While a keyboard and mouse is still preferred for most PC users, a joystick is the best option when enjoying action-adventure video games or when controlling equipment for extended periods. That is why desktop controllers have become quite popular in both gaming and industrial applications. But which controller should you buy? If this is the question you have been asking, four decisive factors will help pick the best controller for your needs.
The first thing you must do is make sure the desktop controllers you are considering can connect and interface with your platform. While there are many plug-and-play controllers out there, not all of them will work with your system. For example, if you are using Linux as your primary operating system, you need to make sure that the joystick you are targeting is compatible with your operating system. Most manufacturers build controllers for Windows and Mac operating systems. If third-party software will have to be installed, make sure the software is easy to access and will not cost you a fortune to acquire it.
Although the features and functions of most PC controllers have remained somewhat unchanged, how these devices connect to respective platforms keeps on changing. Traditionally, connections were only done using a cable. Today, manufacturers are focusing more on wireless controllers. Wireless controllers are less cumbersome and more discreet.
All in all, before you go for a wireless controller, start by looking at the range and battery. Range refers to how close you have to be to your PC for the controller to work smoothly. The typical range is between 2 and 3 meters. There are, however, some controllers with a range of up to 10 meters. As for the battery, you will be better suited with controllers that use rechargeable lithium batteries. Make sure the battery doesn’t drain too fast else your work will be interrupted.
Can the controller do all the things you want it to? This question is answered by the features a controller has. Take a look at the number of buttons on the controller and know what they do. The more functions a joystick has the better. Additional features to look for include a vibration feature. Vibrations make gaming more engaging. In the workplace, vibrations can alert you when there is an error. For gaming, a controller with an audio jack will be great, especially for multiplayer games.
Last but not least, you need to ensure that the controller is comfortable for you. The PC controller must not be too heavy as that will make you get tired fast. The responsiveness, size and location of buttons on a controller also impact user-friendliness.
The brand of a desktop controller must be considered before making a purchase. Big manufacturers guarantee their products are of the best quality. Avoid buying from unrecognized brands.