Ylthin

Tiny Hands Story - The Controller Struggle

I have tiny hands. That’s a fact that sounds pretty stupid to speak of, but since I have smaller hands than the Random Joe for whom most of products are manufactured, I constantly run into problems that requires me to find creative solutions to be able to do what everybody else can do with basic items you can find everywhere.

Controllers are big. By big I mean that since the firsts released, controllers got bigger and bigger over time and my hands stopped growing at some point, or I would look like the Cortical homunculus. The result is my own personal limit is the PS controller, and I’m not 100% comfortable with it to access to all the buttons and the lower trigger.

For some times now, I have been using my PS4 controller on Steam with a program aside to make it work. It was fine until a couple of months ago when it began to randomly behave, the left and right getting stuck (both joystick and pad), having the character running into walls until I would manage to unstuck it. On my very last attempt to platform with this controller, I had the pleasure to fancy my character running stuck to the right, then to the left, then again to the right and so on.
Comes the solution which is why I’m sharing this with you as maybe some of you struggle with the usual controllers which are sold nowadays, particularly the XBox one which is so huge that I can’t even reach all the buttons with the small version of it.


The reason why I’m making this post is to help people who may have similar problem so they know that there exists high quality alternative controllers working on Steam like a charm and how to set it up.

I got my eyes on controllers made by 8BitDo which makes small light weight controllers adapted for Steam, MacOS, Android and even have special receivers allowing you to use it on old consoles such as Super Nintendo, as well as new one such as Switch.
I chose a special edition of the N30 Pro, the Apple AP40 as it’s also compatible with iOS as I own an iPhone. Here is a video of it if you’re curious.

Apple AP40

Now comes the “how to set up this beauty”

Turn it on and pair it with bluetooth. Congratulations you’re done for the most part. Yet there are still games which wont want to hear anything about this new controller, I had the problem with Figment which only accepted the controller at the launch of the game, but nope right after (go figure).

  • Open steam and click on “Steam” on the top left, then click on settings.
  • Once there, select the controller tab and click on “general controller settings”.
  • Tick “Generic Gamepad Configuration Support” to get your 8BitDo to work correctly.
  • Select your controller on “Detected Controllers” list, you’ll be requested which sort of controller it is, just select Generic Controller.
  • Click on “Define Layout” and go through every option to associate your 8BitDo controller to Steam and voilà !

Quite simple in the end, configuring it that ways allows you to play most of the games without Big Pictures (which I dislike as full screen) and you can now enjoy playing with a small and light controller looking fancy ,) !

godprobe

I picked up two of their controllers back when it was still called the “NES30 Pro” and they’re as close to a perfect small controller as you can get, imho! I’ve used them on my PC / Mac via USB and Android via Bluetooth. For PC, I usually have to hold one of the right shoulder buttons on power-up to get it in XInput mode, or something like that, and the instructions were never very clear and changed between firmware updates, but I’ve just left it on the shipped firmware and haven’t had any issues.

That old keyboard mini stand is awesome! :)
It’s great to see so many new color and shape configurations for the controller on their site now.

My only gripe is the joystick has limited fidelity, being that it’s fairly small. It works just fine for most games, but I occasionally feel myself wanting a little more fine control for driving and shooting games… but I should be using a keyboard and mouse most of the time for the latter anyway – it’s sometimes just easier to pick up the controller.

Also, I haven’t tested wireless stuff much with mine – it’s generally very close to my phone, or via cable for USB on PC (I don’t even have bluetooth on my PC).

But yeah… great little controllers. Good button feel, shoulder buttons are surprisingly accessible (most of the time), and it’s generally just fun to use. My hands are probably “average” sized, and while Xbox controllers are kinda clunky-big, I can get used to them in one sitting.

Ylthin

Oh, actually mine is also a NES30 PRO, they just changed the name later on for N30 PRO and now have the N30 PRO2 ! Maybe they did solve the fidelity problem that you had ? On my side I cannot complain, my PS4 controller was so problematic that it had 0 fidelity, I couldn’t walk anymore, only run into problems.

OH ! About the keyboard stand, it’s in metal, super heavy, I could break a coconut with it or hit a nail, no problem. There are two cute details with it, the keys on the keyboard write “in the respect of the one we love.” and you can take the keys part off, under is written, “To the geniuses who discovered what others couldn’t.”

Lucky Thirteen

I mean no disrecpect, but have you considered using mouse and keyboard for your PC gaming? :D Sounds like a reasonable solution to me, though it’s definitely a good thing that there are smaller controllers for those who can’t use the classic controllers :)

Ylthin

There are games which are more comfortable with controllers and some even like Aaero which can only be played with a controller.
I’m a MMO player, I play with my keyboard all the times, but when I’m playing a platformer, I love using a controller, even more as over time I found that a LOT of them have keyboards issues (at least those are issues to me) such as:

  • Only WASD controls while I’m French and thus I have an AZERTY keyboards, so the keys for me are QZSD. Yeah that change a lot of stuff, really annoying ones, believe me.
  • Only arrow controls, while I don’t have so much space and dislike tugging my arm in my boobs for the sake of playing. Add a little bit of scare jump in the game and I end up hurting myself. Already tested, not the best. Screw you arrow keys.
  • Only weird controls mapped randomly on an AZERTY keyboard making me wonder how I’m supposed to use a mouse, the arrows and at the same time hit the E or F key for an action.

Even on keyboard, I get uncomfortable thanks to my tiny hands. As I said I’m a MMO player and for it to work for me, we had to buy me a mouse with special side buttons that would leave some place to my thumb for me to be comfy when I’m not playing. It only took us 5 years to find an appropriate one as even the Naga got me having troubles to reach half of the keys. Go figure, I have weird hands x) ! (Mind you, I still can’t press ALT or CTRL while I’m playing to switch my buttons, my life is made of macros to switch the bars with a button or another).

PS: I didn’t take it as disrespect at all, it’s an absolutely normal question, but I wanted to share that I found a nice controller for small hands because it took me so many years to find one working properly on Steam that I figured maybe it would help someone else. Maybe. Who knows ! I can’t be the only person in the world with a 1/2 shoes size and tiny hands ?

Lucky Thirteen

I can’t be the only person in the world with a 1/2 shoes size and tiny hands ?

I’m sure you’re not! :)

What you wrote sounds fair enough, I can clearly see the issues you might have with keyboard+mouse.
Personally, I find it incredibly annoying when you can’t change the keybinds in games. Even though I’m perfectly comfortable with both WASD and arrow keys to move around, I like to rebind the other fuctions and anyway, there’s no reason why games shouldn’t let us rebind the keys to whatever the hell we like!

And by the way, I really hate it when a game gets ported to PC but the devs don’t bother to implement a proper KB+M controls. They slap a “best played with a controller” on the damn thing and congratulate themselves to a job well done. Lazy fuckers. But that’s a discussion for another time, I suppose.

Ylthin

I hate it when I’m not able to change keys as well, thus why I had a third party program on my PS4 controller and installed similar program with that new one. Those programs aren’t meant to make a controller work when it shouldn’t, but it’s more to be able to remap the controls properly when it’s being weird, that with adding games where they have XBox controls but not PS4..
And arrows.. I hate arrows. I also hate boobs, I want a zipper on those to put them aside when I don’t need them. (They would actually take the dust on a shelf).

Aaero isn’t a port, but the whole gameplay needs you to have a controller, they tried on keyboard and it just doesn’t work. But that’s about it when it comes to game with only controller support. As for those games you’re speaking of.. OMG.. I’m so pissed as well when I play those.. Or those which requires you to “swipe” with a mouse and is obviously a phone port, like.. ROAAAAAR !

パプリカ

Something doesn’t seem right here. Steam has official support for the DualShock 4, why would you use a third party program to make it work?

Ylthin

Yes it does, but unfortunately, some games don’t have controller support and have weirdly mapped keys. I’m mostly thinking of games using arrows keys and those locked on WASD controls while I’m French and uses an AZERTY, thus for me it’s QZSD. As a result the only way I found to make it work was to use a third party program meant to remap your controller. It’s not ideal, but well, it did work for the time it had to.
Speaking of it, 8BitDo also has its own remapping program which I may be forced to use once more, thanks to the games who think that everybody uses a QWERTY.

パプリカ

Huh, seems I got lucky with choosing my first game to play with the DualShock 4 then.

AZERTY keyboard though… don’t think I’ve seen one like that, ever. What do they even look like?

Ylthin

They look exactly the same as a QWERTY, just the keys are moved around and we also have accents since we use them a lot in French. Keys on keyboards are organized to make it comfortable as every language uses more or less some specific letter, in France we have AZERTY to fit our language and it seems like a lot of developer don’t think further than QWERTY and sometimes don’t even allow remapping, thus the alternative program.

パプリカ

That’s interesting, actually! But it kinda doesn’t make sense… if all keyboards were modified for language’s sake, mine wouldn’t need Q/V/X… or it would have them hidden under other keys, just like the language-exclusive letters are. thinking

Ylthin

The goal is also to allow you to write in another language. You can do accent with a QWERTY, it’s just more complicated and I can’t picture myself writing in French with a QWERTY as most of our words have accents to them.

パプリカ

I don’t mean to sound negative or indifferent, but I feel like that’s still something I have to pretend to understand. Lack of knowledge of the language on my part.

Ylthin

Oh no, it’s all ok, I understand exactly what you mean, so here is an example :

Lorsque j’écris en français, il y a des tas d’accents dans chacune des phrases et les lettres sont agencées sur le clavier de sorte à ce que je puisse écrire sans avoir à constamment utiliser la touche MAJ (étant donné que pour nous il faut faire MAJ pour les chiffres). Ce n’est pas grave si tu ne connais pas le français et donc ne peux pas vraiment comprendre de quoi je parle. Je peux te montrer assez facilement ce que ça donne :) !

When I’m writing in French, there are a lot of accents in every sentences and the letters are organized on the keyboard so I can write without constantly needing to use the CAPS key (since for us we need to use CAPS for the numbers). It’s okay if you don’t know anything about French and so cannot exactly understand what I’m talking about. I can easily show you how it looks like :) !

パプリカ

Caps… do you mean Shift? I mean, Caps Lock works basically the same, but I digress. And while I use a QWERTY keyboard myself, I… oh… I realized that while typing but wow, I don’t need to use Caps Lock/Shift for numbers.

Ylthin

You’re right, Shift ! And indeed you don’t, that’s the magic of QWERTY (and I’m glad that I have to use shift on my side, I don’t want to picture myself writing in French and needing to shift for accents).

パプリカ

It’s so obscure, but interesting. I think I’ll go look for videos about typing in French, actually.

Trent

When I worked in France, occasionally I’d have to use a computer other than my regular computer, and occasionally that computer had an AZERTY keyboard. Needless to say, hilarity ensued as I tried to adjust…I basically couldn’t touch-type any more. Anyway, I can definitely understand how not being able to re-map your keyboard to what you’re used to can be a problem!

🐁 MouseWithBeer 🐁

Finally someone who has the same problem as me o.o Even the PS4 one is too big for me, PS3 one is the only one I am comfortable with but only when I am actually playing on the PS3, mouse + KB or nothing on PC for me (even then I can’t properly reach the number keys while my fingers are on WASD T.T)

adil

I don’t think many can reach the number keys easily. At least I can only do 123 the others are sort of out of proper reach to me too.

Ylthin

To each problem their solution, what I explained to Mouse can be applied to anybody, you just have to be creative in the end ^^ !

adil

Yeah, the G600 was my go to to tackle that problem. Sadly mine broke down and it’s a discontinued mouse…

Ylthin

It looks quite similar to the Razer Naga, so maybe you can try that one to solve your problem :) !

Lucky Thirteen

At least I can only do 123 the others are sort of out of proper reach to me too.

Haha, same here. I have a fairly normal-sized hands but the only alphanumeric keys I can use effectively are 1 to 4. 5 and up are way out of my comfortable reach :D

adil

4 feels already a bit annoying. 5 I have to get out of my way to reach it. So you’re doing better than me I guess :D

Ylthin

You can switch around and use ² (or ` on QWERTY), sometimes it helps !

🐁 MouseWithBeer 🐁

Most people I talked about this can o.o I get so much shit for using the scrollwell to switch weapons in CSGO instead of the numbers, but I just can’t reach them. I can only really do number 2 and then q,e,r,f,g(very uncomfortably, screw games that bind grenades to that), c, v, tab, shift, ctrl and space.

adil

You can’t reach the 1 with your ring finger? I do that, then 2-3 with my middle fingers. 4 with my index but it’s a close call. 5 starts to get annoying to reach and I have to lift my hand out of WASD. And my hands are average sized so I guess it might be more painful with smaller hands. And luckily I have no real problem with any of the close WASD keys you named except g but not as bad as you, it’s just a bit annoying to reach there.

But I have a habit of letting at least one finger on at least one of the WASD keys. To find them faster. Which is why I find it hard to reach 5 because I have to lift my hand a little to get there while 4 I can stretch my finger just enough to reach it without moving.

I’m missing my G600 xD that broke but hopefully one day I’ll be able to buy an other one at a reasonable price (it has been discontinued here unfortunately so people want twice its price now…).

Ylthin

My hands being small, I can tell you that 1 with little finger is not the easiest, but the ` is easier to reach and I do use that key to switch my main keys around when playing FFXIV. This is a very old video where I show how I use macros to switch around target and keys and do a lot of different things with only one key.

As for your G600 problem, it’s €79 in France, I don’t know where you live, but maybe you can find a shop in another country where you can order and which is still less than you would pay even counting the delivery ?

adil

Really? France here as well but last I checked (which was some time ago now) it was a lot more expensive. 100 at minimum and I wouldn’t pay that much for this mouse since I just need so much buttons for Guild Wars 2 now. And 80 is still pushing it but it seems more reasonable already. As said, one day, maybe!

But no Razer (in response to your suggestion above). Razer to me is what Logitech is to you, except much worse! xD

🐁 MouseWithBeer 🐁

I can reach it but I can’t press it constantly without pressing 2 or q at the same time too which is a problem if something else is bound to either of those 2 keys. Yea my hands are really small (I am generally quite small).

I never had a problem finding WASD, my brain knows exactly where to do due to too much gaming :P

Have you considered order it from somewhere else? I had to order mine from the UK because it was the only place that was still selling the one I want >.>. For me this one is 58$ with shipping and fees to Slovenia.

adil

Leaving a finger on WASD at all times is probably (or even most likely!) a bad habit to have. But I can’t fight it unfortunately. Too used to it now!

But thanks for the link! I didn’t think of looking in the US. It’s even a bit cheaper to get it in France (38.15 eco or 41.79 prio). Even if it gets taxed it should be under 60€ so that’s a pretty fair price to me! Time to get back into GW2 xD

🐁 MouseWithBeer 🐁

Everyone has such habits :)

Oh nice!
Seems like I am getting screwed on shipping over here :D
Enjoy GW2 :)

Ylthin

Wow indeed, actually the price is $32.00 + $13.78 Shipping & Import Fees Deposit to France, I sometimes order in NA for stuff that are way way way cheaper there even with delivery fee. TIME TO GET YOURSELF A MOUSE FRIEND :D !

Ylthin

The PS4 one was really uncomfortable to me, I couldn’t reach some of the stuff as well so I get you there, I never got a PS3, but I did have a PS2 controller which was far better for me. huggles the mouse TINY HANDS PARTY o/ ! (Now you know there exists tiny controllers for you, yay o/).

I may be able to give you advice there as I’m running into those issues all the time as an MMO player (and playing with keyboard and mouse, not a controller even though my main MMO is FFXIV currently which has a full controller support) :

  • First of all, even if you’re using WASD controls, add some skills on 123 but also in Q and E, also check if you’re comfortable with R and F. I’m actually playing like that, mostly in the AZERTY equivalent to WASD and using side keys instead of 123 for my more important skills, only using 123 for secondary skills (such as debuff for example).
  • Set a skill on the mouse middle scroll button.
  • After years of looking for a mouse with more than 2 buttons on the side that I could actually reach (ha), I settled for the Logitech G602.
    As you can see on the picture, it has 6 buttons on the side and since we have small hands, it makes it easier to access the one closer to our hand. Set other skills on that, don’t forget to add the classic tab on there (I don’t know for you, but I can never reach it) and your main skills.
  • Try to see if you can find a keyboard which is comfortable for you, I noticed that a keyboard with lights was helping me to focus on the keys I needed to hit beside WASD, maybe it’s just me, maybe it’s not, I’m sharing anyway.

FAIR WARNING REGARDING LOGITECH

Programmed obsolescence is so precise on Logitech mouses and keyboards that you can be sure that it will break or have problems within 6 months after the end of the warranty. I found out that on Amazon it’s possible to add a bonus warranty to practically everything electronic which makes it easier to change your material when it breaks 1 month after the end of the normal warranty (if you want you can tell me which Amazon you use and I’ll try to find you a link).
As bonus, when you get on touch with the technical problem person, they will request you to do the basics (try on another computer, try with and without third party program, change the batteries, etc.) and they then will ask you if you want a refund or an exchange. If you pick the exchange, you’ll receive a new one within a day and the new one will be warranty until the end of the previous one warranty. If you don’t want to risk it, you can ask for a refund, buy the same mouse with the same bonus warranty to avoid any problem. Hope this helps (maybe ?).

🐁 MouseWithBeer 🐁

The PS4 one makes my hands hurt after 15 minutes or so. Never tried a PS2 one but from a quick search it seems to be almost the same as a PS3. Funny thing is my boyfriend tried to claim that the PS3 and PS4 ones were the same size and wouldn’t believe me till I actually made him go get both and compare them… Yea he was wrong lol.

I don’t play MMOs, I am mostly a shooter/puzzle person but that is some very solid advice (except the 123 part for me, I can’t reach that shit either). I would like to add is that what helped me a lot when it comes to keyboard was getting a smaller keyboard. I used to have a K70 RGB that I have replaced with a VA88M Sakura Edition about a year ago. I don’t know if it is just placebo or something, but I feel like it miss press keys a lot less now.

Screw Logitech, I am never buying anything for them again (except webcams because there just isn’t any other choice if you want something cheapo that doesn’t look like absolute poop). We don’t have Amazon where I live sadly. I do order from the German one once in a blue moon, but not electronics.

Ylthin

This would explain why I needed a break after playing for some time, I did have the feeling that PS4 one was bigger, but they did keep the general form so I was mostly ok, just having problem reaching the triggers + start / select.

I have a basic Logitech G910, so it’s not exactly a small one, but I don’t really use any other keys than QERFCV as you do yourself, unless for secondary skills. MMO or not, when you’re playing a game where you have some skills such as Dragon Age, having the possibility to switch keys around is a necessity, I hate games where I can’t switch keys.

I said the same about Logitech, because programmed obsolescence which is completely ridiculous with that brand, but the Amazon bonus warranty (which probably exists with other shops) solved my problem, so I have a brand new keyboard / mouse every year or so without needing to pay more.

🐁 MouseWithBeer 🐁

Funny you mention Dragon age, I asked for a repick of the games I have to play for the Play or Pay group and I got Dragon Age Origins to play now. I hope it won’t have any weird bindings :/

I have been lucky enough knocks on wood that I have had all my PC peripherals last quite a long time so I don’t ever bother with any kinds of warranty. However I do seem to have the amazing luck that once one of them dies and I want to go rebuy it, because I loved it, it ends up being discontinued :(

Ylthin

Ah, on my side it’s “as soon as there is one dying, you can be sure that every other will follow within a month”, which isn’t nice either ^^”

As for Dragon Age, not as far as I know, but it’s one of those games with a line of skills, which make those close to MMO in some ways.

adil

Saturn gamepad appears first on that 8bitdo page, they sure know their classics! I would get this one if I needed one.

Ylthin

Yes they do, probably also because most of old controllers were far smaller than those we have today. I also have a lot of fun looking at their zero controller, it’s so tiny that it wakes up my “kawaii~” vibe.

GiseIIe

THAT’s a tiny controller!!

Ylthin

Yes ! Small size, like a key. I find it interesting to have it in your pocket to play on your phone and tablet. Unfortunately, since the first generation of NES30 PRO, none of the new controllers are compatible with iOS. What a shame.

Trent

Well, it looks like there are some advantages to having tiny hands, apparently:

truth

:D

Ylthin

WOW ! I HAVE TO TRY NOW !