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Game controller facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
A North American Super NES game controller from the early 1990s.

A game controller is a device used to play video games.


A game controller is a device used with video games or entertainment systems to provide input to a video game, typically to control an object or character in the game. Controllers may be input devices that only provide input to the system or input/output devices that receive data from the system and produce a response (e.g., rumble or create sound).

Types of game controllers


A gamepad, also known as a joypad, is a common type of game controller. They are held in both hands with thumbs and fingers used to press buttons on the gamepad. Gamepads can have a number of action buttons with one ore more control sticks. Gamepads is part of playing a video game console. A player must use a gamepad in order to play any video game. Gamepads were first used on early computers.

On a Nintendo gamepad, the action buttons are colored with letters (A, B, X, Y). There is a start and a select option on the gamepad. On the left of the gamepad, there are arrows which the player uses to move in the video game.


A paddle is a game controller with a round wheel and one or more fire buttons. The wheel is used to control movement in a video game. This type of controller was used on the Atari 2600 and Indy 500.

The paddle wheel is usually mechanically coupled to a potentiometer, so as to generate an output voltage level varying with the wheel's angle relative to a fixed reference position. A paddle is thus an absolute position controller. That is, without any previous knowledge, the sensor can be read and the result directly indicates the position of the paddle knob. This is in contrast to a rotary encoder-based device or "spinner".


Joystick elements: 1. Stick 2. Base 3. Trigger 4. Extra buttons 5. Autofire switch 6. Throttle 7. Hat Switch (POV Hat) 8. Suction Cup

A joystick is an input device consisting of a stick that pivots on a base and reports its angle or direction to the device it is controlling. Joysticks are often used to control video games, and usually have one or more push-buttons whose state can also be read by the computer. A popular variation of the joystick used on modern video game consoles is the analog stick.

The joystick has been the principal flight control in the cockpit of many aircraft, particularly military fast jets, where centre stick or side-stick location may be employed. Joysticks are also used for controlling machines such as cranes, trucks, underwater unmanned vehicles and zero turning radius lawn mowers. Miniature finger-operated joysticks have been adopted as input devices for smaller electronic equipment such as mobile phones.

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Controlador de videojuego para niños

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