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flesk

Recommend a good controller

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I've considered getting a controller for a long while, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Now I'm determined to get one soon though.

The one I've been most interested in is the wired Xbox controller, since it's supposed to work well with Linux. I will mostly be using it for platformers. Are there any other controllers I should consider?

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Nope, the wired Xbox 360 controller currently is the best available controller, not joystick.

If you don't need it now, you might want to wait for the next gen controllers but then you need to wait for driver support, etc. as well.

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A joystick is only ever needed for flight games. I have SOL:Exodus and Wings of Prey, and they don't work with a gamepad.

But they're the ONLY games I have with controller support support that don't. Every other game that I have that does has 360 controller support. Also, from what I understand, to use a Playstation controller you would often need to use X-Padder or install some sort of third-party drivers. 360 controllers work right out of the box.

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A great digital joystick like the good old Competition Pro, even better the pros from the Arcades, puts you far ahead in every game which suits such input.

@flesk

If you're more adventurous you might want to give the controllers/joysticks from Intellivision, Texas Instruments TI-99/4A, Atari's Jaguar, ... a try. It's easy to appreciate the evolution of controllers then.

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The Logitech F-series has both DirectInput and XInput, which means they can work as an X360 controller for newer games and you can also use them for older games.

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A 360 controller is probably your best bet for platformers and such, particularly modern games that were made with the 360 controller in mind.

While it was an otherwise solid controller, I found that the Logitech F-310 had rather uncomfortable triggers. Those triggers are what prompted me to buy my own 360 controller.

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Hmm... I have no trouble with my F510. Did you try to press them with middle fingers?

Oh, and another big plus is is that Logitech has a d-pad that doesn't suck.

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Maybe the F-510's triggers were improved over the F-310, but the triggers just felt like they had too much resistance on the F-310. I mostly used my index fingers with them.

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Thanks for the feedback guys.

If you don't need it now, you might want to wait for the next gen controllers but then you need to wait for driver support, etc. as well.

If the current gen controllers are generally considered good, I don't know if there would be anything new with the next gen controllers that I'd miss by buying a controller now. I'm curious about the Steam controller and if it really can replace a mouse and keyboard, but for my current gaming setup, that's not something I need.

Cheap? Logitech F-series.

The Xbox 360 controller is already pretty cheap, so that's not my main concern. I'll have a look at the controllers mentioned by you and Syd though.

Just get the 360 controller. It's easiest to use (since basically every game that can be played with a controller has default keys for this pad).
A joystick is only ever needed for flight games. I have SOL:Exodus and Wings of Prey, and they don't work with a gamepad.

But they're the ONLY games I have with controller support support that don't. Every other game that I have that does has 360 controller support. Also, from what I understand, to use a Playstation controller you would often need to use X-Padder or install some sort of third-party drivers. 360 controllers work right out of the box.

Tons of games have issues with anything that isn't a Microsoft controller.

Ease of use is definitely a big plus. And it reportedly works pretty much out of the box with Linux, so that's also a major plus, since that's my preferred platform for anything cross platform.

If you're more adventurous you might want to give the controllers/joysticks from Intellivision, Texas Instruments TI-99/4A, Atari's Jaguar, ... a try. It's easy to appreciate the evolution of controllers then.

I'll look at it out of curiosity but I don't want to get something that's potentially a lot of work to get to work.

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The Logitech F-series has both DirectInput and XInput, which means they can work as an X360 controller for newer games and you can also use them for older games.

I looked a bit into this and it seems that since XInput makes the controller identify as an Xbox controller it pretty much works well. Are there any functional differences in using XInput versus DirectInput?

A 360 controller is probably your best bet for platformers and such, particularly modern games that were made with the 360 controller in mind.

Yeah, platformers are pretty much all I intend to use it for. I have little interest in racing and fighting games or FPSes (unless maybe Portal if that counts).

Oh, and another big plus is is that Logitech has a d-pad that doesn't suck.

What's wrong with the d-pad on the Xbox controller?

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What's wrong with the d-pad on the Xbox controller?

It's meh.

If you need some complex patterns on it you're pretty fucked. Most games don't require that though.

Do you have any examples of the kind of games that would require that?

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Ah, ok. So is the difference between x-input and the other one that the other one has 8 discrete directions while the Xbox d-pad is an analog pad or something?

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@flesk

The Xbox 360 controller is a very good controller. Microsoft put a lot of effort into its design, the production quality is great, it's widely spread and relatively affordable. The three middle buttons are kind of weird/superfluous and the d-pad could be better but personally i don't care because the left analog thumb stick works way better for digital movements anyway (depending on the game you'll need to adjust the settings accordingly) and it's a rock sold product.

But you can often improve things, iterate on the experiences gathered so far and so on. That's why i've mentioned next gen. The Xbox One controller will come with a number of such tiny improvements and the PS4 controller also won't offer the same design as the rather awful PS3 controller anymore and then you'll Valve iterating on their idea of what a controller could be, so there's lots of potential but for right now, having just some platforming fun, the Xbox 360 is a great selection.

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Sony has claimed that the PS4 controller will work on PCs from day one, but they haven't said whether it supports Xinput or not, which is a pretty big deal.

The Xbox One controller looks like a solid improvement over the 360 controller, but it won't have (official, at least) PC support until sometime in 2014, I think.

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@flesk

The Xbox 360 controller is a very good controller. Microsoft put a lot of effort into its design, the production quality is great, it's widely spread and relatively affordable. The three middle buttons are kind of weird/superfluous and the d-pad could be better but personally i don't care because the left analog thumb stick works way better for digital movements anyway (depending on the game you'll need to adjust the settings accordingly) and it's a rock sold product.

But you can often improve things, iterate on the experiences gathered so far and so on. That's why i've mentioned next gen. The Xbox One controller will come with a number of such tiny improvements and the PS4 controller also won't offer the same design as the rather awful PS3 controller anymore and then you'll Valve iterating on their idea of what a controller could be, so there's lots of potential but for right now, having just some platforming fun, the Xbox 360 is a great selection.

But does it work on Mac OSX?

On topic threadjack: I'm looking for a gaming mouse with extra buttons (say, a number pad type thing) because I have very short fingers and have a hard time reaching certain keys without moving my entire hand, and I quickly find myself running out of keys to assign controls to. Any recomendations

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Those are good points. I've pretty much decided I'll get a 360 controller now. Thanks for all the input.

The only problem with Syd's avatar is that I often think it's Bookdust posting until I read her username above it.

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The Xbox 360 controller is a very good controller.

But does it work on Mac OSX?

Taumel is a Mac user, so I'm guessing it does, since he's recommending it.

(I'm answering for him, since he probably went to bed if he's more sensible than me.)

By the way, isn't one mouse button enough?

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I looked a bit into this and it seems that since XInput makes the controller identify as an Xbox controller it pretty much works well. Are there any functional differences in using XInput versus DirectInput?

DirectInput is mostly needed for older games, so the control schemes tend to be simpler and sometimes the default controls are also a bit weird/outdated and require remapping.

I use it for games I buy on GOG, and it's very nice to be able to change the mode with just a flip of a switch, but if you don't play older games you probably won't care much for it.

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Depends on what you consider old I guess. I'm planning on playing the GOG version of Rayman 2, and that's from 1999 I think.

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IIRC it worked well with an Xbox controller. Couldn't remap the keys, though, and had to use Xpadder or something like that.

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The Xbox 360 controller is a very good controller.

But does it work on Mac OSX?

Taumel is a Mac user, so I'm guessing it does, since he's recommending it.

(I'm answering for him, since he probably went to bed if he's more sensible than me.)

By the way, isn't one mouse button enough?

Three mouse buttons and scroll isn't enough. *misses having a clickable scroll wheel*

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@Syd

Btw. do you know how disgusting your avatar is?

It's Lemeza from La-Mulana, and that's his pause screen animation after he's achieved the 'treasure that must not be seen' from completing the hardest challenge the game offers, said treasure being a skimpy bathing suit that you can't remove.

That's the kind of sense of humor Nigoro has, and I happen to find it amusing. You can see it within the context of the game

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Aha, is this game from Kazakhstan? It reminds me of Borat's swimsuit every time.

borat-swimsuit

@flesk

I definitely would be in bed if my daughter wouldn't have a flu...

So, yep it also works on OS X.

http://tattiebogle.net/index.php/ProjectRoot/Xbox360Controller/OsxDriver

The worst thing which usually can happen on OS X, when the devs didn't test the input good enough (f.e. when going with certain libs like GLFW) is that you need to alter the input defs (like the axis in the driver settings, as they used to use different bindings). Most people are born with five fingers so obviously and depending on the task you need to accomplish, it's more efficiently utalising more than just one (that's why i'm using a Logitech mouse) but the philosophy to focus and keeping things as straight and as simple as possible generally is right.

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PS3 controllers are inherently superior in just about every way as far as controllers go. Far better d-pad, pressure sensitive buttons, built-in rechargeable battery, motion sensors. The only advantage a 360 pad has is that it's easier to set up for a PC, and there's a crazily overpriced wireless dongle available for them on PC.

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