A joystick is an input device commonly used to control video games. Joysticks consist of a base and a stick that can be moved in any direction. The stick can be moved slowly or quickly and in different amounts. Some joysticks have sticks that can also be rotated to the left or right. Because of the flexible movements a joystick allows, it can provide much greater control than the keys on a keyboard.
Joysticks typically include several buttons as well. Most joysticks have at least one button on the top of the stick and another button in the front of the stick for the trigger. Many joysticks also include other buttons on the base that can be pressed using the hand that is not guiding the stick. Joysticks typically connect to your computer using a basic USB or serial port connection and often come with software that allows you to assign the function of each button.
Since joysticks emulate the controls of planes and other aircraft, they are best suited for flight simulators and flying action games. However, some gamers like to use joysticks for other types of video games, such as first-person shooters and fighting games. Others prefer using the basic keyboard and mouse, with which they are already accustomed to.
Updated: November 2, 2007