in a USB controller or the 360 gamepad and that problem is eliminated.  Still, the controller isn't enough.  In order to use your inventory, you'll need to use the keyboard.  Would have been nice to have the option to toggle though inventory using the POV and selecting it with one of the few unused buttons.  Oh well, that game was released in '99 anyway.  How I miss the good old days of PC gaming...


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#35 Cod   Members   -  Reputation: 166

Posted 29 March 2013 - 12:18 AM

Keyboard and mouse for strategy (including RTS) and multiplayer FPS games

 

X360 controller for everything else






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