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View Full Version : Gamepads, KB/M, joysticks, all that stuff



postinternetsyndrome
13-09-2012, 08:46 PM
Why don't we talk a bit about input methods! Since we're all true pc gamers, we have at least 5 different usb devices plugged in at any one time, and a separate area of our basements filled with eldritch machines that plug into ports no one has ever heard of. I visited my parents recently and looked longingly at an old joystick. This particular one is wired into so many awesome memories from my young days; Incoming, G-police, Moto Racer. I was tempted to bring it back with me but it uses some strange old port that I know nothing about and would probably need both adapter and a chalk pentagram in order to bring it to life.

These days, I play most everything with KB/M, but I have a 360 controller for racing, flying, platforming and some third person games. I've been fantasizing about my ideal peripheral though: A half gamepad with an analog stick for movement, and an ordinary mouse for aiming. And today I found out such a device actually already exists: http://splitfish.com/

There's no reason for me to buy one of those of course, even though they allegedly work with PC:s - I already have a great mouse, so my main question is: Can one find such a half-gamepad separately somewhere? Has anyone tried them out? Do they work well?

For some more general thread food: What are your current input devices? What ancient mechanisms do you remember fondly? What is the controller of your dreams?

Henke
13-09-2012, 09:02 PM
Wouldn't it be possible to configure a game to use a regular (360) gamepad for movement and a mouse for aiming? I've never tried it myself but it seems like it should be doable somehow, perhaps with some 3rd part apps?

As for the original question, I got a 360 pad and I recently picked up a Thrustmaster Universal Challenge wheel for 20 euros. It's a cheap, flimsy thing, but for playing realistic driving sims (like Richard Burns Rally) it does have a better "feel" than the gamepad.

DaftPunk
13-09-2012, 09:08 PM
I only use xbox360 gamepad for emulation,other then that everything is played with my beloved Keyboard und maus!

db1331
13-09-2012, 09:11 PM
Right now I've got a G500 that I love, a SteelSeries 64225 which I am STILL not used to typing on after about 3 months of ownership (It's great for gaming though). I've also got a Logitech 3D Pro joystick that I bought just for BF3, and of course a 360 pad that I use for things like AC, Psychonauts, Tomb Raider, etc. I keep the joystick and gamepad unplugged unless I am actively using them though. Just because I have a gamepad plugged in doesn't mean I want to use it to play YOU, Skyrim! I'd love to get a racing wheel some day, but I don't really play enough racing games to warrant it.

Jesus_Phish
13-09-2012, 09:30 PM
Funny enough I've just started playing Ass Creed 2 and my god does that game not feel good with KBM. It doesn't help that they did a lazy enough job porting the controls, though I give them credit for putting in 5 different KBM styles including two keyboard only control systems.

But the layout of the UI that shows the controls and then just gives you these random looking icons associated with buttons without telling you what the button is.

Also, when did Mouse 1 become Mouse 0??

Anyway, I use both depending on the games/mood I'm in. If I want to lean back and relax a gamepad is just better for it, but I'd never in my right mind try play something like an RTS on one.

neema_t
13-09-2012, 09:34 PM
Right now I have a keyboard in front of me, a G27 wheel above that, my feet are on the G27's pedal box, to my right I have a Logitech G500 and an X52 Pro stick, on my left there's the G27's shifter and X52 throttle. Oh and there's a 360 pad on the floor like the idiot that it is (seriously, such sloppy analogue sticks...). Yeah, I'm a bit of a simulation nut.

I'm using an Apple keyboard at the moment, a wired aluminium one, just because it's all I had when I built my PC. I want to change it for a Das Keyboard or something but can't afford it now that college is starting up again, shame really.

As for old controllers that I loved, the Sega Dreamcast one was great, wasn't it? Not that comfortable if you had long fingers (tiny grips) but quirky in a good way and it used hall effect sticks, something that no-one else repeated until Sony started using them in a revision of the Dual Shock 3. Also the Namco NeGcon, what a bizarre but surprisingly good invention that was. I recently converted one to work on my PS3 and... Well, it wasn't easy to use, but it provided a much finer control than the sticks, probably because of the huge range of movement.

I like talking about control peripherals, I must say. Being an electronic engineer who is also a gamer (maybe we all are?) I'm interested in making my own, the NeGcon conversion was a start even though I never did manage to finish it. I'm also designing a button panel for my sim cockpit (which has since become an all-purpose thing) but it's so damn expensive to do it nicely, buttons are not cheap... 7 each for mechanical Knitter switches and I want about a million of them!

Raaritsgozilla
13-09-2012, 09:58 PM
I have a kb/m, and that is pretty much it. I also have a Sidewinder joystick for when I play IL-2 but otherwise it isnt even connected.

AssCreed 2 was ok on keyboard. No?

Hypernetic
13-09-2012, 09:59 PM
Any game where having a degree of control beyond four directions is beneficial I generally use a gamepad these days (i.e. platformers, flying vehicles, etc, etc, etc).

Some games feel better with a gamepad to me too, specifically a lot of console ports.

For an FPS game though? M/Kb or nothing.

Flint
13-09-2012, 09:59 PM
I prefer to use a keyboard/mouse with everything and generally find it far more comfortable than a pad, even with games a lot of people here tend to think require pads. There's a couple of games I do use a pad with (Sonic Generations, Rayman Origins) and I don't generally sneer at the device, but I just personally find it uncomfortable to use and thus avoid using it beyond the few must-have cases. Don't really play anything that would require steering wheels or anything either.

NathanH
13-09-2012, 10:06 PM
I have a cheap wireless mouse and a keyboard I got for free about eight years ago. That's about all I really need. I used to use a joystick a lot but rarely play any game where they're relevant any more, so haven't had one for about 12 years. I've never owned any other type of control device.

Wizardry
13-09-2012, 10:16 PM
Only crazy people use gamepads on a PC.

deano2099
13-09-2012, 10:39 PM
There's no reason for me to buy one of those of course, even though they allegedly work with PC:s - I already have a great mouse, so my main question is: Can one find such a half-gamepad separately somewhere? Has anyone tried them out? Do they work well?

Well that's a PS3 Move Navigation controller. Now whether anyone has that working on the PC is another question.

I use a 360 pad more and more these days, I actually aim with one now. For anything shooty shooty, or driving games (including Assassin's Creed).

byteCrunch
13-09-2012, 10:48 PM
I only ever use my trusty 11 year old MX518, and currently a SteelSeries 6G keyboard (though I do want a Model M.) I will however use a joystick for games like X3.

The only other input device I use is a SNES controller I hacked for platformers and other games that are better with a d-pad.

Jesus_Phish
13-09-2012, 10:53 PM
I have a kb/m, and that is pretty much it. I also have a Sidewinder joystick for when I play IL-2 but otherwise it isnt even connected.

AssCreed 2 was ok on keyboard. No?

I'm getting used to it, but the biggest issue I have with it is that it does things like showing a dpad and telling me to press dpad-up to pick my fists, down for sword, left for medicine. So it's just showing me these icons and every time it shows me a new one or one that isn't used all that often I have to go check the controls again.

postinternetsyndrome
13-09-2012, 11:22 PM
I played the first AC game with KB/M and I thought they had done a good job of translating it from gamepad. The analogue movement of a pad does help though, and I like the rumble.

mashakos
14-09-2012, 12:18 AM
I'm one of those people who buy "gamer gear", but only if I feel it has actual features I would need. That's why I have a Razer Lachesis: not to get too much into it but I need my mouse to have as many buttons as possible. As for the keyboard, got the Logitech G19 mainly because it was on 50% off locally but also because again it had 12 macro buttons and back-lit keys. The screen was a nice bonus but other than using it to monitor CPU temps when benching, did not really care that it's there.

As for controllers, I've been buying 'em since the late 90's:
Have the MS SideWinder Freestyle Pro, a clone of the PSX Dual Shock gamepad, bought a Sony Dual Shock 2 just to use it with a USB adapter (didn't own a PS2 in 2003), followed by a Logitech Rumblepad 2 (been using this for more than 5 years!), then an impulse buy: a Thrustmaster Run 'n Drive Wireless gamepad, was nostalgic for freespace 2 ergo: Logitech Force 3D Pro, Street Fighter IV on PC! Had to get a MadCatz Street Fighter IV gamepad, fond this on ebay: Jap Sega Saturn USB gamepad, another impulse buy: Saitek P3000 gamepad, a Logitech F710 gamepad and finally the jewel of the crown: a Logitech G940 Flight System in mint condition sold on clearance for $100

Pretty ridiculous that aside from the SF4 pad and the Logitech F710, everything else is in storage!

Prokroustis
14-09-2012, 12:23 AM
Funny enough I've just started playing Ass Creed 2 and my god does that game not feel good with KBM. It doesn't help that they did a lazy enough job porting the controls, though I give them credit for putting in 5 different KBM styles including two keyboard only control systems.

But the layout of the UI that shows the controls and then just gives you these random looking icons associated with buttons without telling you what the button is.

Also, when did Mouse 1 become Mouse 0??

Anyway, I use both depending on the games/mood I'm in. If I want to lean back and relax a gamepad is just better for it, but I'd never in my right mind try play something like an RTS on one.

I found all AC games (if you ignore that mouse acceleration crap in AC2 that required some tweaking) perfectly playable with a M+KB tbh.

CommunistHamster
14-09-2012, 01:13 AM
I have a trackIR 5 for arma and a saitek x52 joystick for taking up space on my desk and looking amazing.

Also a 360 usb pad for platformers, and an old razer mouse with a buggered scroll wheel

Koobazaur
14-09-2012, 03:53 AM
KBM for FPSes, X360 for other stuff including SNES emu.

I've actually been enjoying playing Shooters with the pad tho, like Dead Space. I know it would be way, way easier for me with KBM but... I kind of enjoy the new challenge, and the different feel of controlling aim with the pad. A bit of a fresh air.

Mohorovicic
14-09-2012, 06:43 AM
Only crazy people use gamepads on a PC.

It was either that or download Dark Souls mouse fix and a software that lets you force remap keys.

Not crazy, just lazy.

Henke
14-09-2012, 07:51 AM
I've actually been enjoying playing Shooters with the pad tho, like Dead Space.
I do that too from time to time. Been playing both PC and XBox/360 for years now and feel equally comfortable with KB/M and gamepad. I think I played Dead Space with kbm tho, but Dead Island and FEAR 3 with the pad.

Harlander
14-09-2012, 08:04 AM
In decreasing order of frequency of use:

Keyboard + Mouse
360 joypad
Saitek Cyborg X joystick.

Also:


When did Mouse 1 become Mouse 0?

When someone got too lazy to translate from the mouse button's index in the array of buttons to a normal counting-style number, I suspect

NoodleFighter
14-09-2012, 09:25 AM
I use a Logitech F310, Razer Hydra, and Razer Onza

t0mme
14-09-2012, 10:08 AM
A lovely Logitech K120 (http://www.logitech.com/en-gb/keyboards/keyboards/6692), because I love the feel and sound of it when typing.
The mice that came with this wireless keyboard (http://www.logitech.com/en-gb/keyboards/keyboard-mice-combos/6232). I hate wireless keyboards, because when the battery turns low, everything turns to shit.
Gamepad; went from two Saitek P220 (http://www.bobulous.org.uk/imho/Saitek-P220.html) (for emulation, six face buttons and 2 shoulder buttons are perfect) to the excellent Logitech Rumblepad 2 (http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Rumblepad-Vibration-Feedback-Gamepad/dp/B0002XJBG4). Which I supplemented later with one of those XBox 360 Controllers, because AssCreed and Mirrors Edge had issues with the Rumblepad. Fair deal though, I love the 360 controller.
Joystick: Saitek Cyborg Evo Force (http://www.amazon.com/Saitek-Cyborg-Force-Flight-PS27/dp/B00068P3O4/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top), though I almost always autopilot my 6+ hour journeys in FSX.
And back in my laptopdays, I also had a Nostromo n52 (http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-F8GFPC100-Nostromo-Speedpad-n52/dp/B0000DC643), though that is gathering dust right now.

Drake Sigar
14-09-2012, 10:40 AM
In recent years I've come to accept that the PC has become a neglected platform by major publishers, and if I want to play their second-rate ports, a gamepad is a necessary tool.

frightlever
14-09-2012, 12:36 PM
I've got RSI in my wrist so I use a vertical mouse (Evoluent - I swear by it) but still prefer to use M+K though I definitely find an Xbox controller more comfortable to use, for games designed to be played with them - I wouldn't FPS with a gamepad fr'instance.

Also got a M'soft sidewinder, largely superseded with a Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas set-up for X3 and other sims.

Wizardry
14-09-2012, 01:07 PM
It was either that or download Dark Souls mouse fix and a software that lets you force remap keys.

Not crazy, just lazy.
Yeah, lazy. Lazy developers. It's not your fault, don't worry.

postinternetsyndrome
14-09-2012, 04:01 PM
Why don't we actually keep that discussion out of this particular thread.

---

On the topic of fps and gamepad, I did play Dear Esther with one. Since you don't shoot at anything (or interact with anything at all :P), the lack of quick precision was a non-issue, and I rather liked the smoother movements. It is after all a game about beautiful vistas and mysterious caves.

victory
17-09-2012, 08:41 PM
I use a Logitech F310, Razer Hydra, and Razer Onza
How do you find the Hydra, and what do you use it for?

I have recently been looking into controllers and combinations of controllers with high analog axis count for playing Descent-like games, and I have to say the options do not look so great. There is professional equipment like 3dconnexion's gear, there's the Hydra, hacked Wiimotes, etc. Even HOTAS setups tend to have surprisingly few axis constantly available.

Lambchops
17-09-2012, 08:46 PM
I've got a 360 controller to supplement my keyboard and mouse.

Also got a Logitech joystick but it's currently gathering dust at home, planning to take it with me next time I'm there so I can play some of the excellent looking Freespace mods that have come out.

I still fondly remember (but no longer own) my first joystick, a simple two axis, two button affair.

Gorzan
17-09-2012, 08:50 PM
I've got the cheapest mouse and keyboard I could get. And recently bought a 360 Pad.
I'm looking forward to buying a joystick on the next months (likely un December) and am thinking of the Cyborg X. Any other recommendation? note that I wont spend more than 35€.

bad guy
17-09-2012, 10:02 PM
Keyboard: Cherry G83
Back in the day the keyboard was my primary input device. GTA1,2, Mechwarrior2(no mouse), Re-volt, 1nsane, and later alot of MultiTheftAuto racing.
I have grown very accoustomed to the standard cherry keyboard after 15 years now.

Mouse: Razer Abyssus (removed the LED)
Nothing fancy. I like cheap light mice.

Gamepad: XBox360 wired
Because it is the standard for PC now. GTA4, Lunar Flight, Off Road Drive.
Also for my flight games IL-2 Sturmovik, Aerofly, FSX.

Wheel: Saitek R220 (R440/660 suck)
I love this thing. Digital, without Force Feedback. ---->high precision
Great for Richard Burns Rally, Live for Speed, NetKar, GTR1, Rfactor.
But I'm getting too lazy (dis)mounting it to my desk, and I'm using gamepad more and more.

I had a TrackIR4 for a while but I sold it. Too nerdy for me, and I'm not a hardcore flight simmer.
For flight sims it is amazing though.

My dream wheel: ECCI Trackstar 6000http://www.ecci6000.com/6000/6006Proto_6.jpg

bad guy
17-09-2012, 10:07 PM
I've got the cheapest mouse and keyboard I could get. And recently bought a 360 Pad.
I'm looking forward to buying a joystick on the next months (likely un December) and am thinking of the Cyborg X. Any other recommendation? note that I wont spend more than 35€.

What games do you plan on playing (flight or arcade)?
I would say the Cyborg X is a flight stick, not a (arcade) joystick.

Gorzan
17-09-2012, 10:31 PM
Arcade, for certain. I'm thinking of space sims, mechwarrior and the likes.

bad guy
17-09-2012, 10:44 PM
Well space sims are sort of flight with the thrust and all.
And Mechwarrior has thrust too.

Razer had a recent Mechwarrior Online protoype:
http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/06/05/razer-artemis-is-a-custom-keypadjoysticktablet-peripheral-for-mechwarrior-online/

Gorzan
17-09-2012, 10:55 PM
If the biggest diference between a more flight-oriented Stick and a mor Arcade Stick is thrust then I guess flight it is. Any good one that's not more than 35€ and has force feedback? that's my main aprehension on the Cyborg X.
And that thing is beautiful.

bad guy
17-09-2012, 11:07 PM
I dont have much experience with different flight sticks. But I had that Saitek Cyborg! for a short time. I couldn't get used to it (IL-2 Sturmovik) and gave it away. Dont remember it that much anymore, sry.

I highly doubt you will get good FF at 35€. I had a wheel at that price with FF, and the bad FF did more bad than good.

Gorzan
17-09-2012, 11:22 PM
Well, knowing that I'm most likely to get bad FF at that price is already a great deal of help, now I know I shouldn't want it that much, so thanks.

Bracket
18-09-2012, 10:53 AM
I use a logitech K120 and some cheap, bog standard mouse from novatech.

KB/M for first person perspective, although I play skyrim with an XBOX 360 pad (its just more comfortable over long periods). I use the direction keys in FPS with the mouse in my left hand, feels pretty cramped sometimes and I've yet to find a key binding that places jump and crouch in a convenient place. Moving house next week and getting a new desk so that should solve some of the space issues.

Generally use a pad for everything else, obviously barring RTS.

Does a proper gaming mouse actually improve performance? The only game I play online with any real conviction is BF3, and I'm quite happy with how I do. I assume the players that are getting the highest scores whilst being better than me also use 'gaming' inputs.

Goateh
18-09-2012, 11:17 AM
Does a proper gaming mouse actually improve performance?

The only real advantage they bring is that they come with a decent sensor. If you find the mouse skipping or losing input at high speed then you may find a better sensor helps. There are more vague things like advanced profile support and sensitivity switches but they're pretty minor. The profiles is mostly convenience and supported by plenty of normal mice and the sensitivity switches can take a lot of getting used to before you'll start to see any kind of benefit.

My tale of peripherals is one of using completely overspecced devices for what I'm actually doing. I get a new toy, I use all the advanced things it can do and over time I end up dropping them bit by bit until I'm only doing the basics with it, just like I did on the simple peripheral it replaced.

I used a logitech MX revolution for a long time and loved the extra rocker on the thumb. The primary use ended up being volume but it's an otherwise empty part of the mouse that I wish more mice would copy. Sadly, when I moved last the wireless stopped being reliable for quick movements and I had to switch back to a wired mouse. I'm now using a G9X (cheap because it was Call of Duty branded) and I don't do lots of the things I could do with it. I set the weights to what I wanted and forgot all about the feature. I picked the shell I wanted and forgot all about the feature. I changed the sensitivity buttons into volume buttons and forgot about the feature. I do like the feel of it, I just don't think I'm really taking advantage of all it could do.

Similarly, I have a G15 keyboard and now don't use any of the functions or macros. The screen is either a clock, the current music or a list of who's talking on voice chat. Again, completely overspecced for what I've ended up doing.

The last move of apartment also meant a change of desk and chair, which has made it nearly impossible to use my wheel (Logitech G25) at my PC. I got a wheel stand to use it on my sofa but getting the PC connected to the TV requires more cables and extra cards than I want to spend at the moment, so PC racing sims are basically out of the question. A good wheel with pedals was definitely worthwhile and I highly recommend it to anyone who plays more car games than just arcade racers. I still think the wheel sucks for anything vaguely arcade as I have to saw it back and forth, destroying my arms.

My joystick (an old Cyborg) is abandoned because of a lack of games I want to play. I have some fun memories of games played with it but any recent game that I might have considered a joystick for has been easier with a pad. I guess I don't play many flight sims now and nobody seems to make space sims. Luckily I've managed to resist getting a newer joystick with separate throttle controller, though I came close quite a few times.

My pad (360 wired) is a frequent companion and I couldn't go back to not having a pad available. I don't think it's because of terrible ports, I think some games just work better when you have an analogue input. Sometimes I don't need 30 keys and a cursor to hand. Games for Windows is great for making so many games work out of the box with a 360 pad with sensible binds and prompts changed to reflect my buttons. I don't miss old pads where I had to go bind the keys and remember which button was 'button 7' when I looked back at the bindings again later.

postinternetsyndrome
18-09-2012, 05:21 PM
I use an MX518, that replaced my old 510 (last year! those things last forever!). The main thing I want is a comfortable grip and extra buttons. I usually bind melee and throw grenade type actions to the thumb buttons, which frees up some space around wasd for misc stuff. The small scroll buttons by the scroll wheel are also useful for binding utility stuff that doesn't need to be accessed super fast but you still don't want to reach across the keyboard for. (Like switching to certain weapons, turning laser sights on and off etc.) The mouse wheel I rarely use, since switching weapons with number keys is always faster and more reliable. I experimented a bit with the sensivity switch functionality but it mostly got confusing, and used up buttons that I'd rather use for other stuff.

In conclusion, I don't feel I have much use for all the fancy features of "gaming" mice, I just want me a handful of extra buttons and general high quality. I could probably find a use for even more buttons than the 518 has, but at that point the prices quickly escalate and in the end it's not that important to me. If I find myself with an excess of monetary funds in the future though, I will probably get something fancy anyway.

Gorzan
21-09-2012, 10:30 AM
Well, I've just bought a mouse and am going to change it back. I'm I the only one who finds thumb buttons uncomfortable and easy to press without intention of doing so?

mashakos
21-09-2012, 11:01 AM
Well, I've just bought a mouse and am going to change it back. I'm I the only one who finds thumb buttons uncomfortable and easy to press without intention of doing so?

no but I am a "fingertip grip" person according to this guide:
http://www.razerzone.com/mouseguide/ergonomic/clawgrip
Generally I have finer control through my fingers and less control through my wrist. So buttons don't get accidentally pressed but the down side is that I can't do super fast swipes with great accuracy. A swipe using your fingers is almost like a shove.

I usually don't take "guides" from hardware companies seriously, but I was surprised to find out how differently people held their mouse.

EDIT: I'm a fingertip grip dude actually, not claw grip.

b0rsuk
22-09-2012, 08:32 AM
I can't wait for a game that uses two mice as its input method. Mice are ubiquitous PC controllers and it's not an outlandish idea to expect players to own two. Only... what kind of game would have an use for two mice or even two mouse pointers ? A flight simulator ?

victory
04-10-2012, 07:59 PM
I can't wait for a game that uses two mice as its input method. Mice are ubiquitous PC controllers and it's not an outlandish idea to expect players to own two. Only... what kind of game would have an use for two mice or even two mouse pointers ? A flight simulator ?Definitely not a flight simulator, and I'm hard pressed to think of any suitable game design.

Even before considering an input-to-game mapping, we hit the problem that the majority of people aren't ambidextrous enough to use a mouse in their non-dominant hand.

Then the mapping. A two mouse combination is an analog 4-axis (plus digital button) input system where every axis is relative. Relative analog axis states are really hard to keep track of. We seem to manage two relative analog axis because the left-right, up-down mapping is pretty intuitive to visually represent to us (whether it's used for mouselook or to control a mouse cursor). More would probably be a failure.

Two simple analog joysticks supply an equal analog axis count but since they have an absolute mapping instead of relative, we can make sense of them much easier; that setup can actually be useful for something like a mech sim.

gundato
04-10-2012, 08:04 PM
Yeah, the only thing I could see two mice working for would be to simulate hands. And the Razer Hydra does that better.

Speaking of, anyone have an experience with the Hydra?

Sparkasaurusmex
04-10-2012, 08:15 PM
Two mice would be great for some kind of coop or head to head game on the same machine

Faldrath
04-10-2012, 09:27 PM
no but I am a "fingertip grip" person according to this guide:
http://www.razerzone.com/mouseguide/ergonomic/clawgrip

Interesting link, thanks. Turns out I'm also "fingertip". And to make matters worse, I need to use mousepads with wrist support, so I find that I simply cannot use side buttons comfortably. I use my thumb, ring and pinky fingers to move the mouse, and if I apply extra pressure to press a side button, everything gets out of whack.

bad guy
04-10-2012, 09:36 PM
Two mice in a boxing game could be cool, with analog control of both hands.
Move mice close together for defence/block.
With a similar punching mechanism as in EA Fight Night for the consoles.

fuzzy logic
04-10-2012, 11:12 PM
Using two mice would be bad for me; my left arm is super retarded compared to my right. Unless the controls on the left mouse were really simple (like the boxing idea mentioned by bad guy), I'd have to practice for years to bring my left up to half the standard of my right.

Let's see, I have:
-A cheap Logitech keyboard. Can you bring up your calculator with the push of a button?
-A G500 Logitech mouse. I like it a lot. I actually do use the DPI switch, even if I didn't expect to. Mainly just because it's faster than changing the mouse sensitivity in the options menu. I use the other non-standard buttons for my push-to-talk key, and to control iTunes from any application (I know, iTunes is bad, I'm sorry).
-2 F310 Logitech gamepads. They can emulate Xinput to trick games into treating them as 360 pads. Bought a new one and a refurbished one. The latter's D-pad is mushy but still works properly. They're not my favorite controllers ever, but they serve their purpose. Plus, they work on my PS3 in direct input mode. So, that's nice when I need some extra controllers--as I only have one PS3 controller. 3-player co-op Awesomenauts!
-An old Logitech Wingman wireless controller. This thing makes the original Xbox pad look dinky. It's just kind of bad all around. The D-pad is incredibly inaccurate--it's just a rubber concave dish. The joysticks are too loose for me and they're made of slippery plastic, which is annoying. The buttons are far apart. The shoulder buttons are far apart. You need giant hands to utilize this behemoth. The only game I've thought it handled well was Super Meat Boy. It feels sub par for everything else I've tried. The only good points are its wireless-ness and really good rumble.
-Two fight sticks, a Tatsunoku Vs Capcom Wii one (used with Wii to USB adapter) and a cheap black generic one by Mayflash. They both work well enough for a Street Fighter noob. I'll probably use it/them for Mortal Kombat, if I decide to grab it on PS3.

Dream controller: maybe a joystick-like stub nested in a dome of polyester and padding that sat below your keyboard. So, you could get analog movement by massaging against the padded stub thing (this is starting to get weird) while still being able to reach your keyboard keys with your finger tips. Hmm, I'm trying it with my wrist pad now... don't think that's gonna work. Something that allowed KB&M controls but added in easy-to-use-simultaneously analogue movement. That sounds good.

As for general preferences: I prefer mouse and keyboard for almost everything. Even some platformers and third person action titles. For example, I hate playing Super Meat Boy on keyboard, but I prefer it in Trine and Hell Yeah! (because I hate aiming with the right joystick). I like using a gamepad in Batman: Arkham Asylum, but I prefer mouse and keyboard on Assassin's Creed and Sleeping Dogs. The precise and swift camera control a mouse allows makes up for and can even act as a substitute for analogue movement on a joystick. AC is so much better on KB&M, I can't stand the slow camera movement in that game on a joystick.

Mindwedge
05-10-2012, 12:36 AM
Only crazy people use gamepads on a PC.

Unfotunate that too many racing games don't support the mouse for steering. People are being trained to drop the mouse and grab the joypad. It's not a big deal to support the mouse. I recall the greatness that Midtwon Madness was just because it supported the mouse. Finally I didn't Have to steer with the KB. We didn't have 360 for Win joypads back then. In truth, the mouse is a superior input device for analogous tasks like steering (or aiming a gun for that matter). A 3/4 inch stick just doesn't cut it for high-speed thrills.

soldant
05-10-2012, 12:55 AM
I run a Steelseries 7G and Sensei mouse. I find the mouse to be wonderfully responsive and incredibly smooth, but my god I hate the finish on it. A day of using it and it looks like it's a year old already, the slightest bit of dirt just shows up instantly and it seems to attract it from across the room.

The 7G is nice to play on, but I find it's not so nice to type on. I love mechanical keyboards and before this I had a Razar Blackwidow which used the Cherry Blue switches, which wasn't so fantastic for games but was great to type on. The 7G uses Cherry MX Black switches, which loses some of that tactile feedback, and isn't so nice to type on IMO. But it doesn't look halfway as ridiculous as the Blackwidow.

I also use a 360 gamepad occasionally, because despite what some people say, analogue controls via thumbsticks aren't absolutely useless for all games. I'd never play a flight sim with a mouse for example.

Mohorovicic
05-10-2012, 06:22 AM
Yeah, the only thing I could see two mice working for would be to simulate hands.

Boob touching simulator 2014

Metalfish
05-10-2012, 09:11 AM
The 360 pad is a great bit of kit. You'd have to pay twice as much for something half as good back in the day. For all the bashing consoles get here (usually with a tongue in a cheek somewhere mind), it's almost a mandatory element of the PC gaming armoury these days. Often a better option for platformers and all sorts action games.

Hypernetic
05-10-2012, 09:47 AM
The 360 pad is a great bit of kit. You'd have to pay twice as much for something half as good back in the day. For all the bashing consoles get here (usually with a tongue in a cheek somewhere mind), it's almost a mandatory element of the PC gaming armoury these days. Often a better option for platformers and all sorts action games.

I don't know about all this twice as much for half as good business, but they've had gamepads for PC since at least 20 or so years ago. I remember buying a gamepad in the mid 90s to play the Primal Rage arcade port on PC.

trjp
05-10-2012, 10:34 AM
I don't know about all this twice as much for half as good business, but they've had gamepads for PC since at least 20 or so years ago. I remember buying a gamepad in the mid 90s to play the Primal Rage arcade port on PC.
My first joystick was for a Dragon 32 and it cost more than my 360 pad did - quite a bit more.

I've owned a few along the way and they've all been relatively expensive - the 360 pad isn't perfect (the D Pad feels shit and is in an unusable position for starters) but it's core purpose, the '2 sticks, 4 triggers and 4 face buttons' bit of it works a treat IMO

They're also pretty well made - my PC and 360 pads have taken quite a bit of abuse (the 360 one has been thrown more than twice) and they're still working AOK

Hypernetic
05-10-2012, 10:54 AM
My first joystick was for a Dragon 32 and it cost more than my 360 pad did - quite a bit more.

I've owned a few along the way and they've all been relatively expensive - the 360 pad isn't perfect (the D Pad feels shit and is in an unusable position for starters) but it's core purpose, the '2 sticks, 4 triggers and 4 face buttons' bit of it works a treat IMO

They're also pretty well made - my PC and 360 pads have taken quite a bit of abuse (the 360 one has been thrown more than twice) and they're still working AOK

I have no problem with the 360 pad, I use one myself for some games. I was just pointing out that it's not some revolutionary thing and it's also not really that cheap relatively speaking. Comparing to an actual joystick is not appropriate as that is an entirely different device. Back in the day they had actual gamepads that were pretty similar to SNES and Genesis pads for a bit cheaper than the actual console pads cost. They were made by companies like logitech and such. One of the pads I had, had a little tiny stick you could screw into the dpad to make it like a joystick =P

Makariel
05-10-2012, 11:02 AM
Currently I have a Steelseries Ikari Mouse, M$ natural keyboard (normal keyboard causes RSI to act up after too much typing), Xbox wireless controller and a rather crappy Thrustmaster Wheel & Pedals. Any recommendations for a decent wheel for racing that doesn't cost an arm and a leg? Somewhere I still have an old Flightstick Pro, but no joyport to connect it.

Hypernetic
05-10-2012, 11:56 AM
Oh yeah. I'm currently using a blackwidow keyboard and a death adder mouse. The death adder isn't the best mouse in the world, it could especially use some extra buttons and a DPI switch that isn't UNDER the mouse, but I just LOVe the feel of it in my hand. I have a 360 pad and some kind of joystick (I forget what it is, I haven't used it in years).

I got a 60% off coupon for the logitech store from a logitech rep I met at PAX and purchased one of those new MMO mice (naga clone basically) and while it is really cool feature wise, I really didn't like how it felt in my hand, so I went back to my death adder.

BillButNotBen
05-10-2012, 01:24 PM
I find it interesting the "360 pad" has totally superceded "gamepad". There are hundreds of different gamepads available for pc, and there always have been. Why has it become accepted that we only use the MS gamepad from their console? Is there anyone, like me, who uses a non-360 gamepad? Anyone at all? How did MS pull that one off?

I have a cheap generic USB gamepad that i picked up a few years ago for about 4 quid, and I've not really found anything it doesn't work on. though i don't often play games that prefer a gamepad.... I picked it up when i wanted to play Psychonauts and BG&E on pc.

Hypernetic
05-10-2012, 01:34 PM
I find it interesting the "360 pad" has totally superceded "gamepad". There are hundreds of different gamepads available for pc, and there always have been. Why has it become accepted that we only use the MS gamepad from their console? Is there anyone, like me, who uses a non-360 gamepad? Anyone at all? How did MS pull that one off?

I have a cheap generic USB gamepad that i picked up a few years ago for about 4 quid, and I've not really found anything it doesn't work on. though i don't often play games that prefer a gamepad.... I picked it up when i wanted to play Psychonauts and BG&E on pc.

Probably because lots of people who play PC games also own an xbox 360 and you can use your xbox controller on your PC?

Gorzan
05-10-2012, 01:43 PM
Also, because it's quite a good piece of hardware, and comfortable too. And let's not forget how most games use it it as the standard non-keyboard input.

Makariel
05-10-2012, 02:55 PM
I find it interesting the "360 pad" has totally superceded "gamepad". There are hundreds of different gamepads available for pc, and there always have been.
I have a Xbox as well. Hence I had the pad already, just needed to get the wireless adapter. Why should I get another piece of plastic with buttons, when I already own a fully functional one? ;)

gundato
05-10-2012, 02:59 PM
Also, just about every modern game (and most of the older ones) where you would want a gamepad are designed with the PS3/360 in mind.

Faldrath
05-10-2012, 03:10 PM
As for steering wheels, the Logitech G27 seems to be more or less the standard these days. The DFGT is a cheaper alternative, and there are also, of course, products from Thrustmaster and Fanatec, but I don't know how they compare.

And the thing about the X360 controller is that it's almost always no hassle at all to configure, and given the choice between no hassle and the possibility of hassle, most people (myself included) go for the first one. That being said, Microsoft hardware has generally always been quite good, ever since the Sidewinder days.

Ravelle
05-10-2012, 05:10 PM
Probably because lots of people who play PC games also own an xbox 360 and you can use your xbox controller on your PC?

I have a Logitech Rumble Gamepad F510 which is the best gamepad I bought in years, it has YXAB buttons like the xbox and the best part is when video games have that layout built in it recognizes it as a xbox controller.

mashakos
05-10-2012, 06:13 PM
I have a Logitech Rumble Gamepad F510 which is the best gamepad I bought in years, it has YXAB buttons like the xbox and the best part is when video games have that layout built in it recognizes it as a xbox controller.

but then that gamepad is essentially a 360 pad, since it has XINPUT support and xbox 360 buttons (if not the same layout). I myself have the F710, the sole reason for buying it in spite of being very satisfied for the past 6 years with my trusty Logitech Rumblepad 2 is the lack of XINPUT support and xbox 360 buttons. Really annoying to have to use emulators (xbox 360 gamepad emulators that is, like xpadder) and guess what the game means by LB+RB+LT in a QTE situation!

gundato
05-10-2012, 06:18 PM
You think that's bad? Try regularly gaming on a PS3 (with a PS3 controller) and a PC with the 360 controller. I have learned to hate the X button... oh so much.

(For those who aren't aware. Assuming the buttons are layed out as 4, 8, 6, and 2 on the numpad. 360 X is 4, PS3 X is 2. And those two buttons are some of the most commonly used in QTEs).

Hypernetic
05-10-2012, 09:00 PM
You think that's bad? Try regularly gaming on a PS3 (with a PS3 controller) and a PC with the 360 controller. I have learned to hate the X button... oh so much.

(For those who aren't aware. Assuming the buttons are layed out as 4, 8, 6, and 2 on the numpad. 360 X is 4, PS3 X is 2. And those two buttons are some of the most commonly used in QTEs).

I never had this problem when playing a game on my PS3 vs 360. (as in I have both consoles)

Ravelle
05-10-2012, 09:03 PM
but then that gamepad is essentially a 360 pad, since it has XINPUT support and xbox 360 buttons (if not the same layout).

That is exactly what I was saying, it's basically an Xbox controller for PC and games that support Xbox controllers, I don't own one so have this instead.

Also you confuse me a bit there, what was the sole reason you bought the F710?

Sparkasaurusmex
05-10-2012, 09:09 PM
Playing a lot of PSX in the nineties, it did take me a while to stop calling the xbox buttons by the PSX symbols. Sometimes I would tell my daughter to press square (on the Xbox) and she'd have to say there isn't one, but if I told her to press the X button she would just press A and probably die or something.

But in my mind when I say "X" and I'm talking about the PSX button, I imagine a symbol that isn't the letter X... on the Xbox, to me, it is the letter X. Sounds dumb but it's helped me avoid confusion.

mashakos
05-10-2012, 11:31 PM
That is exactly what I was saying, it's basically an Xbox controller for PC and games that support Xbox controllers, I don't own one so have this instead.

Also you confuse me a bit there, what was the sole reason you bought the F710?
the answer was in my post somewhere:

the lack of XINPUT support and xbox 360 button[ label]s.

Finicky
06-10-2012, 03:09 AM
I've this plugged in right now:
-One of those cheap build quality (overpriced) g15 keyboards from logitech
- a logitech g9x mouse (using the logitech piece of shit mouse because my lachesis' middle mouse button broke)
-driving force gt wheel (good wheel, awful pedals)
-dual shock 3 (works through motioninjoy and ds3tool)


The wheel is great for racing games, can't go back to a gamepad ever again.
The ps3 controller only gets used when I play on an emulator or very rarely for a platformer (rayman) or something like renegade ops.

Using a controller for any game with a free moving camera is a mortal sin.

BillButNotBen
06-10-2012, 05:58 AM
I understand why 360 pads might have advantages, but I don't understand why it's become an accepted default. there are dozens of other USB pads you could plug in and they would work in exactly the same way. They might even have the exact same layout and feel. But that shouldn't mean that those gamepads are effectively 360 pads, it should mean that 360 pads are effectively directx usb pads.

Even RPS articles always say things like "you can choose between a mouse and keyboard or a 360 pad" rather than "you can choose between a mouse and keyboard or a gamepad".

I dont' really care, it's great marketing by Microsoft and it might be a great pad. But it's weird to observe.

postinternetsyndrome
06-10-2012, 10:14 AM
I'm thinking of getting a new mousepad, preferably a quite big one. Historically I've preferred high mouse sens, but lately I've been going lower and lower to increase my precision (mostly for FPS), and my current mousepad is just too small for the kind of movement I want now. Anyone know any good, cheap and big ones?

siegarettes
07-10-2012, 02:25 AM
Funny you ask that, I have a friend that I believe at one time told me he used an xbox 360 controller to move and a mouse to shoot in TF2.

As for myself, I have an Xbox 360 controller for console centric games, platformers, open world etc, and a Logitech gamepad for older games and multiplayer funs. I also have a PC compatible arcade stick, but its rather finicky on the computer for such things.

I actually remember as a kid we bought a joystick which the bottom have disconnected and became a gamepad. Never did get it to work because the laptop we had didn't have a gamepad slot, nor did our PC have drivers for the USB port. Did I just date myself?

Hypernetic
07-10-2012, 02:28 AM
I'm thinking of getting a new mousepad, preferably a quite big one. Historically I've preferred high mouse sens, but lately I've been going lower and lower to increase my precision (mostly for FPS), and my current mousepad is just too small for the kind of movement I want now. Anyone know any good, cheap and big ones?

http://steelseries.com/products/surfaces/steelseries-qck-heavy

I have this one, it's awesome and huge.

Ravelle
07-10-2012, 11:14 AM
the answer was in my post somewhere:

But isn't the F710 the same as mine, just wireless? Because it has the same button layout.

Hypernetic
07-10-2012, 11:17 AM
But isn't the F710 the same as mine, just wireless? Because it has the same button layout.

Read it again, he didn't replace the controller you have with the F710.

postinternetsyndrome
07-10-2012, 11:51 AM
http://steelseries.com/products/surfaces/steelseries-qck-heavy

I have this one, it's awesome and huge.Is there any point to the thickness? Because the thinner variant is much cheaper.

Hypernetic
07-10-2012, 12:08 PM
Is there any point to the thickness? Because the thinner variant is much cheaper.

I haven't used the thinner one, but this one is pretty heavy for a mouse pad so it stays put. I don't know if it really matters that much though, you probably would be fine with the cheaper one. I didn't even know there was a thinner one, I just bought this off amazon a while back while looking through mousepads because my mousing was starting to destroy the finish on my desk. I wanted something really big because I had become accustomed to using a large portion of my desk for mousing and wasn't used to isolating my mouse movements to a small rectangle. I've been really happy with it so far, I've had it for about 4 months or so.

Kelron
07-10-2012, 06:11 PM
Is there any point to the thickness? Because the thinner variant is much cheaper.

Don't think so. I have the mini one and it doesn't slide around my desk, the base has plenty of grip.

postinternetsyndrome
16-10-2012, 10:26 PM
Got the pad the other day! It's huge! Haven't had an opportunity to try it out in games yet though, because of school stuff. Grumble.

NoodleFighter
17-10-2012, 02:30 AM
Razer Hydra, Razer Onza, Logitech F310, some old logitech steering wheel and pedals, generic keyboard and mouse

NoodleFighter
17-10-2012, 02:31 AM
How do you find the Hydra, and what do you use it for?

I have recently been looking into controllers and combinations of controllers with high analog axis count for playing Descent-like games, and I have to say the options do not look so great. There is professional equipment like 3dconnexion's gear, there's the Hydra, hacked Wiimotes, etc. Even HOTAS setups tend to have surprisingly few axis constantly available.

It's alright but the screen be a bit shaking which is why I put it on low sensitivity, I have this dual analog mode for games like Killing Floor where I let the the analog do most of the aiming and I use the motion controls to assist it.

NoodleFighter
17-10-2012, 02:33 AM
The only real advantage they bring is that they come with a decent sensor. If you find the mouse skipping or losing input at high speed then you may find a better sensor helps. There are more vague things like advanced profile support and sensitivity switches but they're pretty minor. The profiles is mostly convenience and supported by plenty of normal mice and the sensitivity switches can take a lot of getting used to before you'll start to see any kind of benefit.

My tale of peripherals is one of using completely overspecced devices for what I'm actually doing. I get a new toy, I use all the advanced things it can do and over time I end up dropping them bit by bit until I'm only doing the basics with it, just like I did on the simple peripheral it replaced.

I used a logitech MX revolution for a long time and loved the extra rocker on the thumb. The primary use ended up being volume but it's an otherwise empty part of the mouse that I wish more mice would copy. Sadly, when I moved last the wireless stopped being reliable for quick movements and I had to switch back to a wired mouse. I'm now using a G9X (cheap because it was Call of Duty branded) and I don't do lots of the things I could do with it. I set the weights to what I wanted and forgot all about the feature. I picked the shell I wanted and forgot all about the feature. I changed the sensitivity buttons into volume buttons and forgot about the feature. I do like the feel of it, I just don't think I'm really taking advantage of all it could do.

Similarly, I have a G15 keyboard and now don't use any of the functions or macros. The screen is either a clock, the current music or a list of who's talking on voice chat. Again, completely overspecced for what I've ended up doing.

The last move of apartment also meant a change of desk and chair, which has made it nearly impossible to use my wheel (Logitech G25) at my PC. I got a wheel stand to use it on my sofa but getting the PC connected to the TV requires more cables and extra cards than I want to spend at the moment, so PC racing sims are basically out of the question. A good wheel with pedals was definitely worthwhile and I highly recommend it to anyone who plays more car games than just arcade racers. I still think the wheel sucks for anything vaguely arcade as I have to saw it back and forth, destroying my arms.

My joystick (an old Cyborg) is abandoned because of a lack of games I want to play. I have some fun memories of games played with it but any recent game that I might have considered a joystick for has been easier with a pad. I guess I don't play many flight sims now and nobody seems to make space sims. Luckily I've managed to resist getting a newer joystick with separate throttle controller, though I came close quite a few times.

My pad (360 wired) is a frequent companion and I couldn't go back to not having a pad available. I don't think it's because of terrible ports, I think some games just work better when you have an analogue input. Sometimes I don't need 30 keys and a cursor to hand. Games for Windows is great for making so many games work out of the box with a 360 pad with sensible binds and prompts changed to reflect my buttons. I don't miss old pads where I had to go bind the keys and remember which button was 'button 7' when I looked back at the bindings again later.

For racing games have you tried hooking up an Xbox 360 steering wheel?