Author Topic: Advantages / disadvantages controllers: joystick vs keyboard vs gamepad  (Read 20744 times)

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Offline Cofresi

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Just recently played a few matches online, and got beaten quite easily. I did practice quite a lot vs CPU in the Amiga game with keyboard as the controller, after I played the game with keyboard on the PC in my youth. Love the Amiga version, it's so much more challenging :). It can either be that their skill is just way higher than mine, or that I might be able to improve my playing by choosing a different controller? Although I would only get better after mastering the new controller as well as the keyboard at this moment.

I don't really want to blame the controller, since I don't know how much of an influence it has on the highest skill that can be acquired in this game. In order to get an idea for this I would like to know what you think the advantages / disadvantages of different controllers is. And if top players for instance all use different controllers, or that the top10 of the world-leaderboards for instance all prefer one type of controller?

So what is your verdict on joystick vs. keyboard vs. gamepad?

Offline Playaveli

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There are some facts. (In brackets some "maybe's")

Keyboard = Fingers (directions clinicly separated. Maybe better precision, but less fluidity.)
Gamepad = Thumb (More fluidity, but maybe less accurate than keyboard)
Joystick = Hand (Maybe quicker reaction, but less... )

After all, it's a matter of taste. And only that! So stick to your preference!



joystick vs. keyboard vs. gamepad?

That equals:

ALI vs. Coolio_Jack vs. Playaveli

Bobbiebobras vs. Djowger vs. Bomb
...
I think that's quite some prove that controller choice is only a matter of taste!


As for online gaming:
Forget about the first 100 matches. Playing vs. humans is almost like learning SWOS from scratch as a new game. Practicing vs. CPU doesn't help.
Just play against as many different players as you can and don't care about the results. You will learn fast. :)
« Last Edit: 02 May 2014, 23:03:16 by Playaveli »

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Offline djowger

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Surely there are no shortcuts to getting good at something. It is as always practice practice practice. I tried many different controllers (for testing), but ended up where I started, with keys. It is a very personal thing.

The 3 main controller categories all have their main advantages imo:

- Keys: precision
- Gamepad: speed
- Joystick: In between (depending on the build quality of course)

For dribbling side to side keys have the main advantage. For circle dribbles (360 degrees move) gamepad/joystick is surely better.

Surely a mix of speed and precision is what you need for a game like swos. Some prefer one over the other depending on their playstyle.

For a topplayers overview here is what you get:

Keys:
Coolio Jacks, Blazej, Sanek, Marin Parushev, Rasmus, Hawkz, dzem, Foka, Manuel, AndYpsilon....

Gamepad:
Playaveli, Szeszesek, Bomb, Emmeti, Peter R

Joystick (arcade style):
Ali, Andib, Redhair, ElmichaJ, Pallister, Heinair, St. Vitus, Wanae, SPIR

Joystick (flight-like joystick):
Lobo, Klaris, Bobbiebobras, Lindholm

Not really useful data however, is it? :)

Offline Retrieving

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The best controller is the one you're the most comfortable with. Period.

I grew up on Amiga and Quickshot joysticks were all the rage back then, so it's only natural that when I first started playing I'd do poorly with joypads and keyboards and then started being competitive all of a sudden as soon as I got a hold of a controller that closely resembled those joysticks.

Each controller has its pro and cons but they tend to balance themselves out in the end, so it all boils down to a matter of playstyle, practicality and personal preferences.
 
Also, reliability is pivotal when it comes to controllers: if the thing keeps breaking apart every other month and parameters such as throw, engage, deadzone, spring tension and the likes change everytime you fix it/pick up another one, then you'll never get the chance to develop the muscle memory required for certain moves and you won't likely ever see the end of it.

Online, in humongously-high latency conditions I'd wager that keyboards might actually have a slight edge since they cut input-delay pretty much to zero and it adds up (even then, it'd be nearly unnoticeable unless you are an overanalyzing hardcore player);

the lower the latency, the closer the performances of each type of controller get, to the point that offline it doesn't really matter.

None of this matters unless you got two similarly skilled veterans at the top of their game playing each other though, then yeah, perhaps the controller might make a difference, for better or worse (although it ain't as clean cut as you might think). Rookies on the other hand? Odds are that they haven't even learnt how to use their controller properly yet, so it's kind of a moot point.

Stick with keyboards as they are really versatile and practice, practice, practice until you'll start feeling like there isn't even a controller between yourself and the game anymore, at which point you'll finally be able to focus on the metagame, increasing your competitiveness tenfold as a result.

Also, keep in mind that SWOS is rather easy to pick-up, yet excruciatingly hard to master, the learning curve is steep and you're facing people who, on average, know the ins and outs of the game like the back of their pockets and who've been playing online since 2006 or so.

The competition is downright fierce (despite SWOS being a niche game at best nowadays), so be prepared to get your ass ruthlessly kicked for a while and nope, practicing offline doesn't help in the slightest because the AI is way too predictable.

« Last Edit: 03 May 2014, 11:40:05 by Retrieving | Searain »

Offline andib

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Also, keep in mind that SWOS is rather easy to pick-up, yet excruciatingly hard to master, the learning curve is steep and you're facing people who, on average, know the ins and outs of the game like the back of their pockets and who've been playing online since 2006 or so.

Ah 2011   8) But I totally agree with you guys. You have to play with the controller you are most comfortable with.
Vamos los ticos, esta noche tenemos que ganar

Offline Cofresi

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 ;D I'm very happy with all the replies. This really helps me to get things in perspective for me. I know it's a game aimed at mastery, and I am just figuring out if I want to put in many hours to start mastering the hardcore player vs. player (PvP) skills. Since I mostly just play the game again when it mirror's the World Championships or European Championships, and get a bit up to speed with the team of the Netherlands.

I do now know that switching to another controller is out of the question for me. All the hours I already put in on the PC and now on the Amiga version are part of mastering the keyboard as controller. Switching controller now would always be a step back for me. For the keyboard I will check if I can find try some different types in order to check what feels good for me, maybe go back to the old pc keyboards that *click*.

As to what Playaveli mentioned: "don't care about the results and just put hours and hours of practice in". I would like to practice if at all possible on the lowest level, but now I wonder what the lowest level is. Or just occassionally play against some low-level players, if there are any that is ;). And maybe you could also tell me what your frequency of play is, e.g. how many times in a week. Since it might be a large time investment, and I don't know if I'm ready to do this now.

Offline andib

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I do now know that switching to another controller is out of the question for me. All the hours I already put in on the PC and now on the Amiga version are part of mastering the keyboard as controller. Switching controller now would always be a step back for me. For the keyboard I will check if I can find try some different types in order to check what feels good for me, maybe go back to the old pc keyboards that *click*.

As to what Playaveli mentioned: "don't care about the results and just put hours and hours of practice in". I would like to practice if at all possible on the lowest level, but now I wonder what the lowest level is. Or just occassionally play against some low-level players, if there are any that is ;). And maybe you could also tell me what your frequency of play is, e.g. how many times in a week. Since it might be a large time investment, and I don't know if I'm ready to do this now.

Good idea to keep playing with keyboard. I'll have a problem sometime in the future when there is not that many arcade stick left. Suzo does not produce those kind of joystick anymore. I contacted them recently to ask if they had some kind of storage where they kept arcade sticks but unfortunatly is was a negative answer   :-[

I put A LOT of time in it in the beginning but of course you decide by yourself have much effort you want to put in it. As people already have told you, in the beginning you will improve a lot but it is difficult to master. Good luck with your project.
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Offline djowger

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Here is some popular "classic" controllers among swos players:


The arcade


Competition Pro


Quickshot 131 (aka apache)


Gravis PC Gamepad


If you have enough money checkout Arcadeshop.de for a quality Do-It-Yourself build.

Offline Playaveli

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Poul, got a picture of a keypad? This might be of interest to justnico! :)

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Offline djowger

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Poul, got a picture of a keypad? This might be of interest to justnico! :)

yes!


Offline Cofresi

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Thanks again :). I do own the Gravis Gamepad Classic (not the pro) and am considering to give it a spin in single player, if it still works that is. It's currently being checked by my brother who still owns several old PC's. About a year ago I did try an arcade type USB joystick that looked similar to the Competition Pro, but that just wasn't a good fit for me. Since I've never played with any controller like that before. I do like the self-made keypads by Djowger, although don't know if I'll go that far ;).

Offline ElMichaJ

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for increasing skill and your own game quality i would tell to play some games with all types of controllers ...

i have made that in former times and i play with two controllers atm.

some moves are easier, some are harder with one type of controller ...

for example: the switch of left to right one keypad is faster than with joystick or joypad.

if you can see, whats your opponents controller, you can better prepare for some moves from him ...

like Sun Tzu (a bit SWOSsed): knowing your opponents playing style (and popular moves) ...

hey hey hey .... ElMichaJ



Offline Cofresi

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I just stick to keyboard and play agains the Amiga on PC, with my frequency of play it's still challenging enough. And probably want to get a Gravis Gamepad somewhere cheap second-hand. Still I would need a good converter to USB for this, or are there other solutions that are cheaper? Since I only got PCI slots, so I wondered if there would be soundcards with a gameport for PCI? Any suggestions would help for me here. I am located in The Netherlands, if that helps in case of shipping costs ;).

Offline Playaveli

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Good USB adapter for gameport joysticks/pads are around 10 Euros! Fair price!

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Offline Cofresi

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Yeah 10 euros is a good price, I thought they might be more expensive than that. Thanks!