Author Topic: Joystick to replace WASD movement in games - advice?  (Read 6115 times)

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Offline SnyperBunny

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Joystick to replace WASD movement in games - advice?
« on: Thu, 03 November 2016, 11:53:46 »
I'm looking for a joystick or something to replace using the keyboard for WASD movement in games.
The games I'd use it for are assorted Steam rpg-style games, Overwatch, Minecraft, and others I'm forgetting at the moment. Ideally it would have at LEAST 4 buttons (one under the thumb for "jump") easily accessible that could be mapped to different functions in different games.

Is this a thing? Does anyone USE a joystick for Overwatch movement? How does it work?

I'm hoping for something with small movements for actuation and very low resistance buttons. I used a Razer gamepad for a few weeks and that didn't help my finger-strain for WASD due to the force required to push the buttons (although the angle was better).

I was toying with the idea of something like an oversized Analog control stick like on controllers that I could move with my palm but now I'm wondering if that would eventually cause wrist pain.

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Re: Joystick to replace WASD movement in games - advice?
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 03 November 2016, 18:42:46 »
Try this..

Your keyboard should have those little flipper legs.

Flip the Right on up.. but leave the left one down.

This should help with your wrist issues..


You an also go more extreme,  put a book under the right side.


The higher the right side of your keyboard, the less wrist strain..



The reason is,  the wrist is at an overpronated angle when using a flat keyboard..

The wrist enters a neutral angle when it is closer to vertical..

Offline SnyperBunny

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Re: Joystick to replace WASD movement in games - advice?
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 04 November 2016, 10:12:04 »
How much do you think that would help with finger-strain as that is my main issue. I just don't want to end up causing myself wrist pain in an attempt to ease the finger strain...

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Re: Joystick to replace WASD movement in games - advice?
« Reply #3 on: Fri, 04 November 2016, 10:16:02 »
How much do you think that would help with finger-strain as that is my main issue. I just don't want to end up causing myself wrist pain in an attempt to ease the finger strain...

I don't think that would happen .. hahaha


But wrist is the main issue..


if your fingers are also sore,  then you'd want to practice using less force..


I remember I've seen kids press really hard on the keyboard hoping that their spaceship would move faster.. (obviously that's not how the computer games worked)


So, it's that type of reasoning which is straightforward when people first start playing computer games..


This carries throughout a person's computing career unless they consciously patch that behavior out..



Offline SnyperBunny

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Re: Joystick to replace WASD movement in games - advice?
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 04 November 2016, 16:25:38 »
I don't think I push hard on the keys. I have a really nice keyboard that doesn't take a ton of force to actuate.  The problem is that I have large hands and long fingers and having my fingers positioned on the WASD keys for long-ish periods of time leads to them getting crampy and sore due to the tight positioning.
Also, I can blame playing Lili in the game Heroes of the Storm for the initial finger-pain. Hitting the Q button on a 2 second cool down for essentially the entire 20 minute game (4 games in a row, several days a week...) did not do good things to me...

I'm lucky right now that I don't have any physical injury, just (according to the physio) tight muscles that cause the pain. So I'm working on stretching that out, but also want to adjust my equipment to avoid future injury.

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Re: Joystick to replace WASD movement in games - advice?
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 04 November 2016, 20:48:23 »
I don't think I push hard on the keys. I have a really nice keyboard that doesn't take a ton of force to actuate.  The problem is that I have large hands and long fingers and having my fingers positioned on the WASD keys for long-ish periods of time leads to them getting crampy and sore due to the tight positioning.
Also, I can blame playing Lili in the game Heroes of the Storm for the initial finger-pain. Hitting the Q button on a 2 second cool down for essentially the entire 20 minute game (4 games in a row, several days a week...) did not do good things to me...

I'm lucky right now that I don't have any physical injury, just (according to the physio) tight muscles that cause the pain. So I'm working on stretching that out, but also want to adjust my equipment to avoid future injury.

then stop using wasd, 

use shift z x a or shift z x q  if you can reach them.

Offline noisyturtle

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Offline islisis

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Re: Joystick to replace WASD movement in games - advice?
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 06 November 2016, 05:56:58 »
Sony Move Navigation controller
Oculus Touch
Logitech G13
Saitek PGCU / CCU

Out of those, the Saitek is probably the most ergonomic, but long out of production.

In development:
King's Assembly
Grifta Morphing Gamepad
Tivitas Sinister?
Nintendo Switch?
« Last Edit: Sun, 06 November 2016, 06:01:10 by islisis »

Offline Skull_Angel

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Re: Joystick to replace WASD movement in games - advice?
« Reply #8 on: Sat, 25 February 2017, 03:11:49 »
If you're set on a joystick, I can't recommend the Thrustmaster T16000m enough. It's relatively inexpensive for a highly accurate joystick and has grip options for left-handed use. Buttons are a little limited, but it has trigger + 3-thumb-buttons + 4-way hat on the stick and 12 buttons + throttle on the base. I use one for left-handed xyz strafing in Starcitizen and couldn't be happier with it.

At first look it seems cheap, but it's a different story in-hand and in-use. The plastic build feels solid and the base-springs are quite robust (I've put nearly 200 hrs into this thing and still no slop in it's action).

Offline NamelessPFG

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Re: Joystick to replace WASD movement in games - advice?
« Reply #9 on: Sat, 18 March 2017, 02:57:17 »
You may want to look up the Microsoft SideWinder Strategic Commander; it's basically a joystick with a sculpted left-hand mouse shape and buttons that don't require much finger movement to reach, and the centering spring force is quite light.

Said buttons have that clicky tac switch feeling to 'em - a little more force needed than clicking a mouse button, but considerably less than, say, an IBM buckling spring or Cherry MX Black.

It's really a nice device, and perhaps Microsoft mismarketed it by pursuing the RTS audience instead of the FPS audience (MMORPGs weren't a thing yet, but also another genre where the Strategic Commander shines).

However, I found myself not really using mine since it couldn't be used as an analog joystick in most games (Strategic Engine only allows for KB+M emulation), and for digital input emulation, the movement is a bit too wide with square gating that leads me to accidentally drift into diagonal inputs. Perhaps I should modify the gimbal mechanism to rectify these faults...

Oh, and now that I see one of the above posts rattling off a bunch of potential devices: don't buy Oculus Touch just for playing typical PC games, it's useless without a Rift HMD to interface with and won't work at all. (VR is pretty dope, though.) You'd be better off with a PS Move Navigation Controller and a Bluetooth adapter if that's your objective.
« Last Edit: Sat, 18 March 2017, 03:01:47 by NamelessPFG »

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Re: Joystick to replace WASD movement in games - advice?
« Reply #10 on: Sun, 19 March 2017, 22:45:05 »
this is definitely a good idea..

but you're going to need a controller with the paddle buttons on the underside so you have enough buttons for your left hand to make up for the loss in keyboard keys.

Offline TomBodet

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Re: Joystick to replace WASD movement in games - advice?
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 06 April 2017, 07:18:48 »
Sounds like you're right where I was about two-three years ago.

I tried taking the yoke half of a Saitek 52, used the hat switch for movement and assigned the various buttons as best I could.  It helped short term but still had bad strain up my forearms so it didn't help long term.

Another thing I tried is the Steam controller.  It does a fair job if you work with it and it does take some getting used to.  Some people love it, others hate it; YMMV.

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Re: Joystick to replace WASD movement in games - advice?
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 06 April 2017, 08:56:31 »
Sounds like you're right where I was about two-three years ago.

I tried taking the yoke half of a Saitek 52, used the hat switch for movement and assigned the various buttons as best I could.  It helped short term but still had bad strain up my forearms so it didn't help long term.

Another thing I tried is the Steam controller.  It does a fair job if you work with it and it does take some getting used to.  Some people love it, others hate it; YMMV.



It seems like a pretty straightforward modification

All you'd need is to cut a little square in your keyboard between the f-key and number key



remove the pcb from your gamepad.  Solder a usb port onto it with pin out to the right analogue stick.

Then buy another analogue sensor, put that on your keyboard wired out to another usb port in the front of the keyboard


u'd use usb because the cables are common..  but anything with 4 conductor would work, even ethernet.