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Axis and Sensitivity settings for controllers explained

axis settings configuration multiplier linearity dead zone joystick controller nonlinearity gamepad

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#1 GloDark7

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 07:00 PM

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For those that may be having problems with their controller axis and sensitivity settings, here is a breakdown explaining some of the more important settings for axis configuration. At the foot of the guide is an explanation on how to map buttons or keys to axes such as Prop Pitch, Mixture and Radiator.


Axis Settings
An example of an axis settings screen - Roll axis:
rollaxis_zps4c133e06.jpg


Dead Zone:
deadzone_zps925b72ff.jpg
Dead zone is a small, set radius around centre of your controller axis where user input is ignored. Depending on how sensitive your controller is, holding it in a neutral, centred position can sometimes return movement to your aircraft where you normally wouldn't want any. Having a user adjusted dead zone can prevent this unwanted movement in the neutral position. Some devices already have a dead zone, some none at all. Set as appropriate for your device.

You can see the effect of your set dead zone by moving your controller and observing the logical axis (green diamond) compared to the physical axis (red) at the top of the axis settings screen (animation below). With a dead zone set, the logical axis (how axis movement translates into the game environment) should start moving AFTER the physical axis has started moving, depending on how much dead zone you have set.

Click thumbnail to see the effect of dead zone on the logical axis:
deadzone.gif

The tiniest amount of dead zone is usually all that's required to have a steady neutral position. Either set in-game or on the device itself (Windows Devices). Most likely unnecessary with a gamepad.


Nonlinearity
nonlin_zps71aa785b.jpg
Ideally, all controllers should be linear across their axis range, meaning from the neutral position to full deflection there should be a regular, even level of input from the controller to the game. It is then up to the user to set a nonlinear curve along an axis if they want to change that level of output.

The benefit of nonlinearity can be improved aiming. Sensitivity will be reduced around the centre of the controller making finer adjustments easier. Moving further along the axis, output will increase as will movement of the control surfaces.

Some virtual pilots prefer to have their controls completely linear (set to 1) while others prefer the reduced sensitivity around the centre of the controller. It's really down to user preference and should be set accordingly with testing (test flight).  A setting between 1 to 2.5 seems to work well on pitch, roll, and yaw axes for many.

You can see the effect of your set nonlinearity by moving your controller and observing the logical axis (green diamond) compared to the physical axis (red) at the top of the axis settings screen (animation below). With a nonlinear curve set, the logical axis will move slower at the centre than the physical axis, but it will catch up with the physical axis as it moves further towards full deflection, depending on how much nonlinearity you have set.

Click thumbnail to see the effect of nonlinear setting on the logical axis (set to 2.2):
nonlinear.gif

Some of the more expensive HOTAS systems have curve editors where linearity is completely user manageable outside of the game. It should be noted that not all controllers are linear out of the box. The X-52 for example is notorious for having a nonlinear curve along it's pitch and roll axes that cannot be fixed by software (I modded mine!). Setting a nonlinear curve in War Thunder for a device that already has nonlinearity will only magnify what is already there. Meaning very low sensitivity around the centre of the stick and very high sensitivity towards full deflection. This could make a control surface snap to full deflection too quickly and increase the likelihood of stalling.

Before you consider using a nonlinear curve in War Thunder, it would help to know if your controller is linear.

You can test to see if your controller is linear by using a free program called joytester2 (a Google search will find it). The simplest test with this software is to move your controller in regular circles. If your controller is linear, you will see in the top left graph, a path traced that shows more or less, smooth circles. If nonlinear the traced path will look more like a diamond shape (see screens below).

Linear and nonlinear patterns in Joytester2:
linear.jpg nonlinear.jpg

The same pattern can be observed in the cockpit for linear and nonlinear control by moving the controller in circles and looking at the pilot's flight stick.

Two animations showing linear and nonlinear pattern within cockpit when moving the controller in regular, anti-clockwise circles:
linear.gif nonlinear.gif

If your controller is already nonlinear, I would strongly advise against setting any further nonlinearity within War Thunder as this will only magnify the already existing curve.


Invert Axis
invax_zpsd2c4f90d.jpg
If a particular axis is the wrong way round (commonly throttle) this setting can fix the issue.  For example, if you increase throttle in game with your controller and instead it reduces power or you try to pitch the aircraft up but instead it pitches down, setting 'Yes' to Invert Axis on that particular axis will remedy this.


Multiplier
mult_zps75406c27.jpg
The multiplier setting controls how much flight stick and control surface deflection your full controller axis range will give you in-game. A setting of 1 will give full control surface deflection (100%) along the axis of your controller. Anything less than 1 and the overall amount of control surface deflection will be reduced. 0.8 would equate to 80% of deflection along the full axis range of your controller.

You can see the effect of your multiplier setting by moving your controller and observing the logical axis (green diamond) compared to the physical axis (red) at the top of the axis settings screen (animation below). With a multiplier less than 1 you will see that you do not get full deflection as the logical axis does not reach the end of the bar when the physical axis is at full deflection. With a setting greater than 1, your effective physical axis range is reduced and your logical axis will reach the end of the bar (full deflection) before your physical axis does, meaning output is literally multiplied.

Click thumbnail to see the effect of various multiplier settings on the logical axis (0.6 / 1.0 / 1.4):
multiplier.gif

A value less than 1 will reduce the amount of overall deflection which may help to reduce stalling in tight turns. Other than that I don't know of any real benefits for setting the multiplier to anything but 1 for a joystick or gamepad.


Correction
correction_zps508f9f83.jpg
Generally to be used on an axis if it is off-centre and needs correcting. Most controllers these days auto-calibrate but for those that don't and need correcting, this is the setting that will fix an off-centre stick or controller.

You can see the effect of your correction by observing the position of the logical axis (green diamond) compared to the physical axis (red) at the top of the axis settings screen. It's neutral, centre position will move dependent on your setting.
 

Sensitivity Setting
sense_zpse9d42bc0.jpg
Put simply, this is the response time between physical controller input and how quickly the pilot flight stick (and control surfaces) react. At 100% (full bars) your on-screen flight stick is synchronised to your own controller's input, movement and speed. If sensitivity is set to anything less than 100%, the pilot's flight stick response will lessen and the speed in which it moves (together with control surfaces) will become slower.  Set sensitivity to the lowest value (no bars) and your on-screen the flight stick and control surfaces will be very slow and lag behind your own controller's movement.  The pilots controls will also return to their neutral position slowly when the controller is let go. Set to 100% and it is back to being synchronised, matching the speed and movement of your controllers input and re-centring quickly.

Reducing sensitivity accordingly could benefit gamepad controllers where movements are smaller and require more precision.  Reduction in sensitivity here could prevent unnecessarily fast control surface movement.  It could also help a beginner who is unfamiliar with flight dynamics and is just starting out or it may counter the issues of an over-sensitive controller.   Generally speaking, joysticks being larger have more travel along an axis so it is usually easier to control the speed and angle of them than with a gamepad thumbstick.   High or full sensitivity is of most benefit to more experienced joystick users.


Button Mapping for an Axis
It may not be obvious at first but it is possible to set buttons or keys to some axes to increase or decrease their values if needed. Buttons or keys can be assigned to increase or decrease various axes including Prop Pitch, Mixture and Radiator.

Firstly, enable Relative Control on the relevant axis (set to 'yes'). Doing this you will see that the text entries for Maximum Value and Minimum Value will change to Increase Value and Decrease Value. You can now map buttons or keys to Increase or Decrease Prop Pitch, Mixture, Radiator etc.
 
Relative control set to 'No' will only allow mapping of buttons or keys for minimum and maximum values on that axis.  Releasing the key for either (in-game) will have the axis value return to it's neutral position instantly.  Relative control set to 'Yes' will change the wording of the axis setting screen to reflect that incremental/decremental adjustment with mapped buttons or keys is now possible (pic below).  Accurate adjustment of an axis value is now possible and the value will remain at what you set it in-game:
relativeyes_zps32b67457.jpg
 
Setting buttons or keys to increase/decrease values on an axis is only the first part.  The next part is setting how quickly you wish the values to repeat when holding the button/key down and what those steps are for individual button/key presses.  Adjustments to Relative Control Sensitivity, Relative Control Step, Multiplier and Correction will all influence how your axis values are fed to the game from your inputs.
 
stepping1_zps5308d72a.jpg
 
The above example is from my own Prop Pitch setting.
Relative Control Sensitivity acts as a key repeat speed parameter.  The lower the value the slower the repeat speed, the higher the value the quicker the values will increase/decrease while the button/key is held down in-game.  Similar to the key repeat speed in Windows.
Relative Control Step acts as a percentage of the overall available axis range that will set the value for individual button/key presses.  Still using Prop Pitch as an example, it has a maximum adjustable range on an aircraft of 0-100%.  With Relative Control Step set here to 10%, this should equate to prop pitch moving in 10% steps for each button/key press.  It doesn't though.  It actually moves in 5% steps in-game.  The reason for this is that the Relative Control Step bar only has a range of 0-50%, meaning what you set will be 50% (half) of what the output value is.  If you wanted to have each button/key press move in 10% steps you should set 20% on the Relative Control Step slider.  Multiplier will further influence output percentages if raised or lowered.  In the above example though it is set to the default '1'.
 
All of these sliders combined can be used to good effect to have the values output to a desired rate.  The Correction slider can be used if needed to make an output offset.  For example, on my X-52 Pro throttle I use the thumb slider to control mixture.  Using a combination of Multiplier and Correction I have my thumb slider covering a range of 60% - 120% mixture.
 
Here Multiplier is acting to control the available adjustable range.  0.5 equates to 50% of the available range on Mixture (0-120%), meaning this will set the slider to output a reduced range of only 60% of that axis.  Correction set at 25% coupled with Multiplier means the offset will start my thumb slider at a minimum of 60% whilst being able to slide through a reduced range of 50% meaning a maximum output of 120%.  Thus 60%-120%.
mixtureset_zpsb132ff78.jpg
 
Confusing but it works!
 
It should be noted that to make adjustments to Prop Pitch, Mixture and Radiator, you must first be flying with Full Aircraft Control enabled (Menu/Controls) and you must then switch to Manual Engine Control whilst in flight (default is Auto). You may also be required (in some instances) to switch from Auto Prop Pitch and Auto Radiator in some later aircraft if you still desire full control.

Not all aircraft will allow adjustment in these areas. It all depends on the model of aircraft.

 

To find what settings you're comfortable with, go into a test flight with any aircraft and position the view on the cockpit flight stick. See how the cockpit flight stick matches your own controller movements. Go to an external view and see how the control surfaces respond to your movements. You can press Esc. at any time in test flight, go into control settings, make the necessary adjustments and then go back to your test flight to see the differences and how it affects your flying. Set what is best for you.

Glo
 
EDIT:: made some corrections and will update images to latest interface very soon.
Will also make axis button mapping more in-depth.
It's a work in progress bear with me!


Edited by GloDark7, 22 May 2013 - 06:25 PM.

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#2 DeadMeat_

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 07:05 PM

Very nice guide Glo!
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#3 GloDark7

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 07:26 PM

Very nice guide Glo!


Thanks Fox! :good:

Hope it's of use to some.

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#4 soarfeat

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 09:31 PM

What an excellent turoial-- thanks Glo !!
--sf--
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#5 Jimko

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 11:34 PM

Delivered just as promised... Thanks Glo!

It's an excellent tutorial and the precursor posts by Glo that led to this solved my joystick control issues with the Logitech G940.

Well done!

J
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#6 GloDark7

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 01:21 AM

Thanks Soarfeat, Jimko :good:

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#7 MACADEMIC

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 02:54 AM

Very nice tutorial Glo! I found use for the multiplier in combination with correction in defining the viewpoint of my in cockpit camera Y-axis to be lower than it is by default in the game, while multiplier gives me still full range along the upper y-axis. I find this a very nice and useful addition to previous controller setup options.

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#8 GloDark7

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 01:26 AM

Thanks MAC!

Cool discovery with the view offset.

Not something I would have thought to look at, as I use FreeTrack and with 6DoF I can change the Y position myself by moving in my seat.

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#9 Fester

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 02:33 AM

Glo, you my good sir are a legend! Now, were can I nominate you for a medal? ;)wop
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#10 Thekraken

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 05:37 PM

hi guy's

i use gamepad and trackir 5 because i move a lot ant my config follow me in my suitcase!!

i' think the sensitivity at the lowest level is still to high to a proper use of gamepad !!
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#11 The_Customer

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 04:00 AM

Great THX to you from here as well Glo,
I'll second the nomination for a Gong. Three of us had been fighting our joysticks for control and thx to the tute we and a couple of others are now getting a much better experience from the game.

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#12 GloDark7

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 02:10 PM

Good stuff !
Glad it helped.

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#13 GloDark7

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 04:04 PM

Added some animations to better illustrate the effects of dead zone, nonlinearity and multiplier on the logical and physical axis.

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#14 GloDark7

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 03:12 PM

New entry added for instructions on button/key mapping for an axis (Prop Pitch, Mixture, Radiator).

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#15 soarfeat

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 04:46 PM

Great stuff Glo !!! This is a great resource when tweaking controls. I believe you have achieved the title GloDark " PACAS " ( Professor of Aircraft Controls,Axis and Settings ) :01212:
seriously thanks a lot for this---sf
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#16 GloDark7

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 05:12 PM

:)wop Thanks SoarFeat, Much appreciated!

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#17 Rogues_Pistolero

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 11:02 PM

Dear Friend Glo, there's in Yaw Axis a "Relative Control Sensitivity" bar (sorry my poor english) to reduce or increase it and sorry my naive question, since you really did an Excellent Job in this tutorial :good:, how it could to affect {Yaw (Rudder)} by this adjustment?...Saludos :salute:



I barely see no difference, still I'm trying to figure out how this could to affect in aiming the target...Thanks Dear Friend

This "RCS" only available in {YR}! as I noticed
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#18 GloDark7

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 12:27 AM

Dear Friend Glo, there's in Yaw Axis a "Relative Control Sensitivity" bar (sorry my poor english) to reduce or increase it and sorry my naive question, since you really did an Excellent Job in this tutorial :good:, how it could to affect {Yaw (Rudder)} by this adjustment?...Saludos :salute:



I barely see no difference, still I'm trying to figure out how this could to affect in aiming the target...Thanks Dear Friend

This "RCS" only available in {YR}! as I noticed


Hi Pistol,

That's a VERY good question!

Looking at the controls in more detail, it turns out that Relative Control Sensitivity and Relative Control is present in all axis configurations but NOT roll and pitch? I think those settings should be there to be honest as they are available in all other axis configurations.

Relative Control Sensitivity as best as I can tell (when Relative Control is set to 'YES') controls the incremental/decremental speed of a key press (if a key or button is mapped to that axis). If a joystick or gamepad has been set for an axis, Relative Control Sensitivity regardless of the setting, has absolutely no effect on the axis at all. I think it should really be greyed out if using a controller for that axis. Relative Control Sensitivity only comes into play if a button or key has been mapped for that axis and Relative Control is enabled. It serves no other purpose that I can see.

Keys or buttons can be assigned to both roll and pitch so I don't know why the relative controls for those axes are unavailable? It hadn't actually occurred to me until you mentioned it as I have only ever used my joystick for those axes.

The only reason I can guess at these settings being missing for roll and pitch would be that those particular axis are least likely to be controlled by the keyboard (or buttons) as most users would probably use a mouse, gamepad or joystick for roll and pitch. It would make sense to have relative controls for pitch and roll though considering a keyboard can be used for flight and the settings are there for yaw.

Good spot Pistol!

Glo
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#19 fambaa

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 02:19 AM

Hey Glo.

(((Nonlinearity seems not to work on the pitch axis on my joystick. In the configuration preview it seems, to work but when I fly the plane it does not. That is exceptionally bad because I want to make little adjustments when I am moving the stick not so much.

Have some problems landing the ME410 as it goes up and down heavily when I pitch up and down just a bit. Also I need it to be nonlinear on all axis to improve aiming. Currently its set on 50%. I get a good idea what it should do when I look at the tiny preview balls green and red.)))

Also something you might check is the Relative control on hatview option outside of the axis. I think thats what many bothers when they try it that the view does not "flip back" when the hat stick is released. However I got it to work setting both hat axis to NO relative control independently.

Then the up and down view outside and inside the cockpit is fine.
But the left and right bothers me a little, because outside it looks backwards, and in the cockpit view I see half my seat but not my wing. Any attempt to get the view more to a side then to the back has been unsuccessful.

Due to the nature of having switched off relative control and being only buttons not an actual axis its very hard to configure I guess.

Once again the little preview fools you. By setting the multiplier to almost 0 the green dot doesn't leave its position very much. So I guessed I could limit the left and right by setting the multiplier to something like 0,7 so the view would not go 100% to the back but 70% so I can watch my back and the side.
But like I said the preview is one step ahead. It does not work ingame.

Not sure if those are bugs, or those control options actually already implemented or being worked on.

edit: Well I realized 50% nonlinear was way too much, seems to work better with 20%, so the first 2 paragraphs of my post are irrelevant, except useful for those who make the same mistake/misconfiguration.
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#20 Rogues_Pistolero

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 11:47 PM

Hi Pistol,

That's a VERY good question!

Looking at the controls in more detail, it turns out that Relative Control Sensitivity and Relative Control is present in all axis configurations but NOT roll and pitch? I think those settings should be there to be honest as they are available in all other axis configurations.

Relative Control Sensitivity as best as I can tell (when Relative Control is set to 'YES') controls the incremental/decremental speed of a key press (if a key or button is mapped to that axis). If a joystick or gamepad has been set for an axis, Relative Control Sensitivity regardless of the setting, has absolutely no effect on the axis at all. I think it should really be greyed out if using a controller for that axis. Relative Control Sensitivity only comes into play if a button or key has been mapped for that axis and Relative Control is enabled. It serves no other purpose that I can see.

Keys or buttons can be assigned to both roll and pitch so I don't know why the relative controls for those axes are unavailable? It hadn't actually occurred to me until you mentioned it as I have only ever used my joystick for those axes.

The only reason I can guess at these settings being missing for roll and pitch would be that those particular axis are least likely to be controlled by the keyboard (or buttons) as most users would probably use a mouse, gamepad or joystick for roll and pitch. It would make sense to have relative controls for pitch and roll though considering a keyboard can be used for flight and the settings are there for yaw.

Good spot Pistol!

Glo



Thank you My Friend, I'm so slow understanding most of the times :unsure: , now is perfectly clear Thank you :rolleyes:
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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: axis settings, configuration, multiplier, linearity, dead zone, joystick, controller, nonlinearity, gamepad

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