Often the primary input device for console games. Typically designed to be held in one or both hands rather than being laid on a surface.

Controllers, also known as gamepads in the context of computers, are a handheld form of

Controllers eschew the complexity and size of a keyboard to favor portability and simplicity. The standard modern controllers tend to have 3 basic components.

  • Directional buttons, consisting of one or more directional pads and joysticks. These are often on the left, to be manipulated with the left thumb.
  • Face buttons, buttons on the front portion of the controller designed to be hit with the thumb. Usually game-action buttons are on the right, while system and menu buttons are in the middle.
  • Shoulder buttons, buttons on top of the controller on both sides intended to be hit with index finger without drawing away from the face buttons.

Questions specifically about gamepad input, rather than about generic input that could apply to both a keyboard and a controller, fall under the purview of this tag. Development for specific controllers like for a console also fits under this tag.