Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tech Tuesday: Logitech Gamepad F310

In case you have not noticed, I have been playing a lot of online games recently, of the Flash variety, mostly on Adult Swim Games. I hate using the keyboard, so decided I should get a customizable gamepad. I went with the Logitech Gamepad F310, mostly for price, and I do tend to trust Logitech's gear. [F310 link]

From a controller standpoint, it is fine. Very much a Playstation controller. Where it lacks is in the software that allows configuration.

First, each configuration must be tied to an application. If you play web games in Firefox, then you can only attach one configuration to Firefox. I tried to make a *.bat file that opened a link to a specific game in Firefox, but then it attached to the DOS window and not the browser. So, I picked the games I like to play most, and configured as many of them into one controller setup as logic would allow. Fortunately, Adult Swim tends to use the same button configuration on most new games (Space, Z, X, four arrow keys). You can set keystroke actions for all buttons, so I set the "Start" button to "P" as that is often the pause.

Now, the other problem is with the direction control. Take a game like Zombie Hooker Nightmare (which will be reviewed tomorrow, btw). Your character moves up, down, left,and right. On the keyboard you can move diagonally by pressing the two appropriate keys (up+right for example). Making the configuration software understand this is no treat. For a multiple key command you cannot just enter the keystrokes. The command entry is more for things like special moves or attacks (think Street Fighter). For direction, you either get a short move in the desired direction, or continuous movement in the desired direction; and by continuous, I mean perpetual—you cannot stop said movement.

All-in-all it is not a bad controller for online Flash games. Despite its limitations, it can make some of them more fun. You just have to get used to not going diagonally. As for the application attachment, many of us have multiple browsers installed, so radically different configurations could be saved to a less used browser program.

If you guys and gals have any tips on where I might be screwing up on the direction control, let me know. :-)


T. Roger Thomas said...

Wow, that's a lot of work for playing online games

Darius Whiteplume said...

Yeah, a bit ;-)

Anonymous said...

Try checking the "FPS Style Movement" box in the POV edit dialog. This will remove the intercardinal directions and allow you to combine Up+Right etc like you would expect them to work. I was able to play ZHN with my F710 by doing this.

It's called "FPS Style Movement" because it was originally used by most people to create profiles for Doom or Quake or whatever, and they'd assign WASD to NWSE. The "POV Assignment" command is designed to mimic a joystick's 8-way hat switch (for looking around a flight sim cockpit) by default, not create a movement control.

-Chris from Logitech

Darius Whiteplume said...

Thanks Chris, I will give it a try.

I've got a ton of Logitech stuff and it all works great; just having a bit of a confusion point here. I avoided the FPS settings based on the name, but that makes sense.

Anonymous said...

Understandable - there are a few things about the software that are not as straightforward as they could be. Having the opportunity to talk with people who are experiencing these confusion points helps us to make better stuff in the future, though. :)


Darius Whiteplume said...

That totally works. Thanks for the help, Chris!

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