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Wireless Gamepad Controller for Mac


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#1 digger4img

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 08:14 PM

I am looking for a wireless gamepad controller for Mac.  I am running SL on a Unibody Mini.

So far I have tried PS3 via BT, XBox360 via RF USB adapter, PS2/1 via USB adapters, and a Radio Shack USB.  They all have issues.

PS3:  Action buttons (Triangle, Circle, etc) all mapped to high button numbers over 12 not supported by native games.
XBox360:  Z-Axis mapped to triggers causing a constant 0 input which constantly spins the field of view.
PS1/2:  Not even recognised (works in XP, Vista, 7....grumble...)
RadioShack:  Again issues with camera angles.

Is there a natively supported wireless gamepad controller for MAC?  This is in my living room with a child using it so wired options are not that great (read: Mini fall down go boom)

Ran around spending lots of time and cash on this so far so any help is greatly appreciated.  If there is an easy way to remap the PS3 or X360 pads I am all ears.  The Game Controller Companion mapping to keyboard commands did not work out so well but maybe I should try that again.

#2 Smoke_Tetsu

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 11:45 PM

I tend to use a logitech cordless rumblepad 2 for those modern games that play best with a gamepad... then I have a backup pad for emulators that need 6 facebuttons the saitek P2900 wireless. I mostly use the latter for emulation as it doesn't work well with some games like LEGO Batman. This is all dependent on what games you play as well as I may not play the same ones you do. But in general the logitech cordless gamepad seems to work the best in most situations for me at least.... and the saitek is usually equal to it but in a somewhat different layout and a better d-pad. That's the best answer I can give you as I don't have any of those pads you mentioned. Unfortunatly the saitek pad is discontinued and is now overpriced in a few places.
--Tetsuo

Alex Delarg, A Clockwork Orange said:

It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen.

the Battle Cat said:

Slower and faster? I'm sorry to hear such good news?

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#3 Janichsan

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 12:59 AM

+1 for the Logitech Cordless Rumblepad that works perfectly. Also, the Xbox 360 controller works (in most games) with the appropriate driver.

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#4 Smoke_Tetsu

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 02:37 AM

Speaking of Logitech they just revised their gamepad to be more 360'ish\compatible. This is actually a good thing because more and more games are being made with that style of pad in mind. When I wrapped some of my UE3 games for play in OS X I had to use an xinput emulator so the axis and buttons get mapped correctly. I myself don't play FPS with gamepads but an example of 360 style gamepad support trickling over to the Mac is Bioshock from Feral and Star Wars The Force Unleashed from Aspyr. The latter I may give a go at playing it with one of my gamepads because of what type of game it is but I'm not sure either of them are compatible.

But yeah, again even just the regular Logitech Cordless Rumblepad 2 tends to work well in most cases.
--Tetsuo

Alex Delarg, A Clockwork Orange said:

It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen.

the Battle Cat said:

Slower and faster? I'm sorry to hear such good news?

Late 2012 27 inch iMac, Core i7 Quad 3.4GHz, 16GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB, 3TB HDD - Mavericks

Late 2009 27 inch iMac, Core i5 2.6GHz, 12GB RAM, ATI Radeon 4850HD 512MB, 1TB HDD - Mavericks

Mac Mini, PowerPC G4 1.4Ghz, 1GB RAM, Radeon 9200 32MB, 256GB HDD - Leopard

Dell Inspiron 1200 Notebook: 1.2GHz Celeron, 1.2GB RAM, Intel GMA915, 75GB HDD - Ubuntu

Generic Black Tower PC, Dual Core 64-bit 2.4GHz, 4GB RAM, GeForce 9600 GT 512MB - Windows 7


#5 digger4img

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 07:23 AM

I was interested in the Rumble 2 and the F710 but neither indicated that they work on Mac and I could not find them locally to buy/try/return as needed.

Do you guys have special drivers you use for the Logitech gear or is it native?

I tried the TattieBogle drivers for the X360 controller.  The biggest issue was that the Z axis/rotations are mapped to the triggers.  This means constant spinning of the camera angle.  Instant motion sickness!  If there is a relatively easy fix I am all for keeping it.  I dug into the source code a bit last night and it looks like a little more than I originally thought to hack the mappings around.

#6 Janichsan

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 07:41 AM

View Postdigger4img, on 28 September 2010 - 07:23 AM, said:

Do you guys have special drivers you use for the Logitech gear or is it native?
There's no special driver needed. Only keep in mind that not every game supports every gamepad, although you're pretty much on the safe side with the Rumblepad – I‘ve never encountered a game (which supports gamepads in the first place) where it didn't work.

Quote

I tried the TattieBogle drivers for the X360 controller.  The biggest issue was that the Z axis/rotations are mapped to the triggers.  This means constant spinning of the camera angle.  Instant motion sickness!  If there is a relatively easy fix I am all for keeping it.  I dug into the source code a bit last night and it looks like a little more than I originally thought to hack the mappings around.
Hm, odd. I never encountered that. Which game specifically are trying to play with it? In some cases, the in-game controller settings are somewhat skewed, but that – in most cases – could easily fixed by changing that in the game's options.

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#7 the Battle Cat

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 07:43 AM

Sorry kids, I have to move this thread to the Mac Hardware forum.  Please ensure your seat backs and tray tables are locked in the upright position.
Gary Simmons
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#8 Janichsan

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 07:59 AM

View Postthe Battle Cat, on 28 September 2010 - 07:43 AM, said:

Sorry kids, I have to move this thread to the Mac Hardware forum.  Please ensure your seat backs and tray tables are locked in the upright position.
Aaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeehh!!

Whee! Let's do that again!

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#9 digger4img

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 08:24 AM

View PostJanichsan, on 28 September 2010 - 07:41 AM, said:

There's no special driver needed. Only keep in mind that not every game supports every gamepad, although you're pretty much on the safe side with the Rumblepad – I‘ve never encountered a game (which supports gamepads in the first place) where it didn't work.


Hm, odd. I never encountered that. Which game specifically are trying to play with it? In some cases, the in-game controller settings are somewhat skewed, but that – in most cases – could easily fixed by changing that in the game's options.
  
Toy Story 3 for Mac.  My wife and 4 year old are about to kill me if I don't get it working!  In fact I really want it to work as well as the game is midly fun and starting to game with my little ones would rock.  I can not remap the motion/camera angles in game.  

If you use Joystick and Gamepad Tester what is mapped to the Z axis/rotation when using your X360 controller?  I am using the wireless one with the RF adapter.

#10 Janichsan

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 08:47 AM

View Postdigger4img, on 28 September 2010 - 08:24 AM, said:

If you use Joystick and Gamepad Tester what is mapped to the Z axis/rotation when using your X360 controller?  I am using the wireless one with the RF adapter.
I can check this later this evening (I'm at work at the moment), but the assignment as "Z axis" is not necessarily a driver problem: I think you know that both triggers on the Xbox pad are analog. When a device has more than two analog axes, programs often simply assume the third detected analog controller element must refer to the Z-axis. I assume that's the case here.

In addition, Toy Story 3 is a ciderised game, so the controller support can turn out to be somewhat flaky. But since according to this support page, you can reassign the controller elements in the game, I guess you could simply solve your problem by doing that.

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#11 digger4img

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 09:27 AM

View PostJanichsan, on 28 September 2010 - 08:47 AM, said:

I can check this later this evening (I'm at work at the moment), but the assignment as "Z axis" is not necessarily a driver problem: I think you know that both triggers on the Xbox pad are analog. When a device has more than two analog axes, programs often simply assume the third detected analog controller element must refer to the Z-axis. I assume that's the case here.

In addition, Toy Story 3 is a ciderised game, so the controller support can turn out to be somewhat flaky. But since according to this support page, you can reassign the controller elements in the game, I guess you could simply solve your problem by doing that.

You can only reassign the action buttons in TS3.  The movement and camera buttons are fixed.

Actually the Zaxis/rotation assignments are the problem.  Such controls are best suited for an input device that has a mid-point so there is a neutral.  With the triggers there is no resting mid-point like a stick.  With the trigger released it is 100% off and constantly rotated counter clockwise.  With the trigger pulled it stops the counter rotation but does not rotate clockwise.

Ciderised?  Rings a bell but can't remember.

#12 Smoke_Tetsu

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 10:17 AM

Ciderised means they took the windows version and put it in a WINE based compatibility layer that was branded cider. Things in general run this way can be hit or miss... depending on the game. Sometimes you may have to manually edit the config files or cider registry files to make a change to a game. Don't know if you have to do that here but that's been my experience.
--Tetsuo

Alex Delarg, A Clockwork Orange said:

It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen.

the Battle Cat said:

Slower and faster? I'm sorry to hear such good news?

Late 2012 27 inch iMac, Core i7 Quad 3.4GHz, 16GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB, 3TB HDD - Mavericks

Late 2009 27 inch iMac, Core i5 2.6GHz, 12GB RAM, ATI Radeon 4850HD 512MB, 1TB HDD - Mavericks

Mac Mini, PowerPC G4 1.4Ghz, 1GB RAM, Radeon 9200 32MB, 256GB HDD - Leopard

Dell Inspiron 1200 Notebook: 1.2GHz Celeron, 1.2GB RAM, Intel GMA915, 75GB HDD - Ubuntu

Generic Black Tower PC, Dual Core 64-bit 2.4GHz, 4GB RAM, GeForce 9600 GT 512MB - Windows 7


#13 Janichsan

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 11:51 AM

View Postdigger4img, on 28 September 2010 - 09:27 AM, said:

You can only reassign the action buttons in TS3.  The movement and camera buttons are fixed.
I see. That's unfortunate.

I got around to test my Xbox controller with the program you linked to and can confirm that the trigger is recognised as Z axis rotation. But as I said: that should not be a problem per se – when you could reconfigure the controls in-game. I don't have the Toy Story game, so I cannot say whether you could find a text config file in there where you could manually reassign the controls, as smoke_tetsu suggested. A third-party game pad driver like Gamepad Companion or ControllerMate might be able to convince the game to recognise the second analog stick as view controls.

Or simply another gamepad could help – which brings us back to the original topic. ;)

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#14 digger4img

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 02:48 PM

View PostJanichsan, on 28 September 2010 - 11:51 AM, said:

I see. That's unfortunate.

I got around to test my Xbox controller with the program you linked to and can confirm that the trigger is recognised as Z axis rotation. But as I said: that should not be a problem per se – when you could reconfigure the controls in-game. I don't have the Toy Story game, so I cannot say whether you could find a text config file in there where you could manually reassign the controls, as smoke_tetsu suggested. A third-party game pad driver like Gamepad Companion or ControllerMate might be able to convince the game to recognise the second analog stick as view controls.

Or simply another gamepad could help – which brings us back to the original topic. ;)
=)

I played with Gamepad Companion and USB Overdrive a little.  The results were limited.  If that's what it takes I guess I will have to go down that route.  It feel like however I am back in 2000-2001 trying to get Tony Hawk Pro Skater working in WinXP with PlayStation controllers all over again.  Then Winblows natively started supporting the USB to PS adapters and all was well in the world.

I am not afraid of spending a little bit of money for the "just works" experience.  Heck I bought a brand new Mini.  I read an interesting article in Wired recently that had a great bit on consumer spending:

As age and disposable income increases free time generally decreases.

So very true.  I just wish the controller technology (and retail availability) was in the same "just works" state.  Spending hours tweaking controller configs just isn't any fun anymore.  It's worse when my 4 year old is saying "Daddy, when can we play the game???"

Rumble 2 ordered today.  Here's hoping it works.

#15 digger4img

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 07:28 AM

Rumble 2 FTW!  Thx for the suggestions guys.

#16 bilbo--baggins

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 11:05 AM

Does anyone know if you can use 2 Rumblepad 2's at the same time? eg. for Lego Star Wars Complete Saga - it's a 2 player game, quite awkward to play with 2 people on the keyboard.  Want to order two Rumblepad 2's but not sure if they'll work.  Also, are people talking about the Wireless version - and if so, would you need to plug 2 of the USB receivers in, or would 1 receive the signal from both controllers?

#17 edddeduck

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 07:33 AM

View Postbilbo--baggins, on 17 July 2011 - 11:05 AM, said:

Does anyone know if you can use 2 Rumblepad 2's at the same time? eg. for Lego Star Wars Complete Saga - it's a 2 player game, quite awkward to play with 2 people on the keyboard.  Want to order two Rumblepad 2's but not sure if they'll work.  Also, are people talking about the Wireless version - and if so, would you need to plug 2 of the USB receivers in, or would 1 receive the signal from both controllers?


1.) Yes you can play with two models of the the same pad.
2.) Saga should support the 360 and PS3 pads as well as the Logitech you mentioned.
3.) With Logitech wireless pads you will need to plug in both both USB receivers.
4.) Logitech Rumblepad 2 is supported

Edwin

#18 Shane Green

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 08:40 PM

Check out www.macgamepads.com.  It's dedicated to using gamepads with Macs and Mac games.  Under construction, but helpful .