One thing that never ceases to amaze me is how finicky D-Pads can be, even on the same model Controller from the same manufacturer.
For years I used a Hori GemPad EX for Xbox 360 on both my Xbox 360 E console as well as my PC. This past March, when I upgraded my PC’s video card so I’d be able to play Mortal Kombat 11, the GemPad EX stopped being properly detected on my PC. I had to updated my BIOS for the card, and I suspect that’s what changed things.
Anyway, that meant I needed a new Controller, since there was no way I’d be using an Xbox 360 Controller for a fighting game. I ordered an Xbox One Controller for Windows since I knew it now has a proper plus D-Pad, and gave it a try with Mortal Kombat XL. While it was a huge leap forward over the Xbox 360’s D-Pad, it was still quite lacking.
I returned it, and came across the Hori Fighting Commander for Xbox One, which was formally PC-compatible, and I got that instead. It’s a fantastic Controller for fighting games, and it’s D-Pad is exceptional. This is the Controller I’ve been using for Mortal Kombat 11 and Killer Instinct (2013).
Last week, I bought an Xbox One X Special Edition Console, which came with a free second Controller. The Controller properly bundled with the console, it’s D-Pad is great! It’s not quite the Hori Fighting Commander D-Pad, but it’s such a difference from the Xbox One Controller I tried in March that I’ve had no need for the Fighting Commander on my Xbox One.
Last night, I tried the second Controller, same model though different colour, and it’s worse than the Controller I used in March. Maybe once or twice in every ten attempts can I properly do a simple fireball. I reconnected the bundled-in Xbox One Controller to confirm it wasn’t just me, and no issues with fireballs.
So all of this to say that I find in incredible that I’ve now used three different Xbox One Controllers, all first party, and all with different D-Pad experiences. Makes you wonder how standardized they really are.