Console manufacturers should stop ignoring the D-Pad

DoubleYou

Member
Oct 26, 2017
287
I agree. And it's especially aggravating on the Switch where 2D games in general are a huge selling point for the system.
 
Nov 4, 2017
1,809
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
1,583
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
1,259
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
2,263
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
1,585
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
737
?

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
15,689
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
914
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
5,864
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.
 

NecroTechno

Member
Oct 25, 2017
273
geohell
Honestly never had any problems with a Dpad until tetris with the switch pro lol

I guess the games I play dont really require accuracy but damn does tetris highlight the shittyness.
100% agreed. I have to pick up the joy cons if I want to play Tetris 99. The pro controller's d-pad is ridiculously bad for accuracy.
 

panama chief

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,396
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
4,772
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
5,352
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.
 

Gaardus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
842
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.
Keep in mind that you're talking about ~20-30 year old controllers from systems that weren't the market leaders of their times. Even a lot of gaming enthusiasts have never touched a Sega controller.
 

Duxxy3

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,750
USA
Sony's dpad is definitely the best this generation, but I'm still so confused by their choice to not simply move the Vita's dpad to the controller. That thing was absolutely amazing. The DS4's dpad isn't bad by any means, but it's a bit stiff and large. Less squishy than the DS3's dpad, but I'm not sure I'd consider it an upgrade.

Microsoft did improve from last generation, but that's not saying much. It's useful for selelections and that's about it. I'd rather play games using the XB1's analog stick, even games that were meant for dpad.
 

ghibli99

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,582
USA
Outside of the Vita, I think the PS4's d-pad is the best theirs have ever been. LOL I like the XB1 clicky d-pad as well. So much better than the 360. Agree that Nintendo's current one is terrible, but they've been great before now, except for maybe the GameCube's tiny-ass d-pad... but if I was playing GBA games, I'd use the Hori one. I have the 8BitDo SN30 Pro+ and that d-pad is great.
 

dynamitejim

Member
Oct 25, 2017
319
The left Joycon modded with a Basstop Dpad shell is soooooo good it makes me really sad Nintendo went with the separate buttons. DS4 is very good, but I think I personally prefer the shallow clicky Dpads like on my Basstop or the GBA SP or the N3DS.

Where do you guys stand on shallow/clicky vs SNES style Dpads?
 

TitanicFall

Member
Nov 12, 2017
2,816
Vita is definitely the best I've used. I think I liked the DS3 dpad better than the DS4 because it felt a bit looser. I normally play on PC with the Xbox One controller, but everytime I launch a 2D game like Hollow Knight, I ask myself what the heck am I thinking and then connect my DS4.
 

kubev

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,403
Pacifica, CA
It's my favorite d-pad this gen by far. I like clicky d-pads because I like being able to hear and feel the activation point better like with mechanical keyboards, but I never have issues doing qcf motions in KI for example.
I always end up having to switch to the analog stick to do QCF motions on Xbox One X, as I can never get them to register properly with the d-pad. That's why I don't tend to buy games with a reliance on QCF motions (or even diagonal attacks in many cases) on Xbox One X. To be fair, though, I also kind of prefer to play games that rely heavily on the d-pad on a different system.

Every manufacturer should license the Saturn D pad.
I totally agree. I wish Sega would at least make third-party controllers for each major console.
 

Decarb

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,338
This is why I just connect my fightstick whenever playing 2D games. Was sad when I couldn't do it with Bloodstained because it uses right stick significantly.
 

SpaceCrystal

Member
Apr 1, 2019
835
I agree. They should stick to D-Pad's that were once decently made (like with Wii U's & PS Vita's) are decent instead of changing it each generation.

Yeah. Shame on Nintendo. You would think that they'd have perfected the dpad by now.
And it's sad when a 3rd party company such as 8BitDo can make a better D-Pad than a 1st party, hardware manufacturer company like Nintendo could.
 
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