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Valve have released some interesting statistics about controller use

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Valve recently put up a blog post to talk about controller use on PC and some of their statistics are a little surprising.

While a lot of the time our trusty mouse and keyboard combination remains king, controllers (gamepads—whatever) are still widely used and they can provide a better experience in certain genres.

Going by Valve's data, since 2015 over 30 million people have registered a controller with over 15 million registering more than one. 

It doesn't surprise me at all the the Xbox 360 controller is the most widely used. It's actually a pretty comfortable controller to use, but more than that it works great on PC too. There were versions marketed specifically for the PC for years as well and since the Xbox 360 was pretty popular, it shouldn't be a shock people stuck with it. I'm actually surprised the Steam Controller seems to be used so little comparatively as it's been out for a few years now.

The Switch Pro is probably the biggest surprise, hitting nearly half a million already after only around a year and a half.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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TheSyldat 27 September 2018 at 3:21 pm UTC
Patola
ArehandoroI have a Steam Controller and Xbox 360 ones from when I owned the console back in the day. I do believe the Steam Controller is better, especially for its programmable features, but at the same time it's its biggest flaw. Most of the times I just want it to work out of the box, not dedicating time to test what's the best way of controlling a game, and in that the xbox controller excels.

Maybe, if I was a competitive gamer, my experience would be different and I would re-map buttons constantly seeking those extra milisec that would give me an advantage.

I am a southpaw and not only I use my mouse with the left hand, the left button on the mouse seems so much more intuitive than the right button for "main" functions, and to me the steam controller looks so much like a mouse, that I can't stand the steam default of using the right button as the mouse 1 button. I switch it everytime, and steam is bugged and sometimes switches it back for no reason. Also, I strongly disagree with most default configurations for joysticks, so all together, I would remap everything anyway -- specially for complex games full of shortcuts like X: Rebirth, Total Wars and a couple RPGs.

But you're right, it is a huge amount of work. Sometimes it takes me 2 hours just to iterate back and forth from the game to sc-controller and get the configuration just right. It's kinda fun, but it's too long.
On the the other hand when developers try their hand at making a default mapping they often times show just how much they are used to use other controllers and didn't take the time to use the steam controller in full.
Seriously the steam controller offers you so many options that often times its biggest draw back is how much it looks like a regular controller. Lots of people are trying to fit a regular control scheme into it rather than trying to take advantage of its features. Its somewhat dismaying at times...
Dunc 27 September 2018 at 4:02 pm UTC
GuestAs for rumble on the Steam Controller: I'm no programmer, but if anyone can implement the concept of heterodyning and difference ("beat" ) waves between the two haptic pads (one of the few advantages of having two pads, imo) ... I think that could go a long way in becoming a valid substitute for rumble motors.
Sounds reasonable. My problem is that rumble emulation just doesn't work at all here. But my impression of the haptic drivers is that they could probably get pretty close to “real” rumble if used properly.

Since we're all nitpicking now, yes, the face buttons are a little small (they could probably stand a slight increase in size without altering the placement; they feel a bit too far apart as they are), although I don't find them too loose. On the other hand, the tactile switches on the trackpads and the shoulder buttons are too stiff and harsh. I kind of understand why they're so stiff on the trackpads - you don't want to press them by accident as you whizz your virtual trackball around - but surely they could have found nicer, quieter, ones than that? And overall, the whole thing's maybe just a tiny shade too big. But that's subjective; there are people here using the XBox Duke. That thing's gigantic.
TheSyldat 27 September 2018 at 4:19 pm UTC
DuncAnd overall, the whole thing's maybe just a tiny shade too big. But that's subjective; there are people here using the XBox Duke. That thing's gigantic.
I thought so when I received my first one two years ago but now I actually end up in various case scenarios with some few games where I wish for it be a bit more spacious atually. (My thumbs are insanely long almost have longer thumbs than your average pianist ... therefore my thumbs never trully are in a resting postion and when I play long sessions of Geometry Wars 3 I end up feeling it more than it should really )

Geometry Wars 3 has a setting where both touchpads are considered the joysticks, so firing and moving are done through swipping on the touch pads . And after three hours of play my thumbs are crying for help it shouldn't be the case .


Last edited by TheSyldat on 27 September 2018 at 4:21 pm UTC
appetrosyan 28 September 2018 at 10:02 am UTC
Steam controller is a good pre alpha for the actual thing.

I would have replaced the right button grid with a thumbstick, moved those buttons to the underside of the controller (where your fingers are 90% of the time).

It’s actually impressive, it’s a controller where I’ve managed to do as well as with a keyboard and mouse, as long as I don’t need to swap out weapons.

Another issue I have is that it doesn’t work as well on Linux as it does on Windows: it re-triggers when charging from the PC, it doesn’t work with games if you forgot to use big picture mode, and it can only be used with non-steam games if you install a program from a developer that won’t be producing any more drivers.

I like, but it’s exceptionally tough to recommend.
Cestarian 28 September 2018 at 1:44 pm UTC
Well, the thing is, I think there's a huge amount of controllers that are in use that are read as X360 controllers but are in fact not X360 controllers, like my Logitech Rumblepad, it's shaped like a ps2 controller, but instead of PS2 labels it has xbox labels on the buttons, and on the underside of it it has a "logitech controller" mode and "x360 controller" mode, the latter of which gives it a lot better compatibility since logitechs controller drivers are shit and not as widely supported as XINPUT.
tuubi 28 September 2018 at 2:02 pm UTC
CestarianWell, the thing is, I think there's a huge amount of controllers that are in use that are read as X360 controllers but are in fact not X360 controllers, like my Logitech Rumblepad, it's shaped like a ps2 controller, but instead of PS2 labels it has xbox labels on the buttons, and on the underside of it it has a "logitech controller" mode and "x360 controller" mode, the latter of which gives it a lot better compatibility since logitechs controller drivers are shit and not as widely supported as XINPUT.
Are you sure? My old Logitech F310 has the D/X switch, but the system correctly recognizes it as a Logitech regardless of the mode. Or it did before the controller got permanently stuck in xinput. lsusb shows "046d:c21d Logitech, Inc. F310 Gamepad [XInput Mode]". There are probably some cheap clones that do present false data, but it's hard so say how much that skews the totals.
TheSyldat 28 September 2018 at 2:15 pm UTC
appetrosyanSteam controller is a good pre alpha for the actual thing.

I would have replaced the right button grid with a thumbstick, moved those buttons to the underside of the controller (where your fingers are 90% of the time).

It’s actually impressive, it’s a controller where I’ve managed to do as well as with a keyboard and mouse, as long as I don’t need to swap out weapons.

Another issue I have is that it doesn’t work as well on Linux as it does on Windows: it re-triggers when charging from the PC, it doesn’t work with games if you forgot to use big picture mode, and it can only be used with non-steam games if you install a program from a developer that won’t be producing any more drivers.

I like, but it’s exceptionally tough to recommend.
Actually what I would change personnaly is putting three grip buttons on each side . But the face buttons no I would keep them.
On the other hand I would make the triggers have a longer travel it's a bit too short. But I would keep the end press (exceptionnaly great to have an end point press like on the gamecube controller )

But yeah somebody needs to make an openhardware and opendriver version of it .
cprn 28 September 2018 at 4:07 pm UTC
tonRWell, it have significant flaw here. Some cheap non-brand (sometimes faked) controller are emulating/using/tricking as Xbox 360 drivers to work on Windows instead "others". [...]

So what? How's that changing anything? Neither developers nor Steam should care if the controller is fake or not, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck and you need to code for the duck. The more controllers behave in a same way the better. I would personally prefer it was 27 millions of Steam Controllers, obviously, because we'd get better in-game support... but in general the less widely adopted standards the better and 4 ain't bad. Could be better but ain't bad.
Dunc 28 September 2018 at 5:10 pm UTC
appetrosyanI would have replaced the right button grid with a thumbstick, moved those buttons to the underside of the controller (where your fingers are 90% of the time).
Hmm. Not sure about that. The grips are a nice innovation, but I don't actually enjoy using them except as a “modifier” (like crouch or sprint in third-person games).

QuoteAnother issue I have is that it doesn’t work as well on Linux as it does on Windows: it re-triggers when charging from the PC, it doesn’t work with games if you forgot to use big picture mode, and it can only be used with non-steam games if you install a program from a developer that won’t be producing any more drivers.
It works fine for me outside Big Picture Mode. And does it charge from the PC? I've never tried that. In fact, one complaint I'd have is that it doesn't play nice with my rechargeable batteries. It used to be okay, but since the Bluetooth update it won't recognise fully-charged ones as such and just shuts off. I have to use alkaline batteries now. Mind you, the life seems to be excellent - still on my first set - but... grr.
TheSyldat 30 September 2018 at 1:08 pm UTC
DuncI have to use alkaline batteries now. Mind you, the life seems to be excellent - still on my first set - but... grr.
Two years of daily use (and fairly intensive daily use ) I changed batteries every trimester or so.
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