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(Please excuse my ignorant question - I'm a long-time "PC Keyboard and Mouse" gamer who only recently started using a gamepad.)

I got myself an 8BitDo Pro 2 gamepad, which can be connected both

  • to my Windows PC (in "X-input" mode) and
  • to my Android tablet (in "D-input" mode).

When I connect the gamepad in X-input mode, the bottom button is "A" and the right button "B". When I connect in D-input mode, it's reversed. Since it doesn't make much sense to re-train my fingers every time I switch devices, I am considering to use the software provided by the manufacturer to re-map one of those configurations and make them "consistent".

Which one should I choose? Should A be on the bottom or on the right? Is there a configuration which is objectively better than the other one? (e.g., one being a "legacy" configuration and the other one being the one that all new devices use?)

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    There is no difference on what is on the face of the button. Nintendo formats controllers XABY, Xbox does YBAX, and Sony uses shapes. It's still 4 buttons and they do the same thing.
    – Rapitor
    Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 22:41

1 Answer 1

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The most used configuration for games is usually with the A (main button) at the bottom

"A" is mostly used as a "select", "main action", or "jump" button, while "B" serves more as a "back", "cancel" or "dodge". I often imagine them as a the Yes and No buttons for games. This is what Xbox and Playstation use, although the latter has shapes instead of letters on the controller.

One exception is with Nintendo games. It is reversed, and sometimes can be annoying when you switch to a Nintendo game from a Playstation or Xbox game because your brain needs to retrain itself.

There are multiplatform games where, on Nintendo consoles, the button layout doesn't make much sense because game developers don't bother configuring the buttons properly, or they rarely care.

So to answer your question:

Use D-input if you're playing a Nintendo game. If you don't, you will see that the button layout doesn't make sense most of the time.

Use X-input for everything else. Because it's the standard for almost all other consoles and games.

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  • Small nitpick, the most common gamepad layout is A at the bottom, but Nintendo gamepads are different. A game doesn't usually care which one you pick unless it has some kind of button map on screen.
    – Unionhawk
    Commented Nov 5, 2022 at 9:45

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