How to Set Up and Game With an iOS Controller on Your iPhone or iPadThe iPad and iPhone have become increasingly capable gaming devices, but while many games are built with the iOS touch screen interface in mind, some games simply don’t play well with touch screen controls. This is especially true of games that weren’t necessarily built for the touch screen era, such as classic game remakes, console ports, and more “traditional” game types like first person shooters and open-world action games. To play many of these types of games with the best possible experience, you’ll want to use a compatible iOS controller or gamepad. Here’s how to get started and take your iOS gaming to the next level.We’ll first note that this article discusses official iOS controllers and gamepads only. Several solutions exist for using unofficial hardware, such as standard Xbox and Playstation controllers, with jailbroken iOS devices, but we’ll be focusing on the officially supported solutions going forward, as jailbreaks are a moving target and aren’t available for all iOS devices and software versions.
A gamepad, game controller, joypad, or video game controller is a peripheral device designed to be connected to a computer or console gaming system. It has multiple buttons and may have one or two mini joysticks. A gamepad is used for playing video games of many types, including sports, first-person shooters, role-playing, and others. The picture shows an example of the Xbox 360 controller for Windows and a popular gamepad for the computer and consoles.Gamepads is the primary peripheral device used on console gaming systems like the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo WII. Some portable gaming systems have a gamepad built into the gaming device itself, like the Sony PSP. However, some gamepads are also made to work with a computer, typically featuring a USB connection.The first gamepad was introduced in 1985, first by Nintendo, then by Sega, for use with their video gaming systems. Since then, many forms of joypads have been made and sold, but all still have a similar design.
Xbox, PlayStation, or Steam Controller: Which is best for PC gamers?During the last decade, the Xbox 360 controller became the de facto controller for more or less any third-person action game or racing title on the PC, especially ones that were adapted from a console game. Lately, however, PC gamers have far more options. In addition to the aforementioned Xbox 360 controller and the updated Xbox One controller, there’s the PlayStation 4’s Bluetooth-powered DualShock 4. Valve has even thrown its hat into the ring with an innovative controller of its own, dubbed the Steam Controller.But which one should you choose? All things being equal, Xbox controllers tend to be plug-and-play, so they remain the best option for those who want to avoid headaches. The Steam Controller’s extensive customization options and the DualShock 4’s ergonomics, however, offer plenty to recommend. Let’s break it down.MAKING THE CONNECTIONThe Xbox 360 controller comes in an inexpensive wired model, but the wireless version with its USB adapter is the clear favorite among players. Its dongle is discontinued, unfortunately, but you can find it for re-sell online. It can connect up to four controllers at once.The 2016 version of the Xbox One controller, on the other hand, includes both the standard “Xbox Wireless” connection (which requires the Microsoft Xbox Wireless dongle) and a Bluetooth radio. That makes it handy for laptops and mobile devices. At the moment, the Bluetooth-enhanced version of the controller only allows one controller to be connected at a time.Note that the dongles for the 360 and the One are not cross-compatible. So you need the 360 version for 360 controllers, and the One version for One controllers.The Steam controller is similar, and indeed probably inspired, by the Xbox 360 wireless pad in that a single USB dongle can be connected to up to four pads. The dongle comes with the controller.The DualShock 4 uses Bluetooth, so it requires either a built-in Bluetooth radio — which is included in most laptops — or a dedicated adapter, which is sold separately and supports multiple devices. The advantage is that the DualShock 4 can connect to Sony-branded mobile devices, and others with some extra work. You can connect multiple controllers, but you may have mixed results. It seems the controllers can often overwhelm the Bluetooth connection, causing lag or drop-outs. Expect to use two reliably, at most.Ease of setupBecause they’re made and supported by Microsoft, the Xbox controllers are basically plug-and-play. Once connected to your computer and powered on, they become the default controller for any game that uses the appropriate APIs. Though Windows 7 and earlier releases also require a driver and manager program, Windows 8 and 10 feature built-in drivers.The Steam Controller can also work in a plug-and-play capacity, but customizing any of the controls or the more sensitive touch inputs requires Steam. Anyone who’s likely to buy the Steam Controller probably already has it installed. Most games with Xbox controls will work with it out of the box, too, but any fine tuning will require use of the Steam Big Picture Mode (see below).The DualShock 4 is the less user-friendly option. In addition to requiring a Bluetooth connection, the controller has no official drivers for Windows. Setting up a DualShock 4 isn’t exactly difficult, however, thanks to the work of a few aftermarket developers. DS4Windows includes both a driver package and a manager app, for instance, and allows users to customize control layouts and set game profiles.
How to connect a PlayStation 3 controller to your PCSTEP 1: UPDATE DRIVERS AND .NET FRAMEWORKConnect your PlayStation 3 controller to your PC via USB, and Windows should begin installing an initial set of drivers.Check your currently installed drivers by opening Command Prompt and typing in “driverquery,” and hitting Enter.Make sure you’ve got the official Xbox 360 PC driver, .NET Framework 4.0, and Visual C++ (2010 or later should work). If you’re running Windows 10, the Xbox driver should install automatically, but you may need to download it manually if you’re running an older operating system.STEP 2: DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL SCP DRIVER PACKAGEHead to the official SCP Toolkit download thread and click the green link to download the latest stable release. If you’re using an older version of Windows, you will need a tool like 7-Zip to extract the files; Windows 10 has a native decompression tool.Extract and launch the executable file — “ScToolkit_Setup.exe” — as an administrator to install the software.Once installed, you’ll be prompted to open the program, which will actually install additional drivers (it sounds more complicated than it is). If you don’t see this prompt, search for “Scp” and select ScpToolkit Driver Installer.Go ahead and run the installer, and a new window will open. Be sure all the boxes are checked, including Force driver installation.From the Choose DualShock 3 drop-down menu, find and select your DualShock 3 controller. If you also plan to use either a DualShock 4 or a Bluetooth dongle to enable wireless play, select those as well.Click Install. All the necessary files will install and be automatically configured. Once complete, your DualShock 3 will now be plug-and-play, meaning you can plug it in at any time and it should work automatically.Something to keep in mind: Since you’re technically using the Xbox 360 drivers to interact with the PS3 controller, games will likely display an Xbox control scheme. So when a game wants you to “press X,” you’ll want to hit the Circle button instead.STEP 3: CREATING A PROFILEAt this point, your DualShock 3 is ready to go. However, if you’re so inclined, you can fine-tune your controller through various applications included with the ScpToolkit.1.With the Profile manager, you can create custom button mappings that you can then swap between on the fly. You can also create mapping for your keyboard and mouse as well.2.The Settings Manager will even allow you to fine-tune your thumbstick sensitivity, rumble, controller latency, and LED display, among a lot of other advanced settings.TROUBLESHOOTING FOR WINDOWS 10Windows 10 can be picky with controllers. Microsoft’s operating system is, unsurprisingly, designed to work with Xbox One accessories and the Xbox Live ecosystem: It isn’t naturally suited for a Sony device, especially an outdated one. While the ScpToolkit circumvents most of the issues users may face when using the DualShock 3 on their PC, there may be errors during the installation process. Thankfully, there is a workaround to enable driver installation, should the process not go smoothly. It may be wise, however, to back up important files before proceeding, even if the procedure isn’t necessarily dangerous. You will be changing Windows startup settings, after all.Begin by pressing the Start button, or the Windows key.Go to Settings.Click on Update and security.Select Recovery from the list on the left.Click Advanced restart.Now wait. Your system will restart and boot in a mode that will allow you to alter your firmware and startup settings, thus allowing you to bypass the driver signature enforcement.Select Troubleshoot from the resulting list of options.Click Advanced settings, then Startup settings. This will initiate another restart.After your system boots again, you will have another set of options to choose from. Find Disable driver signature enforcement, then press the F7 Key to reboot your PC one last time.When your PC finishes rebooting, follow the procedures outlined above to reinstall and configure ScpToolkit.
9 best wired & wireless gamepads for PC that you need to knowInitially mysterious device, gamepads have later become the continuation of our hands on the way to a console and not a distinct gadget. But firstly personal computer and video game console were walking their separate ways that did not even overlap. The long-awaited meeting has recently taken place. Games for various consoles and personal computer become the same. Of course, the format is different but the game itself is the same.This is the moment the Golden Age of gamepads starts with. And don't call me, like, a boy. I know that they were attached to the computer long ago but it is now the dawn of this industry. Today a miracle is going to happen right in front of your eyes. Or it isn't.We'll hover over today's market, consider the leaders' positions, learn how to choose the right gamepad and, without any doubts, do our bit in the long discussion: Does a computer need it?Traditionally, let's firstly understand how the exposed is organized, go over its basic characteristics. In the beginning, we highlight that a gamepad by definition differs from other computer accessories and iron.While any other device can be designed for office, work, games, gamepad is designed only for gaming. It is impossible to make a poor shot and buy a model unsuitable for games. You can choose a good or bad, expensive or cheap gamepad. Let’s get started.IMPORTANT FEATURES OF GAMEPADSCross-platform capability is quite a considerable aspect. While buying a gamepad for good money one expects it to function with any platform. It is not as simple as that. Firstly, even the operation system will not always suit. It is so, as sad as it sounds, but one will have to knock down their beloved old Windows and install its up-to-date version, at least the 7th one.Problems may occur with drivers installation. All the best to Linux-lovers, but these guys got used to misfortune of life and will find a solution somewehere on the Web.And finally, slot type. Of course, typical slot for PC is USB. But having bought an expensive gamepad, we nurture the hope that it will function with our console and even kettle. This is what is called cross-platform capability – the capability to connect with any device, preferably on the fly.Wire or wireless – it is very difficult to give recommendations concerning this point, so I'm going to explain the difference to you and let you choose on your own.The major positive points while using a wire unit is that gamepad is as light as possible and there are no limits of the play time. If you buy a wireless version, then you can play in any position and everywhere at home (what is essential is that the signal should be accessible). And if you are punished in a bicker, you always can clear your name by saying that it is the battery that has run down. This happens not fairly unfrequently.Number of buttons – don't feast your eyes on models with buttons all the way around. How would you carry them in your hands? But minimalism is of no use as well. The number of buttons of choice is 10. If not all of them are needed, a pair of those remaining won’t bother you and when you need more, then there is a native-mode keyboard. Odd buttons at hand in tensioned arcade fights are of no use.Analog sticks are those placed a bit lower than the buttons and are rotated with fingers. Groovy doodah. It is silly to buy a gamepad without them. I'd say it in other words but kids might be reading us. If you are going to play various simulators, full-immersion will occur only by using analog sticks. Generally, this kind of upgrade is missing only buy the cheapest. Don't have an itching palm, and if you don't have enough money – save it and buy a normal model later on.Feedback – vibroback or simply punishment. It was you to lay open, and it is Sub-Zero to be knocked down. That’s unfair! Take that. You have crashed into a lamp post. Take that! You’ve been wounded in a shooter? Take that! The function allows to feel to the fullest what’s happening at the most accessible level of our time. Did it give an electric shock – it would be worth its weight in gold.Establishment – to choose purely your gamepad, you must take it in your hands. It is to be very comfortable. Some have big palms, others – small palms. Some are butterfingered, others are not so butterfingered. Only having felt that it is comfortable, pleasant, doesn’t slip out, crack and creak, you can say for sure: this one is suitable.
How to Choose the Best PC Gamepad For YouWhen selecting the perfect PC Gamepad for you, what's most important is to find out what exactly your gaming needs are. If you are looking to purchase a PC Gamepad, it's best to have an idea of what you're going to need. There are hundreds of different types of game pads or controllers to choose from, and selecting the correct gamepad for you can be a difficult and time consuming process. Consider these questions to help you make your choice.1. Do you find yourself playing a certain genre of game more then others?Some people prefer PC gamepads such as an arcade joystick for fighting games, while others like hand held controllers. Massively Multiplayer Online Games or MMOs, such as World of Warcraft, work best with gamepads with many buttons that are easy to reprogram.Like racing games such as Need for Speed? Check out a PC steering wheel, or maybe you are looking for a general purpose all around PC game pad that will serve as a controller for any game you're looking to play.2. How many buttons do you you need?Many gamepads have a great deal of buttons, some with dual analog sticks, 8 way directional pads, and many other features. Finding the perfect PC game pad for you depends largely on the kinds of things you will be doing in your game.3. Wired or Wireless PC Gamepad?There are many exceptional wireless PC gamepads on the market, and it can be quite annoying dealing with cords in the middle of intense gameplay. Some wireless controllers offer amazing battery life of up to 100 hours and a range of 30 ft.4. Is the gamepad you are looking to purchase supported by your operating system?Make sure the gamepad you are looking to purchase has up to date drivers and software for your operating system. Most PC gamepad manufacturers will provide drivers for widely used operating systems such as Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Linux. Newer operating systems such as Windows 7 may not be supported for every device, it's best to check to make sure.5. How much are you willing to spend?Some newer gamepads can be quite expensive, while others can be found at a bargain price. A gamepad should be looked at as an investment, which will improve your gaming experience significantly. Although, that doesn't mean one must spend a fortune for one.With so many PC Gamepads on the market, choosing the correct one can be an intimidating experience, but before you make a purchase, make sure you consider the questions above. Most of all, have fun and pick the PC gamepad you feel will elevate your gaming experience the most.
How to Choose the Right Game Controller1.Select a game were you are not sure which game controller is the best.2.Unearth all game controllers you got at home.3.Ask yourself several questions:Which controller lasts the longest?How many buttons do i really need?Which controller has the the best handling(for me)?Which controller do i usually use for other games?Would it hurt my moneybag if the controller gets broken?Is this type of controller still sold in stores?4.Analyze the answers you gave to the questions. The last question could be one of the most important. If you answer the question with 'no' but you answered all other questions with the better answer in your opinion you maybe should think about it once again. Once you get used to using a controller with a special game and the controller gets broken, you won't have a chance to get the same and would have to get used to a new one.
How to Build a Custom Mechanical Keyboard GamepadYou can use any keyboard for gaming in a pinch, but you’ll have more fun when you use a board you like and find comfortable. That’s all it takes for something to be a “gaming keyboard” in my opinion, but peripheral makers have increasingly decided gaming keyboards should look like neon stealth fighters. So, I’ve built a few custom gaming mechanical keyboards of my own, but it occurred to me recently I don’t usually need a whole keyboard for playing a game. What if I stripped the gaming keyboard down to the bare minimum — what would I get?I started with a number pad kit, made some layout tweaks, added some smooth linear switches, and I ended up with a rather adorable little mechanical gamepad. Here’s how I did it.The PlanLike many keyboard nerds, I’ve developed affinities for certain switch types. The switches I like for typing tend to be heavy and tactile, but that’s not ideal for games. If you’re going to hold down keys for long periods, it’s better if they actuate quickly and don’t feel too heavy. Well, that’s what I prefer.In several past gaming-oriented builds, I used light tactile switches that I find usable for both typing and gaming. The tactility is unnecessary for gaming, but I don’t like typing on linear switches. I’ve also felt at times that it’s a little silly to have an entire keyboard for playing games when almost the entire right half goes unused. I could probably get by with the WASD cluster and a few more keys. You might have seen devices like this; Razer has some popular models of mechanical gaming keypad. However, none of them are very high-quality or reasonably priced. So, what to do?The solution was to build my own tiny keyboard. It wouldn’t need all those unused right-side keys, and I could focus my switch choice entirely on gaming. When I freed myself from the idea of making a gaming keyboard a whole keyboard, additional options opened up. It didn’t need to have five or six rows like a full board. In fact, it didn’t even need to have staggered keys. So-called “ortho” or grid layouts are rare but increasingly popular among enthusiasts. Those are still full keyboards, but a number pad is about half of a Planck.I’m not a fan of number pads — they screw up the ergonomics of a keyboard and aren’t necessary unless you enter a ton of numbers. An external number pad kit is the solution for some people, and that’s what I decided to use as a gamepad. The one I settled on is called the Cospad. I chose this because it supports multiple key layouts, has RGB underglow, I could order it from China when immediate shipping, and it has a unique case that’s perfect for this project.Most number pads are either flat or inclined, so the 7-8-9 row is higher. For optimal comfort, I needed a number pad that was inclined with the 1-4-7 side higher (rotated 90 degrees from normal). The Cospad case does that with a pair of optional risers on the bottom.The unusual layout of this device means it would be tricky to get standard sculpted keys to match the rows and key sizes (most keysets have different shapes on each row). The easiest solution here is to use a combination of DSA caps from another set (called DSA Overcast) along with some blanks for the 1-unit keys on the bottom and left edges.Since I opted to go with linear switches, I had the opportunity to finally put a bag of Tealios to use. These are switches come from Zeal PC, which also makes Zealio tactile switches. I’ve used those frequently because of the smoothness and various spring weights. In the case of the Tealios, they’re still incredibly smooth, but there’s no tactile bump. The switches I used have 62g springs, which are just a little heavier than Browns and Reds.Building and ProgrammingThe PCB, plate, and case for the Cospad only took a few weeks to ship from China. That’s a rare thing for a custom keyboard build. I already had the other parts, so I was ready to build as soon as the package arrived.Before I could assemble the board, I needed to decide what to do with the layout. Look at a number pad, and you’ll notice most of them have at least one large 2-unit key on the right side. I made that side of the PCB the bottom of my gamepad because the location of that 2u key is configurable — it was the perfect space bar.Step one of assembling the Cospad was to plug switches into the steel plate. I was only eyeballing the switch locations in some of the bigger gaps at this point, though. I determined where the 2u key world attach to the PCB and installed the Cherry-style stabilizer. These wire assemblies to under all the longer keys on a keyboard to keep them level when pressed. Forgetting the stabilizers is one of the most common and annoying mistakes you can make when building a keyboard. You have to disassemble the entire board to mount them, and desoldering is much harder than soldering them in the first place.Next, I lined up the switches and pressed the plate down. Each switch had two contacts and three plastic pins that poke through holes in the PCB. With the switches all seemingly in the right spot, I put some test keycaps on the bottom row to confirm spacing. This is another important and often overlooked step. If you solder switches in the wrong place, you might not be able to fit your keycaps or program the board.The partially soldered PCB.With all that sorted, I just had to solder the switches. This was actually the fastest part of the whole build. With only 23 switches and two solder points each, I was done in about 15 minutes.The Cospad runs on the TKG firmware, which has plenty of features but very little in the way of convenience. Programming this device involves using a site like Keyboard Layout Editor to configure your chosen layout. Then you take that raw data and paste it into an online flashing tool to push it over to the keypad via USB. In addition, the only way to put the board in flashing mode is to short two pins on the PCB with wire or tweezers. Even minor errors in your layout can cause the device to be completely non-functional after you flash it. You need to use the correct keycodes and capitalization in your layout to make the board work properly, and there’s virtually no English language documentation on any of this. It took about an hour of trial and error before I figured out exactly how the Cospad wanted me to fill out the keymap, so it worked out in the end.The feel of the switches is good for the way I play games, which is basically to mash the keys down as hard and fast as possible. They’re not too heavy to depress quickly or for long periods of time. The lack of a tactile bump doesn’t bother me in this context, though I still don’t think I’d want to type on Tealio switches. I’m just not a linear guy.The total cost of the parts for this build was around $90 not counting the keycaps. Those were from an extra set I had laying around, and I only used part of it. Getting keycaps specifically for this project would have probably doubled the cost because you can’t just buy the left half of a set.I don’t know what I’m going to do with the layout for certain. Currently, there’s no dedicated number row, which suits me fine. Numbers and F-keys are on a function layer, but I could change the layout later if needed. I just wish flashing the keypad wasn’t such a pain.With the project complete, I’m feeling pretty good about the entire process. Playing games with the Cospad is fantastic. It has enough keys to get the job done without taking up a lot of space on my desk. If I’ve got a keyboard plugged in that’s not gaming-friendly, I can just set the Cospad next to it and start playing.