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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. Overriding force feedback for those devices is also not implemented yet. 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 Input.get_vector():

# `velocity` will be a Vector2 between `Vector2(-1.0, -1.0)` and `Vector2(1.0, 1.0)`.
# This handles deadzone in a correct way for most use cases.
# The resulting deadzone will have a circular shape as it generally should.
var velocity = Input.get_vector("move_left", "move_right", "move_forward", "move_back")

# The line below is similar to `get_vector()`, except that it handles
# the deadzone in a less optimal way. The resulting deadzone will have
# a square-ish shape when it should ideally have a circular shape.
var velocity = Vector2(
        Input.get_action_strength("move_right") - Input.get_action_strength("move_left"),
        Input.get_action_strength("move_back") - Input.get_action_strength("move_forward")
  • 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 Input.get_axis():

# `walk` will be a floating-point number between `-1.0` and `1.0`.
var walk = Input.get_axis("move_left", "move_right")

# The line above is a shorter form of:
var walk = Input.get_action_strength("move_right") - Input.get_action_strength("move_left")
  • For other types of analog input, such as handling a trigger or handling one direction at a time, use Input.get_action_strength():

# `strength` will be a floating-point number between `0.0` and `1.0`.
var strength = Input.get_action_strength("accelerate")

For non-analog digital/boolean input (only "pressed" or "not pressed" values), such as controller buttons, mouse buttons or keyboard keys, use Input.is_action_pressed():

# `jumping` will be a boolean with a value of `true` or `false`.
var jumping = Input.is_action_pressed("jump")


If you need to know whether an input was just pressed in the previous frame, use Input.is_action_just_pressed() instead of Input.is_action_pressed(). Unlike Input.is_action_pressed() which returns true as long as the input is held, Input.is_action_just_pressed() will only return true for one frame after the button has been pressed.

In Godot versions before 3.4, such as 3.3, Input.get_vector() and Input.get_axis() aren't available. Only Input.get_action_strength() and Input.is_action_pressed() are available in Godot 3.3.


Vibration (also called haptic feedback) can be used to enhance the feel of a game. For instance, in a racing game, you can convey the surface the car is currently driving on through vibration, or create a sudden vibration on a crash.

Use the Input singleton's start_joy_vibration method to start vibrating a gamepad. Use stop_joy_vibration to stop vibration early (useful if no duration was specified when starting).

On mobile devices, you can also use vibrate_handheld to vibrate the device itself (independently from the gamepad). On Android, this requires the VIBRATE permission to be enabled in the Android export preset before exporting the project.


Vibration can be uncomfortable for certain players. Make sure to provide an in-game slider to disable vibration or reduce its intensity.

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.

Dead zone

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 0.0 and 1.0, an analog input can provide any strength between 0.0 and 1.0. The 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 equal to 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 deadzone system to tackle this problem. The default value is 0.5, but you can adjust it on a per-action basis in the Project Settings' Input Map tab. For Input.get_vector(), the deadzone can be specified as an optional 5th parameter. If not specified, it will calculate the average deadzone value from all of the actions in the vector.

"Echo" events

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.

Window focus

Unlike keyboard input, controller inputs can be seen by all windows on the operating system, including unfocused windows.

While this is useful for third-party split screen functionality, it can also have adverse effects. Players may accidentally send controller inputs to the running project while interacting with another window.

If you wish to ignore events when the project window isn't focused, you will need to create an autoload called Focus with the following script and use it to check all your inputs:

# Focus.gd
extends Node

var focused := true

func _notification(what: int) -> void:
    match what:
            focused = false
            focused = true

func input_is_action_pressed(action: StringName) -> bool:
    if focused:
        return Input.is_action_pressed(action)

    return false

func event_is_action_pressed(event: InputEvent, action: StringName) -> bool:
    if focused:
        return Input.is_action_pressed(action)

    return false

Then, instead of using Input.is_action_pressed(action), use Focus.input_is_action_pressed(action) where action is the name of the input action. Also, instead of using event.is_action_pressed(action), use Focus.event_is_action_pressed(event, action) where event is an InputEvent reference and action is the name of the input action.

Power saving prevention

Unlike keyboard and mouse input, controller inputs do not inhibit sleep and power saving measures (such as turning off the screen after a certain amount of time has passed).

To combat this, Godot enables power saving prevention by default when a project is running. If you notice the system is turning off its display when playing with a gamepad, check the value of Display > Window > Energy Saving > Keep Screen On in the Project Settings.

On Linux, power saving prevention requires the engine to be able to use D-Bus. Check whether D-Bus is installed and reachable if running the project within a Flatpak, as sandboxing restrictions may make this impossible by default.


See also

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 has incorrectly mapped buttons or axes.

First, if your controller provides some kind of firmware update utility, make sure to run it to get the latest fixes from the manufacturer. For instance, Xbox One and Xbox Series controllers can have their firmware updated using the Xbox Accessories app. (This application only runs on Windows, so you have to use a Windows machine or a Windows virtual machine with USB support to update the controller's firmware.) After updating the controller's firmware, unpair the controller and pair it again with your PC if you are using the controller in wireless mode.

If buttons are incorrectly mapped, this may be due to an erroneous mapping from the SDL game controller database. You can contribute an updated mapping to be included in the next Godot version by opening a pull request on the linked repository.

There are many ways to create mappings. One option is to use the mapping wizard in the official Joypads demo. Once you have a working mapping for your controller, you can test it by defining the SDL_GAMECONTROLLERCONFIG environment variable before running Godot:

export SDL_GAMECONTROLLERCONFIG="your:mapping:here"

To test mappings on non-desktop platforms or to distribute your project with additional controller mappings, you can add them by calling Input.add_joy_mapping() as early as possible in a script's _ready() function.

My controller works on a given platform, but not on another platform.


If you're using a self-compiled engine binary, make sure it was compiled with udev support. This is enabled by default, but it is possible to disable udev support by specifying udev=no on the SCons command line. If you're using an engine binary supplied by a Linux distribution, double-check whether it was compiled with udev support.

Controllers can still work without udev support, but it is less reliable as regular polling must be used to check for controllers being connected or disconnected during gameplay (hotplugging).


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.