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Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by ríomhaire, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. ríomhaire

    ríomhaire Moderator
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    So does anyone have much experience with gamepads for the PC? I was thinking of getting one and I have a few questions.

    • Are bluetooth connections for controllers reliable? I know it works for the PS3 and Wii but the PC isn't custom-built hardware so is there any issues with regard to latency between input and the game reacting?
    • Are there wireless controllers that work without and attached dongle that use something other than bluetooth?
    • Are the fan-made PS3 drivers reliable? Does a PS3 controller with the fan-made software work just as well as, say, Logitech ones?
    • Would I be better off getting an Xbox 360 wireless controller with an adaptor or a purpose-built wireless PC controller?
    • Are there other issues I hadn't considered?
     
  2. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

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    Wireless is mandatory?

    I'd probably go for a 360 controller, wired or wireless, since most ports will be designed with them in mind and it will make things go smoother. I use my wired 360 controller once in awhile, for like Mirror's Edge, and its good enough that I sold my 360 but decided to keep the controller. So there's that. The Generic PC gaming controllers I've used were all shit.
     
  3. Bad^Hat

    Bad^Hat The Freeman

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    Only concern with the xbox controller is the d-pad sucks. There are DIY fixes out there, but I haven't tried them. If I want d-pad control in a game, I hook up my PS2 controller with this cheap USB adapter I found somewhere. Playstation analog sticks are too flimsy though, would love a nice middleground.

    Also worth noting that some newer PC games will only recognise xbox controllers for some stupid reason. Use this program to get around that: http://code.google.com/p/x360ce/
     
  4. ríomhaire

    ríomhaire Moderator
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    Wireless isn't really mandatory, it just seems more convenient. As for games being laid out for the 360 controller, that's true but almost every single controller has the same layout anyway so it hardly matters.
     
  5. morgs

    morgs The Freeman

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    Wireless does seem convenient, until you get tired of replacing the batteries. wired controllers are a lot more convenient in that regard imo. I use a wired 360 controller for pc controller games. Also the controllers are a lot ore comfortable without the battery pack I find.
     
  6. ríomhaire

    ríomhaire Moderator
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    Yeah, I'd only buy one if it had internal rechargeable batteries like the PS3 controllers.
     
  7. Shem

    Shem The Freeman

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    I think I'll bury the PC between the Saturn and the Nintendo 64 when I get the chance. Let me go ahead and buy the plot before someone gets it for PlayStation 2.
     
  8. Maestro

    Maestro The Freeman

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    Logitech has some nice gamepad offerings, my friend bought one to play Psychonauts on PC and likes it a lot. I'll have to find out which one it was, though.
     
  9. Laivasse

    Laivasse Companion Cube

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    I opted for a wired 360 controller here too. I heard about some of the issues with Xinput and DirectInput and decided I didn't want to be bothering with patches and extra software. Perfectly happy with it.
     
  10. MultiVaC

    MultiVaC Tank

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    Xbox 360 controllers are decent enough, and they are the "standard", and therefore most hassle-free to use. You don't have to worry about any software, and there are plenty of games that only play nice with 360 controllers and will force you to do some annoying tweaking if you want to get any other controller working acceptably. Some I have games can switch seamlessly between the 360 controller and mouse and keyboard, which is really nice and I'm not sure how well it would work with other controllers. I hear the D-pad on the 360 controller is pretty bad, I personally never use the D-pad for anything important so I don't care, but if you play lots of fighting and retro games it might be a problem.
     
  11. Dinnesch

    Dinnesch Space Core

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    Agree with the people above me, get a 360 controller. Just because about every game has perfect support for it.
     
  12. Gargantou

    Gargantou Companion Cube

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    The wired 360 controller still has some issues in DInput titles, such as no vibration for example.

    That's what XBCD is for.

    Personally, I have a good cheap Xbox 360-style USB DInput pad for DInput, and then I use my Microsoft Wireless Gaming Receiver to simply use my wireless 360 pads in XInput titles.

    But I can again not emphasize this enough, the 360 controller (wired or wireless) do not have perfect DInput support unless you make use of unofficial drivers.
     
  13. ríomhaire

    ríomhaire Moderator
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    So the 360 controller is worse for older games? :\

    For the people who are saying some games will only work with the 360 controller, do you literally mean only the official 360 ones? My brother had a wired logitech conntroller based on the 360 one and it worked without hassle with Assassin's Creed.
     
  14. BabyHeadCrab

    BabyHeadCrab The Freeman

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    The generic cheap Logitech and off-brands always worked well for me. But then again I think I've only used my gamepad for maybe one or two emulated games, years ago.

    I'd get the 360 PC/360 hybrid controller if that was a market I was interested in right now.
     
  15. MultiVaC

    MultiVaC Tank

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    I only say it's worse for older games because of its (supposedly) inadequate D-pad. Old games and fighting games are the only things you would be using the D-pad heavily for, so a bad D-pad would be more of an annoyance in those situations than it would when playing Arkham City or Assassin's Creed. As for games recognizing non-official 360 gamepads I guess your mileage may vary depending on the controller and the game. I borrowed one of those GameStop branded wired 360 controllers from a friend once and Assassin's Creed 2 would just refuse to recognize it and load the proper configuration for it.
     
  16. ríomhaire

    ríomhaire Moderator
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    Well the logitech one I'm talking about was a PC controller. It didn't work with an Xbox. I just meant that it was xinput and had all the same buttons as an Xbox one.
     
  17. BabyHeadCrab

    BabyHeadCrab The Freeman

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    It's a comfortable layout, to be sure. Definitely has become a standard in the West. The Dual Shock layout is comfortable enough, and nostalgic--but from what I've gathered from friends, the PS controller is simply not as comfortable as the 360 controller for most titles.

    Then there's the stereotype about how two of the three major console manufacturers base their design on Japanese hands--and thus cater to smaller hands. I can't verify that at all, but it's certainly a comment I've heard before.
     
  18. Gargantou

    Gargantou Companion Cube

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    I do have a DInput/XInput controller that is fully compatible with both, I have the wired version.

    The Logitech Gamepad F510, sadly after having bought it and used it a while back I quickly discovered it was way too uncomfortable for my larger palms, hence why I went back to using my older Saitek DInput pad as well as my XB360 pad.

    Basically, the F510 is like a DualShock in terms of design, so I'd not recommend it if you don't prefer the DualShock-style pads over the 360-style pads.
     
  19. BabyHeadCrab

    BabyHeadCrab The Freeman

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    Saitek, that's the brand I have--not a logi. I have a cheap Saitek I got for practically nothing from an old Best Buy location that got relocated.
     
  20. Gargantou

    Gargantou Companion Cube

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  21. BabyHeadCrab

    BabyHeadCrab The Freeman

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    I like 'em. I want to feel like I'm firing a long sturdy GUN.
     
  22. ríomhaire

    ríomhaire Moderator
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    Borrowed roomate's PS3 controller last night to test it out. Just plug it in via USB and used this program to configure it. Comes with the options to emulate a PS1, PS2, PS3 or Xbox 360 controller as well as custom settings. Setting it to PS3 had some problems with Sonic Generations (the start button was select, no vibration and L2 and R2 didn't work) but changing it to 360 mode everything worked fine, even the vibration.

    It also supports bluetooth though I couldn't get it to work. It needs to recognise a bluetooth adaptor it seems (a dongle) but wouldn't detect my laptop's in-built bluetooth. Tried to set the Mac address myself but it didn't work (perhaps I got the wrong one, how are you supposed to check your bluetooth mac address?). If it works for most games (I'm checking their wiki for the compatability list now) the PS3 controller really seems ideal. Wireless support without having to change batters and wired using only a normal USB cable. The only issue is that the PS3 controller was designed for tiny baby men hands.


    Edit: Found this on their wiki: "The MotioninJoy drivers will OVERRIDE your normal Bluetooth adapter's drivers, so only the PS3 controller can connect to it."
    Guess I definitely won't be using this with my PC's native bluetooth. This is the one they recommend using. Guess I'll see how cheap I can get it.
     
  23. Bakurei

    Bakurei Spy

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    You could try the Razer Onza?

    I was going to buy that for my Xbox - it's wired so it works on PC as well. But I read they don't really last... Sort of like the cheaper MadCatz fightsticks, most of them went to the repairs after a few days. The D-pad should be a lot better in it.

    Edit: Gargantou be careful not to drop the controllers with the triggers. I have the same triggers on two controllers and they pretty much break the instant you drop the controller :/
     
  24. Hectic Glenn

    Hectic Glenn Site Director
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    Been using 360 controllers with my PC for many years now. The console controllers have had many years of work and refinement put into them and they're built to take a bit of a pounding, so I would always recommend it. I did consider the Razer Onza as a premium alternative to the 360 controller but it's too expensive. Grab the windows wireless adapter thing (it's pretty cheap), and a 360 controller is really decent £17.99 from play.com. Bosh, sorted, don't buy the Windows variant, normal 360 controller works with windows fine (It's a scam!)
     
  25. Vegeta897

    Vegeta897 Banned as all fuck

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    ṭ̥̳͇͖͓͎̹Ìͨ͒̌̅h̪̠̺̪̦͚͙̺ͫͬ͑̂͛͑ͩÌi̶̱̙͉͉̼̘̦͑̆ͩ̾͊ÌÍ‘s̡͔̙͔̟̭͔͕̳̥̾ÍÌ Ì¬Ì˜ÍˆÌ¦Ì¯ÌŽÌˆÌͤ̃ͨ͂͂̚͡ẗ̩̠͙̲̥Ì̆̿͋ͯͨ͢͞



    Um yeah anyway uhh controllers! I bought the cheapest ones I could find on ebay, and they've been satisfactory.
     
  26. Dog--

    Dog-- The Freeman

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    I have a wired 360 controller for my PC and I literally took it out of the box and plugged it in, and it works with almost every game just fine. Bought it brand new from walmart for like $30 bucks.

    That being said - controllers suck, mouse and keyboard for precision ftw. Only bought mine for my girlfriend who is a whiner and can't use mouse and keyboard.
     
  27. ríomhaire

    ríomhaire Moderator
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    Depends on what you're doing. Strategy and shooter yes, but games that want precise movement like platformers and action adventure? Controller.

    I'm kinda torn here. The 360 controller seems like the most convenient one in almost every way and is more comfortable to hold, but the fact that the potential for wireless with the PS3 controller is a damn big plus in my book. If I want to use a wireless Xbox 360 controller I need to buy a specialised adapter and charger. The PS3 one works with cheap generic ones. I have a few weeks to mull it over anyway because I won't have any money till then.
     
  28. Hectic Glenn

    Hectic Glenn Site Director
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    I just checked play.com for my £17.99 controller I bought last week (I broke my other controller when I lost the Champions League semi final in Pro Evo last week :D ) and they put the price back up to £32 for the wireless controller. Haha, I guess they realised their mistake. Keep checking their site, they drop the price really low occasionally.

    Receiver for £12 (bought this years ago, well worth it) - http://www.play.com/Games/PC/4-/130...urce=0&searchtype=allproducts&urlrefer=search

    Rechargeable twin battery pack for £10 (lasts years) - http://www.play.com/Games/Xbox360/4-/11998365/-/Product.html

    You can grab these things on ebay too I guess, but IIRC the prices were almost the same and play.com does free delivery. Been using the set-up for a couple of years and it's been really good.
     
  29. Stormy

    Stormy Companion Cube

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    Wireless 360 controller wont work on your pc..

    Get a wired 360 controller... they are just win cakes really, sit well in the hand and good quality too.
     
  30. Hectic Glenn

    Hectic Glenn Site Director
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    That's what they tell you, I've used 3 different 360 controllers with the wireless receiver and they were fine. It's a con.
     
  31. Dog--

    Dog-- The Freeman

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    Ah, I agree. Good point. I don't really play platformers n stuff on PC that's probably why.
     
  32. ríomhaire

    ríomhaire Moderator
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    I'm not sure what you mean by analogue button control (if you just mean the analogue sticks plenty of PC games react to them analogue-ly, not digitally) but I can say for a fact that the PS3 controller hooked up to the PC respects the analogue-ness of both sticks, the L2 and R2 buttons and the tilt sensor.
     
  33. ríomhaire

    ríomhaire Moderator
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    I didn't know that (how is it used in MGS3?). I'll see if I can borrow my flatmate's controller again tonight and check if Windows sees any difference between a light and hard button press or if there are any settings in the MotionInJoy software for it.
     
  34. Dog--

    Dog-- The Freeman

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    It's used really well in MGS3, for example if you bring out a pistol you hold down the square button to aim (so as long as you hold square, you see down the gun in an iron-sight view), then you let go quickly to shoot, or you let go very slowly and that just puts the gun away without shooting.
     
  35. Gargantou

    Gargantou Companion Cube

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    I wonder how that works in the 360 version of Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence, hmm.
     
  36. ríomhaire

    ríomhaire Moderator
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    Just did some tests with MotionInJoy. All the default profiles (PS1, PS2, PS3, 360) seem to treat the face buttons as digital inputs, but it is totally possible to set up a custom profile that treats them as analogue so if you want to go to the trouble of setting up a custom config for your game to utilise that you can.
     
  37. Bad^Hat

    Bad^Hat The Freeman

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    Alternative opinion: the controls were a good part of the reason why I hastily resold MGS3 after gleefully paying full price for it. ****ing awkward as shit.
     
  38. Bad^Hat

    Bad^Hat The Freeman

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    Oh I'm sorry I guess you lack the refinement to acknowledge that the best kind of hat is a metaphorical one.

    Tsk. /me sips metaphorical tea

    Yeah but for serious I'm not a very patient person, especially when it comes to making subtle mechanical movements. Just hhhhhhhhnnnnnnnnggggggggggggggggggggggggg
     
  39. kupocake

    kupocake Tank

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    I use a Dualshock 2 via one of those cheap controller to USB converters. It's a robust controller, fantastic for playing Super Meat Boy and whatever emulated games, but you do have to put up with a lot of incorrect or just plain unhelpful prompts in games, and that basically goes for anything that isn't a 360 controller (or which plagiarises the 360 layout).

    I had it hooked up to an old PC / LCD tv for a while, filled with old PC games and emulated stuff. Had some joy to key programme installed with switchable profiles that basically let me control the entire PC with a Dualshock 2. Ok, so it was hardly the greatest achievement in interface design. (Problem the first: typing was achieved by the Windows native onscreen keyboard). But it was pretty neat, and it's a shame my housemate took his TV with him :_(
     
  40. ríomhaire

    ríomhaire Moderator
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    From all this crap with Valve patenting an interesting looking controller and that may have something to do with Steam Big Screen mode/ the "Steam Box" I think I'll wait till after my exams/E3 to get a controller now. Thanks for the useless feedback everyone!
     

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