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TOP features of a perfect game controller (based on interviews with gamers)

As Raccoon.World team aims to create best controller for real gamers, we develop it in a close cooperation with them. The first thing we did before creating Raccoon.Clip 2.0 was in-depth interviewing to find out pains and gains of gamers when it comes to controllers. And the results are unexpectable! See them in the article.

We made in-depth interviews with multiple gamers, who played with both classic (Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo) and third-party controllers on consoles and PC. Each of them lasted 40-90 minutes and was hold in a manner of friendly talk. We asked for real stories from everyday gaming life and spoke about user experience with existing controllers. After that we spend over 350 hours on interview transcript and analysis. We took all the quality attributes mentioned by respondents, grouped similar attributes, filtered everything abstract and inexact (like “It just fits well”, “Easy to use”, “Сlunky controls”, “Looks like a creeper” and dozens of similar comments) and then made a chart with all the features. You can see the chart at the end of an article (it is quite big, almost 100 points). Now let’s take a closer look to TOP 7 features we collected.

Extra buttons. As you see, 92% of respondents want to have extra buttons on their controllers compared to those that come with console. Hahaha. You may call them “cheater” or “not fair” in social networks, but when it is a private interview, you confess that you still want them.

Anti-sweat grip. I was shocked that almost 90% of gamers experience excessive palm sweating during gaming that is caused by controller materials. I even went surfing on the web to check it – and suddenly found dozens of forums where people discussed this problems and ways to solve it (from using talcum powder to wearing special gloves!).

Wireless connection. Yes, wired connection deliver lower latency, but almost no one wants to have wires all around and to be chained to the console or PC. 64% of respondents told that they won’t buy a wired controller despite it is a bit quicker.

Battery life. Every second gamer wants his controller to live longer. Different quantity of hours was named, but 10 hours of gameplay from one charge is the most popular slot.

Controller size. Look at the features 5 and 6. It was most amazing for me! 43% of respondents wish their controller should be bigger because the fingers are too close and sweat, and 41% want them to be smaller because they have crumbs when stretching their fingers to reach all the buttons. At the end, 84% of gamers are not satisfied with the size of their controllers.

Comfortable button layout. Despite the controller developers launch the devices one by one, 38% of respondents told that button layout could be more comfortable because that makes them get tired earlier.

Now, if you are interested in other features we found out, see the detailed chart:

To cut the long story short, I can name few main trends when it comes to perfect game controller:

1. Most problems are about materials, controller size and layout of buttons.

2. Design doesn’t matter much. It is a good option, but not the one to choose for.

3. There are lots of problems and ideas for thumbsticks (resistance, longevity, comfort of use) while triggers and bumpers are relatively good.

4. Extra buttons are great, but only if there are few of them. No one loves Frankenstein controllers.

5. There are more adherents of separate D-pad compared to a cross one (depends on game genres that are popular now), but the best idea is the ability to change them.

6. Battery life still keeps being a huge problem.

Thus, everything goes to comfort. Comfort means calmness while playing, increased concentration and better accuracy. And of course, it delivers longer gameplay!

We have already started sketching period for Raccoon.Clip 2.0. With the help of gamers we now have the full recipe to create the best controller. Soon we will write about it and show how it will look like. Follow the news!

Anna Bezrodna, CMO

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