FRC Controllers

I’ve seen a lot of different teams in competition use all kinds of controllers. If possible, name the controller that your team uses and why.

Afterglow wired Xbox 360 controller. They’re comfortable, reliable, and they glow. They don’t have any fancy extra features but we’ve never really needed any anyways.

We’ve used the Logitech joysticks for tank drive and an Xbox controller for our secondary driver, however the tank drive setup had issues so we switched to dual Xbox controllers.

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2 Logitech Attack 3 joysticks for driving, and a Logitech Extreme 3D Pro joystick for mechanisms. I believe we use them since they were in FIRST Choice when the team started, and they’ve held up through several seasons of use and abuse. We also use a Logitech F310 at outreach events where we don’t have the space to set up our whole driver station.

Logitech F310 game pads for driver & operator. Cheap, durable, wired, only have to buy new ones every couple years (but I think I might move us onto a yearly refresh cycle, so that we’re not SOL when we want to run two robots at the same time at a demo).

(Arcade drive with a quickturn trigger to spin in place - way more intuitive than tank. The students let me drive at a demo this year and I could actually do some stuff…)


The correct answer is steering wheel, because 99% of teams haven’t realized how superior it is.

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We use Xbox one Controllers because they have much higher joystick resolution than Xbox one Controllers. Elite controllers are even higher res. Found it much easier for finer control of robot driving. Only issue we have had is the micro USB cable is unreliable. So we are trying to find cheaper and more durable alternatives as long as we can keep the same joystick resolution.

We used Xbox 360 controllers produced by Microsoft for years. Operator still uses one. (ONLY like the Microsoft ones and sadly they do not make them anymore so we found some from resellers to have as spares)
Driver switched to Razer Wolverine Ultimate this year and loved it.

Related thread: Recommendation: wired Xbox 360 controller

PS4. The analog sticks are extremely consistent between different controllers, and very smooth and linear.

We had a few intermittent issues with the Xbox controllers disconnecting / swapping mid March, which forced us to change. Also, different types of controllers use different scaling on the sticks (polar vs Cartesian output for example)

Looked at F310, but the analog sticks were not consistent, all that I have looked at myself have have uneven center dead bands and Max out before the end of the stroke unevenly.

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How did you measure resolution?

This year we used a FlySky drone controller (not sure of the model but it is either this one or one similar to it) to control our swerve drive. For tank drive we used 2 Logitech flight sticks.

After running into issues with multiple Logitech joysticks, we got a pair of these a year or two ago:

These are far more consistent than the Logitech joysticks (no need to calibrate the individual controllers if you mix them up) and are far more durable. Incidentally, these are made by the same company that made the old KOP joysticks back in the pre-2005 days. We prefer these to controllers for the drive system, as they allow for much better resolution of control.

Beyond that though, we’ve also used Logitech F310 for “co-pilot” functions and have generally been quite happy with it. This year though we actually ended up ditching the controller in favor of a custom solution because our robot had too many functions to effectively map to a controller. We used a “Polabs Pokeys 57” board to convert basic switch and analog inputs to an emulated joystick (it was actually VERY easy to set up too, and plug-and-play once it’s been configured).

There was a post a while back, which I couldn’t find, but I have the github link which had the comparisons and stuff.

That site ignores the fact that the driver station protocol only allows 8bits of resolution.

we just use an xbox one controller, it’s worked for us for years and we can even go wireless at outreach events