Author Topic: What joystick setups do you use?  (Read 11293 times)

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Offline Thirith

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What joystick setups do you use?
I just got a Logitech Extreme 3D Pro, pretty much to play Freespace 2 (+ mods) and Sturmovik IL-2. I previously used an oooooold Logitech joystick but found it lacking resistance, and playing with a mouse made the game feel, well, more like a game, for want of a better word.

I have to say, though, I'm somewhat overwhelmed with the twelve buttons. 1 and 2 are clear (primary and secondary weapons), as are roll and throttle.

What would you guys (the experts  :D) recommend for the other buttons, though? I'm mainly thinking of functions such as afterburner, chaff, most important targeting functions. Any strong opinions on which configurations work best?

 

Offline Veers

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Re: What joystick setups do you use?
So you would recommend that joystick?

I might consider giving up my mouse and keyboard if so....

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Personal Choice, what you feel comfortable with and can remember. I used to use the joystick for throttle, weapons, basic targeting, roll and burners. And the keyboard for everything else - rest of targeting, countermeasures, targeting - cause I never bothered clicking the joystick button.
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Offline Thirith

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Re: What joystick setups do you use?
I've only used it for one session of Blue Planet 2 so far, and the stick takes some getting used to - it offers a lot of resistance, which is good but unusual with the joysticks I've used so far. I'll have to play with it some more, but my first impression is cautiously optimistic.

 

Offline Cyker

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Re: What joystick setups do you use?
Still using my Sidewinder 3D Pro :D

Most of the common functions I map to the 'stick;
Trigger is fire Primary
Button 2 is target-under cursor
Button 3 is target nearest enemy
Button 4 is fire Secondary

Buttons 5 and 6 are cycle through targets
7 is burners and 8 is chaff; I really should map those 4 to something more useful tbh!

The hatswitch is used for weapon selection (Except in Descenty-mods like Babylon 5, where I use them for up-down and side-sliding)
Up and down cycle through weapons
Left cycles through secondaries and right toggles between single-fire and multi-fire on the secondaries

Up

 
Re: What joystick setups do you use?
Another 3d pro user here. 1 and 2 should be obvious, 3 to toggle single/multiple secondary fire, 4 to cycle through secondaries, 5 and 6 to cycle through primaries, hat to allocate shields.

 
Re: What joystick setups do you use?
Still using my Sidewinder 3D Pro :D

Color me jealous.  The trigger on my FF Pro broke many years back, and I have yet to find a better stick.

Right now, I use a Saitek Cyborg Evo.

Button One - Fire Primary
Button Two - Target Nearest Hostile
Button Three - Fire Secondary
Button Four - Drop Countermeasure
Button Five - Cycle Primary
Button Six - Cycle Secondary
Hat Switch - Side/Top/Rear View

The buttons on the base are mapped to a few in-game functions, but most of them overlap with stuff I have mapped to my numeric keypad, where my left hand stays during gameplay, so they don't see much use.  The exception is that one of the buttons on the right-hand side of the base is mapped to the jump drive.  There's no accidentally hitting that, since I have to remove one hand or the other from the controls to hit that button.

For reference, my numeric keypad configuration:

Num Lock - Unmapped (Quite a lot of games didn't/don't allow mapping of Num Lock, so I never got in the habit of using it.)
/ - Target Next Escort Ship
* - Target Next Bomb/Bomber
- - Target Subsystem Under Reticle
7 - Equalize Shield Quadrants
8 - Forward Thrust
9 - Target Ship Under Reticle
+ - Target Nearest Friendly (because they're up to something nefarious!)
4 - Transfer Shield Energy to Guns
5 - Reverse Thrust
6 - Transfter Weapon Energy to Shields
+ - Target Nearest Friendly (because they're still up to something nefarious!)
1 - Toggle Auto Targeting
2 - Request Rearm/Repair
3 - Toggle Auto Speed-Matching
Enter - Afterburner
0 - Communication Menu
. - Toggle Secondary Double/Single Fire

Aside from that, pretty much everything else is left to its default mapping, and the only default key that I remember and haven't remapped is 'U' to target next unscanned cargo container.  Reason being, if I'm scanning cargo, the area is probably relatively clear of hostiles, so I can afford that split second with my left hand off the keypad.

 

Offline Cyker

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Re: What joystick setups do you use?
If you're feeling adventurous, replacing the trigger microswitch is doable; The only tricky part is the zillion wires that run up into the stick...

It's a pity there aren't many good sticks out there; The Saiteks are nice but too unwieldy for me, and I really hate the layout at the top of the stick on most of them.
The last one I had (A cyborg 3D IIRC) I totally destroyed that pathetic plastic disc that the spring pushes on to centre the stick. I really wish they'd used a saturn ring like in the Sidewinder; So much more reliable!

My brother's very into flight sims and has a Cougar, but it's such a terrible stick for Freespace 2; The throw is ridiculous, and the gimbal springs make it nigh impossible to do a clean diagonal or smooth rotation. (Why aren't they all using saturn rings!?). It feels about right when piloting an Ares or Ursa tho' :lol:
But the force you need to move the damned thing and the sheer size... I swear it was made for a gorilla! :lol:

The new warthog one piqued my interest as it has no throw, but uses pressure sensors instead (Kindalike the trackpoint stick you get on Thinkpads), but it's still far too big for my tiny hands!

I did like the fact that you actually can map all the commands to the stick and throttle tho' :)


  
Re: What joystick setups do you use?
If you're feeling adventurous, replacing the trigger microswitch is doable; The only tricky part is the zillion wires that run up into the stick...

Unfortunately, it's long since been gotten rid of.  I made an attempt to open it up at the time, but I recall it being a really solid construction (under any other circumstance, a positive trait), so I never felt confident that I could get it open without causing some permanent harm.  At this point, I'd also need to hunt down a gameport-to-USB adapter and drivers to make the stick work under Windows 7.  Even if I still had the stick, it'd be a lot of trouble to go to, when I already have a passable alternative.

 

Offline Cyker

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Re: What joystick setups do you use?
Yeah tell me about it!

It took many years between Grendle devising a way to make it work in digital mode on modern computers using an ATmega, Koolbear doing a manufacturing run and then disappearing off the 'net and then Sickone made a bunch of the new Teensy-based ones and I finally got my grubby hands on one! :lol:

 

Offline Snail

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Re: What joystick setups do you use?
Does mouse and keyboard count as a joystick setup?

 
Re: What joystick setups do you use?
I also have an extreme 3D pro, but I only use the four buttons that are within easy reach of the thumb, so the top two buttons next to the hat switch and the six base buttons are unused; since I also have my left hand on the keyboard, the throttle goes unused too. My control scheme is still influenced by the default control scheme of X-Wing and TIE fighter, though appropriately updated for FS2. Thus:
Trigger: fire primaries
Button 2 (the one off to the left): target nearest enemy
Button 3: target enemy in reticle
Button 4: match target speed
Hat forward: cycle primaries
Hat right: cycle secondaries
Hat left: cycle secondary fire mode
Hat back: rear view

Everything else is keyboard; I moved the increase/decrease throttle to A and Z so I don't have to move my left hand very far.

 

Offline Mongoose

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Re: What joystick setups do you use?
I use a Cyborg Evo myself, and my control scheme originally came about by taking the random keyboard commands I use most often and shoving them onto the stick somewhere. :p I use the on-stick throttle, so most of the time I have both hands on the joystick; this does necessitate the occasional reaching across the keyboard, but since I'm not exactly playing the QuantumDeltas of the world, it's generally doable.

Buttons 1/2: Primary/Secondary, obviously
Button 3: Nearest hostile
Button 4: Target under reticule
Button 5: Target attacking me, though I should really put something else there, since I don't use it all that much
Button 6: Equalize shields
Left base shift button: Afterburner (it's closest to the throttle, so that makes things easy)
F1 button on base: Target bombs/bombers
F2 button on base: Countermeasures (I should probably use these more)

I could probably put something more useful on the hat switch, but I like using it to look around, so that's stayed as the default.  I don't use the three shift/function buttons on the other side of the base, though now that I think about it, I really should.  It'd be much easier to use my throttle hand to tap one of those to do something like cycle primaries/secondaries than to reach onto the keyboard to do it. :p

 

Offline Admiral LSD

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Re: What joystick setups do you use?
heh, having recently got my hands on a Wingman Attack 3, I was thinking of starting a thread on this subject too.

I'm in a similar boat to Thirith, I got used to playing with a joystick years ago to the point that keyboard/mouse is near unplayable for me now due to crap sensitivity (It's infinitely worse on OS X, but it doesn't exactly get up and go under Windows either).

I'm not a huge fan of the Logitech sticks, the twist action on at least the two I've had (an old Wingman Extreme Digital 3D as well as the newer Extreme 3D Pro) seems to be quite poorly made leading to a tendency to lose calibration and 'drift' (edit: the Attack 3 doesn't have a twist action, so will hopefully hold up longer than the others, but means I need to think about mapping bank commands to other buttons :/ ). Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be much else out there that's reasonably priced and/or isn't designed for flight sim losers (the kind that build replica cockpits in their mothers basements) :(
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Offline KyadCK

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Re: What joystick setups do you use?
Logitech Extreme 3D Pro


It is a 2-hand setup, but what isn't on the stick can be done easily on the keyboard should that be the choice.

Quote
(edit: the Attack 3 doesn't have a twist action, so will hopefully hold up longer than the others, but means I need to think about mapping bank commands to other buttons :/ )

Having 2 of them and a 3D Pro, I can safely say the Attack 3 sucks. It's a left/right stick, so you lose some keys to a side you cant access, you lose the hat, unlike the 3D Pro it can't turn as fast as the keyboard (yes the 3D Pro can, it just cant change direction as quickly), and its thumb throttle is harder to use. If you are worried only about the roll axis, then un-bind it and keep using the 3D Pro, perhaps use 2 of the 6 base keys.

Quote
(an old Wingman Extreme Digital 3D as well as the newer Extreme 3D Pro) seems to be quite poorly made leading to a tendency to lose calibration and 'drift'

Kick up the deadzone to 2 marks, bye bye drift. I only drop deadzone to minimum for TvT games where I need every tiny bit I can get out of the stick and don't plan to stop where the drift might effect me.

Quote
At this point, I'd also need to hunt down a gameport-to-USB adapter and drivers to make the stick work under Windows 7

The Sidewinder 3D Pro drivers are already IN Win7 (even 64-bit). I checked a while back since I still have mine. Sadly the only way I currently have to get a game-port in my comp is to use a SB Live card I have laying around, but there are no 64-bit drivers for them.  :(
« Last Edit: July 05, 2011, 12:35:56 am by KyadCK »
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Offline Admiral LSD

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Re: What joystick setups do you use?
I got the Attack 3 for free, it's not something I'd have bought personally. Now that I have it though, FS stands a chance of becoming somewhat playable again so I intend to try and make the most of it.

Losing the hat doesn't bother me as I never used it for anything important anyway (it maps to look up/down/right/left by default which, while cool, are hardly necessary. You get a pretty good idea that something is in your blind spots when you hit it or something hits you). Losing the roll axis entirely is far more annoying, but infinitely better than having the stick become next to useless (make all the excuses and suggest all the workarounds you want, it doesn't change the fact it's a poorly built stick) when it inevitably fails. For the record, I'm pretty sure I did try kicking up the deadzone, but all that succeeded in doing was making the whole thing harder to use.

Quote
At this point, I'd also need to hunt down a gameport-to-USB adapter and drivers to make the stick work under Windows 7

The Sidewinder 3D Pro drivers are already IN Win7 (even 64-bit). I checked a while back since I still have mine. Sadly the only way I currently have to get a game-port in my comp is to use a SB Live card I have laying around, but there are no 64-bit drivers for them.  :(

There's a bug in the Windows gameport driver that causes issues on high FSB machines (I'm not sure what the cutoff for "high" FSB actually is though. It might be interesting to revisit the issue on a Sandy Bridge machine where the bus has been lowered to 100MHz...). Normal gameport adaptors don't account for it afaik, which is hte reason behind the ones Grendel designed for teh DescentBB guys.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2011, 12:48:20 am by Admiral LSD »
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Offline Enigmatic Entity

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Re: What joystick setups do you use?
Does mouse and keyboard count as a joystick setup?

I guess if you put a stick on a mouse and hacked a numpad to put buttons on the stick, then yes, you would have some sort of "joystick" steup...

Do tentacle stalk eyes count as a joystick setup? ;)
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Offline jg18

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Re: What joystick setups do you use?
I use a CH Flightstick Pro (4 buttons + 1 hat) and a CH Pro Throttle, although sometimes I use the Flightstick Pro with the keyboard or even just the keyboard alone instead. Hard to say which of the three setups is "best", although so far the only time I've completed all primary objectives in the Bearbaiting mission is with the HOTAS. :D (I think that's sufficiently abstract to not qualify as a spoiler.) Never got used to using a mouse, though.

For assigning commands, I did more or less what Mongoose did:

I use a Cyborg Evo myself, and my control scheme originally came about by taking the random keyboard commands I use most often and shoving them onto the stick somewhere. :p

Although of course that assumes that you start with the keyboard first (which is my preference anyway). My setup with or without the throttle admittedly doesn't map well onto the 3D Pro, although KyadCK's setup looks pretty good to me. Whatever mapping you choose, you'll end up fiddling with it a bit anyway to suit your style.

It might also be worth taking a look at the default FS2 controls (in the Options menu in game) and seeing which functions were considered to be the most important, based on their default joystick mappings.

 

Offline Admiral LSD

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Re: What joystick setups do you use?
although so far the only time I've completed all primary objectives in the Bearbaiting mission is with the HOTAS. :D (I think that's sufficiently abstract to not qualify as a spoiler.)

Bah, it's been what, 12-13 years? Anything that's been out for that long is exempt from "spoiler" rules. It's like calling the fact that the ship sinks at the end of Titanic a "spoiler" XD
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Offline Quanto

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Re: What joystick setups do you use?
I too use the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro, its a good cheap flight-stick. Not the best, but definitely worth the $30. I also have an old MS Sidewinder Forcefeedback2. I tried switching back to it, but found the change from 12 buttons (on the logitech) to 8 (on the sidewinder) was a little too difficult. So I went back to the logitech. But sometimes I still long for a little rumble and jerk in my gaming.
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Offline KyadCK

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Re: What joystick setups do you use?
Quote
Losing the hat doesn't bother me as I never used it for anything important anyway

Eh, preference is preference

Quote
Losing the roll axis entirely is far more annoying, but infinitely better than having the stick become next to useless (make all the excuses and suggest all the workarounds you want, it doesn't change the fact it's a poorly built stick)

you lose it entirely with the attack 3 and need to find a workaround anyway, point? Works just fine for me, and have had quite literaly no problems with it (and as seen in above setup, I use everything), Perhaps you got unlucky? In the end, it IS just a $30-40 joystick, you want real quality, buy a 'flight sim loser' $200 joy/throttle combo rig or a CH stick/throttle, they have a program to make the OS see them as one which is nice.

I hear that saitek has some reasonable and comparitively cheap joysticks as well. If you are going to stick with the Attack 3 I would sugest removing the main spring to gain a little extra turn speed though you still aren't going to match the keyboard with it.
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