Welcome to the world of virtual reality (VR), now let's discuss how to be comfortable playing. The first thing you combat when using gamepads with your VR headset for the first time is not being able to see the buttons during gameplay. Here we'll help you figure out your best comfort levels, and which controller is best for you.
Using a PlayStation 4 controller.
If you know the button placements of a PlayStation 4 controller better it can be used for your VR experience as well! They are, however, a bit more expensive than other controllers. But, if you already have one you at least won't need to buy a different one! Simply hook up your controller to your computer to play your favorite games. If not, you can get a PlayStation Dualshock controller for about $44 dollars on Amazon.
Thankfully there are button replacements for the PlayStation 4 controllers, just like there are for the XBox One. Here you can replace two of the buttons on your gamepad so that they feel a little different than the other buttons. This way when you blindly need to find the square button you'll be able to know it'll have a different texture to it than the X button.
Then when you've got the muscle memory down you can finish replacing the rest of the buttons and have a sweet looking controller!
Silicone grips applied to the entire controller to separate the texture feelings between buttons and extra space is a pretty good call. This way when it comes time for you to press X to loot a monster it'll be that much easier to find your buttons. A gentle glide of your thumb to find the smooth X, O, square and triangle through the silicone is much easier than blindly following if it were all the same texture.
Using an Xbox One controller
You can get an Xbox controller for about $25 on Amazon. These controllers are larger than most controllers and definitely recommended if you have larger hands or simply like to use a bulkier controller. Then, between sleeves and replacing the buttons, we'll make sure you find what works best for you! When you've got what works best for you then it's time to connect it to your PC and get to your VR gaming!
Not only is the X button wildly popular, but it's in a different spot on each controller. To combat this you can use replacement buttons that will help you determine which button you're actually pressing. This way when the game calls for you to press X you'll know to aim for the buttons that feel a little different than the standard ones. The best part? When you finally get the hang of where the buttons are you can finish replacing the rest of your buttons, have an awesome new look at your controller and it'll run you less than $10!
Your other option with an Xbox controller is to buy a silicone sleeve. It's almost the same price as the replacement buttons, and still under $10. With this, the smooth ends of your buttons will be easier to find as silicone makes for a sturdy grip. The texture difference between the two will help you blindly find where your fingers need to go!
Last but not least we have the X91 controller that is compatible with Windows 10. With smaller handles this will fit entirely into the palms of your hands, keeping everything close together and easy to find. While it may not look like it from the advertised picture, there is an R1, R2, L1, and L2 trigger on it. For $26 dollars you can find yourself this controller on Amazon!
The only downside is that there is a cable connected to it. It is 9feet long so that makes sure you will be able to move around while playing. But be sure to play this with less physical VR games, as you want to avoid chances of you tripping on another cord while playing.
What tips and tricks did you use to find the most comfort when using a gamepad while playing in VR? Did any of these tips help you? Let us know in the comment section below!
Essa Kidwell is an expert in all things VR and mobile devices who can always be found with an Oculus Go, a Pixel 2, and an iPhone 7+. They've been taking things apart just to put them back together for quite some time. If you've got a troubleshooting issue with any of your tech, they're the one you want to go to! Find them on Twitter @OriginalSluggo or Instagram @CosmeticChronus.
Consider a Steam Controller. It is designed to excel at PC games on a TV where m+kb is not available. This is also helpful in VR where a standard m+kb is tricky to use, and you can type with the circular keyboard which is cool. Works great with your Steam VR library. It is also wireless and has motion control like the WMR touch controllers which is REALLY interesting for VR. Obviously for VR racing games, but can be configured to work for many interesting experiences in VR. Surprised it isn't listed in this article as no other controller has quite so much to offer in VR as far as I can see.
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