Windows 7 and Gamepads

2012-06-22-win7joystick-005

PC gaming is really well known for gaming with the keyboard and mouse. It’s considered as the superior gaming control scheme because of how much precision it can do compared to game consoles. But I suppose some of us are a little stubborn with gamepads. Here’s my take recently regarding PC gaming and gamepads.

 

A month ago, my brother sent me a laptop. Of course, it’s natural for me to use it for gaming especially when work is a little down. Because of this, I thought of setting up my PC gamepad controllers. For starters, I’ve been a PC gamer first than a console gamer. So there was a big portion of my life that I get more gaming mileage on desktops. I remember playing classics like LucasArts’ Tie-Fighter, Westwood Studios’ Legend of Kyrandia, Sierra’s Kings Quest series or even Borderbound’s Prince of Persia.

A few years back  I work on computers all day long, then I play games all night long, all on the PC. Naturally, there was a point that I get hand/wrist pains. Went to the doctor to get myself checked up and told me that there was a possibility of carpal tunnel syndrome. So, to prevent it, I had to go on a regular physical therapy, meds and painkillers and all that.

This led me to consider gaming with consoles and using gamepads on the PC. A lot of people presume you just use gamepads just for game emulators and a few games. But with a little time and effort, a lot of games can actually use this.

A lot of gamepads these days especially the generic ones only have drivers, but no configuration system. This is common, the fact that most games have a control configuration option of their own. So, as long as the controller works, it’s fine. But the problem with PC games is that, a the majority of don’t support gamepads. Can you imagine playing StarCraft II using a gamepad?

Pinnacle Game Profiler

2012-06-22-win7joystick-001

I’ve had this gamepad for a while now called the Logitech Rumblepad 2. It looks like a Playstation 2 gamepad, literally. The only difference is that it has a secondary control system when you press a certain button. This only works of you install the actual drivers, not the generic drivers. My only problem with game gamepad is that the drivers themselves don’t emulate mouse control. So, this led me to downloading a program called Pinnacle Game Profiler. You can try this software for a month after which you have to pay for it to use it on a regular basis. This will give you enough time to play around with the controls for each game. What I like about this one is that it can emulate WASD keyboard and mouse controls and map them to the analog sticks. This gives me great flexibility when playing first person or third person games. At the moment, I use it on a regular basis on Minecraft.

There are some games that are really designed for mouse control like Diablo III. But it’s was to configure the function of the mouse buttons and game shortcuts on the gamepad. Although with all the commands, at some point you have to use they keyboard on some instances, but at least you can find a good configuration at a point where keyboards are lesser when possible. Currently, I use this for Torchlight.

Xbox360 Controller Emulator

2012-06-22-win7joystick-002

One particular game that I noticed had a little bug. The game is Dungeon Defenders, which I really enjoyed playing on the PS3.  The problem is the PC version only recognizes a Microsoft Xbox360 gamepad. So, the Pinnacle Game Profiler didn’t work and the game messes up the Rumblepad. The analog stick don’t work well as you expect, the left analog stick some is reversed and some of the buttons are also reversed if you compare the Xbox360 controls over the Rumblepads button setup. You can correct a lot of the controls using the game’s configuration screen though, but it can be a hassle. A friend of mine bought an Xbox360 controller to get through the issue. I on the other hand looked  for other options.

I was able to download this driver, that emulates the Xbox360 gamepad. The process is simple though. The program itself doesn’t run while playing the game. You only have to put the program on the same directory as the game. The emulator only makes a small driver file that you’ll put in the game directory and it kind of informs the game that it’s using an Xbox360 controller instead of the Rumblepad while using the correct move controls and buttons. You can delete the program if you want to, and the game will still work fine.

At the moment I only use this for Dungeon Defenders exclusively.

MotioninJoy

2012-06-22-win7joystick-003

This one is designed to make the Playstation 3 controller work on the PC. The first drivers required you to have a wired connection, but recently, the wireless option is now a possibility. The initial setup required it to be wired, but once everything is installed and running, it can run without the cable. We console gamers are so spoiled with being wireless these days.

Once you hook up the basic controller, it will install some basic drivers, but it won’t function much. You only have to download drivers called MotioninJoy. What fascinates me with this is that it can emulate Playstation controllers which includes the PS1, PS2 and the PS3. I suppose this is great especially PS1 and PS2 emulators and the PS3 works for some of the current games these days. What surprised me though is there is an option to emulate the Xbox360 controller which is I suppose works almost the same as the Xbox360 emulator.

2012-06-22-win7joystick-004

So far I installed the drivers using MotioninJoy and it’s working great so far, but it seems to have some conflict with my Logitech especially with Dungeon Defenders. Possibly because it’s causing some problems with the Xbox360 emulator that I originally used.

Conclusion

This configuration with gamepads is not used for competition, it’s an alternative if you want to relax your hands for a while from using the computer. The keyboard and mouse is still the best configuration for the PC, but for me it’s more relaxing to play with a gamepad when I can. You won’t win awards when playing StarCraft II, but heck, at least I played it the way I wanted to.

Advertisements
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: