The Disadvantages of Joysticks

Written by chanel adams
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The Disadvantages of Joysticks
Overuse of joysticks can cause hand injuries. (Video Game Gear image by Alhazm Salemi from

Joysticks are input devices that players use to navigate around a video or computer game. They consist of a stick that pivots and buttons that execute certain actions during play. There are three types of gaming joysticks: the standard joystick, the joypad and the arcade joystick. Each of these comes with their own strengths and weaknesses,but the bad outweighs the good when it comes to heavy use and limited compatibility. Consider these disadvantages whether you own a joystick or are considering purchasing a game requiring one in the future.

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Not Compatible with Most Computers

Vintage joysticks may be compatible only with the gaming system they come with. You may have trouble connecting because your operating system doesn't recognise the device. If you are purchasing a joystick game controller, make sure it is compatible with your computer’s system since most work only with the Windows and Linux systems, according to the Retro Connection website. If you prefer using your vintage joystick, then you need to have a USB or joystick port on your computer, along with an emulator. With an emulator, your computer recognises the controller and allows input.

Joystick Control Problems

Joysticks only come with two types of controls: the pivoting stick and the buttons. Most of the time, players are using the joystick to manoeuvre through the game or to launch an object such as an aeroplane. Those who have an older version of the joystick may be limited on how they can move the controller. They may only be able to push the joystick up and down or left and right. With prolonged use, the joystick and the buttons can become stuck. Try adjusting the controls if this happens. If you can move the controls but cannot manoeuvre the objects in the game, then you may have to rewire your gaming system. Another problem that might arise is that the joystick could accidentally break off. In this case, you should have an electronics expert try to repair it.

Hand Injuries

Extensive use of joysticks can cause repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Repetitive stress injuries occur when you place too much stress on a certain part of the body, according to the Teens’ Health website. Players may experience numbness, tingling or soreness in their upper hand area. Those who play particularly rough with the joystick are more prone to such symptoms. Hand injuries can lead to inflammation, muscle strain or tissue damage. If you notice any discomfort or pain, ask your physician about treatments that could help ease your condition. Stopping or limiting your use of joysticks could also help prevent serious problems. If you do not seek medical help, your symptoms could become more severe and could either prevent you from doing everyday tasks or lead to a need for surgery.

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