As companies program their games with consoles in mind, in the end most games that come to PC are ready to be played with a controller. And, except for some specific types (strategy, FPS and little else), playing with a controller is usually more comfortable than doing it with a keyboard and mouse (although, in the end, it depends a lot on taste). But if there is something that annoys enormously when we are going to play with a controller, it is that the buttons, or the levers, do not work correctly. And this may mean either that the controller is broken, or that you need to calibrate the controller ..
To calibrate a command is to send the operating system to reset the values it uses to move the inclination of the levers so that, if there is any deviation or modification of the values, they are correctly captured again.
When to calibrate the controller
Generally, it is recommended to calibrate the controls the first time that we are going to use them on the computer. In this way, through software, we can correct any small variation of the expected values with the values obtained by moving the joysticks. However, in practice it is never actually done, nor is it necessary given the precision of today’s controls.
When we do have to calibrate the controller is when, while we play, we notice strange behaviors. The most common are that, leaving the controller on the table, the character or the camera moves by himself. Or when the movements we make with the joystick do not correspond to what is reflected in the game (for example, when looking or pointing).
What should we know before doing it?
The first thing we must know is that this process is totally harmless for the command. All we do is save a series of parameters in the Windows driver so that the data we obtain is interpreted in another way. Therefore, we can calibrate the controls as many times as we want without anything happening. We can even calibrate it “wrong” on a computer that, when going to another computer, or to a console, it will be unchanged and will use its default reading values.
Every time we calibrate a controller, we are calibrating Windows for that controller. That means that, if we connect a different controller, it will use its default values again.
Controllers can be calibrated both wired and wirelessly (if supported). But it is better to do it by cable to obtain more accurate values during the process.
How to calibrate an XBOX, PlayStation or other controller in Windows 10
We have several ways to calibrate the controller that we connect in Windows 10.
The truth is that the management of controls in Windows 10 leaves a lot to be desired. Even that of the controls of the XBOX itself. But despite this, we are going to have a tool to check its operation and be able to calibrate it.
To do this, the first thing we will do is use the Windows search engine to search for ” Gaming devices ” and be able to open this manager.
We can see a window where all the controls and devices that we have connected to the PC will appear. We select the command that we want to calibrate, and click on the «Properties» button.
A new window will appear with the command options. Select the “Configuration” tab at the top, and click on the “Calibrate” button to start the process.
Now we simply have to follow the steps that the program will indicate. Basically these steps are:
- Leave the controls still.
- Move them in complete circles.
- Leave the controls still.
When the process is finished, we will have the calibrated remote control, and all its values should be accurate again. When we return to the configuration window, we can select the “Test” tab to be able to test how well the remote works. We can move the levers, and press the buttons, to check if everything is going correctly.
If we are going to play Steam games, another way to calibrate the controller is to do it through this software. We remember that the Steam platform has its own controllers for all types of controllers, which allows us to configure and adapt them to each of the games we are going to play. The possibilities that this software offers us are endless. But we are going to focus on calibrating.
The first thing we will do is open Steam. Inside the store, in our library, we will open the program’s options and configuration window (from the “Steam” menu), and in the window that appears we will select the “Command” section. Within this section we will select the option ” General command settings ” to enter their parameters.
Steam will open a window of its ” Big Picture ” mode from which to configure and calibrate the PC controls. We select our command, and click on the button « Calibrate «.
Here we can see the calibration options that Steam offers us for our command. The software recommends us (as we have said) only to carry out this process when any of the remote functions malfunctions. We can customize the deadlocks of the levers (margin, in degrees, before responding), and initiate a full self-calibration.
Once the remote is calibrated, we accept the window and it should work normally again.
If we buy a cheap, generic, “oem” remote, the only way to calibrate it is through its own software. The same happens, for example, with a PlayStation controller, since it does not have official configuration software. However, if we buy a “PRO” control designed for PC, the manufacturer will surely provide us with a complete program from which to configure even the smallest parameter of the control.
In the case of an XBOX controller, for example, we will have the “Xbox Accessories” application that will allow us to control all its parameters, update the firmware and much more. If, in addition, we have the “elite” command, we can have absolute control over it.
The Nacon and Razer “Pro” controllers, for example, also have their own software to configure and calibrate it so that we can become true professionals when playing games on the PC. Normally these controls allow us, in addition to performing a calibration from zero, to configure various advanced aspects of the controls. For example, we can configure dead zones on the triggers or joysticks, or remap the buttons to perform other functions.
What if the remote is miscalibrated?
When we are going to calibrate a command we can see a warning that tells us that, during the process, we should try not to move the controls or press any key to avoid errors in the assignment of controls. However, it may happen that we have inadvertently done it. Have we broken command?
The first thing to know is that all calibration settings are reversible. If we are using a high-end, professional remote control, this configuration will be saved in its internal memory, so it will affect all computers or consoles where we connect it. If it is a normal command, the calibration is saved in Windows itself, and the changed values will not affect the other systems where we connect it.
This means that if we miscalibrate the controller, nothing really happens. If we have pressed a key, or the lever was in a bad position and now the character moves by itself (for example) we don’t have to worry about it. It will be enough to re-launch the calibration process to reconfigure our remote control, with Windows or with the corresponding software, as it should.