Controllers, gamepads, and joysticks¶
Godot supports hundreds of controller models thanks to the community-sourced SDL game controller database.
Controllers are supported on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and HTML5.
Note that more specialized devices such as steering wheels, rudder pedals and HOTAS are less tested and may not always work as expected. If you have access to one of those devices, don't hesitate to report bugs on GitHub.
In this guide, you will learn:
How to write your input logic to support both keyboard and controller inputs.
How controllers can behave differently from keyboard/mouse input.
Troubleshooting issues with controllers in Godot.
Supporting universal input¶
Thanks to Godot's input action system, Godot makes it possible to support both keyboard and controller input without having to write separate code paths. Instead of hardcoding keys or controller buttons in your scripts, you should create input actions in the Project Settings which will then refer to specified key and controller inputs.
Input actions are explained in detail on the Using InputEvent page.
Unlike keyboard input, supporting both mouse and controller input for an action (such as looking around in a first-person game) will require different code paths since these have to be handled separately.
Which Input singleton method should I use?¶
There are 3 ways to get input in an analog-aware way:
When you have two axes (such as joystick or WASD movement) and want both axes to behave as a single input, use
When you have one axis that can go both ways (such as a throttle on a flight stick), or when you want to handle separate axes individually, use
For other types of analog input, such as handling a trigger or handling one direction at a time, use
For non-analog digital/boolean input (only "pressed" or "not pressed" values),
such as controller buttons, mouse buttons or keyboard keys,
In Godot versions before 3.4, such as 3.3,
Input.get_axis() aren't available. Only
Input.is_action_pressed() are available in Godot 3.3.
Differences between keyboard/mouse and controller input¶
If you're used to handling keyboard and mouse input, you may be surprised by how controllers handle specific situations.
Unlike keyboards and mice, controllers offer axes with analog inputs. The
upside of analog inputs is that they offer additional flexibility for actions.
Unlike digital inputs which can only provide strengths of
an analog input can provide any strength between
downside is that without a deadzone system, an analog axis' strength will never
be equal to
0.0 due to how the controller is physically built. Instead, it
will linger at a low value such as
0.062. This phenomenon is known as
drifting and can be more noticeable on old or faulty controllers.
Let's take a racing game as a real-world example. Thanks to analog inputs, we
can steer the car slowly in one direction or another. However, without a
deadzone system, the car would slowly steer by itself even if the player isn't
touching the joystick. This is because the directional axis strength won't be
0.0 when we expect it to. Since we don't want our car to steer by
itself in this case, we define a "dead zone" value of
0.2 which will ignore
all input whose strength is lower than
0.2. An ideal dead zone value is high
enough to ignore the input caused by joystick drifting, but is low enough to not
ignore actual input from the player.
Godot features a built-in dead zone system to tackle this problem. The default
0.2, but you can increase it or decrease it on a per-action basis
in the Project Settings' Input Map tab.
Input.get_vector(), the deadzone can be specified, or otherwise it
will calculate the average deadzone value from all of the actions in the vector.
Unlike keyboard input, holding down a controller button such as a D-pad direction will not generate repeated input events at fixed intervals (also known as "echo" events). This is because the operating system never sends "echo" events for controller input in the first place.
If you want controller buttons to send echo events, you will have to generate InputEvent objects by code and parse them using Input.parse_input_event() at regular intervals. This can be accomplished with the help of a Timer node.
You can view a list of known issues with controller support on GitHub.
My controller isn't recognized by Godot.¶
First, check that your controller is recognized by other applications. You can use the Gamepad Tester website to confirm that your controller is recognized.
My controller works on a given platform, but not on another platform.¶
Controllers are currently only supported on x86-based Macs. This means controllers won't work on Macs featuring ARM processors such as the Apple M1.
Prior to Godot 3.3, official Godot binaries were compiled with udev support
but self-compiled binaries were compiled without udev support unless
udev=yes was passed on the SCons command line. This made controller
hotplugging support unavailable in self-compiled binaries.
HTML5 controller support is often less reliable compared to "native" platforms. The quality of controller support tends to vary wildly across browsers. As a result, you may have to instruct your players to use a different browser if they can't get their controller to work.
Also, note that controller support was significantly improved in Godot 3.3 and later.