I've been using generic USB gamepads (those cheap Chinese gamepads) with my PC games for a long time now. They've served me well, but they all have an issue. The analog sticks are awful.

The range in which the stick returns a value is too small. Each of them had a dead zone around the center. This dead zone is actually small and manageable, but the pad also had a much larger "Outer Dead" zone, if that makes sense. The value from the stick maxes out before I push the stick all the way to the limit. Almost half way. So it's kinda like the sticks have an inner and outer dead zone. I understand the need for an inner dead zone, but I don't want to deal with the outer dead zone any longer. The result is, I only have a small range within which I can control the pad.

I want to get a better pad. Ideally, I'd like a pad with a joystick that maxes out at the exact point where the stick is pushed to the limit. No "outer deadzone". I hope I'm making sense. I'm thinking of the DS3, which has analog triggers as well.

Ok, my question is directed to those that use the DS3. Will this pad suit my needs? How do you find the dead zones? Thanks.

1 Answer 1


I've checked my DS3 using the standard Windows USB pad calibration tool, and while there is a bit of a dead zone (you get the maximum/minimum values just before the stick hits the movement limit), it's maybe around 10% of total travel. The triggers seem to have even less of a dead zone - you need to squeeze them all the way to the end to get the maximum values - and the analog face buttons have a fairly decent range as well.

However, it's up to the game you're playing to actually utilize those values, and in my (admittedly anecdotal) experience most games tend to cull those values a bit, so pushing the stick all the way forward won't make your character move faster than pushing it 75% or 80% out. If you know that the game you're playing will make use of the full range of your controller's capabilities, though, then the DS3 is a very good choice.

  • Thank you very much. A completely satisfactory answer. I can make due with 10% outer dead zone. Those generic gamepads were like 40% outer dead zone. It's true that games may cull values for character movement, but I hope it's not the case for aiming.
    – YoungDON
    Dec 31, 2018 at 0:45
  • You've answered my question. Is it okay to ask a few more? Do you play PC games with the DS3? if you do, what software do you use to convert Dinput to Xinput? I've read about SCPserver and the likes. Do you encounter any issues with using a DS3 with pc games?
    – YoungDON
    Dec 31, 2018 at 0:49
  • @YoungDON I typically use the X360 controller for PC gaming (which, for the record, also has no problem with dead zones). SCPServer, DS4Windows and such are generally only required if you plan to use it wirelessly over Bluetooth - if you're wiring it, then any DInput wrapper such as x360ce should do, although I haven't tinkered with it enough to recommend any. Dec 31, 2018 at 1:13
  • Also, if it's not making any difference to you, I'd recommend DS4 over DS3. More games recognize it as a PS controller (sometimes even with proper button prompts, etc.), and it's easier to get an original one - a new DS3 is fairly expensive and there's a lot of counterfeits going around. Dec 31, 2018 at 1:17
  • Thank you. Where I am, the DS4 is almost thrice as expensive as the DS3. Also, I did a little research, and it seems the DS3 has a wider range than the DS4. reddit.com/r/RocketLeague/comments/4dvcym/…
    – YoungDON
    Dec 31, 2018 at 17:34

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