How to make games more responsive if you are playing with a controller on PC

Introduction

So most of you have probably noticed that in some PC games the controls just don’t feel quite right, if you are using a controller. In fact, the controls feel pretty unresponsive in these cases.

The reason behind this is simple. Some PC games use a huge deadzone value by default for both sticks that makes the camera movement and player movement very jaggy and unresponsive. Basically you need to tilt the thumbstick(s) to a significant degree (between 20-35%) in order to see any player movement or camera rotating. A good deadzone value would be around 10% by the way.

This makes fine-aiming nearly impossible and it’s also harder to play games in a more immersive, kinda cinematic way by slowly turning the camera (and constantly adjusting it). It also makes harder to control the character in the way the player wants to.

Solution/Guide

Now the solution is pretty simple. I give you a step-by-step guide here.

  • Download x360ce from x360ce.com (either the 32 or the 64 bit version, depending on what game you want to play)
  • Extract the application to the folder where the game’s exe file is located (the program can be used without copying it to a given game’s installation folder, but a lot of times it won’t work that way)
  • Start the application, follow the on-screen instructions (create DLL, use settings from the internet)
  • Go to [Controller 1] tab (top left corner) and bind any remaining keys if needed, then click [Save] in the bottom right corner
  • Under [Controller 1], go to the [Advanced] tab, uncheck [Pass Through], then click [Save]
  • Under [Controller 1], switch to the [Left Thumb] tab, and set a desired anti-deadzone value for both axis, then click [Save],
  • After this do the same under the [Right Thumb] tab
  • Switch to the [Game Settings] tab, and hit [Save] under the [My Game Settings] tab
  • Finally go the [Controller Settings] tab, make sure that the game’s EXE is selected, then click to the [SAVE] button next to it

And that’s all, the game should work flawlessly now.

Additional informations

It’s important to note that you always need to launch x360ce before launching the game and you can’t change anti-deadzone settings while you are in the game. I mean you can change them, but they only take effect after you restarted the game. So you need to relaunch the game 3-4 times before you find the best deadzone settings. Usually you need to add between 10-25% anti-deadzone based on my experience. If you add 10% anti-deadzone to a 20% deadzone game for example, the deadzone will be 10%, making the game very responsive and good to play. This program works basically with any kind of controller, I tried it with an Xbox One S and a DualShock 4 controller.

Also, just to give you some examples: in Alien: Isolation I set the anti-deadzone values to 4000/12%, while in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided I set them to 7500/23% (as far as I remember).

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