PC Gamepads

Of the Tabletop, and other, lesser varieties.

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kernelpanic
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PC Gamepads

Postby kernelpanic » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:51 pm UTC

Do you use a gamepad for playing PC games? I have a USB-Playstation adapter and a Logitech wireless one. I like both of them and use them a lot, but whenever I show them to friends they've never seen one before. Are they as uncommon as my friends make it look?

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Amalith
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Re: PC Gamepads

Postby Amalith » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:49 am UTC

I've been using a wired Xbox 360 controller on my computer, which works really well, and before that I had a basic logitech one (it still works, just most games are pre-set for the 360 controller, and some aren't even compatible with third party controllers anymore, the bastards). I only use them for racing and flight games (good racing wheels and flight sticks being a touch out of my price range) but as far as I'm aware, they certainly aren't uncommon.

If you use them for shooters I might look at you funny, but even that isn't unheard of.

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Re: PC Gamepads

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:37 am UTC

.. They may be uncommon today. Ten, fifteen, twenty years ago, they were not. Gobs and gobs of platforming computer games practically demanded a gamepad of some sort.

I bought a cheap ass-gamepad not too long ago (of course, now that I say that, I realize that Not Too Long Ago was five years ago. Fuck.) but.. yeah, I should have dropped $30 on one, instead of $12 or whatever it was. Both analog sticks were ... not good. The left one - the one that you would most likely move for movement - in the neutral state always jiggled up - so if you left it alone and were playing, say, Lego Star Wars, your character would slowly walk forward in a jerky fashion all the time.

It also had a very weak down, so anything needing a strong signal in the down position simply wouldn't work. Running away became a slow, leisurely stroll.

...

Anyway, my horrible experiences aside, a good gamepad is a good thing to have. Especially for that thing I forbid us from discussing in Rule 5C because it's just too much of a grey area. You need a gamepad for that.
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Re: PC Gamepads

Postby Amnesiasoft » Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:43 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Especially for that thing I forbid us from discussing in Rule 5C because it's just too much of a grey area. You need a gamepad for that.

The SFIV Fight Pad I got is excellent for that beginning of the bible thing.

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Re: PC Gamepads

Postby You, sir, name? » Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:17 am UTC

I use a 360 controller to play ported 360 games that didn't translate well to PC the interface. Which is nice, most of them just revert back to their console settings and even give hints and the like for controller usage. And of course, any game labeled "Games For Windows" plays like on the console if you use a controller.
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Re: PC Gamepads

Postby el_loco_avs » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:37 am UTC

Hm. I still don't thing they're *that"* uncommon. They're sold on the cheap, and you can ofcourse use the 360 controllers.

I used to have a cheap clone of a Ps2 controller. It was actually larger and more comfy than the actual ps2 controller. It was shittily built and kinda broke eventually.
I used it to play NHL games on the pc. They stopped making those, and I stopped using the controller. :(

Some games are just much more practical to play with something dual-analog. Especially if you like emulation of older games and such.
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Re: PC Gamepads

Postby Adacore » Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:22 am UTC

They're pretty uncommon today, but coming back in, from what I've seen. The last couple of months I've been to several expos and events where they were demonstrating some game on PCs with XBox control pads. The latest one I saw was the PC version of Blur. I think the fact that modern console controllers (at least the XBox ones, I have no idea about other systems) are compatible with PCs pretty much out of the box is probably a big factor on why they're becoming more popular.

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Re: PC Gamepads

Postby Obby » Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:36 am UTC

The only time I've tried to use a game controller on my PC was when I wanted to play Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers with my girlfriend in co-op mode. The game said we needed to hook up a controller to do co-op, but for some reason the game wouldn't recognize the PS3 controller I grabbed from my roommate. Ended up just buying the game for her to play on her computer ($10 on Steam, not a big deal) and we vs. each other. She loves it, by the way.

But, I wouldn't say that it's an uncommon thing to use a controller on your PC. Some games almost demand it (The Force Unleashed, for one. The controls are horrendous for that game if you try to use a mouse & keyboard with it), while most it doesn't really matter. I don't use a controller because I typically can push through the bad control schemes with mouse & keyboard, but I've known a few people that use their 360 controllers to play some of their RPGs.
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Re: PC Gamepads

Postby Endless Mike » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:40 pm UTC

I use an XBox 360 wireless controller with the dongle thing. Works well for me since I'm used to it. If you have Bluetooth, there's a driver you can get to use PS3 controllers, as well.

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Re: PC Gamepads

Postby ProZac » Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:00 pm UTC

Endless Mike wrote:I use an XBox 360 wireless controller with the dongle thing. Works well for me since I'm used to it. If you have Bluetooth, there's a driver you can get to use PS3 controllers, as well.

You can do the same for Wii. For a while, I was using the wii remote as a wireless mouse for one of my PCs. The novelty wore off though. For gaming, I went and bought a 360 controller to use. Much easier, works well. If I ever buy a 360, I'll have another use for it.

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Re: PC Gamepads

Postby New User » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:03 pm UTC

My friends and I use the Logitech Dual Action. It's almost identical in design to a Playstation controller, and it uses a USB cable. I like it a lot, but I only wish the D-Pad were identical to the Playstation's D-Pad (which is pretty much the only significant difference). Instead, it's like the D-Pad on the XBox controllers. I don't know how to describe it very well, but on a Playstation controller there is such a strong and definite difference between left/right/up/down, and I can feel the difference easily with my thumb. On this Logitech, the D-Pad is round and there's not always a very solid difference in the feel of left/right/up/down. Since it's round, the tip of my thumb can be on the edge of the D-Pad but if I don't apply the pressure of my thumb just right, I could accidentally rock the round part to the top or bottom. So often I accidentally press a diagonal direction when I am just trying to press a single direction. Like I said, it's hard to describe, maybe you'd just have to experience it. I have the exact same problem trying to play old-style platformers with an XBox controller, but I don't recall ever having this problem with a cross-shaped D-Pad like and NES, Super NES, or Playstation controller.

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Re: PC Gamepads

Postby Osha » Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:58 am UTC

I've never found any gamepad I like quite as much as a playstation controller. So that's what I use, along with a 10$ USB adaptor I got from radioshack a few years ago.

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Re: PC Gamepads

Postby Larry » Sun Aug 08, 2010 2:41 pm UTC

New User wrote:My friends and I use the Logitech Dual Action. It's almost identical in design to a Playstation controller, and it uses a USB cable. I like it a lot, but I only wish the D-Pad were identical to the Playstation's D-Pad (which is pretty much the only significant difference). Instead, it's like the D-Pad on the XBox controllers. I don't know how to describe it very well, but on a Playstation controller there is such a strong and definite difference between left/right/up/down, and I can feel the difference easily with my thumb. On this Logitech, the D-Pad is round and there's not always a very solid difference in the feel of left/right/up/down. Since it's round, the tip of my thumb can be on the edge of the D-Pad but if I don't apply the pressure of my thumb just right, I could accidentally rock the round part to the top or bottom. So often I accidentally press a diagonal direction when I am just trying to press a single direction. Like I said, it's hard to describe, maybe you'd just have to experience it. I have the exact same problem trying to play old-style platformers with an XBox controller, but I don't recall ever having this problem with a cross-shaped D-Pad like and NES, Super NES, or Playstation controller.


I've got the same one, and I know exactly what you mean. It's less a D-pad, more just a big round button with 8 hidden sweet spots. And mine's quite old and no longer works :(

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Re: PC Gamepads

Postby setzer777 » Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:59 pm UTC

I also have the logitech dual action. It has worked great for every game I've used it on, probably the only reason I'd need a nicer one is if I wanted to play competitively at SFIV and consistently pull off combos.
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Re: PC Gamepads

Postby New User » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:58 pm UTC

Does anyone have any experience with a program like JoyToKey? It maps gamepad buttons to keyboard keys, to make your gamepad compatible with flash games and others. I have heard that there are several ways to do this, and I was wondering if anyone can recommend a program to use that doesn't have any glaring flaws. I haven't tried JoyToKey or any other yet.

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Re: PC Gamepads

Postby Yubtzock » Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:51 pm UTC

New User wrote:Does anyone have any experience with a program like JoyToKey? It maps gamepad buttons to keyboard keys, to make your gamepad compatible with flash games and others. I have heard that there are several ways to do this, and I was wondering if anyone can recommend a program to use that doesn't have any glaring flaws. I haven't tried JoyToKey or any other yet.

I used jtk few times with a borrowed xbox360 pad.(wanted to try out some old-time split screen games without the bother of sharing a keyboard) Works quite well for normal buttons, a bit less if you are trying to map the mouse - analog sticks work fine if you set it right (it's really subjective what "right" means here - you will just need try and see what values are good for you), but the buttons sometimes need more work, like setting up a special button to increase the mouse speed etc.

I also tried to go into modern day CoD4 with this thing. Worked well, but since I don't really play FPS games with gamepads, I were obviously losing miserably to keyboard&mouse players.

Minecraft is whole lot of awesome with pad though. If you are killing, exploring and mining that is. Building and managing your equipment... not so much.


plus sides on using things like jtk:
play without the 4-buttons-at-once limit (if you have a standard keyboard)
play flash games with pad, yay! (you mentioned it already)
play splitscreen!
sell console, lobby the producers to release the games to PC always, :twisted:
also: I did not experience any noticeable delay or crashes while using it.

minus side:
configuration... it might take you a while to get it right a first couple of times, and the configs posted on the web, while generally ok, are not always optimal.
jtk in the version I have, needs the pad to be connected to run. (so I can't check the configs right now, but I still have some cfg files left)

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Re: PC Gamepads

Postby Jorpho » Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:17 am UTC

I managed to get a decent Mad Catz joypad on the cheap a while ago, and I'm finally making my way away from keyboards. The Binding of Isaac suddenly became a heck of a lot easier, for instance.

What I'd like to know is, is there some way to make a game "think" that you've got an XBox 360 pad hooked up? As has been noted, a lot of games explicitly support the XBox 360 pad but not pads in general, and having to slog through configuration with JoyToKey every time is going to get kind of old, I think.

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Re: PC Gamepads

Postby Jorpho » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:56 am UTC

Oh, look, I answered my question.

Behold, x360ce:
http://code.google.com/p/x360ce/


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