D-Pad vs Thumbsticks


I grew up in a time where characters/objects in games only moved in four directions (Up, Down, Left or Right). The D-Pad (aka Directional Pad) was the way to move in any game. It wasn’t until my third or fourth console where I was introduced to the concept of the thumbstick (Nintendo 64). And we now have dual thumbsticks on many of our controllers.

Back in the D-Pad only days, three-dimensional games had yet to arrive.

It wasn’t until 1996 that the Nintendo 64 gave us the thumbstick (just one). My first 3D FPS (first-person shooter) thumbstick experiences were in games like Goldeneye and Perfect Dark on the N64. It began as a mix between one stick and directional buttons. You used the thumbstick to move your character and the four directional C buttons to look around. Later on controllers gave us two sticks and we had to learn to…

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