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Controllers are great....and frustrating


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#1 mattw

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Posted 22 April 2016 - 03:11 PM

Having grown up gaming on a Mac I've generally used the mouse and keyboard for games and I still do prefer them for 1st person shooters and RTS etc. They just feel most natural to me after all these years.

When we finally got support for racing wheels it was fantastic as racing sims are not much fun to me with a keyboard especially with the driver aids off as I prefer! (now using a Logitech Momo).

Of course when trying out flight sims (X-plane) I needed a joystick - much better with one of those (Gravis Destroyer Extreme).

With more and more recent games being designed primarily for consoles they just now always seem to expect you have a gamepad.

Recently I dug out an old Gravis GamePad Pro from years ago (maybe even pre-OS X) - I'd practically forgot I even had it.

This I found was OK but I soon realised most games were expecting more buttons than this so having scanned thorugh the FAQs for several of my Feral titles to see what was supported I ordered a Logitech F710 which arrived yesterday (I was actually going to go for the wired F310 but this was on offer for basically the same price).

It solves the problem of enough buttons and having already read that you need to use the Direct Input (D) mode via the switch on the back and plug in the USB receiver whilst holding the Logitech button - it worked fine with the first few games I tried as well (even if I need to get used to playing using it).

Here comes the frustrating issue me though....

I alway run into issues if more than one controller is connected...

I'd already learnt in the past that If I had the joystick connected my racing games often saw that rather than the wheel so I have to keep that disconnected and now I find the same with the gamepad receiver.

With the wheel there are a lot of cables and they have a habit of floating around you legs and get in the way of the pedals if you are not careful. I now use tie wraps to keep the cables together and route them under my desk and plug the wheel into a USB port at the back of the computer. This means I don't really want to crawl around there and unplug it if I can at all help it..

So I'm back to having to remember to unplug the joystick and now the gamepad receiver before starting a racing game, but it turns out you also have to do the pressing and holding of the Logitech button each time you do this as when I tried just plugging it in I got an error message saying it was not in the correct mode - even though I didn't change the switch on the back..

You would think by now there would be a way of these getting on together and that games would just remember which one you want to use...

Anyway apologies for the long rant :)

I'd have thought there must be a few folks that enjoy different genres of games that work best with different controllers and that it might have bothered them too.
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#2 Frost

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Posted 22 April 2016 - 05:56 PM

Honestly, this might just be a Logitech thing or an issue with the input programming of the game(s) you're playing. I use a DualShock 4 and it's straight up plug n' play over USB. Over bluetooth, it's just like using it on a PS4; hit the PS button, wait a moment for it to connect, then go.
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#3 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 22 April 2016 - 11:44 PM

I have found my older Logitech F-510 Rumblepad 2 I think is the model, to be rather finicky about changes between X-input and Direct Input. This is not a wireless model. So I have to reach around behind the iMac, unplug the thing, switch to the desired mode and then it works. Why? I have no idea.

You might want to rig up a USB extension to a 4 port thingy and place it somewhere easy to get to for fiddling around when needed. It's not an elegant solution but at least the stuff is easily accessible that way.

I'm going to replace mine and stash it in a drawer just in case I run into something that will only work with analog input. I'm going to need an XBox controller anyway when I stream stuff to Windows 10 from my XBox One.
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#4 mattw

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 01:27 PM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 22 April 2016 - 11:44 PM, said:

You might want to rig up a USB extension to a 4 port thingy and place it somewhere easy to get to for fiddling around when needed. It's not an elegant solution but at least the stuff is easily accessible that way.

Yeah this is one option I thought about, it would be great if you could get a USB hub with power switches for each port so you didn't have to unplug stuff, but then with the gamepad receiver issue it looks that will need removing and plugging in again each time anyway.

Given I got the F710 for so little cash I'm not too upset but it could certainly be better, if it used the unified receiver like my Performance MX mouse for example.

There seems to be some suggestion that it may be possible to avoid this issue if used in xinput mode with an xbox driver, although I'm generally a fan of driverless devices.

I don't even use the Logitech software with my mouse (just setup the buttons and scroll speed in system preferences in OS X), because I know if the past have been issues with new OS releases breaking this software etc.

I guess if it remains a real pain a Playstation or Xbox controller might be the solution. I could always turn my bluetooth back on which I never used because I always hated it back from having to deal with loads of machines with Apple wireless mice and keyboards. They always used to be dropping connections and took far too long to connect.

It always seems ridiculous even now on my colleagues recent MacBook Pro - it boots in seconds thanks to the SSD but takes about a minute to find the bluetooth mouse. That's why I always liked the Logitech RF stuff, this Performance MX is about my 3rd mouse design with it which always works as soon as I wake my machine.
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#5 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 01:23 PM

Things could be worse. On my iMac which does not have an SSD or even a Fusion drive, the system boots so slowly there is ample time for bluetooth devices to connect before I want to use them. I think I'd rather have the slow bluetooth connects but the grass is always greener I guess.

My Performance MX mouse just died on me, sort of after four years of daily service and billions and billions of clicks. I've seen this with a mouse before. The mechanism for registering the clicks gives out and it starts sending double (multiple?) clicks in rapid succession when clicked. This results in all sorts of fun trying to control the computer as you might imagine. Considering the heavy use I subject a mouse to I guess 4 years is pretty good really. It was the best mouse I'd ever used, very comfortable, worked like a charm, was fine for gaming for me and it could charge while in use which I liked a lot. Something I did not like was when USB 3 arrived, certain USB devices were putting out interference that impacted the wireless connectivity of the mouse. Logitech provided me with a solution to this known problem in the form of a USB cord that I could run out in front of the iMac and plug the Wireless USB thing into, keeping it closer to the mouse which did help a lot but was not perfect.

So, I am back to the magical Magic Mouse for the time being. No shooters for me! I think I am going to replace it with a wired mouse of some kind, maybe a gaming one but I don't want something with a ton of buttons on it that will only confuse and confound me. I can just imagine myself constantly hitting stuff I don't mean to while trying to play. I am better off with a simpler mouse I think. That reminds me, I think I will go post a "What mouse should I get?" thread elsewhere.
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