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I am playing Helldivers on the PC using a wireless Xbox 360 controller. My problem is that the d-pad sometimes registers diagonal presses instead of straight. This causes me to struggle with the sequences of 4-directional inputs that the game requires. It only needs up/down/left right, but when it registers a diagonal press, the whole sequence aborts.

Is it possible to use software to limit the d-pad to 4 directions only?

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Has no software to do that, however you might want to calibrate your controller.

Calibration process:

  1. Go to Start > Control Panel
  2. Select Devices and Printers
  3. Right-click the controller and click Game controller settings
  4. Go to Properties > Settings tab > Calibrate
  5. Go to Device Calibration Wizard to configure the axes of controller and click next
  6. The wizard will guide you through the calibration process
  7. Save configuration and click Finish.
  8. Now test the operation of the controller from the test tab
  9. Click ok twice if the test was successful else click Settings > Reset to default and try again
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You can't with software, but you may be able to with hardware modifications.

The D pad is essentially 4 switches, one for each direction primary direction. The Dpad switch 'rocks' in 8 directions. Then the pad is pressed in a primary direction, a single switch is activated. When it is pressed to a diagonal, two switches are activated, instead of one.

Depending on exactly how the drivers and the game are written, it's possible you could disable the 'diagonal' input, but you'd end up with a situation where there is no way to detect which is the 'Correct' direction pressed, when you slip and press a diagonal.

You'd need to find some way of preventing two switches from being active at once... probably with a hardware mod to physically prevent that movement. Then, in theory at least, you won't be able to give diagonal input.

Controller highlighing dpad switches

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