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 Post subject: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 6:58 am 


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Joined: 21 Jun 2019
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Location: Atlanta, GA
I realized I had SNK 40th Anniversary on PC from Twitch Prime giveaway and I like TwinBee on Switch NES. I see controllers can be compatible with both so want to hit two birds with one stone. I have one PowerA Switch Pro controller that I think is far from ideal here.

In my own amateur internet research, I was thinking about the Hori Nintendo Switch Fighting Stick Mini that has turbo buttons for good measure. People knock it down in reviews for having big hands that can hit each other while playing but I think I have averaged sized hands. :|

The gamepad (no joystick) I liked learning about is the Hori Fighting Commander, also with turbo buttons. I wasn't sure how the d-pad versus joystick was for serious shmups play.

So I wanted to ask what you're using right now and if you're happy with it?


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 Post subject: Re: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 7:15 am 



Joined: 14 Feb 2005
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The thing with the Fighting Stick Mini, hand size aside, is that it's so small it isn't really representative of an arcade stick experience. For most people I would say go for a true full-sized arcade stick or don't bother.

The Fighting Commander you mention has a pretty good rep for how it works, but also a lot of anecdotal comments that the D-pad wears out quickly. Perhaps Hori is using subpar rubber membranes in these. Personally, I have held one and didn't find the shape comfortable. I have average/small hands and it was just too big and clunky for a gamepad.

I would suggest looking at Retro-Bit's licensed Sega pads. There have been mixed comments on overall quality since they started releasing, but you get PC/Switch compatibility and you'll hear over and over that a Sega D-Pad is the best D-Pad (I happen to agree). A well-built example of these is going to play very, very well.


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 Post subject: Re: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 8:39 am 


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bigbadboaz wrote:
I would suggest looking at Retro-Bit's licensed Sega pads.

I use one of the Mega Drive six button controller shaped ones for all my 2D gaming on the PC, and I don't have any reason to complain. I would have preferred the Saturn one, actually, but early reviews reported more issues with these. I don't know if these have been sorted out in the meantime.

For the Switch I use a Hori Digital Controller for the Gamecube through an adapter. It's excellent.


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 Post subject: Re: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 12:11 pm 


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I use the 8bitdo m30 since last year, excellent d-pad and great controller all around, I really like the good old Sega button layout. There's also a 2.4GHz version which is in theory better than the bluetooth version for wireless, but unfortunately it doesn't seem to work on Windows and I picked the bluetooth one instead (some people claim it does, some don't, I didn't want to risk it). The 2.4GHz one is supposed to work with the Switch but I can't confirm.

Can't really complain about it, it feels great. If it ever breaks I'll probably get the same one.
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 Post subject: Re: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 2:11 pm 



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I'm using the M30 2.4ghz and it works great. Good d-pad and supposedly among the lowest lag options.

I use a Hori Fighting Commander for the PS4/PC and I like that a lot also, so I expect you'll be fine with either!


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 Post subject: Re: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 2:33 pm 


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Co-sign on the Retro-Bit Sega pads, I have both the Saturn & Genesis 6-button models and they're my go-tos. They feel amazing. I've seen some criticize the dpad as it's possible to mash it down and hit all four inputs at once, but you would need to be someone who uses excessive force and has a significant lack of coordination to do this in actual practice. I've never once done it or even come close, as near as I can tell. In the interest of full disclosure I did have an issue where the Saturn pad stopped accepting left inputs on the dpad though, I've sent it in to be replaced under warranty. Oddly that was bought new, but the Genesis model that I got discounted as open box from a local retailer has held up like a champ.

I also have a more recent model Switch Pro Controller, and I've had no problems with its much-criticized dpad. It's to the point where I wonder if there was a manufacturing revision earlier in the year. The form factor on the cross pad itself can't hang with the godly raised edges of the Sega design though, so it's in employed largely for analog duties.

And last but certainly not least, I have the Hori RAP V stick. I can confirm the praise it gets, it's excellent and the best stick I've ever owned, though that is admittedly not a great many. But the Hayabusa parts seem to be earning a fair number of fans among stick-oriented youtubers I've seen.

The one caveat to the stick is that according to ShmupJunkie's tests, it's the slowest of the above options due to the dock itself adding about a frame of latency, hence my tendency to roll with the Segas:

Nintendo Switch Controller Lag Performance Shootout


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 Post subject: Re: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 2:49 pm 



Joined: 03 May 2012
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Location: Russia, Moscow
Mayflash Magic-NS converter and Logitech F310 - I use this gamepad on every platform if I want to play shmup.
Not sure how horrible lag in this one but it seems comfortable for me.


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 Post subject: Re: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:10 pm 


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Similar to a couple others, one of the controllers I use for Switch is the Retro-Bit Saturn (Bluetooth version). Using it via bluetooth with the Switch is supposedly one of the lowest input lag options out there, so when I am trying to get a true feel for how much a particular game has input lag I will use that. Also, when plugged into the PC via USB it can use X-Input which is compatible with almost every game today. If you try to use Bluetooth for both Switch and PC you will have to repair it every time, so if you are going to use it for both I highly recommend using USB for PC and leave it paired to the Switch. The only complaint I have about the controller is that although the "shape" of the D-Pad is about perfect, it's feels a tad on the mushy side. For me, it makes micro dodges a little bit harder to do.

Although this next option is most likely is introducing at least 1 or 2 more frames of input lag, my strongest preference is the Xbox 360 controller via Mayflash Magic NS adapter due to the comfort and performance of the D-Pad. The raised position of it and the solid feel of directional presses matches my personal preference exactly. Also, the Magic NS adapter will work with the wireless dongle as well, so you still have the wireless option if you prefer it. For windows 10 the X360 controller will work out of the box so you are covered there.

I ordered a Brook Wingman NS adapter yesterday on the small chance that it might be faster than the Magic NS for Switch. I probably won't be able to tell a difference but I am pretty stupid with money anyway :)


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 Post subject: Re: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 5:56 pm 


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BloodHawk wrote:
I ordered a Brook Wingman NS adapter yesterday on the small chance that it might be faster than the Magic NS for Switch. I probably won't be able to tell a difference but I am pretty stupid with money anyway :)


I've been eyeing the Saturn one...I'd love to be able to bring over my RAP V rather than springing for a Virtua Stick, but the whole reason I got into Saturn was to shave off as much lag as possible. Unfortunately I've never been about to find any actual test data on it, just anecdotal stuff like "no lag I could notice" from reviewers I'm not sure would know either way.


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 Post subject: Re: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 8:09 pm 


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Keyboard when possible, Wii Classic Controller Pro with a Mayflash adapter whenever an incompetent doujin game with garbage default keys and no way to reconfigure forces me off of keyboard.
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 Post subject: Re: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 9:08 pm 


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Hori Pokken controller. This is a great pad. I like the combination of an Xbox 360 style ergonomic shell with traditional streamlined SNES style layout without analogue sticks. A year ago I picked up a pair brand new boxed for about 10 dollars each.

When it came out I think a lot of people saw it as an official controller for Pokken marketed to be used for that game only and it sat on shelves. What it really can be is one of the best 2D style controllers for Switch. At least when it comes to a cross style D pad. There's always the retrobit Saturn pads for those who want a rolling style d pad.

Unfortunately it looks like the price of this controller is beginning to rise. There's a jerk on ebay selling them for the ridiculous price of 149.99. Plenty of others asking for prices in the 50 to 60 dollar range.

I'm pretty sure the one released for Wii U is identical and also works on Switch. These can probably still be picked up unboxed very cheap. The controllers only real drawback is the lack of a home button.


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 Post subject: Re: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:13 am 



Joined: 26 Jan 2015
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I use my PS4 Hori Real Arcade Pro stick with a Switch adapter that I just got off Ebay last month.


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 Post subject: Re: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:38 am 


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Really thankful for all the advice! I knew I had viable options but not this many. Full-sized arcade stick wasn't the direction I was going so may as well not go the cheap way out either.

Gamecube controller with adapter, I hadn't thought of that. Gamecube + GB Player is something I want to get eventually.

Repeated suggestions for 8bitdo Sega pads. So buy Bluetooth version controller then USB adapter for wired to PC for X-Input glory? Then StrzxgvNuvWvfld also uses Fighting Commander. I didn't realize controllers had their own rabbit hole but the Lag Performance Shootout video blew my mind. Let's have $1000 or more in controllers just sitting around. I didn't realize standard input lag is 4+ frames. Not worth it to me to buy the games I already own back on original consoles to reduce that. I tolerate LCD + Game Mode lag with SNES just fine.

The Hori RAP V stick, I just can't go over $50-60 on a video game accessory yet. I can get there but need more games to use it on. Thanks for straight out saying it's the best stick you've ever owned.

Logitech Gamepad F310 for $20! Plus the converter but I already own Xbox 360 controller so would get multi use. Wii can do 240p so is somewhere on the radar. I'll keep Wii Classic Controller Pro in mind, thank you.

The Hori Pokken controller came up in a video as a the base to compare fighting controllers to. I see the Pikachu one for under $50. I think Pokemon branding is stupid but that brand resells for good money. Almost like an investment by keeping the box. Not into Wii U so I'll pass for now.

I think I need to plan ahead and get a USB adapter. Buy 8bitdo Sega Bluetooth and then look at other options if I want to dig deeper.


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 Post subject: Re: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:10 am 


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Well I say input lag would be less on the original platforms but I saw Yoshi's Island on SNES has 3 frames of lag for the game to process the player input. People measure lag with devices that send pulse of light to television and ignore said game processing time. May also ignore that CRT has 1/2 frame delay at midpoint on screen and 1 frame at bottom just from the vertical sync. NES and SNES poll controller once per 60 frames / 1 second NTSC. PC and Switch could poll much faster.


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 Post subject: Re: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 10:36 am 


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I was using the Retro-Bit 6-button Saturn pad, but unfortunately, after doing a bit of research here and elsewhere, there seem to be large numbers of potentially defective pads out there. I've only been using mine for three weeks, and something behind the d-pad is broken and it won't accept right inputs. I'm currently sending it back for exchange. Damn shame, as it's otherwise a brilliant bit of kit.

My backup is the 8bitdo SN30 Pro. D-pad is a little stiffer than the Saturn pad, but it's still pretty decent, and depending on whether it's at all important to you, the two analogue sticks are by far the most comfortable and responsive of any controller I've used. They just feel 'right'.
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 Post subject: Re: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:29 pm 


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I play on handheld mode so joycons for me. And since the "d-pad" isn't really there I play with the joystick. I've said it before, but its short travel distance makes it digital-like and I kind of like it. (If I play on the TV I use the SN30 pro)

But... I just came across this video of third party joycons that had the potential to be the perfect handheld solution both in ergonomics and dpad (and wireless, so working also with the flipgrip), but the dpad turned out to be its weakest point... :x

https://youtu.be/VRuMHNveCzw?t=581
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 Post subject: Re: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:45 pm 


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SPM wrote:
I play on handheld mode so joycons for me. And since the "d-pad" isn't really there I play with the joystick. I've said it before, but its short travel distance makes it digital-like and I kind of like it. (If I play on the TV I use the SN30 pro)

But... I just came across this video of third party joycons that had the potential to be the perfect handheld solution both in ergonomics and dpad (and wireless, so working also with the flipgrip), but the dpad turned out to be its weakest point... :x

https://youtu.be/VRuMHNveCzw?t=581


Oh wait... there could be a way around this looking how the dpad is made: https://youtu.be/VRuMHNveCzw?t=877

Not gonna get it just to try though... anyone? :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 2:37 pm 


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SPM wrote:
I play on handheld mode so joycons for me. And since the "d-pad" isn't really there I play with the joystick. I've said it before, but its short travel distance makes it digital-like and I kind of like it. (If I play on the TV I use the SN30 pro)

But... I just came across this video of third party joycons that had the potential to be the perfect handheld solution both in ergonomics and dpad (and wireless, so working also with the flipgrip), but the dpad turned out to be its weakest point... :x

https://youtu.be/VRuMHNveCzw?t=581


Yep. This is the Flip Grip struggle. It's amazing nobody's stepped in to fill this space. I'm sure it's not a huge market, but it is a market, as opposed to the myriad random junk clone controllers out there which fill no particular need.


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 Post subject: Re: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 2:53 pm 


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NewSchoolBoxer wrote:
Repeated suggestions for 8bitdo Sega pads. So buy Bluetooth version controller then USB adapter for wired to PC for X-Input glory?


You don't really need an "adapter" for the Saturn pad to connect to PC via wired, you just need any basic usb-a to usb-micro cable. The controller comes with one but I think it's only 3 feet IIRC. BTW, I forgot to mention that the controller does charge while you are playing with it wired so you don't have to put it aside and leave it alone to do so.

The only other thing that I can think of (other than the D-Pad being a touch "softer" than I usually like) is that the rumble function only has one speed/power level, so games on the Switch that use the HD Rumble feature which are meant to play different strengths of rumble will all feel at 100% strength. It's not usually a problem on most games, but if it does become one you can turn off the controller rumble via the Switch's settings.

Oh, and a quick update to the "Brook Wingman NS" vs "Mayflash Magic NS" on an XBox 360 controller/wireless dongle in case anyone was curious:

I went to the "test buttons" screen in the Switch's controller settings, recorded me pressing inputs with the TV in the background using my iPhone at 240fps and both were identical for input delay (5 frames on my LG 55SM9000PUA TV).

I will see about in the next day or two if I can get some good shots during gameplay and see if there is any difference there, but so far there is none which is surprising as the Magic NS is half the price and has more features (Dead Zone adjustment mainly).


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 Post subject: Re: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:52 pm 


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On switch I have one of those custom shells that has a D Pad built in.

On PC, I actually use a PS1 Dual Shock controller with a USB converter box. I really like weight, quality of the plastics, the mushiness of the D pad, as well as the ease of pivoting to diagonals. I actually bought a few extra PS1 Dual Shocks just to have as backups.

A decidedly old and outdated controller, but one that is perfect for what I need it for.
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 Post subject: Re: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:06 pm 



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I've used both 8bitdo m30 BT model and Retro-bit Saturn newest gen BT model, and I can recommend both. The Saturn pad is my favourite for shmupping, but the m30 is close second and it's bit more ergonomic so I'd choose it other kinds of classic gaming.

To minimize input lag you can use both of them wired with both PC and Switch. There are some measurements out there that tell there being >1 additional frames of lag with the BT, but there's always differences between the setups. For me the retrobit controller seems lag free on BT.

Also note that the Retrobit 2,4 Ghz Saturn pad does not support wired connection, it only charges through the cable.

The Hori D-Pad joy con is pretty unusable in my opinion, the ergonomics are poor and the d-pad is average.

To Far Away Times wrote:
On PC, I actually use a PS1 Dual Shock controller with a USB converter box. I really like weight, quality of the plastics, the mushiness of the D pad, as well as the ease of pivoting to diagonals.

In the past I've also enjoyed the original PS1 digital pad, I think it's the same with Digital,Dual Analog and Dual Shock. I used to even play 360 shmups with the basic Digital pad. The one's that came with my playstation classic are unfortunately not 100%...


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 Post subject: Re: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:38 pm 


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I just tried out my Brook PS2-to-PS4 adapter chained to my Brook PS3/PS4-to-Switch adapter to use my Saturn-style PS2 pad. Works well enough for me, anyway. Then again I don't complain about the Switch Psikyo ports either, even if I've played Gunbird 2 to death on Dreamcast and own the PCB...

Also I am just now discovering the Switch button mapping and savable presets feature. :shock: Especially useful in my case since I lose quite a few buttons with the Saturn-style pad. But I really need to make a button map chart for each game. Should make Vasara considerably more playable.


el3m wrote:
The Hori D-Pad joy con is pretty unusable in my opinion, the ergonomics are poor and the d-pad is average.


I'll second that! Very stiff. Barely better than the Gamecube d-pad, if at all.


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 Post subject: Re: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 10:00 pm 



Joined: 14 Feb 2005
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Don't conflate the 8bitdo and Retro-Bit Sega controllers; two different brands and different things. RB has actually issued replicas of Sega's pads while the 8bitdo m30 is their own take on Sega's designs. If you're familiar with the classic controllers you might want to buy that specific version.

More importantly, 8bitdo's Bluetooth is significantly laggier than their 2.4 version - pretty typical - while RB's Bluetooth has tested incredibly fast vs. the slower 2.4 (somewhat inexplicable).

You might want to just get a wired version to get your feet wet: it will give you the same cross-compatibility without having to worry about cables or adapters.


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 Post subject: Re: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:57 pm 


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I have small thumbs. When I use PS3/PS4 controllers, I couldn't hit the diagonals properly on the D-pad. I searched online for some tips and everyone say, "Just practice". Still struggling after months playing on them.

Bought Logitech F310 and that's when I realized how good it is to use a D-pad that fit my thumb.

Sometimes I just play on keyboard, but it kinda sucks for horizontal shmups because the need to alternate up and down using one finger. Fighting game players has discovered Hitbox-layout keybindings that works wonderfully. I wonder if there is one for shmups.
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 Post subject: Re: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:56 am 



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leodash wrote:
Sometimes I just play on keyboard, but it kinda sucks for horizontal shmups because the need to alternate up and down using one finger. Fighting game players has discovered Hitbox-layout keybindings that works wonderfully. I wonder if there is one for shmups.


If you're playing on keyboard anyways, can't you just find a layout of keys where you can comfortably use four fingers instead of three and map that layout to movement? Of course, a frustratingly large number of games don't let you rebind your controls. And many seem to let you rebind controls for shot, bomb, etc. but not for movement. Going the hitbox-style route would probably require sticking to emulation, using extra programs like AutoHotkey or AntiMicro, or nabbing an actual hitbox and getting used to it.

To OP: as far as sticks go, have you considered Mayflash's? Relatively budget priced and work on many different platforms, though some require you to plug in an official controller for the console. Most common complaint I've heard about them is that you're going to want to replace the stock stick and buttons ASAP. But they do have an "Elite" model of the F500 which comes with Sanwa parts pre-installed. Dunno how laggy the board is though. I had been saving up and finally got one about two weeks ago; my first real stick. Works well enough for someone like me who's never used a stick prior. Then again, thought the same of the Hori Fighting Stick Mini when I got it as a gift last December, before its stick gave out and started to feel rough after two weeks of intensive use...


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 Post subject: Re: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 3:13 am 


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floralcateyes wrote:
If you're playing on keyboard anyways, can't you just find a layout of keys where you can comfortably use four fingers instead of three and map that layout to movement? Of course, a frustratingly large number of games don't let you rebind your controls. And many seem to let you rebind controls for shot, bomb, etc. but not for movement. Going the hitbox-style route would probably require sticking to emulation, using extra programs like AutoHotkey or AntiMicro, or nabbing an actual hitbox and getting used to it.


Yes, that's what I did. I used AutoHotkey to remap S button to Alt or Space. It felt weird and before long I started thinking, "I have a controller. What am I doing?"
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 Post subject: Re: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 4:04 am 



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leodash wrote:
Yes, that's what I did. I used AutoHotkey to remap S button to Alt or Space. It felt weird and before long I started thinking, "I have a controller. What am I doing?"


Yeah, I can see that happening lol. Probably have some miniscule advantages if you got used to it, but whether or not those are worth the extra effort is debatable. Also whether or not it's actually fun to play that way of course.


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 Post subject: Re: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 4:52 am 


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el3m wrote:
The Hori D-Pad joy con is pretty unusable in my opinion, the ergonomics are poor and the d-pad is average.


I don't agree it's unusable, but I don't plan to go back now that I have the split pad pro. Much better ergonomics and d-pad. Poor ergonomics is also an issue with the stock joycons.


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 Post subject: Re: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 8:00 am 



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leodash wrote:
Bought Logitech F310 and that's when I realized how good it is to use a D-pad that fit my thumb.

Same. Can't use Dualshock 3/4 after F310. And F310 has much less wrong input issues than 360 pad for me.


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 Post subject: Re: What gamepad are you using for PC and Switch shmups?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:41 pm 


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BrianC wrote:
el3m wrote:
The Hori D-Pad joy con is pretty unusable in my opinion, the ergonomics are poor and the d-pad is average.


I don't agree it's unusable, but I don't plan to go back now that I have the split pad pro. Much better ergonomics and d-pad. Poor ergonomics is also an issue with the stock joycons.

I don't have any complaints regarding the d-pad, but i agree on the generally poor ergonomics of the joycons, be it original ones or replacements. I think I'm going to get a split pad pro.


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