Things to consider when buying a computer gaming controller
Computer gaming has had a very rich history which dates back to the Atari days in the 70’s. And while the animating sprites and shapes on screen have always been the center of attention, you can’t help but acknowledge two focal points in gaming through the years – the computer gaming platorm and the computer gaming controller. While one encases the chipset, power and graphics that are projected onto our screens, the handiwork and function of the gaming controller is what brings about the gaming experience.
In the past decades of gaming, it was not that difficult to look for a gaming controller that best suited the platform because they were connected to the console by cable. But as years went by and technology permitted some pretty amazing innovations, the average gamer had slowly found themselves facing a phletora of gaming controller options to choose from. So many controllers, so little time!
Many of us have found ourselves in a situation where we need to buy a controller for gaming due damage on the stock versions that come with our console, or we just feel like having a pad or stick that was uniquely ours and defined our gaming experience. What do we consider when buying a new gaming controller (whether we are getting brand new or used)? Here are some of those things:
What platform do we intend to use it for?
Off the bat, this is one of the more important questions. It was once commonplace for a gamer to have console-specific controllers, which is fine especially if you just do all your gaming on a single platform.
Nowadays, however, games have now gone multi-platform, and the online gamerverse has also branched out to each platform. Of course, getting one for each (like one for the Xbox One, one for the PS4, one for the PC) ensures that we have everything covered, but what about those who wish to avoid the excess clutter, or live (play) in a smaller environment?
Thankfully there have been companies that specialize in creating multi-platform PCB’s (printed circuit board), which, coupled with 50% electrical knowledge and 50% bravery, will allow you to use one controller for all the consoles that you own. These may come out more expensive overall, but it sure helps in being flexible to each platform you own.
So does it work?
This is another big question (and pretty much a big deal as well) – it always pays to make sure that your gaming controller work right to spec.
Does your controller light up when it’s switched on / plugged in? Do you see indicators that it is switched on, and in cases of multiple-player games, does it tell you which player you control?
Do the face and shoulder buttons work in-game? Does the directional pad feel precise? Do your analog stick move in all 9 directions (includes pressing down on the analog stick).
Does the controller vibrate while being used? Is there an option to change the button configurations or disable some of then?
Is the controller wireless or wired? If it is wired, how long is the cable? If it is wireless, how far does the signal reach?
Once these functions work properly on your controller and console, we finally look for one last thing:
Does the design of your controller entice you?
As much as we should value function over form, it never hurt the honest Joe Gamer to have a little something on their controller to add its overall achieve and look.
For this, think about the base first – are you happy with the color? Do you want it transparent or opaque?
Then, choose a finish on your buttons – do you want them sticking out or engraved deep? What kind of material was used for the controller base?
Maybe finally, we can look at the add-ons we can include – decals, stickers, additional tone of paint.
A little color and art didn’t hurt any gamer! (let’s leave that hurt for what happens in-game, shall we?)
With these in mind, I have no doubt that you will be receiving the best gaming controller to fulfill your gaming experiences from now on. If you had any ideas or suggestions related to this topic, feel free to drop me a line!
Categorised in: Controller Reviews