Most reliable controllers

I know that a team nearby had 2 control sticks because theirs didn’t have twist. One with movement one for rotation. A stick and a knob would work even better probably. If we end up using swerve we’ll see what the driver prefers.

Are there any teams that have used the Xbox
Adaptive Controller? We were looking at possibly using it this season to hook up a board of buttons and switches, if the game calls for it, due to its ease of use programming.

We use a knock off xbox controller that has little buttons on the back where your middle finger rests, it also has fun lights

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We use Scuf Impacts, while the plug is reinforced my only “complaint” is that it’s micro usb and not usb c, it has yet to be an issue and we’ve been using the same ones since 2018.

Those are pricey :eyes:

I’ve been looking into getting a SCUF XBOX controller to use as the swerve driving controller for our robot. Have you found that it’s been worth the price compared to a standard XBOX controller? What pros are there over a standard controller to justify the 3 figure price tag?


Modded… how about replacing joysticks?


So I’m sure other controllers have similar features, but in no particular order/off the top of my head:

  1. USB retention feature, like I mentioned I wish it was USB C, but so far so good.
  2. Replaceable Thumb Sticks of different lengths, we use the longest ones
  3. Paddles underneath allow access to buttons so you don’t need to take your fingers off the Thumb Sticks
  4. Customizable colors, we got ours in black with yellow accents to match our team branding
  5. Adjustable Triggers

Unfortunately there aren’t any hall effect joysticks for the PS5 controller. I spent a few hours today looking for one.

Strong disagree with the flight sticks. While it comes to driver preference, I personally hated flight stick control because everything was on one stick. To drive swerve well, translation and rotation need to be treated and controlled independently and flight sticks are very difficult control rotation without also changing translation. I tried using one in the 2021 offseason and I hated it because trying to rotate would also frequently cause unwanted transnational movements and was often fighting with the controls to drive in the direction I wanted. In the 2022 competition season, I used a gamepad and found it much easier because translation and rotation are separately which helps significantly with accuracy especially at high speeds.


Note that it’s fairly common to use two flight sticks and split arcade control across them (e.g. front-back on the Y axis of the left stick, left-right on the X axis of the right stick). I definitely agree that controls should be split as it’s too easy to end up with an unintentional input with everything on one stick.


I agree with this completely. I’ve been driving swerve with an xbox controller and it’s super easy to control. I was once given a flight stick to try out with the swerve, but it was easy to do accidental movements with it, and it made it hard to move my body or look from different angles at the field without having a weird grip on the stick. Overall i’ve found that using a controller is much easier and for swerve I’d recommend controller over flight sticks any day.

On the note of flight sticks, while driving with them is a preference thing (you should be using two for swerve to prevent accidental inputs, or ideally one and a spinner), they are generally far more reliable that most styles of gamepad. Many flight sticks use hall effect sensors or encoders vs the potentiometers used in almost all gamepads. The flight sticks that do use potentiometers are using more reliable ones that are less susceptible to drift.

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We invested in the Xbox Elite a couple of years ago and it has some advantages; all told the price difference is less than one BLDC motor/controller combo, so it’s worth that for the reliability and enhancements. Looking at that Hall Effect controller though.

We’ve been using PS4 controllers for a few years, and got tired of the micro usb connector flaking out. I recently got a pair of these, that have a chunky connector with extra support and retention for the micro usb end, and the drivers love them.

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I know we have at least 2 PowerA Wired XBox One controllers that have gone through three seasons with no issues, as well as 2 of the XBox One S/X versions that have gone through a single season. I picked these when I was trying to find readily available controllers that were HARD-WIRED but the closest I could find were the PowerA’s which while they do use a removable USB Cable, have the connector deep set in the housing with a key on it and a matching cable which provides very good strain relief with which we have had no issue even with the cord being tripped over a few times.

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When deciding on a game controller and an input scheme, I strongly recommend just picking a bog-standard x-box controller. Why not something fancier, with more buttons? Because when that controller breaks, and you are minutes away from the start of a match, you don’t have time to find an exact spare that has all of the same macros assigned. I’ve seen people lose matches because their emergency replacement controllers didn’t match the broken one.

Feel free to buy a high quality X-box controller, but don’t use any of the extra features it might offer. You can get a bog-standard X-box controller almost anywhere at almost any time of day. Just use that.


Or you could buy a spare to have on hand in case your fancy controller breaks.

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Personally I’m going to have to go with LQR’s

We use Power A Enhanced Wired Xbox One Controllers off Amazon for usually less than $30 a pop, yeah they probably won’t last 5 years but they’re cheap enough to replace it makes it less of an issue. The controller does have a nice mold around the USB cable so it’s less likely to damage and has one button on each side on the back that you can map to any other button.

If you drop them on the bumper buttons they sometimes will break (from experience…) but overall the deadzones are small (all of ours tested less than 6% inner deadzones) and the buttons are consistent and have a nice feel.

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