How to Decide on the Number of Axes in Desktop Controllers

When shopping for desktop controllers, one of the most important decisions you will have to make is the number of axes. Joysticks are available in a range number of axes from single-axis joysticks to 6-axis joysticks and more. It is up to you to pick the device that offers the flexibility you need. As you may already know, the number of axes required on a joystick will depend on the specific application you need the device for as well as the level of control needed. The good thing is there are a number of factors you can consider when deciding on the number of axes on a joystick.

Movement requirements

The first thing you must do is think about what you need the joystick for. This is the only way you will be able to accurately determine the number of axes you will require in desktop controllers. Start by considering the movement requirements of the device you wish to control. Does it require movement in one dimension or multiple dimensions? If movement is only in one direction, a 1 axis joystick will be enough. However, if you need full control to move the device in multiple directions, you will need a joystick that has three-axis or more.


If you want to move objects in a single direction, the most precise joystick will be a one-axis joystick. However, if precision is needed controlling devices in multiple dimensions such as aircraft, drones, or robotic, you will need a joystick with multiple axes. The joystick you select should be responsive and not too sensitive. You must account for accidental touches.


It goes without saying that joysticks that have multiple axes cost more to manufacture than single-axis joysticks. With that in mind, if you are on a tight budget, you don’t want to spend too much on a device you will never need. Consider the budget available for the desktop controller and determine if the added functionality of multiple axes is necessary for the application. Always steer clear of cheap joysticks.


Last but not least, you have to think about compatibility. It makes no sense in going for a 3-axis joystick whereas the device you want to control can only be moved in a single axis. It is important to consider the compatibility of the joystick with the device being controlled. Some devices may require a specific number of axes to function properly.

As you can see, the number of axes required on a desktop controller will depend on the specific application and the level of control needed to operate it. You should carefully consider the requirements of the device being controlled and the user’s ability to control the joystick before deciding on the number of axes.

Desktop Controllers