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The perfect gamepad

FremFrem Registered User regular
edited August 2010 in Games and Technology
I'm in the market for a PC gamepad. I'll be using it for the odd Steam game (mostly Burnout Paradise and Audiosurf), and a lot of freeware and retro games (Spelunky, Hydorah, Action Fist, SEGA Smash Pack, etc).

Wired vs. wireless isn't an issue at all; unlike with a console I'll only be a few feet away from my computer at most.


My current choices:

Xbox 360 Controller
41FY5VF551L._SL500_AA300_.jpg
It's exactly like the Xbox 360 Controller for Windows, but five dollars cheaper and you have to download the driver from the internet. I can live with that. I really like the design of the thing; it's one of the most comfortable controllers I've held. Unfortunately, I've only really ever played Halo with it. I've heard that the the dpad is sorely lacking. As most 2D freeware games tend to use the dpad, that seems like it might be a problem.


Logitech Cordless Rumblepad 2
413GSXMP3ML._SL500_AA300_.jpg
Looks pretty nice, but I think it uses DirectInput. As a lot of games these days are starting to use Xinput exclusively, that seems like it might be a problem. I'm also not a huge fan of the PlayStation's controllers, and it looks pretty similar.


Xbox 360 Pad EX 2 with Turbo
41ndT5igfDL._SL500_AA300_.jpg
Now we've got this thing. It's an officially licensed Xbox 360 gamepad, apparently designed for fighting games. Has a similar design to the official pad, which is good. The Dpad is reportedly amazing, but a multiple reviews say that the thumbsticks are low quality and generally flaky, and a number of the people who reviewed it quite well seem to be using it with fighting games almost exclusively.

Frem on
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Posts

  • finnithfinnith TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I've personally never had problems with the Xbox 360 controller's D-Pad, so unless you're playing games that make extensive use of it, I would second a purchase of that specific controller.

    finnith on
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  • undeinPiratundeinPirat Registered User
    edited July 2010
    xbox 360 controller is one of the best gamepads you can use for pc in my opinion

    although personally i would love if there was a way to make my gamecube controllers work with my computer

    undeinPirat on
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  • elliotw2elliotw2 Registered User
    edited July 2010
    If whatever you're using doesn't need joysticks, I say hunt down one of the Sega USB Saturn controllers from eBay. It has a nice button layout, a really good d-pad, and the buttons are assigned smartly by DirectInput, so that you can usually just start using it on anything. If you do need twin joysticks, I'd say go for the Xbox 360 pad, since it's the easiest to make work on most things.

    edit: picture: joy027.jpg

    elliotw2 on
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  • MugenmidgetMugenmidget Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    xbox 360 controller is one of the best gamepads you can use for pc in my opinion

    although personally i would love if there was a way to make my gamecube controllers work with my computer
    It's a little pricey, but this guy still assembles and sells Gamecube to USB adapters (along with a lot of other controller adapters, actually):
    http://www.raphnet-tech.com/products/gc_n64_usb_adapters/index.php?category=Adapters

    Mugenmidget on
    mtap.jpg
  • BarrakkethBarrakketh Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    ps3-4961818013674-2.jpg

    If you don't need sticks, look into the Hori Fighting Commander 3.

    Barrakketh on
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  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Chantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    elliotw2 wrote: »
    If whatever you're using doesn't need joysticks, I say hunt down one of the Sega USB Saturn controllers from eBay. It has a nice button layout, a really good d-pad, and the buttons are assigned smartly by DirectInput, so that you can usually just start using it on anything. If you do need twin joysticks, I'd say go for the Xbox 360 pad, since it's the easiest to make work on most things.

    edit: picture: joy027.jpg

    Can you lime an image?

    cj iwakura on
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  • finnithfinnith TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    xbox 360 controller is one of the best gamepads you can use for pc in my opinion

    although personally i would love if there was a way to make my gamecube controllers work with my computer
    It's a little pricey, but this guy still assembles and sells Gamecube to USB adapters (along with a lot of other controller adapters, actually):
    http://www.raphnet-tech.com/products/gc_n64_usb_adapters/index.php?category=Adapters

    The Gamecube controller always felt cheap and plasticky to me. Why do so many people like it?

    finnith on
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  • MugenmidgetMugenmidget Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    finnith wrote: »
    xbox 360 controller is one of the best gamepads you can use for pc in my opinion

    although personally i would love if there was a way to make my gamecube controllers work with my computer
    It's a little pricey, but this guy still assembles and sells Gamecube to USB adapters (along with a lot of other controller adapters, actually):
    http://www.raphnet-tech.com/products/gc_n64_usb_adapters/index.php?category=Adapters

    The Gamecube controller always felt cheap and plasticky to me. Why do so many people like it?
    It's easily one of the most ergonomic for me, that's why I take to it. It was my controller of choice for its console generation, I didn't like using the Dualshock or any of the Xbox controller varieties nearly as much. It was terrible for 6 button fighting games, though, and that D-Pad wasn't too useful in general. Anyways, I can definitely see why someone might want to use it on PC, I'm considering an adapter for myself now!

    Mugenmidget on
    mtap.jpg
  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Something with xinput, like the 360 controllers work much better with ports, since they are usually programed to auto recognize it and even give you appropriate button prompts.

    That said, playing games like AC or racing games, which require holding down the trigger for long periods of time while also using the face buttons, with the 360 controller for windows causes me shooting pains after a few hours.

    Spoit on
    steam_sig.png
  • Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Once an Asshole. Trying to be better. Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    The DUKE!

    duke.gif

    Casually Hardcore on
  • UrielUriel Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I really like the Dualshock desgign!

    But in a pinch my 360 pad is really nice and compatible with my PC so I have to go with that.

    Uriel on
  • MugenmidgetMugenmidget Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Uriel wrote: »
    I really like the Dualshock desgign!

    But in a pinch my 360 pad is really nice and compatible with my PC so I have to go with that.
    For anyone with Dualshocks I highly recommend the Super Joy Box 5:

    http://www.play-asia.com/paOS-13-71-6m-49-en-70-qc4.html

    Works very well, no drivers necessary (in XP at least), and no input lag! Great way to get 4 controllers hooked up to your PC easily. Also good for older arcade sticks.

    Mugenmidget on
    mtap.jpg
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    cj iwakura wrote: »
    elliotw2 wrote: »
    If whatever you're using doesn't need joysticks, I say hunt down one of the Sega USB Saturn controllers from eBay. It has a nice button layout, a really good d-pad, and the buttons are assigned smartly by DirectInput, so that you can usually just start using it on anything. If you do need twin joysticks, I'd say go for the Xbox 360 pad, since it's the easiest to make work on most things.

    edit: picture: joypad.jpg

    Can you lime an image?

    TheSonicRetard on
  • RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    The DUKE!

    duke.gif

    You know what, if you could cut that bad boy in half and have each on powered and remove a big chuck of the middle gunk, it would be perfect. I actually preferred the duke to the recent 360 controllers and frankly have had fewer reasons to get a 360 because of the new beast.

    RoyceSraphim on
  • elliotw2elliotw2 Registered User
    edited August 2010
    cj iwakura wrote: »
    elliotw2 wrote: »
    If whatever you're using doesn't need joysticks, I say hunt down one of the Sega USB Saturn controllers from eBay. It has a nice button layout, a really good d-pad, and the buttons are assigned smartly by DirectInput, so that you can usually just start using it on anything. If you do need twin joysticks, I'd say go for the Xbox 360 pad, since it's the easiest to make work on most things.

    edit: picture: joypad.jpg

    Can you lime an image?

    One thing, if you do order one, make sure it has the Sega logo on it. There are some really cheap knock-offs that break after 10 minutes of use.

    elliotw2 on
    camo_sig2.pngXBL:Elliotw3|PSN:elliotw2
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Supposedly the Razer XBox 360 controller is pretty ace, and they really spent some time on the d-pad. I've never used it, so I don't have first hand experience, but there's that.

    Shadowfire on
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  • FremFrem Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Supposedly the Razer XBox 360 controller is pretty ace, and they really spent some time on the d-pad. I've never used it, so I don't have first hand experience, but there's that.

    Oh, wow. This thing? Kotaku makes it sound really slick. It's also about half of what I'd expect Razer to market it at. Alas, it doesn't appear to actually exist yet. Is there a release date anywhere?

    RZR_XboxControllerView7_BlkBrg.jpg

    Frem on
  • LawndartLawndart Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Hey, remember when someone suggested the wired Xbox 360 controller?

    Take that advice.

    First off, it's an incredibly well designed controller egronomically, unless you have tiny hands or decades of abusing your hands via a Dual Shock have molded your fingers into deformed claws.

    Secondly, as has been pointed out already, pretty much every recent PC game with controller support not only automatically recognizes the 360 controller but changes every in-game prompt to the appropriate button/trigger on the controller. Once you play a game that doesn't do this, you'll realize how nice it is.

    Thirdly, unless you're an obsessive fighting game fan, the d-pad is perfectly serviceable. If you're playing more than fighting games, you'll be using the analog sticks and analog triggers much more than the d-pad, which gives you a reason to buy a controller that actually has analog sticks and analog triggers.

    Lawndart on
  • FremFrem Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Lawndart wrote: »
    If you're playing more than fighting games, you'll be using the analog sticks and analog triggers much more than the d-pad, which gives you a reason to buy a controller that actually has analog sticks and analog triggers.

    No, I won't. I mean, I will use the analog sticks for a few games (such as Burnout, which has gotten too hard to play using the keyboard), but I'll also be using it for a lot of freeware and indie games, which tend to be in 2D and use the D-pad.

    Frem on
  • elliotw2elliotw2 Registered User
    edited August 2010
    Again, Saturn pad is pretty much made for this.

    elliotw2 on
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  • TheStigTheStig Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Yeah I think the consensus is that 360 controller for all things analog and saturn controller for all things d-pad.

    TheStig on
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  • LawndartLawndart Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Frem wrote: »
    Lawndart wrote: »
    If you're playing more than fighting games, you'll be using the analog sticks and analog triggers much more than the d-pad, which gives you a reason to buy a controller that actually has analog sticks and analog triggers.

    No, I won't. I mean, I will use the analog sticks for a few games (such as Burnout, which has gotten too hard to play using the keyboard), but I'll also be using it for a lot of freeware and indie games, which tend to be in 2D and use the D-pad.

    It depends on the indie game, but plenty of them that have controller support also use the analog sticks and not just the d-pad. Audiosurf, for example, supports the 360 controller analog sticks but not the d-pad. Shatter supports the analog sticks. I'm curious as to what games only support a d-pad and not sticks, since controller support for modern PC games, indie or otherwise, seems to be all or nothing at this point.

    Edit: Also just downloaded Hydorah, which supports the 360 controller analog sticks and not the d-pad.

    Again, the d-pad on the 360 controller is perfectly fine.

    Just wanted to chime in that a lot of the "Buy a Saturn pad, the 360 d-pad sucks" advice originates from the fighting game community. Grain of salt, etc.

    Lawndart on
  • FremFrem Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Lawndart wrote: »
    Frem wrote: »
    Lawndart wrote: »
    If you're playing more than fighting games, you'll be using the analog sticks and analog triggers much more than the d-pad, which gives you a reason to buy a controller that actually has analog sticks and analog triggers.

    No, I won't. I mean, I will use the analog sticks for a few games (such as Burnout, which has gotten too hard to play using the keyboard), but I'll also be using it for a lot of freeware and indie games, which tend to be in 2D and use the D-pad.

    It depends on the indie game, but plenty of them that have controller support also use the analog sticks and not just the d-pad. Audiosurf, for example, supports the 360 controller analog sticks but not the d-pad. Shatter supports the analog sticks. I'm curious as to what games only support a d-pad and not sticks, since controller support for modern PC games, indie or otherwise, seems to be all or nothing at this point.

    Again, the d-pad on the 360 controller is perfectly fine.

    Just wanted to chime in that a lot of the "Buy a Saturn pad, the 360 d-pad sucks" advice originates from the fighting game community. Grain of salt, etc.

    I think most things where joy2key is used, the dpad will function better than the analog sticks. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. Aside from this, SEGA's PC Genesis games, Spelunky, Hydorah, La Mulana, and Gun Girl 2 come to mind off the top of my head. I'm sure there's more; I've got a lot of freeware.

    So, yeah. Based on what people here are saying, I'll likely get an Xbox 360 controller. I'd get a Saturn one also if it cheaper. I've read that the xbox dpad becomes better if you throw a washer into it. I may try that if the dpad turns out to be a huge issue. Or wait for the Razer controller. I am cautiously optimistic that it will be released soon.

    Frem on
  • elliotw2elliotw2 Registered User
    edited August 2010
    Frem wrote: »
    Lawndart wrote: »
    Frem wrote: »
    Lawndart wrote: »
    If you're playing more than fighting games, you'll be using the analog sticks and analog triggers much more than the d-pad, which gives you a reason to buy a controller that actually has analog sticks and analog triggers.

    No, I won't. I mean, I will use the analog sticks for a few games (such as Burnout, which has gotten too hard to play using the keyboard), but I'll also be using it for a lot of freeware and indie games, which tend to be in 2D and use the D-pad.

    It depends on the indie game, but plenty of them that have controller support also use the analog sticks and not just the d-pad. Audiosurf, for example, supports the 360 controller analog sticks but not the d-pad. Shatter supports the analog sticks. I'm curious as to what games only support a d-pad and not sticks, since controller support for modern PC games, indie or otherwise, seems to be all or nothing at this point.

    Again, the d-pad on the 360 controller is perfectly fine.

    Just wanted to chime in that a lot of the "Buy a Saturn pad, the 360 d-pad sucks" advice originates from the fighting game community. Grain of salt, etc.

    I think most things where joy2key is used, the dpad will function better than the analog sticks. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. Aside from this, SEGA's PC Genesis games, Spelunky, Hydorah, La Mulana, and Gun Girl 2 come to mind off the top of my head. I'm sure there's more; I've got a lot of freeware.

    So, yeah. Based on what people here are saying, I'll likely get an Xbox 360 controller. I'd get a Saturn one also if it cheaper. I've read that the xbox dpad becomes better if you throw a washer into it. I may try that if the dpad turns out to be a huge issue. Or wait for the Razer controller. I am cautiously optimistic that it will be released soon.

    The Saturn ones go for about $20 on eBay, with a little more for shipping

    elliotw2 on
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  • ArrathArrath Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    That Razer pad does look sexy as all hell, if it would just come out already. :x

    Otherwise, the wired 360 controller really is the way to go. I've never had any problems with the dpad.

    Arrath on
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  • Two Headed BoyTwo Headed Boy Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I use a wireless 360 controller for some PC games. I really love the 360 controller in general, but I didn't want to have to use a wired one. Fortunately, you can buy a wireless controller/dongle pack that's plug-and-play ready with Windows 7.

    Two Headed Boy on
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  • BTPBTP Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Uh, is it alright if I suggest an alternative?

    Wii Classic Controller to PC USB Adapter
    http://www.play-asia.com/paOS-13-71-6m-49-en-70-3nu3.html

    Allows you to connect two Classic Controller (original and Pro) to this adapter which goes into a single USB port.

    What's not advertised is that this adapter also happens to work with MadCatz's Tatsunoko vs. Capcom fight stick. And not just on the PC, but on the PS3 as well.

    NeoGAF does have some info from owners of this adapter. The TvC/PS3 stuff is at the end.
    http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=384764

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  • DisDis Registered User
    edited August 2010
    *is a happy man with his Wired 360 controller.

    Nothing beats the game auto detecting it and mapping the controls so I don't have to do it manually.

    Dis on
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  • Big ClassyBig Classy Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    The Duke controller for the oXbox was probably my most favourite. I liked the Saturns controller before that, one thing I'll always remember about that controller; absolutely no cramps whatsoever. I would play for hours, 8-9 hour sessions someetimes and it wouldn't bother me one bit.

    Big Classy on
  • GlalGlal Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    The 360 controller is easily my favourite. D-pad is atrocious though.

    Glal on
  • LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I really like this one:
    saturnk.jpg


    The 360 pad it pretty great but I wish it supported wired play on the PC. The Dpad is horrible too.

    The Gamecube pad is really excellent though. Only complaints were that for some games the c-stick wasn't much use, but for most it was fine. The Z button was a little hard to press too.

    Wavebird was even better at the time.

    LewieP on
  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    i'm actually glad that razer controller isn't out yet, i would have convinced myself to buy one when i have a perfectly fine new controller already (although all my battery packs are dying..)

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  • AlegisAlegis Impeckable Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I use a wired X360 controller myself for my Steam games. Definitely recommended.

    Widely supported and I like to hold it.

    Alegis on
  • GlalGlal Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    LewieP wrote: »
    The 360 pad it pretty great but I wish it supported wired play on the PC.
    I'm pretty sure it does. What do you mean by wired play?

    Glal on
  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    If you already have a 360 I would recommend the wireless 360 pad for windows. It comes with a wireless receiver that will also work with your wireless headset (if you have one), and (if you are like me and already had 4 360 controllers) you can sell/trade one of your old ones to make back a little bit of the money. I think mine cost $45, and it works great.

    jclast on
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  • LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Glal wrote: »
    LewieP wrote: »
    The 360 pad it pretty great but I wish it supported wired play on the PC.
    I'm pretty sure it does. What do you mean by wired play?

    If you have a wireless pad, you can't just plug in a standard USB cable and play.

    The play and charge kits just supply power, or at least, you need a dongle to play with they.

    That means constantly swapping between the pad being paired with the PC and the 360, so it's a hassle each time you want to switch, I ended up just getting a second, wired, pad.

    Edit: for example, the PS3 pad. It's not as nice a pad, and it doesn't have anywhere near as good support, but it just uses a microUSB.

    LewieP on
  • TurboGuardTurboGuard Registered User
    edited August 2010
    I've never really understood the rabid fanboyish love for the 360 controller.
    The shape is on par with other controllers with regards to comfort, and the buttons are fine.

    However, the analog sticks are way too loose, and the way they are concave doesn't work as well as convex style sticks (which basically every other gamepad in the world uses, there is a logical reason for this as well).
    I won't get into the atrocious D-pad, as even the people who love the 360 controller usually hate it too.

    My favorite for this gen is probably the Dualshock 3 with the Real Triggers attached...however, I feel that Sony's D-pad is almost on par with Microsoft's.
    Nintendo's classic controller is the king of the D-pad this gen.

    TurboGuard on
  • chasmchasm Ill-tempered Texan Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Convex sticks are shitty, and the Dualshock has been an ergonomic nightmare since its introduction.

    chasm on
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  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I get most of what you're saying, but concave sticks are way better than convex ones. My thumbs slip off the PS3 pad, but sit just right on the 360 pad. Also, I like the trigger/bumper layout better than on other controllers. And it certainly helps that the 360 pad has become the de facto standard for PC gamepads.

    jclast on
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  • RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    The DUKE!

    duke.gif

    You know what, if you could cut that bad boy in half and have each on powered and remove a big chuck of the middle gunk, it would be perfect..

    They already did that, it didn't sell too well, unfortunately

    Rent on
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