If you’re a serious gamer, the Game Controllers program may interest you. You use it to configure and control the joysticks, steering wheels, game pads, flight yokes, and other controllers you’ve attached to your PC. After all, if your joysticks and controllers aren’t installed and configured properly, you can’t pulverize aliens to full capacity.
To get started, install the driver software that came with your gaming device. If it’s a modern, USB, Windows XP–compatible gadget, you may not even need to do that much. Just plug in the device and watch the notification area for a message that Windows XP has detected it and installed the correct driver. (See Chapter 14 for more on installing gadgetry.)
Next, open the Game Controllers program, where you should see the newly installed controller listed. Click it and then click OK. If your device isn’t listed, click the Add button. In the Add Game Controller dialog box, specify the kind of controller you intend to install—“Gravis GamePad Pro (GamePort),” “6-button joystick w/two POVs and throttle,” or what have you, and then click OK.
Once you’ve selected the device, highlight its name in the Controller list box and then click the Properties button to test and set up its various buttons, wheels, and knobs.
Game controllers generally work only in games that recognize them—not within Windows itself. That USB steering wheel you’ve installed, for example, will almost certainly work in your racing car simulator game, but don’t ...