Console manufacturers should stop ignoring the D-Pad

Nov 4, 2017
1,799
I would say the dpad should just be shit canned entirely and replaced by some form of touch mouse dpad hybrid. I'd also remove face buttons and go entirely with paddles as once you get used to them they're more efficient, more comfortable, and make more sense.
Have you used the Steam controller? It's a lot like what you described. It did indeed take some getting used to, but the flexibility and customisation makes it amazing.
 

Griffith

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,580
For the life of me I don't understand how we've managed to regress so much in the D-Pad since the Snes and Genesis era. 2D platformers and fighting games are still immensely popular but you have to choose between playing with a shitty D-Pad or an analogue stick for something that requires more precision and speed than either can provide.

I was sorely disappointed when the Dualshock 4 didn't use the same type of D-Pad the Vita did. Nintendo is one of the worst offenders with the Switch, though it's an issue they could easily fix with a separate Joycon that they simply refuse to release.

Microsoft's is tolerable. It's a fair bit better than the abomination of the D-Pad of the 360 controller. I appreciate the tactile feel of it more than the PS4's controller and I prefer it's rounded shape that makes it more comfortable for longer use but the indented shape makes it harder to accurately nail diagonals. If I try to hit a diagonal side 10 times, more often than not I'll hear two clicks rather than nailing the single click with both activations at the same time.
 

Zurick

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
1,167
Have you used the Steam controller? It's a lot like what you described. It did indeed take some getting used to, but the flexibility and customisation makes it amazing.
Yeah the steam controller is actually what I'm thinking of for the d-pad itself in all honesty but the steam controller does lack some things. I personally really feel the Xbox elite paddles are the best battles and an excellent replacement for the face button in general
 

Eoin

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,231
I think it's mostly Nintendo that need to step up.

The Dual Shock 4 doesn't have the best d-pad that Sony have ever made (that's the Vita) but it is more than acceptable. It's better than the PS3, better than the PS2, better than any of the PSP models, arguably as good as the PSone d-pad. There's scope for improvement there, but if the PS5 controller's d-pad is just the Dual Shock 4 d-pad with identical components, that'll be fine.

The Xbox One d-pad is the best d-pad of any official Xbox controller ever. Now, admittedly, that's not necessarily saying much, but it's not just good compared to previous efforts, it's good in general. That's a first for an Xbox controller. It's still easily my second choice of the default d-pads of this generation, so I think there's room for improvement, but again, if Microsoft used this d-pad next generation, I'd consider it a missed opportunity to make improvements but would overall be okay with that decision.

Nintendo is really where the problems are. The d-buttons are actually okay in a lot of scenarios - they're fine for anything that only ever needs four directions and that includes a lot of puzzle and platform games. However, for anything that involves diagonals, they're abysmal. The Switch Pro controller is a mess as well. I now pretty much consider 8bitdo to be the first-party controller manufacturer for Switch.

If, next generation, Nintendo step up and make the kind of d-pad that we know they can make (and nobody else fucks up), we would genuinely have the best selection of d-pads ever, with no real duds.
 

Red

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,254
I don’t get the hate for the joycon directional buttons. They work well. It’s easy to ensure distinct directional movement when each button is its own entity. I still think the design of the joycon is inspired, very clever.

Their reliability on the other hand, ehhh.
 

Kain

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
1,549
Nothing beats the awful, awful, AWFUL d-pads of the GC and OG XBOX controllers so I think at least there's been some marginal improvement lol
 

Mohasus

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
727
?

I play Gran Turismo and Ridge Racer like this and it works perfectly. You can use the triggers and analog if you want but that's how I play it.

How did tou guys even play PS2 and earlier driving games?
We aren't in the 90's or the 2000's anymore. Games back then were designed with that control scheme in mind, but they aren't now because we have better options.

Driving games don't need the d-pad at all, you do. Also, if you have to tap to turn (in GT's case), then it isn't working perfectly, it's just working.
 

Zurick

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
1,167
How would that even work in a fighting game? You need buttons to be precise. There is a reason why fighting games don't work on mobile.
I don't know why I typed fighting games I meant racing games I fully expect fighting games to not really have a place on a controller.

It would be nice if the price of sticks drop and they were always compatible with future generations of consoles
 

Richter1887

Member
Oct 27, 2017
15,520
PS2 has an analogue stick
It also doesn't have triggers.

The point is when did that control scheme somehow become "weird"? It is perfectly viable even now.
We aren't in the 90's or the 2000's anymore. Games back then were designed with that control scheme in mind, but they aren't now because we have better options.

Driving games don't need the d-pad at all, you do. Also, if you have to tap to turn (in GT's case), then it isn't working perfectly, it's just working.
Yet it works perfectly for me. Different people like different controls so if it works for me and others then it is perfectly fine for people like us.
I don't know why I typed fighting games I meant racing games I fully expect fighting games to not really have a place on a controller.

It would be nice if the price of sticks drop and they were always compatible with future generations of consoles
I would be fine with a customizable standard controller that allowed you to change the d pad into the players preference.
 

RPTGB

Member
Oct 28, 2017
906
UK
Never quite got the love for the Vita D Pad, despite owning and loving using it. It right up there but I personally still think it's a bit behind the glorious SS model 2 pad or the Megadrive/Genesis 6 button one.
The accuracy and input speed isn't the problem, it's more a comfort thing. The individual direction buttons just feel like the could be slighty larger and rounded off, I always have arrow shaped indentations on my thumb after playing on a Vita for any length of time.
Is still leaps ahead of what else is around these days though.
 

Hieroph

Member
Oct 28, 2017
5,784
PS4 has a great D-pad and it's "the world's best selling console" so I guess the world has voted.

Also, it's only MS who have consistently had bad D-pads. Nintendo somehow dropped the ball with Switch, but they've still got a great D-pad in New 2DS XL.
 

panama chief

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,379
PS is worlds better? It ain’t even better than an 8bitdo or Hori d-pad and can’t touch the Elite d-pad. Some strange opinions floating in here.
 

Barrel Cannon

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
4,693
Different games require different types of D-Pad. I personally think a serious gamer needs to have a second controller if they wanna experience 2d platformers properly because the big 3's D-Pads are all/good/serviceable but a far cry from something like an 8bitdo dpad.
 

Xenosaga

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,278
I was really disappointed with PS4's D-pad. I personally think it feels worse than PS3's D-pad.
Switch doesn't have proper D-pad, and the D-pad on my pro controller is basically broken mess so yeah it's been disappointing generation for me in terms of D-pad. I don't have Xbox One so I can't comment on the d-pad there.