The Myths and Lies About Joy Sticks

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The modern joystick has undergone significant improvement over what existed before the development of the Universal Serial Bus which was developed in 1996.  Today, almost all game controllers use USB as it's interface which is vastly superior to the Gameport interface that preceded it.  Unfortunately, the bad traits of the previous generation of joysticks, most of which have vanished in modern controllers, have not been forgotten and tend to live on almost mystically in modern-day controllers through misunderstanding and misinformation.  The purpose of this article is an attempt to dispel the cloud of  misconception swirling around most modern USB game controllers.


USB Game Controller Myth #1

Pots need to be cleaned and replaced often.


This is, without a doubt, the biggest myth surrounding the modern game controller.  The gaming forums are filled with postings like "How do I clean my pots?" and "I'm on my third set of pots and I'm sick of this piece of junk!" when most of the problems are poor power or calibration issues.  It is certainly true that the old Gameport controllers were plagued with this problem.  It is also true that pots in todays controllers can go bad too, especially in the low quality, low budget variety.  If you have a good quality joystick, there is no reason why you shouldn't get years of trouble-free service out of it.


USB Game Controller Myth #2

Hall Effect Sensors provide significant improvement over pots.




USB Game Controller Myth #3

Controllers with 8-bit Analog-To-Digital (A/D) converters are "old technology" and all the "good ones" have 10-bit or greater A/D converters.




USB Game Controller Myth #4

You should use the generic Windows device driver with your controller because it is more efficient and uses fewer computer resources than the driver that is written for you controller.