Advice on Gamepad Controllers for Kodu


I've experimented with several types of gamepad controllers for use with Kodu. From worst to best:
  1. No-name controllers purchased on eBay for around $11-$16. These were utter garbage. I bought 10 of them and half failed within a week. Also, some controllers don't completely match the Microsoft design; I've seen them with non-standard button labels (e.g., 1-2-3-4 instead of A-B-X-Y), or with a second set of shoulder buttons instead of triggers. Some require you to install a non-Microsoft device driver. Avoid all of these.

  2. GameStop's house brand controllers. These retail for $25 and work acceptably. The only issue I've noticed is that the joysticks are not as good as on the Microsoft controllers, making it a little more difficult to navigate Kodu's petal menus.

  3. RockCandy controllers. These have colorful plastic bodies (red, blue, green, purple) and are also sold by GameStop for $25. They seem about as good as the GameStop controllers.

  4. Microsoft XBox 360 wired controllers. These list for $39.95 but retail for just under $28 at places like Walmart or Amazon. GameStop charges $35. These are the best controllers I've found so far. The joystick action makes Kodu menu navigation easier.

USB Adapter Cable

The Microsoft XBox 360 controllers come with a short little USB adapter cable that is required to use the controller with a PC. These adapters can easily detach, so it's a good idea to tie them to the main cable with a twist-tie so they don't get lost.

If the Controller Stops Working

If you drop a controller, the adapter may separate slightly from the main cable, breaking the connection without fully detaching. (And it won't detach if you have a twist-tie on it.) It will appear that the controller has stopped working. Check that the adapter cable is firmly plugged in before concluding that the controller is broken; it's probably fine.

Dave Touretzky
Last modified: Mon Jul 18 13:41:41 EDT 2016