1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
Dismiss Notice
Like RaceDepartment on Facebook.

Wheel vs Control Pad - Is a Control Pad a Handicap?

Discussion in 'Gran Turismo 5' started by Hiroshi Awazu, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. Hiroshi Awazu

    Hiroshi Awazu
    Off Topic Moderator

    My answer now is no. So no more "hats off to people that use controllers" I myself used a controller playing Gran Turismo 1 thru to Prologue and come to think of it i was doing pretty good back then without a wheel. For GT4 i did have the Driving Force EX but rarely used it because i was so used to a controller. As a matter of fact i tried next weeks course with the MK5 GTI with Ross's specs and with the wheel i was doing 1:17"s. Then i used controller and did a 1:15.6. PD has made the Gran Turismo series very controller friendly unlike the other sims we play, well i play Race 07,GTL and RFactor as well and i cannot use a controller for those games. So i was wrong Ross by saying side by side racing is tough with a controller because i see that i can keep just as well of a line as using a wheel. I can still trail brake with a controller and some turns, i can negotiate faster with controller. I'm thinking about racing on Sunday with a controller if i cannot drop my time down with the wheel LOL!. See you guys Sunday.
  2. My answer is no, using a control pad is not a handicap in any way.

    Nearly all of the sims I've played over the years are on PC rather than console, so I have almost no experience of racing on control pad at all. Indeed, as a big simulation fan who wants things to be as realistic as possible, I wouldn't even consider using any other view other than cockpit, let alone using a control pad to drive my car. However, given the massive praise control pad users get when they win and the excuses they use when they hit someone, I thought I'd give it a try to see if such comments are warranted. They're not.

    As I said in the M3 @ Nürburgring thread, on my very first timed lap I set a time just one second slower than my average lap time during the race. I had no trouble at all making controlled turns, hitting the apexes, and accelerating/braking smoothly. As Hiroshi said above, even techniques like trail braking were not a problem. If I can set a decent lap with no experience or practice, then it seems clear that any lack of speed or lack of car control by control pad users is due to some other reason.

    In my personal opinion, it's maybe that people just aren't sure how to make a car go fast. Many think it's a case of simply stamping on the throttle/brake at what they believe to be the right times, and trying to follow a line like they've seen their favourite F1 driver do on TV. That may work in arcade racers, but it doesn't work in sims. I would encourage everyone to read some guides on driving techniques and how to race. There are plenty of them all over the internet. Most of the techniques can be used just as easily on control pad as they can on a wheel, and you'll be surprised just how much faster you can be.

    One things for certain though... "I'm on a control pad" is not an excuse for poor driving.

    [As an aside, I recommend that people use the thumbsticks to control the throttle/brake. It gives you far more control and is much smoother than using the trigger buttons. It also frees up your fingers to use manual gears properly, which can significantly improve lap times on its own.]
  3. I've tried to get to grips with using the right stick for accelerator/brakes, but could never get to grips with it. I can control the car just fine with the triggers though, and find that using right stick up/down for shift up/down works quite nicely. Much easier than trying to use triggers as pedals and shoulder buttons for gears at the same time. I find it easier anyway...
  4. Great tip for trigger users. :good:
  5. Hi Scott,

    If you could please clarify ..

    Your button setting is ....

    R trigger - steer right
    L trigger - steer left
    R stick - gear change

    What are accelerate, brake, handbrake?

  6. Oops, I might not have been clear - sorry!

    L stick - steering
    R Stick - gear change
    L trigger - brake
    R trigger - accelerate
    Circle - handbrake

    The point I was trying to make is that if you use the triggers as your pedal controls, the right stick is a great gear shifter as your thumb will naturally be in that area. Much more comfortable than trying to use the shoulder buttons to change gears when the triggers are in use as pedal controls, I find.
  7. Further to the handicap discussion, I believe in some ways a control pad may actually be an advantage. For example, you can apply massive lock with a flick of your thumb when using a pad whereas the same thing on a wheel involves large and far slower hand movements. The point? It's easier to make quick adjustments if the back end breaks away. Also, as I'm finding out it is far easier to drift on pad than it is on wheel. (For me at least.)
  8. Hi Scott,

    That's similar to what I do - I thought you were onto something totally different at first!

    I use

    L stick - steering
    R Stick - Nowt!
    L trigger - brake
    R trigger - accelerate
    Circle - handbrake
    X - Gear down
    Square - Gear up

    My biggest difficulty is steering v.powerful cars around tight corners - Vettel R Bull = NIGHTMARE! That's why I am probably going to go the wheel route.

    I agree with Ross though that sometimes it is advantageous - quick flicks great on Dirt3 etc.

  9. It's swings and roundabouts really. Yes, you can go from full lock to full lock a lot quicker but on the other hand the full proper-job racing monsters can be very twitchy and it's easy to over correct.

    I've only started playing again in the last couple of days (since Sunday in fact) and have spent a fair bit of time pirouetting off into the green stuff :tongue:

    Wayne, I used to have the X/Square setup as well, but wanted the buttons for other functions. Once I started using the RHS as a gear shifter I spent ages wondering why I hadn't done it before, it just seems so much more fluid (to me at least!) but at the end of the day I guess it's what each player is comfortable with!
  10. There was that guy who was consistantly in the top 10-20 times in the GT academy european contest using a gamepad, I think in his final time he used a wheel and he was a finalist, but his gamepad time was good enough to take him passed the initial event. With that said, I personally find it much harder to be fast with a pad, I can spend some time making what I think is a good lap and then plug the wheel in and beat it in the first flying lap.

    But, back in GT4 I was a bit of a wizz with the gamepad, its just that since buying a wheel last summer i've not had any practice with a gamepad and so i'm out of practice. I think that a good gamepad player can hold his/her own with a wheel user.
  11. The guy referred to above calls himself Tidgney, and Ryan has found his YouTube Channel. He posted the fastest control pad time in the EU GT Academy and came fourth in the UK final. Of course not everyone can be super fast, but that goes for wheel users too.

    This is a video of him driving the GTA event on his DS3:

  12. Hiroshi Awazu

    Hiroshi Awazu
    Off Topic Moderator

    Wow! couldn't be any more perfect than that! Like the horn! that was funny!

    @ Jason Wesson: hope you see this! I win the debate on this one between you and I. Dude you owe me a new PS3 lol!